First Experience with an ADHD Sufferer

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    • #39855
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user BB89 in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      Hi Guys,

      Sorry for the very long question.

      I have recently met a guy with ADHD and bad anxiety.
      Really sweet guy who loves kids and animals. Also a very gentle soul.

      After seeing him a few times I kind of fell in love with him.
      He also seemed to like me but I picked up that he was a bit slow with recognizing feelings.

      Eventually we went on a date and things went well. He spoke to me everyday and it started to look like we might go into a relationship soon.

      After two weeks he started talking to me less. I started worrying because I felt that I did something wrong. For about a week I didn’t tell him that I am feeling neglected, but after that I mentioned to him that it feels like he is ignoring me and I asked him if I did something wrong.

      He told me that I didn’t do anything wrong. He was just stressed about the new job he started. It made sense to me so I just supported him through it. Encouraging him when he needed motivation.

      Unfortunately he never really supported me at the time and the lack of attention made me feel depressed. I started mentioning it to him more and then he will give me attention for one or two days only to go back to rarely speaking to me.

      One night I ended up fighting with him after seeing him online the whole day but not speaking to me. After that he blocked sending me in a flat spin.

      Next morning he unblocked me but he didn’t speak to me for a week. He contacted me again telling me that he can’t handle conflict and that is why he reacted that way. I thought things will get better but now when he speaks to me it sounds forced. Like a different person.

      Is this behavior normal for someone with ADHD or is he just using it as an excuse to get me to leave him alone?

    • #41067
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This reply was originally posted by user GHM in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      It’s normal unfortunately. You can’t blame all of that on his ADHD either though. For some, it becomes a convenient excuse to act like an ass and plead ignorance. It also seems that he isn’t managing it well. I know that you have feelings for him. If you are a sensitive person, and you seem to be, you will be experiencing the same feelings for the duration of your relationship. Feeling as though it’s you and not him, feeling unwanted, unloved and neglected. A relationship with an ADHDer is not for everyone. You need to be thick- skinned, confident and strong as hell, and even then it’s difficult.

      You can’t change him, you can’t fix him and he can only help himself by managing his ADHD appropriately. One pill is not a fix. Meds, therapy, diet, exercise, supplements all play a significant role in managing this condition.

      If you’re already feeling like this, you’re in for difficult times. The symptoms often get worse as they get more comfortable in the relationship and life’s responsibilities and stress increase. Throw in marriage and children…whoa! Is this something that you are prepared to deal with? Only you know what you are capable of handling. Be honest with yourself, it’s not a time to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Sorry to be so honest, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.

    • #41092
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This reply was originally posted by user GaryS in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I’m a newly diagnosed ADHD sufferer and yes I agree with a lot of what has been said. I am extremely hard work to live with and sometimes I just want to be left alone and I’m sure on occasions I haven’t been supportive enough. BUT I’m very loving! Ask my kids and grandkids that. I’d do anything for anyone. Yes, I can be moody but I bet so can anyone. My administration and paying bills is totally useless and left alone got into serious debt once. I forget things quite regularly which annoys people but it annoys me to. I lose focus, which I wish I didn’t. I know now I wasn’t the best husband in the world but at the time I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. To me, it was never my fault, always someone else’s. I sometimes get stressed and agitated when conversations get serious and I don’t want to talk about it. I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could add but as I say I forget things. I also run a business and employ people to work with me.

      This sounds really bad, doesn’t it? And if you don’t think you can handle that, which as the others have said, it’s only a new relationship! Go and look for someone else.

      I bet you’re wondering why I’m saying this this, well I’d like to tell you from an ADHDer’s perspective. I knew from an early age I was different, I was treated like a thicko at school, always sent from the class or put on detention. I’ve never read a book in my life because I can’t concentrate long enough. I can’t even read the paper properly because I always jump to the bottom and miss loads. I could never sit still for 5 mins. The teacher would tell us to do something but most of the time I couldn’t focus enough to hear what they had said.

      I had kids early. When they started school my wife said to me that she thought one of them had ADHD. What the hell is that, I thought, but as I learnt more about I saw things about myself but again, nah can’t be me.

      I was very active then but not now. It started affecting my relationship and my wife sent me a not so nice email saying I was something or another (I can’t remember what) but when I read it there were things that really hit home about what I was like, so knew I had to get help, that’s when I was diagnosed with ADHD.

      What did I do about it?
      I’ve started taking medication which has helped me focus more. It’s not a cure but it helps. I have read this site and taken a lot of advice from people’s experience. I write down what I need to do the next day. I have downloaded an app called Wunderlist. It helps because the jobs stay on there until you’ve done them. My family know what I’m rubbish at so don’t let me do it e.g. Paying bills, the things I’m bad at. At work my staff know I suffer from ADHD I don’t hide it. They are amazing. They do all my paperwork, write my cheques and get me to sign them. This advice I got from an ADHD coach. As I’ve said it’s not a cure and I still have bad times but these things have helped and it only helps if your partner admits he has a problem and Wants to get help.

      I can see that you love him or you wouldn’t be on this forum.

      Oh, one last thing. If you married and had kids they may also have ADHD, could you cope with that? Because it gets a lot harder.
      If you decide you could, then it’s all about team work, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

      I wish you all the best and good luck!

    • #41098
      Hope @ ADDitude

      This reply was originally posted by user Doty in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I am saying this with all the love I can…. You aren’t even officially a couple, pay attention to how you feel. How does it feel? Do you feel cared for? Supported? Part of a team? Once you add marriage, children, careers, a mortgage, car payments, bills, sick kids, family deaths…..those feelings become so much worse because in a marriage one is supposed to be part of a team. Yet, the Non-ADD spouse truly faces life alone. If I could do it all again, I would run for my life in the other direction. Best of luck to you.

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