Can my boyfriend get better or shall I leave him?

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    • #52158

      I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years now and only realised he had ADHD a couple of years ago. I leave him about every 1-2 months and then get back with him after a day or two because I love him and I don’t want to lose my two dogs. I am quite beaten down from his emotional abusive outbursts and swearing at me or depressive bouts where he hostily ignores me. He does sometimes admit he has ADHD and I am in the process of persuading him to get a diagnosis from the GP and then maybe he will think about medication and anger management. His responses are too abnormal and enlarged that we can’t have a happy life. We went to the pub yesterday evening and had a wonderful evening out, socialising, eating drinking etc then on the way home (because he doesn’t set his satnav and I was too drunk to remind him) he was driving blindly and went down a one-way street. I moaned at him (because I have lost my patience with him not thinking about what turn he makes in the car because he prioritises his long and detailed stories which he forces me to emotionally understand). Anyway so he just emotionally exploded at me in an instant. He isn’t unhappy at the moment, likes his current job, we have money in bank, so I don’t know where this overreaction comes from, apart from too much drinking and his addiction to cannabis of course.

      I really need to leave him as I don’t want to continue to live unhappily like this, but I want to do everything I can before breaking up. I don’t hold out any hope of medications, extra vitamins really making his mood calmer. I don’t think he can come off of cannabis as he tries to reduce as he can’t cope emotionally/mentally. Maybe medication would help him to come off? Maybe a strong dosage of the legal CBD tablets could help? I’d be interested to know if it has helped anyone or what has helped to give me hope as I feel hopeless. Thank you

    • #52180

      I’m by no means an expert but that doesn’t sound like ADHD. Sounds more like bipolar. I also had a boyfriend who was a lot like that. Their manic episodes seem really random and sometimes like ADHD but switching to lows really fast, yelling, etc seems a little odd. You can’t force him to get help. He has to decide and unfortunately with mental illness, their brain – aka the decision maker- is what is sick. Best to leave until he helps himself. Otherwise you are looking at a long life of verbal/ emotional abuse and tying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Miss.Entropy.
    • #52474

      I am in the medical field and that looks more like bipolar disorder than ADHD. I have flooding of emotions at times but still know it is not okay to be abusive to another human being.
      Please be careful guys like this can get pretty scary quickly. I think you should say goodbye for your own mental and emotional health. Breaking up will hurt but that heals. Emotional abuse takes years to recover from and can give yoh ptsd.
      Good luck and stay safe

    • #52485

      Ummm, let me just say that Aspergers and ADHD are the 2 most criss-crossed misdiagnosed disorders I’ve ever come across. I think this is most prevalent with the X generation in which doctors at that time were just obsessed with ADHD that with any child experiencing problems in school, they will just call him/her ADHD and send them out with pharmaceutical cocaine and then consider them cured. This observation comes from the fact that I was an instructor for a trade school, in which almost every student with problems would always claim to be ADHD, and not one aspergers??? I am totally truly, authentically ADHD; I really begged to differ almost every time!

      I’m no doc, but based on this paragraph, your boyfriend sounds more like aspergers than ADHD. Let me just say that if I was your boyfriend, I wouldn’t be blowing up at you, YOU would be blowing up at me. I, just like my fellow comrades, am very tolerant and very difficult to frustrate or even offend. Also, just because someones talks too much DOES NOT MEAN THEY’RE ADHD!!! Aspergers people will go off on rants too, except their’s will be “overly detailed” and organized, sticking to the same line of thought from beginning to end, whereas an ADHD rant would just be all over the place. You said that he explodes at you when you don’t feel him? Uhhhh, I don’t even know when my wife is listening or not, let alone blow up at her. I’m just too absorbed in my tangent that I just I just start talking to the blue sky, not even knowing if anybody is even listening. Aspergers people in contrast, are very intuitive. Just from your body language or even countenance they will know what you’re thinking or feeling, so you can’t hide anything from them, and like the saying goes “the truth hurts”. When things don’t go as planned, an Aspergers will get very frustrated and blow up, which is the opposite of ADHD.

      Last and finally, you said he’s addicted to cannabis and drinks a lot… ADHD people are addicted to stimulates NOT depressants. You’ll find them with their Mountain Dew stocked up and Amphetamines in their back pocket. When problems arise, you’ll be taking them to a coffee shop to brighten them up from their depression, not a pub to calm them down from their anger.

      Enough said. What you need is a psychiatrist, not a pub or weed (cannabis).

    • #52495

      I’m not really sure get better is the right phrase. I think thing one would be getting him off of the cannabis. It sounds like, if he truly is ADHD, he also has a co-morbid of bipolar and/or Asperger’s. Since he was just recently diagnosed, he probably will never get a proper diagnosis if there is some Asperger’s going on in there. Without the proper treatment, there will be some improvement but not necessarily a lot. Now, should you leave him? Ultimately that is up to you, just realize that you will go through this probably for the rest of your life, not to scare you. My brother in law is actually very similar to what you described (diagnosed ADHD with bipolar) and there are good time. Just realize, there will probably be times he will act like a child and it will drive you crazy. If you do decide to stay with him, I recommend finding a group of ladies that you can hang out with and talk openly with or some sort of support group, there are free ones online that are totally anonymous. It is very easy to feel like you are going crazy without being able to share your problems with people you trust and/or people who understand. Since I live with my sister and brother in law, I serve as her reassurance that she’s not being overly critical and what we see really is there. She also has a group of ladies through church that she likes to hang out with that gives her an outside view on the situation. If he will listen (because brother in law won’t) see if you can get him to see a psychiatrist, or you guys in couples therapy. It does seem to help sometimes with someone of that personality type to have kind of a mediator. If at any point you fear for your safety, leave, don’t look back. Emotional outbursts are one thing, but if they turn violent that has to be it. If you feel like it’s taking too much of a toll on you emotionally, keep leaving as an option. Sometimes just a weekend get away with the girls will help you recharge, and sometimes it’s really too much. If it seems to be going down the too much path, leave. I know it will be hard, especially with the good times, but you’re health and safety has to come first.

