April 15, 2019 at 12:56 pm #114032
I’ve recently started seeing a man who I knew struggled with ADHD. I never thought it would be an issue because he always seemed so into the relationship, but I’m now learning that was what most people call the “hyperfocus dating” phase. It appears to have ended and his interest seems to be on everything else. When I ask if I can help him in some way, or if I can read anything specific to him to learn more, I generally don’t get much feedback.
His interests almost always come first, which I would normally be okay with, but sometimes, I just want him to remember one or two things that are important to me and take the time to follow up or ask how those things went or are progressing. I don’t want to tell him I feel disappointed and forgotten, but I do feel that way.
If I ask him to do a simple task for me (I don’t think I ask for much from him), it just never seems to be important enough to happen. He SAYS it’s important that he be helpful, but with no action to back up the words, I just don’t know. Eventually I stop asking for the thing I need or want.
Communication seems to revolve around what’s convenient for him. It doesn’t feel like two people communicating effectively. I feel like I’ve gotten to a point where, if I don’t talk to him or ask him to call, conversation just won’t happen.
I’m also beginning to notice I have to pull information from him, which makes me feel like I’m nagging for details.
Sometimes I wonder if I was just a fun distraction for a while and now that I’m familiar, it’s just not exciting anymore. I really want to understand and not place demands, but I’m having a difficult time feeling like he’s still interested in me. I ask, he says he is, but his actions speak otherwise.
Are these things just normal ways of life with ADHD or is the writing on the wall? I’ve read so much and I understand the struggles, but I struggle with accepting his rationale that his brain works differently so he can’t understand the way I interpret his actions.
If anyone has any suggestions, please share them. I really like this man but I don’t like that we’re consistently on different pages. If this is “just how it is,” I need to know that, too.
April 25, 2019 at 8:37 am #114902
I’m a woman with ADHD (inattentive) and I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. I’ve been diagnosed at 15, 27 and 31yo. I didn’t really believe the first two diagnosis’s… partially because of my parents who said “you don’t have that… you’re not like your cousin Chris” Well, obviously I’m not like my hyperactive male cousin. ADHD isn’t fully understood by most, myself included. I will get to my point haha. The last diagnosis led me to “hyperfocus” on researching ADHD In women and the different types. My husband sounds A LOT like your bf. I have actually been thinking he has ADHD too… but because of my ADHD I have been emotionally withdrawn from him for years. Now that I know what’s going on with me I’m trying to rekindle our relationship… he seems interested sometimes and others he’s hyperfocusing on Reddit. I feel like I don’t matter to him anymore… I’m old news. But I know he loves me. Ugh. It’s a crappy situation. May I ask, how long have you two been dating? Men and women are so different to begin with… then you throw ADHD in the mix and it makes for an even more confusion.
April 25, 2019 at 10:14 pm #114968
Hi confuzzled, I’ve been on your bf’s end so my ex and some close friends get quite upset with me like you too.
I think it may be related to different expectations in a relationship, he seems more like the introvert independent type who like his own space, does not really ask for help either. As people get closer, most people would expect their partner to express more verbally and other ways but it may be harder for an introvert. Personally I would just like to meet my partner once a week because I want to have my space too, but on that one day I will give the person my attention. I’m quite a passive person I guess, but spending time together helps and I talk more when the other person don’t keep pushing me to say something. Some people get pissed off when I can’t concentrate for a long time. If my partner ask me do you love me, I will say yes, but not really in a passionate way because obviously I won’t be with the person if I didn’t.
What worked for me is that we plan a day together to do something I like and something he like or alternate days where we do something one person like. It’s nice that you compromise but if you keep doing it, you may also feel frustrated and wonder if he take your patience for granted.
As for asking for help, maybe you can consider what kind of help to ask for. Some people are better at giving advice when you ask, doing something on the spot instead of following up kind of thing. Unfortunately most guys I know, whether they have adhd or not, don’t do follow up so I just ask for other things instead.
In a relationship, I’m like the admin coordinator who gets things organized and followed up, while my partner is usually the hands on person. Different people work well with different dynamics and roles.
Also, maybe you can try observing him when around his friends and talk to his friends, maybe they can give a better perspective as they know him longer than you.
April 27, 2019 at 9:22 pm #115122
Hi confuzzled, I can truly identify with the issue you have posted about. My ADHD boyfriend and I have been together a year and a half and I found that the dating and his hyper-focus on me (the new girlfriend) phase) only lasted for months. Since that time I found that he’s moved on to other more novel activities that get his attention. I feel that I am only here in this relationship for his entertainment. I am not honored and I am not cherished and I am often disregarded and disrespected. Our relationship has been on the brink of non-existence 4 but seems like eight months now. He is not medicated and was diagnosed a decade-and-a-half ago. I feel that my emotions are meaningless because we will have an intense argument and I will state what I need from him examples would be to show up on time for the dinner I’ve made, to drive me safely to an appointment and then not forget me there, to not reach over me at a dinner party like I am a ghost and so on and so on. However, stating my feelings after these events transpire has gotten me nothing but a quick hug and promise to not make me feel hurt again. As you can tell the promises are never upheld because again and again there are more instances of when I am being let down. In the first 4 months he was a different man completely, and so was I, since I had not been subjected to such disrespect and consistent drama. Even when I had broken my leg he expressed very little caring compassion and helpfulness. And now that I am somewhat recovered and he’s beginning a new job the new job has taken all of his Focus. Tonight he did Express how he wanted to stop by my apartment to see me after work. Never the last having received four to five phone calls this afternoon from him at his workplace I know that if he comes here to visit he will be in an altered state of mind and it will not be positive for our engagement with one another or the relationship as a whole. He lost a sale to a co-worker as a used car salesman today and can do nothing but focus on the lack of income from that. I denied him coming therefore. It does not feel good because I want to see my boyfriend but I need to get over the phase of denial that he just isn’t who he was when we began dating and as a consequence is no longer the man I fell in love with. He’s already said the same about me. I am no longer the free-spirited bubbly humorous goofy girl he first Matt and came to love. I’m exhausted from my broken leg and the recovery the return to work without having the support from someone who claims to care for me dearly. The consistent drama you brings to my life has sucked the life and spirit from my body. Please know that what is written in black and white inside add text books was spot-on for me.
