Dating a Man with ADHD — my anxiety has spiked, seeking advice please.

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  pce42 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #80869

    pce42
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I feel like I’m losing hope and questioning the future quite a bit and need some advice from others who have experience with adult ADD. I’ll try to keep this somewhat condensed! I started dating a guy in Feb. 2017, we’ve been together a little over a year. From the start, I noticed things seemed a bit off. He will get in social situations and ramble. He does not understand the social cues to “stop” and literally people will tune him out. I’ve discussed this with him. Now it’s to a point I’m too embarrassed to go out with him because he’ll ramble about things that are all over the place or that people don’t understand. I HATE to say that I’m embarrassed by him in that sense because he is a good person. I have noticed because of our relationship I’ve isolated myself even more than normal. I’m an extroverted introvert, but I tend to pull now towards more of an introvert because I’m not wanting to go out as much. Another thing I noticed is that when I ask him a question he says “hmm?” before answering. It’s like a tick. I’ve mentioned it to him and he said he didn’t realize he did it. We’ll go out to a restaurant and he’ll pout if they are out of a certain entree. He’ll make comments like, why have it on the menu if it’s not available?! I’ll respond with, it’s not her fault…I find it embarrassing.

    He is 30, went back to school, graduated, and had struggled with finding work. He moved in with me in Oct 2017, he had seasonal work until Nov 2017 but then was unemployed until Feb 2018. He is now set to start another job because he the job he started in February isn’t for him. I own a home, work a full-time job, and also have a part-time job. My anxiety has peaked ever since he moved in and I find myself to be depressed. I am self-diagnosing myself here. He has done some dangerous things since I’ve known him. He forgot he put a propane tank inside a grill and hooked up another tank, causing it to catch on fire. He has also started my car, forgetting to open the garage door, I’ve come home to the oven being on all day, I’ve noticed he’s forgot to turn off the stove fire burner after cooking dinner, for the longest time, I had to keep reminding him to secure the front door. Driving can get scary with him because although most of the time he’s safe, he can space out. He almost hit a pedestrian one time because a light ahead of us turned green, but ours was still red. The family situation is a bit awkward. He’s got a very rude brother and his mother doesn’t seem like she wants much of a relationship with me. We are also on completely different financial levels which makes getting out of town difficult for us. He wants to get married and have a kid or two. With all of these issues stirring up recently, I am nowhere near ready for any of these commitments. Plus, he doesn’t have a stable job at the moment.

    Some other things I’ve noticed is he can be very clumsy and his family has a history of Alzheimers. He’s also an identical twin. He’s told me I deserve better, especially with the way some of his family members have treated me. It hurts when he says things like this because again, I just want it to work out so bad, but I’m not sure how I feel is going to go away or improve. If I lost him, I’d feel devastated, but questioning whether or not we should stay together is constantly on my mind. I’d say it’s a daily thing and has been since November 2017. I just don’t want to make a mistake and lose my best friend and companion. If we broke up, I wouldn’t know what to do. It would be so quiet without him and finding someone so vibrant and full of life has been a blessing. I’ve dated guys that did not communicate in the past.

    Now onto the good, he’s communicative (obviously) he’s always checking in on me, encourages me to follow my dreams, and genuinely loves me. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s got a good heart. He can also be funny and he can be thoughtful. I do love him as a person, but I wouldn’t marry him if he asked me to tomorrow. I should point out I’m very “careful” and risk adverse. I’ve had a few relationships, the longest being 6 years where I was engaged to the guy and I called off the wedding and don’t regret it. He was such a good person but we had nothing in common. Everything with him was dull and we were both frustrated in life. My dad was a severe alcoholic and my mom was addicted to drugs throughout my teenage years. A lot of traumatic life experiences happened from an early age for me and I think that’s part of why I’m so careful and why I fear the need to fall in love and have a companion. In the beginning, we were madly in love, now, I’m questioning a lot of things. I rate a high loyalist and harmonizer on my enneagram results and sometimes being so loyal ends up hurting me in the long run.

    Back to current boyfriend, he was diagnosed in high school to have ADHD, but was taken off of medication since he was falling asleep. He is now 30 and is set to go see a Doctor. We’ve been talking about this for months now because of my concerns of safety. Other things that tend to happen is he’ll say he’ll do something and completely forget to do it unless he writes it down. This happens quite frequently. He offered to paint some of the rooms in my house when he was unemployed to stay busy, and it took him several weeks. He still has projects back at his parents he hasn’t completed that were years ago.

    I could go on and on. I’m just concerned. I’m 28 and everyone around me is getting married and having kids. I’m feeling frustrated and stressed and I want to make things work out so badly but I wonder if I’m just wishing for people to change, but that’s not possible. I met with a counselor three times to talk about my relationship stress and she said he sounded like a wonderful person (he really, truly is and would never cheat on me or hurt me) BUT she also said it sounds like even though he checks off a lot of the boxes for me, we don’t have a marriage or children holding us together. We did try breaking up after I saw my counselor about 3 weeks ago, and we both bawled and felt miserable. He kept telling me it didn’t feel right, and I felt bad, and we both do care about each other, so we ended up staying together.

    From an outsiders perspective, what do you think of this situation? I know the decision is ultimately up to us as individuals, but, ADD is something that I’m concerned about with him. We were so certain in the beginning we were going to get married, now I’m scared. I don’t want to rush it because of the way I’m feeling. Others have said, ask yourself if you can accept the situation as it is for the rest of your life. It’s hard to accept him fully as a person as much as I care about him, because people don’t like being around us because he can drain them with his chattiness. I’ve heard it from several of my friends and even some of his own family members. He’s aware of it, he just can’t seem to control it? My mom gets annoyed with him and I’m afraid to introduce him to my aunts because I know they’ll say something rude that’ll hurt his feelings. He is also very emotional and sensitive. I accept him as a person but I don’t think I accept him FULLY in certain situations (if that makes sense)because I feel myself tense up when he starts going on tangents. I wish there was a way I could just accept it all and be happy. I don’t feel like I’m giving him my best self and it hurts me and I know it hurts him.

    Thanks

  • #80922

    keypher
    Participant

    I can hear you like him for the reasons you stated and I can also understand why you have reservations for the reasons you stated. It is normal to feel anxiety when these alarming behaviors threaten your safety. It’s a conflict for you that they come in the package of the sweet man that you have learned to love.

    Maybe imagining a future picture can help you predict your resolve to be with someone like this. ADHD is genetic, so if you were to learn to live with his behavior now, then you may be better equipped to raise the kids (who may or may not inherit this trait) in your hypothetical future. What will it be like to have an ADHD spouse and maybe an ADHD child? It means helping your spouse, possibly child(ren), establish unusual habits with phones, notes, planners, and other VISUAL reminders that their mind can’t hold without them. It means using positive reinforcement for mini-habits and mini-thoughts that will help them STAY on an even keel with their emotional and physical regulation. You may find yourself feeling like your brain is the only reliable brain to manage the family’s daily life and planned trajectory. When your family doesn’t meet the neuro-typical standards, can you still love them for where they are in that moment? Can you still work with them in a way that their brains can engage in with effectiveness and emotional safety? It will take patience and extra work. In some ways, these expectations are what we all have meeting any other person. At the same time, you will most probably find yourself in a regular pattern of knowing the good (authentic, enthusiastic, present, inventive, etc…) behaviors come with the not-so-good (forgetful, dis-regulated, un-initiating, depressed…) and you may admit to yourself that ADHD really *is* an invisible disability. But like with all disabilities, it’s not an impediment to a fulfilling and successful life. If you think the good outweighs the bad, then you will persevere (because we don’t outgrown ADHD) and you will know that all people are different and need different support and care. Good luck on what will work for you – there’s no right or wrong decision in this case.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  keypher.
    • #81406

      Casper
      Participant

      Your relationship is very similar to mine, except I am the guy with ADHD. Visual cues will help with everything. You don’t need a massive sign next to your cooker, but maybe a bright orange oven glove to get his attention that will help trigger the thought “is the oven still on?”. I wake up in the middle of the night and go and check to see if I have left the gas hob on. 9 times out of 10 it is off. It’s quite stressful for the person with ADHD, especially when you can see it is affecting the person you love. Medication has helped with my issues with ADHD significantly, but you need to have realistic expectations. If I did not take Ritalin every day I would not be able to work. Half a 10mg tab in the morning and the other half at lunch time. I went off taking meds for a long time because of the side effects (they are horrible) but the gains are well worth it. If he is talking bollocks you need a polite cue, like a nudge or a hand gesture. Over time he will become more mindful of what he says. It seems like you don’t want to be too hard on him, so you don’t bring up things like that, but I promise that if you are calm and respectful he will listen. Even now I am still learning to be more mindful of what I am saying, rather than voice random thoughts in my head. I accidently offended a group of my girl mates recently, and it has made me really want to change. Talking about it with him will solve everything. Don’t hold it in, because you will end up losing your temper and not achieve your goal which is improving your relationship. The worst thing that can happen is you do nothing and end up resenting each other. From what I have read, it seems like you love each other very much, so take some time and learn how to MANAGE it.

