Hello all. I have been browsing through this site for awhile now, and have finally decided to post.
My boyfriend (33) and I (31) have been dating since March of this year. Shortly into the relationship he had to move 700 miles away for work. Because of hyper-focus, we were able to make it work, and then I moved there with him in August. We have been living together since.
I knew going into the relationship that he had ADHD, but did not realize at the time the effect that it would have on our relationship. When I met him, he was unlike any other guy I had ever met. I truly felt that I had found "the one". Now today, I'm starting to completely resent him and am ready to leave.
The biggest ADHD problems we face are distraction, lack of empathy, anger, and what I'll call 'interruption'.
Distraction, lack of empathy and anger: Computer & cellphone are biggest culprits of distraction. I had just been away on a work trip for 5 days. I got back, I got a quick hug and then he had his face buried in his computer the rest of the night. I told him (as i have many times) that it upsets me when he does this, and his response is always "well you are always on your phone too!". I asked him if there had ever been a time, when he wanted my attention, but didn't get it because I was on my phone. His response, "I bet if I could look at minutes spent on your phone yours would be way higher than mine." He also insists that I am picking fights by bringing this up, and that I am ridiculous, too sensitive, and that this is "high school bullshit". He gets so angry anytime I try and approach him about something that is bothering me. Every time it is the same response, "You're crazy. You're overreacting. You're too sensitive. You do it too.". He ALWAYS spins it around to make it my fault. It's impossible for him to empathize with my feelings. And then when I keep my feelings in when something happens (because i want to avoid a blow-out with him), but he can tell I'm upset, he asks why I won't talk to and open up to him. I am careful to use "I language" when trying to communicate a problem. When I do, he laughs at me. "It's so funny when you say 'I feel hurt when...'", this makes me feel stupid.
The other big issue is he constantly "jokes" with me. This is all the time. I can't even have a real conversation with him, because he'll interrupt me with some sarcastic remark. I've told him this bothers me, and that i understand he's 'joking' but when it's so constant, that some of the things he says start to hurt. This is very much the hyperactive part of the ADHD. There are times, i feel like I'm with a crazy little boy, who is doing anything possible to get my attention. Anyone seen the family guy episode where Stewie keeps bugging Lois, "Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mommy" - That is exactly what it feels like sometimes. I want to scream at him to shut up and leave me alone. He was never like this during 'hyper-focus' mode.
He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. He has an adderall prescription, but only takes it when he "really needs it". Which is when he has to really focus on something for work. I've asked him to go talk to an ADHD specialist with me and that it is vital to the relationship. He said he refuses to talk to someone. I asked him, "Does this relationship mean enough to you that you will do what it takes (go talk to someone) to fix it?" He couldn't answer me.
I know he also struggles with anxiety and depression. He has very low self esteem. And I tried to explain to him, how much happier we both could be if we would go talk to someone as a team. He refuses to listen.
So here I am today, after our big fight last night over the phone/computer, and he kept just attacking me, making everything my fault. I said "See this is what I mean. You won't even consider that there is a problem, you are just making everything my fault." He responded with "break up with me then!" We haven't spoke since.
I know he loves me, and I love him (the him I know is in there somewhere), but I feel like I need to put my foot down, and draw the line. I am thinking of going and staying with friends for awhile, and explaining to him that he needs to be willing to take control of the ADHD, or I removing myself from the relationship. I know I can't do this much longer. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression, and I was in a really good place when we met. Now I feel like the ADHD by-product depression is taking over my life. It is starting to affect my job, and even my friends realize I'm not myself.
So I'm just reaching out to those of you who have undoubtedly been in very similar situations. What is your advice?