Help! New relationship w/ ADHD partner in crisis
Submitted by onthefence87 on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 03:17
i am in a 6 month relationship with a man whom i love very much. he was up front early on about his adhd and he also takes medication. the first few months of our relationship were stunning; the emotional capacity he awoke in me was out of this world, the emotional/physical bond one of the most beautiful i've ever experienced. i feel deeply in love with him. he was attentive to my child, brought his child into our shared times, helped with housework, asked if i needed anything when he was out, showed consideration and kindness, woke early to make us breakfast in bed, held my face in my hands and told me many times through out the day he loved me. he shared his heart, his feelings, positive and his fears with me. he responded to my feelings and fear. i knew this was real, he was real and i loved him whole. those first few months i noticed nothing of adhd behavior. then the first week arrived where he didnt touch me. 5 days went by, then the next week, 7. he began to share less and even to speak/connect less to me. i began feeling as if id done something wrong, if maybe he had met another person. when i asked him..tenderly, gently, how we could go from 5 times a week to a week without, he said "'im a camel- i can just go without. and im not some machine, i need to feel emotionally connected to you." yes, but you aren't spending time with me or even speaking to me so your not allowing the conditions of emotional closeness you once created with me. i found myself 'waiting'--waiting up for him to come to bed to see if i could rekindle him. i found myself on deck, waiting to keep my time open to him showing up to connect. i began to feel diminshed and like wall paper. and i began to find myself trying to look sexier and doing things to try to get that shine from him again. o how i miss that shine~ does the hyperfocus EVER come back to us the way he gave it at the start? are there ways to counter balance its disappearance? limit seeing him so he misses/value me?
at the 3 month time, he maintained another place to stay but spent 5 nites a week with me at my house and our weekends were spent together with his child and my child, doing things as a family and also independantly. as the weeks arrived with no touch, so did the weekends where my child and i would be left to wait to be included in his plans with his child but would not be. it was as simple and avoidable as he and his child would play video games too violent for my child to watch so we would go on a walk. just to have them show up a half hour later at the park as we were leaving it. i would offer to walk with them but my partner would non chalantly say he was gojng to a location and didnt want to make us walk there since we'd just come from there. i would feel hurt, like he was intentionally avoiding us. Wee went from driving his child an hour back to his mom's and going all 4 of us together in the car, feeling close and warm, having fun and laughing to him asking to use the car for these trips alone. by our fourth month, we went from intense, beautiful togetherness, checking in, and unified connection to dissconnect, seperation and independence--with me stockpiking hurt upon hurt over insensitive things said and the complete lack of emotional sharing. we went from 5-6 times a week of gorgeous physicality to a week passing, then 10 days passing with nothing. an hour used to be spent kissing and touching and even that became reduced to the bare nessecary time. i began to feel so depressed. where did the love of my life go? attempts--gentle, respectful--were met with arms crossing, screwed up faces, furrowed forehead, walking out of the room, storming out of the house, not speaking to me all day...he wold hold out so long with his anger than i would soften and found myself treating him with kidd gloves were he just to return and hold me so i could get relief from the tension that was now in my home--which is the place where i work. so where he gets to storm out the door, i am left to pick up the emotional pieces and calm myself--alone. . there were times i would cry and he would get angry and simply say the cruelest things. he began to spend less time with my child and they, being under 6, could not understand why. sometimes they would cry from missing him..sometimes he would come home and simply go into another room to continue working, leaving me to try to explain to my child he would spend time with them another day [and honestly not even knowing that he would]. if i tried to explain how a 5 year old needs his attention, he would just get upset and say that by being here 5 nites a week he was in fact 'seeing' my child more than he sees his own. there would be periods of renewed bliss and these shots in the arm would remind me of the man he was when we met. they also would be floods to the barren emotional landscape in which he had left me. i would feel in the rosy glow of that time, these kinks would work themselves out.
at month 6, he moved in. it has been 23 days. the first five days all was calm, we love spending time together, slept well each nite, nothing too dramatic. then his child came for 9 days. he gave his child the room on the first floor and not once, in the nine days he was here did my guy come into our bedroom on the second floor at nite to sleep. his normal pattern is to stay up with his child until they fall asleep togethter, then when he wakes in the middle of the nite, to come to our bed. in those nine days, i found myself waiting, i felt like id become a roomate, i felt rejected, ugly, unwanted. my child was here also and only one time in those nine days did all of us do something. another weekend passed, no plans. no time with him friday nite, sat day or nite, partly due to working, partly due to him just not making plans with us--or making a plan for a few days later and completely forgetting it. thinner and thinner and thinner. never addressing the seperation or the tension building in my home, where i pay for the overhead. i tried to contain my feelings while his child was there but i couldnt help but close down from the rejections. he would offer me hugs when he saw me, but these seemed so hollow in the face of the grave pain of his actions. i felt angry but knew from how he's trained me, that any expression of hurt or upset would just cause him to have an uproarous angry outburst and prob walk out the door, then ignore me until i made it calm for him. he would then justify his actions by saying i'd attacked him or hurt him.