    • #81409

      pce42
      Participant

      Thanks for your note Casper! I do chat with him about these issues, but he often withdraws. I’m very gentle with it, but he’s VERY hard on himself. Sometimes when I bring things up he goes into self-loathing behaviors and starts putting himself down…BAD. Something like me simply saying, John, you need to double-check that the oven is off, will send him into an episode of him not being able to do ANYTHING right. It’s actually frustrating to me because I am being so gentle with him, I promise you that. I recently asked him how others have perceived his ADD tendencies and he’s said he’s had exes tell him he needs to shut the f*ck up, etc….I don’t think that gets a person anywhere and I’ve NEVER said anything like that to him.

      I’m just finding it hard trying to manage keeping my own mental health stable while trying to bring up issues to him, manage them, and also not get to a point of resentment. It’s very very tough. I definitely have noticed my own mental health has suffered quite a bit. I’m trying to get better but it has been a very rough several months. I tend to feel A LOT so I’m also very very hard on myself.

  • #80919

    b2curious
    Participant

    Pretty much all of the down sides you listed, are part and parcel of ADHD. We’re forgetful, we lose things, lose track or time, don’t pick up on social cues, etc. That being said, there are ways to mitigate some of the symptoms, but it requires extra work – on both your parts. Being in a relationship with someone with ADHD will be more work on your part, there’s no way around it, but it sounds like you think he’s worth it. The right med, at the right dose will help, but they’re not a cure all. Also, if his meds were putting him to sleep in the past, he was either on the wrong one, or the wrong dose. Believe it or not, a stimulant dose that is too low OR too high can make someone with ADHD sleepy.

    Here is an article you may find useful for understanding ADHD a little better. – https://www.additudemag.com/current-research-on-adhd-breakdown-of-the-adhd-brain/ AFter reading it, I thought “Good lord, it’s a wonder those of us with ADHD function as well as we do!”

    There are also alternative therapies that can augment medication. One of my favorite blogs ran two posts which covered several alternative therapies pretty well: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/10-alternative-therapies-for-add-adhd/ and https://www.marksdailyapple.com/alternative-therapies-for-adhd-part-2/ You’ll want to read both, as the 2nd one had updated info on something in the first one. The second article mentions meditation, and research having mixed results. I’ve read recently, but have not done much research that mindfulness meditation works better for ADHD than other types. (Side note, it can help with your depression and anxiety too.) But again, not on everyone. You’ll also want to read info on this site (ADDitude) for help.

    People with ADHD are notoriously terrible at reading social cues, so you may have to work out some sort of system to let him know he’s rambling and losing his audience, but not something subtle – he’ll forget it or miss it. You may just have to gently say “you’re rambling again.” One thing you’ve got to do, is learn to accept who he is in social situations. It may involve telling people about ADHD, especially your family. It may help them find him less annoying if they know what’s going on. Who knows, your mom may do some research on her own, and find ways to handle being around him without being as annoyed by him. Oh – the restaurant thing, next time he says “why have it on the menu if it’s not available?!” say something like “Because they normally have it. They can’t reprint the whole menu just because they’re out of something!” If possible, try not to sound annoyed or embarrassed – more matter of fact. It’ll help him realize how unreasonable his ideas/comments are – and may help prevent them in the future.

    As you “ask him a question he says “hmm?” before answering,” it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who does something similar. For me it’s not questions, it’s kind of random. Sometimes someone will say something to me and I’l say “Huh? Never mind.” then respond to the question. Why? Because sometimes it takes me an extra second or two to actually process and understand what was said. I was beginning to think it was some sort of auditory processing disorder, but it doesn’t fit that either. I guess it’s just one of those odd ADHD things. Speaking of which, clumsiness is an ADHD symptom, but like all of them, not all of us have it. Some people with ADHD are gifted athletes, while other of us trip over flat ground. I trip over flat ground, but put me on my roof, or uneven ground, and suddenly I have no problems – I’m dang near a mountain goat. As for Alzheimer’s, my favorite blog had some interesting info on that https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-arent-we-talking-about-the-cognitive-health-crisis/

    It’s good that you’ve notice some of the positives with ADHD – he’s “vibrant and full of life,” he’s caring and encouraging. We also tend to be more creative. When we’re “in the zone” or interested in something, we can focus like nobodies business. Hyperfocus is an ADHD thing too. See, it’s not so much a deficit of attention as it is a deficit of attention control. We often have unique points of view and insights that others won’t have, despite being totally oblivious to other things. https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/positives-of-adhd/

    Do yourself a favor and do some research on ADHD and do a search on “living with an ADHD partner.” Learn things you both can do to help mitigate the negatives of ADHD in your lives. Remember to take care of yourself – being in a relationship with a person with ADHD may be more work, but don’t neglect yourself and your needs. Once you’ve got some more information, and have tried a few things, you can start to consider whether or not you want to continue this relationship. Another thing to consider – children – ADHD is hereditary. With one parent with ADHD, there is slightly more than a 50% chance that a child will have it. I’ve ADHD and both of my children have it, but neither of their fathers do (one is bipolar and the other probably has Asperger’s). Both girls have such different personalities and presentation of symptoms. My youngest and I have similar personalities, but very different presentation of symptoms. I’m pure inattentive type, as is my youngest, while my oldest is combined type. You are aware there are different sub-types right? ADHD is the main diagnosis, with the three subtypes being hyperactive/impulsive type (the stereotypical ADHD), inattentive type (also call ADD, it lacks the hyperactive component – I refer to it as your stereotypical absent minded professor without the PHd), and combined type.

    Okay, I think I’ve given you plenty of info. Feel free to ask me more questions, I may or may not have an answer.

  • #80953

    pce42
    Participant

    Wow, thank you both so much for your insight! I appreciate the article references and will be doing some more research on this. What I find interesting is his parents allow him to ramble and from my observations have “tuned” him out. I’ve seen him talk with his mom and she just says, “yeah, mmhmm, okay” but doesn’t seem to be engaged whatsoever in the conversation and glued to her phone. This isn’t always the case, sometimes, they’ll be face to face and she’ll still appear to tune him out and not let him know he’s rambling. It’s hard to get used to for me because I don’t want to come off as rude and he like, BABE. I think we may need to get to that point though since I’ve talked to him alone about it as not to embarrass him.

    When something big does happen, like leaving the oven on all day, I respond by letting him know, gently, that he did something. Obviously, he feels defeated and wears the emotion on his face that he messed up, but I don’t rub it in his face or cause a fight over it. That just makes everything worse in my opinion. Our communication is pretty great fortunately. I do have safety concerns though. I understand that his mind is racing essentially, but he’s got to find a better way to manage it to avoid burning down the house for example.

    Since I’m not as educated as I’d like to be about ADHD/ADD, I suspected it with John and asked him if he thought he had it. This was about 8 months into our relationship, when he responded and told me he was diagnosed in 7th grade, but his parents took him off medication, I was shocked. No other treatment options were explored. Another tick I noticed, is he’ll randomly start laughing at something in his head before he shares what it is, which catches A LOT of people off guard. He’s been asked if he’s high before. LOL. He does not drink or do drugs fortunately. **Another perk of dating him!!**

    It’s interesting to me that this is hereditary, I should probably explore that more too if we ever decided to have children. I’m a patient, loyal, organized person and have noticed since I’ve started dating John, I find myself a bit more scatter brained because I feel like I need to think for the “both” of us. There are certain things I double-check or tasks I don’t have him do because I’m worried they won’t be done properly. However, we think different, and I have accepted that. It doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with him, it’s just that I have to figure out if this will work out for us as a couple in the long run. He also told me no other girls he’s dated have ever pointed out the possibility of ADHD and suggested he get help.

