February 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm #39860Penny WilliamsKeymaster
This discussion was originally started by user Mal_06 in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.
First off, I want to say that I don’t mean to offend anyone here, I am simply trying to figure out what is best for my wellbeing.
I was in the early stages of a relationship with a partner who has ADHD, but recently ended it. I am looking for advice based on your life’s experiences on whether to give it another chance or move on.
I started dating a man who has been diagnosed with ADHD and is in treatment with both medication and counseling. He was very honest about his ADHD and actually mentioned it to me very casually during the first month we started dating. He said he was diagnosed since he was a kid and has been on medication ever since. He said his meds keep him concentrated and focused. He joked to me that if he doesn’t take his meds, he has trouble starting and finishing tasks like laundry, misplaces things, etc. Not knowing much about ADHD, I didn’t think anything of it or how it could affect our relationship.
He is an extremely intelligent man, a hard-working and successful doctor, charming, interesting, and the list goes on. He was very attentive and really pursued me in the beginning even though we lived in two different cities a couple of hours apart. Like me, he wanted to be in a serious relationship. We had so much in common and so much chemistry that we decided to give the relationship a try. After a month and half of some really amazing times together, he asked to make it official and we became a couple.
During the initial 2 months of dating, I did start to notice some things I didn’t like such as taking over or interrupting while having conversations, not helping with cleaning dishes, leaving the water running or light on, zoning out while I was talking about a topic interesting to me, but all those weren’t really deal breakers for me.
Then, in the 3rd month, the angry outbursts, hurtful comments, and emotional episodes began. He would get angry about the smallest things, but the way he reacted when angry was what troubled me. He’d yell at me, say really hurtful things, and blame me for his frustrations. Then an hour or two later he’d be his normal self, acting like if nothing had happened while I was left hurt and confused. He was also extremely emotional and would easily feel attacked or offended.
After the first couple of outbursts, which happened back-to-back during one weekend, I talked to him and explained that I didn’t like how he reacted when he got angry. He apologized and said he would get better. But he didn’t get better. The next time it happened was the following weekend. We were out with friends and he took a comment that a friend of mine said (with no bad intentions) very personal. When we went back to his place, he was both emotional and angry. He began by crying and blaming me for putting him in that situation and making him feel that way. Then it continued into a full out explosion of anger aimed at me and said really hurtful and insensitive things. I couldn’t even get a word in to try and calm him down. It was after that episode that I ended the relationship. Having been in an emotionally abusive relationship before, I perceived these all to be red flags indicating yet another abusive partner.
After I ended the relationship and left, he reached out to me. He acknowledged his anger outbursts and agreed that he shouldn’t be treating me like his punching bag. He promised to be better and said he wants us to be happy. For a while I didn’t even consider giving him another chance because I believed he was actually just a bad, manipulative, and controlling man. Somehow, after reading a lot of articles online and self-help books trying to understand his behavior and what had happened, I came across one talking about ADHD and anger management. Suddenly it all made sense. And now that I know that his behavior has to do with his ADHD, I feel more sympathetic and am considering giving it another chance. However, I am afraid that the problems that we have encountered so far are just the tip of the iceberg. I keep reading about how a relationship where AHDH is present will probably be more difficult when it comes to marriage, running a household, and raising a family than in one where ADHD is not present.
I really care for this man, but I’m afraid choosing him will mean choosing a more difficult life.
So what I would like to know is if you could go back in time and do everything all over again, would you do it? What is the toughest part of marrying someone with ADHD? What qualities do I need to help make this a successful and happy relationship?
Again, I’m sorry if this is insensitive to those with ADHD, but I think it takes a special person to be able to be in a relationship with someone who has ADHD. And I just want to know now what to expect to decide whether this is something that I’m capable of and therefore prevent any heartache and misery for us both down the road.
April 12, 2017 at 3:23 pm #41042
This reply was originally posted by user boilingfrog in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I’m married 25 years to an ADHD woman. I would not do it again. Basically you will be dealing with this everyday for the rest of your life. The only people that go into these situations are exactly like you – kind, compassionate, patient, always thinking about others. The person you are talking about living with will not treat you that way even if they wish they could. Just because you can both work on it doesn’t take any of the sting of daily bad behavior.
About having kids. It’s not just about whether your kids will or will not have it, but parenting with an ADHD is hell. All those moments you think you can absorb because you are who you are will be inflicted on your kids, and it will get worse as they get older. Before you commit to this you should really explore other relationships and at the very least, live with the guy for a year before you put a ring on your finger.
April 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm #41043
This reply was originally posted by user ADHDmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
Yes, 20 years married, and I’d do it again. My husband has not been diagnosed with ADHD, but our son has and all of my husband’s “quirks” made complete sense once I learned more about ADHD.
Mind you, I’ve been obsessed with learning about ADHD for 8+ years. I have far more knowledge and understanding of ADHD than almost anyone who doesn’t have it. But, I’ve poured probably thousands of hours into it.
Do things my husband does that are probably due to ADHD still frustrating? Absolutely! But, I know the pain isn’t intentional. And, the more he learned about our son, the more aware he was of his own actions and the more self-regulation he has been able to impose.
I’m not saying you should give your guy a 2nd chance necessarily, only you can decide that. Do read about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria though, it explains a lot about the extreme emotional reactions: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10121.html. It explained so much about my husband.
Remember too, many of the people who say they wouldn’t do it again have spouses who refuse to accept their ADHD or refuse to treat it. That makes things a lot worse.
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 12, 2017 at 3:27 pm #41045
This reply was originally posted by user LadyDi69 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
Not an easy decision to make. My spouse has similar behaviors and it’s almost unbearable at times. This is my 2nd marriage and more often than not I think about ending things as it just never gets better. We went to counseling wherein he said he was fine and normal and it was me and my kids that were the problem. After 6.5 years together things haven’t improved and are exponentially worse for my kids as they’ve reached their teens. Everything they do or say is wrong or makes him mad. His mood swings and outbursts affect everyone around him including his estranged siblings and my brother. I don’t take him with to visit my brother so that the visit is enjoyable and stress free.
Honestly its been a string of broken promises of “I’ll do better, I won’t do it anymore” etc. Is it all bad? No but the bad times seem to be more than the good and unless you see him truly trying and making efforts to change your life with him will be difficult and less than happy. There’s no guarantee of happiness with anyone but in your case you have a pretty good idea how things will go. And its much easier to end a relationship than a marriage. If I could choose over I would have said no. Not just for myself but my kids.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Hope @ ADDitude.
April 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm #41054
This reply was originally posted by user ADDedValue62 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
The behaviors you describe might not all be attributable to ADHD.
My wife of 28 years would unhesitatingly say that she would NOT knowingly marry a man with ADHD—and certainly wouldn’t marry me again. Between me and my son she’s had more than enough ADHD induced heartache.
Now, in the interests of full disclosure I wouldn’t marry her again either, and she’s kind of anti-male in general (thanks philandering FIL!). Still it’s my ADHD related behaviors and their consequences that have really wrecked the marriage for her.
So if you were my daughter I’d say this. It was only 3+ months and you’ve already bailed. In all probability he’s not going to change. Do you need this guy’s problems? Maybe you should go with your instincts on this one.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Hope @ ADDitude.
April 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm #46929ADHDWifeParticipant
This is tough question for me because right now, my husband’s ADHD has been creating a lot of problems for us. My husband wasn’t forthcoming about his ADHD, preferring to let me figure it out after we were married, even though he was diagnosed and treated throughout his childhood. Fortunately, my husband does not have angry outbursts directed at me, but sometimes, he gives me a surly teenager attitude. I’ve worked hard to try to understand ADHD, but he has been less eager to discuss how his ADHD has impacted me. I’ve suggested that he go to see someone, that he resume his medication (if he think it will help to address some of the issues that have become problematic for us – namely forgetfulness, lack of follow-through, and mood swings that lead to near mania on his part), or that he and I both work with an ADHD coach to figure out how to prevent some of these issues from pushing us to the breaking point. There are moments when I think “what did I get myself into?” and when I get angry that he didn’t share his ADHD with me upfront. Then there are moments when I love his playful attitude and his enthusiasm for things that interest him. Recently, I’ve trying to focus on seeing him as a person, with ADHD as just one part of who he is, and not something that exists outside of him. I’ve also tried to force conversations with him that will help me understand which things he does are the result of his ADHD and which are not. For example, this weekend, he was practically bouncing off the walls and acting overly-excited and silly about things. I asked him if he thought his behavior was due to his ADHD and he said, yes and that he could feel the difference himself. In an ideal state, he’d be able to recognize those moments himself or even figure out what his triggers are (he had taken a sleeping pill the night before and I think the change in his brain chemistry might have had the opposite effect on him when it wore off). Ultimately, however, I can only encourage and cajole so much and being in the parent role, instead of in the partner / spouse role has been trying. I’ve had to reexamine my own expectations for our relationship several times already and we haven’t even been married for a year.
