Reply To: Anger at surprises- are we dating ? Confused

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Bearlyt –

I am an ADD husband (married 25 yrs. – diagnosed 15). First off, let me say that your friend is so lucky to have someone like you in her life! Your compassion, care and friendship here is such a tremendous gift.

Let me say as gently as I can that the reaction to the gift has little to do with you. Your intention in giving it comes from a place of goodness/care. But as the ADD person, we only see this gift as a another reminder of all the times when we feel we’ve disappointed someone we care about deeply because of this ‘thing’ we carry with us all the time. The shame/embarrassment/guilt can be overwhelming to us; and rather than admit to a challenge/limitation, we lash out. I know I’ve done it so many times – I’m just lucky my wife loves me as she does (and as you seem to here!).

You seem to be in this for the long haul (I hope so!). Penny’s advice above is very sound. Read what you can; try to learn what it’s like for folks like your friend/me. Then, find some things to support you on this journey of loving someone with ADD; it’s not easy, but I think it’s worth it. Be gentle – for both your sakes. Safe gifts for now are best – your offer to be ‘the hired muscle’ might be appreciated more than you know! Just remember that the reaction isn’t always about your initial action, but what goes on inside of us. I wish you both the best on this journey…