    I told him it’s up to him to look into getting treated but I couldn’t be with him if he didn’t explore possibilities. I don’t like giving people ultimatums, but, he’s 30 years old. This should have been addressed lonnnnnggg ago in my opinion. He agreed he needs to get help and see what options are available to him. He thinks it’ll help him be more successful in life. I agree! I have so much more reading to do on this topic. I just don’t want to keep pulling myself down because of the relationship. I feel A LOT and I know he’s trying and since I’ve never been in this situation before, I’m trying to be as patient and understanding as possible. It’s not easy. Some days are harder than others. Thanks again for responding so quickly! : )

  • #81060

    b2curious
    Participant

    Unfortunately, you may have to help some with the getting treatment. Procrastination is a huge issue for many people with ADHD, especially in a situation where we’re not really sure what we need to do or have a bunch of choices and no clear way to decide – like finding the right doctor. It can be pretty overwhelming, especially if he runs into issues getting diagnosed. The first psychiatrist I saw didn’t really think I had ADD because I’d done well in school and had a bachelor’s degree. (News flash, not all of us do poorly in school or have problems reading. If she’d pursued the subject, I did have some ADD related issues in school.) The second one was much more flexible and did diagnose me and we did a little tinkering with meds, when we found one that worked okay, she sent me to my family doctor to continue the prescription. My former family doctor (an older gentleman and 15 years ago) read me the riot act when I broached the subject of ADHD and meds with him. According to him, the only people who need meds for ADHD are kids who can’t sit still and are always running around. He said that taking stimulant meds as an adult would ruin my life, I’d need higher and higher doses and eventually wind up addicted to meth (man what a leap he made there). My current family doctor is fine with prescribing them. I’ve been on stimulants for 15 yrs. now and have upped the dose twice – and they saved my job. My work load had reached the point where I couldn’t keep up, and the meds were a life saver. But I might not have changed family doctors if my husband hadn’t insisted. I’d rather deal with one that couldn’t diagnose my daughter’s asthma (but did send us to the allergy clinic at Children’s Hosp.) and didn’t want to write a prescription for stimulant medication for me than try to find a new doctor – that was just too overwhelming.

    As for safety issues, like the oven being left on all day, either you guys are going to have to brain storm a way for him to be reminded about it, or he may just have to not use the oven or stove in the morning. I went with the second option for me. The last time I used the stove in the morning, I was trying to slightly warm some coconut milk in a storage dish – put it in a pan of water on low and took a shower. Several hours later, my husband, who is physically disabled from a work injury diagnosed too late to repair, found the pot on the stove. It had no water in it and the storage dish was quite warm on the bottom, but not melted. Every time I’m tempted to use the stove on a work morning, I think of that and do something else or use the microwave.

    The two of you may also want to look into books about ADHD – many of which are available in audio form if reading is an issue for John. Which reminds me, I really need to get around to actually reading a couple of them…. Some that popped up as results on GoodReads from my search “recommended books for ADHD” were recommended to 10 or so years ago, when I was on an ADHD forum: Two from Edward M. Hallowell – Driven to Distraction and Delivered From Distraction and one from Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: A Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder?! (I read half of that one, borrowed it through our library’s exchange program, but I had to return it before I finished it. I couldn’t renew it.) This one by Gina Pera might be good for you Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder

  • #81066

    pce42
    Participant

    It’s funny you mention procrastination. He was supposed to be seen yesterday at a mental health walk-in clinic. He went into work an hour early, so he could leave to get there on time. He told me the receptionist gave him the wrong clinic walk-in hours, so he showed up only to find they weren’t available to help. A person like me would have confirmed the hours on their website or by calling instead of assuming. He told me he’ll go after work next Wednesday. Having John get treatment has now taken months. He promised me he was going to get treatment and swore he wanted to get better. Now, it seems as though things keep “happening” where he’ll make an appointment somewhere, then cancel, or like in this situation, not check the times…
    It.Is.Frustrating.

    I had a chat with him last night to ask him where he thought we were at and what we needed to work on. I told him about how he goes on tangents when he talks and people tune him out. He told me he knew and I asked if he had dated anyone previously he mentioned things like this to him. He said he has, and they would tell him to shut the f*ck up. I think that’s pretty rude and extreme, so clearly people have just “given up” on him and ended things. Insert loyalist girlfriend here (me)…lol. He seemed really down that I had mentioned his ADD to him but he said his family is an issue, his ADD, and now his talking. I asked him what I could improve on and he didn’t tell me really anything, other than he’d like us to get out more. I’d love that too, but he can’t afford to do much right now with not having stable work. It’s kind of a hard place to be in. I feel like he’s kind of checked-out and that we both are coasting together at this point. He has his jiu jitsu he’s dedicated to, and I encourage him to do it. He practices several times a week, and loves it. We just seem to be living together and not really doing things as a couple, which is causing problems for me.

    Thank you for your resources, I hope I can find a way to either continue the relationship or we can part as friends, which I know for the both of us will be extremely difficult. I find myself always checking the oven now and it’s frustrating. I think medicine would help him SLOW down. He’s always frantic and thinking. I know no matter what relationship I end up in there is going to be some kind of conflict, but my goodness, dating him definitely can be exhausting. He’s such a good person that it’s made a lot of these stresses livable. I hope he can get some help soon. Even when we tried breaking up, he was texting me multiple times and it wasn’t really a break up. He was panicked and he’s told me in the past the last thing he ever wants to do is end up alone. He also has an extreme fear of death, which increases my anxiety. He brings it up quite a bit actually and I don’t know where that stems from for him. I’ve never really worried about it, since it’s inevitable, but I don’t want to get myself all wound up about it either, lol.

  • #81075

    keypher
    Participant

    Keep your healthy boundaries now and going forward, no matter what.

    Meds may help him if he gets the right “cocktail”. I’ve heard the right dose is a moving target sometimes but I’ve seen huge improvements in friends that got them and settled on a dose that works for them.

    Maybe when he gets stable on meds he can contact you but until then he cannot?

    Funny coincidence, my ADHD hubby thought he was going to imminently die and that was over 18 years and 2 kids ago…! 🙂

    Take care of you.

  • #81077

    Jest
    Participant

    Hey! ADD’er here and I can completely understand and sympathize with everything you are both going through. I mean I’m supposed to be writing a cover letter right now but instead meandered over here instead and got sucked in by your story.

    My first thought when reading your post was that it doesn’t seem like your bf is on any kind of medication. And that’s super important. Amphetamines and stimulants (and others like Concerta) have been used successfully to treat ADD for decades and are proven to be both safe and effective. But of course to get those, he actually has to make it to the clinic. So Step 1, go to the clinic and see an ADHD specialist. Go at the right time, get a formal diagnosis, and work with the specialist (typically a psychiatrist) to start finding a medication that works perfectly for you (him in this case but you get me). There are a broad range of options available and everyone has to find the right dose of the right one that works for them. For example: Ritalin makes my hands shake. Adderall wears off for me too fast and is a little uneven. But Vyvanse works great for me. They’ll start the dosage off low and slowly increase it or decrease it to find the dosage where you can focus just enough to be a normal adult but not so high that you’re just in the zone all the time and ignore your friends etc.

    Step 2 – Behavioral therapy. Our brains don’t work the way normies do, so the same way autistic kids need to be trained to recognize facial expressions like frowns and smiley faces, we need to be taught how to do really basic adult things like pay bills on time, open mail, organize a desk, put away laundry. A few meetings with a behavioral therapist will revolutionize how he looks at his life and does things. Generally, the key is try to do one thing at a time and do everything only one time. Creatine routines. Routines are essential for ADDers to function. Start cooking, cook meal, TURN OFF STOVE, wash dishes as you finish, eat. When you come home, don’t throw your jacket on the couch, then hang it up later. Hang the jacket up now and don’t stress out future you by having to remember to hang the jacket up. Just put the jacket someplace ONCE. He’ll never bat 1000 in this regard, and that’s an important thing for both of you to accept, but he can definitely improve. And having someone patient and supportive like you to help him do that is exactly what he needs to improve.

    Here’s a crash course on ADD for the un-intiated. Your brain is a combination of hundreds of different parts, each with specific jobs. Just like your digestive track, one part does one thing (mouth chews) and another something else (stomach digests chewed food). One part of your brain controls your left hand, one part is the vision in the center of your right eye, and one part handles organization. This last part is the part that makes life both awesome and total hell for ADDers. It’s called the prefrontal cortex.

    ***Edit – I think my message got caught in the spam filter since I posted a link, so I deleted it. Just google image search for prefrontal cortex. That’ll get the job done.

    The prefontal cortex is basically the manager of the brain. It takes everything the brain is doing and prioritizes and organizes, sifts and sorts, assigns and collates. It lets you control yourself essentially. The manager of an ADHD brain sucks. It’s lazy and incompetent, but gets way better with meds but is never going to win manager of the year. So what appears to outsiders as trouble focusing is really trouble organizing thoughts, feelings, sensations etc. When you are outside or at work, spend a minute just looking at absolutely everyone around you that’s moving. Listen to to the fans and air conditioners, the printers, the background chit chat, the chairs creaking, the cars outside, the birds flying by windows. Now imagine not being able to tune that out when you want. Now apply that to your thoughts and emotions too. That’s roughly what it’s like inside our heads. So it’s not that we CAN’T focus. We can focus like champions! We just really struggle to control what we focus on. And that’s the key. Realizing that he lost track of what he’s doing and then getting back on track without getting passive aggressive judgments etc (which you’re totally not doing so props on that!). Working with a behavioral therapist and establishing specific routines personalized for your bf that will help him manage all those thoughts and feelings and senses rushing through his brain 24/7 and get him close to being a functional adult while not losing all the awesome things that make him incredible.