    • #52561

      Thank you so much everyone. I am grateful to know that it may be Aspergers or bi-polar rather than ADHD. I can look into that and it will help guide the GP if he does actually get to the doctor’s for a diagnosis. I know I really don’t want to keep living like this and I hate it that I am in this relationship this difficult but I will try to get him help as I think he may be willing. My only support is my parents and I fear them passing on in a few years and having no where to get away and no one to talk to, so the clock is ticking for things to change. Thank you for your support, it means so much xxx

    • #52718

      All I can tell you is it’s not going to get better any time soon, if ever. Whenever I read this sort of thing, I take a deep breath and sigh. I was in two abusive relationships, and the first one really had a hold on me. He was emotionally abusive, and everything was my fault. And I also loved him, and I was also worried about losing things if I left. I would move out on a fairly regular basis, only to go back. And, of course, he was very sweet whenever I came back, but it never lasted. It was a constant emotional roller coaster. Then I met another man who seemed to be the complete opposite. He was crazy about me, and he was also an alcoholic. Of course, I didn’t realize that for awhile; I just thought we were having a good time going out to the bars. I’m not a big drinker, but I had more than my share when we were together, so it was always easy to see myself as part of the problem. Fortunately, I was never as hooked into him as I was with the first, and my biggest problem with him was my sense of failure and embarrassment. In both cases I had to walk away and leave quite a bit behind, including pets. But, thank God, I finally came around to my senses, and I won’t tell you it was easy or it happened overnight.

      Now I’ve been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. He is kind, generous, understanding, and I know I am loved. We have arguments, and sometimes they’ve gotten pretty heated, but that is not the norm. Even then, we do not say things to hurt one another. And I have never felt like I wanted out of our relationship.

      It’s your choice because your boyfriend isn’t going to make it for you. Stay and understand that the past is a good indicator of the future. Or, find some inner strength (he’s probably going to get the dogs and whatever else he wants) and move on. Life is REALLY short, and as far as I know, there’s no do over. I’ve got too many girlfriends who are in unhappy marriages who didn’t leave when they could have. Now, for various reasons, they’re stuck and pretty much living separate lives in the same household, along with being miserable.

      • #65981

        Yes! Completely agree! Give him incentive to get help/diagnosed if you must, but distance yourself until he chooses to do so AND makes a consistent effort for say… 6 months. DON’T get stuck in a relationship you KNOW you are not happy in. YOU cannot FIX him. He has to choose to “fix” himself…

        lots of love

    • #54120

      Thank you. I’m sure it won’t get better and I long for what you have, a good partner. I am after some help and hope rather than encouragement to leave as I know this is what is probably needed for my happiness. For now I will try the GP route. I don’t think he has bipolar or aspergers as that doesn’t sound like him, I think what is confusing the ”diagnosis” is the cannabis he takes because my nephew acts the same way like jekel and hyde, awful and then sweet and he takes cannabis. It makes them nasty like alcoholism made my brother in law who now only has weak beers and is easier to live with. If the doc can give him something to help him come off his addiction to hash then he will probably be a better person. It happened to a friend’s husband and she says he is so much nicer now he doesn’t smoke weed.

      • #54159

        Your response doesn’t surprise me at all. If he turns out to be that one in a million who actually turns his life around or you discover you don’t mind living with an addict and never regret all the wasted years, then you made the right choice. Good luck.

    • #55082

      I don’t know if you should stay with your boyfriend or not but I can tell you this; if you or he expect different results in your relationship you have to take different actions.

      First, if he wants to change then he had to speak with an expert. Usually, a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD and related disorders. If he doesn’t want to see a doctor, run! It’s probably only going to get worse.

      For me, life was out-of-control. I knew I was badly depressed and had a severe alcohol problem. When I was 42 I started using meth heavily. A little more than two years after that, in 1995, I was finally properly diagnosed ADHD. In 1996 I found out I was also bi-polar. It was then that I started being treated properly for both. Since then, life has dramatically changed. No more ups and downs, no more outbursts of rage. My wife and I have literally not had an argument for several years. Occasional disagreements but no fights. What a relief.

      This is how things worked out for me; I’m not suggesting that this will be your experience. However, hopefully, it will provide some inspiration. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or medical professional so don’t take my work it, see a professional).

      See, ADHD is a physical problem in the brain. And like a broken bone, it’s treated medically. With medicine. Bi-polar is also treated medicinally. Believe me, I’ve had no psychotherapy since 1996!

      Once a patient is diagnosed and treated correctly, she or he will start finding out that ADHD can be a gift. But that’s another topic.

      Good luck with your boyfriend and remember, you can’t be any good for someone else unless you take care of yourself first.

    • #55098

      read this article from right here @ ADDitude! It seems to speak to what you are saying (and helped me with a similar situation with my BF). Best to you!