May 5, 2017 at 11:55 am #47454jessica411Participant
Hi, I couldn’t sleep last night after looking at your post! Not your fault, but had to write a post to let you know my story as it sounds just like your story. When I fell in love with my husband in 1996 I knew I was lucky to be finding him and he was everything I wanted in a husband, partner and friend. He swept me off my feet with so much attention and love and I thought I deserved this and that would be the end of the story. What ended up happening is almost like a nightmare to me to this day. When we got married in 2001 I had a few incidents of verbal abuse but didn’t know it was verbal abuse, just thought it was isolated incidences. Being that we worked together, I knew how successful he was, how we were so in sync with each other I had no clue as to how I would be questioning everything in life at this point. For the first 14 years he drank alcohol and would rage at me when he got drunk and finally on the day he was diagnosed, he quit drinking with fear of losing me and our marriage. My husband was diagnosed at age 58 and asked the doctor for some sort of medication for depression. The doctor sent him home with a prescription for Adderall. He told me it was for depression, but since I had an adopted son who had ADHD I knew why he had prescribed this for him. He called up the doctor and the doctor proceeded with why he thought he had ADHD. He took the medication and felt so much better and for once in our married life I didn’t have to push him to go to work. He never bothered to learn why he was on the medication, just took it as I poured over every detail of our life. Besides dealing with a different lifestyle (one with no alcohol- I never drank)and depression which followed for the next year. We thought no alcohol and the Adderall would make things better for both of us. The verbal abuse got worse and it was so random and over stupid things and I never knew why he was doing it. He abused me just in private and was the charming wonderful man in public but it was hell at home. He would even do it on vacation and right before a big trip and after all these episodes he would apologize and swear he would not do it again only to find one week later he would do it again. He even went to anger management classes and was a perfect student in the class and then he would come home to me and do it again. To this day, we are in separate bedrooms and I know he thinks he will not do it again but I know different. I have lost my respect for a man who just won’t stop berating me and where I go from here I do not know. We did counseling for the first 14 years and I was always the one with the problem and he always ended up looking good. I was told by a therapist that once there is abuse we cannot go to therapy together as the woman always ends up being abused all over again. My advice to you is to RUN, as far as you can away from this man, as my life has been hell and there is no good that will come to your life with a man who refuses to treat his wife like this.
May 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm #48985conchuetParticipant
Nope. Same goes for women who treat their man this way. read jessica411 above for the reasons. Mine had adhd with DESR. deadly. denial…..sorry. Truth…I gave everything, loved unconditionally. but late 50’s….enough chances..
May 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm #49652MEMAMOParticipant
Hi, I married a young lady 25 years old with a child, after the marriage due to her abnormal behavior I found that she’s been diagnosed with ADHD the same goes with her child too. Also, after quite short time I discovered that she’s been through a lot in her life such as having random multiple relationships, alcoholic and drugs abuse, and when I faced her with that, she admitted by putting her excuse on her ADHD diagnose that’s leading her to feel stress and feeling depressed all the time, I forgave her since she’s promised to take further action toward to end up her previous relationships and start new life with me.
Now almost every day we have a new problem on trivial things, and whenever we come to argue, I find her yelling, screaming, even more than that by approaching me physically. I’m trying to understand her but every time I fail because of insisting of kicking me and my stuff in the street, which leading me to stay away from her, now I’m out of home for more than 20 days, last time she’s dropped me to some place to stay in, even she doesn’t care about my situation.
Despite what she’s doing with me but I feel that she loves me, and it’s out of her control as she saying.
That’s what’s happening with me, and I simply feel that this relationship is gonna be ended very soon and we are filing for dissolution this week.
She’s been prescribed some medication to help her to focus and help her to get rid of the stress and the depression but I don’t think that’s gonna help.
I love her and willing to continue with her but I’m so afraid that our life will get more worst, especially she’s wanting to make a baby, though she’s already a mother.
I really don’t know what to do, my life is simply like the hell if anyone could please advise me what I should do. let go and move on or give her another chance!
Your help is highly appreciated.
April 14, 2019 at 2:43 pm #113953
I’d MOVE ON
Another baby while all this is going on…I’d run for this hills.
It doesn’t seem through her actions that she cares or loves you—this post made me sad 🙁
March 25, 2018 at 6:39 am #79912KenMacDParticipant
Wow! I’ve been feeling pretty alone lately and this aarticle and the responses have really comforted me.
I am a gay man and have been married to my partner for almost 5 years. Over these years, I have experienced so many fights, lies, denial, blame, gas lighting,anger outbursts, cold words and actions out of nowhere, plus so much more, all of it coming from my spouse. I have been left with almost no self-esteem, embarrassed, constantly on edge waiting for his next game to begin, no social life because of his behavior, plus more negative things that any marriage should not induce. He started therapy and his doctors are thinking it may be adhd, I still think he’s a narcissist, but I will know more from the doctors soon. If I could go back to when I first met him, I would’ve ran the opposite direction. Not walk, but run. I am glad he is finnaly seeking help, but he still is unable to grasp the effects his words and actions have had on me and the way he responds to me anytime I try to talk about some of these things so I can try to heal, he will dismiss my feelings, expect me to just forgive him and love and trust him whole and shut up about it, or he gets so angry that he needs to exit from talking to me. It is pure Hell. I am finally at the point where I know I need to leave him. It breaks my heart to walk away from my marriage and from him because this isn’t something he can control, but I have 3 autoimmune, chronic health issues and the stress level he maintains in our home daily is finally too much to bare. If you have a spouse who isn’t medicated or is denying adhd and you strongly feel it is, you need to evaluate your situation. Everyone needs to be loved but it should never be at the cost of your own self worth, stability and peace in your home. Run fast. And don’t look back.
March 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm #80148ZaraParticipant
As a non-ADD partner to an ADD man for over a year now I can say this: I accepted and loved my boyfriend as he was. What I did not accept and nobody should are the consequences of his behavior: broken promises, inability to follow-up on anything, defensive rants, emotional manipulation, rejection dysphoria. It’s no one’s fault to be born with ADD/ADHD. It is, however, one’s responsibility if born with the condition that as an adult he or she recognizes it and takes proper actions to manage the symptoms. No one should feel responsible, out of love or obligation, to bear the brunt of someone else’s mental condition. Non-ADD people: please wake up and be assertive. You deserve true love NOT abuse!
After one year of relationship I finally woke up and I am taking action to RUN and save myself. I deserve better! Whoever wonders whether to stay or go: Go! You deserve better too!
March 28, 2018 at 12:35 am #80166NumbAllDayParticipant
Lol no my past was hell, the present is hell, and the future is hell so literally it would just rewind back to a past form of hell and form its new shitty path, although that may be nice to fix some past mistakes, I’d rather not live through such similar things again and have to deal with all the outcomes. 22.5 years old is a long time to go back and redo every mistake I’ve ever made and that would make me forget all the good memories I’ve had from this life, unless of course I somehow kept my memory or was reminded of my current memory that I have now at a later point. This is getting quite intricate for my tired ADHD mind. Goodnight.
