Dating a Person with ADHD - Do I Continue?

There is a very interesting forum conversation going on that I would like to highlight here for those who are interested in whether or not they should continue dating someone with ADHD.  In a nutshell, the original poster is nervous about whether or not the problems she sees in her relationship with her boyfriend with ADHD will always be present or if they can be improved.  Her fear that he might not be able to “change,” or that the side of him she sees now is just hyperfocus courtship (i.e. not the “real” him) is keeping her from emotionally investing in the relationship.  What’s really interesting about this conversation is the very thoughtful responses she has received from those who have been in the ADHD/marriage trenches.  If you are interested in contributing to this topic or just seeing what is going on, I urge you to go to this link.  Please, no “run!” responses – there are plenty of those around and they aren’t as helpful as the posters often think they are.


I have been in a relationship

I have been in a relationship with my ADHD guy for three years.   We were friends at first, then more because he was so overwhelmingly attentive, charming  and fun that I couldn't resist him.  We are the middle of our third major "breakup".

 Unfortunately, the hyperfocus will absolutely change at some point.  You have to decide whether it is the guy you love or the attention he is giving you or both. We did have problems when the hyperfocus ended.  I assumed his feelings had changed or that there was someone else.  I am still not 100% sure about it, but that is partially my issue as well as his.  He states that I "set the expectations in the relationship so high that he couldn't sustain them".  While I understand it isn't something he does or did on purposes, it doesn't mean it won't feel different and hurt when the attention shifts.

There is also a lack of filter when he is angry, so there are things he has said that are incredibly hurtful.  He also over reacts when there is an argument and wants to quit.  There is absolutely no concept of how his actions make me feel.  He understands when he says something hurtful that it is hurtful, but he still doesn't really have any concept of my perspective.

The good thing about the relationship is that the 95% of the time that the relationship is good, it is wonderful.  Fun, energetic, enthusiastic, intense, loving and respectful.  The 5% of the hard times are really, really, really, really hard.  If you can figure out how to get through the bad times and either make progress or just get through them, the relationship will be the best you've ever had.  But the 5% is the worst time you have ever had.  It's a trade off I'm willing to have, but right now he is not. So be conscientious of how he will react during the bad times as well.



learn negotiation skills now

You have an opportunity to learn negotiation skills now that may help you.  In my book I talk about verbal cues and how useful they can be in keeping a conversation from escalating into something hurtful - sounds as if that would be one good strategy for the two of you to use.  You need to find a way to extricate yourself from a conversation that is going in the wrong direction and about to get hurtful.  Often you can see it coming (though sometimes not).  One option is to get into the habit of saying something like "I'm interested in hearing your opinion, but interested in your beating me up while you give it to me.  So I'm going to leave the room now and how to talk with you about this later when you've calmed down."

RUN AWAY before you get hurt!

I'M still with this person hoping things are going to get better. I have been married for 6 months and i want out!! He wanted to file for divorce the very next day we got married and almost every 2 weeks! He was diagnosed with ADHD before we got married, i was too preoccupied with the wedding that did not pay attention to his disorder. We dated for 5 years, and he always blames me for his temper, short fuse, I'm the one provoking his anger. He has gone from breaking lamps, TV, Phones everything that is on his way, punching wall, doors, and more. I just recently started to learn about the disorder. I regret everything from day one till now that i have allowed in the relationship. He refused to attend to our therapy today, and left home this evening, who knows where he is right now. Is this how I deserve to spend Valentine's day?! seriously, I'm taking medication everyday to help me relax and be able to sleep and function at work.

I'm terrified, I have panic attacks every time he raises his voice, and shouts at me, that is the way they control the situation, verbally abusing us! Don't SETTLE for those good moments, read and educate yourself about ADHD.

You not alone , feel it for both husband and wife and children i


you know what everything you mentioned, is the same like in the situation of my son and his wife. For a mother to find out her dear and adorable son is diagnosed with ADHD is so very painful. Just the thought of that he was also dreaming of a very happy ending for his marriage life....dreamt about a marriage to be the same like his parents :) turned out the way it is  similar like yours. The guilt for parents why was it not noticed while he was still a child or teenager? I would've think that if he have knew before he got married that he will ill treat or abuse a woman like this he might have considered it never to get married in the first place....but he got married to you out of love....isn't it!!! :) . It's not easy for a parent to see their children going through this hell, this unhappiness or no parent will ever except her one and only son to treat a woman's daughter like this because a mom knows her son. It's heartbroken to learn to know about her son's misbehavior at such a late stage in her life. I wish I was nearer to my son to support him. I  got the most beautiful and adorable daughter-in-law....couldn't asked for better and a better wife my son will never find. I trust The Lord God Almighty will help my children in their marriage life, will grand them understanding and wisdom, also through the help of the doctors and all those involve to help those who got this demon of ADHD in there bodies.. For a fact I know ADHD sufferer don't want to be like that....god help you as wife's with husbands with ADHD and also husbands with wife's diagnosed with this demon...because it's from the devil. God created us according him PERFECT....Stay positive all ADHD sufferers also to this sickness is a and obedience. God Bless I feel it for you all......from a mother's point of view...will never give up, Martha M

Martha, it was very nice to

Martha, it was very nice to see a mom of a ADHD son write something out here. I want you to remember something. Most of the poster are venting during a bad time. I to am a mother of a son who has ADHD. He was on medication at a early age. It was a difficult time. He had every side effects there was. I could go on but it really was a different time. We didn't know what we hopefully no now. So now he is 27. He is not married but has a girlfriend. Oh he is a slob, he never makes it on time except for work. He is brilliant ,funny, and never holds a grudge. He also can talk openly aabout his ADHD. He educated his self. On the humorous side we can be in a middle of a conversation and he'll say ok moving to another thought now. So now because I understand ADHD I understand my son. I understand the guilt you feel. I also have so much that I hold. But I also know that they shove a pill down my son and never gave me any how to book. I thought that was all there was to it. You said you never knew your son had it. I'm not sure why the school didn't mention anything thing. I would be interested in learning more of your son as a child. I want to say something to all the wife's out here who feel like they are not getting attention from there husband. If they go off and play computer games let them do that and why don't you ounces in a while just sit in the room with them reading or what ever else you do quietly. You might be surprised as to how much just being understanding will help. To me it's no different than having a husband go golfing all the time. We need to get educated!!! We need to understand what their world is like. couples counseling is a wonderful idea and medication. I'm a mother of a adult son with ADHD and I'm proud of him every day. Oh I just want to share this with all of you. My son's girlfriend was diagnosed with bipolar disease. My son went through hell over this because he was very familiar with this. But he educated his self he talked to her psychiatrist. So now they have a plan in place to react before things reach a critical stage. Life is hard at times but if you can't find the humor ...........

Cls1951 , thanks for

Cls1951 , thanks for responding I couldn't sleep last night because I keep on thinking about what my child is going at this minute he told me it's a week that he didn't have take his medication and I'm concerned about the after effect. Well he can't get it in SA as a chronic prescription and he ran out of money and tablets. He's father helped him with the last prescription and my husband struggles to get use to the thought that although his son is a grown up man, 28 years old he my son have to understand that he is to take responsibility.....he's a hardworking lad, buy things that is needed for his business because he really wants to make a success of it but he is not taking care of to make sure he takes his medication on time and to make sure he is stocked up.....I'm worried because he totally neglecting his wife and children, baby is like 6 month and his stepson 10 years.....what's going to happen if my daughter-in-law decides enough is enough where do we start!!!! He's father is is visiting them just for moral support but he would like his son to open up but he is as close as a book....very difficult a child it ll happened after apartheid went out....attending a model C school because we just wanted the best for our kids, the children then already started bullying him but because he's black the white teachers wasn't that observant because they just didn't care....there was only one teacher, she died but we still respect her for the breakthrough she have made...until now her husband and family remember him  by his name because she just adored him like everyone still does now.....only went he loose his temper everyone will see it as rude and misbehavior ....I am trying to encourage my daughter -in -law to get registered on the forum to read and learn that her husband is not the only one having this condition and that she's not the only wife to experience this but that she might get stronger through getting advise from them who lives day by day with this type of conditions. What do you advise as we always asking my son.." Did you take your tablets!!!! Do you know how important it is not to omit any of them!!!! How do they follow him up!!! Is this a life time story!!! Although I believe as a born again Christian and so as him himself that The Lord Will Heals him but on the other side The Lord wants us to be obedient so also to the drs as He gave them the knowledge and wisdom to diagnose and treat accordingly...... Please pray for my son and his family as I will do likewise for your son and his girlfriend...that The Lord will empower us how to handle each and every situation. Thanks for your support and understanding ...... 

You Made Some Really Good Points cls1951

I sound very much like your son from your description but I'm now 57 so things have changed dramatically since I was 27.  The only thing I might add to what you said would be that both sides need to get educated.  The bottom line with having ADHD for the person who has it is we can't tell anyone else what's wrong until we figure it out too.  I hear so many complaints about the lying, excuses and communication problems or better...lack of communication.  That's just it.  If we don't have the answers ourselves then how in the world can we give them to someone else?  The understanding you mentioned is critical but only as a first step.....the problems and feeling from the other side (non ADHD'ers) still exist and that's not very promising either.

I say this now looking back and completely understand why I did what I did back.  I wasn't diagnosed until 10 years ago and since then a lot has changed.  Before that I had no answers or understanding for myself let alone for someone who was questioning me or worse...complaining or getting angry.  The best I could do before  was to walk away feeling upset and hopeless or simply getting angry back as a means to stop the other person.  More than anything back then, I just wanted to be left in peace or get away from negatively that I was feeling from others.  What more can you do?

I found that now I understand myself and my ADHD much better, I can also speak to it directly and give other people answers instead of excuses or lying.  I know it doesn't feel this way to others on the other side but I'll go so far as saying that it's not exactly lying either.  It's more just not being accurate or believing something about yourself that isn't true and speaking from that place with the best of intentions.  I know this sounds like semantics from the other side but to "Lie" implies that a person knows the truth but chooses to say something that not true with this knowledge.  And of course, if a person feels like they are being "lied too"...they will respond in somewhat predictable ways....accusations, assumptions, anger.  Which in turn gets more defensiveness and more excusing....round and round you go, where you stop, nobody knows?

That's what education does for both sides.  It stops all of this and gets to real answers and solutions instead which is what everyone wants.  And I'll even go as far as agreeing with your comments that if (we) aren't willing to get help and educate ourselves then the best course for someone who is with us is to walk away....or maybe better ( because that's what we do too as I mentioned...tit for tat)  a strong ultimatum and a chance to follow through first.  I watched this work with my neighbor in one case.... who had a drinking problem and his wife moved out with a friend and said she wouldn't come home until he stopped.  Guess what...he stopped.  And she moved back home and they are still together and appear normally miserable and reasonably happy to this day.  I'd be lying myself because none of this changed for me until I learned how to first.....back to education.

This also includes medication.  Drugs are just a crutch...I mean this in a positive way saying;  If you suddenly lost a leg  a crutch is needed to assist you to be able to walk but you still need to relearn how to do everything differently.  The crutch is just a tool it won't teach you anything by itself.  That's what the drugs do.  They make it easier to walk (having ADHD) and therefore are a tremendous help but you still need to educate yourself and learn how to manage everything else you do differently  without a leg (as in my example ).

I strongly believe that both sides have to do this to be really successful together because the person with ADHD ( once educated ) is the best source of information their partner could have specific to them and their needs once they learn how to manage it and then how to communicate better ( and more accurately! )



PS if you're interested in my perspective (growing up with ADHD as male child ) I'd be glad to tell you anything I could if your curious unless you're specifically wanting a mother's perspective.

Thank You

JJamieson, I think it's wonderful that you responded.  Perhaps it will help some of the others. 

WOW it took that long before someone diagnosed you?  I'm sorry.  It mush ave been hell.  But that was then and now that you know and you have educated yourself....

I can only go by what my son went through as a child.  But as I stated they gave me the pills but no education was given.  Now that I understand it I am sad at times that I didn't understand.  But I have to say he is doing quite well now.  But he doesn't have insurances so he is not on meds.  You would think that as brilliant as he is he would get insurances.  But that's for another conversation. 

I would like very much to hear your childhood story....

A Matter of Degree I Think

When I was young, ADHD wasn't discussed much or at all.  I had no concept of what ADHD was until I was diagnosed outside of the name like most people who have no other reason to find out any more about it.  The part that I'm just now coming to understand for myself is the degree.  From the sound of it....mine doesn't appear as debilitating as it is for some people yet the symptoms are all there in varying degrees.  Mostly when I'm stressed or anxious is when they start to become problematic otherwise I managed them by myself most of my life and squeaked by on a day to day basis sorta kinda except for the messes.  I've always been messy around the house or at best inconsistently clean and tidy....except for the kitchen?  I like to cook and have  always done the cooking and taken care of the kitchen so that's one place I compensate.

The thing is, growing up in the 60's...little boys did yard work, washed, waxed and fixed cars or did things like house painting or home repairs.  Little girls helped moms in the kitchen except in my case...I did all those outdoor chores but my sisters weren't into cooking so my mom was happy to have me help her because I liked cooking even as a kid...especailly bar-b-que.  I took over all the outdoor grilling by the time I was a teenager so no one ever complained about the messes (mostly my mom since that was her department anyway).  It really was the "leave it to beaver" world back then more commonly than not at least in the suburbs where I grew up.  There was "womans" work and "men's" work if you know what I mean.  Not saying this was good either...I used to blame my disorganized slobbery around the house on this fact but now realize it had more to do with ADHD than simply not learning to do it because my mother was a stay at home mom and did all the housekeeping when I was a kid.  I can't remember my father ever going to the grocery store or even stepping foot inside the laundry room.  I'm not sure he even knew we had one. lol  My room was always a disaster however and I had the traditional "keep out" sign on the door and kept it closed anyway.

I think kids like me that were hyper active and busy all the time building tree houses, shooting each other with bb guns and getting into acceptable amounts of mischief and mayhem weren't considered a problem back then as much as they would be now.  By todays ground fist fights,minor incidence of destroying public property, pranks and physical jokes and name calling between kids especially were so common and undisciplined even by teachers that kids like me blended in to this kind of chaos much more easily than would be tolerated today.  I see this with my nieces nephews and friends children and have had conversations about this with my childhood friends who agree that some of the behavior that we got away with back then would be considered delinquent now. lol

The other thing that seems different today than when I was young was that kids are supervised and chaperoned everywhere all the time.  When I wasn't doing sports or at school....first thing I'd do fist thing in the morning or afterschool on those days was get on my bicycle and get away from my family!  I'd inhale a bowl of frosted flakes or a hard boiled egg or two and run out the door while yelling "I'm outta here, see you later" at the top of my lungs and would be out of sight before my mom  had a chance to refute my departure from the other part of the house......and wouldn't come home until dinner time which I was usually late for.  This is where I would get into to trouble...time management and being late.  More ADHD symptoms showing up but wasn't unusual as my friends I hung around with also suffered the same consequences.  We also lived in a newer and continually developing suburban area of town and there was always new house construction going on all around us.  Home and road construction was the greatest source for entertainment and served for endless hours of mischief including....running heavy equipment that the workers forgot and left the keys in.  One time I was chased by a construction worker who arrived to find me driving a full sized D50 bulldozer down the road with friends which led me to quickly park the machine in someone driveway still running and jumped a fence and took off into the woods near by.  This was not an isolated incident aside from this one time where the worker showed up unexpectedly.

The point I'm trying to make here is that my ADHD seemed to blend in quite well at the time and went pretty much unnoticed by my parents.  Even if we got caught doing some of the things we used to do back then.....nothing usually happened more than a verbal reprimand or immediate punishment by teachers at the school level and my parents usually never heard about or was reported by other authority figures.   It was that "boys will be boys" attitude I think...wink wink. lol   The only requirement I had from them was to get "B"'s or better in school which I managed to pull off without too much difficulty most of the time.  Unfortunately, my sisters were both straight A students so B's were acceptable but not praised in any way.  As long as I didn't C's or lower.....I was never questioned as far as school was concerned.

Like I said.....this behavior today would be viewed differently.  It was a transitional time and non conformity was favored rather than frowned upon.  It was safer for kids to roam free and was the norm back then.  I only ran into problems when I was required to conform which wasn't that often.  My best childhood friends are: airline pilot, anesthesiologist (with ADHD), chiropractor(with dyslexia) and a 5 star chef ( formally sales manager for Revlon/Alamay cosmetics).  We all turned out OK despite our childhood misgivings and we were more the norm than not back  as far as young boys go. We lived by the old Catholic School boys credo " it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission."

All of this I think speaks volumes to how ADHD is perceived and to what degree demands are placed on kids today ( both in school and at home) as well as more supervision and regiment ( time and interaction with adults on a daily basis)  and how behavior is perceived now compared to back then.  My ADHD fit the time and place I think and didn't make me stand out from my peers until later in life.  As long as I had my bicycle with my baseball glove strapped to the seat...I was ready for the day and had my own transportation to get me anywhere I wanted to go.  Later as a teenager (beginning at age 12) friends and I took up skiing at the local Mountain and we could take a bus up and back and be gone all day ( many times both Sat and Sun ) and be completely unfettered by rules or adult supervision in a healthy way.  As soon as I turned 16 and could drive I would be up at the mountain many times starting Friday night (night skiing) until Sunday whenever possible...sleeping in the car with sleeping bags and up at dawn for another day of freedom.  It was cheap back then ($4-$5) for students so we could usually afford it if we packed sandwiches, cold cuts and cold chili out of a can.

Bottom line was that my ADHD did not pose a problem for me growing up unless I was at home which I spent as little time there as possible:)  It was a good way to grow up I think having ADHD and fit me well in many ways.  I had to learn to be responsible and take care of myself and become self reliant which does have it's benefits.  There were down sides too of course but it could have been far worse I think.  I had different families with my sport teams and other families or groups of friends based on activities like skiing.  All of my friendships revolved around sports or activities and we were tight and close. 

So I can say my childhood was not hell at all except the times at home when I was required to conform and toe the line.  That's where the problems existed.  Outside my home and family I had lots of activity (sports) and friends and the freedom to be a non conformist which is really what I am even today.

The real problems with my ADHD started when I got married for the first time.  No surprise there!  I lost my ability to manage it the same as I had before and even though responsibility was not so much the issue.....things like messes, organization and being relied upon especially with time management suddenly became a real problem.  And stress begets more stress which is really when my ADHD symptoms kick in.  If I can manage stress....I can also manage my ADHD.  These two things are inextricably linked for me.  It's critical for me to find ways to manage my stress and anxiety or everything starts to come unglued. For me...this is the key to success or failure.