      Why We Crave the Drama That Sabotages Relationships

    • #55099

      Every person with ADD or Asburgers is different. Might be bipolar but people with ADD etc can also have explosive reactions. A neuropsychological evaluation includes a battery of tests that can diagnose plus pinpoint specifically how a person is impacted, including Executive Function (EF)disorder. We were all relieved to finally understand what’s happening with my adult son rather than assuming he was making bad decisions or unmotivated. Medication and EF coaching is helping him, as he is open to trying strategies to accommodate. A psychiatrist previously said he had depression and also some ADD for which he prescribed a medication to take when he needed to focus more. That was NOT the help he needed, he needed the evaluation and then to be followed by a neuropsychiatrist who fully understands the issues. He takes extended release medication daily for the ADD now, big improvement (able to get things done, calmer). As a mom, I appreciate that you care and are reaching out for information. Perhaps you can convince him to get evaluated. Tell him that for my son it was a huge relief and significantly reduced the strain he was under.

    • #55102

      Cannabis is actually a very good mood stabilizer. It is supposedly very common for people with ADHD to self-medicate and/or abuse cannabis. I doesn’t make people meaner. If someone was demonizing something that makes you feel better, you’d probably get upset. If it helped, but not enough, that would be even worse. Don’t make it a moral thing. It doesn’t help. CBD is promising but far from well tested and it’s not universally available or easy to get yet. Encourage him to vape if he won’t quit. Cannabis addiction is more of a symptom than problem. Three months into treatment I decided to start a MAT to get off I.V. Dilaudid and Heroin. I haven’t come close to even thinking about wanting to shoot up since March. I became an addiction survivor after 27 years of getting high. So if you can get help for his mental illness, he may not even want it. If by GP you mean General Practitioner, I was misdiagnosed with depression in 2000 by one. Don’t waste time. I was treated for 8 years and told I needed a psychiatrist. I was then treated by USA government health services. (I wanted to die which made it difficult to work) for depression, anxiety and bipolar from 2008 till this January. A private psychiatrist diagnosed me within minutes as he basically could see it from my paperwork and began Methylphenidate. He tells me there is new solid data that it does not increase the risk of drug abuse. Some people still consider it a dangerous addictive drug. It didn’t give me back a life. It made it possible for me to discover what having a life meant. Several times psychiatrists volunteering at the mental health clinic told me if I’d just stop doing everything for two months they might be able to diagnose me. That’s BS to reduce their liability and it keeps people sick. No mentally ill drug addict is going to do that. Find a way to get him to a proper psychiatrist with the training to diagnose him. If he’s just really hard to deal with and is worth dealing with for the rest of your life, maybe stay. But if he is not just hurting your feelings but emotionally abusing you, remember, you might go through several dogs and boyfriends but there is only one you. You have to take care of you before you can help anyone else. Look into “codependence.” It sounds like you are trying to get away but then you come back and repeat over and over. Take care of you. I can’t really give any better relationship advice. I had a girlfriend for 8 months in 1988. I went out on my first date since college last week. Waking up and not wishing you’d died in your sleep makes you way higher than any drug. With the right treatment, everything can change.

    • #55116

      To help make your decision, you should think very carefully about whether you might ever want to have children with your boyfriend in the future if you two stayed together. There is a genetic component to many of these disorders, so if the two of you became parents, not only would your children most likely struggle with many of these issues and probably have difficulty in school, but you would also have to be coping with the demands of parenting with a partner who doesn’t sound like he will be able to calmly support you and your children through these struggles. Just read some of the other discussion threads on this site to get a taste of the extra challenges of parenting children who aren’t neurotypical. Even if your children don’t inherit any of these disorders, would you want them raised in a home filled with emotional outbursts, drunk driving, and other dangers?

    • #55124

      The only option now is couples counseling. He is abusive towards you, and that is unacceptable. If you can get in with a joint therapist, there may be hope that it will change your interactions, but if he is unwilling to try then it’s time to leave (and take the dogs with you!) Love can’t solve all problems. If love was enough, there would be far fewer relationships that fall apart, but it just isn’t. Compatibility is a huge factor, and it sounds like as much as you love him, he’s unwilling to change to be more compatible with your needs. That isn’t the ADHD talking. That isn’t another mental illness talking. If it was, he would be actively seeking help. His willingness to change has to come from inside, and until he’s willing to show you that by taking the steps I mentioned above, there’s no hope for the future. Please, if he won’t get help, leave before he actually hurts you.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by DDDaysh.
    • #55129

      As one mentioned here, I am no expert but have done much research and as most responses say;this is definitely not ADHD! My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six. I had no clue what in the world ADHD was. I pampered my self with info from every source I could and your boyfriend may not only be bipolar but other things which come along with been bipolar. My husband was also diagnosed with hard-core ADHD. He had many symptoms which were not normal but never violent or abusive. He was the typical procrastinator, impulsiveness, forgetful constantly loosing/misplacing things etc. After many months of trying to convince him that his actions were not normal and that I highly believed he had ADHD, he went to a psychologist. At first most if not all Dr’s, psychologist, psychiatrist want to say it’s DEPRESSION, which in frustrating and infuriating. Yes, depression can be a result of untreated ADHD. When he finally found the right Dr (he’s in the army by the way)Dr. Immediately put him on meds and boy was that a change;like night and day! I did this one because I love him, two because we are married(in sickness and in health) and three for his own good. It has changed him a lot, in a good way. Of course, meds are not miracles and don’t cure all conditions because ADHD has no cure. I am glad I was able to convince him to get help. It has better our relationship, his life, his attitude even his thinking. Now, in your case this is your boyfriend(we’ve been married for almost 15 yrs) and any mental condition in most cases is lifelong, thus been a life long struggle and it’s hard. My advise is, walk away sooner than later. Before having forever bonds like kids, which will attach you to him forever. And if your children inherit his condition that’s 10Xs the struggle. There’s days when you just want to lock yourself in your closet and cry cry cry because you tried to get your child to cooperate and follow orders, rules; you try to discipline but they’re just what we would say defiant. But then I shape up and come to my senses because it’s not his fault. He didn’t ask for this, they cannot help it most of the times. When I do give him his meds OMG, totally a different child. Not the sedated, zombie couch potato people assume medicating children will be. Not at all, just calm, a bit more quiet and way more cooperative. So just imagine dealing with father and son’s ADHD. Not easy at all but meds do help. Best of luck.

