March 15, 2021 at 11:00 pm #196235
I have been with my boyfriend for about two years now and things get rocky every now and then because of my behavior. I tend to over think situations, jump to conclusions, say too much, say too little, I forget things all the time and I can be careless. I feel any and all emotions intensely and I find myself being really irritable sometimes. I have bad executive dysfunction and small stuff tends to be a lot more for me. I cannot process sounds without seeing the source it comes from so I often ask my boyfriend to repeat himself (which for his own reasons, upsets him and makes him feel like he’s not heard). I’m particular about how I do things, I’m specific, anything not according to plan sets me way back. All this and more.
Basically I’m a handful, always been described as difficult. I’ve lost plenty of friends and partners like this and it’s something that I can’t help but feel is inevitable to happen again. The RSD is making it impossible to see the light in this situation since I’ve seen it so many times and I keep freaking out and then doing damage control constantly, which I feel all sounds pathetic the more I try to explain myself.
I want to give up every day but for the first time ever I know I cannot give up on this and him. He’s been very patient with me and wants a future together but it’s getting to a point where he says he doesn’t know how much more he can take. I want to do the right thing, and sometimes I think I am genuinely, but I miss the mark so bad. I want to be there for him but I always get caught up in trying to manage myself that I’m not giving him the support he needs.
Does anybody else struggle with this? And have you done anything that’s helped you? I swear I’m not an evil person, but I feel like the worst. Also, would love communication tips!
March 16, 2021 at 12:40 pm #196250JaentaParticipant
Hi benjammin. So relatable!
My man and I have had similar problems. He didn’t understand why I sometimes couldn’t hear him. He thought I found him boring, I felt bad, tried to explain, got frustrated, raised my voice, said I’m sorry like a million times and so on. When I finally got my diagnosis things changed, but it took some time. Knowledge and understanding is the key. I had to understand myself to stop beating myself up. He had to learn more about ADHD to understand me. Som we had to educate ourselves. It takes a whole lot of effort and a WILL to make the relationship work!
From what u wrote it sounds like u take the blame for your problems and that is NOT making u happy! We keep trying to be “good”, listen, keep it together, remember where we put things, not to lose focus, follow through, do one thing at a time… and when we fail, there is noone more dissapointed with us than ourselves. I don’t think normies understand that.
Does your boyfriend know about your ADHD? Is he interested in learning more about it? – YouTube is a great start (totally add is good and there are really good TEDtalks also).
You need to talk about your fears of losing him. Prepare – what do i want to know and say? (Some times it can be easier to write a Love letter. U get to really think everything through and he can’t interrupt😉) Talk when u both are in a good mood.
Communication tips för when u are arguing: avoid getting caught up in “I said this, and then u said…, and then…”
And take five. Half a cigarette is usually what it takes for me to view things differently.
I hope u understand what i wrote (i’m Swedish) and that it’s of any use.
PS. You deserve to be loved! Stay flawsome! 😉
March 16, 2021 at 3:05 pm #196257
Thank you so much @Jaenta ! This was so helpful to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles likes this and that it can get better. I really appreciated your words and they’ve lifted me up so much and helped me find the words to say to my boyfriend today. It was a really good step in the right direction 🙂 Things won’t be perfect right away but I’m so glad that we were able to talk now and come to an understanding of how we’re going to adapt to this, because we both would like to have a future together. One where we are both comfortable, happy, and understood! Thank you!
March 16, 2021 at 3:24 pm #196260famADDParticipant
I can relate to so much of this. I am not sure I have any solid advice, but I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I am currently without a significant other and I have been feeling like I am doomed to be alone. I was married and divorced, but still connected until he died almost 2 years ago. I have tried dating apps. The one thing that I keep coming back to is the question of how do I make time to be in a relationship while taking care of my other responsibilities. I would like to give you major credit for being able to communicate and develop your relationship this far. I hope that the advice offered by Jaenta is helpful. I know it helped me when I was able to write my thoughts and feelings for my partner. I also used the smoke break until I quit smoking so now I am looking for other ways to take that break in order to reframe what is happening. I am trying to use the serenity prayer more often; even if you don’t pray, being able to see what is and is not within your control may help.
Give yourself credit for your efforts because as you know, we are our worst critic. Thank you for sharing because I feel a little less alone.
March 16, 2021 at 3:36 pm #196261
Tammy this was very insightful and thank you so much for sharing with me. It helps so much to hear others share their experience and I know the struggle it can be. Thank you. I also take smoke breaks but I feel like I’m using it too much and have to find other ways to emotionally cope. So I will look into it a bit. A smoke break is good once in a while, I won’t lie. But I’ll be trying to do it less and find other ways. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂
March 17, 2021 at 4:46 am #196278DanYoungParticipant
I can SO relate! My wife and I have been married over 20 years, and I just found out about my ADHD a few months back, but we have been struggling in our relationship for a long time. We have fallen into the classic parent/child relationship because she feels I forget things all the time, and irresponsible and has taken on the “Mom” roll which is SO TOXIC. She resents it, and I feel like dirt to much of the time. We are now trying to figure out our relationship and where to go from here. Everyday I wake up hopeful and then crash and burn on something stupid.
The best I have discovered is try to talk it out and discover together the challenges of being in a relationship with someone with ADHD. My counselor suggest small steps, that way there is some success every day. Ultimately you are who you are. There are tools to use to help manage better with other people, but your partner needs to decide if they are willing to work with you as well. If not, then that person may not be the right person for you. It is tough, but if they are willing to learn with you, there is growth and understanding.
Best of luck!
March 19, 2021 at 11:18 am #196277RecoveringADHDmomParticipant
I’ve been here. Oh man do I hear and feel your pain. I always heard I am not enough and I always took the blame. I thought everything was my fault. I don’t know what your situation is like exactly but I can’t ignore the feeling to share this article with you. It may or may not resonate with you but I hope it can at least bring you some clarity with what a healthy relationship should be like involving an ADHD person.
March 19, 2021 at 11:37 am #196552Penny WilliamsKeymaster
I think it’s really important to tell him exactly what you wrote here. The sincerity should carry some weight. Couples counseling could be helpful too. I know you’re not married, but Melissa Orlov’s books on ADHD and marriage are full strategies for couples.
In the end, if he doesn’t accept who you are, the relationship will never work. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong or are broken or anything like that, it’s simply that you don’t fit together.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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