September 29, 2017 at 11:43 am #63104
My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years and I’ve known he had ADHD since the I meet him. It was a problem for him his whole childhood and he grew up taking medication for it until he was 15 when he stopped taking it because he didn’t like taking prescription medication. Since then he hasn’t had any treatment for his ADHD except medical marijuana which he uses regularly. When we first started dating, his ADHD symptoms weren’t noticeable and they didn’t really affect our relationship that much, now 2 years later and his ADHD affects almost every aspect of our relationship. He is 23 years old, has a job and is going to school part time and when he isn’t at work or school he will probably be on his computer for hours and hours at a time. He likes to occupy his brain with video games which is what he has been doing almost his whole life. I don’t care that he plays video games but he is so obsessive over them sometimes that it makes me feel like I don’t even exist in the relationship.It makes me feel taken for granted and like he doesn’t even care about me or my feelings especially because I’ve tried to ask him many many times to lighten up he just doesn’t listen. He tells me I need to communicate and when I do he just forgets what we talked about and he is right back to being his old self. He is forgetful and impulsive and it’s as though his symptoms are so overly exaggerated because he won’t get any help or treatment. I’ve asked him countless times to try and take breaks every now and then just so he can pay attention to me for a little bit and he just forgets that I even asked him. I don’t know what to do, I’ve asked him to get help to go see a doctor or a therapist and he always says he will look into it but he never does, I know this has to do with his ADHD but after almost a year and a half of begging him to get help I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. He tells me all the time that his ADHD isn’t a problems in our relationship and he just likes to forget that it exists and it makes life so hard for him. He struggles at school and work sometimes because he can’t focus or remember certain things he needs to turn in and his ADHD is running his whole life. Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time with someone who won’t help themselves for the better of our relationship and I would rather be with someone else which makes me feel guilty because my boyfriend can’t help that he has ADHD. I don’t know what to do and I would like advice on how to help him realize that he needs treatment. He’s told me in the past that he straight up can’t get help which makes me so sad because it’s almost like he’s saying our relationship isnt important enough for him to get help. Am I wasting my time? What should I do?
October 2, 2017 at 10:19 am #63392
Nothing can change until he wants it to. The more you bring it up, the less receptive he will be to hearing it.
You have to be willing to throw out your preconceived notions of what relationships should be in order to be part of a successful relationship with ADHD in the mix. That’s not to say you shouldn’t expect love and respect, just that you have to be willing to receive that in ways that aren’t necessarily traditional or expected.
Here are some tips for successful relationships with adults with ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
October 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm #63616
Hello @tryingtounderstand – First of all, great username – I constantly feel like I’m trying to understand my 29-year-old husband with ADHD. He has been on medication for it for years, and when he doesn’t take it, I’m just reminded of why he needs it. There’s nothing wrong with that – I have depression and anxiety and I take medication for that because it helps. But like countless people will tell you, the person has to want help for the help to ever work. I’m very familiar with the issues you identified in your original post – primarily feeling like nothing you say or do matters. I also feel like some of the behaviors are directed at me and are intended to hurt me. He assures me it’s not personal that he leaves dirty silverware on the dining room table every single time he eats, for instance, or doesn’t really follow through on household tasks, or doesn’t listen AT ALL. It’s like he thinks he can go to work (as an attorney) do what he needs to do there, and then nothing else matters. It has gotten increasingly worse the longer we’re together, but I know some of that is your typical taking-advantage-of-your-partner that sometimes happens in relationships. I often feel like I’m not even there when we’re at home, mainly because he has his eyes constantly glued to his cell phone, and he doesn’t seem to recognize how alienating that is or how alone that makes me feel. I imagine you feel the same way. I do agree that with ADHDMomma above that loving someone with ADHD is easy, but that’s not really the issue, and it’s unfair for him to claim his ADHD isn’t a problem in the relationship when you are clearly stating that it IS a problem for you, or rather his refusal to accept that he may not be handling things that well. We are all incredibly flawed, sometimes beyond belief, but I refuse to accept that my husband can’t be considerate of me and my feelings when he can be in his relationships with other people. You love your boyfriend, I get that, and you don’t want to leave him because of an issue he can’t help, and I get that, too. I can’t make my depression and/or anxiety go away, but I can learn ways to cope such that my depressive episodes and feelings of complete despair don’t make me lash out and push people away, and by god, my husband can learn ways to cope with his ADHD such that he doesn’t seem like such a dick. We can all afford to be better people for each other and your boyfriend owes you the same compassion and openness that you are showing him. Good luck, my friend.
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