May 8, 2018 at 3:47 pm #83812No2ADHDParticipant
Nope – I’d run if I could but we have two kids and for the most part they don’t feel the effects of their Father’s ADHD. My life is one long endless series of cleaning up his messes/mistakes. He is nice person and has good intentions but he is not cut out to be a husband and father. He was happy to accept the ADHD diagnosis and now promptly uses it as an excuse for every mistake he makes. I was just thinking about this yesterday which I why I went on this forum today: what do I get from this marriage? And the answer is nothing. He gets a wife that contributes half the income, plans, shops and makes the meals, plans and saves and pays for vacations, saves for our mutual retirement, ensures that we are both saving for the kids college, and on and on and on. And I get nothing. Sad but true.
May 9, 2018 at 8:11 pm #83932hayesParticipant
I’m the ADD partner – diagnosed 16 years ago at age 35. We have had lots of struggles – even coming close to the brink. I thought my struggles were merely attention-related; I thought I could ‘fix this ADD thing’ with just meds. What I didn’t realize was many of the other compounding things that go with it. It took my wife talking about separation to realize that meds won’t work without the assistance of a solid therapeutic relationship.
I found a really good therapist a year ago, and it’s made a huge difference. As people connected to this profession (I’m a HS teacher, my wife a therapist), we were able to see the long goal here. We do love each other, and have a wonderful family (son 20, daughter 16). It’s hard work – or I should say, I’M HARD WORK. But we’re in a much better place, looking to celebrate 25 yrs married this June.
I’m not sure if she’d do it all over again. But I’m sure grateful that she loves me enough to stay enoug. I know I’d do it all over again – she’s so worth it. I’d like to think those of us with ADD are worth it, too. But we have to put in the work so our partners feel that THEY are worth it. It sure if this helps – but just wanted to give a perspective from ‘the other side’. Thanks for reading…
May 23, 2018 at 8:36 am #84736C1957Participant
There is no window or door we can open, look through and see the future. When our ADD partner is thrilling us with their attention at the beginning, that’s our joy. We cling to the disbelief of having found someone who we matter so very much to.
Who in their right mind would not do that all over again?
The problems start…the nagging, the disappointments, the imbalances about managing finances, the loneliness, the lies you tell yourself and others because you want to “save face” and appear to be in a happy marriage.
I have lived a forthright life. I fulfilled obligations I committed myself to. I have been kind. I have been generous. I was obedient to a power higher than myself that encouraged loving my neighbor as myself.
I married a man who committed himself to that same higher power.
So now, 25 years later after experiencing 75% of every negative thing mentioned in the above posts, I feel I would marry my husband again. I think what he expressed in the beginning was real. I believe that his commitment to the thought of treating others as he would want to be treated will be the anchor that keeps us from completely drifting apart.
My commitment to that basic principle is what will keep me from stabbing him to death in his sleep ( which I want to do 6 nights out of 7 )
We are all imperfect. Don’t give up on yourself. Your ADD partner might benefit from simply applying the principle of “do unto others”.
Our struggles with these partners are struggles with these partners. There will be struggles with the next partner and you will struggle at times alone.
In my opinion those are the choices.
June 3, 2018 at 10:54 pm #85479StopWishingParticipant
Reflect on who you are. If you are a size 5 shoe and the relationship is a size 10 shoe, the shoe does not fit without A LOT of compromise, uncomfortableness and pain.
If you are not a person whose strengths include being very adaptable, unlimited patience, unlimited willingness to understand someone else, has amazing self-esteem, self-reliant who does not almost anything from their partner like dependability, stability, consistency, etc., then IMO, this is NOT the relationship for you.
Long story short, I would not do it all over again. We are both wonderful people who have a lot to offer, but for many reasons for us it does not work. No matter how much I read about ADHD, how much I was flexible, clarified expectations, wrote it down, scheduled, left reminders, directly asked for things and worked on plans together, it would not work enough to remain consistent and make a real difference. IMO there is such a thing as “too little too late”. While I genuinely believe my ADHD spouse is trying very hard, the distractions and inability to bounce back from them meaningfully is ultimately going to be the formal end of our marriage in the near future.
June 4, 2018 at 7:15 pm #85543C1957Participant
Your post took the words out of my brain and soul. I should have written as honestly as you did…but I think that because I’m still here 25 years later…I’m ashamed somehow. I’ve wanted to believe that loyalty and integrity to ones vow at the the beginning of the marriage were the most important characteristics of a good person. I still don’t totally doubt that. I have to believe that the Creator…the originator of marriage…looks at me as faithful. So my reward is His approval. Everything else is a matter of endurance.
But the truth in answer to the question about whether I would marry my husband again is an emphatic no.
But I’m here now…25 years later and I will continue to treat my husband with as much kindness as I can muster. I exercise all the limitations that I have to because of his messy, falling-down personality. Thankfully I have support within my family and others in the congregation where I worship. They don’t know his weird personality has letters attached to it (ADHD) but they are loving, supportive people by virtue of how we’re all taught from the scriptures…so it works.
I’m deeply lonely at home. I do my best to work with that by doing things for others, reading, gardening and working out at a gym.
Different things work to help some of us endure…but when it’s over, it’s over and I admire the way you expressed it regarding your relationship. My sincere best wishes to you.
June 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm #85692mittencheeksParticipant
Yes, I would do it all over again. I’ve been with my ADHD spouse for over 3 years and married for a little over 2 months now. We are still in the early stages of our relationship compared to everyone here that’s had over 10 years experience, but I’ll share my reasons as to why I would do it again.
Our relationship is like many others here: an attentive, highly intelligent, charming, attractive, and loving person comes into my life and sweeps me off my feet with his passionate romantic behavior. I’m a very practical person…I can’t get into happy delusions (I naturally always doubted his promises of being better or that there would be no problems due to his ADHD) so when he told me about his ADHD after 1 month of dating, I knew there would be chaos in our relationship eventually from online research. His ADHD only showed after the first year of dating and that’s when arguments were about every other day on average. Some arguments lasted days without any sleep or food or breaks to stop and think about things because he pushed to talk the topics to death. I blocked people in my life on social media who said I should leave him. I skipped work for days to finish relationships because I wanted him to see that I was committed and willing to work through anything with him, on a practical level of course. For instance, if he was angry about my friends wanting to go out with me every weekend, then the conversation would cover every person’s background, their intentions with me, their reasons for wanting to hang out so much, etc. Each topic had a very thorough investigation and even afterwards, it did not help calm his ADHD behavior…and I ended up cancelling a lot of events with family or friends for his sake.
These sacrifices were mistakes and NOT necessary. Please do not sacrifice yourself, your time, your friends, your loved ones, your job – your life basically – for this person with ADHD because they cannot appreciate it in the light that you are expecting. It is a condition for a reason. You can’t treat it with yourself as much as you’d like to believe. Just live your life as best you can and talk to him, but don’t give in to his ADHD. He needs to learn to take care of his condition because the truth is, you’re not going to be alive forever to deal with his terrorizing behavior or care for every aspect of his life. You didn’t give your parents hell to be raised into a decent human being just to end up in an abusive relationship. To be in a relationship with an ADHD person is to love yourself as much as you love them and pay little to no attention to the ADHD because the more you invest into it, the more the ADHD person will yearn for the attention and expect you to yield to their every demand. I hate that I’m a practical person most of the time because it’s hard for me to think with my emotions, but it helps a lot in my relationship oddly enough. Yes, he has called me cold hearted and evil because I stay calm and am at a peace of mind through his emotional outbursts but that’s actually what helps. He sees me acting this way and at first, he feels resentment, hatred and saying every hurtful thing to get a reaction so he can get his way, but after the ADHD storm, he realizes that I’m still here, still me, still looking at him the same way as I always have, and he thanks for me being that structure and stable force in his life.