    ADD is a daily struggle of never being good enough and never getting everything perfectly perfect. The only consistent thing we do is be inconsistent. And that’s frustrating to everyone. It takes a huge emotional toll because we are also innate perfectionists. Imagine spending your entire life with people telling you you’re not living up to your potential. You get a HUGE complex about making any kind of mistake. That’s why he (and we) always get down on ourselves. But it also makes us persistent. So how do you get someone with ADD to correct those mistakes? Accept that he’s never going to get it all right. Be patient and persistent, focus on creating fun routines and simple ways to be consistent. You’re doing absolutely everything right in that regard as far as I can tell. He just needs a little bit more help getting there. Small and non-judgemental/friendly hints, visual cues like maybe tugging on your ear when he starts to ramble on to gently and subtly remind him to let others talk, all of these things will go a long way towards making you both happier individually and together. You can even make it a game. “Oh hell, I rambled again didn’t I? Look at me go. I apologize.” That sort of stuff. Or, “You made it through that whole conversation normally! Dude you rock! Ice cream time!”

    You two seem perfect for each other, so don’t second guess that (not yet at least!) Just iron out the wrinkles. And let us know if we can help.

    Cheers

  • #81085

    gina.tilly
    Participant

    RUN !!!

  • #81086

    gina.tilly
    Participant

    I put up with this for 5 years . It won’t get bettrr , he is telling you that you deserve better please Listen

  • #81149

    pce42
    Participant

    Keypher – He is not on any medicine at all and needs to get to the clinic to see a specialist. Thank you for your insight and suggestions, I appreciate it! I wouldn’t say we are prefect right now, it seems like we are both stressed and frustrated because we can’t seem to give each other what we want. I’ve been hanging on for a little over a year now, ha! I’ve been patient, but the lack of ambition is really disappointing. Trying not to lose all hope yet because he is a great person.

    -Gina.Tilly – What kind of situation were you in if you don’t mind me asking? My issue with staying and not running is the fact he’s not purposefully tried to harm me (obviously there have been some dangers because of the ADD, but nothing malicious) and I worry that maybe I’m too picky with my partners. However, I do tend to hang onto relationships well past their expiration date. It’s just very difficult for me to let go of someone I’ve shared so much with and really care for. I’m not sure how to get out of the emotional rut I’m in and asking him to move out would be traumatic. I also find myself wondering though if there is someone better suited out there for me for a life partner. The fact I’m afraid to have children with him is probably a red flag in my life. He’s just too scattered to raise a child and although he wants a child, he literally couldn’t afford to. I mean we COULD but our lifestyle would have to change drastically. Lord, if I knew falling in love with someone with untreated ADD was going to be this stressful, I’m not so sure I would have done it. We’ve had some very amazing memories together though and there are a lot of positives, but there are also those nagging negatives that make me question our compatibility for the future.

    Thanks!

  • #81159

    keypher
    Participant

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he’s ashamed to predict the costs and hoops of getting medicine, not to mention the INITIATION and FOLLOW THROUGH required to establish getting on medication. Those psychiatrists are medically trained and so they are pricey! And his insurance or lack there of, may prohibit IMAGINING that he can sustain the costs of daily/monthly medication.

    If he does know what he wants to do to be productive, the medication *may* kickstart him and keep him going to thoroughly be dependable. There’s no guarantee that this will be smooth or possible but it’s a POSSIBILITY.

    Maybe he needs to pursue this checklist on his own while you date others, even if he is living with you, because you need to know he’s making an effort and sacrificing as much as you are now. If he can’t MOTIVATE himself under those circumstances then you are “getting the short end of the stick”. To keep his morale up you can say, “I really hope you can give the medication a try because that is some hope for us. Meanwhile, I need to make other plans and I sure hope it’s possible to consider our future with you following up on your own self-sufficiency (meds or not). I need a partner in life at some capacity and RIGHT now – it feels like too much is on me. Please do try!”

    Take care of loving yourself and you will not miss the emotional support that he has provided. You deserve that no matter what he chooses to do so promise yourself you will not abandon yourself. You have control of yourself and not him. Good luck! 🙂

  • #81160

    pce42
    Participant

    You’re correct. He has already mentioned to me that he hates the thought of being medicated, but said he wanted to at least see someone to see what options are available to him. It is unfortunate that when he tried visiting the walk-in clinic on Weds there was some miscommunication about the appropriate walk-in hours. So, at least he tried. He’s also been picking up some slack at home and he does tell me when he’ll run to the store and pick us up things. He has helped tremendously in the cooking/cleaning area when I’ve been feeling anxious and depressed about things. I know a lot of this is because I’m so consumed worrying about the relationship, which may sound silly. I’ve been working out more to get myself out of this funk mind. So there are positives there, he sees I’m struggling, and he tries to help.

    Making an effort to get help is important to me though because I worry about things I didn’t think I’d worry about? Like reminding him to turn off the stove, etc. I’d rather not have those constant nags in the back of my head. Some things I actually don’t trust him with. Although he has all the best intentions in the world, his ADD mind can just slip and he can totally space something out, not secure a door, etc. I just wish he would have taken this seriously when I mentioned it all several times for the last several months. It seems like the longer he waits, the more we are struggling.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  • #81163

    keypher
    Participant

    Sounds like the relationship took the wind out of your sails. Partly because you aren’t on your own powerful path. Stop and look at the horizon – imagine the possibilities for yourself again. Right now it sounds like a co-dependent, not inter-dependent relationship. Let’s say John was so great at domestic chores and childcare that he became the stay-at-home partner – he’s still going to need to activate his accountability, even more so. So give it a test run:

    Doing a weekly check-in will either prove he’s dependable and responsible for his commitments he chooses OR not. If you keep your end of the bargain, you may see why you feel you feel you are dragging an “anchor”. Either way, you will have control over your ship and that will energize you again. Are you able to imagine the possibilities for yourself without thinking of carrying John too? Go forward with your voyage (to over-use this metaphor) and he will join you moving forward or not. No matter what he decides, you will feel better taking control over what you can – whatever teeny little step like “I’ll eat leafy greens because it feels good for me.” “I’ll go for a nice walk because I don’t want to feel stuck, I want to move.” “I’ll go out for a coffee with a friend- I can afford to treat myself!” Who knows, maybe your momentum will inspire him. We learn from each other as social animals. You can still do the weekly check-ins and make sure you share chores for the household if you want to wean off the dependency and test accountability.

    Report back in a week, April 12th, pce42, and let us know how you chose to act, as if you were NOT waiting for John for you to feel the way you want to. It can only help both of you.

  • #81180

    pce42
    Participant

    I did give him an ultimatum in February and told him if he did not get treatment I could not be with him. That however was 2 months ago. So yet, here we are without treatment, ha! I think I’m so easy going and have been so patient that he just doesn’t care to make this a priority right now. Yet, I understand with him starting a new job, his insurance may be different.

    I have started checking in with him weekly. Like the other day I asked to chat with him and figure out how things were going. We ended up mostly talking about his ADD and the need for him to get help. I do things on my own. I volunteer locally, I visit with friends, and I get out of the house, all positive things! He does those things too, so we do have our own separate lives. We do however seem to be distant and he told me he can tell I’m pulling away. He’s right though, I have been. I know he’s scared of losing me but he also has made comments like if I think I can’t handle this anymore, to let him know and he’d understand. Basically, putting the ball in my court. That makes it all that much more frustrating.

    I’ll keep you posted on what changes, if any, occur. Thanks for chatting! 🙂

  • #81203

    eightydee
    Participant

    Oh man. If I had a dollar for failed relationships, think I’d have 5 dollars? I don’t know, I’m a relationship boy. I’m 28 and deffenitly had my fair share of struggling relationships. They say they’ll try and learn about ADD and what not but nope. Lots of heartbreak and for one, THANK YOU for actually asking for help. That’s the first step in dating a Awesome Dude Disorder, understanding what he does, is something that he cannot really control. I also took a vacation to the rehab deal. Over did it on my meds and when I couldn’t sleep, well another combo of substances came into play. In my head, everything was sunny and warm but in reality, horrible and thought my girlfriend at the time loved the man I thought I was. I wasn’t Claritin clear.

    Some relationships just don’t work. Everything happens for a reason. I Oded, attempted suicide, went to college 3-4 times, racked up credit card debt, Don’t speak with my father, no current job as well as living with my mom. But ya know what! After all that, I believe that one girl will just stumble into my life. Or I’ll just be that old guy that plows driveways in the winter with his cat for baked goods. I’m happy and constantly exploring new views of life. Pushing my boundaries and just accept my fate.

    I like seeing someone actively trying to figure out what is going on in that brain. I wish nothing but the best for you! (Adele – eightydee)

  • #81064

    keypher
    Participant

    Since you are attached to your guy, and everyone DOES express their ADHD differently, it’s curious to me what your guy’s twin is like? Just because you can feel objective about his future. There’s no guarantees about the future with anyone – near-typical and able-bodied people can change their status in a second. So, in my situation, I try to be grateful and make the most of it.