J, This is in reply to..

an old post of yours. It is so helpful to BOTH sides of ADD(with or without). Wish it could be refreshed into current time so others could benefit, who may not remember it or have not read it before. You put it in plain english and while education is is the application.....The first key opens the door.....the second.....leads to success.......can 2 walk together? 

Thanks again J. You DO help a lot!!!

Post was titled....You made some really good points cls 1951 (nov. 2014)

nomorebadhead's picture

95% GOOD 5% BAD

Honey if my marriage of 11 years was 95% good and 5% bad I would feel like I'd died and gone to heaven. there is something you aren't considering! disorganized people cannot live with organized people! its simple physics. I hoped differently at a point in my life a long time ago! but imagine trying to contantly re-negotiate your marraige every month, like your adhd'er has amnesia. it's freegin exhausting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great statistics

I agree with you nomorebadhead - those stats would be heaven!! And yep, the disorganisation is one part I have had to give up on.  I can't stand how messy the house is unless i clean it up, but it's just too much work everyday so I gave up.  I can so relate to the re-negotiation side of things. Absolutely exhausting!!  How do you continue to find the energy to keep going and parenting and everything else?  I've been married to my ADHD H for nearly 16 years and struggle some days to find a reason to get out of bed. (Except that the children have to get to the bus stop for school...) How do you maintain your own wellbeing?

nomorebadhead's picture

wellbeing maintenence

wellbeing is a bold term. in fact I am beginning to think adhd and depression are contagious. like you some days i am so tired of living in such a cluttered house id rather just sleep. I have told my wife( every time we fight) I just cant live in your disorganized world. so she says ok i know i need to get some help and blah blah blah... its all BS a week later we are right back to her leaving huge messes all around the house, spending blocks of time searching for furniture on craigslist. I have made a revelation in studying my wife's behavior in the past several years. It is not attention deficit disorder, it should be called attention misappropriation disorder. its amazing what they can pay attention to and what they will not. we can be swimming in things that have to be done like messy house, no groceries, kids homework, cars are out of gas and my wife says I think im going to make some curtains. which would be great but we don't need curtains. even if we did though she hasn't finished one of these whim projects in years if ever. so anyway sorry i was rambling, WINE, I am a huge red wine fan and thats how I cope. :-}

I could not agree more. I

I could not agree more. I truly regret having done it for more than thirty years. No more.

same story

Your post was so long ago but it is exactly what I am going through.  My boyfriend was amazing one year ago when we met - he would send me long emails, flirt, text, take me on fun dates, etc.  He then remained as attentive but I slipped into the drivers seat as far as planning most of our dates and we had a blast! He changed jobs and everything just came to a crashing halt - all of the attention, the initating of intimacy, the interest in me, etc.  He swears it is that he was unable to sustain that level of communication as in the beginning.  I fell for this for awhile b/c I love him.

We are set to get engaged shortly and I am starting to get a bit scared of how I am feeling.  I am a smart college educated girl with a ton going for me.  I also got very ill a couple of years ago so I am in a situation where I am a bit more dependent on others than I would like to be.

I want to be in a healthy relationship where two people are making an effort.  When I took a step back from planning so much for us and contacting him so much (I grew to be a bit - ok, VERY needy/clingy), I realized how much dead air there is - how there are not any dates taking place at all - and how there is no courting at all.

I don't know what to do but I read your post and I swear, it mirrors my relationship (including the short temper).

Confused Chicago girl.

Education and choices

Hi chicago girl, Yes most of our stories read quite the same. I have had a few rants here on this forum about my ADHD husband of 16 years and the bottom line is this - whether you continue with this guy or not is totally your choice, and whatever you choose is your responsibility. When I met my H he mentioned in passing that he had been diagnosed 'hyperactive' as a child, but I did not see the brevity of this opportunity at the time. I say opportunity because I firmly believe that at every point life offers us choices and opportunities. I had the opportunity to find out more about so-called hyperactivity but missed the poignance of the comment at the time. Now, nearly 18 years and two children later, I can honestly say that had I've learned about the condition we now call ADHD, I probably would've pulled the pin on the relationship in its early stages. BUT - along with some of the most heartbreaking and lonely times we have had a lot of amazing times too. Also, if I had've ended the relationship way back then my life would be totally different now. I would not have my beautiful son and daughter, I would not have my wonderful little house. I also would not be the same person that I have become. I guess what I'm trying to say is a bit like a Zen phrase of life - the pointy, rough rock in the river does not become smooth and beautiful over time without some buffetting and shape-changing by the river. Most of us don't appreciate the wonderful changes and evolution that come from the challenges in life because we're largely taught to seek an easy path. However we don't learn and evolve while cruising the easy path.

My advice to you is to educate yourself on ADD/ADHD and thereby make choices with foundation, rather than winging it and hoping that one day the relationship will return to its idyllic fairytale self. This is never going to happen. Life with this guy is always going to be a bit lonely and confusing at times, it may also be quite disorganised and frustrating. Even positively heartbreaking....  Also, it's important to keep in mind while you're reading through this forum that most of us who have challenging partners log on when we're feeling really lonely and sad about our choices. Our lives aren't always terrible, there are good times. But we're usually so busy enjoying and milking those moments for all they're worth that we don't feel the need to connect on the forum. Like I said earlier, I've had my rants during some of those down times, and that's probably one of the main things to consider as you read the various posts - it's not all bad and sad, but it is challenging. It's also really important at this early stage to have some clear and blunt communication with your guy about his differences. Is he accepting of his differences? Does he appreciate and understand that at times you will be frustrated with him and he will need to be open to hear what you have to say? Is he prepared to enter into some sort of management program and educate himself also about the effects his differences will have on your relationship?

Best wishes to you honey in whatever you decide, just don't allow yourself to be taken for granted and don't devalue your own self worth.

same story part 2

Hi chicagogirl,

I am reading this and it's like I am the one writing it because almost EVERYTHING has happened to me, including the job change (him), the illness(me) and I also live in Chicago.  I've been with my ADHD boyfriend for 2 1/2 years, I moved from the city to the burbs for him (something I absolutely did NOT want to do) and we're basically like roommates now.  He's purchased an engagement ring but hasn't proposed and I am more and more thankful each day because I really don't know if I can go through with marrying him.  We have almost no physical relationship, I feel he's manipulative, he is a terrible housekeeper, can be bossy and demanding.  

The first 8 weeks of the relationship were wonderful, however there were times he'd say things that were very off-putting.  At the time, I chose to ignore this.  He told me he loved me 1 week into our relationship and that he wanted to marry me on our 2nd date.  At first I thought it was a "love-at-first-sight" occurrence but soon came to realize it was far from that.  I broke up with him twice in the first year we were together, we somewhat worked out the differences we had and I agreed to move in with him.  While there have been positive points since then, I've become more and more unhappy as time goes by.  I've tried to tell him that we should work on our relationship and he sees nothing wrong with the way things are and furthermore tries to tell me he's happy.  I told him I didn't see how we could entertain getting married and spending the rest of our lives together with things the way they are right now.  

I do love him, and I know he loves me, but I am 34 and he's 36 - I don't want to make a BIG mistake at this age.  I found this website because I'm searching for answers and willing to try and make things work by changing our lifestyles and communication.  Then again, part of me feels if we are having these problems before we even get married, that we shouldn't move any further.    

I keep praying the Universe will guide me in the right direction.





Some other underlaying Issues involved (not just the ADHD)

I've been reading a lot of posts about how the ADHD spouse gets ruthlessly angry and violent, and how these horrible characteristics are supposed to define adhd.

I am sorry to say that your spouses probably have some other underlaying issues as well, don't blame it on ADHD. Some people are just horrible, with or without adhd.

I have had severe ADHD since I was a child and have never lifted my hand to strike anyone I've had a relationship with nor have I been verbally abusive, even when we have disagreed or argued about something...usually I would see it as my fault..though I would try not to admit it, i knew there was always something different about me and the way I operated , I was only recently diagnosed with ADHD, in the past I have founded two successful software companies (I am currently on my second), which I am so passionate about. ADHD also has its advantages if one is able to harness them.

While I have had issues in my relationships, like always being late, procrastinating, being disorganized and forgetting things like dates and anniversaries. I would always go out of my way to make it up to my girlfriends, the problem is this would make me feeling frustrated about myself and leave me drained because I would see that the poor girls really wanted it to work, but my tardiness and a few of those things that come with adhd..were putting a toll on them..and this has led be to pull the plug on 4 relationships..the girls were really hurt, one of whom I truly loved but yeah..I guess we adhd people are meant to be lonely.

Two of my ex-girlfriend's saw something in me and tried to push me towards my goals, one of them...Patricia, during college would make my time table and call me up an hour before to get me to my next important meeting/commitment, she was a law student and I was a Computer Science/Engineering major, both of us had no idea I had adhd. In retrospect breaking up with her was a Big mistake, I thought I was doing her a favor, that she deserved better and it would happen any way when she finally go fed up and I would stop feeling horrible about myself for being such a jerk (Since I had no idea I had adhd..I just thought I wasn't trying hard enough). Needless to say I ended  up dropping out to found my company but I feel that with her by my side I would really have been much further along, maybe one of silicon valleys hot shots and would probably have finished my degree to, not that it matters now any way. I am doing really well and my company employs 15 people and we recently received $1.5 M in venture capital funding.

Bottom line is if you really love him and he/she is willing to do this with you, have a heart to heart talk about this, look at the positive side of ADHD and try to come up with a long term plan to help him/her adopt better habits and routine. Do a lot of research together about it. Exploit the benefits of adhd, it will require a lot of work from both of you and it may seem like you are giving more than he/she is, but if you really love this person and want it to work..this may be your best shot.

Also you should take up exercising at least 3 -5 times a week to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in his/her body , increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, by watching his diet, reduce sugary foods which increase hyperacivity. 

Some helpful links

The voice of my date!

I found this site when I googled "What is love to someone with ADHD?"... And I found this thread because it was the question I wanted to ask. I've known a guy for 10 months now, and we're starting to have feelings for each other. He's not diagnosed, but I'm kind of 99,9% certain (lol) he's got ADHD. I got so foreclosed as I read many posts on this thread and others. But then I read yours, RubenStein, and it was exactly like hearing his voice. Only with the awareness...

I feel my heart going out to him, and to you, as I read your words about blaming yourself and feeling that you're meant to be lonely. And yet, just a while ago, he hurt me so badly I was crying for a week and feeling the pain physically in my body. But I haven't told him yet how bad it was, because I don't want to make him feel bad either, just like he doesn't want me to... Anyway, having feelings for someone who doesn't give me the focus I deserve triggers really deep wounds in me, since I had a mother who was emotionally focused on pretty much everything but me. For the same reason I have a tendency to go into co-dependancy where I want to take care of and fix the other person, so I have to watch out for that. Actually, when I first got to know this guy, I thought it would be good for me to date someone who was so inattentive to my signals, because in no way would he let me start fixing things up, lol...

After the big blow recently, I broke it off, and I can tell how sorry he is, and I don't kow what to do now. I totally relate to the 5% being bad, but so much worse than anything else... Why would I put myself through that... On the other hand there are so many things about him that I like... But then again, yet so many things I don't understand.

Maybe I can ask you my original question - what is love to someone with ADHD? What could I hope for? Not in terms of attention, but in priorities, I guess. Why does he come in time to work, but forget dates? Like you, he is very passionate about his career. And I must be very honest and say, that as much as your post initially gave me hope, I could feel the same hope vanish when I read why you regret having let go of Patricia - not because you miss her, but because she would've been able to help you with your career, as I understand it?

So sorry if that question makes you feel like a douchebag. I just really need to understand. I read posts from people with ADHD who certify that their spouse is the most important thing in the world, although the focus shifts. But what about the priorities? I think that thing with coming in time to work but not to dates nails it... It sort of says that an ADHD person can follow through, but only if it's important enough... which dates then aren't...

No way to phrase this without sounding accusing, sorry again. I'm just in such pain right now.

I started dating a charming

I started dating a charming ADHD gentleman approximately a year and half ago.  We got an apartment together quickly and the arguments came on STRONG.  I could not believe this prince charming of an individual would have zero attention span whatsoever.  All the symptoms.. loses everything keys, wallet, debit card, license, pass port, work documents, chap stick, hair gel, deodorant.. you catch my drift.., easily distracted.., work is scattered (brain is scattered), MESSY slobster, high-strung, extremely sheltering lover, passionate.  I'm a trained GAAP auditor, I'm detail oriented, organized, specific, and focused.  Needless to say, we clashed HARD.  I was torn to say the least.  I had no idea what was the problem at first until I realized he was psychologically, slightly off balance.  My love for him pushed me to find a way to survive.  Truth is, if you love him you will work with him and not expect him to change.  I love mine so I find pleasure in cleaning up after him, its a huge support system for him, and I'm gratified with a sense of being needed in the relationship.  I love him so I often choose not to respond when talking about controversial issues.  I am educationally opinionated so I save political debates for the office; let the boyfriend speak his mind and be a listener at home.  I feel empowered and strong enough to survive AND flourish in this relationship. 


I'm sure many women need support when dealing with ADHD men.  My only suggestion is to blog it out.  Take deep breaths.  (And learn to just laugh at the times you find fruit snack wrappers in the shower.. or enter your dude's  s c a t t e r e d  habit here _______)  =) ha.

I think you have a very good

I think you have a very good point in many ways, I also am with you on the love part, I still am in the period where I love to do things for my husband (more of "mommy things" if you understand what I mean) however, we have both not been in the relationships for as long as most women on here. Most women on here seem to have YEARS of marriage and at least one child in the resume. So I feel that before I get a few years on my neck I can't actually say this for sure.. at one point, when there is a REAL baby in the relationship I think maybe we get bored/tired/sick of it.

I'm the one with ADD, however so I don't have to look after my husband in the same way that the women have to here. Also a lot of the diagnosed people that are being discussed on this site (mostly husbands) seem to have some other issues as well. Sometimes violence, denial, being immature, alcohol abuse..

Beets, I think you are lucky to be able to do that

I wish I had the kind of income and health that would allow me to support my husband and do all that is necessary to maintain our home. Alas, it is not true in my case. I am physically unable to do everything needed-laundry, cleaning, cooking. I was also unable to support us both while he chose not to work and it was my needs that went by the wayside and not his.

Please think long and hard before you have children with him. You may very well find that you can't do everything needed to take care of children and a home without input from him (and you won't get it if you've never asked for it before). I envy you your strength. Marrying someone with ADHD nearly killed me. 

Living and dealing with

Living and dealing with someone with ADHD is not easy. It is a constant struggle for me everyday, especially since I am the polar opposite of my significant other. Laundry, cleaning and cooking are everyday tasks. When it comes to handling these tasks for someone with ADHD it is comparable to caring for a child. (I personally do not want to have children; the process of pregnancy freaks me out!) Im currently young and energetic enough to care for my 30 year old child, Im also fully exhausted at the end of each day, physically and mentally. I talk myself through the difficult times. Do your research and be aware of the disorder. You will understand him and his antics better if you study. When times are hard, I take a step back, analyze the situation, and blame the disease, not him. See if he will study the disorder with you. Perhaps he will understand himself better and recognize what his specific symptoms are that put stress on the relationship. Remember, he should want the relationship to work as much as you do. That being said, you also need to distinguish what he can control between things the disease prevents him from controlling. Make sure he takes his medicine! The physical stresses of cleaning and constant effort needed to survive all the mini mental break downs will undoubtedly cause most relationships to end in divorce. Its not easy, its not fair, you didn't ask for this, its not your fault, you didn't see this coming. It takes a special kind of person to survive the daily struggle of living with someone with ADHD. You need to be utterly selfless in a world where men and women try so hard to be treated equally. Women work and earn similar to men which leaves cooking and cleaning responsibilities up for debate. But when you live with someone with ADHD, you must accept all the homecare responsibilities.  You also need to be patient.  Do not let his forgetfulness and inability to get out of the door on time annoy you, see if it annoys him.  If you don't complain he has no one to blame or fight with but himself.  and_so_on_and_so_on_

Are you sure this is how you want to live?

You seem to have committed yourself to being your BF's "parent." I believe that the best relationships are partnerships, where the two people are committed to a common goal, be it keeping their home, raising kids, going to school, etc. Even if I were not handicapped, I would not want to be involved in a relationship where contributions were so unequal. My fear is that  if you need him he won't be there for you. If you break your leg, would you get "what do you mean, you can't do laundry because you are on crutches?"

Honestly, I don't mean to criticize you, and you may enjoy what he brings to the relationships enough for it all to be worth it. But accepting all that responsibility sounds hard to me.

I am trying to be as

I am trying to be as optimistic as I possibly can in a troubling situation.  I do not mind accepting the parent title in my relationship, he fulfills my needs above and beyond in our partnership.  He is actually always there for me when I need him; I realize this could be part of hyperfocus; (I've witnessed my boyfriend go over 2 months without doing laundry.  If I couldn't do laundry for a while he honestly wouldn't notice.)  I fell in love with my boyfriend's charming personality and thriving passion for life and adventure.  I've never felt the way I do for him for any one else.  I am a realist at the same time and fully aware feelings come and go with life and change.  MY fear is that I will not be able to keep up with his hyperactive mind.  My fear is the gambling.  This is not going to be easy.  There will never be a dull moment.

I did not realize this sight

I did not realize this sight was mostly for married couples.  I was just looking for a way to express my feelings and attitude.  My boyfriend possess the violence, being immature, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, and anxiety issues.  He is not in denial about his ADHD but he still does not realize when the symptoms of his disease are affecting him.  He has trouble linking certain behaviors to the disease.

married or not.. in it up to my neck

I am not married to my ADHD partner but took on the role very quickly out of need. I had been married ( 15 yrs.) and still ended up divorced. I would not marry my man right now even if he thought of asking. We have enough problems. He is another child and I guess I took on that role. For the last 6 years.  Most times I accept it and just shake my head. The messiness and lack of even caring is frustrating. I can't count the times he has said " well don't do it then, I don't care". Forgetting that I live here too. My biggest problem is the way his mind thinks. How he can take the biggest problems he has created and I mean big and making it like it's my problem I won't accept it. Drugs have been a constant problem in our relationship. He has tried a number of different treatments and failed. Is this associated with the ADHD? I would assume so.  He also has been very destructive and violent. Usually breaking something of mine because he doesn't own anything of his own. Black and blue I have been and a few broken bones. And rivers!!!!! of tears. Even our dog knows when to hide. Another fear is that this ADHD knowledge becomes a excuse that has already been played out. I realize that it is real.. I live with the fallout everyday. But as we discover this book together will the tools that I use and the tools he uses allow him to stop making excuses and take some responsibility. Take some of the work of this relationship off me. Truly is hard work. I am a strong woman but I have problems of my own that I must manage. Sometimes it feels like I have no one that takes care of me. ( most times) I have been in the hospital and he basically saw that as a good time to take my bank card and go get high. Unbelievable. I get very scared about who would take care of me if I needed it. I want to feel safe and this is just not the way it is. Will I ever. Can he grow up. I am also afraid of what will happen if there is a tragedy ( his father who he says he hates is now in his second battle with cancer) how will he react and how devistatingly hard it is going to be on me. I often wait for the day his family thanks me or laughs at me behind my back for taking their "problem " off their hands. I've said to his mother a few times that it is really hard raising HER son. No pats on the back here. If you want it or think you might be able to survive it and you still love him when he's sleeping then it's still on for another day.