    • #55133

      Sorry to be a naysayer, but no man will every change for a woman. Find a man who treats you with love and respect. Your boyfriend will not get the help he needs until until he wants to – until he clearly sees how it benefits him. Most times, the lightbulb doesn’t go on until they are at bottom and have pretty much lost everything. There is nothing you can do to make him get help, or get better. Don’t waste your life – you deserve a better life than that.

      • #56314

        I totally agree. I don’t know what it is about being in a bad relationship that seems to keep some people hanging on. I keep meaning to quit following this because it’s so frustrating. The question is Can My Boyfriend Get Better or Shall I Leave Him? However, what it ends up being is: I really don’t want to leave him; I’m looking for you guys to give me hope so I can stay.

    • #55186

      I have ADD with Asperger and I did improve since I went together with my girlfriend (now wife).
      But it was very stressful for her and now it still is not easy for her.
      After 4 years of hearing her say that I probably have ADHD and Asperger + a week where I caused 600$ of damage because of my forgetfulness I suddenly realized it.
      During those 4 years she has been always very strict on me and kept me accountable what let me to improve little by little. What caused a lot of stress for both of us but very tiny improvements.
      2 Months ago I was diagnosed and learned about my short comings what made me be more cautious about my bad behavior.
      Deejay4358 said no man will every change for a woman until they are at the bottom, I disagree. I didn’t hit the bottom and didn’t lose anything, I just love my wife.
      Just realize that it is very very very tough to create change for both of you and that you will be his closest therapist for the rest of your life.
      Realize it will take big amounts of time and effort for creating small amounts of improvements. (yes, I call my wife a miracle worker).
      But I must also honestly say, if I knew myself better when we met I wouldn’t have gotten close to her.
      Everyday I am happy to see the improvements that I have made to be a better husband, but also sad how much trouble I have and still am causing my wife.

    • #55223

      I agree with those who smell bipolar disorder.
      IF that is the case, please know that BF may not get help. IF he does, treatment is very tedious, taking a lot of trial & error. I suspect suicide threats from BF. If so, take it seriously but allowing it to control you will make you sick….in fact, if so, you should get counseling
      I wish you a blessed and happy life

    • #55237

      Jane999 I am going through the same thing as you and was hoping we can stay in contact. I think we are addicted to them! Otherwise why would we come and go? We have to make a firm decision ourselves and figure out why we keep going back. I will try to private message if that’s possible here?

    • #55242

      I have been in this situation, which was a combination of undiagnosed ADHD, followed by low self esteem, due to his opinion of himself as the dumb kid (fron the time that he started school he could never keep up and still has difficulty with reading and spelling) which led to his alcoholism. He is an impulsive and reckless man at the best of times, but is also a violent, blackout alcoholic. After 2 children and years of trying to keep myself and them safe, I finally left. It’s hard but it’s also the best decision I have ever made in my life. I do not regret putting our safety first, no matter how hurt he and my babies were. I didn’t realise this man had ADHD, until my son was diagnosed at 9 years old. Everything made sense. I spoke with my ex in detail and everything my son is experiencing, he had also experienced.

      Having said all of this, to this day, his new wife is dealing with the same crap I did. I have been there and it is so much harder once you have kids. They will be in your life forever, once you are bound by children. There is no excuse for mistreatment of your partner, emotional or physical. Get out of this relationship now! It’s okay to put your happiness first – it’s not instant gratification, but I if you go, in a year or two, you’ll Have the chance to be happier than you ever been. If you stay, you’ll be where you’ve been for the last 4 years. Be brave, you’ve got this.

    • #55264

      I am needing some help and some Support. I feel so alone in this. My boyfriend have been on and off for 3 years (known each other 20yrs) in that time he has broke it on once or twice. At first I thought it was normal guy commitment issues, and there still might be a layer of that. But He has trouble focusing. Always some kink of project, sometimes he finishes and sometimes Not. He has even said a handful of times “I think I have ADD”
      He has not be diagnosed by anyone. He has been and I guess it’s been all his life he is having trouble with Emotions. I can’t help but to wonder if all of this interconnected?
      He says its roadblocks and feeling a fog. Right now we are on one of our breaks. He needs to get his emotions togehter.
      If anyone can shed some light on this it would be great?

      • #55325

        woodenmeow, These symptoms sounds very much like ADD.
        His problems sounds very familiar to my situation. Commitment issues, trouble focusing, love of projects but not always finishing, feeling like roadblocks and fog.
        For me the biggest life changer was getting officially diagnosed. So This is my greatest advice.
        I feel getting the official diagnosis helped me realize who I really am and my strong/ weak points.
        Even without medication I could see more where I could fall into my bad behavior and try to prevent it from happening (a little bit more).
        Since last month I started medication (strattera) in the hope to be a better husband and father but the positive effects have not really started yet…

        Make him realize that he probably has it and if he want to get a bit more normal life he should get officially diagnosed.
        This should (In my opinion) be made very clearly and strictly because otherwise he may not realize how much trouble he is really causing you and would continue to give you if you would like to stay together. I felt always standing against a wall and my wife needed often to use a big hammer to break down that wall and to open my eyes. Its very shocking and stressful, but those moments changed me for the better.

