August 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm #125529
My boyfriend of one year wants to go on a break to figure out his life, since he feels unable to realize his needs and communicate them and his real need atm is simplicity. He has been diagnosed with ADD for the last 10 years and is on medication, but doesn’t see any therapist at the moment. For the past weeks, he has been depressed and distant not just from me but from everyone around him. The time we spend together is stressing him more and makes him more depressed being like that/not accommodating my needs, according to his words. I have told him he needs to start seeing a specialist, talk more about the issues that bother him and that he can have all the space and time he wants. I’m trying to be the reasonable partner in this relationship and see that the need for a break streams from his current lack of structured routines, his low self esteem and his tendency to be dramatic and see things in black and white. I really trust in him and I know he loves me, but what can I do to make this work?
August 20, 2019 at 10:23 am #125554
there’s no easy answer here. eye wasn’t diagnosed with adhd until eye was 40. (eyem 46 now) & to hear it from my wife, who pointed me to my adhd diagnosis in the first place, we’ve made zero progress over the past 6 going on 7 years in resolving the issues that continue to plague our marriage much less figuring myself out. while eye often tell her & myself that i need time or a break to “figure things out”. my current deficiencies in executive functioning often mean me obsessing over things for 2-3 days before eye lose steam, getting distracted by the next bright shiny new thing that captures my attention and voila i’m end up back at square one.
(tangent: when i say figure things out. in my mind, i’m working on some grandmaster unified field theorem that identifies all my triggers, crafts work-arounds for each and every one of them, illuminate all my blind spots and reconciles new issues as the arise in real time. and then…. and only then. when i have it all figured out. will i be ready to take on the world. nope. needless to say. not realistic at all. life is rather messy. and with (2) kids under 8. i dont have the luxury to wait until i’ve figured it out. & i’ll likely still be figuring it out on my deathbed.)
while i can’t imagine what he may be going through, it’s probably important for him to know if he doesn’t already that he didn’t get here overnight, and is not likely to get over or through it night. and it helps to have knowledgeable seasoned experienced support. (i made the mistake of going to marriage counseling with a counselor who separated out and declined to address adhd and a contributing factor) and right now that might not be you.
like your bf, i too am quite dramatic and suffer from low self esteem culled from decades of caked over trauma and a litany of personal failures. but the story doesn’t have to end there. not to beat a dead horse analogy, you can’t force him to come drink the water at the well, but when he’s ready. it’s nice to know there’s someone there who loves you, accepts you as who you are, and is willing to support you in you manifesting the best version of yourself.
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