Reply To: If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you? Reply To: If you could go back in time and do it all over again, would you?



Yes, I would do it all over again. I’ve been with my ADHD spouse for over 3 years and married for a little over 2 months now. We are still in the early stages of our relationship compared to everyone here that’s had over 10 years experience, but I’ll share my reasons as to why I would do it again.

Our relationship is like many others here: an attentive, highly intelligent, charming, attractive, and loving person comes into my life and sweeps me off my feet with his passionate romantic behavior. I’m a very practical person…I can’t get into happy delusions (I naturally always doubted his promises of being better or that there would be no problems due to his ADHD) so when he told me about his ADHD after 1 month of dating, I knew there would be chaos in our relationship eventually from online research. His ADHD only showed after the first year of dating and that’s when arguments were about every other day on average. Some arguments lasted days without any sleep or food or breaks to stop and think about things because he pushed to talk the topics to death. I blocked people in my life on social media who said I should leave him. I skipped work for days to finish relationships because I wanted him to see that I was committed and willing to work through anything with him, on a practical level of course. For instance, if he was angry about my friends wanting to go out with me every weekend, then the conversation would cover every person’s background, their intentions with me, their reasons for wanting to hang out so much, etc. Each topic had a very thorough investigation and even afterwards, it did not help calm his ADHD behavior…and I ended up cancelling a lot of events with family or friends for his sake.

These sacrifices were mistakes and NOT necessary. Please do not sacrifice yourself, your time, your friends, your loved ones, your job – your life basically – for this person with ADHD because they cannot appreciate it in the light that you are expecting. It is a condition for a reason. You can’t treat it with yourself as much as you’d like to believe. Just live your life as best you can and talk to him, but don’t give in to his ADHD. He needs to learn to take care of his condition because the truth is, you’re not going to be alive forever to deal with his terrorizing behavior or care for every aspect of his life. You didn’t give your parents hell to be raised into a decent human being just to end up in an abusive relationship. To be in a relationship with an ADHD person is to love yourself as much as you love them and pay little to no attention to the ADHD because the more you invest into it, the more the ADHD person will yearn for the attention and expect you to yield to their every demand. I hate that I’m a practical person most of the time because it’s hard for me to think with my emotions, but it helps a lot in my relationship oddly enough. Yes, he has called me cold hearted and evil because I stay calm and am at a peace of mind through his emotional outbursts but that’s actually what helps. He sees me acting this way and at first, he feels resentment, hatred and saying every hurtful thing to get a reaction so he can get his way, but after the ADHD storm, he realizes that I’m still here, still me, still looking at him the same way as I always have, and he thanks for me being that structure and stable force in his life.

I’m not saying it’s easy to stay calm and composed while being berated, spending hours listening to how horrible I am as a human, or discussing small issues that are blown out of proportion by him, but I am committed in this relationship because I want to be with him and only him. I’ve had days where I break down crying on my way to work, while I’m at work, or taking more shifts some weeks to give myself some space and extra money to support us. The finances, paperwork, important dates/times, cleaning, cooking, and all of the other responsibility tasks are my job (he helps, but needs guidance) along with my hectic work schedule, but luckily, I’m efficient with time management and organization so I don’t have too much trouble with that. The only obstacle is stress build up and exhaustion since he has demands of his own such as sex, playing video games and active outdoor activities with him that sometimes cause me to collapse into a deep slumber at the end of the day. My advice is to keep everyone outside of the relationship away from your relationship. Everyone will tell you to leave because you could obviously have an easier life with a non-ADHD person, but if he gives you what no one else can ever make you feel or experience, then give it your best shot because that’s a rarity that most people give up on finding and settle for money or that “perfect” empty life of a partner that they’re not whole heartedly intuned with. Also, with finances being an issue – Just say no. It’s hard to, but explain your reasons like “you’ve spent over $500 on what you like for this month and we have X amount of bills to pay so please, wait until we have money again and you can have what you like again.” And if there’s a fight for whatever reason from the ADHD person, then there’s not much they can do other than rob you and most likely, they won’t rob you for the money. If they do then you know what to do at that point. They’re not in the relationship for you, but for their own wants and needs which is too selfish to make it work out. NEVER let anyone get you into debt and I made sure my ADHD husband knew that many times when he was overspending and now, he finally respects the value of money and manages his spending on his own (still not perfect, but it is a lot better than before). What also helps is to tell white lies like if you’re going to be home in 30 min, just say “I’ll be home in 45 min” and they’ll end up being happy that you’re home early and it’s better than having an argument for “you’re a few minutes late!!!.” Do the same with money. Say “we only have $350 to spend on anything you like this month” when in actuality, you have $500 to spend. So you end up comfortably overspending a little bit and still saving some or you just saved yourself $150 extra this month and same goes for the next month! Just find clever ways to get around his ADHD because even though you can’t treat it, you can help from triggering the argumentative side of it.

Conscious effort is the key treatment for ADHD and your part as the non ADHD partner is to help them see that by refusing to give in to their tantrums and wasteful money spending habits. It’ll be hard, but worth it when you are the only person in their life to finally put a firm foot down. Be strong and love them, but don’t confuse love with spoiling them. Sure, its great to see them happy when you give them a mountain of goodies, but it’s even greater to see them happy on their own without materialistic needs or paranoia.

Just to leave details about myself and my husband for context: I am a 26 year old Asian American and my husband is a 23 year old Scottish man from Scotland. We had a long distance relationship for 2.5 years, visiting each other every other month for 10 days up to a 1 month at a time and currently are living in the United States together. I am an Administrative Manager and he is in school for the Pharm D program. I was brought up in a poor household, being the youngest of 8 other siblings and have worked my way into a stable income for the time being, but am still looking to find better career opportunities. Anyway, hope this post helps many out there who have chosen to be with an ADHD person or are considering it.