Finding Best Ways of Confront my ADHD Girlfriend

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    • #190182

      We have been dating for almost 6 months now and it has been a wonderful time! From the beginning, she told me about her ADHD and that for medication for uses Marijuana instead of Adderall. Her decision for this was the Adderall made her feel like a complete different person. I have noticed over the course of the time together, she tends to be a bit messy. There are times that trash is left out, empty bottles, dishes are sitting around her room. From what she says, it only accumulates when she is off work for a period of time (more than one day at a time). I have noticed that the trash stays for longer, up to almost a week until something is done or someone tells her to clean it (mainly her mother). When she visits my home on weekends, there is a small growth of trash where she goes, Marijuana left on the dining table, cans left out with only one sip out of them. Over this time I have taken to read up and learn more about how to confront or approach her due to me also having OCD with cleaning. I have let go and let it sit for atleast a day until doing something about it, or I bring it up to her.

      At times though, I tend to feel as though she doesn’t acknowledge or recall the discussions on being lenient on the mess. I was asked to not let it bother as much as she works on being cleaner, but it seems every week the mess is the exact same if not worse. She talks about wanting to be a homebody and work online as an artist, but there hasn’t been much growth on that career path and she also is cutting hours at work as it is becoming overbearing to be in public for too long.

      I worry about income a little too much I can admit to this, but I also fear that there won’t be a steady amount for both of us once we live together. I fear also that her Marijuana will not last or is working to the extent it needs to be. It stops her shaking, but she goes through almost 1/2 her paycheck in a couple days buying it right now. So , with the many topics I am curious on a few questions.

      How can I approach her about the mess in a way that doesn’t offend her or make her feel like she is nasty to live with? (this was an issue with a past relationship)

      We’ve talked about making her Marijuana usage last longer but her money can’t keep up. What are possible ways to talk about the amount she is consuming without coming off like it is a possible addiction to the feeling or a crutch for her ADHD? (Marijuana from what I have seen only stops her body from shaking)

      When we are living together, How can I take my OCD walls down while also trying to make a team effort in possibly cleaning up more often? (not demeaning her messiness but rather do it together)

      Thanks for the help!!

    • #190313
      ADD Mum

      Hi there, so I’m ADD stay at home mum of three 10yr, 7yr ADHD son and 4 yr.
      My concern here is the Marijuana, I will tell you straight out I hate drugs my brother did it for 15 yrs mainly Marijuana and it was horriable and it really mess’s with the mind and can be even worse for the ADHD brain. There are other treatments available other then Addrell. My brother was once very bright and talented, now he can not have more then a basic job he works in warehouses etc. Ok I’ll leave that with you.

      Being messy is so ADHD, truth is she probably doesn’t really see the mess, no she is not really ignoring it but really doesn’t see it. Routine is the best thing out for ADHD, and it appears that we work best with music playing to, we are very emotional so we next positive up best tunes going. I’ve been married 15yrs and this is I believe the best way to deal with problems, sit down with her when it’s quiet, no TV, no music, No place to be and be honest and speaking loveingly and tell her you know she is not trying to be messy but you find it hard to live with mess and that is stress’s you out, and as you both move into the future you would to think of ways together to try and keep things tidier. Tell her this is not an attack but something you want to think about now so it won’t be a problem later in your relationship. Have a think together, now don’t rush this next bit, slowly suggest routine chores which you can print up (Visuale can be key here, promante place and colours and fonts and pics) for both of you to do. Encourage the routine and make sure she has her say about how it is put together (When I first started driving I lost my keys SO many times, so I got a key bowl and taught myself the routine of putting my keys in the bowl it took about 3 months to master this. I never lose now).

      Be aware to that the messiness can become overwhelming for her, when this happens most girls tend to shut down for me when this happens I watch a lot of TV. Sometimes the best thing to do it just get out of the house for a few hours, then she will come back more clear minded.
      Have a read up on Cognitive Re Training, it works great with the ADHD brain.

      I hope this helps you.

    • #190349

      To be honest the most worrisome for me is the marijuana use. ADHD brains are highly prone to developing addictions and addicted brains are great at making up a lot of excuses, rather than dealing with what’s in front of them.

      Anyways: avoiding messes in ADHD households can also be done by switching up the current routines and systems. Make sure you, as a couple, give everything in the house a place. Communicate. Sit down together and write down both your decisions. She has to be in on the system. Make it logical for the ADHD mind.

      A few tricks that work for me:

      1) If anything takes more than a few steps to grab and store away while in a hurry, you can be certain it won’t be cleaned up. So Marie Kondo’s folding methods won’t do (except for if she thinks rolling socks is fun).

      2) Make things sensible and “fun”. I categorized all my books by colour (it’ll look out of place if one’s gone) and hung up my clothes on racks rather than in drawers or shelves. I’m a visual person, so all my stuff used to end up on the floor because I couldn’t find it otherwise.

      2) Help her turn extensive chores into subtle in-between habits (cooking: immediately clean the cutting board while your cut veggies are boiling) so nothing becomes too overwhelming and piles up. By the end of dinner, you’ll only have to wash your plate and cutlery.

      3) Small steps, challenges, rewards and reminders help. Print out a weekly cleaning schedule (or a tally stripe contest). If she’s lagging behind you, then you can point her to the agreement that you have BOTH set up. Set up standard cleaning days that end in date nights. Be creative.

      4) Simply own less. The less junk you own, the less you can make into a mess. I only actively use two plates (the rest is somewhere on top of a high shelf for fancy dinners) so when those are dirty, I will have to clean them before I can eat.

      5) Give everything a clear and logical place, so that even the muddy mind will do it blindly. The Japanese call this “poka-yoke”, foolproof manufacturing.

      6) Remember: you are her partner. Support her, but don’t become her guidance-dog or housemaid. She’s a grown-up and part of your relationship, and her own life too. If she wants to become an online artist, she will have to be willing to become a responsible person – no excuses.

      Structure and simplicity is key and saviour for the ADHD’ers out here.

      Lots of love.

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by McvW.
    • #190360

      McvW has some good tips to follow. Don’t forget the love and support that you give.

    • #190398

      I also agree with McvW, it would be hard for sure. But make sure to give her constant love and support.

    • #190402

      I would just echo the excellent advice over using ADHD friendly systems to help with being tidy.

      But also point out the elephant in the room, spending half your salary on weed. I used it for a while and spent no more than £10 a week until I got ADHD meds. Your GF sounds like she’s spending 30 X that give or take. That’s addiction, 10% of us get addicted to it. It will effect cognition; problem solving (lose IQ points), short term memory, motivation. It may also cause anxiety and paranoia, especially at the levels you suggest, that’s heavy use way above therapeutic level. Also it’s more damaging to the lungs than tobacco (you in-hail more deeply). An addict will be all or nothing, forget about reducing it. I’d encourage her towards her Dr, they have medical cannabis, maybe that’s the lure. Best of luck.

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Kerplunk.
      • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Kerplunk.
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