Kryst & Josman1789
I’m the ADD partner here, diagnosed 19 yrs ago at age 35. We’ll be married 28 yrs in 2021, so I guess that’s something no? I’d like to say that everything has been easy since my diagnosis, but that would be dishonest. For a long time, I thought that diagnosis and meds would fix this ADD thing’; what I didn’t realize was that there were other underlying things that magnified the executive functioning issues. For me, that was anxiety and paralyzing shame (with possible rejection sensitivity) – what I call the ‘mean cousins’ of ADD. This caused me to completely shut down relationally, even with my amazing wife (who is an experienced LicSW). I’ve pushed us to the brink on several occasions; it wasn’t until I was serious about clinical treatment that I was able to move forward (I’ve has an outstanding therapist for nearly 6 years now).
Every relationship has challenges and struggles; those of us with attentional deficits just manifest them in more global ways. If it’s worth it to you both, then you’ll put in the work. I will say that it is draining on partners – I would recommend a strong self-care structure for yourself; make sure to carve out space for just you to do things that you love – meet with friends, take a walk, take a class, etc. Also, your SO’s need to take responsibility for their own treatment; all you can do is support them (emotionally and structurally) and love them as partners.
I’m lucky that I have a partner who loves me and didn’t give up on me – even when I gave her plenty of reason to! While it’s not easy being in relationship with us, I think we’re worth the effort. We’re resilient, creative and fiercely loving/loyal partners – if only we’d stop forgetting important stuff! We’ve made it almost 30 years, and still love each other very much. So while this post has some hard truth in it, I hope you can see the hopefulness that’s there as well. They’re not mutually exclusive. I wish you all positive energy as you embark on these journeys together. I check these boards regularly, so post back if you need to…