    • #55376

      @Shirokum –

      Thank you for responding. I would love for him to get diagnosed but he is a very stubborn man. Thinks orange juice cures everything. We have been doing this dance for 3 years. I don’t know how to get through to him and right now we are on a month long break. He says he feelins road block and walls when trying to communicate things He doesn’t know why he feels this way and have always been this way. He said he feels insignifcant and insecure when it comes to fully commit to a relationship, it scares me and I don’t know how to deal with it. What can I say to get through to him? I don’t want to be a nag but there is no reason for him to feel this way. I think it’s been going on a long time, hence why he hasn’t had good relationships. He was married and after a while his wife cheated on him. My guess is because he was vacant to her. Not that is a reason to cheat.
      I really love this man with all my heart but I don’t know how to get through to him.. I keep saying to him I love you and I will be here to help you, its us til the end.
      And he just keeps running…
      Any advice you can offer would be great.
      Thank you Woodenmeow

      • #56101

        I thought deeply about it but can’t really find an answer.
        My habits have slightly improved but I feel still a terrible husband.
        Its probably a lot of small things plus very stressful collisions that made me realize that I must change.
        For us breaking up was not an option. Both of us feel that on-off relationships have too high chance in divorce in the future.
        That’s what made it stressful but it let me discover myself.
        I moved out of my own country to be away from anybody who could influence me negatively.
        I broke contact with my family (who don’t believe in ADHD), from my friends,… and my wife helped me to get in contact with people with positive influence.
        Every day I am focusing on my negative points to improve but still often do stupid things like an anger outburst or forget something my wife told me already 10 times.

        Do I advice he should do something this radical like breaking with family and friends? Not really.
        But I would like to advice you to think about how much problems an on-off relationships can give you in the future.
        And if you still decide you want to be with him, maybe give him the book of Dr Amen. When I read the book it made me cry because I was reading exactly my life.
        After reading that we made an appointment and eventually I got diagnosed.
        Or maybe my advice is still not good because I am still learning to know myself.

    • #56106

      I did not have any idea I had ADHD. I thought I was a very talented and smart lazy looser who could never find the nerve to ask a girl out on a date. I had blocked the memory an incident that happened in middle school when I was 12 or 13 years of age. Until drugs and alcohol I had only two friends before High School (13-17 years of age). A few of the little boys got one of the little girls to write me “love” notes until I became convinced she liked me to make fun of me when I found out. I don’t have normal male ADHD. I am hyper-emotive internally not outwardly physically hyper. Due to this, their teasing had an extreme effect. I had an 8th month relationship in college in 1988, a handful of month long relationships since, and my first “real” date with someone with whom I had mutual interest and physical attraction two weeks ago next Tuesday. I have always been afraid somewhere deep down that any female who liked me was just pretending to hurt me. I am 48 years old. Don’t underestimate how horribly this condition can effect a life. Remember there a two kinds of ADHD (maybe some mixed?). Most research is about hyper little boys. The more talented you are and intelligent you are the easier ADHD is to hide from yourself and others. I am a talented writer, photographer and musician with an IQ somewhere in the 145-150 range. My ADHD I knew nothing about and was totally unaware of was diagnosed In January at 48. I hid it very well, especially from myself. I began taking methylphenidate in July, stopped self medicating with illegal drugs in March and my psychiatrist doubled my dose in January. I still feel I am improving every day. I have thought of suicide all my life before 2017. I never knew what “having a life” after treatment could be. There is no drug that can ever feel as good as being happy to be alive after spending 48 years in hell wishing you could die.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by mamualvin.
    • #56283

      Mamaualvin & Shirokuma-

      Thank you for the responses. Both of you have been very helpful with your perspectives. At this point any light you can shed on this situation is very helpful.
      Its been a month since I have heard from him and at this point don’t know where his head is at. I did see this article that someone previously posted in this tread.

      Why We Crave the Drama That Sabotages Relationships

      It was very interesting. I want this to work with him, but I think he likes the break from us because it resets the relationship and makes it exciting all over again like when we first started dating. I hope his able to talk to someone. The other problem is that he dosen’t talk to any friends or family of what is going on with him. He has no sounding board. I was there to listen but now with us not talking who knows.
      You are correct about the ADHD. He doesn’t have anything that is hyper. He is a very low key, quiet kind of guy. Actually he got made fun for being so quiet. Teachers would wonder if something is wrong with him. I thought the Hyper might be in his mind but I dont see that either. From what I have learned here, I know that everyone is not the same. I think for him, he thinks he can “will it away”. He is a mind over matter guy. Since its internal and you can’t see it like you can a broken arm he has rationalized it in his head. I will do all I can for him but he has to want to help himself too.
      Thank you for all the support.

    • #56310

      Excitement, adrinalin and so is indeed good for AD/HD people. But isn’t ‘stopping the relationship and then breaking all communication to afterwards come back’ a bit too far for excitement?
      Doesn’t that hurt you so much more then what the excitement brings to him?

      If I am in a need for my adrenaline rush then I watch some firefighter, war movie, car race or do handy work with big tools…

      Isn’t this a bit disrespectful to you? I want to see you happy together with him learning to manage his ADHD. But isn’t it a bit better to slowly walk a different path in life? This sounds that he may continue to hurt your feelings the rest of your life.
      But I honestly hope I am seeing things wrong and that someone would say how wrong I am?

      • #56316

        Another good and honest response. How do we get into these relationships where we think we’re going to save the other person?

    • #56317

      This is not your child so sacrificing your life for his sake when he’s already failed you several times doesn’t make sense. Not only that, he’s a boyfriend, and you have no legal ties. Does he want to marry you? If so, why? And why, when you have the opportunity to move on and find someone who treats you like you actually matter ALL the time, not just when he needs to get you back in his clutches, do you want to keep hanging in there? Why do you feel so sorry for this person that you feel it’s your duty to sacrifice your own happiness?