ADHD and co-disorders

A lot of ADHD'ers have multiple disorders going on like conduct disorders - depression and lifelong frustration play a big role too (you see a lot of violent outbursts, property destruction, etc. with conduct disorders).  Also a lot of people with Bi-polar disorder know potential lovers will "run" if they admit to having Bi-polar disorder so they SAY they have ADHD because that's more acceptable.  On top of all of that you have people's natural personality traits - are they spoiled?, selfish?, lazy?  Don't believe it's all ADHD and accept it because you feel sorry for're being manipulated.  We women are easy to manipulate because we want to be loved so much.



Ur so strong! I have an ADHD person in my own life is hard but ppl like u,are ab inspiration . Please give me anytips to Be Better.I wanna help him.

Did Not do my homework!

My love also struggles with ADHD. We recently found each other on Facebook after 30 years of both being married to others.  WE go back awhile , Him and I were great best friends when we were in our 20's. So, Almost 30 yrs later he finds me on FB under my maiden name and the sparks began to fly.  We both could not believe the passion we both carried for each other, our new found relationship was so intense!  I felt like I have found my "soul Mate" for real this time.

So a year has gone by. During this time he has mentioned to me his ADHD diagnosis that his ex-wife insisted he had and to get help for!  Bless her soul, she did do the right thing on that part. So after 8 months or so into this passionate relationship, the phone calls became less, the text messages, the weekends together etc..  I struggled with the fact that his love for me was diminishing.  I then became angry at him for this and started aggressively belting out rude comments and texts at him. Which only began to shut him down from me. See he also struggles with confrontations, he can not stand to argue or get angry at anyone. This only made me think he could not stand up for what he believes is right.

In my ignorance I broke it off (several times)  and this last time, I cleared everything out of his home that reminded him of "us". And left not speaking to him for 3-4 weeks..... thinking he will come back to me, but forget that he is one who does not like this will not happen as I know now.

  I truly love this man , I now have done all my research on adult ADHD and to my surprise and my ignorance - I have figured him out!  I should have done this in the beginning when he first told me he had ADHD.  Now I totally understand why he does what he does and should not take it personally, it is the disorder! 

So now here I sit alone, trying to get him to take me back because now I get it, and want to be with him.  He is deciding if he wants to start this again because he now knows me a little better and says I am not consistent with my emotions, and he's not sure if this is what he wants to deal with anymore.  (My emotional outbreaks were because I thought he was doing things on purpose to push me away, when it was never like that.) His feelings for me have never changed during our time together.

Maybe this is a good lesson to others who are dating someone with ADHD and think they know what it is about.  I say do your homework!!  Understanding it will help you to understand this love!  Don't make the same mistakes by being ignorant to it.  If you are a caring,patient person than you will accept the differences and create a wonderful life together! 


I am hoping and praying at 55 that I can have my soul mate back again and enjoy maybe the next 20-30yrs together!  So I just wait.....




I don't think you will ever

I don't think you will ever get your "soul mate" back, unless you come back as a new person, or a person he loves at a distance. We have been married 20 years and the attention that was there at the beginning has not come back after the first year of marriage. I notice with his siblings, he's amazingly affectionate, but it is because he rarely sees/talks to them, and when he does, he's especially hyper focused and on "best behavior" with them. They don't see the real him at all. Just my son and I see the real thing.

Doing your homework is one thing, having enough love and patience to get through a lifetime together of it is another thing, and honestly the biggest question and challenge: whether your ADHD mate will work with you. They may or may not.


My guy sounds just like yours

I too love my Man and we too connected after 30 years.  And I too launched a barrage of complaints -- all about not paying attention to me.  I don't know if I can just not be hurt by it even though it is the disease and not him.  And now he is hiding out.  We have hardly talked in the last month.  We are long distance.  I actually think that has helped him be in a relationship because he can pretty well ignore me except for one weekend a month and for a few phone calls.  And he treats the calls like things on his to do list, which, of course, pisses me off.  

So, did you and your guy reconnect?  It is so hurtful to hear him say he's not sure he wants to continue.  But hearing that you heard the same phrase, helps me feel like at least I'm not alone.  He's my guy, why can't he reach out and grab me literally and figuratively and tell me he wants me and wants to be my guy?

Please let me know how things are going for you.



Same guy

You post is almost a year old but I just wanted to know how things have worked out for you.  I don't know what the right thing to do here.  Just leave him alone or try to contact him..........

Is he honest and just struggling with his ADHD?

Good morning,

I just found this website today, and I am so glad I did, because I keep struggling with my issues for weeks and months and really need some input from people who are going through similar things.

This is going to be a quite long story, because I believe I have to start from the very beginning in order to have you understand everything. Also, English is not my native language, so I hope I will be able to articulate myself in a way that you understand everything. If not, please feel free to correct me ;)

I am Austrian and moved to the Caribbean 4 years ago. Soon after the move I got divorced from my husband of 4 years, and soon after got into a new relationship with a local man (african american). That relationship lasted 2.5 years.
After that break-up, which was initiated by myself because I realized that I was in a very abusive (not physically) and addictive relationship, I dated 2 other local man (both african american), but it didn't work out because I am very set in my ways when it comes of my personal goals. One of them is to find a man who actually wants a serious and long-term relationship, one who is able to be honest and faithful to his woman, and these characteristics sadly are very rare in the Caribbean society. I am 37 and I was just tired of "wasting" my time with men who didn't know what they want, or who simply were looking for plain fun and sex. So I stopped dating men and focused more on my daughter and my job.

Yet I was feeling very lonely sometimes, and since one of my major goals is to be a "whole" family again, with the right man on my side, I started trying out online dating. That was in September 2010.
Only a short time after starting to put up my profile to an interracial dating website (I have to admit, and for your information, I am very much attracted to african american men), I met HIM. He is my age, 38 now, and we immediately "clicked". We were talking very much, emailing, chatting, and it was just exciting, discovering the many similar interests and goals. We both did things in our past we aren't proud of, but made us to the persons we are right now.
From the very beginning I was totally honest and open to him, and so was he. He told me right away that he was in prison for drug dealing when he was younger, and that he is still on parole for at least another 10 months. At first I was quite "shocked", but also surprised by his honesty, and after hearing a few other stories from his past, I sympathized with him and found myself thinking very highly about that man who so openly told me things that might scare away some women. Somehow I got the impression that he really changed, and I thought I had to give him a chance to prove that he really is honest and wants a better life.

He also got 2 sons, 18 and 14, from two women, and he loves both of them very much, talks about them all the time, and he also told me that he still got a very good relation with both mothers.

We had a really "explosive" and exciting start, we couldn't get enough of talking to each other, and both our phone bills were running very high... ;) He lives in Chicago, by the way, as you see, that's a long way down to Grenada, where I live. I maybe would not have proceeded with this, if we wouldn't have talked so much about our future plans and priorities. He was always telling me that he was a bad cheater in his past, didn't care about other people's feelings etc., but that he changed and really wants a lasting relationship. What stunned me was, that I could so much relate to that, because I too was a cheater in my past, and only a few years back I realized what I really wanted. This has something to do with age and maturity I think, and I told him that I was in the same "circle" of getting into a new relationship, "honeymoon phase", getting into routine, getting bored, "breaking out" and looking for something new and exciting, break up, new relationship, same circle again............over and over! I realized that once you find a man who does understand that this circle will continue all your life if you don't stop it yourself, and get out of it by remembering what it takes to have a honest and lasting relationship, and to really TRY and make it better, you HAVE to hold on to it and fight for it, and not giving up on it too easily. In him, I thought I found exactly this man, because we were thinking so similar and also our values and goals in life, the same!

I am a very impulsive and "intense" woman, and once I find something I really like, I would do almost everything to make it happen, to get it. In my past, more than one man told me that I am so much like a "Latina", so passionate, loving and intense, that sometimes I "choke" them with my attention. I was aware of that and was working on it, and I think that I am quite good in the meantime. I am not trying to choke the man in my life, but be a real woman and friend for him, but in return, I expect the same from my man.

So short after we met, I fell in love with him, because of the way he treated me, and because we had an excellent communication. We could tell each other everything, and even though we only communicated over the phone and internet still, there was a deep connection I have never felt before in my life to a man.
Then, in November, only a bit more than a month after we met, his mother got very sick and had to go to the hospital, she almost died and since then she never got out of there. My boyfriend was with her most of the time of the first month, besides his hard job and commuting 4 hours every day to and from work. I tried to be there for him, supporting him as good as I could, from far away. He told me more than once that he is so happy that he met me, and that he needs me so much in his life, because I make a difference in his life. Sometimes he would be so down and depressed, he would say that he couldn't bear loosing his mother and me, because it was very hard for me sometimes to keep up the support, because I was going through a very difficult phase in my life as well. I had my own problems, but of course his were way tougher, because having your own mother in the hospital, about to die.....compared to that my own issues seemed minor. So I kept up supporting him, assuring him of my love (yes, I told him that I loved him only one month after we met), no matter what.

It was about the same time when he was at the hospital day and night, to be with his mother, when he told me about his ADHD. I have never heard of this before in adults, and so far, I didn't really recognize any symptoms of it in his actions or behaviour. Yes, he was distracted sometimes, but I thought that was because of his mother being in hospital and all his problems with his job etc. so I didn't really pay attention but just kept going.
He asked me to be patient with him, and not judge him too quickly but consider some of his behaviour being caused by his disorder. Honestly, I really never worried about it in the beginning, up to now.

In December, I had planned a 3-weeks vacation with my daughter to the Dominican Republic, and we also planned, that he would come down for a few days to finally meet me. Well, that never happened because of his mother still in hospital, which left me very sad and frustrated, but I still tried to be understanding. So I went on vacation with my daughter, when he called me down there to tell me that he might come down still, because he wanted to meet me and he needed to get out of everything, he couldn't take it no more. He lost so much weight, couldn't sleep anymore, and he needed to see me. So we were looking for flights, but it was Xmas, prices were skyhigh, so we coulnd't make it happen for him to come down. I was really frustrated and depressed, and so was he. But we kept going and assuring each other that we will meet soon, we had to.

In January now, after we got back from vacation, my world took a turn and I experienced some troubles in my life I had to handle. Our relationship was still very good, we spoke on the phone at least twice a day, he spent every free minute he was off work talking with me. He also started to speak to my daughter, and the two immediately liked each other and he helped me with some issues I had with her. I was so thankful to have him in my life.
He also let me speak to his sons, and also to one of the mothers of his sons, we had a very nice chat on the phone and I was kind of surprised he let me talk to her. For me, this was a sign that he really is serious about me and the plans we spoke about. These plans we already made after New Years, we spoke for hours, trying to figure out how we could meet, where and how we could make it to spend more time with each other. He planned to move to Miami, not only for me, to be closer, but also because of his job opportunities and the climate. Then we decided it would be best, that, once he is off parole, he came to visit us in Grenada, and stay with us for a few months to figure out if we are made for each other. Making these plans with each other made me extremely happy and confident, that he really was serious about me. But then the big bummer came:

Finally his mother got a bit better, still in hospital but out of intensive care, so we made plans to meet each other for the first time in Barbados. The reason, why Barbados and not Grenada was simply because of the expensive flights to Grenada from Chicago, and the flight times just didn't make sense, since he only could get off work for 3 days. So we met in Barbados at the end of January, for only 2,5 days. It was amazing, and from the very first second we met when I picked him up at the airport, I just thought, YES! I thought he was my soulmate, we had the best time ever, and even though 2,5 days are very short to get to know each other, it was so intense and wonderful. Better than I ever could have imagined. He is not only a very sweet man, but a Gentleman, which I really love, he calms me down when I am upset, he always has the right words to say, well let's say, I just fell for him with no way of return ;)
By the time we said good-bye to each other at the airport, him going back to Chicago, me going back to Grenada, we assured each other that we want to be with each other and create something lasting and meaningful. He didn't say "I love you" to me, but I did, and he only told me that he cares a lot for me, that he wants a future with me and that he is waiting for the perfect moment to say the three words to me.

Upon returning home, he called me from his stop in Miami, being very worried, telling me that he is so scared because he wasn't supposed to leave the USA, because of his parole!!!!!!! As a non-American, I simply didn't know that wasn't allowed to leave the country at all, yes, he told me he was still on parole, but honestly, I didn't know what it meant. I couldn't believe what I heard! He was facing troubles, worst case, going back to jail, for meeting me in Barbados!!!!! I was totally depressed and tried not to show him, but telling him not to worry and to call me once he got back to Chicago. I was so worried that I would never see him again...........but it came differently............

Back in Grenada, and despite the worries for him, facing penalties for leaving the US, I was so happy about having met him, I was totally in love with him already and I knew that I wanted to be with him.
I went on my facebook and there was a message waiting for me, from a woman I have never met. She wanted to be friends with me on facebook. I added her and short after she contacted me, telling me that she needed to talk to me immediately, it was about HIM. As I read that, I got a hot feeling in my stomach, that was always a sign of troubles ahead. She was telling me, that HE and her were living together for a month, and that she was his girlfriend for a year!!!!! At first, I didn't know if to believe her or not, so I asked her questions etc. She asked me if he was seeing me somewhere abroad, because she was reading his emails, somehow. I was short before breaking down. I tried to call him, but he was still on his flight back to Chicago, so I had to wait, having the anger and disbelief boiling in my stomach!!! When I finally could get hold of him, his phone cut out and I left him a voice mail message, telling him what happened and that I expect him to call me and clear the air about this matter.
I was in total shock, that he could have lied to me in such a way, actually, I didn't want to believe it, but I had to. The woman seemed to be honest, and I didn't know what to do, other than wait until I can speak to him and hear his version.
Only next day he called me, telling me that he was dating her last year, before he met me, but that she got divorced and got so many issues he couldn't deal with it. So he split up with her, and stayed friends. I know he lived with his sister, and that they had issues, and one day he got kicked out of her house, and he told me, when that happened, he just stayed over at that woman's house, brought his stuff over, until he found something on his own. But he swore that he wasn't in a relationship with her, and that she liked him still, and might have thought they were still together .I didn't know what to believe anymore and just stopped talking to him for 2 days. He tried calling me, emailed me, but I just couldn't talk to him, I need to get my head clear. I was really almost at the point, to break up with him, because I trusted him 100% and now my trust was gone and I wasn't sure if I could ever trust him again. Even though if he would have said the truth, and she was stretching the truth to her favour, my trust was still destroyed. In his many emails, he swore to me that he cares for me and that he only wants to be with me, and not with her, and that he doesn't know what to do to prove to me. Well I didn't know either.

After these two days, when he called, I took his call, and we spoke. I decided to try to forget what had happened, he promised that he is honest and wouldn't lie to me. He moved back into his sister's house and I tried to work it out with myself. I was so disappointed though, it took me a few weeks until I stopped thinking about her permanently. I gave him a hard time, I was worried with the most minor things that happened, when he woulnd't call when he said he would call etc., but he stayed patient and trying to convince me that he really wants me.

In the meantime it got better, and we continued talking to each other twice every day, and I know that he really spend every free minute off work talking to me. He basically doesn't have time to have another woman besides me, theoretically. But we all know that the internet makes it possible, so I am still not 100% trusting him again. He kept telling me how much I mean to him, and making plans with each other, now we are going to see each other in April, in Puerto Rico. He also wants to meet my daughter there. So in general, we are still doing great, but what happened after Barbados is like a dark shadow.

Now I have to add, that I am very much listening to my intuition, and I have a strange feeling I can't explain. One side of me tells me that he really cares for me, that he really wants to be with me, and that the plans we were making for a life with each other, are going to work out. I am not an easy woman, I have to admit, I know I worry too much, I am too insecure sometimes, the slightest thing he is doing makes me feel alarmed, nagging on him.........he is very patient with me, I have to give him credits for that, and he said, that he learned in prison how to be patient. He also says that I have to learn that too, because we won't be together that soon, so I have to have faith in us and him, if I really want to be with him at some point. Normally I am good, but then, every few days, I get so insecure and all kind of stories go through my head, what if he got another woman, what if he lie to me all the time, what if he is only playing, or what if his ADHD made him loose interest in me. All kind of stuff, and it drives me crazy, because we only have met once as yet, and I am not a long-distance relationship person at all. I told him that from the very beginning, but because I fell for him and he means so much to me, I feel like I have to stick with it and learn how to have faith, not thinking about "what if" but just let it happen. I try hard, but then, sometimes I freak out. I accuse him of not loving me (because he never said it to me), of not making me a priority in his life, etc. He always reacts patient, upset though, but understanding, and telling me that he does care for me, and that it would hurt him a lot if I would break up with him. Somehow I believe him, but then there are days, when we speak on the phone, and he is always interrupted by something, someone calls him, he puts me on hold, for minutes, which makes me really upset sometimes. These are the things I assume, ADHD causes, but I really need your guy's input on what to think about it.

As said, we always talk on the phone when he is on the way to work of back from work, in the morning, and in the evening. We speak when he is in the hospital with his mother, in his rare free time etc. And whenever we talk, we get interrupted, he always puts me on hold because "his sister or brother or son" calls, his trainer, etc. It drives me mad sometimes. Or, when we talk, he is also on the computer sometimes, while we are on the phone, and I can hear that he is not focused on me, and when I tell him that, he says, "No, I am listening to you !". But I can hear that he is distracted by something else. This happens a lot in this relationship, that I feel that he is not focused on our chat, but occupied with something else. He is changing subjects quickly sometimes, or making me feel that what I just said to him, isn't important. It drives me crazy....making me wonder if there is someone else, someone "NEW" he is focused on.