I’m not saying it’s easy to stay calm and composed while being berated, spending hours listening to how horrible I am as a human, or discussing small issues that are blown out of proportion by him, but I am committed in this relationship because I want to be with him and only him. I’ve had days where I break down crying on my way to work, while I’m at work, or taking more shifts some weeks to give myself some space and extra money to support us. The finances, paperwork, important dates/times, cleaning, cooking, and all of the other responsibility tasks are my job (he helps, but needs guidance) along with my hectic work schedule, but luckily, I’m efficient with time management and organization so I don’t have too much trouble with that. The only obstacle is stress build up and exhaustion since he has demands of his own such as sex, playing video games and active outdoor activities with him that sometimes cause me to collapse into a deep slumber at the end of the day. My advice is to keep everyone outside of the relationship away from your relationship. Everyone will tell you to leave because you could obviously have an easier life with a non-ADHD person, but if he gives you what no one else can ever make you feel or experience, then give it your best shot because that’s a rarity that most people give up on finding and settle for money or that “perfect” empty life of a partner that they’re not whole heartedly intuned with. Also, with finances being an issue – Just say no. It’s hard to, but explain your reasons like “you’ve spent over $500 on what you like for this month and we have X amount of bills to pay so please, wait until we have money again and you can have what you like again.” And if there’s a fight for whatever reason from the ADHD person, then there’s not much they can do other than rob you and most likely, they won’t rob you for the money. If they do then you know what to do at that point. They’re not in the relationship for you, but for their own wants and needs which is too selfish to make it work out. NEVER let anyone get you into debt and I made sure my ADHD husband knew that many times when he was overspending and now, he finally respects the value of money and manages his spending on his own (still not perfect, but it is a lot better than before). What also helps is to tell white lies like if you’re going to be home in 30 min, just say “I’ll be home in 45 min” and they’ll end up being happy that you’re home early and it’s better than having an argument for “you’re a few minutes late!!!.” Do the same with money. Say “we only have $350 to spend on anything you like this month” when in actuality, you have $500 to spend. So you end up comfortably overspending a little bit and still saving some or you just saved yourself $150 extra this month and same goes for the next month! Just find clever ways to get around his ADHD because even though you can’t treat it, you can help from triggering the argumentative side of it.
Conscious effort is the key treatment for ADHD and your part as the non ADHD partner is to help them see that by refusing to give in to their tantrums and wasteful money spending habits. It’ll be hard, but worth it when you are the only person in their life to finally put a firm foot down. Be strong and love them, but don’t confuse love with spoiling them. Sure, its great to see them happy when you give them a mountain of goodies, but it’s even greater to see them happy on their own without materialistic needs or paranoia.
Just to leave details about myself and my husband for context: I am a 26 year old Asian American and my husband is a 23 year old Scottish man from Scotland. We had a long distance relationship for 2.5 years, visiting each other every other month for 10 days up to a 1 month at a time and currently are living in the United States together. I am an Administrative Manager and he is in school for the Pharm D program. I was brought up in a poor household, being the youngest of 8 other siblings and have worked my way into a stable income for the time being, but am still looking to find better career opportunities. Anyway, hope this post helps many out there who have chosen to be with an ADHD person or are considering it.
June 7, 2018 at 6:36 am #85701nessyParticipant
My two cents is there are certain deal-breakers. My guy is ADD but went the opposite direction in emotional dysregulation- instead of feeling everything intensely, he was emotionally void. You mentioned red flags for me in the way he handles his anger. Granted, he has a disorder that makes it hard for him to manage his emotions, BUT promises are empty unless he’s taking actionable steps to cope with his disadvantage. He won’t change by simply promising to do better. It’s just not something within his control that he can switch on and off- he needs good coping mechanisms/skills.
If I were you and I wanted to keep the relationship, I would make sure I had healthy boundaries in place. I would also be honest about how I care about him, but if the relationship is to progress, I would need to see some changes (i.e. him seeking treatment, meds, coping strats, gaining self-regulation skills, etc) in order to proceed with a relationship. Otherwise it’s friend status. You’re no in so deep that you don’t still have a way to save yourself from the heartache and getting involved with an untreated angry adhd’er is bound to end badly if he doesn’t care to seek out health on his own.
Edited to add that I’m the add’er with anger issues in my relationship, so I’m speaking from experience about the promises to ‘not lose it or say anything mean again’.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by nessy.
September 24, 2018 at 10:51 pm #100050LillyBritchesParticipant
Absolutely NOT. A resounding “not,” at that. Had I not already had over 20 years invested with this ADD nightmare of a man-child (15 before he got a diagnosis), I would NEVER, EVER elect to remain. I can deal with most ADD symptoms; I truly can. But the erratic, mean behavior and outbursts at the drop of a hat? For NOTHING? Then no sincere apology?
ADD is constantly crazy-making for the non-ADD partner, unless the ADD partner is 1,000% committed not only to taking med(s), but to cognitive therapy as well.
October 5, 2018 at 7:04 pm #101024Crackerfan1966Participant
Feel free to skip to the last paragraph for short answer.
Wow! I just found this site and I can totally relate to what I’ve read in this thread of posts. I’m in 50’s and divorced for about 9 years. Met a woman of the same age online and we hit it off on the first date. She admitted to being diagnosed ADHD and her two kids also were diagnosed. All on meds. I had no real experience dating or relating in general to someone with ADHD, so I didn’t know what to expect. The first 3-4 months were exhilarating to say the least with her paying a ton of attention to me and us quickly having a pretty active physical relationship. She also told me of sexual trauma she endured as a small child (uncle) and then again as a teen (stepfather). Her mom is Borderline and suffers from trauma induced physical issues. Her sisters are both Borderline and brother diagnosed ADHD. Extremely enmeshed family situation with abusive stepfather actively in the picture financially supporting most of the grown children. With all this said, what I encountered in the relationship may be associated with ADHD and also attributed to other issues. The relationship lasted about 9 months and ended abruptly.
My ex girlfriend (and ex fiance) is a trauma based therapist and I was impressed by her career and I believe that played into my belief that she had actively dealt with her issues and they wouldn’t affect our relationship. There were significant “red flags” early on that I looked past for this reason and also I believe because of the high energy “hyper-focus” phase. And, there was a lot of good in the relationship without question. I bought into the “storybook” fantasy and we got engaged about five months in. Then, things got really confusing when the hyper-focus stage ended and her attention to our relationship significantly changed. There was also the revelation of her continuing a texting relationship with her past boyfriend. This is an ex bf with whom she was with for four years and had about a half dozen breakup/makeups. I also started to see an extremely unhealthy emotional relationship she continued to have with her ex husband. Beyond these things, the ADHD issues of forgetfulness, lack of timeliness, inability to organize her house (tons of clutter), lack of ability to be present much of the time we were together, an obsession to “save” her trauma clients, lack of financial independence, an obsession with her FOO problems and inability to enforce healthy boundaries with them, extreme hyper-sexual activities, etc. I started question what the future would look like with these issues and even had to enforce some boundaries in regards to her actions and treatment of me. What I also didn’t understand was “rejection dysphoria” which I’m convinced now played into her behavior towards the end. I got to a point where I stated we needed to see a couples therapist to help find common ground around a number of issues. Her solution was for me to spend more time meditating and doing “past life regression”, etc to help me avoid becoming frustrated or angry with her actions. I was upfront with her that I would happy to do some of these things only in consort with couples therapy and that I just felt alone in the relationship. Within a week of this discussion, she went into almost a zombie state and then emailed me an engagement breakup. The breakup reasons were projections and lacked any ownership for her own behavior. That was it and I really woke up to how I needed to permanently close the door to any future contact. There have been attempts over the past months, but I’m happy to say that I’m several months clear of this relationship and a few months into dating a non ADHD lady with whom I just don’t see the issues of the previous relationship. Eyes wide open, though!
So, long answer short – I would not date this person again nor would I choose to date someone who is either diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. I’m a very patient and giving person, and the traits I saw and actions I experienced are not a good fit for what I want in life and relationships. Now, I live life with no regrets and feel that this past relationship experience came with a ton of needed lessons and wisdom. Again, I can’t attribute all the issues I dealt with to my ex’s ADHD but a good amount of them I can.