      Whenever you find yourself in a relationship where you are being abused (and you are), you need to ask yourself what you’re getting out of this. Of course, there are fun times, and I bet he makes some really good apologies, and tells you what you want to hear just about every time he lets you down. What is wrong with you that you think this acceptable?

      I know I sound mean, but I’ve been there and I know how self destructive this is. See a therapist for yourself and find a way to get off this merry go round. Life is way to short, and there are some truly nice guys out there who aren’t into a lot of drama and will treat you like you matter.

    • #56613

      Shirokuma – I beliveve the rush for him taking a break and coming back to me is that its all new again, the butterflies, first date jitters. All that excitment.
      Not encluding the ADHD he has commitment issues on top of that. Yes we have been together on and off for 3 years and reached the point of getting engaged.
      I love him and would like to be supportive to him. So to explain… that is why I have stayed so long.
      He keeps saying that he can’t focus and has emotional roadblocks. I have been trying to do all I can for him, and yes if it gets bad that I will have to look at the option of moving on. It would be with a VERY heavy heart that I did that.
      And AnneHW.. I actually do see a counselor and he doesn’t really give me any great apologies. He knows their is something wrong with him, he is hurting. All I can do now is pray for him and if he comes back help him in whatever way I can. I hope that he gets the help he needs.

      Thank you for the help…

    • #56628

      Commitment issues is typically for AD/HD.
      I got bored of working at EMS (yes, the dying people and heavy accidents became not enough).
      As train driver I enjoyed the technical problems and solving problems but also this became boring. At home I enjoyed starting projects but always stopped at 70% finished.
      My relationship with my wife is also not always optimal and had period I Couldn’t feel happy about my child. BUT unlike projects or work, your wife and child are life partners. They don’t exist to give me excitement or must give me butterflies.
      People should stop thinking as boyfriend or girlfriend and they must give the same excitement as a game, movie or so.
      It’s a life partner, and if they can’t stay with you when they don’t feel like it, then he or she isn’t a life partner.
      And this even more when already engaged. What if he does this in case if your pregnant, or if the baby is born?

      Having commitment problems and leaving partner is still a a big difference between.
      It’s like comparing killing an annoying mosquito or an annoying human…

    • #56629

      + when will that habit of leaving end?
      Will you be able to tolerate it after 3-5-10-… Years of marriage? After marriage relationships tend to become less exciting. Less lover and more partner. ( in my experience and seeing people around me)
      Please say it if you disagree with me.

    • #56800

      Shirokuma –
      Big Thank you for letting me know that Commitment issues are common for ADHD. That makes some sense.
      As far as the future and being able to tolerate it… he would need to get some help otherwise there is no way we can make it.
      I do love him very much so I am really torn. Still haven’t heard a word from him yet.
      Just keeping myself busy.
      And talking to you is really helping. Thank you, it means more to me than you could know.

    • #57090

      My husband has ADHD and was diagnosed with a personality disorder as well. On top of that he has Juvenile diabetes. I wasn’t always sure about our relationship, but as time went by we grew together because we had very similar goals and put each others’ needs first. If you want kids and you see there being drugs and excessive drinking being in his future you may want to reconsider your relationship. Also, I have bi-polar disorder and when I was younger I self medicated with alcohol and drugs (which sounds like what he might be doing). I was told no alcohol or drugs, other than depakote and prozak. And if you want him to get well this is his only path. The alcohol and drugs destabilize him. If I were you and I was in it for the long haul I’d have him admitted to rehab and have them start treating him for his illness… although, most addicts refuse treatment.

    • #58862

      “I leave him about every 1-2 months and then get back with him after a day or two because I love him and I don’t want to lose my two dogs… I really need to leave him as I don’t want to continue to live unhappily like this, but I want to do everything I can before breaking up.”
      Ask your local animal shelters if there’s a program in place in your area to help women who want to leave abusive relationships but stay because they have pets. Are there any friends who could take your dogs in temporarily?
      Don’t feel you have to exhaust every possibility before leaving him for good. You aren’t legally married to him, you don’t have children with him, it’s okay to just leave.
      Oh, and make sure you use a method of birth control that he can’t sabotage. It really is a thing that controlling men sometimes get their partners pregnant to keep them tied to them.

    • #58993

      I’m in agreement with a lot of what I read here, except for one of the descriptions of people with Asperger’s being better at intuiting what another person is thinking or feeling. It’s really the opposite. They can have a lot of sensitivity and even empathy (if they’re not flooded with their own emotions at the time), but Aspies are commonly known for having what’s called “Mind Blindness,” not being able to read social cues, or another’s emotions or motives. The person who is better at intuiting what another person is thinking or feeling would be more accurate, I believe, of someone with ADHD. I agree with a counselor who weighed in on this thread that what Jane999 is describing with her boyfriend sounds more like Bipolar, and/or a personality disorder. Let me also add that individuals with ADD and those who are bipolar are definitely more risk takers than individuals with Asperger’s, who tend to be rule followers, and are much less likely to drink or do drugs at all, much less to excess. I have ADHD, my 23-year-old son has ADHD and Asperger’s and my husband, I believe has Asperger’s but hasn’t been diagnosed. I will also agree that no two individuals with any of these diagnoses are exactly the same. There are definite variations.