Reading about ADHD explained a few things to me, why he acts like he does sometimes, but the same time, it makes me worry even more, and leaves me wondering, if he lost interest in me, and if he already met someone new?
Even though he always tells me that he wants to be with me, we are not with each other physically, so it is very hard for me to determine. That's my main problem, the long-distance. But I decided to go through it, so I always tell myself, keep patient, go with the flow, and just take one day at a time. But it is so hard!!! I am at a point right now,  I have to keep myself occupied and busy 24/7 to not to think about what if.....................
I know that he is doing a lot to show me how much I mean to him, but then, I also know from experience, that, when you love someone, sometimes you loose reality, just to remain in your "dream world". That's why I need your feedback on this so badly. Am I getting tricked by this man, is his disorder just taking the best part of him, not even knowing that he hurts me? Or is it me, my insecurity, that is going to slowly destroy this relationship, I thought could be "it" for me? He already told my daughter that he thinks I am "the one" for him, and I don't really think he would say this without meaning it. But who daughter and he got such a nice relationship, they talk very often, and he always tells me how much he also cares for her, that he can't wait to meet her in person. He also let her talk to his son, a few days ago, when he had his birthday, and since then, the two are friends on facebook and chat sometimes.
That same son also spoke to me and he told me that his father is getting on everyone's nerves because he is only talking about me and how nice I am etc. Hearing these things let me wonder again, would his son say that if it wouldn't be true? And if it's true, what does it mean? Can it only mean that this man really cares for me, or is he still the cheater he was, not caring about my feelings, possibly having a few of such online relationships going on? Is it possible that his disorder causes such behaviour?

I know, I must sound totally crazy, and honestly, I feel like I am going to be, so I hope you can help me out of this, rather than telling me that I am totally mad. I know I have insecurity issues, but I know myself, and they are normally caused when I get this strange feeling about someone, and once the trust into someone gets destroyed................that's my situation and I hope you can help me to understand.
I really would appreciate your honest and direct criticism, if necessary. I am able to take criticism, and I am willing to work on my weaknesses, but I do need some help from you guys.

I forgot to mention, that we already spoke about getting married and having a baby together, and that more than once...........for me, I would never say that to a man, without being absolutely serious, but now that I know about the ADHD, I am wondering, if he really means it or if he is just hyper? We know each other since beginning of October now, almost 6 months, and we were talking about him wanting a baby with me and getting married etc. for a few months already. So it wasn't only!!!

Also, he wouldn't add me to his facebook, but I could still read his wall postings, and one day after we got back from Barbados, he posted some pictures of him in Barbados on his wall, but didn't mention me at all, even though people asked him who he was with there, or why he was there etc. So I asked him why he still didn't add me as his friend on facebook, and he said, that he didn't see my request and that he is a very private person, not puttin online his private stuff. Never. Yet, he met a woman on the flight back from Miami, and he added her to his friends right away! A stranger! But not his girlfriend...............and after I told him about the privacy settings, he made his wall private, so now I can't read his wall anymore. Makes me really wonder, if he got something to hide? Why would he do something like this, if he really thinks that I am the woman he wants to get married to and have a baby with? Seriously people, help me out of this swamp...........

One more thing I just remember, forgetting to say about him:
After reading some of the other posts, I can't say that my boyfriend is self-centered or impatient, he is the opposite! He is caring about everyone, more than about himself, he always puts other's needs first before his, and he is - so far - very reliable when it comes to call me when he said he would etc. He forgot his passport at home when on the way to the airport to see me lol. In the almost 6 months we know each other now, we didn't have a single fight, because whenever I am upset about something, he calms me down, tries to talk to me about any matter upsetting me etc. So I really have to say, he seems to be such a great guy and I am just totally confused and scared, that it might be ME destroying this relationship, and not!!

Thanks in advance, and sorry for such a long posting....................




I don't see very much ADD in your boyfriend. Obviously I can't know what his intentions are, but if he was ADD and getting bored with you, he wouldn't be making any effort. Believe me; once interest fades for an ADDer, the other person becomes a non-entity. He seems secretive, not telling you about staying with the ex-girlfriend, and the Facebook thing, and there could be something going on with that. He may be serious about you, but needs a little fling on the side until he can be with you (that's not ADD; that's a man). But your 'relationship' with him has been going on for quite a while now, and he doesn't seem to be 'after' anything other than what he says. He made the effort to see you, he calls regularly, etc. No ADDer that I've met would make that effort if he wasn't interested.

That said, long distance relationships are SO strange. It's so hard to get to know someone that way. Do the two of you have any plans to be together long-term in the future? Are you working toward a day when you can see each other every day? Are one/both of you willing to move so you can be together? I really hope it works out for you!


Hi Lynnw,

thank you for your reply.
I might not have written down every single detail in my posting, but I definitely saw some symptoms of ADD in his behaviors over the 6 months I do know him. The most noticable one for me was that he gets distracted very easily, like when we are talking on the phone, someone calls him (which happens all the time!) and he puts me on hold, sometimes for several minutes, and sometimes he would've forgotten me completely over the other call. I didn't make a fuss about this, since I knew and felt that he didn't do it intentionally, or with something bad in mind. In general I really believe that he is a good man, it's just hard for me to get the difference if when he is acting because of his disorder, or if it's because of something else. That gives me troubles.

As you wrote, he seems to really mean it serious with me, but then all the secret stuff.....if the thing with his ex wouldn't have happened, I don't think I would be worried about it that much....but it happened and I can't help but wonder if his disorder just makes it "easy" for him to "cheat" on me (if he does). I am very insecure at this point, and have troubles finding out if the disorder is causing most of his discrepancies, or not.

Yes, we were making quite definite plans of when we will move together, only 2 months after we met. And once we met in Barbados, it was all so "clear", we both were reassuring each other, that we do have to make plans to move together. For now, the "status" is, that we will see each other at least once per month, either in Miami or Puerto Rico (since he can't leave the US as yet), and then, once his parole is over, he will come down to stay with us for a while, to figure out, if we actually could live together, or if it's not working. So yes, we are definitely making real and serious plans, and actually, now that I think about it, it was not only me, making these plans, but we made them together, as a couple. And yes, he is willing to move down here to Grenada, until we figured out what we are going to do, like moving somewhere else together, or staying here etc. He always told me that he is totally open to move, and that he waited for a woman like me all his life, who loves to travel, explore, and we are so much the same. We both would love to move to foreign countries together, and we are both very adventurous. So when it comes to the common interests, we do have a lot. As said, I really really love him, I have never felt so comfortable with a guy after such a short time, and only at the first "date".

So on one side, there are all these nice things he said to me, and the way he treats me, never a bad word or cussing, always respectful and considerate, being patient and reassuring with m who is worrying so much, and on the other side, there is all the secret stuff, which might not be bad, but it makes me wonder and suspicious. I start thinking sometimes, that I am paranoid, but then, my "stomach feeling" that is so strange, normally tells me that there is something wrong. I hope I am paranoid, and he is the amazing man I thought he is.

I am just trying to figure out here, if his disorder (which was diagnosed in his childhood, but he told me that it got a bit better because he knows how to deal with it, staying occupied, planning stuff properly etc. - he is not taking any medication as far as I know) would make it "easy" for him, to cheat on me, or if anyone of you guys was in a smiliar situation?

Dating a man with ADD and not sure what to do.


I am writing this because I am dating an ADDer and he has been very open with when he was diagnosed younger in life and now lives as an adult with ADD and then recently got diagnosed with clinical depression.  I went thru the whole phase of hyperfocus and fell for it,  fell in love and really see good in him however I need to stay healthy for myself too.  I have tried to break it off and with the possiblities of myabe re-visiting our relationship when he feels like  he has got his life back on track   (he has been thru a divorce and lost a home ect ect)   he still has a great job and wonderful place to live.  He says he does not want me to leave that I am a great person and good for him that he needs me I am the only one he can "talk" too and wants me to stick with him.  He also sees a therapist and psychologist for medication purposes and he decided to do this on his own so I see some progress.  Of course there is more to this story but do I have any hope that things may change a bit ( I understand I have to accept him for who he is every day ) or do I just break it off?  Please help

As much as we all hate to

As much as we all hate to hear it, the choice is up to us. No one can tell us what to do or what is right to our situations because we are the only ones in our relationships. If it's worth it, if we can make it, if things can get better...only we will know or find out.

There are plenty of good people who have AD(H)D

I've been pretty unlucky in love and a few other things, but I've always kept trying... never stopped trying.

I've had a few 'live in' relationships which I've ended because we weren't going to make each other happy in the long run.

While a lot of people around me like to say everything happens for a reason and like to talk about fate, I've never been happy with this explanation for things not working out.
I think we're all responsible for our own choices and if we don't make the right choices because we're too weak, thats not fate, thats going with the flow. Don't get me wrong, I've also gone with he flow too many times.

So, I'm not violent. I don't break things. I don't scream and shout. I don't play mind games. I don't like having everything done for me.

However I'm almost 35, never been married or engaged (I've never proposed) and don't have any children of my own.
Why not?  That's what I want to know. 

I was trying to have a conversation in a coffee shop with a friend.  I apologised because I although the subject was mine ( and important to me ), as hard as i tried i couldn't hear her, only the fridges and other things.
She was diagnosed with ADD, and she pointed a few things out to me that indicated I may have ADD. 

I looked into this somewhat and have pursued a diagnosis and one month ago became  labeled as someone who has Adult ADD.

At this point I'll point out I have a lot of good friends, I've never been in trouble with the law and before our department was made redundant last year I held a very good job for just short of 10 years. I come from a working class background, with a mildly alcoholic / violent father who my mother's now divorced and he's moved abroad.

As soon as I was made redundant I started my own business ( July 2011).
I'm well aware of my weaknesses and always have been. So I work with them.
I've just taken on my second employee this week.

I'm online learning about ADD,because I want to improve myself, and achieve everything I can.  Right now I'm reading about how ADD can effect a relationship, which is how I found this blog.

I think that theres some people here who want to look at themselves a little more.  Yes some of the traits described are very destructive to a relationship, but they also exist in none ADDers and not all ADDers fit into the categories described here.

I find mundane tasks very difficult to complete because there's always a new more exciting thing I want to get started.  I get distracted super easily! I'm late for most things and talk far too much once I've started ( on the flip side because I'm aware of this sometimes I don't start at all and come across as quiet and shy).

Some of the comments here have worried me quite a lot. It's worrying that some of you think that because I've been  labeled as ADD that any woman should run as soon as she finds out!

So should i tell any new potentially special person in my life  about my diagnosis?
For the record, I'm an honest person, and I believe in education and empowerment of people.

I'll tell her and she then has a choice to do a runner if she wants. If someone wants to judge me that quickly then it's definitely not my loss.

ADD can be managed. with exception to not having found my future wife yet, I'm far more successful than the average person ( and that's NOT a financial statement). I'm also a lot more enthusiastic about the future.

To the original posters concerns... 
Having ADD doesn't automatically make someone a bad person. It's a label and  effects people in different ways.  The original question doesn't tell us how ADHD effects this person.  So all she can do is educate herself to make a good decision. 

Don't ditch him just because he's been HONEST and told you he's diagnosed with ADHD,Find out who he is and then decide if it's what you want. If he's got a violent past then get rid And don't think that because  has ADD you have to mother him.  I left a previous partner because she wanted to do everything for me.  I wasn't diagnosed at this point and I don't want to live like a slob.

There  are plenty of very good, successful and powerful people who are diagnosed AD(H)D.
My personal favorite, Richard Branson, I've always looked up to him, and only found out he's diagnosed ADHD a few days ago. Look up a list of famous ADD'ers online, you may be surprised how many you wouldn't be ditching when you find out their label.

On a side note, because of my competitive sporting commitments ( which are coming to an end due to age ), I've not as yet started any medication. So I've achieved everything so far without any specialised help support or training. Only the personal support from my friends and peers.
I am currently looking into life coaching and medication options. Mostly because I want to lead a successful happy life, and the only thing I'm missing right now is my own family.

Typically this was supposed to be a short note... but I've ended up ranting on... that's definitely one of the issues I need to tackle .

Good luck to the orginal poster, I hope you make a good decision.

MagicSandwich's picture

Please continue to read in

Please continue to read in detail the comments from Non's on this blog. It will help with your quest for personal empowerment. 


and lots of it. love and patience is what you need, and that goes for mostly everything. i have been dating my adhd boyfriend for 10 years. just like all relationships, its not always perfect. Educating yourself, understanding both yourself and your partner takes time and really makes a world of a difference. Hes amazing! talented, smart, very loving is very difficult for him to control his adhd off his medication so he takes it daily. i understand it is difficult for him sometimes (and my end) but with a little understanding and love, everything is pretty good. my mom always tells me "if it aint one thing, its another" 

No do not continue!!!!!!

I have dated a person with ADHD and the fact is, they are not normal in their thinking process. I don't care who they are or how much they work on it you will never be able to fully understand their behaviors. You can make excuses for them but in the end you will shoulder a lot of the responsibilities of family and home. You will feel alone and unheard more often than not. You will be hurt by their lack of understanding and let-downs. When you start dating, or fall in love, with someone who has ADHD you are automatically signing up to shoulder more work than them. Trust me, save the wasted years and move on. If you are asking whether or not to continue, you already know the answer. No! It may sound harsh and I know that people with ADHD deserve love, but for someone with "normal brained thinking" it is a rough road and often ADHD people are oblivious to what is really going on because their brain just does not work this way. I dated a kind man with ADHD for three years and as time passed I felt like a mother and I was not heard in my needs. I do understand now what was going on and that I should have not taken it personally and been so hurt and confused. But that said, I was not living a life connected to someone I could trust. Someone who was my partner and could set up if I fell. ADHD people cannot step up if you need them too. Their always has to be someone there to take care of them. I am sorry ADHD people, but it is true. Yes there are many famous and successful people with ADHD but those successful people always has someone taking care of them. Albert Einstein had his wife and it is well documented that he would spend all his time in the lab, that was paid for, developing new ideas. And his wife was in charge of the home, which was normal back then. Justin Timberlake had his mom and now many assistants reminding him of everything. So unless you are fine in a relationship that will never be equal, or in a relationship where you will feel unheard most of the time, then go for it. If you want a true equal partner in life, someone who will be there mind, body and soul then stay away from ADHD. It's not their fault it just is.

Also, to the lady who is waiting for her ADHD boyfriend to come back because she finally understands I say this...Just because you understand does not make it easier in the end. You are lonely right now and thinking about the great points that he has, and there are many. But in the end you left because there was something lacking. It will still be lacking when you have him back and just because it is an ADHD symptom does not mean that the loss and loneliness you felt won't still be there. If you need love and connection you have to wait for it to come in another form. Plus if you are telling him you understand and he is still not coming back to try again, then maybe it was not all ADHD and maybe this guy will never love you like you deserve. I would save years of heartache and run as fast as you can the other direction.

I may sound mean but I have dealt with ADHD and it is not a fun ride, do I love my ADHD ex...yes! Do I wish he could be normal and understand what he does...yes! But no matter how much you try to delude yourself, they are different! They are often too wrapped up in their own world and needs to be able to see anyone else's for longer than a half hour. Out of sight, out of mind. There are plenty of people looking for love. Don't waste your time on what "COULD BE", because in then end you are just trying to build a great relationship from a poor source. I too hoped, prayed and deluded myself to think, "If he just understand, he will know how much it hurts and change". It won't happen because they can't change. They are biologically made this way. You cant change their nature; so again run!


Save Yourself

Balcox, I hear what you are saying and I couldn't agree more. After 23 yrs with someone who has undiagnosed ADD (not ADHD)--yes, after 23 yrs. I know exactly what his issues are-- that I would have backed out of this relationship long ago if I could. The problem is that there is no way to back out gracefully.

His ex-wife took his military ID and applied for, and used in his name, numerous credit cards while he was away on duty. She slept with her boss and then ran away with the kids. Why was he with her? Because crazy people marry crazy people. No, let me rephrase that, healthy people take one look at crazy people and run! Save yourself!  His family is nuts and hers is Bat S*** crazy. Their kids are a nightmare!!! There are mental health problems in both families going back at least 3 generations (and now kids and grand-kids) that I know of.

He came home one day to an empty house. Nothing but the unpaid bills. The "B" even sold the stereo that friends loaned them. He went AWOL from the military, and his other job, tried to kill himself, and would up in a military mental ward with his wife trying to get him to legally sign control over to her.

So, you're thinking he had some hard times and needs to get back on his feet.  He's legally bankrupt. And he has to borrow 50 bucks from you on payday to take you to lunch before he can cash his paycheck. And he pays it back promptly but borrows it again before the next paycheck clears. Every week, 50-75 bucks? And his room looks like a hurricane hit, with everything he owns either in his bed or on the floor? But, you aren't looking for marriage, and he feels like your favorite pair of jeans...

After you've been dating for 6 months he wants you to co-sign for a visa card with only a $500 limit, just to get his credit going again, you see. Against better judgment you offer a gasoline credit card so that the oil changes and gasoline purchased can be easily paid off each month. He has a hissy fit and refuses. Then, he gets laid off so he wants you to take YOUR savings to rent a U-haul so that he can find a job out of state. This would be a good time to back out if possible, but it's not, because someone else has crushed his soul, so you tell him to go and find a job, get established, and you will follow. You hope he makes a life there so that you can detach with his dignity intact.

In the mean time, since you have been together, you find out that his father was a raging A-hole who drank and locked himself up in his "work-room" studio when he wasn't yelling at everyone and beating his children. And his dad "brought home" a Porsche one day. Mom is a martyr and proud of it. You find out she is paying his child support. Other than that she is an empty page.  Her brother, when I finally met him, has more than just "a speech impediment" would be diagnose with ASD if someone ever took him to the doctor. Never went to school, either-- I mean, FIRST GRADE!

My love (and yes, he will always be my love) has one sister who, except for brief marriages, lives at home and dumps her kid off on mom while she goes to Mexico to study Spanish, scuba-dives, kayaks, roller-skates, does pottery, batik, belongs to several musical groups, writes music.The other sister has one child with low-functioning autism. Her other kid now engrossed in high math--thank goodness, The Doors era is over! Back to story...

Well, the job search didn't work out so he's back. And, unfortunately, you both are looking for a place, because your landlord is selling. You reluctantly agree to move in together but only under the condition that you can move out at any time. After a month of picking up his stuff from wherever he dropped it, literally, and almost knocking yourself out on all the kitchen cabinet doors left open, you've had enough. You calmly sit him down and tell him it's not working out and you want to move.

AND HE F***ING FREAKS OUT!!!!!! I'm not talking manipulation here, this was the gen-u-ine deal! He lost it!

And you don't want him to kill himself. You love him.  So you back down. And here you are...

Even after he comes home with a $5000 speaker he got for half-price (employee discount with payments deducted) that "he needs for work" and tells you that you have to buy a $1000 stereo receiver for it while you literally eat off the floor because you have no furniture. And 23 yrs worth of numerous other OMG moments, like making jewelry on the carpet with an anvil, a blow-torch and pickling solution, that I won't bore you with.

