March 9, 2017 at 5:16 pm #39848Penny WilliamsKeymaster
This discussion was originally started by user RHBT in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.
My boyfriend was diagnosed with ADHD some years ago, and takes medication for it. He also sees a therapist every week, so he’s trying to manage it.
When we first met, I couldn’t even tell he had ADHD. He was brilliant, charming, romantic, attentive, and it was not hard to fall in love with him. We moved in together last November, with the goal that, if we were still this insanely happy after a year, we would marry and buy a house.
Almost immediately after the move, his behavior changed. He seems perpetually distracted and oblivious to me. He is easily irritated and occasionally has angry outbursts. The romantic, attentive man I fell in love with doesn’t seem to exist any more. To say that I am devastated would be an understatement.
We have a lease that doesn’t expire for another 9 months. I love him, but am not happy. I’m very confused and just don’t know what to do.
I’ve read a great deal about adult ADHD, and understand that some of these symptoms are typical. With that said, I still feel like I need some help dealing with this situation.
April 12, 2017 at 3:12 pm #41024
This reply was originally posted by user CatherineRae in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
A person with ADD can be wonderfully romantic when starting a relationship because he or she will hyperfocus on the person. But when that relationship is established, then their focus can shift. It doesn’t mean he loves you any less; it just means his focus has shifted.
I would try telling him how you feel, and asking for specific time or energy. My spouse literally forgets that I need attention. When I point out that she gives her email more time than she gives me, she tries harder to pay attention to me. Try setting aside the same night every week as ‘date night.’
April 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm #41028
This reply was originally posted by user ADHDmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
It sounds to me like he’s still the same person, but moving in together allows you to see him at all times and in all moods — much more than when you’re dating. So, these behaviors have likely been there all along, you just hadn’t been around them.
There are many strategies to have a healthy relationship with ADHD in the mix. The fact that he’s getting treatment is huge, as many adults do not, and that complicates things greatly.
I agree that you should tell him how you’re feeling, but be sure it’s at a time when everyone is calm and happy, not right after an argument or emotional outburst.
Those with ADHD are especially susceptible to perceived criticism so be aware of that as well.
Here’s more on relationships with an ADHD partner:
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm #41035
This reply was originally posted by user nexus7722 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
Hi there, I’ve been married to a man with ADHD for about two years. We’d known one another for years prior but only found out about the ADHD a year or so back.
I won’t lie to you: the symptoms you mention do not get better. I experienced the same exact thing. What has gotten better, though, is how I view it.
My husband has my back. He loves me immensely. He wants to get better. Now for the bad: nearly zero sex life (it’s just not on his radar except for once every few months). Date nights happen weekly, but he’s just as likely to hyper focus on another guy at the bar and talk sports or geology all night with someone else on our date (that happened just last week).
I’d by lying if I said it didn’t make me sad. Or that I didn’t wish for someone without this condition. But in some ways, my husband is a unicorn. He’s brilliant. Seriously brilliant. Funny, if you don’t mind puns. And is always willing to work on things. That last one is the clincher.
Best of luck. And hugs. Be sure to take care of yourself whatever happens. This condition is so hard on the partners.
May 25, 2017 at 11:16 pm #50352NonADDspouseParticipant
These forums are so miserable and discouraging! Where is the real help and support? No one should have to accept a relationship with no sex life, no attention, and no partnership, love, or support. There has to be a better way! Both partners deserve better.
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