      Another important thing to look at in relationships regarding why there is the need for the drama (besides the ADD adrenaline rush), in the case of Jane999 repeatedly breaking up and getting back together and other volatile aspects, is that most of us unwittingly connect with people who have personality traits that are familiar to us from our childhood. This is NOT a conscious act, and may not be completely clearcut. I only learned this in my 50’s! Your boyfriend or spouse may not be exactly like your mother or father. In fact, you might be with that person consciously because you think they’re different from the parent or parents who were dysfunctional, but if you look really closely, you will discover more. This is why so many children who are abused end up marrying abusers. It’s usually not that black and white, though. For example if you were constantly judged by your parents who were controlling, you may find that boyfriends and an eventual husband (or girlfriends or an eventual wife) share those traits. Good or bad, we tend to go towards the familiar. I grew up in a very volatile household with two dysfunctional parents and my first love was more quiet in social settings, and that was refreshing to me after my very vocal parents, but he was actually very controlling and critical, like my dad. We had a very intense relationship with repeated breakups. My husband, who is also very quiet, compared to me, tends to have those traits as well–leaning towards the more negative and judgmental side, as was my best friend for many years. With awareness and growth comes change and while I still have a relationship with my “best friend,” my newer friends are much more like me–warm, fuzzy, supportive and positive. They’re friendships are more nurturing for me. I’m still with the same husband for almost 30 years, and whether we stay together remains to be seen.

      My advice, from the other side, to Jane999 is to very carefully consider what her childhood relationships were like with her parents and whether she’s unknowingly seeking familiar, yet unhealthy drama and dysfunction. I also recommend looking closely at the fact that there are so many ups and downs in the relationship. When you’re dating and engaged is supposed to be the honeymoon phase. If you’re experiencing all of these challenges now, it is unlikely to improve in a marriage, when each of your guards are down and as someone else described, the relationship becomes less passionate and intense and more familiar. It’s a lot easier to end a relationship before marriage and kids. Not that ending any love relationship is easy, but definitely easier.

    • #58996

      My ex had it really bad. Lost his keys and/or cell phone at least 3 times a week. But the one thing I couldn’t accept… telling me he’d be over at 5, but his 5:00 turned into 7:00. That was enough for me. Waiting for someone and/or not being able to depend on someone got old. He refused medication.

    • #59002

      I you do try to get back together. Consider giving him an ultimatum. Until he’s properly diagnosed, if he’s like me, he will never believe in the possibility of getting better. Just tell him that he is going to have to get the help he needs to change or he doesn’t love you enough to get through all the crap even normal couples have to deal with. But if you’re not willing to make him get help so there’s a chance he could treat you as you deserve, then in addition to his issues, you need to reevaluate how you feel about yourself. There is nothing wrong with having a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any type of abuse. Without honesty, respect, actually listening and being willing to change to be a better person for yourself and your partner, I don’t think you’ll ever find true happiness with him or anyone else. You sound like a really caring person. If it takes all your caring to deal with him, it will hold you back in being able to be there for others. You can’t fix him. Unless he is willing to get help and can make progress, you really should ask yourself why you are willing to settle. I didn’t know how to think until proper treatment. I just couldn’t focus. Not really at all. But since I’ve been getting better I am becoming quite a different person. You must keep that in mind too and accept the fact that if he does get better and change, you might no longer be compatible. The old saying “there is someone for everyone” isn’t true. On a planet with more than seven billion folks, there are several guys out there that you could find true happiness with. Demand the treatment that everyone deserves. Who ever you are with, make him treat you like a person, not a commodity.

    • #59658

      Well thank you everyone for your replies. I had a happy childhood with my parents. I had an abusive boyfriend when I was 17 and then married a man with schizophrenia which after his breakdown shortly after we met, he remained on medication and he didn’t have another breakdown until 10 years into our relationship from a loss of a child. I am now with my current boyfriend with addiction to marijuana and probably has adhd which I can’t believe I am with someone with another severe mental health problem. I must be attracted to men who are a bit different because I feel so different, having depression and low self esteem myself all my life since my first abusive boyfriend. I mostly fear the emotional/mental pain that I will go through if I decided not to go back. Also the fear of not trying everything I can to fix him. I think I can only do that until I put myself through splitting up. We are now currently waiting on an appointment from the psychiatric nurse who he agreed to see to get diagnosed and go on medication which may help him come off marijuana. What massive mountains are to come. I don’t believe I will attract someone more stable as I am hyper sensitive person and have trouble being around people and keeping jobs etc. And by my track record, will probably just pick up someone the same as my previous boyfriends. So I don’t look forward to the future and I hate my current situation but I guess I’ll see how the GP route will go and if it will help ease things.

    • #59662

      Oh honey, speaking from the experience of a 57-year-old, we only get what we expect. So if you believe you are damaged goods and can only attract other damaged individuals that is what will happen. I wish you could take time to nurture your relationship with yourself, without a boyfriend in the mix. It would be great if you could afford a good therapist who can help you learn to understand and love yourself and believe in yourself so you can see that you can change the course of your own life and the people you accept into it. I believe you truly can and that you do not need to be taking care of these challenging. Much love and luck to you.

      • #59699

        Thanks Jackie1234. I had spent about 7 years being single after my first awful boyfriend at 17 and had lots of counselling as that first boyfriend was intentionally abusive. I’ve given up hope that I will be able to get stronger although I know I am a nice person and wish I could end up with a kind man. I know I really really don’t need my current partner’s problems and I’m sure it is definately impacting my well being.

        PS MESSAGE TO ANNEHW. I am not going to read any of your comments as the bits I have read of yours, I can tell they are coming from a bitter heart. If you give advice the first thing you must include is compassion and love.

      • #59928

        You look for broken men because they are needy, and if they need you, you have a role in their lives.

        You need to look for men who don’t NEED you but LOVE you instead. It’s a common female flaw to mix up nurturing a child with an adult relationship built on equality and trust. The male equivalent is a man who finds a woman in need of protection (from her own self-destructiveness). Need is very different from love!

