How do I approach him about his possible ADHD? Should I stay with him?

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    • #101187


      This is painful to flesh out but I am relieved to find a place that might be able to help this situation.
      I have been dating this man who is 30 years old for just over a year. When we first started dating I immediately noticed his inability to focus on one thing for very long but also his incredible attention to so many different factors in a room at once. He is highly intellectual and fascinating to talk to. I adore his personality. He is known among his friends for being “different”, outgoing, talkative, but also very dangerous and driven to do activities that are adrenaline oriented.
      I found out over the months that he has been this way his entire life and that he doesn’t often respect boundaries or think that they apply to him.
      He was also SO amazing at first. He was all about me and I thought I had finally found a guy who was serious the way I was. However, I also quickly noticed how little things seemed to cause a lot more aggravation and sometimes full on anger in him. He had a hard time shaking a mood once he was aggravated. Eventually I became to blame for all things negative in the relationship… He turned out to have what feels like only 2 emotions, very happy or very angry. He makes lots of promises that he doesn’t keep and I found out recently that he also has a lust and pornography problem and I am his first serious relationship at 30 years old…
      I was startled and hurt by the lust and porn issue but willing to work with him if he was willing to be honest with me about how he feels about it, what he wants in the relationship, and promised not to lie to me about it. That has been a failed effort as he has continued to lie to me about it even after I have explained to him I don’t expect or want perfection I just want honesty in imperfection because I too should have a fair say in what sort of relationship I want to be in. For me that does not involve porn. If he wants that I asked him to be honest with me and decide if he wants to move away from that or not and if not I love him and want to be with him but don’t want a relationship with that factor in play and it isn’t that he isn’t wonderful.

      I have failed many times to understand him, to listen accurately to him, to feel at all on the same page.
      Lately he has been in these on and off moods where he will tell me one day that he wants me to be his last girlfriend and he loves me…the next he will tell me he doesn’t know what he wants. He is failing to maintain regular tasks and even long term goals that he has worked for on and off for years.
      He forgets conversations we have had and even dates we have been on…
      He is aggressive, unkind, interrupting, cold, and sometimes just degrading when he gets angry or feels threatened and then tells me that I deserve for him to be unkind to me for __________________(insert reasons here)__________________ or that his behavior and reactions are my fault.

      The last few weeks he has seemed distant, foggy, unsure of himself and me, and unmotivated. At this point I just want him to be happy and healthy whether it involves me or not, although it would be really cool to be with him. I love this man dearly but he is causing so much havoc in my own life. I have sought out counseling to deal with the psychological stress he has put on me and how everything I thought to be average or not a big deal in reality is a huge deal in his.

      After doing so much research on adult ADHD and realizing he checks almost every single box I believe he needs to see a professional to possibly enhance his life quality.

      HOW do you suggest I go about possibly talking with him about this? I don’t want him to feel attacked or threatened. I don’t want him to feel like I am saying that something is wrong with him-even if he has ADHD there is nothing wrong with him of course and I need him to get that… I just can’t make sense of him and his life is showing how it seems he can’t either at times. I love him so much. I don’t want to hurt him but I think he needs help…

      Likewise do you think I should stay with him if he does get help? Is it worth it?

    • #101219
      Penny Williams

      Of course, no one can decide if you should stay in the relationship except you. You have to weigh the positives and negatives and decide if the good is worth the stress and strain.

      It sounds like this article will be relatable:

      How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

      If he is extra sensitive to perceived criticism, suggesting he has ADHD probably won’t go over well.

      Maybe talk to your therapist about how to approach this.

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

    • #101456
      Big L

      Wow, Penny is right, he probably has RSD, I do and it is a tough issue to deal with, without meds and counseling. He knows there is something different about him vs. everyone else. Without someone giving him some direction, he will not find out for a long time what it is. One idea would be to take the symptoms test together, just, happen to be on this site one of these times when you’re with him, then tell him, something like, Oh, there is a test here for ADHD, I think we should see how we score. or something to that effect. It might work, you never know. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 56, oh how I wish it would have been sooner. My life decisions would have been very different in a good way. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way though, if he can’t get control of himself and won’t get the help he needs you shouldn’t stay in that type of a relationship. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

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