January 31, 2019 at 10:28 pm #108041GrizzlyParticipant
This post is over a year old so I’m hoping some of these stories deterred you away from dating this guy because I would have to also say: No. I would not do it again. In many ways I feel like marrying this person has ruined my life. I’m almost 7 years in and seeing these people that after 25 years are still unhappy is very comforting. I had seen many statistics that say that staying married for 5 more years in an unhappy marriage makes it happy but I don’t think that accounts for abusive ADHD partners. I feel more certain of my decision now. I have been separated for a year now and feel very traumatized by the abuse I went through, often feeling like it makes me completely ruined to ever have a proper, happy marriage in the future (plus second marriage statistics aren’t so hot). He had angry outbursts, he had been physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. He couldnt keep any of his promises, he wouldnt even go to work a lot or do anything around the house which meant all of the money making and running the household fell on me. Oftentimes I never knew when he would be home and when he did come home he would just stay on the computer no matter how much i begged him to spend time with me. It really was a living hell and being out of it is terrifying in its own sense (am I going to die alone now??) but at least most peaceful and instead of someone spending all my money and putting us in debt I get to save up and things like that. So I hope you distanced yourself from that. Verbal abuse is non something you should have to tolerate in a marriage. Cheers.
February 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm #109141waywaylipschitzParticipant
It was almost depressing to read this forum. There is a common recurring theme in this thread regarding the first 3-4 month magical window of courtship. My relationship started off the same way. The most brilliant, successful, creative, charming, passionate, affectionate, beautiful and attentive woman I’d ever met. It all came to an abrupt halt around month 4. No warning signs. No prior fights. Totally convinced this was the woman I was meant to marry without hesitation up until that day. Then one Sunday afternoon, she showed up to my place a different woman. It was the first time in our relationship that she rejected a kiss since we started dating. She used to throw her arms around me and give me the most passionate kisses, but for whatever reason turned her head that day. I kept asking what was wrong, but couldn’t get a direct answer, kept insisting nothing was wrong and things were normal. We had made plans for a fun activity that day, but she had suddenly lost interest in it. After tossing around a few ideas, and constantly having them rejected, I gave up and asked her for suggestions of things she would like to do. She said brunch would be nice, so I agree. She followed that up by saying it was too late to have brunch. A few minutes later, without ever telling me what was wrong, she hopped into her car in an aggravated rage and sped away, shouting obscenities at me as she left. After a few hours of sitting alone on my kitchen floor holding my head in my hands trying to figure out what had just happened, she called and apologized for abruptly leaving and we talked as if nothing was wrong. That began the roller coaster of events. She blamed that particular “episode” on birth control hormones. She would blame future episodes on anxiety, depression, gluten in her diet, hypothyroidism (which was ruled out by a doctor), and just about any other medical disorder or disease she could read about on the internet. I chose to marry her anyway, focusing on the good qualities instead of the bad. Two weeks prior to our wedding we had a major fight about lack of intimacy in our relationship (which had started a few months earlier) and she threatened to call the whole wedding off unless I stopped nagging her about it. I succumbed to her request. A day later, she actually apologized and mentioned something about her ADHD meds making her feel aggravated all the time. She had been on ADHD meds since I met her and was open about it, but up to that point in my life I never had a clue that ADHD had a negative impact on relationships. I had one other previous girlfriend who was medicated for ADHD (and an impulsive spender, which ultimately ruined the relationship), but she was the “hyper-affectionate” type, which apparently is only experienced by 1 of 5 ADHDers, so I never thought ADHD could interfere regarding lack of intimacy in a relationship. It wasn’t until that day, two weeks before our wedding that I started googling the “effects of adhd on relationships” and was floored by the number of articles I ran across that explained all the struggles I had been through in specific detail up until that point in time. Having that knowledge alone was enough to salvage the wedding. We were able to talk openly about it at that time, and she seemed willing to work on it and even promised counseling. Here it is 3 months after getting married, and well….things have gotten worse. She is less attentive and less affectionate than ever…and to complicate things, we are pregnant (apparently from the one time that we actually made love in the last three months since getting married). She wouldn’t even let me touch her the week after we got married. Said she was too drained every day. Also blames me to this day for having a “Chicken Dance” competition at the wedding reception that upset her because she wasn’t actively involved in the planning of it. We didn’t actively plan much of our wedding together. She talked like every night we were going to sit down and plan out the details together. We did not once in 9 months of planning opportunities ever sit down and plan any segment of our wedding together. There’s also been promises of romantic weekend getaways. We have not had a single romantic getaway since we started dating. We collected funds at our wedding reception to go towards a romantic honeymoon. It still hasn’t happened, and I doubt that it ever will.
The really sad part is, this is my second marriage. My first marriage failed for the exact same reasons that this marriage is already failing (lack of attention, affection), although that one took much longer to get to this point. It also turns out that my first wife was diagnosed with ADHD as a teenager, but never took meds for it, as the country she came from did not treat everything with prescription drugs the same way we do in America. She and I even went to counseling together, but ADHD never once came up as a potential culprit. I had no idea. Both counselors we tried had no idea. She had the same aggravated outbursts that my current wife has whenever I bring up the topic of lack of intimacy. Both resolve the conflict by threatening me with divorce, and each time I tend to back down, preferring to try and fix things instead of running from the problem. Granted, the first marriage ended abruptly after my ex threatened divorce for the millionth time, and to her shock I blurted out “fine, I can’t live like this anymore” and packed my bags and moved into a hotel that same day. A year later I got a hand written note from her apologizing for the way she treated me all that time we were together. It was the first time in the five years of knowing her that she ever apologized for anything or admitted to any wrong doing. The crazy part is, she used to rap herself on the head and repeatedly repeat “what is wrong with me?” all the time when she’d get frustrated over something whether it involved work or our relationship. Neither of us knew. But with all the information I’ve gathered over the last few months I now know exactly what it was. This is a woman who was fired/laid off/let go from 3 jobs in the five years that we were together.
I also learned that I’m extremely drawn to those creative, charming, witty minds. It’s a double edged sword. I’m a very kind, patient, giving person who sees the good in all people, but even I have a hard time dealing with the daily effects of ADHD in my partner.
My advice is this: If you are in a new relationship with someone who knowingly has been diagnosed with ADHD and are starting to experience any of the abrupt side effects of adhd in your relationship, and they don’t recognize the issue or aren’t willing to try and treat it, do yourself a favor and get out now. There is a lot of stress, hardship and heartache headed your way. If you are currently married, learn as much about adhd as you possibly can. Knowledge means everything with this kind of disorder. Things can defintely improve. But don’t rely solely on the medication. As I’ve learned first hand, improper dosage of meds like Adderall can actually enhance the irritability factor in some ADHDers. That was the case with my current wife. She isn’t taking meds during the pregnancy, and that actually has made her more tolerable to live with on a daily basis. But she still has occasional outburst including two divorce threats the week of her birthday not that long ago. One stemmed from her misunderstanding my plans to fly back early from a business trip to spend the whole birthday weekend with her. She somehow misheard from her mom that I was planning to extend my trip to miss her birthday and hunted me down to tell me that I could take my ring and not ever come back, without ever asking me about my plans or what she heard. A more rational person probably would’ve asked about what she heard prior to issuing such damning threats. Later that week, my body was feeling worn down like I was getting sick, and I took a 3 hour nap during the day. That night, she barged into my room screaming “I’m sick of this shit, we are getting divorced tomorrow!”. Apparently she was angry that I had fallen asleep while lying in bed on top of the covers super early (8:30ish) without saying goodnight, which was the first time in our relationship that this had happened. On the contrary, she has probably gone to bed over 100 times in the last year without saying goodnight to me, and it has never been an issue from my end.
I just recently learned of “Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria” from reading this forum, and it describes my wife’s reaction to certain situations “to a T”. She doesn’t like to be made to feel inadequate in any facets of life. Perfect example, whenever I bring up any issues of “deficiencies” in our relationship, it automatically triggers an R.S.D. response, including more threats of terminating the relationship. She sees this as me telling her she’s not good at something, whereas I’m just trying to fix the relationship. It’s not healthy. It’s emotional manipulation at its finest. I crawl back into my hole and suffer the consequences of sweeping our problems under the rug yet again.