    For me, as long as I hyper-focussed on what I like to do I am super productive and focussed. During my career-phase I realized I pushed away relationships because I knew they challenged what I could handle with my work, which was a priority then.

    Now, married with children, I can tell you that my family is a priority and I STRUGGLE figuring out how people juggle both. I stay at home but it’s difficult for me to multi-task with each kid and prepare meals, etc…
    Depending on your situation he can do very well in home or career, and if there’s extra money you can outsource what he can’t do (keep up on home maintenance, do the taxes, whatever doesn’t fit his field of focus).
    Work, family, relationships require logistics that overlap and I can only hyper focus on one thing at a time. So, like b2curious said, there’s books about relationships with someone such as myself and I don’t know what your guys combination of gifts and problems are. My husband is most likely the impulsive type of ADHD, super successful and he continues to be classic ADHD and a sweetheart. So, we do weekly check-ins that cover 4 points: 1) Appreciations for each other 2) Chores we need to be aware of 3) Plan Good times! 4) Talk about challenging stuff. These 4 steps are from the book, “Marriage Meetings”. Helps us stay on focus/track.

    I thought Melissa Orlav had a good book on relationships & ADHD. Peruse the reviews:

    https://www.google.com/shopping/product/17045781243649861579?client=safari&rls=en&q=melissa+orlav+amazon&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    If you were my pal I’d probably say date more and see if you can move on but if not, know with eyes wide-open what you are in for. If you date great people and just miss him all the time then you might have your answer.

  • #81076

    Jest
    Participant

    Hey! ADD’er here and I can completely understand and sympathize with everything you are both going through. I mean I’m supposed to be writing a cover letter right now but instead meandered over here instead and got sucked in by your story.

    My first thought when reading your post was that it doesn’t seem like your bf is on any kind of medication. And that’s super important. Amphetamines and stimulants (and others like Concerta) have been used successfully to treat ADD for decades and are proven to be both safe and effective. But of course to get those, he actually has to make it to the clinic. So Step 1, go to the clinic and see an ADHD specialist. Go at the right time, get a formal diagnosis, and work with the specialist (typically a psychiatrist) to start finding a medication that works perfectly for you (him in this case but you get me). There are a broad range of options available and everyone has to find the right dose of the right one that works for them. For example: Ritalin makes my hands shake. Adderall wears off for me too fast and is a little uneven. But Vyvanse works great for me. They’ll start the dosage off low and slowly increase it or decrease it to find the dosage where you can focus just enough to be a normal adult but not so high that you’re just in the zone all the time and ignore your friends etc.

    Step 2 – Behavioral therapy. Our brains don’t work the way normies do, so the same way autistic kids need to be trained to recognize facial expressions like frowns and smiley faces, we need to be taught how to do really basic adult things like pay bills on time, open mail, organize a desk, put away laundry. A few meetings with a behavioral therapist will revolutionize how he looks at his life and does things. Generally, the key is try to do one thing at a time and do everything only one time. Creatine routines. Routines are essential for ADDers to function. Start cooking, cook meal, TURN OFF STOVE, wash dishes as you finish, eat. When you come home, don’t throw your jacket on the couch, then hang it up later. Hang the jacket up now and don’t stress out future you by having to remember to hang the jacket up. Just put the jacket someplace ONCE. He’ll never bat 1000 in this regard, and that’s an important thing for both of you to accept, but he can definitely improve. And having someone patient and supportive like you to help him do that is exactly what he needs to improve.

    Here’s a crash course on ADD for the un-intiated. Your brain is a combination of hundreds of different parts, each with specific jobs. Just like your digestive track, one part does one thing (mouth chews) and another something else (stomach digests chewed food). One part of your brain controls your left hand, one part is the vision in the center of your right eye, and one part handles organization. This last part is the part that makes life both awesome and total hell for ADDers. It’s called the prefrontal cortex.

    You are here:
    Prefrontal Cortex for ADHD

    The prefontal cortex is basically the manager of the brain. It takes everything the brain is doing and prioritizes and organizes, sifts and sorts, assigns and collates. It lets you control yourself essentially. The manager of an ADHD brain sucks. It’s lazy and incompetent, but gets way better with meds but is never going to win manager of the year. So what appears to outsiders as trouble focusing is really trouble organizing thoughts, feelings, sensations etc. When you are outside or at work, spend a minute just looking at absolutely everyone around you that’s moving. Listen to to the fans and air conditioners, the printers, the background chit chat, the chairs creaking, the cars outside, the birds flying by windows. Now imagine not being able to tune that out when you want. Now apply that to your thoughts and emotions too. That’s roughly what it’s like inside our heads. So it’s not that we CAN’T focus. We can focus like champions! We just really struggle to control what we focus on. And that’s the key. Realizing that he lost track of what he’s doing and then getting back on track without getting passive aggressive judgments etc (which you’re totally not doing so props on that!). Working with a behavioral therapist and establishing specific routines personalized for your bf that will help him manage all those thoughts and feelings and senses rushing through his brain 24/7 and get him close to being a functional adult while not losing all the awesome things that make him incredible.

    ADD is a daily struggle of never being good enough and never getting everything perfectly perfect. The only consistent thing we do is be inconsistent. And that’s frustrating to everyone. It takes a huge emotional toll because we are also innate perfectionists. Imagine spending your entire life with people telling you you’re not living up to your potential. You get a HUGE complex about making any kind of mistake. That’s why he (and we) always get down on ourselves. But it also makes us persistent. So how do you get someone with ADD to correct those mistakes? Accept that he’s never going to get it all right. Be patient and persistent, focus on creating fun routines and simple ways to be consistent. You’re doing absolutely everything right in that regard as far as I can tell. He just needs a little bit more help getting there. Small and non-judgemental/friendly hints, visual cues like maybe tugging on your ear when he starts to ramble on to gently and subtly remind him to let others talk, all of these things will go a long way towards making you both happier individually and together. You can even make it a game. “Oh hell, I rambled again didn’t I? Look at me go. I apologize.” That sort of stuff. Or, “You made it through that whole conversation normally! Dude you rock! Ice cream time!”

    You two seem perfect for each other, so don’t second guess that (not yet at least!) Just iron out the wrinkles. And let us know if we can help.

    Cheers

  • #81375

    pce42
    Participant

    Adele – I’m so glad you’re doing better! I don’t see anything wrong with plowing driveways, and having a cat is an added bonus, ha! : ) The human mind can really take us on an emotional roller coaster and that’s where I’m at right now.

    Keypher – The twin is part of the reason we are having issues. He’s currently engaged to a very controlling, jealous, manipulative woman. I went to give him a hug on their birthday, and he didn’t touch me and looked petrified as his fiancé looked on. It was the most uncomfortable, embarrassing, heartbreaking experience I’ve had in a while. He’s clearly unhappy but because he had a one night stand with his fiancé and got her pregnant, I think he feels “stuck.” There are several examples of their rude behavior. He deleted me off of snapchat after us 4 went to the bar and he and his fiancé got in a fight. John’s brother said, “I’m not allowed to have any fun”…John didn’t say anything. Knowing we were there to get to know each other and have a good time, I said if you can’t f*cking come out and spend time with your brother, there’s something seriously wrong here. He instantly got up and the boys had a good night! The fiancé stormed off somewhere and ended up showing back up after she realized we no longer were staying at their house. The next day, John’s brother deleted me off of snapchat. I could go on…lots of very immature little things like this that I got to the point I was done and so removed them both from all of my social media. No thank you when I sent their kid birthday presents etc….and their wedding is coming up this summer and I wasn’t invited. John said it’s probably best I don’t go because he could see them not even hugging me at the wedding and how awkward it would be. It’s SO awkward, I don’t even know why they have to be this way.

    It is causing issues in our relationship because John’s mom has been SILENT from my life. Ignores my FaceBook posts, doesn’t like the pictures I upload with John or I in them….I thanked her profusely for some concert tickets she got us for Christmas (sent her a text novel) her response was “K”….we ended up buying them concert tickets to another show as a “thank you”…just a very strange relationship there and I was warned by his aunt to watch out for her. That hurt. So because of the family issues I’m experiencing, it’s making me reconsider if I can handle a lifetime of this kind of drama. I really can’t.