      • #60103

        It can take years to find the right person. In my late teens and early 20’s I ended up with bad man after bad man because *I* was too needy for love and felt like I didn’t deserve it. That made me an easy target. A short marriage to an abusive man, and a child with him, made me step back. I couldn’t let my child be in danger because of my love life, so I stopped my love life cold turkey until I felt better. It was just about 10-years. After that, the next relationship wasn’t great either. The man wasn’t abusive towards me, but he had many problems of his own, and had not intention of changing the way he had learned to cope with them. So I had to realize, while I loved him, I had to let him go too.

        I found my now husband almost by accident. We became friends online, in an entirely unromantic way, just through a shared interest. We were states away from each other, there was no reason to think we would ever even MEET in person, much less fall in love and marry. Yet, after many months of friendship, suddenly we realized we were confiding in each other more than any other person on earth. We felt SAFE with each-other. So then we decided to give a relationship a try. It wasn’t easy – there was the distance gap that had to somehow be overcome for one thing, but we made it. In some ways, because it WAS so difficult to make real, I think that helped. We had to REALLY want each other.

        Life hasn’t been all sunshine since then. I’ve got psychological issues, which he’s known about from the start, but they are harder to live with than to know about. I’m also actively seeking treatment for my issues, not ignoring them. He’s also got a few of his own issues, and there are moments when he does do things that hurt my feelings. But he doesn’t STAY there, and it isn’t the abusive pattern of “do this now, say sorry later”. We’ve learned how to work THROUGH the situations. He’s learned how to get me back to something approaching sane when my anxiety turns me into a puddle of hyperventilation and worry. I’ve learned how to make him keep talking, without getting worked up myself, when his nastier moods come out so that we can actually get to the root of the problem and fix it, rather than ignoring it and letting him calm down on his own while the problem just festers. It isn’t always easy. It would be easier and actually less nasty for me to just let him go with a single comment to calm down, the more I push the nastier he gets for a while, but it’s like a boil. It always is lanced eventually in the conversation and then we can actually work through the situation. Like, we’ve learned that if he gets one night a week to hang out and play a game at the comic book store in town, then he feels less trapped in our small home town, and is less easily annoyed by small things. Just like he has learned that sometimes I just need him to hold my hand and listen to me say the same worry over and over, rather than trying to “fix” it, I have learned that some words are triggers for him, so I have to choose my vocabulary carefully, even when joking or teasing.

        So, there are times that a relationship is not a walk in the park, but is still do-able and rewarding. It just doesn’t sound like your relationship is. He is treating you in ways that go far beyond ADHD, but isn’t getting the appropriate treatment for himself. He doesn’t seem willing to work with you to better the relationship, and seems stuck in “I hurt you” and then “I’m sorry” mode. That might be ok, as long as he isn’t hitting you, for a few months – but it’s not ok for YEARS. At some point he has to learn to not hurt you in the first place, and to get the help he needs to make better decisions. I think you deserve better than that. I know it’s scary to start over. I was scared to let my last relationship go too, since it had been SO long in coming. 10 years! How could I throw away the two-years I spent with him after 10 years of dating no one (and being celibate too!), it seemed impossible. But ultimately it was necessary, and if I hadn’t realized I deserved more than a man who would never be what I needed, I wouldn’t have my husband now.

    • #59927

      Run away and don’t look back. You want to fix him–you need to be needed. Don’t!!! Cannabis addiction? That disqualifies him right there. Heavy drinker or alcoholic? Get AWAY. Forget ANYTHING else. He is not a good person to be with. You may need to look for help getting over needing to be needed. You’re just looking to ruin your life right now.

    • #60068

      Leave. That is not because of his diagnosis. It is because one must always accept people as they are — OR NOT. If you are not happy with how you are treated you have already been involved 5 years too long. Yes, I realize you have only been together 4 years. ADHD is not an excuse for being a jackass!

    • #60230

      Corny title, but a great book ” Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay” . I recommend it to anyone struggling with that exact internal debate. My best friend and I read it at about the same time, when we were both struggling in relationships. She ended up leaving, I ended up recommitting to my husband, and we are both better off today!
      And Don’t kid yourself about red flags. There’s no such thing as “I THINK it’s a red flag, but then again….”

    • #60589

      Sounds more like bipolar. I couldn’t say you should stay with him or leave him. However, if you two expect different results, then, take different actions.
      Symptoms of ADHD may change as a person gets older. They include:

      Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
      Low self-esteem
      Problems at work
      Trouble controlling anger
      Substance abuse or addiction
      Easily frustrated
      Chronic boredom
      Trouble concentrating when reading
      Mood swings
      Relationship problems

    • #65861

      I honestly can’t believe I am as some of you are meanfully writing, that I want to be needed, or am looking to screw up my life. This is all crap. I just think I am too understanding and accepting and forgiving of his emotional outbursts etc which is not a good thing I know. Why I continued to accept that over these last 4 years is because I preferred a relationship over being single for 5 years and believed that there were things he could do to change (and I believed him every time, but ofcourse he didn’t really change). He did finally stop having weed and only have hash which makes him less nasty. so he’s thinking of trying CBD or medication instead of hash to keep calm and get rid of the nasty effects of thc in the hash.

      I write this personal info to help others who are reading x

      But anyway I have left him a week ago cos it turned violent against me, so I can’t tolerate physical abuse (even though emotional and verbal abuse is damaging too). He’s going to try and come off hash as said above, but now it’s up to him. I can’t see him changing but at least I’m not living with him now.

      • #68941

        Yes, these are common issues we normally notice to our cousin. She’s seeing a therapist for 3 years already.
        Low self-esteem
        Easily frustrated
        Chronic boredom
        Mood swings

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