The most important thing I’ve learned from my readings: take time to take care of myself. It is apparent that she is not going to be capable of taking care of my needs unless I risk starting an argument with her. I’ve recently started reaching out for help to take care of feelings of depression that I’ve been dealing with. I no longer enjoy doing the things I used to be passionate about (outdoor sports for example) and actually been made to feel guilty when I’m out doing fun things like this on my own. Even writing an article like this has helped organize my mind and understand my feelings somewhat. But the pain is still there. I’ll never divorce my current wife now that we have a child on the way. At least I know what is wrong this time around, and I made a conscious decision to marry her regardless, so I have to hold myself accountable for that. I’m going to be a great dad, and the best husband that I possibly can be under the circumstances. I no longer expect to get the things from my wife that make me feel happy and complete in a relationship, which is the depressing part, but I will learn to deal with it over time.
February 17, 2019 at 2:47 am #109442LulabalooParticipant
Well I’m currently in my 12th year with my ADHD partner. Married 3 years. 3 children. I’m miserable at the moment. He is going to his referral appointment next week. Had to pay private as the referral time was horrendous. He interrupts everyone, so rude, has aggressive outbursts, shouts constantly nags at the kids, cant cope with them so i never leave them alone with him. Im a very patient person but feel like I’m at the end of the line here, i want to end the marriage but then he has the odd good day. But then i feel like i can’t give up now before he has the full diagnosis. But what I’m reading is just because he has been diagnosed it doesn’t make things better. So if i could go back in time i don’t think i would do this again.
February 17, 2019 at 5:51 pm #109451Cmbusboom@hotmail.comParticipant
Hi, I’m about to celebrate 15 years with my amazing husband. Like many girls, I didn’t get diagnosed ADHD until late in life. Specifically, 2 years ago, after our 8 year old got diagnosed. I wish for everyone’s sake, the diagnosis came sooner, but maybe my marriage never would have happened. Reading these responses breaks my heart. If my husband responded this way about me, I would feel worthless as a human and a mother. Yes, we have our struggles, but they can be managed. Just like anyone born with challenges, it’s not our fault, it’s our responsibility though.
Marriage is hard….for everyone. My husband manages the finances and I work hard to follow our plan. He even hired a lady to help us with laundry. We find solutions for the problems that come up. None of our friends have marriages with ADHD spouses and they ALL struggle. They all complain. Some are close to divorce and again, no ADHD.
For me, it comes down to the respect you have for each other. Knowing how much my husband loves, supports and encourages me makes me want to be a better person.
Just two days ago he told me he would marry me all over again. He hasn’t had it easy, but obviously neither have any of his friends not dealing with ADHD.
I am worth it and pray that someone feels my son is as well.
March 2, 2019 at 7:21 am #110233Blue IrisesParticipant
I been doing some soul searching about who I am and probably of connecting with others, in different types of relationships.
Looking for some hope to very least have the chance of experiencing love.
As I been Diagnosed with ADHD… along with being veteran, I also been diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and TBI. I’m 40 year man, without a support group, family, not to many friends.
Yet, I wakeup strive best person I can be by 2 hours day workout (pain management) and to burn through both Anxiety and irritability. I do my mental activities to keep my mind sharp, for my studies. Some the problems I face with is that I have hard time The impulse with being so genuine and caring for others. Which it causes Massive problems socially with having any new potential friends, or Romantic Relationships. Examples being Accused, ridiculed and others assuming my intentions with trying to Convince or prove my worth to women in hopes more than friends, Buying friendships, Or have some Other alternative motives.
Other issue is trying filter ideas, as get Excited projects I’m working on, yet pointed now I’m bragging About my accomplishments.
So one the few places I be myself by Volunteering to help strangers, at the gym as I train alone, The college’s tutor center, and stay at home.
SoThat reading posts over just one diagnosis being ADHD is heartbreaking. So the person with the caliber many diagnosis (like myself) has little to no chance, as out look of said person would be a Regretful burden. What a mindblowing reality check. I need a dog.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Blue Irises.
March 5, 2019 at 9:18 pm #110439prgaloshesParticipant
No, I wouldn’t do it again. This man is my first and only true love. No one has ever showed me love that was requited in the way this man has, however, despite possessing the traits any non-ADHD partner must have (see the posts above: patience, compassion, a will to succeed, kindness, mothering, emotional control, giving vs. receiving….) I can JUST TELL that the people who answered Yes are those who have been fortunate in terms of their health during their relationship with the ADD partner.
Sadly, I broke my fibula (leg) weeks before Christmas and I had to learn to walk again. I live alone in a beautiful apartment that does’t have an elevator and the community is on a hill so walking even if possible is not feasible during the winter months. I was cooped up indoors with my ADD bf living 5 minutes away by car. Did he assist me? Not really. Infact, my ex bf (a new father with his current gf) was much more assistance to me than the one who claims to be in love with me and lives so close. He’s 2 years unemployed, not getting any unemployment insurance from the government, and yet he could not be bothered to come and see me more than briefly. Garbage piled up and he never offered to take it out, he spilled a potted plant and soil sat in the carpting until a friend came to vacuum it. He spilled wonton soup onto my walker/rug on 3 occasions within the same ten minute time span as I lay drowsy on Percoset in bed watching his blundering movements.
He often got so down on his own life’s stresses that he wouldn’t come visit and he’d get to sick (pneumonis, etc.) from a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle that he wouldn’t be able to come by until his antibiotics or other meds had run their course.
He wouldn’t cook or clean up after himself, let alone crippled me. He always needed to be entertained, and I’d see him leave after a very short time because I was too boring for him. He even left me, still unable to walk at my first physiotherapy appointment. He went home to nap, and never returned. I got a tearful ride from some complete strangers that happened to be leaving the clinic that late in the afternoon as the darkness and cold decended over our wintertime Canadian city.
So, no. It isn’t worth the risk. These people are not responsible enough to care from themselves or any loved ones.
March 5, 2019 at 10:19 pm #110442Blue IrisesParticipant
Really? These people… wow..
I have (serve) ADHD and PTSD , Depression as Diagnosed when becoming Veteran.
Yet, I study for engineering, jumping into Internships, working in “caregiveing/CNA”, as Volunteer with boys & girls club or other Veterans programs.
“These people” those with ADHD are in fact “responsible” and can take care more just family and ourselfs. These people, is just as equal and capable then rest. Don’t blame “these people” because of your the conflicts between you and your boyfriend,as what you wrote is called Discrimination. :p
March 5, 2019 at 10:48 pm #110443StopWishingParticipant
@blue irises – thank you for providing your personal opinion and experiences. It’s good to hear when any person takes personal responsibility for caring for themselves and you clearly demonstrate self awareness. Perhaps for you this translates into a more balanced relationship with your significant other.
Others, myself included, have provided our own personal experiences and internal dialogue about if we would do it again. It seems the decision of most boils down to very unbalanced relationships. That on its own regardless of ADHD diagnosis is not something most people would willingly re-experience. It’s a challenging situation for the non-ADHD partner as well, and for some, these challenges are beyond our capacity to take while stayinf personally healthy and taking care of ourselves. Speaking for myself, it’s more a decision of self preservation and not a judgment on the ADHD partner. I am responsible for my happiness and health, so is the ADHD partner.
I hope this provides further perspective from a non-ADHD partner.
March 5, 2019 at 11:47 pm #110444mysteriousmarissaParticipant
Mind blowing reading these stories. I used to think marriage was adorable but not so much anymore. Sounds charming to some, but alarming to others. Hug your own heart to sleep. Cry it out and sing it to the moon!
March 6, 2019 at 9:09 am #110453jlb83Participant
These have been very interesting to read. I am answering as someone with ADHD (combined), married to someone who most likely has ADHD inattentive type but is coping with CBT alone, and an 11-year old who isn’t officially diagnosed but will get evaluated soon. She is a lot like me, and therefore seems to be ADHD combined as well.
Must admit, reading some of these things kind of stings, because I was that child no one understood or wanted to understand. I was that person who wondered for 30 years why I felt like the most unlovable person in the world. But after reading up a lot on this condition and recently changing my psychiatric health providers to those who are experts in the field, I understood what was going on, the dynamics behind all my relationships in the past. Learning about my condition and finally understanding what has been the root of my lifelong problems have helped me put things in different perspectives.
