I am the daughter of someone with ADHD and I have a brother with it as well. Growing up with and ADHD father was difficult. We didn't know he had it until many years after my brother was diagnosed. I told myself that I don't ever want to marry a man with ADHD because I don't want to repeat the problems I had in my childhood. After finding this website, I can see that not everyone with ADHD has all the same symptoms, and of course not the same personality. It made me realize that I could probably marry someone with ADHD if he recognized he had it and was willing to receive coaching and try different diets or medications to help with his symptoms.
My dad has a pretty extreme case, from what I can tell, but he doesn't want to receive any help with anything. That can be very frustrating. My mom takes on all the slack for the things my dad cannot do. It's hard to watch and be okay with things like that.
It's sad to say, but I look for the typical ADHD signs in every man I date for fear that he may have it. My boyfriend now is awesome, and has many of the good traits my dad has, but some of those traits seem to be associated with ADHD. I can sometimes have fears or bad dreams that my boyfriend is just treating me so well now because perhaps he has ADHD hyperfocus on our relationship. I fear that if he does have ADHD and hyperfocus, the affection will wane and he will change into a different person. That is what happened with my dad shortly after marriage. My dad turned angry towards my mother for the silliest things. Later, when us kids came along, he blamed us for silly things as well. This was just one of the many issues that came up during my childhood.
My boyfriend lives a distance from me, so it is hard to tell how he acts around other people. We are mostly alone together and rarely around others. With me, he is wonderful. He is always affectionate and loving. He does many kind things for me and is always telling me how much he loves me. He is sensitive, so is not afraid to cry around me. He is very sentimental and holds onto things that remind him of good times. What concerns me is that he has so many of the good traits that are unique to my brother and dad who have ADHD and so I am naturally concerned that he will also have the bad effects of ADHD as well. I see little things that are concerning, but don't want to blow them out of proportion if they are just things that are common to most men. I don't really know what is normal behaviour for men or what is ADHD behaviour because I only have one brother without ADHD, but am not around him that much. I work with alot of men, but you only see the surface personality and not what is going on at home, so it is hard to understand what is ADHD behaviour and what is normal.
Before my relationship, I was seeing a counselor. I told her that I was always wanting to analyze every boyfriend for fear that they had ADHD. She told me to not be too concerned about that, but to just focus on what you can and cannot handle in the relationship. She told me to be true to myself and to not make excuses for him when I do see things you don't like. I make excuses for my dad alot now that I know he has ADHD.
One thing that would help me out here is to hear very specific examples of what life was like with someone with ADHD before marriage and specifics of how the person changed after marriage. My boyfriend and I are seriously considering marriage, but we are only a few months into the relationship. I love him very much and would definitely still consider marriage even if he had ADHD, but it would be nice to recognize it first before tying the knot.