Moving forward in ADHD / non ADHD relationship

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    • #166612

      If my husband chooses to treat his ADHD and expects me to just move forward in this relationship I’m just not sure if I can do it. He’s been so awful to me rages, anger criticism, doesn’t see my nerds at all in fact rallies against them – at times I’ve been scared for my safety. We’re working with a psych who thinks our relationship is salvageable though I’m not sure I can trust him anymore. I feel so burnt out from dealing with it and essentially even though I know it’s all ADHD related I am in an abusive relationship. I don’t get how the non ADHD partner should be expected to forgive and forget when it’s going to be a lifetime of drama no doubt. Especially when he’s not on meds and says he won’t go on them (says that now) and wants me to just essentially stop complaining.

    • #166628

      I’d be hesitant at the statement “it’s all ADHD related.” Behaviors, especially abusive ones, aren’t a result of ADHD. A person may be more vulnerable to certain things, more impulsive, and even struggle with social interactions, but ADHD is not a cause of abuse. That has to do with a person’s choices, character, and overall mental health. It’s important not to let him or the psychiatrist place the responsibility for those things onto the diagnosis. It’s important that you know he can be held accountable for his behavior. He doesn’t get a free pass just because he has ADHD.

      Ultimately in moving forward in a relationship that is broken, it’s less about “forgive and forget” and more about, “Do I want a life with this person?” If you don’t, be honest about that. If you do, then you find ways to work on the future rather than trying to hash out parts of the past. You can give each other a fresh start to some extent, but you still take time to provide information to your partner on what hasn’t worked well in the past and what could be different. You do it without blame and from a perspective of change. But, you only do that if you want to maintain the relationship.

      Living with and loving someone with a mental illness can be hard. It can be exhausting. It can be heartbreaking. Sometimes we can’t tolerate it or live through it. There’s a lot of weight placed on wedding vows (“through sickness and in health”) but sometimes love or promises can’t stand up to reality. And, if someone is abusive, you shouldn’t continue to be in a relationship that places you in harm’s way or makes you feel unsafe.

      Bottom line, he’s still responsible for his own choices and behavior. And you have to decide if you still want to move forward. Reflect on it honestly and consider what life would be like with him if he gets better and if he doesn’t. There’s a chance he may get better and relapse, or a chance that he won’t get better for years. You need to know what your limits are and set that bottom line. Good luck whatever you do!

    • #169617

      I completely hear you. In a similar situation. My DH did take action to get onto ADHD medication. It was trial and error and still a few years later there can be times of inexcusable, abusive behavior. As this mainly happens when he is not on his meds / waiting for meds to kick in, I had put the abusive behavior down to ADHD. However, his specialist in no uncertain terms told him that the abusive behavior has nothing to do with ADHD.

      Depending on the partner (as I do see success stories on the board), I feel that life with ADHD as either the ADHD or non ADHD spouse can be a real rollercoaster. Maybe things will change, but I think as non ADHD partners we need to decide if we can accept the rollercoaster or not and know that changing behavior takes a while. I also think we need to be aware that ADHD does not equal to abuse.

      It’s easier said than done. I have not worked it out myself either, but know that you’re not alone in your experience and I hope that it can bring some comfort/courage x

    • #169776

      Well, Hats off to the Non ADHD partner in the relationship. It takes strength and patience. Hyperactivity and rage is lethal at all points. My fiance does suffer through the same situation. Guess what! We are the sailors of the same boat. But sure a rocky boat! I am of the fact that spouses stick together through thick and thin.

      If one suffers, the other must not dwindle. It does feel like quitting the relationship but rather not to live in remorse or guilt.

      Later in life, it can lead to depression and anxiety of the healthy partner deserting the one who fell in a health issue. Bingo! There are success stories along with effective treatments so must stay positive.

      Being an emotionally intelligent person and dealing with someone very close to my heart, I did sift through some solutions for ADHD along with adopting healthy living habits. I tried telling my partner about some meditative ways, even working with crystals. I know new age spirituality, right. Along with that, I do have a future plan to try medical marijuana though. Anyone has tried it?

      Wish me luck. Much love.

      • #169816

        Depending on your situation, Weed doesn’t solve everything. Like anything it can become addictive, and can affect you in other ways.

      • #169860

        Yes I have been doing some research on it myself too. I do fear about the side effects of such a situation. Medications does exist like Adderall however the dosage is what matters. Wonder what is its taper off impact. For some time or so the dopamine levels mount. How hardly does it hit back after it , that I am not sure. There is Adderall XR but stronger, administered for a longer time. I personally prefer staying away from medication and joining group support or stress treatment methods.

    • #178349

      Hi Sun20. I hear you. I had been in a similar situation. I ended up leaving after many years of abuse, but returning once again. My DH will be the first to admit that ADHD does not equate to abuse. For years, everything was blamed on the ADHD and my lack of understanding. After I left, my DH did some soul searching. It was painful for both of us as I loved him and knew he needed my support, but equally I had needs and could not ignore the pain of severe emotional abuse.

      Ultimately he realized what his counsellor was saying was true – that he needed to own his behaviors. He had often said he could not control them, but the reality is he was not ready to. Of course there are some things that are harder for a spouse with ADHD than without, but being a kind and caring person rather than abusive is not one of them. Anyone suffering from ADHD is much like the rest of us – some people can be abusive and others not. It’s about ownership of one’s own actions.

      Ultimately in my case he realized this and he realized the choice in front of him. Either own his behavior of lose me forever. Faced with that stark reality, he chose to change and I chose to forgive him.

      It takes effective medication and adapting behavior from the ADHD spouse. And patience and also some adaptation to how to interact from the non-ADHD spouse. Basically as with any relationship, it takes two to tango. The important thing is for each person in the relationship to be honest with their needs and also see whether they can meet those needs in a way that is not destructive to the relationship. And support from a counsellor where needed.

      Most importantly I want to say to you that you are heard, understood and empathized with here. You are not alone. It is hard when we love someone, but know that ADHD does not equate to abuse and you are a human who deserves a happy life. From your end know that whatever happens, you always, always have a choice even though it may not feel like it. Your husband also has a choice. There are ways to build a successful relationship and it takes both parties to do so.

    • #188328

      Does anyone have suggestions for non stimulant adhd meds? My spouse is on heart meds and cannot take stimulants. Of course I realize he needs to seek medical advice but he will not and I am at a loss.

    • #188358

      ZSDA22 you really need to speak with his Dr, as medicines interact with each other. You also need to see someones history before prescribing. It’s highly possible there is a mix that works, but but no one on here should be prescribing. Best of luck.

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