For the past few years, I’ve been telling my husband that I really appreciate his staying with me even though I was really difficult during much of our 7 years together. He is the epitome of patience, compassion, understanding, and, he claims, he has unconditional love for me and my daughter, his stepdaughter. I thought to myself, “How the hell can this guy say that after the crap I put him through over the years?”
I’d like to add, although I am most definitely the more “difficult” one in this relationship, he too has given me a lot of issues in the past. He has all the signs of the inattentive ADHD person, although he probably won’t go to get evaluated for that. His inattentiveness was really, really hurtful to me. He is definitely the more emotionally balanced one with better impulse control. He can manage with CBT alone. I am the much bigger “hot mess” and need meds, probably will need them for the rest of my life. Without them, my ADHD is pretty severe and debilitating. In addition I definitely need years of CBT.
But anyway… I would marry him all over again because even though there were so many times in the past his inattentiveness made me feel like he didn’t care about me, made him seem selfish, uncaring, his forgetfulness and his needing for things to be repeated to him over and over and over again driving me insane, his hyperfocus on his hobbies, needing constant reminders, etc, his wonderful qualities redeem him. It definitely helps that he is the one who is much more calm, emotionally sound and less impulsive.
He claims that he is happy with me and I believe him, because any show of emotion to me, anything he ever said or says about our relationship has never been a lie. He works hard to be more attentive to us. It is hard, but I understand what he needs and try to be patient. He has also been more effective in telling me what he needs so that I don’t fly off the handle when he forgets something for the umpteenth time.
I suffer pretty much all the symptoms of ADHD, but I’m slightly more attentive than he is (this is my second marriage and as someone who had always felt forced to run the household,I absolutely HAD to try to stay on top of things, as much as I could anyway..), but definitely more hyper, aggressive, impulsive and emotionally unbalanced. Over the years, I’ve learned to turn myself into an apathetic, unfeeling zombie when I feel like my emotions are about to get out of control. Sometimes I still have the outbursts, but then within minutes, I’m fine again. I hate that roller coaster of emotions, it makes me feel like I’m going crazy, so I have learned to just detach myself from everyone and everything for a while until I feel like I can cope without yelling at/insulting/criticizing/nagging others. It’s really weird actually. When I feel like I’m about to lose control, I just stare off into space and not respond, or barely respond, to anyone or anything until I ride it out lol Definitely not saying this is great either, because then I have to make myself unavailable to my family and others for like 30 minutes while I ride out the emotions but… I think it’s helped, I don’t know. Better than me yelling I guess *shrug*
Oh and then throw my 11-year old into the mix. She was like me as a child. Very hyper, impatient, fidgety, won’t sit still, won’t shut up, interrupts people, moody, sassy, very loud, has trouble respecting boundaries, etc etc
My husband is probably the most patient and understanding person I have ever met in my life. He is the only person in my life who made me feel really loved and wanted, which is why early on in our relationship it was so hard for me to trust him. No one ever made me feel like I was worthy of love. I am fortunate to have him and am so grateful, that I work really hard to keep this family together. And by work hard, I mean, I work hard on myself and make sure my ADHD doesn’t ruin everyone’s days. I am also working to get my daughter to see therapists ASAP, and being patient with her and keeping in mind that I, too, was just like her.
We definitely have a very interesting household lol and I definitely keep people at a distance because I know that it takes a special kind of person to like and accept me for me, and there are so few out there. I concede that I have never been an easy person to be with. I also don’t want people to see how bizarre my home life can get lol and we all have to work so hard to keep everything from falling apart so we are very private people. But, it is working for us, by some miracle. After 7 years of this, I can say that, because my husband and I work hard every day on ourselves and the family, that we are stronger together now than we have ever been.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by jlb83.
March 16, 2019 at 4:35 pm #111922fedupParticipant
No, I would not.
March 17, 2019 at 10:34 am #111947tlharrissParticipant
I really really love my husband and he is the most important person in my life, but I have to admit there are times when I wish I had not fallen in love with him because of his ADD. It’s not just the angry outbursts and mood swings, but he has a tendency to behave dangerously as well. He very often ignores the rules and chooses the opposite course against anything that makes sense or keeps us safe. We have fought our way back from the brink of poverty several times over the 16 years of our marriage. Somehow I manage to find a way to get us back on our feet only to have him make an unwise business decision or investment that destroys everything I have built. He used to try to get and keep jobs but after so many failures we now rely only on what I can earn. That would be fine if he would leave my business to me but he insists on taking part and it always leads to disaster.
I am in a constant state of anxiety and fear. He will insist on driving us from place to place but nearly gets us into an accident every day. He will start out into traffic while the windscreen is frosted over and I know he cannot see clearly. No matter how I protest he will insist on doing these kinds of dangerous things to the point where I have had to jump out of the car to avoid being injured or killed. He will deliberately go the wrong way onto a one way street. If I protest he gets really angry with me and shouts at me to leave him alone and stop back seat driving. Later, he will be soothing and comforting me and letting me know how much he loves me. I know he doesn’t want to behave this way. He loves me and depends on me for everything. He is my constant companion and now that we are both in our 60s we are nearly the only company each other has. I need him in my live and don’t know what I would do without him now. But, like I said, if I had it to do over, I would choose not to have this life of uncertainty, anxiety and fear. I am not only fearful for myself but also for him. I love him so much and it breaks my heart to see him making so many mistakes and it kills him to know how his mistakes effect me as well. It’s a heart breaking situation.
March 17, 2019 at 5:58 pm #111967prgaloshesParticipant
I definitely know what you mean regarding the dangerous driving as my boyfriend has over and over again scared me with his Reckless Style. One thing that gets us into consistent arguments is the use of GPS. He will have his phone’s GPS running which is somewhat glitchy then he will ask me to confirm with my phone’s GPS what his is saying. Keep in mind that his cell phone is in his hand and on the Wheel which is completely illegal in my Province and is typically around a $400 per instance ticket. The distracted driving continues because with two GPS is running he cannot hear either one and when my voice attempts to over-reach the devices then he gets even more distracted and angry. But this is his idea. When I suggest we utilize one device and he only listen to the device and not me repeating what the GPS has just stated he again finds this unacceptable and the arguments begin. He especially does not like it when I mention okay we missed a turn. Because I get rather excited since the GPS has told him and then I remind him once or twice as the signage passes that are off ramp is straight ahead. When he is so distracted that he’s not looking at the signs or following the audio directions he gets very very angry with me after the Mist turn is pointed out. This is very unfair to me. I find it very anxiety-provoking therefore to be in any vehicle with him as my driver. And these are just cases of navigation I could go on and on and on as you have about driving into the sunlight with nearly zero visibility but yet speeding inside a crowded Costco parking lot and more stories that involve putting people In Harm’s Way as well as myself as the passenger. I just have to state that this anxiousness is so hard for a non add individual to overcome in time to relax for an evening out or dinner out or time socializing one on one. I wish there was a better way but he is not a medicated individual and does not attend behavioral Therapies.
April 13, 2019 at 4:33 am #113938Phillipa60Participant
Hell no, I wouldn’t. It’s only now, at age 60, that I finally realize how I’ve short-changed my life in basically being married to an over-grown child. I long for a mature relationship, for a partner who I don’t have to constantly worry about what will he say or do next, what crisis will we end up in?
Even when things are relatively calm, it’s a constant routine of forgetting things, me reminding him or picking up the slack.
It has led to a marriage where there is no real respect, no physical attraction.
All of that being said he is most definitely not a bad person, on the contrary.
I stay because of a deep sense of commitment to him, to our marriage, to our extended family.
I could no more leave him than I could cut off my right arm.
But I am so unhappy, so sad, lonely and angry, way too much of the time.
Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD, in my experience, simply takes too much out of a relationship
April 14, 2019 at 2:41 pm #113952
Ok, I admit–I don’t handle stress well. In certain situations, I control & get “short” with my partner. I always end up apologizing & this maybe happens every once in a while.
