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First, you are not alone and I think anyone who dates or is married to someone with ADHD will have these feelings at some point. I met my now-husband in 2009 at work. When we first met I was novel and exciting to him, we wanted to spend every minute together. I thought he loved me like no other. Then he went to grad school in Italy and I wasn’t invited, after a year of dating and mad love. I was crushed and devastated. Yet, we IMed all the time, saw each other every time he was back in the U.S., etc.
Well, now we are married and once I read your post, I honestly though my husband was living a secret life with someone else! John sounds exactly my spouse!
But anyway, this man had me sobbing and upset over things he’s done and the way he’s told me them before, e.g. before boarding a plane to India….I had serious 2nd thoughts about our 2017 wedding, even after we’d lived together since 2014, and again known each other since 2009. It was way more than cold feet, I was totally distraught over a lifetime with this person’s disorder or whatever you want to call it. It is still a struggle. I get so let down and frustrated and I cry so much as an adult. I do feel like his mother several times per week. It’s terrible for your sex life, TBH. I went to a counselor weekly pre-wedding, still go, and FINALLY, after begging my husband numerous times, and packing a bag and leaving one night after an argument, we are seeing a couples counselor. It is helping so far! People do change/come around. Most men don’t mature until they’re 40, ADHD or not.
I think it depends on where you are and what you want in life. Everyone has a “demon” for lack of a better term. Every relationship will have problems – ADHD may be yours. Follow your heart and be careful making permanent decisions. Even though I thought about calling of the wedding (and still get so angry and flooded with emotions divorce thoughts run through my mind), I am glad I married him. I was 31 when I got married. I had dated them all while he and I were apart. He was still better. Our good times are great and the positives, at least right now, outweigh the negatives. Even on bad days, I remind myself that I could be completely alone or miserable dating other people out there. Or going to a sperm bank. In a way I feel like I settled but I also think we all do by a certain age if companionship is what we’re truly looking for. I am definitely concerned about his child-rearing abilities, but what can I do until that time comes?
He was diagnosed in childhood/early adolescence, so his family has dealt and still deals with some of the same feelings I do. I have reached out to them a few times for advice and help dealing with him. Luckily they were understanding, even though it was so hard for me because I didn’t want them to think I was being mean to their son or a bad wife. They know how he is.
I joined the non-ADD spouse support group with Mike Fedel. https://add.org/virtual-peer-support-group-spouserelationship-peer-group-adhders-non-adhd-spouses/
There are also Facebook groups for us partners dealing with these issues.
Think about how you would feel about John if there was not – what sounds to me – like a guilt trip. You deserve to be happy and supported, pce42!