You like being his girl-friend but can't really be his wife until you stop being his mother.

And you have made mistakes that ruined your career and your credit because you didn't understand what was going on...And you have no one to turn to. You are stuck!

And, that's the truth! :-D PLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

In reading every story here I have learned...

I have learned that all non adhd partners feel lonely and lost. Adhd is a stealthy disorder. You look at your partner who has a job and lives his life and then when you have fallen in love and time passes you realize something is wrong. At first you can't put your fingers on it so you continue in a happy ignorant bliss. After a few years you find your self angry and hurt and dumbfounded! Why does he act like this! Is he selfish, does he just not care about me at all? These along with a great many swear words becomes your world. The thing that makes it so hard to walk away is that it is so illogical!!!! He works and seems to listen to his boss and get things done! He must be able to listen and function, right! But when it comes to you it's like the whole world goes black. They can't see, hear, or change for love. That is why it is so hard. It makes no sense! Adhd is the worst thing ever!!!!! Maybe 2 out of 1000 will make it in a relationship but I feel that adhd just leaves broken hearts, lost dreams and wasted time in its tracks. I will never date a person with adhd ever and i will warn anybody i can! I am taking my life back now. I will go without closure just so i can move slowly toward a better life with someone who is imperfectly perfect!!! I will miss what I wanted with my ex. I will mourn and cry for a man that I loved and still do, but I am not waiting anymore for him to get it. I am not going to choose to be in a relationship where i will be alone in my awareness. I need promises to be kept, i need a partner who is willing to compromise and communicate. I want and need these things, but most of all i want to be happy and in love at the same time! And you can't have these things with Adhd! You just can't!

ADHD at work

I have a hard time believing there is not an issue at work, also. How can someone has so many difficulties communicating, participating, and following through at home and not at work? My SO will say he does not have trouble, yet as he relates the events of the day, I see/hear the problems as clearly as if I was there...

ad/hd at work

I met my SO at work. I worked in assembly and then moved to QC. He was a repair technician. We worked the same hours but different departments in different areas with slightly different break schedules. There was another tech in his department when he started working there that was the "go-to" guy, but, after a short while, people started saying that if he wasn't available go see my SO. I noticed how very smart he is, and a very talented tech. Then, we started dating. Of course I had no idea what I was getting into when we started dating, but one thing I noticed right away was his buried desk. At our company, everyone (50-100 employees) was given ten minutes before quitting time to clean their work area, then they could go home. Everyone's space was clean, EXCEPT, you guessed it, my sweetheart's. His desk always looked like a tornado hit it!!! Today, he works for a utility, and his truck is always filthy inside! You can't find anything in it. One day we were entertaining one of his co-workers and his wife. They pulled out pictures from work. She asked her husband, "Who's desk is that!!!" and pointed to the heap on my SO's desk. When she found out it was his, she looked at me and said, "but he's so neat at home?" I said, "this is me." Dragging her down the hall I opened a door "This is HIS room!" And, yes, HE WAS EMBARRASSED.

Passive Agression "Is It "REAL" or Is it "Memorex"

I had to come back here to tell a story that relates to what May Wee told of her own experience with something that I had run into a long time ago and remembered something that you cannot ignore or look away from.  In terms of "denial" or "not seeing it"...or the many comments that I read that say "they just don't get it".....they as in "we" if....."we are not capable of seeing or understanding these things"  The last thing I want to do here is defend.  What I want to do is get people to :"see".....if I can?  That's my intention at the very least and ODD and passive aggressive behavior is highly suspect within a lot of the behaviors, the defensiveness and the "misunderstandings" involved with someone who has ADHD.

Hind site is 20/ from that place...I think I can speak about my past in the present time and tell you what I see?

I don't have kids and that's a fact I have not experienced myself.  I have been married before and from that place....I can speak with some authority from my own experience.  I also have two older sisters and a being the youngest only male child in the house...I can also speak from a place of living with 3 women and knowing them intimately. 

From growing up in a "female dominated" environment...where female issues, female wants and desires, female needs, female thinking and female attitudes along with ....yes.....female "dreams" and where female "imagery" are concerned....I know them all because I heard them daily and heard what my older sisters had to say about this.  They are 6 and 8 years older than I am so we competed over nothing in these areas and we got along splendidly because of it.  At the time....I remember going "get me the Hell out of here!!!  I want nothing to do with this and quite frankly as a kid....I was bored to tears listening to them gossip and tell about their interests and the things that were important to them.  And why was that?  Because....I'm not a woman (or female) and this fact seemed to allude even my sisters alot of the time because they could not get a handle on the fact that I ...just wasn't interested? "How can you not be interested in these important things?"  Easy....I'm a guy that why? LOL

And unlike me...both my sisters have kids (multiples) and ironically...out of the extended "brood" of 5 kids combined...there is only one female niece I have and the rest were all boys.  Men now...who are married with kids of their own except for two and one just got married and the other one is not married yet and I'm not thinking is looking to be that way any time soon?  How fitting was that I might ask?  Here are these two girls....being raised by a mother who only had a sister who was totally on board with my sisters and their needs.....and then comes me.  I've said this before but my mother...was the most ill equipped person on the planet when it came to having a son.  My father was the only man that she knew intimately aside from her own father...who by all accounts worked all the time to support them which left her mother and sister to socialize and learn from as her only means to learn anything? She grew up in a rural part of Southern California and she had no play mates or other kids to socialize and learn from and she was quite "naive" and had no idea what to do with a little boy with ADHD and was completely bewildered most of the time? lol  I taught my Mom....what being a little boy...was all about.  In turn...she taught me how "women think" and I learned that from her even if I learned absolutely nothing from her in respect to what being a little boy and man is all about. in the lighter! LOL

So in context  and now saying one thing before I continue....hind site is 20/20...but no one knows what having a child is like...until you have one.  And in respect to one knows what being married is like and moving in with someone full time...until you do this either?  There is no way to predict what will happen in respect to having ADHD....until you're already there so any person thinking that "you should know" and "should have told you or warned you" in knowing any of this ourselves before it about the same as my mom trying to teach me what being a little boy is all about because that's worse than the blind leading the blind.  At least with the blind.....both can relate to the same experience and both can relate with being blind?

Amd with me now...coming from that place with all of this behind me and telling, warning and explaining up and honestly to my wife before we moved in so we wouldn't have these issues...and I am again, with full awareness, no denial and no real defensiveness getting in the way along with all that passive aggression that I thought was a thing of the past?  The reason for that as I thought...was due to the fact...that I didn't even know I had ADHD to begin with and that in itself was less denial (or not wanting to know or dismissing it or refusing to accept and take reasonability  ) but more just not being even aware of what ADHD really was?  Here I was....having something that I didn't even know of it's existence and with that not knowing just how ignorant you are of yourself  which also makes you pretty  ignorant of what you do and the reasons why you do it sometimes?  And no one knows that...until they know and until you're already there which includes everyone in respect to being married for the first time...and then having kids for the first time?  This is where things start to get really complicated especially when you are dealing with what I use to call...."psychotic behavior" stemming from what I saw happen with my two sisters when they their "biological clock" started going off and then started having kids.  This psychosis it seems....begins the instant they found out they were pregnant and then as it appeared to me...that something "force"outside of themselves took possession of their souls and they began to behave in an extreme manner that was completely foreign to me.  They changed almost over night..and with they treated and talked to me which has never reappeared since.  I felt like I had 'lost my sisters" since our relationship changed dramatically once this psychosis took them over.  They stopped being my sisters anymore...and now they were "mothers".  And in respect to this psychoses as I have referring to transformed them into something...they were not before?  They thought differently, talked differently and stopped thinking the same as I had always known them and with has never returned to the way they were before and things are much much more serious along with them about the same things where before...they could really care less?  Their priorities shifted almost over night and along with that...a lot  of their expectations changed as well?  This is coming from their own flesh and blood here and I have no reason to make this up or saying anything to the contrary because this was my experience....exactly.  But I was not dependent on my sisters for anything but to maintain a relationship with them which was the only need I had in all of this?

I just wanted to mention this in terms of the famous "hyper focus period" at the beginning of the relationship in terms of suddenly...changing and it never going back?  The point here is just saying that this kind of thing or phenomenon is not exlusive to ADHD by any means and if you stop long enough to consider this....that "biological clock" thing...could also be considered as "an innate drive to procreate in  women" in a biological sense that men can never understand exactly from that perspective?  In order to have your "biological clock" go have to have one in the first place don't you? lol  Amd since I don't have one...because I'm a man.....mine didn't go off and I'm no worse off because of it?  I never planned on not raising kids or having a family in those terms....but I'm not hurting or pining for the loss of something I've never had?  This concept especially eluded my one sister because "she was so hurt and disappointed" that I didn't have kids of my own?  Like what the??? How can you hurt for me nd be disappointed....when I'm not hurt or disappointed myself?  My life it was....was not geared towards having kids and this was just something that I thought about as something that I will just do...but never gave it another thought because this is not where my priorities were ever?  This was not what "I" dreamed about...and it was not what "I" spent any time thinking about ahead of time?  It seemed more like a "duty" I must perform...because of this "psychosis that seemed to have a life of it's own and I just accepted that are part of the deal as something ...."I had to do" if I wanted to be married?  It was a package deal in other words and this is how I thought about it at the time?

Where my priorities were.....and still are today...had more to do with making money and affording kids in the first place.  And since I would sit and listen to my sisters come home and talk about guys they'd meet or were dating and listen to what they would was pretty clear what they were thinking and how they were approaching "guys" with that in mind.

"Oh...and he's in law school and he's going to be a lawyer....."  "Yeah ....well mine is going to be a Doctor and wants to become surgeon.  Just think....Dr and Mrs Pusspocket...and then we can..... blah blah blah....."  I heard it fact I turned to them one time sitting at dinner one night and said..."why don't you just become a doctor yourself so you won't have to find one to marry? "  And they looked at me with that deer in the headlights look that told me they were drawing a blank on that one?  It seemed like a logical conclusion and answer to this problem as I was innocently offering what I saw as a simple solution here? lol  None the less....there seemed to be a disconnect that I clearly  was not privy too and of course you can understand why I think? lol

So into this context....I wanted to say something real.  This is not denial and it's not from not being able to see or I'm not capable of understanding?  As I referred to my sisters and what they put their energies into...I put ALL of my energies and learning ability towards one thing and one thing alone.  Making a living and choosing a career.  Marriage, babies and sharing my life with someone was not even on the radar what so ever?  And the career path I took at the chagrin of my parents ( and somewhat a disappointment ) of everyone in my family was to become and do what I'm best at and that's in the realm of being an artist.  I went to college for business and ended up...;owing my own "art" business of a sorts?  I have a manufacture and repair trade shop doing business with a number of different jewelry stores in my area....creating and repairing any and all manner of fine jewelry as well as taking anything that came across my bench and had a reputation in the trade as being the place to go to...when no one else will touch it.   I was lucky enough to have trained by a real 'master" of the craft ...old school...which is not the way people learn this because these guys are all dead now.  I was one of the last of the few...who learned to do it right and learned it the way it was taught for hundreds of years before computers, China and technology were involved.  You learned to do one place and by hand and never sent anything out to anyone to do it and this was my calling card.  I became extremely "good" at doing my job to the point...that I was only one of a handful of people who could do what I could do at all because of it.  I was not a cog in the wheel....I was the wheel!! lol And when something came along that no one else would touch....I not only touched it but did an excellent job at doing it and this is what I was know for.  I was...the go to guy if no one else would and this set me apart and what I gained in reputation.  Other shops would bring me their "abortions" to fix and not only would I fix it...I would make it better than new many times.  I have a nack or gift for this which is also a part of having ADHD and hyper focus.

I'm sorry for making this long wind up to this story but you have to have all that context for it to make any sense?

So here I am one day...and I have visitors in my shop.  It was one of the managers of a new store I had taken on to do work for and he was visiting my shop to see what we do and how we do it?   And without thinking this through any more and walking in for the first time...he said...."who's bench is that?  I don't want him working on my stuff."....pointing at my bench as he said this because it was a mess...just like this was mentioned in this comment exactly.  But then he said...."I want who ever sits at this bench to do my work" and he pointed at my apprentices bench who had just come out of jewelry school. LOL  And I looked at him and said..."well...if you want the apprentice doing your work...and I have no problem with that....but when we spoke on the said you wanted me to do your work because of my reputation for being able to perform magic since your last shop screwed so many things up and this is what you told me on the phone?  If you want me to do your work...I'm the one who sits at the messy bench that you said you don't want that person working on your jobs."

I'm not going to on about just this "ONE" time something that has happened.  What I wanted to bring up and mention was the extreme pleasure I use to get when that would take place.  Not only was I not offended....but I LOVED......absolutely LOVED the fact...that anytime someone who appeared to me as being no ignorant and think that what my work bench looked like had any reflection on the work that I produce deserved to be made a fool of and I would always let them put their foot smack in their mouth...and then relish in this immensely.

In those was like...."what a joke....what an imbecile....what a fool!!!  I will do anything and everything to let them hang themselves...and then laugh at them for being such an idiot to disrespect me based on appearances only and thinking how shallow and narrow minded they were....and I...the King of the forest in that context...would just let them and then let them embarrass themselves which in that context..and in that enviroment, and it that skill area that I had.....they were the ones with a red me and I didn't need to do anything but just allow them to speak...and not say anything....either before...or after they said it? 

And usually...if they said anything at all was "I'm sorry.....I didn't know."

And this last line that was said here was the most telling of all...." I said, "this is me." Dragging her down the hall I opened a door "This is HIS room!" And, yes, HE WAS EMBARRASSED."

I don't have to think too far to know why she did that?  In respect to me and my shop and my skills and what was most the end of the day....actions speak louder than words?

But in respect to any of this apply at home and now bring my wife (or female of interest here lol ) in terms of...her shame....her needs..and her want and desires in terms of "the house"....that "psychosis" (this is a joke I hope you that I've shared and is well know by my sisters ) and those "dreams" are respect to the difference between these two scenarios....the only thing in common here was a messy desk or work area?  Different context...different results....,different embarrassment...and which one is which?

In respect to that new manager who came by and made that "fo pah" in saying what he said....he became a loyal customer and found out why by just letting me do the job I was not only good at....but one that no one else would "touch" in many a circumstance?  He found out that a messy bench...has nothing to do the quality and perfection of what I was capable of  and there was no relationship to anything other than...I had a messy work area.  His priorities were for quality of work..and that was exactly what he got.  At the end of the wasn't his bench...and he really could care less?

But in respect to what is real and what is just appearances...and then speaking in terms that you might now understand's not so much about not being able to see or that priorities are screwed has more to do with assuming and thinking you know...without any experience to back yourself up?  No experience means....all is left is you and your experiences.

And in respect to a man and a woman who who's right and who's got their priorities all screwed depends of who you are talking too and the context in which that person is saying it?  The thing is..... "no body's right...when everyone is wrong?"  as the song goes?



my apologies

Dear J, I will admit that when I wrote that post we were going through some hard times. As you have pointed out, it is difficult to deal with your own issues when the family as a whole is dysfunctional.

You remind me a lot of my now husband. Yes, we finally married at almost 23 years together. And I do love him. I always did. But ADHD is difficult for both sides. It is impossible to work an issue without recognition. Finally, I got him to see that he didn't just have quirks, that there was a pattern. Twenty-three years that took! And once he got there he felt shame. I can sometimes see it in his eyes or a slight expression on his face. This is not what I wanted. I don't want him ashamed of who he is. But I can't work with something that is unrecognized. And he wouldn't work with me. I try hard to assure him that he is OK. Because he is OK. He is just different. That is what attracted me in the first place. But, please understand that this is a hard road to get there and those who get involved with someone having different brain wiring than their own needs to be aware. We can now discuss what behaviors he can modify and how much, and I can tell him how far I can go to try to accommodate. That's the way it should be, not FU, deal with it!

Like you, he has 2 older sisters, 6 and 8 years apart, and grew up in a dysfunctional family; abusive father, manipulating mother. I also come from a dysfunctional family, and have 2 brothers that are older. We have pretty much divorced from our families, either completely or just the occasional gathering, where we come and go on our terms. It is also impossible to work on your own issues when the family is in chaos. My step-son committed suicide last year at the age of 33, his final out of 9 attempts. My step-daughter never got her life off the ground, and limps along as a welfare mom at 33. Things are the way they are. It is strange, how your perceptions change when tragedy strikes. I received a lot of blame for my step-son from his family. He lived with us during his teen years. Everything was my fault. But it's hard for others to place the blame at my feet when this keeps happening. And now it's over. Once we managed to get over the majority of grief and look up, all the other stuff has disappeared. There's just the two of us now.

You really do remind me a lot of my husband. He dabbles in jewelry too. His metal work needs improvement, but without proper tools and training this is difficult. His real talent is cutting opal. From the first stone he seemed to have the knack. And, even though it's an expensive hobby, I encourage him to do it because he can see the beauty inside the stone and bring it out. He would love to be you. And he is you, but electronics are his treasure.

Yes, my home is my refuge. If anything, I go too far the other way. But it is hard to feel the meditation when there is clutter everywhere. So, we are a very odd couple, indeed. It is offensive to my Feng Shui. My very being. You can see where this would be a problem. If only we could win the lottery and afford 2 homes! For now, we each have our own territory, but we both encroach. It's not a perfect system. And we are not perfect people.

Thank you for reading my update.

I wish everyone well.

May Whee

ADHD yes, leper no

have learned that all non adhd partners feel lonely and lost... It is a sad thing that the disorder is a physiological one and not a psychological one. In my opinion sufferers are many times of superior intellect except for that missing physiological plug-in that screws up everything. We (not they, he, him or it) feel as bad about forgetting, losing, misunderstanding as the partner on the receiving side. Put me in a situation where you need my ability to hyperfocus and I can work like a machine untill I fall over. I admit I forget many things, like forgetting to be angry or to hold a grudge. I also let many things go past me without noticing, like who greeted me at church or looked at me with an attitude. i this regard i am fairly happy. I also feel miserable when i forgot something and it hurt you, especially when you rub my nose in it for the 24th time. But I will very soon forget it happened, not because I want to settle the issue, but because i forget. i also forget when i forgive, really.