    Also, he is on a different financial level than I am and starts his new job tomorrow. He didn’t like his job he started in February so he’s onto something else tomorrow. It’s more money, which is good. I try not to be selfish but it’s April 10th and he still hasn’t paid me for his half of the bills/mortgage. I have been understanding since October really when it’s been kind of on his terms because I know he’s been trying to play catch up in life. As a reminder, he’s 30. I really do love him as a person and the companionship he provides and I know he tries and helps out around the house but I think he wants kids and marriage soon. I don’t see that as a good idea given his financial situation and his ADD. I find out tomorrow if he actually goes to the clinic. My anxiety and stress levels going back and forth haven’t been the greatest. I’ve never been in this kind of position in a relationship. He’s a lot of fun! He’s down for taking random road trips that aren’t too far and of course we both love nature so it’s affordable. We love walking trails. I’m just having a hard time in my life accepting everything and find it a daily battle of mental exhaustion questioning myself and what I want. Sucks because when you love someone it makes everything THAT MUCH HARDER when faced with these kinds of issues…

    Thank you for the book suggestions and your relationship suggestions, I really appreciate it! I think it would be hard to leave him because we do care about each other SO MUCH. He did tell me again, the other night, that if I couldn’t handle the family situations (because I’ve always wanted to be a part of a close family), that he would understand and not question why I would break up with him because I deserve better since I am such a good person. It really freaking hurts to even think about it. I’ve been an emotional mess ever since he moved in with me. Some days obviously are better than others. We had a great time last night for example spending time together but man, we both are feeling weighed down with things.

  • #81379

    pce42
    Participant

    Keypher- I realize I went on a rant there. HA! So basically, the twin is completely opposite of John in terms of treating others with respect. It sounds like this has been how it’s been for years though. John’s twin has gone out of his way to be a complete jerk to John. In terms of their behavior he’s much quieter and doesn’t rant and ramble like John does. So they are intensely different. I will say the one time I was around him when the fiance was away, he chatted my ear off and seemed happy! It was BIZARRE. It was like I was talking to a different person?? Maybe bipolar possibly?? I don’t know!

  • #81421

    Fennel
    Participant

    Pce42 sounds like we’re in a similar place I’ve been with my bf for about the same time as you, he was diagnosed with ADD aged 8 but his parents stopped treatment, they really don’t care, it’s all about how it affects them, he’s 2 months into a 10-12 months referral wait for adult ADHD services (Yorkshire, England), he only talked to the dr after I nagged him. The issues you describe with your bf are very very similar.

    We’re both diagnosed with depression & anxiety and I have OCD tendencies my anxiety & ocd around his behaviour etc are as bad as they’ve ever been, I wonder every day if our relationship can work, my bf is almost completely unwilling to try and make any positive changes despite my constant efforts to help him, his family who I don’t like, I’ve really tried with them, have messed him up and only make things worse, his mother now acts like it’s all my fault he’s like this, your bf does sound like he’s trying more than mine but ultimately as has been said only you can make the decision, I wonder about childen too, I’m 36 so tick tick tick, neither of us currently work due to our mental health problems like you the main income is mine and that balance causes problems, we have so much in common and he can be great but if he won’t try anything to improve, he’ll never get better or get a job etc, I feel like I’m putting all my effort into helping him at the detriment to my own health.

    The word the constantly comes to mind is frustrating

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  Fennel.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  ADHDmomma.
  • #81443

    pce42
    Participant

    Oh my goodness, 10-12 month referral wait, that’s ridiculous! : ( Things must be much different in England! It sounds like we are definitely similar on some of these issues. My self diagnosed anxiety and depression has just skyrocketed, and it’s so frustrating (the word that constantly comes to mind for you too!) If your boyfriend is unwilling, I find that to be a serious issue. John has been slowing down more. I say this right now, but on his last day of work yesterday, he locked himself out of his car! He was so frazzled making sure he got everything out of the office for some reason he put his keys in the ignition and locked the door. I had to drive 30 minutes to give him the spare, but he offered to buy dinner, so I looked at it as a win-win. He saved money by me having a spare and not having to call a locksmith, and we both got dinner and didn’t have to cook out of it, ha! I’m sorry to hear about the family issues. THEY ARE THE WORST. I really hate conflict and one of my top enneagram categories has me listed as a harmonizer. Dealing with his brother, his brother’s fiance, and his mother are frustrating aspects of the relationship. I don’t have to see them necessarily, but it’s disappointing the mom has just completely ignored me. She has made comments passively in front of me about not seeing her son very often, etc. I have never once told John he couldn’t go visit, I actually encourage him, so I don’t know what’s going on. I just don’t like to feel like I”m being blamed inadvertently.

    As far as kids, it’s not my place to say what you do or don’t do, but if he’s right now unwilling to try to make any positive changes despite your constant efforts to help him like you described, I’d say definitely hold off for now! Adding kids into the mix will just make things that much more exhausting. In fact, last night I mentioned to John how exhausted so many parents are and having kids IS SO EXPENSIVE. Sure they are an absolute joy, but you also have to sacrifice a lot. I know for a fact I’m not ready for that kind of jump. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to stay in my current role or move to another city and start somewhere new. I’m 28, and everyone around me seems to be engaged, married, or having children. That’s normal of course, but I certainly am not ready for that kind of jump given the issues I’m facing right now. I’ll remind you, like I try to remind myself, when you marry the man, you marry into the family. You can’t escape that. Certainly another reason I’m holding back.

    John and I too have SO much in common which is why it makes things difficult. I’ve dated some guys that were total duds that we didn’t have anything in common, and now knowing him, he’s always down for an adventure. BUT like you said too, your own health is being compromised. I know mine is too. He has the best intentions and is not trying to cause me harm, but mentally, I’m exhausted trying to figure out all the answers, which I don’t have them. I’ve been going through this since about November of 2017 now. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when you care and feel so much.

    Feel free to write back if you’d like, I wish you all the best in your relationship! <3

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  pce42.
  • #81559

    pce42
    Participant

    Just an update. He went to the walk-in clinic yesterday and needs to go back today. Turns out, they told him the people accepting his insurance were busy with other clients. Since they closed an hour later, he was unable to get squeezed in. Again, this is a walk-in clinic. They promised him he’d be seen today since they don’t make people come in more than twice…

    Will follow-up.

  • #81590

    keypher
    Participant

    Hi Pce42, Good for John trying to do the walk-in clinic. Remember on April 6 I wrote this?

    ___Report back in a week, April 12th, pce42, and let us know how you chose to act, as if you were NOT waiting for John for you to feel the way you want to. It can only help both of you.___

    The key here is how “YOU chose to act”, as if you weren’t waiting for John.

    I think if you did this you wouldn’t be frustrated and John may or may not be on the “wayside”

  • #81668

    pce42
    Participant

    Hi Keypher,

    His appointment yesterday resulted in scheduled an actual appointment for May. The walk-in clinic evidently puts priority with those who have more serious concerns, which I totally understand.

    Wow, gosh, that’s a hard question for me to answer about how I chose to act if I wasn’t waiting for John. I’m not quite sure. Honestly, I’m in an analysis paralysis with some things. We talked about kids last night and I explained I was very ambivalent and not ready for that commitment. I asked what his thoughts were and wanted to make sure I wasn’t holding him back. He told me he didn’t think he’d make a good dad because he’s forgetful. I’m not sure why he said that when he was so hell bent on having a kid before. I’m just a bit concerned he’s settling because he doesn’t want to lose me, so whatever I say, he’ll go with. I asked him if that’s really how he felt and he said it was.

    Things are going okay. I’m actually doing my first singing gig soon and when I tried to have a serious conversation about how practice went, he kept chimming in with random jokes about things. I’m starting to notice these things more. I told him I was trying to be serious about the situation because I was nervous and he was like, okay, I gotta be serious, then tried to play it off and ask me more serious questions. I just get easily frustrated with some of the things. I mentioned to him today that it’s now April 13th and he still hasn’t paid me for his half of the mortgage/bills, he said he forgot and would pay me tonight. I told him to be respectful moving forward and pay me on time or at least give me notice when he will pay me since it wouldn’t work this way with a landlord. Plus, I think I’m quite affordable to live with. I handle all of the home bills and he gives me a flat rate, which is cheaper than any other place he’s lived at before…

    Anywhose, please feel free to respond. Thanks!

  • #81852

    hayes
    Participant

    I’m the ADD spouse here – diagnosed 15 yrs ago at 35YO, married 25 yrs this year. We’ve definitely had our struggles around my ADD (inattentive). I struggle with lots of the things listed here. What became debilitating for me was the continual shame I felt at letting down my wife, and the anxiety that compounded it. Even when she we gently pointed out to me ADD-related behaviors (sorry, the oven thing was hilarious to me because I can SOO see myself doing that!), I would shut down from the shame of it – even as I learned to hide it with self-deprecating responses. Your BF may be experiencing some of that; no matter how loving your response, you can’t can’t control the way we respond and internalize things – you shouldn’t have to!

    The other thing – I’ve seen no mention of ongoing therapeutic treatment. For years I thought that medication would ‘solve this ADD thing’. While it helped with some of the distracibility (I take 54mg of Concerta once daily), it could not repair the dysfunctional learned coping skills I’d built up over a lifetime. It took our marriage a,most ending before I really started taking ongoing treatment seriously. I’m just profoundly grateful that my wife loved me enough to stay – even when I gave her reason not to! So if he’s not in treatment along with meds, I really think he should.