Berating you or having frequent anger outburst—that sounds like a different story. I dealt with one bf who acted like this & I believe he was borderline personality–BPD is where they have you “walking on eggshells” constantly—they LOVE THAT. He was sweet at first & put me on a pedestal—but it wasn’t long before he was knocking me down & everything was a fight—even things he remembered wrong. I went back to him 9 times….my business partner told me that women go back 9x to an abusive relationship & I thought, “not me” BUT I DID. Because I was lonely & stupid. It’s one thing for someone to get irritated by a situation and not handle it correctly—this doesn’t excuse the behavior & anything said cannot be unsaid….but serious anger outburst w/little provocation (if that is the case) is a SERIOUS problem ADHD or not.
Go with your intuition & if you feel a sense of “relief” and freedom being away from him—then I think you have your answer. 3months is too short to be having these sorts of problems—WAY too soon.
Good luck & keep us posted.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Skypark962.
April 14, 2019 at 2:46 pm #113954
I feel these anger outburst, narcicism and anxiety environments describe something other than adhd.
Does anyone else feel like these traits could be describing: ODD, Borderline Personality or bipolar.
I’m ADHD, but I’d never create such a hostile environment for my partner….these people sound like they need more than just stimulant meds or the stimulant meds are making them worse.
July 6, 2019 at 12:39 am #121874ennameParticipant
Yes, I would. But then again I never saw him as some sort of perfect partner, nor got the three month hyper focus. He has always been himself at me from the moment we started talking – erratic, incredibly hedonistic, impulsive, a catastrophic mess with a tendency to forget to listen and to vanish. As the counter to this he has always been sweet, thoughtful, surprisingly dedicated to me (no idea why, lol), compassionate, determined to build the relationship slowly, and – importantly – one of the only people to treat me entirely as an equal without any hesitation. Which is what I value – I have never wanted someone to run a house with, nor someone to be the bread winner, etc.
Things are chaotic, but you know? I actually like that. Work is so controlled my inner nihilist needs somewhere to burn. Sure, he has a temper – mostly born out of frustration, and while he will occasionally rewrite episodic memory, he does not lie deliberately to me. But I also have a temper especially when I feel shit about myself, so he works to restrict it to ‘things’ and I make sure not to punish him unfairly because of my own trauma. As long as he remembers to come back to me, and I make sure not to accidentally shame him … we continue on. 🙂
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by enname.
July 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm #121892LoriRParticipant
No. Absolutely not.
I didn’t know anything about ADHD, and I didn’t know he had ADHD. By the time I figured it out and learned how the situation could be improved, it was too late. We both suffered.
I’m not the kind of person who regards a failed relationship as a learning experience; I see it as just a waste of time.
I will admit that learning about ADHD has made me somewhat more tolerant of people in general. If someone is unreliable or whatever, I no longer think of them as bad. Maybe they have a problem.
If I had known about ADHD and how to help him and how to conduct myself within the relationship, then definitely yes. He was such a wonderful person!
July 7, 2019 at 1:27 pm #121913Keri CParticipant
I have been married (to a man with ADHD)almost 22 years. I would not do it again. Run away and run away fast. My husband is not a bad man, but he is a bad husband. He tries, but trying harder just doesn’t cut it and he isn’t willing to try differently.
July 10, 2019 at 11:11 am #122078Rose76Participant
A few weeks ago my ADHD partner ‘blew up’. He won’t take prescribed medication and ‘self medicates’ smoking weed/doing buckets. He drinks excessively when left to his own devices and has been verbally and physically aggressive with me in the past. I’ve known him several years. He won’t take medication as he said it dulls his personality but he hasn’t persisted and tried different medications or doses. He also hasn’t done any therapy. He blew because I wouldn’t stop off and let him by more alcohol when I could smell he had drunk at least half a bottle when I picked him up. He’d also refused to give me any money for food or fuel staying with me but wanted to buy alcohol when the little money he had saved was memeant to be for court so he can see his child more. Part of me panicked as I know what happens when he drinks too much and I was scared. Also angry he could allow me to suffer financially. I feel used and so very low. He ended the whole relationship because I disagreed with him and wouldn’t let him buy more alcohol. I’ve put up with so much over the years
July 11, 2019 at 5:02 am #122140tlharrissParticipant
Sounds like you may be better off without this stress in your life. It’s so hurtful to be in love with someone who takes advantage of you and is only concerned about their own needs and wants. I think it seems to be a common thread with adults with ADHD. My husband isn’t a drinker or drug-taker, but he still has that tendency towards selfishness. I stay with him because he balances that out with being very loving and loyal to me and he has a big heart. If your boyfriend isn’t giving you something worth hanging onto him for then I’d say its better that he’s out of your life. It’s hard to move on and get over a broken relationship but you will most likely look back on this relationship and be glad it’s over
July 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm #122181Rose76Participant
Thanks tlharriss. I didn’t answer the general question which was would I do it all over again – no. I consider myself a strong person but the first time we split up it shook me to my core and I nearly didn’t come back from it. I have absolutely everything to the detriment of my own health only to suffer abuse and then he got bored often chatting to other women on FB and left me for a 16 year old ( he was 38). In the few years we separated he had a child to someone else. He is just hyperfocused on that now. My feelings and needs have been irrelevant this time round. I’ve felt invisible, unloved despite his messages saying he did. I wanted to believe him but I didn’t. I feel like I have been used as a taxi, somewhere to stay and I’m left dealing with the consequences. He ended the whole relationship because I said no to buying alcohol which days how little he really thought of me. It’s been a few weeks now and not a word or apology. Just a message to say I had destroyed any feelings he had for me. All I’ve done is try and support him and I’m left feeling like this. He won’t get help, take medication or have therapy. He certainly won’t take responsibility for his actions and always ends up walking out of a job. I don’t want to be a carer, I do it as a job and don’t want to have to be doing it in my personal life. I need someone who is going to care for me and help me for a change.
July 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm #122254leftie22Participant
I agree with Keri C – my husband isn’t a bad person, but our relationship is bad. I’m very happy I have my kids, but if I could magically still have them, but with someone who is supportive and pulls their weight in house stuff, work, parenting and our relationship, I would go for that in a heartbeat. I wanted to have that with my husband, but he seems incapable. I’m trying to keep things together for the kids, but starting to question that strategy more and more, since we’re hardly a good example of a healthy relationship for our kids. I feel very stuck, because it feels like my options are to tolerate an increasingly intolerable relationship, or get a divorce and not see my kids every day.
July 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm #122348wifeofsuspectedaddParticipant
Me and my husband have kids so on that basis I wouldn’t turn back time. But if not for them, I definitely wouldn’t do it over again. My husband says he’s happier, more fulfilled since he met me. I feel I’m far from the positive, optimistic, smiling person I was. I hate to say this.
July 16, 2019 at 5:16 am #122452Kat13Participant
The problems aren’t with my husband as such. He has ADHD. He also has two ex-wives and, as a result, I have 3 step-children. That’s where the problems are. That’s what I would think more carefully about if I had to do it all over again. When it’s just the two of us things are good. I resent that his 2 ex-wives left and that I have raised the youngest step-child single-handedly. That’s caused so much resentment, along with the lack of respect for my position as ‘mother’ from one of the older step-children. Did the ADHD lead to the breakdown of his first 2 marriages? Of course, but only when the kids came along. Both his divorces happened when the kids were really young. We haven’t had kids together because of our ages, but I’ve still been left with all this to deal with, which is really unfair. His second wife disappeared and has no contact. Tough on the child, but tough on me too. I know it was my choice, but I wasn’t really fully-informed when I made that choice, and now I love him so much that I muddle on and look forward to some child-free time in the future. It’s not that I don’t love my youngest step-child, it’s that I want the parenting to be more shared and to not feel so burdened with everything. It’s too easy for him to snuggle down in his ADHD blanket and wait until the parenting is done for the day.
September 3, 2019 at 8:59 am #126860DizzyParticipant
Moderators: I can only see posts up to July 16, 2019, meaning I
probably won’t be able to see this post after I hit “Submit”.
Is there a “Page 2”?
November 8, 2019 at 6:58 pm #134017ariendeauParticipant
To be honest, no, I would not do it again. I am not a patient person and I lack what it takes to be in a relationship with an ADD man. He actually just lost his job and I’m at my breaking point. I love him but I can’t stand him.
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