May 6, 2019 at 2:47 am #115958
Wow I’m so glad I found this week site… I’m to the point where I’m feeling I’m crazy and have to ask ppl around us both that know us 💯 just to snap back to the realization my relationship is well not good! My bf and I have been best friends since age 2 bc our families are super close and I do truly love him (The man I have known up until we started dating) but he’s m not even close to my lifetime friend I’ve known 27 yrs. He’s always so damn slow at everything,he can’t explain why where who or how it took him 3hrs to get home from a 15 min job. He is not interested in listening to his faults or trying to fix the situations at hand. He is very quiet or In another world 90% of the time,we don’t communicate at all really or we fuss. He’s always forgetting our plans,promises or simple but important conversations. I’m so aggravated to the point I’m startng to despise him and wonder what the hell he’s doing being gone without explaining 1 reason it takes 3hrs to go get milk 10 miles away,won’t ever put his phone by me or leave it to go pee like he’s hiding sruff and why he’s always disappearing to sit in his truck,shed,bathroom,closet or just leaves me alone like I’m nothing to him. He is the most selfish man I know and is a know it all better than the world kinda person. I mean I know he gets distracted but is all this related to adhd really? I’d truly love to know bc I wanna help him if he needs itand wants it but idk I think alot about leaving or not seeing him in my future at all. We fight everyday..i broke up with him 3 days ago but I’m giving him 1 week to do what we’ve agreed to and he has to do or else that’s it. I hate to sound cold to the world but he’s a super ass and is so rude to Everyone and makes me feel like a pos.. I need advice myself. Thank you
May 6, 2019 at 2:55 am #115959
I’m experiencing your entire relationship with my fiance of 8 months. I want to run away from him bc Idk the man he really is but then I miss the man I love That’s somewhere in him I guess. I stay sad and depressed and can’t talk to him bc he’s such an ass we end up fussing… So I have started staying silent recording him so he can hear how bad it is on his part… I’m praying for you
May 7, 2019 at 8:27 pm #116162
Thank you all for responding. I’m still so lost as to what to do, but I think my brain knows what has to happen. I care for this man so much, but I care about my sanity more.
I’ve reached the unhappy stage. I’m tired of my needs going unmet even after kindly and clearly stating what I needed.
I started off asking in very loving ways that gradually spiraled to the angry demanding ways. This isn’t how I want to be toward anyone. I think once I realized I wasn’t “myself” anymore (asking angrily/building resentment toward someone I genuinely feel love for), it was a strong indication that the relationship is unsustainable for both of us. I don’t want to be unhappy or make him feel wrong for how his body and brain operate.
I’m eternally optimistic even when a situation feels hopeless. If there was ANYTHING I could do to make this work, I would. In a heartbeat. He’s an incredible man. I’m just totally hurt and completely lost.
May 13, 2019 at 4:16 pm #116608
I’m so glad that you are thinking in this manner confuzzled. I just have to report that I did stop giving my boyfriend more time and chances to improve his behavior and seek out professional help. Instead I broke up with him almost 2 weeks ago and that was followed buy complete no contact. I know it’s for the best and I feel so much less anxious and so much peace in my life without him. Let’s be clear that I did feel love towards this individual however his selfishness and upon more research, his narcissistic attitude drove me away for good. Using a counselor to guide me I had the breakup conversation using the telephone because I knew he would try and talk me out of it once again stating how he was ready to change and how I will regret my decision. I am happy to have followed her advice and clearly stated how I did not wish for him to call me compulsively or text me any longer as my decision was final this time. I do believe that this relationship with this unmedicated ADHD 32 year old man was abusive emotionally. I do believe that I need significant healing from dealing with gaslighting and other traits of a narcissistic character. No he was never formally diagnosed with any narcissism mood disorder but he fit so many of those boxes in addition to the ADHD. I’ve sought out help not just from the counselor but from various YouTube videos and narcissistic personality disorder abuse forums. It was hard to identify the selfishness. I did not even realize that it was a comorbidity. I only thought he had ADHD but how he made me feel was rotten. Everything you described above is what I’ve just gone through and decided to finally I’m so glad that you are thinking in this manner and I encourage you to end your suffering from this relationship as it is extremely unhealthy and will affect you for longer than you can estimate. Again, I feel so much relief and I am sure my blood pressure has gone down because I’m no longer anxious about what will go wrong next or how he will disrespect me or disappoint me with his lack of help and planning
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