    Also, you need to do things to care for yourself. If that means making time to spend with friends alone, exercising, a spa day, whatever; you need to do the things to help you be in this relationship with an ADD partner. This may help you have different energy when you’re together. Believe me, I know we’re hard work! It sounds like you both really love each other – hold on to that! While it may not be the only thing to keep this thing going, it certainly will make the sticking with the hard work have meaning. We want to be good partners – we just need more supports than most. But I think we’re worth it – he may be too if he can get the help he needs. I wish you both the best on wherever this journey takes you…

  • #81867

    pce42
    Participant

    Hi Hayes,

    Thanks for sharing your story with me! We do love each other and I have been patient, but we are also running into dysfunction from his family. It’s wearing me down mentally. I appreciate your perspective because it sounds similar to Johns.

  • #81868

    pce42
    Participant

    I managed to post this before finishing and I couldn’t figure out how to delete, ha!

    Congratulations on celebrating 25 years, wow! I think he shuts down from the shame of it too, and it sounds like its something he’s been used to his entire life. I was in a dreary mood over the weekend, and it wore off on him and he was easily ticked off by anything and everything that could go wrong. Our emotions tend to spill over on one another.
    I think therapeutic treatment would be great, I just really want him to get some help. It’ll help him as a person. The family struggles we are dealing with are uncomfortable and strange. The mom acts like I don’t exist and the brother and his future sister in law go out of their way to be rude. There are some serious issues there. I’m not sure I want to marry into something like that. I already can’t stand being around them with how they’ve been.

    I absolutely agree with taking care of myself. I’ve been trying to do that more. It’s not always easy because my mood has been so shifty lately, but I also was just diagnozed anemic, so that could be why I’m so tired on top of everything else, ha!

    Thanks again and have a lovely week!

  • #81876

    hayes
    Participant

    I, too had things from my family history that needed to be worked out in conjunction with the ADD; they seemed to compound each other (dysfunction, anxiety, bad coping skills, etc.). If he finds the right person to work with, the long-term benefits can be eye-opening. It’s hard work (I can attest to that), but so worth it – both for himself and for you both. Good luck…

  • #83852

    pce42
    Participant

    I’m checking in to let you guys know how things turned out. John did go see a doctor about two weeks ago, and they scheduled him to go back at the end of this month and again in June. I saw a new therapist recently and what she relayed back to me was that it sounded like based on how I was talking, we had several incompatibilities. She mentioned safety, family issues, and the ADD didn’t seem like good matches for me. I explained how for months I’ve felt foggy, depressed, and anxious. That I want to NOT feel this way and I questioned if my past with a “broken” family had anything to do with this. She said I’m extremely self reflective and didn’t see any warning signs that I was afraid of commitment, etc. SO. I broke up with him yesterday. I realized going to see a therapist to try and find answers now for about a 5th time, is a sign in and of itself. He was devastated but told me he understood I haven’t been myself for a long time and he’s been trying. I think he knew it was coming. We both kinda did, we just shoved it under the rug and hoped we could get through it.

    I’ve honestly been pushing my intuition away because I think if this was a healthy match for me for a lifelong partner, I wouldn’t be questioning it EVERY SINGLE DAY for MONTHS on end. I’ve been ruminating for about 6 months now and wanted it to work SO bad, but neglected how I was feeling/what I was turning into. I’ve been stressed, bloated, anxious, sad, and super emotional. We love each other, we are amicable, but, it most certainly sucks when you care about someone so much and just can’t seem to shake off the “I should be happy feelings…” It’s hard for me to take him in certain social settings because his ADD kicks in full blast and he won’t stop talking. I feel his parents have failed him by not getting the treatment he very much has needed in his life. He would have benefited immensely from talk therapy I believe.

    He told me I’ve been the only woman whose cared so much about him. That hurts to hear, and I’ve done nothing but tried to be super patient, understanding, and kind. I’m thankful I could help him in the direction of treatment, he really is a good person, which is why breaking up has been a huge drag and this really sucks. I told him the sooner he moved out, the better, because it would be too tough otherwise. I’m just in a fog right now, but I’m sure it’ll get better with time. He’s been texting me that it doesn’t seem right and that he can’t stop thinking about me. BUT, that’s not going to make either one of us get better.

    Thanks for all of your support here, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.

  • #83931

    hayes
    Participant

    While I’m very sorry that it couldn’t work out for you both, I’m consoled that you are finding yourself in a better place. You need to focus on yourself and your own overall health; that’s not selfish, but healthy.

    It sounds like he has a lot more to deal with than just the ADD. Until he can find a way to begin dealing with the varied layers and how that impacts his life, it doesn’t sound like he can move forward. I know – I was pretty close to that. Remember, he brought all of this into the relationship – it was built up long before you were there. And these struggles were never about you per se, nor were they ever your fault. I wish you the best as you move forward…

  • #83972

    pce42
    Participant

    Hi Hayes,

    Thanks for your note. It’s been an exhausting 24 hours. With him living with me still and looking for a place online. He has been texting/messaging me, and now his cousin, has been sending me messages about how he thinks the two of us are meant to be and how happy John is with me, etc. he said it seems like we have a great thing going and that we should be able to resolve this.

    I can honestly say that my head is so messed up right now. Conflicted, confused, being 100% an empath, I’m so exhausted. I cried all night and am barely functioning at work. Fortunately, my job is not super demanding and I don’t have to deal with a lot of people face-to-face today, so my puffy eyes are going unnoticed.

    He told me his therapist said he’s had 7 life changing events in the last 6 months which involve a few moves, a few jobs, and now a break up and another move. I really wish I could make this work because he’s so loyal and I know we could be comfortable together, BUT, I can’t seem to shake my depression/anxiety and curiosity that there has to be something more. I keep getting upset at myself that I SHOULD be happy with him and WHY can’t I give myself 100% to him. It’s hard but I think I’m just seriously drained. This is not an easy breakup. I’ve never been in this kind of situation before. Sucks being an empath for sure!

  • #84154

    pce42
    Participant

    ADHD folks – I’m reaching out to seek your advice. After breaking up with John I’m running into some serious emotional issues with him. Right after the break-up he acted like nothing was different and continued to comment and like on both my FaceBook and Instagram. He was actually messaging me quite a bit. I ended up removing him from FaceBook and Instagram do to this. I explained to him I thought it would be healthier to do so and he got very upset and feared this was the beginning of the end of a friendship with me. I told him I just needed space and it wasn’t healthy for ME to see what he’s up to or for HIM to see what I’m up to.

    He went home for the weekend for mothers day, when he got back, he wanted to talk. I told him I didn’t want to get upset right before bed but I’d talk to him. TWO hours later…I was consoling him as he broke down completely sobbing about how he’s confused what went wrong and that he thinks we are soulmates. He made several other comments like I’ll be a hard one to top, he feels broken and weak, he isn’t going to be mentally okay after this, and he doesn’t know what direction to take in life.

    I on the other hand, was able to contain MOST of my tears because I knew if I fell apart like he was it would make everything that much worse. I was very level headed and told him he had a lot to look forward to and that it just didn’t work out. He wanted to know if there was hope of getting back together in the future. The more time I have away from him the more I realize there is not, so I told him we are broke up for a reason.

    He also mentioned a lot of stressors when he was back home this weekend with family so I think that’s part of it too. I ended up deactivating my FaceBook account since I removed around 30 mutual connections we had. It’s more difficult for me to have people on my social media who I don’t interact with who are connected to him. I don’t want to know through the what he’s doing, etc. it doesn’t mean I don’t like those people, it means we didn’t have that good enough of a relationship for me to be like well, I think I’ll really miss them on my feed. I told him to never settle and not to ever be with anyone who put him down (he told me I’m the only person hes ever been with whose been as loving, caring, and kind to him and who hasn’t called him names or put him down…)

    SO. He apologized for burdening me, and after two hours of this I said I needed to get some rest and he did too. I’ve been really trying to be there for him and console him and even told him maybe that’s not a good idea, he insists my presence is helpful for him. He’s definitely making it much harder for both of us. I just worry about him. He is planning on being out of the house within the next 3 weeks. I messaged him this weekend telling him if he couldn’t handle staying in the house, he should move out this week. He’s acting like we aren’t split up. He also called me babe last night.

    My question for you is (those with ADHD/ADD OR those who’ve been with someone with ADHD/ADD)…is this typical emotional behavior? I mean, he’s not handling this well at all, which I don’t expect him to. I on the other hand have been circling for 6 months so it’s not as devastating to me at the moment. I explained his ADD heightened my anxiety and that was another reason I wanted to break-up. He said he’s really trying and that he’s been going to therapy. (which he has…) but, at this point, I feel like I’m exhausted 24/7. I’ve been getting abdominal pain, sleep has been dull, I’m just trying to get through the days lately and am constantly consumed with this relationship right now.