Wow and thanks

I am constantly astounded at how everyone uses the exact same phases I use to describe my situation and relay the exact same phases for their ADHD partners that I have heard from mine.  You sound like you have been walking in the same shoes I have for the last 2+ years.  My close friends keep telling me the same thing you said and they don't really know what ADHD is.  They are just going on the people don't change theory.  But you're right, their brain will never understand the hurt they cause and they'll never be able to focus.  It is just so sad.  But one friend said it is sad for me but it may not be for him...  Do you think it's possible that loosing us, possibly being alone forever, and the very limited life they will lead if they don't get better with their ADHD is all so invisible to them that they aren't sad about it?  I am really thinking that may be the case.  It's like trying to reason with a 3 year old, there are some things they just will not be able to grasp.  And I think what life will be like without us vs with us, either way, they just cannot fathom.  Their mind can't compute that kind of thing.  Geez, he can't decide which place to go for dinner out, when to go to bed so he'll be able to get up in the morning, what movie to rent and when to start it so we can see the whole thing before bedtime, how can he possibly decide -- with or without this woman who loves me, what would be better?  

Well, I am more relaxed today now that I have processed more anger earlier today.  I know I wouldn't be relaxed if I were with him or talking to him.  Just being around him and interacting with him causes me stress.  It has been really hard.  I'm not sure what to do.  But like the others on the fence with their boyfriends, I'm sure it will work itself out.  I've been pretty tough and think he's going to stay hiding in his cave for months if not longer.  I so want to help him but I caused him to go hide, so I can't help.  He's undoubtedly been there before over the years and found his way out before.  I have to just let him be.


In response to speaking in "absolutes"

Sometimes when we are hurt is is difficult to open and understand that other people may function differently than ourselves.  We are all blessed and tortured by the fact that we are all the center of our own little universe, and sometimes we are blind to other methods or modes of function.  I am here because I am the one with ADD/ADHD.  I have never been formally diagnosed by a doctor but all my symptoms are in line with this neurological disorder.  I have been married for 5 years, together with my wife for 8.  We come from different cultures.  I am Italian American born and raised in the States while she is from Europe, where we met.  This difference in culture is still seen regularly, even though she has been living here for 6+ years.   If my ADD and the difference in culture weren't enough, she also has a psychological issue that involves compulsive behavior, (which I will not get into at the moment.) more than likely stemmed from parental issues she carries with her from the past.

Because of our issues we are both lacking certain important necessities in life and though we are working with Psychologists and Doctors sometimes it all seems so much bigger than both of us and extremely difficult to overcome.  I have never taken medication for my problem, nor did I ever want to considering the chemical change that happens and being dependent on medication.  I'm also hypocritical, because I smoke Marijuana regularly.  I began as a child because I enjoyed it, but in college realized it would slow me down enough to concentrate on one task at a time and allow me to complete whatever needed to get done.   Growing up I definitely experimented with other illicit drugs, and it only got out of hand once, but I was able to identify it as a problem early and I sought help.

I am insecure as a person and in the 8 years of being with my partner I have learned to be more humble in accepting my faults, apologizing when I am wrong, and I have even learned to contribute around the house with laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning up.  She is very goal oriented, focused, driven, and organized.  I am the complete opposite.  I am scattered with a very short attention span, yet consider myself to be funny, creative, and spontaneous.  I know we all may have issues to different degrees there is always room for improvement in some aspects to make life for your partner a little easier, unfortunately though there are several things that I find very difficult to control.

My wife having the problems that she has is in need of a lot of attention as well as a person who is emotionally sound and I secretly beat myself up for not being able to be that person.  It's not that I don't want to be that person.  In fact there is nothing I would like more than to be the perfect partner for my wife but unfortunately no matter what I have tried it still is difficult to achieve.  It is something that seems beyond my reach.  

She talks to me about her problems often and I find that if I have work distractions, the dog, or anything else on my mind, my brain doesn't get beyond 4 words of what she has to say.  I often have to ask her to repeat what she said.  Similar things happen when tv or music is on.  I can only imagine the distress she is going through yet I still don't have the capacity to listen for very long.  I have tried writing things down, I have stopped smoking marijuana for long periods of time, I have gone sober with alcohol (I have never abused alcohol and both my wife and I are in the beverage industry) as well as a whole slew of other things to become better but unfortunately it's out of my control.  It's just how my thought process works.  

There have also been many times when I am told something and I forget and ask questions I know the answer to.  Actually I know the answer once it's told to me but I ask the question out of impulse without thinking that I already no the answer.  Often times I will get a text or Voicemail from her which I don't fully listen to or read and call her.  When she asks if i saw the message I blurt out yes, without thinking that I really didn't read or listen to more than a sentence of the said message.  

We have fought many times about this in sometimes rather ugly ways.  I actually rarely put people down during arguments, I tend to remain calm but the 2 times a year I can't maintain my cool, watch out.  Don't get me wrong I have never raised my hands to my wife or any woman, nor would I but I have put holes in the wall and smashed delicate things. The farthest I have ever gone is throwing a wet paper towel at my wife who insulted me and has way less filters when we fight.  Sometimes those harsh words add up and I lose it.  I'm only human, but again she is and will always be my queen and I would never do anything to hurt her in a physical sense, though sometimes words can hurt more than physical violence and I have said my share of really mean things that I wish I could take back.

She sometimes is able to handle me better than other times, but when she gets upset she tends to hold back less than I do.  Maybe my insecurities actually create a filter and I am able to think that my words will hurt and so I hold back but she does not, and all those words she has directed toward me have now accumulated to really continue to knock me down a peg and it creates even more insecurities.  Being told you're not a man, your immature, you're a P.O.S., you're a child adds up and creates even more insecurities.  My forgetfulness and insecurities combined are also making me become a bit OCD, in the sense that when I leave the house and the dog at home I freak about about having left stoves, ovens, and dangerous things out which my dog will get into, and so this makes me walk in and out the door 3-4 times.  I am so aware of my forgetfulness, that I get anxiety about having forgotten something.  I go through the motions but don't realize what motions I am going through and forget what has been done.  I know it sounds crazy but that is what happens in my head.

My issue is something that many people face and if they don't face that, usually it's something else.  We come from a messed up society and it seems that as I get older I find more and more people with issues of their own, that doesn't mean you give on your spouse.  You took and oath, "in sickness and in health, for better or worse" and too many people are just too casual.  The only things we have in this messed up world is our family and though I am an Atheist I do believe in morals, treating others that way you'd want to be treated, and sticking with your people.  I am the most liberal of people yet I do believe in the sanctity of some rituals and morals  Don't get me wrong some people are obviously not made for each other but that is what dating and living together are for.  To make you realize whether that person is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  

Everybody is in a different boat and there is no clear yes/no answers but I find it absurd that you tell someone to run away from their problems when the only point of reference you have is your own and a blog.  Sometimes that is necessary, especially if your life or health are in danger but most times it's a cop out.  At that point why don't you just give up on life because ADD husband or not life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in your way no matter what road you choose.  

My wife has an issue that has completely decimated our sex life, our social life, and her issues are deep rooted affecting her mood quite often.  I have thought many times in the last 5 years that I wouldn't be strong enough to do it, but in the end I love her, want to support her and want to be a part of her finding happiness and serenity in life.  We all have issues, but these challenges make us grow and make us better people.  I am not going to tell anyone to leave or stay with their spouse but what I am going to say is 

1 Think long and hard about getting married to someone and having children, make sure that you are willing to stick with them if ADD or any other issue arises later.

2 Work with them, support them, and encourage.  Always remember that we function differently especially if you can't understand how someone can be so scattered.  I don't have compulsions and couldn't understand my wife's but have learned to accept that, her and who she is, and I love her more and more with every passing day.  

We are both working on taking control of our own lives and though I can only speak for myself I am confident that we can both continue to better ourselves and re-gain those lost necessities. 

Adhd generalizing public slander

In reply to balcox25                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ...                               This is beyond offensive and completely untrue, well i speak for myself. I myself have adhd, ocd, aspergers, anxiety, taccacardia ( maxing out anxiety suffering) and even narcissism. Nobody would notice because im good looking, polite, respectful to who i talk to except maybe in my mind, great social skills no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Now with all of that hell i live with and torture with my thinking patterns and concentration issues or unable to sit still at times, none of that and i mean none of that prevents me from being there for my gf via heart, mind, body and soul. Nothing changes how much i love her and what i will not do for her, only difference is i don't care much for anybody else i don't know well. Its just i have to have a couple of hours of rest and meditation every few days or ill drive myself nutts along with all those around me. Im sorry but your speaking from your pain not your knowing of what you think you know of all the people who have adhd, and I my dear lady have so much more than just adhd and that doesn't affect me unless i let it and clearly your bf let it. Oh by the way, I can get past it temporarily and i can hide it so misguided people like you in society don't generalize and patronize me to the point that it sends me into depression or worse by preventing me of finding my love, which I thank God it didn't. I hope God can help you through the pain you are feeling and help you to stop telling women what to do and let them think for themselves with their unique situations. Every Medical situation is different for everybody, well mostly.

Symptoms can be managed, but never fixed

I am going on being with a man for 7 years and ADD was there from the outset; He even described it.  I was charmed by the hyperfocus and the non stop desire to travel the world.  After a few of months together, he weaned himself off of closet cigarettes for a prescription of Wellbutrin  from his doctor.  It was sort of effective for a couple of years; then I recommended a favored psychiatrist, who doubled the dosage.  Good results initially, but several months later,  the symptoms were everywhere.  I suggested a change in meds to him which led to "I really don't need to take anything!"  And, he stopped.  The book discusses the three legged stool.  In this instance, medication provides a physical change foundation to allow the behavioral changes and maybe the mate interactions to occur.  But, now it's not there.  We are both Baby Boomers.  This is alot of work and a helluva way to live out the golden years.  Seems like it is all on a case by case basis.

your concerns about dating someone with ADHD

I NEVER weigh in on anything despite the fact that I read and subscribe to multiple boards. But your problem struck home with me. I see this thread is quite old but I think I might have some insight and I would like to address some of what others have said on here regarding spouse/BFs/GFs etc with ADHD. First, about me. If one were to look up ADHD in any form of medical manual there would be a glossy 8x12 photo of me. From the time I was a baby I was "different." I didnt learn to walk. I went from crawling to running to climbing. Without going into all the boring and gory details I was severely physically, psychologically and verbally abused from the time I was about 4 or 5 by my older brother and father. I'm not talking being slapped around and given wedgies. I was beaten w boards, burned, held underwater on more than 1 occassion, thrown down flights of steps etc.  I believe the former is just an evil ass and the latter did so because he simply didn't know how to handle me. The physical abuse contuniued until obviously my older brother left, from my father until I was about 15. By then I had become "a human board." He was simply incapable of doing anything to me physically at that point. The verbal and psychological stuff continued until I left at 18. 

I know what everyone is thinking that is reading this. Alcoholic, whitetrash, broken home. If only the explanations were that simple. My parents are both highly educated and by all accounts, "successful." My father never drank nor used substances. I believe my mother is possibly an on again off again drinker. Now that I have your complete attention and everyone is shocked, I'll top that by saying, " I have NEVER EVER EVER once in my life hit my mother, grandmother, any of my GFS or my wife of 15 years. IT HAS NEVER EVEN CROSSED MY MIND TO HIT THEM. That doesn't mean that I wasnt violent however. I had the capacity for superhuman violence. I can honestly say however, in 99% of the "incidences" i was involved in school, the bus etc. It was generally self defense. I have mellowed out ALOT as Ive grown older. I think understandably, I was ( and in many ways still am) very angry. I was tossed from 6 schools from k-12. 

Being a small child and intially timid but then genuinely outgoing and wanting to "fit in" but never being able to made me both very despondant and a seemingly easy target for bullies. Little did would-be bullies know until it was too late for them that 3 or 4 them at the same time wouldn't be enough. The fights were ALWAYS vicious, brutal, bloody and swift.  I was routinely accustomed to being man handled by 2 grown men, let alone a few snotty, spoiled 10-13 year olds. It was never viewed this way by others. What could their saintly little johnny have done to incur the wrath of this white haired little, zero, "spaz"???? Because I was ALWAYS an easy scape goat i was to blame regardless of numbers, fault, etc. 4 on 1 is fair odds after all right????  Reading the above posts about men who beat their wives/GFs etc is sickening to me. I know from being the recepient that only cowards seek to injure those who are weaker than them. Also, I just want to lay out that I had 1 brief brush with the law for something stupid at 18. I have no criminal record from that incident  or any contacts with LE after that. I do not drink, nor use subtances other than what is prescribed to me. I DO struggle w cigarettes however and have quit and started again numerous times despite being a highly active, competitive athlete even today. I take a MAMMOTH dosage of vyvanse daily and I am JUST barely able to control my ADHD. 

People looking from the outisde are always astounded when I tell them how bad my ADHD is. I seem remarkably organized and disciplined to them.  I have learned coping skills and techniques over the years. My wife thought ADHD and all that was bunk as well until we became serious. I am absolutely certain that she has not had an easy time dealing with me over the years. I finished HS dead last in my class. It took me forever to get through college. I floundered with numerous majors and finally dropped out. Against all odds I returned with "hyper focus". I.E. I dropped out of life for 2.5 years. I finished in the top 5 of my class out of about 300 with straight As. I know my writing and editing are atrocious, but hey, Ive got ADD. :) Yep, I never really worked out at a regular 9-5 job. Co-workers and ADHD guy w messed up childhood issues generally don't mix. I've finally discovered self employment now in the last few years. I can honestly say I'm doing well. My customers love me and I'm neurotic about my work product.

I could write about this for days but in the interest of everyone involved I'll try to wrap it up. I can't speak for whomever you have found that is carrying the monstrous burden of this "disorder" ( I wouldnt wish it on anyone). Looking back over the years I really blew it with the majority of my relationships, GFs and friends included. Thinking back. It was me. It was ALWAYS me. I was an ass. I didn't listen to them enough or pay enough attention. I' terrible about following through at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc.  I genuinely wanted to!!! What opportunities did I have to develop any form of social maturity? I was cast aside from virtually day 1. But, I bare the blame for my mistakes. 100%. ALL ME. NOBODY ELSE. I am so fortunate to have found the wife I have. I am going to steal a line from one of my favorite movie characters and say, "the best thing I've ever done with my life was to convince the greatest woman in the world to marry me." I can hear the naysayers now. Boo hoo you and all that right? Thats fine. I've never been shown sympathy or compassion throughout my life accept by 1 person. You think I'll bat an eye or give a damn in YOUR "hour of need???" Its a 2 way street.

I have 1 close friend besides my wife who is my best friend. I trust no one and generally dislike people. AFter 12 years of living next to one neighbor and his repeated attempts to say hi. I now know his name. Eventhough outwardly I can go to parties and "mingle" more or less with anyone. I know that there is a good possiblity that I will die the angry, lonely guy in the basement apt who yells at the kids above to turn the music down.  

HOWEVER, IF, you can win me over, you will never have a more loyal, willling to march to the ends of the or die trying on your behalf friend. I would never hurt my wife, I have never and will never cheat on her. I think when you grow up with SOOO much adversity and animosity towards you, it either makes you or breaks you. When all you have ever known is conflict and a war zone, those places are where you become "most at home." It takes those of us with this burden longer to get to the finish line. But our victories and the subsequent celebrations are that much sweeter and longer lived. I would truly like to think that I am  a more genuine person for everything that has happened in my life. I can only put on a front for so long. Then I like you or hate you. My advice is, if you can't handle who they are now or aren;t sure you can? If you can't handle that it is probably going to be a long haul and there will be some really difficult times (its been financially for us). Don't sign up. I guess my wife did change me. But she definitely accepted me for who i was/am and made me better. Also, I think I am exactly what she needed in life, a loyal protector/defender. I suppose we were fortunate to find eachother.  Marry your best friend. Nothing else will work.


Thank you...

Thank you for your post.  I so wanted to read the other side of this.  This past week has been hell trying to understand what I should have known.  I cried for my grown son and for the man I never met but feel in love with.   


My story is a bit different from most of yours.  Ours was a on line relationship that was on again off again for 3 years.  At this point it is off.  After the last blow up I needed to understand what was going on.  I thought having raised a child with ADHD I knew it all only to find out I knew nothing.  I found this site and have spent a week reading and crying and understanding.  I had a melt down the other day because I felt so guilty that I wasn't the type of mother that my adult son needed me to be. Nor did I understand what was going on with my friend.  But if anything good come from this it is perhaps I may help my son in some way navigate his relationships.
I know that the on line relationship is over.  I crossed the line as he put it.  I feel so guilty about what I said and knew the minute I hit the send button I knew it was wrong and quickly tried to express how sorry I was. I was so angry with him.   It was too late.
I know it's a crazy story and I should have just let it go after our first blow up.  But there was something that kept bringing me back to that places.
When we met on line it was crazy.  (Oh my new word) .... he was hyper-focused on me.  We would talk for hours.  I wasn't working at the time so I was able to give him my full attention while he was at work.  He was quite good at multi tasking so it never affected his job.  I would  set there for 8 hours talking about nothing really.  It started to unsettle me that I was starting to be a bit aggressive with the first email in the morning.  I questioned him about it.  He liked aggressive woman.  Ok. He started to say he loved me and I just blew it off as you are in lust.  How can you fall in love with someone you have never seen before......  Out 1st blow up came about over me asking him why he never called?  He blow up over that stating something about  me nagging him.  That was the start of the fall into behavior I didn't understand.  We would be in the middle of a conversation and he would be mia.  I questioned him and he would just say he feel asleep.  After a week of that I asked him if he had a sleep problem. I knew something was not normal.  Is all he said was yes.  It wasn't until 3 months into this when I was dealing with my son add that I found out about his adhd.  I didn't think much about it.  Because after all I have been dealing with my sons since he was 3 and he was 25 at that time.
I am not going to go into the every detail of the last 3 years of on again off again with this man.  The 1st. year was very difficult to understand.  I just wanted us to get back to where we started from.  Every time  we decided to meet something would get misunderstood and and he would berate me and tell me I was crazy.  His famous words were: "you just do not know how to shut up."  I'm guilty of that!!!  I do not sit back and let someone verbally abuse me.  I would write his long emails and he would say he didn't read them that he lost interest in them.  Another slap in the faces.  He never ever said he was sorry for what he had said to me he was just pissed off.  I was so done after that but he told me that we owed it to ourselves to at least try.  I don't know what possessed me to keep going back and contacting him.  Oh I forgot to say that after every blow up he would block me.  So I would get another email address.  I would let months go by and try to move on with my life.  Then I would just drop him a line and for a few days it was good.  This has gone one for way to long.  It was just crazy I didn't understand it.  I was beginning to think I must be crazy.  Perhaps OCD.  Oh I forgot to say he also is OCD.  I do not understand OCD other then what I have read on the internet.  He didn't seem to follow any of the symptoms.  I saw pictures of his house and it was neat.  In fact we had talked about what a slob my some was. I did ask him once about it and he didn't answer me.  He had a habit of just picking out things he would respond to.  He took on the personality of hot, cold and none responsive.  He couldn't realize when I was just teasing him and took it as a put down and would get angry.
I started realizing when his meds had kicked in he was great.

