Reply To: New to dating a guy with ADHD – Need advice

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Wow, this took a downhill direction all the sudden! Although, I understand that everything is true for each person here. I think siggy makes some very valid points because I know having ADD is hard enough, but dealing with someone who isn’t willing to take any responsibility is probably worse in some ways.

But I’d also like to point out that these problems come up just as often in relationships where neither partner has ADD/ADHD. I have plenty of women friends who tell me things about their husbands that I would find impossible to live with. There are anger issues, lying, cheating, etc. It’s not all of them, but way more than I would have expected.

Yes, having ADD/ADHD is difficult. It has its pluses and minuses, but we all have issues of some kind. Taking responsibility is important, but that’s always the case when there are problems in a relationship, whether it’s with a friend, co-worker or spouse. I’ll admit to bouts of depression and anxiety, but I have never been someone who ignores my problems and continually takes them out on others. Yes, I’ve snapped at my husband when I’m tired or stressed, but he’s done the same with me. I don’t think that’s abnormal unless it’s mean or continuous.

I think what you probably need to do is have a very honest discussion with your boyfriend. And if it gets to that point, think hard about the long term. This is my third marriage, but as I said, it’s been 30 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but we both care about our relationship and are supportive of one another. My husband reminds me of how much time I have when we are going out. He used to be like a drill instructor, calling out the time every 5 minutes, but gradually he’s relaxed and I’ve learned to do a better job of watching the time myself. Often I forget what I’m saying about halfway through some conversation because another thought pops into my head. It annoys him, but we both acknowledge it, I try harder to stay on track (and this doesn’t happen all the time either), and over time we’ve both gotten less concerned over it. Without a lot of pressure, I can usually get back on topic.

I understand the concern here, but I want to make certain people understand that not everything that’s wrong in a relationship is because one person has ADD/ADHD. You don’t have to nag, and you are not his policeman. Let him take some responsibility there, along with the consequences. You didn’t say you were getting married, and the point of dating is to get to know each other. Of course people are on their best behavior in the beginning; all you’re doing is going out and having fun. You don’t have the pressures of everyday life. Give it some time, let things settle down and get to know each other. I do think you’ve gotten some good advice here, but all relationships have risks and benefits. You have to decide if this is the guy for you and, hopefully, he’ll be doing the same thing regarding you.