    Thoughts/suggestions? Thanks all!

  • #84285

    pce42
    Participant

    Anybody?

  • #85091

    C1957
    Participant

    Dear PCE42

    Hold to your decision to end your relationship.

    You will have exponentially more heartache if you remain in any sort of close relationship to that man.

    I am married 25 years to a man with ADHD. I have experience 99% of all you’ve described.

    You will become his mother, his psychiatrist and his care-taker. You will become more depressed than you can imagine now. You’ll develop sicknesses in yourself…physical and mental.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt..and I realize that you’ve already made your decision…I think you’re just looking for someone to reinforce you and to chat.

    Please ask me anything…I hope I can help.

    • #85122

      pce42
      Participant

      Thank you SO much for your response! I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to revisit this post, ha! Wow, 25 years is a long time and I appreciate you being blunt. I think learning others stories of being in a relationship with someone with ADHD/ADD who can relate to the things I’m describing can really help me feel like the decision I’m making is the correct one. John still lives with me and when we broke up at the beginning of May I told him he had until June 1st. That’s this Friday, and he still has not found an apartment or started packing. I can honestly say this has been the most emotionally exhausting last month of my life. I didn’t get to bed until about 3 AM last night because we talked. Literally, every night involves talking about the relationship between us two and the emotions and our connection we share make it that much harder to end the relationship. We have not gotten back together but I am a wreck. I’m now circling back with whether or not I should get back with him. He’s asked me if there is a way we can work things out. I explained his family won’t change and although he’s going to see a therapist, I don’t think I can handle the ADD for life because it spikes my anxiety.

      My biggest concern is how much I miss him and how we truly do connect well, but, my health is suffering. I feel lost and foggy and depressed and right now, it’s because we still live together and spend time together and there isn’t any space. I told him it’s important for us to have space and that’s the only viable solution I have right now. He panics about this and says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life, I’ve set an extremely high bar because nobody’s ever cared for him like I have, etc. I can honestly say that I do love John, but, I’m concerned at having him as a life partner due to the severity of his ADD. He does not want to be medicated for it either, which is his choice.

      Can you tell me if when you married your husband his ADHD symptoms were prominent or if they got worse over time or just a little bit more about what you’ve experienced in your relationship? John is 30, I am 28.

      Thank you for responding!

  • #85134

    C1957
    Participant

    Hi PCE42:

    I was happy to hear from you.

    I think your posts sound so much like me 25 years ago, that I just HAD to respond.

    Tim and I had such fun in the beginning. Walks on the beach…cafes in the city…little projects…exploring and more.

    There were the exact “red flags” and doubts that you describe though. I ignored them and kept trying to “improve” myself. I changed my communication style to a way that I hoped and prayed would get us in sync…some worked for a little while…but ADHD dominated

    You’re going to miss his company dearly. But the dysfunction of being in a marriage with your friend, let alone having a child with him will cost you more pain mentally than the initial separation.

    I thank God Tim and I didn’t have children. ( I miscarried twice )
    I have remained in this marriage after weighing out any alternative. Logistically and financially it has been easier to stay.

    We exist together. He is a mechanical genius and has many projects and interests. I leave him to them. I find my joys in other ways. Vacations are pretty much a nightmare. He overspends and never sits still. We don’t have close friends because no one can follow his “back and forth..up and down” conversations. He is irritable, sulky, confrontational and almost never says please or thank you. He dwells in a bubble…I am gathering that many of these adults diagnosed with ADHD dwell in a self-absorbed bubble.

    I can’t imagine what June 1st is going to look like for you.

    Please reach out to me if you want to chat or ask any more questions. I was HORRIBLY disillusioned when I read posts like the ones on this site. I couldn’t believe what I’d gotten myself into and I had periods of complete denial…insisting that reading about ADHD or talking it out would lead us to a loving solution.

    It has helped to at least express how I’ve been affected. I hope I can do a bit of that for you.

    • #85137

      pce42
      Participant

      Wow, I feel like I have been more concerned about improving myself since I’ve fell into an anxious depression. It’s bizarre because he’s not a toxic person and we communicate so well when it’s just us two. It’s so strange! It almost makes me feel like I’m crazy for considering getting back together with him because we do have fun on our adventures. The spontaneous side of him is such a blast! We love exploring new places and I’ve never had that with a partner before.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriages and that you exist together. The difference between John and Tim is that John budgets and is SUPER cheap when it comes to going out. He’s a poor tipper and I’ve been incredibly embarrassed by it. I personally tip 20% since I come from a family of servers and he’s told me I over tip even if the service wasn’t excellent. He is the bare minimum. Which, I suppose it’s good to be frugal since my ex was an over spender. HOWEVER. The back an forth and up and down is exactly what I’ve been living with for a year now. I feel isolated and embarrassed to go out because he steers people away or they just check-out. My love for him continues to be incredibly strong, and I’ve never felt a love like this, but I also can’t live an isolated life of questioning whether or not I can bring my significant other to certain social things. : ( He told me he thinks therapy will help him. I’m not so sure it will. : (

      The sulkiness is another issue I’ve noticed in John. He will get VERY down, and I know that’s from a lifetime of not meeting other people’s expectations. I’m talking putting himself down and not feeling like where he should be in life. Granted, I’ve been feeling that way too with not feeling like I’m where I want to be, but he gets incredibly self-loathing and then gets upset that he can’t “fix me” and make me happy. The not saying please and thank you is something I’ve noticed in John too! I’ve had to chime in when a sever refills his water and say THANK YOU! It’s so awkward because I’m an extremely polite person, so I’m very gracious when it comes to simple acts. I’d love to chat more with you even if it’s through this means or if you’d like to email. I’m not sure if there is a personal message option in this site.

      I’ve exhausted myself learning about ADD/ADHD.

  • #85146

    zkak13
    Participant

    Hi!

    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!

  • #85515

    pce42
    Participant

    Zkak – Thank you so much for your response! My apologies for not responding sooner, typically, I get an email notice that someone has responded, but oddly, it didn’t come through or must have been re-routed. It sounds like you’re similar to me. I love companionship and it’s hard for me to give it up with someone I have a very strong connection with. Sadly, I don’t have the ability to reach out to his immediate family because they haven’t been very warm towards me and have a lot of issues going on there. His twin is getting married to one of the most toxic, manipulative, dysfunctional women I’ve ever met. Which, spills onto the family and is one reason I’m bailing. I’ve tried connecting with his mother, but she doesn’t reciprocate it, so I would feel uncomfortable reaching out now about the ADD…plus, it’s not really my place anymore. The crying and frustration you mention is what I have been going through for MONTHS.

    I know this can’t be healthy. I’m not my best self. I still love this man even though he just moved out. I fell in love with him and our adventures and all the good that he does. Simple things like making the bed every day because he knows I loved it, etc. BUT <—— I always put emphasis on that…I can’t love this disorder because it has turned me into a depressed, anxious, mess. I have to worry about taking him out in public (sounds ridiculous) because he goes on tangents about things nobody can follow. We were together a little over a year and ever since November/December I started to feel like I was having doubts, second-guessing, getting scared, and concerned with a lifetime of this disorder. I didn’t realize ADD/ADHD was a legit thing until I met him. It’s really just tore us apart. AND…HE CANT HELP IT. : ( I mean, he could, if he would try some meds, but he’s very anti-meds.

    John ended up moving out this weekend and we both sobbed for hours. It was so painful and I ended up having to turn away and leave the house because all we were doing was bawling and holding each other. You mentioned demons and holy shit, all I can say is that the demon is definitely ADHD in this case. He cancelled his appointment to learn about medication options and that concerned me. I want him to at least try all of his options, but I can’t tell him what to do or force it upon him. I’m having a hard time today functioning, as expected, and I do really miss him. We both had a seriously insane connection, and we still do, but, the ADHD was consuming me, making my anxiety flare-up like no other, and now I don’t have to deal with his dysfunctional family. I am however scared to ever consider dating again, because the passion we had even POST break-up was insane. We’ve always had a solid connection. My therapist said it best, “it sounds like you and he do just fine when it’s the two of you, but when others are involved, that’s when there are issues…” totally accurate.

    Whether we end up back together will depend if he gets treatment and if we give each other the space we both immensely need. We still love each other and I know I’m still hooked on him. He texted me last night telling me how much he missed me. I ended up getting very little sleep from the stress of this all. I find that the only way I am able to cope is if I’m constantly doing something. Otherwise, I find myself googling articles to try and figure out why I feel the way I do. I have ZERO interest in dating any other man honestly. If John and I don’t get back together, I will be remaining single for quite some time to heal.

    Thanks again so much for responding to me. It makes me not feel so alone.

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