This last go around was not intended to be anymore then to check in on him after a major storm had hit.  I didn't really expect a responses but I got one.  I tried to keep it lite not over do it with the responses.  I woke up to a text mgs. on 2/14 wishing me a Happy Valentines.  Now that was a first.  So I thought ok he's inviting me into his life.  That night he got angry about something I said and he was gone.......mia.  I dropped but did text him back in my defenses stating that I misunderstood  and I was sorry that I intruded in his life.  He responded that he was just pissed.
Then the next two days nothing.  Ok a normal thinking person would just walk away but not me I wanted answers...So another new email address just trying to get a answer......he took it all wrong and needles to say I was berated to the point of no return I said something that I could never take back.  It had to do with his marriage.
Over and done with.  25 email addresses later and feeling so guilty then I found this site.  If only I had known all of this before at least I would have understood what was going on.  I don't know if I would have even tried but at least I would have been able to understand.  He is a good man and I feel he deserves to find happiness.       

Now I will focuses on my son.......

Here again

So here I am again almost 9 months later. Well just had another go around with W. It was very interesting. All through texting due to the fact that we're almost a thousand miles away from each other. I wanted to it light and simple. I'm retired now and he still working. I wasn't going to fall into the pitfall of emailing all day. Pretty interesting conversation that Saturday. But I wasn't going to fall for it hook line and sinker. I told him: let's just take it one day at a time and see what happens. Ok I'm not saying he was totally in hyper- focus but he was spilling his guts. It was nice to here. I was playing it cool and waited and waited for him to contact me again. I finally couldn't take it anymore so I contacted him. That was pretty much how the last two weeks went. I also was recovering from a sprained neck. Not one word from him about that. I told him that 90 percent of the time I adore him and I do. He came back with ..I have to work on that 10 percent. I tried to explain to him what the 10% was and how it affected me . Is it to much to ask for him to take the lead once in awhile? I would get so upset about that. I took it as a sign he really wasn't interested. I know now from going back to this site that it wasn't necessarily the truth. That conversation took place on Saturday. I have to say something funny did happen that day... He had to go out for a hour or so but would be back. I responded with a or 3 or 5 hours. But low and behold he did text me in a hour that he was home. Now I really felt hey we are making some headway here. Sunday well I waited and waited for a simple good morning.....I set him a text and was nice about it...telling him we had just talked about this. He said he thought about it a 6AM. I said you really should have follow through on that thought process. It was on and off conversation as we did our own thing through the early afternoon. No pressure to run and respond. We were in the middle of a conversation when he said his daughter was calling he'd be right back.'s like I fell of the face of the earth. LOL. I did text him to have a good night about 8:30 and a good Monday. A thank you was given. I sent him a text on Monday stating it was time for that serious conversation. Sooner rather then later...( he was the one who wanted to have a serious conversation 2 weeks ago. I told him we had time for that.. let's just take it day by day and see where it leads us) My next text was please do not respond in a negative way..I'm not going to respond to negativity. Sure enough you did..He was sick of my B.S. and me telling him what to do.......Hummmmm. Ok then. So now he is not talking and to be honest I have no clue what the Heck happened. I I honestly don't know how a person can go from saying you are the one I want to spend the rest of his life with to this. What am I missing here? I didn't just fall of the turnip truck. I have dated a lot of players in my life and we are not young naive kids. This has me totally confused. By the way I have a adult son who is ADHD. So I do know a bit about it from a moms perspective. I'm not going to go thrthrough this again with him. 3 years of on and off is brought. But if anyone could come up with any explanation I'd appreciate it. He is also OCD..and I have wondered about PTSD but he said no to that long ago. I know that this is nothing to compared to what some of you have gone through.
CroMag's picture

THis isn't ADHD

Seriously. Don't confuse this with ADHD. Your husband sounds like an utter sh!t. ADHD people may have impulsive anger and it may be difficult for others to deal with but to blame it on you afterwards, that's bad and it hasn't got anything to do with ADHD. If he continues like this my advice is to get out. Divorce him and get a restraining order if needs be...

anger, blame, adhd, etc.

I agree. This is the first post I have made for a really long time because I just got sick of everyone saying to accept it, get help, make allowances, etc. What I have recently been made aware of, and I know it has been referred to on this forum elsewhere, is that many adhd'ers have other issues that complicate the matter and make treatment/help confusing and challenging. I'm the non, my husband is the adhd one. Our psychologist recently declared that he believes my husband not only has adhd, but also is bipolar AND has narcissistic personality disorder. This cocktail of challenges creates a very angry, blaming, immature and nasty individual - one who refuses to acknowledge there is a problem (it's obviously all me) and no matter what angle is taken to attempt managing these challenges, he bounces between the disorders (for want of a better word) in order to justify unacceptable behaviours. His most recent angle is that we are all victims of 'programming' by the 'system' and just need to allow each other to be who we are. That would be great if it included any validation for anyone else's feelings, thoughts, needs, space, the list goes on.

Adhd doesn't necessarily make a person angry and/or violent, but it often has friends that do. After nearly twenty years together (and it's been a living hell mostly) I am once again weighing up leaving everything the children and I have and love in order to be free of the blame and attacking and useless circles of argument about everything. Another post I saw pointed out that if the adhd'er cannot acknowledge they need to manage their 'condition', then there is no further you can go. Without acknowledgment of an issue, the issue cannot be addressed. This is where my husband resides due to the n.p.d. - that great river in egypt - de nile. So sad that he has lost the respect of his wife and children, is once again risking losing his family and home, all because according to him, he is the centre of the universe and anyone who challenges that perspective is wrong...... I'm going to have another cry....

Call me gone

I have spent the last week on a journey that has led me and many many different directions. I have learn more about ADHD this past week than I ever knew. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point but I now understand. I'm not his verbal punching bag anymore. what a crazy roller coaster ride it's been. I finally figured out this morning at 1 am the title of this chapter of my life. Codependency Meets ADHD. I understand it all now. I'm still very confused about on thing if someone could please explain it to me. Oh could someone go from saying how much they love you and talk about a live together one day and the next day blow up about a request to have a serious conversation. attacked and then block so all communication is done. Not the first time on this rodeo with him. He's still angry and I'm The really odd thing is I could contact him in a few months and everything would fall right back into the same old same old as if nothing had ever happened. So my question is what do I believe and what don't I believe. I am one of those crazy people that needs to end things nicely....but I can't because I don't know what is true and what isn't. I will never tell someone not to date someone one with ADHA..I will only say do your homework. It will save you from feeling like you're battling your head against the wall. The one good thing I got from all of this is I understand my adult ADHD son better. I also realized that I had fallen back into my codependent behaviors that I work so hard to get over years ago. So today I start working on myself.....and never going back to him or the person I was in all of this.

New relationship and he has diagnosed ADHD

Hi, I just found this site and forum through doing a google search for "ADHD and compulsive lies". I am on the verge of a new relationshipd with a man, officially, we are not even dating yet, We have communicated online for a couple of months, he is a friend of a close friend and sent me a facebook friend request.  We live in the same town, only about  a half mile from each other, but I was away working on a seasonal contract, so we didn't actually meet in person until just a couple of weeks ago. 

Our online communication was awesome, he told me about his ADHD, he is very open about himself, We both are in our early to mid fifties, plenty of life experience, a lot of common concerns and interests and I was, and still am, impressed with his ability to be very open about issues, such as his ADHD.

The first "puzzles" didn't arise until I started moving back to town and suggested we meet. He seemed all excited, but then had last minute excuses why he couldn't make it. And frankly, some of his reasons were a bit strange. I now know for a fact that he lied about them. 

I am not going to go into excruciating detal, but we have since met a few times, talked on the phone quite often, chatted online and it has already been a roller coaster ride of unpredictability, lies, excuses and a very funny guy I really like. A man with a very big heart. 

The lies are what have bothered me most, he lies about things that are totally irrelevant. When challenged on it he gets very defensive and tells me he never lies, and then proceeds to tell me another few whoppers.

I have read the blog about ADHD and lies, and I was amazed to catch glimpses of him in almost every single description of life with the ADHD spouse.

A couple of my closest female friends tell me to "RUN!!!  But I am still wondering if there is a chance for a relationship here.  

Edit: I guess I should add that we've already had some stormy moments due to me challenging him on lies, and a couple of times I thought that this was it, it's over, I will not hear from him again. And there he was, next day, back as if nothing had happened. 

One of the benchmarks we use

One of the benchmarks we use very legitimately when considering new mates is their ability to hide their crazy. If you can't put forward all the best versions of yourself while hiding all of your scary baggage, then you fail the first test of attraction and suck at courtship. Sure, we should all be honest and we shouldn't approach anything resembling deception in our dealings, but everyone has broken bits and embarrassing foibles. Not shining light on them from the outset is one of the ways we indicate to a partner that we are worth their time.

ADHD people are typically pretty good at hiding these things, by the way. The early dynamic of relationship hyper-focus is well documented here. Many of us are damned good at an effortless portrait of perfection... for a time.

If you were talking about these warning signs in the first few months of a relationship, I would say that's probably game-over. Before even entering into one?

Nope. Go directly back to the dating pool. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

It seems like this man has a

It seems like this man has a pretty severe case of ADHD, so far as he cannot contain his lies so early in the friendship/relationship. Many ADHDers are hyper-focused on the person or thing of interest and nothing deters them from any appointment. If you have even a concern right now, I would proceed with caution. The fact that you are not an official couple and already had a few stormy encounters seems to point to the fragmented nature of most ADHD relationships.

Be a non-romantic friend first, you'll probably find out his true nature that way to be honest. I think he'll feel less likely to hide things. And please, above all, don't rush into an ADHD marriage. 


What to do...

I have dealt with this back-and-forth lack of attention for a long time, and I've come to the conclusion that his inability to act on it means he doesn't care - AT ALL.  Like one user asked - what is true and what isn't?   I've tried so many different ways to deal with it, and I feel as though I'm the only one "dealing with it." - with a problem that I didn't even cause!!  When the heck is HE going to deal with it?  Simple acknowledgment that you have ADHD does not suddenly make me understanding and okay!  It's never okay to put in the bare minimum effort in a relationship. 

It has been almost 6 years, and I'm at the point of giving up.  The more I research, the more I find that my loneliness will always be there.  I will always be ignored.  I will always wonder if something is wrong with me - did I gain weight, am I getting old?  Are you having an affair?  I guess I just wanted to see the other side - the perspective of a person w/ADHD and what all of this means... I am not sure what to believe.  I don't even allow myself to get happy anymore when he tells me he wants to marry me because I know he will change his mind in a few days.  :(   I just ignore it, and try to detach so that I become so emotionless to it that I a won't be sad when I leave.  I am tired of having my hopes high, and then let down.  It is a never-ending cycle of make-believe stories.

One red flag

"I don't even allow myself to get happy anymore when he tells me he wants to marry me because I know he will change his mind in a few days."

Why does he change his mind, in his words? Some people with ADHD will be wary of entering into commitments because they feel they have failed so many people in the past, are bound to fail, have no self esteem because of a lifelong feeling of inferiority or being misunderstood, hopeless that anything can ever change, etc etc. But since you have known him for 6 years, do you have a handle on why he is changing his mind? What is his reasoning, so far as he explains it?

People with ADHD often, on the other hand, can rush recklessly into whirlwind relationships, hoping and believing that it will be different this time, until cold hard reality hits them. If he is blowing hot then cold, this seems like something other than the ADHD alone is happening,

"When the heck is HE going to deal with it?"

Imagine you have the perfect boyfriend. One day, out of the blue, he gets hit by a drunk driver and sustains a permanent brain injury. Then he behaves like he does now. Do you leave him because he will never be the same? That decision is up to you, he cannot help you make it.

In fact he did sustain a brain injury of a sort - it happened before he was born as his brain did not develop like yours did. He, like some head injury patients, may be aware that something is 'different' and he may actually be trying a lot harder than he looks but he cannot see the world as you do, and won't ever be able to.

This of course is a very general answer. If he is not receiving treatment, then perhaps you can suggest that. The other general answer is that happiness never comes from another person, it comes from within each of us.

I have given this much

I have given this much thought not only from a mothers perspective but from a love perspective.  You have brought up a very good point about what would you do if that person was in a accident and left with a brain injury. 

I also realize that most of us come out here to vent!!!!  I know I did. I wish I had found this site a few years ago when dealing with my son. 

I honestly think that getting educated is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

I'm not one who easily  jumps ship with out looking at all angles.  But if you are waiting for him to marry you...I would hope that after 6 years you would realize that it isn't going to happen.  It may have nothing to do with you.  It could be his past.  You have to look with in yourself and figure out what is going to make you happy.  If you think by him marring you can fix him it isn't going to happen.  You are not accepting him as he is.  He isn't broken he just has a different thought process.  We humans do not have cookie cutter relationship.  I have to admit that I have been guilty of being negative about dating someone with ADHD but after getting better educated I would not run if I found out someone had ADHD.  BUT with saying that I also know from experiences you come to a point that you have to have that conversation.  It has to be a open none combative conversation to figure out what is ADHD and what is just bad behavior.    


Well, you pretty much hit the nail right on the head.  It's like you are speaking for him, LOL... I never understood his reasons and always thought they were excuses... but basically has a fear of commitment and always thinks something is wrong with him and he will do something wrong, etc... which I just have never understood until I came across this site.  I know it sounds so silly, but I just think - THEN DON'T FAIL.  Don't do those things!  Easier said than done, I know... 

Anyway, it seems as though this is never something he is going to overcome, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I do understand that this is the way he is, but it does not make me feel okay with it knowing he chooses to do nothing about it.  I have told him to take his medicine, and he refuses.  I am at the point of giving up if he chooses to sit by and let things continue as they are.  He may be okay with it, but I am not.  I do not like feeling ignored.


I can not tell you what to do.  But if he is not willing to take his meds. I would pretty much cut my loses and turn and walk away.  You can not help someone who will not help themselves no matter how much you try.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that even on meds. he also has allot of work to do on himself. 

Now for you....I know how love can make us blind but you have to start thinking what is going to make you happy.  It's ok for you to be angry, it's ok to cry, it's ok to be sad to realize that what you thought is not going to be.  I honestly feel that you need to take some time away from all of this and find yourself again.    


Just this weekend was another one of his moments where he gushed on about "our wedding," and how much he loves waking up to me and my daughter.  I didn't really say anything to it, just appreciated it for what it was.  I was glad he said it, but not a few days from now he will go back to being afraid of the "big commitment."  And then I'm sure I'll go through another cycle of being completely ignored for his phone or computer.  

I'm not terribly worried at this point about him staying with me - I know he would never leave.  However, it bothers me he doesn't move forward.  Then again - it might be bittersweet, because after reading this site, I am not sure if I could be okay with a marriage?  I do need love, affection, and attention like anyone else.  I don't need anyone to be happy, but the person I am with should not be making me unhappy.  Neglect makes me unhappy.  Worrying me makes me unhappy.

I do not abandon people, either... but if he continues to refuse treatment (i.e., medication), then he has basically refused to better the relationship, and more importantly, himself.  

Ok you didn't say how old

Ok you didn't say how old your daughter was or I might have missed it but is this the relationship you want your daughter to see?  You are on a emotional roller coaster and it does effect your child rather you realize it or not.   I understand the not wanting to abandon him but you can not fix him.  No matter how you try. 

He needs to find anther place to live sooner rather then later.  You might have to help him find it.  It may be the biggest gift you not only give yourself but him as well.  By letting him live there you are enabling him.  You have to be strong!!!!  

I know how hard it is but I had to do this very same thing with my own son.  You know it was the best thing I have every done for him.  

Please keep me posted...

Thanks :)

Thank you, cls1951, that is where I feel I am right now - just cannot force a person to help themselves.  It is up to him, and that means I am at a dead end.  The attention part should not be that difficult, but it is quite a horrible feeling being ignored for a game/phone, or completely unheard while I am in the middle of a conversation (many times).  I understand it is hard to overcome the fear of marriage, but it is frustrating due to how it makes me feel (something wrong with me).  Actually, the attention part (or lack thereof) also makes me feel like something is wrong with me.  Basically - I ALWAYS feel as though something is wrong with me and I hate it!!


My daughter is going on 7, and that is actually the hard part.  He is amazing to my daughter, and although he doesn't give me more attention or the "big commitment" I want (marriage), he is otherwise amazing to me in all other areas.  So it is very hard to leave the situation when he has raised my daughter since she was less than a year" old and she considers him a father.  My daughter actually sees us quite happy most of the time because we get along really well (Also,  I do not display those emotions in front of her).  However, she has made mention of him being on his phone "all the time," and that really bothers me.  She is a big reason why he has been given so many passes.  :(


I do believe me putting my foot down and leaving the relationship would actually result in us moving forward to a marriage, but that is not how I wish for a man to decide to have a future with me.  Also, that does not resolve the problem of the infrequent attention (meds I think would help here).  


Thank you for letting me vent!  I have actually felt a lot better since I've read this site.  For the entire time, I figured he didn't feel the same way because of - another woman, gaining weight, not being attractive enough, etc. (though he begs to differ - his actions say otherwise).  After reading the same exact words I've said come out of so many others' mouths, I feel totally relieved.  I know that it should not matter, but in all reality it does - every person wants the person they are with to desire them.


I totally understand what you are saying.  I also understand that when times are good they are very good.  I do hope your bf gets on meds. it will help some and I think if you can you really should talk to someone who you can try to explain more so that you understand more about this.  I'm happy to hear that he is very good with your daughter.  Every relationship has it's ups and downs. The saying that we can't help who we fall in love with holds true.  

I'm sure I'm old enough to be your mom and is all I will say is find what will make you happy and educate yourself so that you don't feel lonely.    


Looking for help

I am new to this thread. And I am really hoping I can find some help somewhere here. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years now. He is the ADHD partner. He told me he was diagnosed a long time ago at the beginning of the relationship and I (being dumb) just shrugged it off and thought I would just be able to handle it. Boy was I wrong....

As a lot have said, my other half has anger issues. When his temper starts raising, everything spirals out of control. He says the most hurtful things ever and he "acts" as if he doesn't care about the way I feel about anything at all. Things ranging from "you might be something if you lose 10 pounds" or "why don't you just go cry, I don't give a (place possibly offensive word here). I have tried just not talking to him about things that big me because every single time I tell him what's on my mind, we somehow get into an argument. No matter the technique I use. I can come off as calm and collected. No wining, no crying. Not bossy. I swear I have came to him with a problem with an open mind and no defensive manner and he still comes at me like I am Satan. So, like many in this situation, I have started to bottle up in fear of those reactions and hurt feelings. 