after nine days, his child returned home. two days later he announced he was going to help his friend recover from a surgery. he was gone out of state for 4 nites. he had a huge fight with me before he left. explained that the reason he never came into our bed for nine nites was because 'there was housework to do' when he got home--the house was gross, there are standards he maintains for his child that he must see are met. terribly hurtful: my house is clean, i am working and busy and basically raising a child alone, he works but is not paying rent, he has weekend visits with his child because i have a nice house and he didnt have a place he could bring his child to. he uses my car to pick up and drop off his child and the fridge and cupboards are always stocked with food i buy. these are all things i offer with heart and never ask for anything in return, and yet here he was--in the face of my hurt from rejection--blaming me for ignoring me and citing it was because my house was gross. While away for his four days, he apologized for his harsh words and said he couldnt wait to get back to my arms. The first day he was back, i had my child stay with an overnight sitter so we could have a nite to reconnect. i wanted to hear what he had to say, i wanted to feel his love and warmth and put the whole thing behind us. He worked late, stayed in the bath until 1:30 am and said he just wished i'd want to hold him and not want sex from him--he was exhausted! he had no feelings to share, nothing to say from the major bad feelings that had been building up for the past two weeks--or the month[s] prior. he said the most alarming thing to me hat nite: he said: i feel that you have these physical needs, these needs that the more i feel them, the more i dont want to give. if you need to get them met by someone else, i understand." again, floored. i explained that i didnt have any more needs than the ones he created with me in the start of our relationship. that i was undemanding to him and was simply looking to him to be the loving, physical guy he was to me. the next night, instead of coming home, he went out with friends until 2am. i was floored. all this point, he'd been with his child 9 nites, been with his friend 4 nites and spent one nite sleeping like a rock while i combed over how he could tell me to be with someone else!! it seems like he gets cruel, offers a nugget of apology to feel he has me again then never does a thing to clean up the mess. we had one good nite this week where he came in the door, was excited to see me and loved my body the way he used to.
the next nite was back to square one. he was saying that he was concerned about coming up with rent for the month [which had not been paid yet] and also saving up for his own place. i told him if he wanted to he could not pay rent, put all of his resources to his own place and i would simply rent out the room. he whipped himself up into a frenzy, told me i was destabalizing him, he was moving out, didnt even know if he wanted to see me again. he has spent the last two nites downstairs in the spare room. i have been trying to stay centered, and grasp that man i met is probably not coming back. that the deep love i felt and know, in those moments/months is prob not a sustainable way he can be with anyone. in the above scenario i am seeing many elements of what ive read to be a relationship riddled with adhd one or both partners are not or/newly aware of:
unable to communicate about the simplest of things, quick to anger, storm off, leave a conflict for the partner to sort out, come to peace with. interpets the most benign things as attacks, reacts as if you are enemy, despite you being a very clean communicator. do not clean up emotional messes. say cruel things even when partner is expressing hurt in a non-blaming way or showing true emotional distress such as crying. slacks on shared responsibilty. cannot see the whole picture..if you stay here and use my car, it would only make sense that you include myself and my child in your life. cannot grasp my hurt: if you ignore me and my child you are going to cause us confusion and longing. cannot grasp cause and effect: if you mess this up, you not only end us but you dont have a place to stay. you have asked for this role of my partner and therefore it is not fair to be the only one in our lives and ignore us.,,if i ask you to touch me, i have experienced your exasperation that i have a need to feel you [low sex drive]. you live in this house, so why would you think that going long stretches of time withoiut making time for me/us would not cause hurt/upset.
at this point, he moved in july 1, he has spent 7 of the last 22 nights in our bed. my child, who is asleep most times before he gets home, has spent less than an hour with him.
he makes no peace here and leaves the conflict to burn itself out. i need to ask him to leave, that adhd is running the show, that the core of respect and human kindness that must have continuity in a relationship is not able to happen with these un-acknowledged Adhd traits.
is there a way i can do this WITHOUT ME reacting to his anger/upset/blame? I do not want to be destructive to what i feel is going to create a big conflict with him. is there a way i can adhd style communicate what i need to say and not destroy the possibility of him being in our lives as he connects the dots? he truley embraces adhd and takes his meds. i just honestly believe he has no clue to the effect these traits have on love or emotional/intimate relationships. and of course his perceptions are so far off center that he hears things that arent said or repeats what he belives ive said and its not even close. he truly cannot grasp emotional framework within relationships. however, i enjoy his company on lighter levels and i value him as a person and artist. i do not want to be a parent, roomie or shock absorb any more of the consequences of these things to myself or child.
please let me add that i am a person who is sensitive, i like alot of physical affirmation and i enjoy the feeling-share part of relationships. i like to communicate fully about hurts and hold space for my partner as well as be responded to with heart if i am hurt. i love to feel my partners attraction to me and i love a 3-5 week 'connection'. i do not like conflict or use anger tactics to push a problem away. im not perfect in any way but feel that respect and treatment of our partner is of utmost importance to a relationships sustainability. in this relationship i feel like i am chasing after his initial high, after the feelings he brought about in me, for us and i have a dread that they are gone gone gone.
to be fair for him: he is in a work transiiton. hes an artist who earns well but is getting ready to leave one company that is failing for another that is opening. money is kinda tight right now, uncertainty is high and he does not like feeling 'dependant' on me. i respect his guys view point and wanting to have his own place/car/etc. however, i still dont think there is any justification for how he is treating me--withdraw, anger, defensiveness, making me out to be needy. i feel it is destructive but also wonder if these other conditions could be triggering him in such a way that he is overwhelmed and flooded and has nothing to give/say/offer.
to sum it up: can i untangle from the mess of ending up in a practical and emotional drain with my adhd guy [whom i love and am still in love with] without destroying the connection that initially brought us together so strongly? and if so, how do i make these distinctive separations from him w/o losing the whole thing. obviously, I have little control in the outcome. I would just like to hear insights and opinions from others on this.