Guilt over failed relationship

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Penny Williams 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #177111


    8-9 months ago, my ex was diagnosed with ADHD a month or two before she left me. I was diagnosed with ADHD a month or two after that and have only recently accepted my diagnosis and start learning about it. We had been dating for 5 years, and had planned to get married, but that’s all gone now.

    The hindsight has been killing me inside. All of our repeat arguments were surrounded on the symptoms of our ADHD and the maladaptive coping that can come with it. I have been more or less self medicating in some way or another since I was a teenager. She was upset by my drinking and how I was frequently forgetting my commitments about house duties. Our argumentation was predictable to say the least. We would each hyperfocus on the other’s symptoms pretty much every time. I can recall her being upset at me fidgeting, or me being upset at her forgetting things

    Her symptoms improved somewhat in her months of treatment, but mine did not. I had kicked the alcohol only to replace it with THC. Her symptoms improved enough to realize that I was still going nowhere fast, and that I had been for my entire life. So she decided to end things. Now that I know what we were both dealing with every single day, I am feeling completely crushed by the guilt of not fully recognizing our ADHD or understanding it before time ran its course, and the relationship dissolved. We were a time bomb, and I could have stopped it only if I knew sooner. I’m really beating myself up over this. How do I let this guilt and pain go, or is this something I just have to live with?

  • #177467

    Aaron Lewis

    One thing you have to do is understand you cannot change the past. That’s one thing that has really helped me get over some of the poor decisions I have made. Learn from the decisions you made. That’s the only thing I can tell you. Stop beating yourself up over the decisions you made and move on.

    • #177480


      Yeah, I’m figuring all that out. It’s just the cruel timing of the diagnoses and break-up that get to me. I think I’ll always have that “what if?” bug nagging me. I definitely am ready to move on from my past though. I’ve been feeling a lot better than I was even in the relationship, so it’s really not that bad.

  • #177565

    Penny Williams

    Here are a couple articles that can help you work with the guilt and shame.

    ADHD and the Epidemic of Shame

    Life Is Too Short for Shame

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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