He always flies off the handle, then runs. I have told him repeatedly that I am emotionally drained and I honestly don't know what else to do. How am I suppose to know if he cares at all?? He lashes out, leaves all night, and never once apologizes about anything. He never acts like he cares nor does he verbally express that he cares. But if he doesn't care, why is he still here?? His behavior is so confusing. He contradicts himself all the time. Like, last night we were with friends and having a random conversation about chairs bc I said I had wanted a lazy boy or something. He starts in with his " people don't just hand out a lazy boy, you gotta work for it and get it yourself" and not even a minute later he was telling a story about how his computer chair got handed out to him. Now, I don't care if he doesn't want to buy me a chair. No big. I just wanted to give an example of his contradictory behavior. 

I have been able to get past the rut of trying to get anywhere on time anymore or him forgetting to do things. It's easy, I just do them myself. I reminded him about the dishes 5 times last night and I finally went and did them myself. He just comes home from work and zones out on video games. If our room is messy, he immediately places blame upon me asking me what I've been doing all day and saying "you don't love me" because he doesn't come home to a clean room. He literally gets mad at me because he is messy....... I just constantly do everything for both of us now with no appreciation or kind words or positive motivation from him at all. 

He also likes to go out a lot. But he rarely invites me to anything. I moved quite a ways away from my family to be with this man. I have given up a lot of things in my life just so I could be with him. If I went through the whole story, you'd be amazed at what I went through to just be with him in the first place. Long story short, I am over 700 miles away from my friends and family, and he is the only friend I have here. So, when he goes out all night, I'm always left out and lonely. I get super depressed and I don't know what to do because there aren't many things here I can do. 

2 months ago, I caught messages in his phone to another woman. Horrifying messages. Pretty much, the way the conversation went, I am led to believe that he definitely cheated on me. I was dead set on leaving him. I feel I handled it well in terms of telling him. I just walked in the room and simply said "cheating on me is the worst possible thing you could have ever done. I can't do this anymore". I left the room and layed down on the couch bc I def didn't want to lay next to him. 

All day the next day he would not stop texting me swearing that he didn't do anything with her at all. When we were face to face again, that all changed. He still said he didn't touch her, but told me it was my fault for hurting bc I looked in his phone. He blamed me for what I feel like is cheating. 

as far as I know, he has stopped talking to her. But I can't trust that feeling. 

Anyway, I need some advice on keeping him from getting bored with me so we don't have situations like this again. 

Mind you I have done constant research into this ADHD. All of the books and websites say the same thing. They have anger issues. They have trouble remembering important things. They get bored easy. They can't sit still. High sex drive. I have seen it all. I have tried to understand and put myself in his shoes. I have been very reasonable with my actions regarding the cheating. Considering that if I did any of the things he has done to me, he would seriously flip out. And he would have def broken up with me. 

We had taken a week off of work to go see my parents for Christmas. The whole week was bliss. He said yes ma'am and no sir (which he doesn't even use the same respect when regarding his parents). He did some dishes without being asked and he did some cleaning for my mom. It was like he had no ADHD at all. Like he was calm the whole week. He didn't pick one single fight with me. He was very respectful and he made the whole week wonderful. 

Then we came back home and everything flipped right back to the way it was. And it can't be me. Not that I refuse to take responsibility for anything. But all I have done is show my undying gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful week he gave me. I haven't nagged once since we have been home and I refuse to show any negative emotion period. (Considering he laughs at me when I cry, I don't know what else to do). But he went right back to treating me like I am unimportant. Like losing me would be no loss whatsoever. 

Please help me.... I have tried to not nag so much at him. There are times I just don't talk to him completely and he still gets frustrated with me. Idk what to do anymore! I am emotionally drained and exhausted. I didn't move this freaking far out of my way to have a failed relationship! I've found everything regarding this subject except advice. I want to keep him happy and un bored. But Idont know what to do anymore.  :(



           Lost and Confused


I would also like to add

I would also like to add that I have tried talking to him about the ADHD and getting it under control. He refuses to go to the doctor and get meds bc of the way they made him feel as a child. He says he doesn't need pills to live life. I don't know how to convince him that he needs the medication to help stimulate some things in his brain. He won't listen to me. And I have no idea as to how to get him to go. 


britt1709 - reread your posts and ask yourself what you would advise your best friend or a sister if they were in this situation.

"I have tried talking to him about the ADHD and getting it under control. He refuses to go to the doctor and get meds bc of the way they made him feel as a child. He says he doesn't need pills to live life. I don't know how to convince him that he needs the medication to help stimulate some things in his brain. He won't listen to me. And I have no idea as to how to get him to go. "

Firstly a doctor could advise him about different treatment options to those available in the past. Refusing without looking at the options is telling you he's not interested in managing the ADHD - this isn't a situation where someone doesnt know that they have ADHD and needs to be convinced, this is a situation where he chooses to ignore it. You can't convince him or get him to do anything he doesn't want to do because he does not see the need to improve his relationship. He takes advantage of you and faces no consequences. It sounds like ultimatum time for you - do you want to live the rest of your life this way? If not then ultimatum time for him - either get treated and commit seriously to treatment or you leave. Don't stay just because you don't want to admit failure - we all have failures, they're almost always humiliating at the time, but time will help. You're running the risk of focussing on a closed door and not seeing the other doors that life may open for you.

That's really how it looks.

rlfj44's picture

Lost love, therefore completely lost.

Sheri0404, I have the adhd. Unfortunately my long-lost soulmate/working counterpart grew less interested because she thought I didnt remain interested in the relationship. In fact, I had a depth of love that she could fathom only too late. I have never felt this way about anyone before or since. The beginning was like a strong bit of sorcery. The power of the emotion between us was enthralling sometimes even for others. Long story short shari, you just may have realised the intensity / hyperfocus an individual can put toward love and emotion. If he is a nice man and genuinely cares for you, bend over backwards to get thatlove back. Or you may never be the same again. I know that I am not, nor will ever be until I can place my love in another with the same intensity,or stronger so there is never a question about the depth of love I possess for that person. After everything happened and she DID what she did , I was not able to stay with her without anger and fear controlling my emotions. I decided to leave in order to accomplish two goals. 1: not hurt the very person I was so fallen for and 2: ( in this order) not hurt myself anymorewith the direction things were going. Even with forgetting almost everything, I still managed to cook dinner every night for both of us and attempt to set a schedule for myself. it felt as if she required constant attention from me, which at the end of the day can be difficult after going a million miles an hour all day .What comes out is generally what is inside of that particular adhd person. If they dont talk much dont force it. There is probably a reason they arent speaking. Learn what you can about your men ( or ladies) before you make any life altering decisions. You may not know it but it is really frustrating being the person that has to deal with the constant forgetting things, lack of judgement or forethought at times, irrational physical behaviors, and loss of memory. I sometimes tell people, "If you think it is hard dealing with me sometimes, just think how I must feel living inside here all day every day!" Then I procedd to thump my head hard several time with a couple fingers just for effect. Do homework, dont just give up. I never got married to my dreamgirl, it never got that far. And the trouble started with my add hyperactivity blessing/curse. I am a person too, and just because I feel like a child sometimes doesnt mean I want to be treated like one. I cant count how many time I have given a suggestion on a jobsite and been overlooked or ignored( I know exactly what is going on there) just to have to pull everything apart because I was right. Then when I get frustrated or angry for being pushed aside, im the @ hole then. Treat your man just like a " real man", LADIES , DONT GET CAUGHT UP ON WHAT HE DID OR DIDNT DO. ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOUR ADD MAN DOES REALLY WELL, THEN PUT HIM TO WORK FEELING LIKE HE IS WANTED AND NEEDED. ALSO, MEN LIKE COMPLIMENTS TOO. IT GIVES US AN INSTANT SORT OF STRENGTH. well , most of us. There are always going to be rotten apples to spoil the barrel. By the way ,ill be 29 this year and I have gone so far and so fast that I have back,knee,neck,and wrist issues from how hard and long my brain works my body, and how much I allow it. When I was with my dreamgirl, she was able to slow me sometimes just by being in the same room. .look at it like she was afixed point in my life. Weigh in only after you have really made up your mind about everything.

Walking on Eggshells.

I am a 31 year old woman who lives in NYC, and randomly found this website while researching ADHD.

Reading all of your personal experiences and stories has been so helpful for me. It's calming, knowing so many other people have similar situations with their ADHD significant other.

I am not married to my partner, but have been dating him for a while now. We were friends first, for several years. Then one day we were hanging out and I flat out asked him if we had crushes on each other. (We had been talking and hanging out with each other for soooooo long, every week/weekend) He was charming, and sweet, and treated me like a QUEEN. Still does, when he wants to. I have never experienced love like this in my life. I truly believe he's my soulmate.

I knew before going into it that he has ADHD, but he takes Adderall, so I never thought twice. As friends for so many years, I didn't ever see the side to him that I've seen as his girlfriend.

First of all, let me just say that he's the exact OPPOSITE of messy. In fact, he cleans and does laundry probably 3x a week. So I wouldn't say that's a characteristic he possesses by any means.

But the anger, sudden mood changes, impulsiveness without thinking about his decisions.... all are SO true.

Someone above stated that they were in the middle of their third major breakup. Well... so are we. And we have only been "officially" dating since May! (Friends for 8 years before this) It's like once he finally "got" me, he stopped caring. Or stopped trying so hard. 

My main issue, is that he's SUPER PARANOID. He will not stop accusing me of cheating on him and "being a liar." He finds all these little details in whatever it is I say that somehow "doesn't add up" in his mind, so he fixates on them, and brings them up repeatedly, until he accuses me and accuses me and accuses me day after day, of "hiding something from him." Now, I know I live in NYC, and it's probably super easy if I ever actually wanted to go out and cheat. But the fact of the matter is, I LOVE HIM and I have never cheated in any relationship I've ever been in! (In fact, it's always been the other way around - me getting cheated on) I ALWAYS defend myself, but it's never enough. I have given him access to my phone (he can check it whenever he wants), I provide him with Uber receipts showing my to/from destinations when I take a cab, etc. I am not hiding anything! But somehow he has it in his head that I am a cheater, and that our relationship has been one big lie. He WON'T let this go. I have offered to voluntarily take a polygraph test (once I get some money - they're very expensive here), I have bent over backwards trying to prove to him that I am trustworthy, but it's never enough. He always over-analyzes everything I say, and then will find one small detail I left out (the smallest detail ever), and convince himself that I don't love him, and I am evil. 

His mom is schizophrenic, so I know mental illness clearly runs in the family. He was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and maintains a great job. I don't think it affects his every day life so much, but for our relationship, 100%. I know he's had past failed relationships too. 

I'm really trying to make us work, and for him to see that I am trustworthy. But I'm so sad right now, I think his mind is made up. :( He won't return my texts, and is completely ignoring me. 

This is about the third time we've been here, but we've always made up and tried again. This time, I think it's for real, and I'm the biggest wreck I've ever been. Because not only am I losing the love of my life, I'm losing my best friend. 

Has anyone else ever had their significant other become this obsessed / paranoid? He will NOT let it go, and I don't know what to do anymore. One minute we're talking about marriage, and looking at apartments together. He knows my ring size and what kind of rings I like... the next minute, he can't even look at me. :(

....but when he does look at me, it's that way he looks at me that I'll always cherish and love forever. It's the best feeling in the world. I love this man. And I feel like I'm walking on eggshells. I don't know what to do. I'm emotionally drained. Tired. Weak. Can't eat. I need him in my life. But his anger is so scary..... 



Hi there, my heart goes out to you honey, this is exactly like the first two years of my now 20 year relationship with my husband, minus the friends for years bit. The only thing you can do is make the best choices for you. If you can find it, try reading William Glasser's 'Choice Theory'. It gas unfortunately come too late for my relationship but it has certainly re-awakened reality for me. Your reality is that you will never change him, and you cannot control him. No matter how much you love him you cannot control him or his choices to be suspicious of you. You can however seek to comprehend what's going on in his head that causes him to create these scenarios and act upon them. I think most add'ers have established a pattern of thought, feeling and behaviour by the time they're adults and they often don't realize that's what's happening. If you read the book, ask him if he would be willing to read it, and maintain your awareness that what YOU do or don't do henceforth is in the best interest of your own wellbeing. I think maybe of you can reach an agreement on how to negotiate these instances and you are prepared to invest the time and energy required to keep working at it then keep hoping. If not... Ultimately it comes down to a choice - be conscious and educate yourself as to what you will have to deal with for the duration of your relationship with him, then decide for yourself whether that's the person and relationship that is good for YOU. Big hugs to you.

Well, It's Over...

He just walked out after another emotional argument. He just kept repeating that he can't do it, because of the "lies" and that he "doesn't know who I am." I am a mess. 

Why does he have to be so insistent that our whole relationship was a "lie?" I am really struggling. I tried again and again to understand his viewpoints and be the girlfriend he wanted me to be. He still says he loves me, and cuddled with me all night. Well, all week actually (we technically broke up already). He was ridiculously sweet yesterday, driving me to work, making me laugh, buying me groceries for my apartment, telling me I'm a "hot mess" but "I'm HIS hot mess" (what we always used to say to each other), just holding me tight as if he never wanted to let go. We were even intimate. Then we went to dinner last night, and when we came back, he broke down again and got all mad, telling me it's over again. I asked him, "why even say I'm YOURS and treat me like this if you didn't mean it?' And he was like, "I still love you, I still think you're the most beautiful girl I've ever laid eyes on. I get lost easily in how I feel. It's easy for me to focus on the love I feel for you and the attraction but then I remember all the lies you've told me and I can't live one giant lie." 


I am so annoyed and pissed off. Why can't he come to terms with the fact that I never LIED about anything like he is saying? Sure I am not perfect, and I am admitting fault where I should. But I am really struggling as to why he has to hang onto these things and essentially run away from our relationship as if I am the devil.

I need advice. I'm a huge mess today.


I'm happy your pissed.  That's a good thing.  I also know that you are hurting.  Your not a mess dear.  Someone gave you some  very good advise make a choices for your life.  You have been on a roller coaster ride with this guy.  You need to stop it now and give yourself some time to think through this.  It's his issue not yours. But by letting him back in you are letting yourself become his scrape goat for his anger.  I'm not going to tell you to not let him back in.  But I will tell you that he needs to see a therapist as do you if this is ever going to work.  He has more going on then just ADHD.  He has major trust issues.  He needs to deal with this.  You can not help him.  You could defend yourself till the end of time and unless he gets help this is what your  life will be.  Oh sure you have moments of bliss......but you need to start asking yourself a few questions.  IS THIS ENOUGH?  IS THIS HOW I WANT MY LIFE TO BE?  Honey you need to have more self confidences and it's not easy.  But you  need to talk to someone also.  You have to come to terms with the fact that you do not need another person to make you happy.  You have to find your own true self and be happy with you!!!!!  Honestly you are playing the part of a victim.  I mean that in the nicest way.  So you either pull up your boot straps and choices what you want your life to be or you ride the roller coaster.....  Your choices!!!!           


Don't run!!!

I know I am coming in late to this conversation but I thought I could help if you are still in the relationship. Before I reply about your specific challenges I want to reply to this forum. I am a psychologist and I have had ADHD for over 20 years. Obviously if I have a diagnosis of Adult ADHD, and went and successfully passed medical school I have made something of myself. And believe me, I am not the exception. ADHD can be controlled if the person who is diagnosed learns about the disorder. Sometimes meds are needed, other times it's coaching from a specialist. The truth is that if you look up statistics most people with ADHD probably have a very high IQ. What happens though (if not medicated) there brain is constantly racing and thinking, many times becoming hyper focused. If you catch them at that time and talk to them, chances are they are hearing you, but not processing what you are saying so they may not remember it. I've learned if I don't look at someone I don't pay 100 percent attention. This is probably a reason I'm successful at counseling others, because I give them my total attention. Now these thing about your ADHD spouse. Don't baby them, but try to understand their needs. The non-ADD partner also has needs too so it's important for you to communicate when you feel your needs are not being met. Please don't listen to those who say not to marry someone with ADD. The truth is if an adult is constantly being aggressive then their is more going on. Because physical and verbal aggression are not even on the symptom scale for ADD. That is usually when a diagnosis becomes Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There seems to be a lot of angry people on here, and I'm sure you have some reasons to be made at you spouse, but for those of you are that are here to learn about the disorder and see if it is something you can deal with, as long as your partner wants to deal with their symptoms, they will. Yes, they may need some help, but these shouldn't be deal breakers. And like I said before, if you are seeing lying, aggression, or other sever behavioral problems then there is another diagnosis besides ADHD. I hope this helped. Don't run, try to understand it first and make sure that you also identify what your needs are, and that you won't cater to them but you want them to be able to trust you when there struggling.

The big picture....

Nice Post...So many angry non's are dealing w/ denial by their add spouses who's lives are intrusive and poison to any relationship...Your advise I agree with...I have friends w/ fast minds who do very well in life, because they know and deal with themselves....It's good to see the big picture...Thanks.... C


Psychologists don't go to medical school...



Um Jane Doe, Sweetie, I think you know what my point is here. Don't act ignorant because you wanted a website that you could just bitch about a person with ADD. I was giving you insight on to how they think so you. Can understand. And if you really wanted to understand you would have, but you are a bitter women. And know one can help you but you. If you can't deal with a person who has ADHD than divorce them, don't marry them. That's my point. Get it now! Probably not. 

yeah - sounds like a little exaggeration there

Just a sour note in the "expert opinion" being expressed. Rings the bs o' meter for those of us with training in the counseling area. Those of us dealing with constant exaggeration, confabulation and grandstanding might have some chips on our shoulders about this issue!  

Well that's because you are a negative person

This is supposed to be a website to help people and tell them our professional and personal experiences. It's not grandstanding. I said it's difficult to for a non-add person to be with someone who has the diagnosis. I get it, I was just trying to give them another way to look at it. But you only want the negative. I guess this website is only a "bitchfest" for those of you who want a way out instead of wanting to talk about other ways to look it. I guess someone who brings that up is "grandstanding". And you are just in school, so while your opinion of course matters maybe you shouldn't try to offend people as that is one of the rules on here. So maybe your full of bs and shouldn't be giving any advice as a " professional" until you pass those exams. Then we can have a discussion. It's obvious you have a very negative outlook on ADHD and ate looking to spread your views. You can do that, but others have the right to question your character.


Uh oh....

What you say and HOW you say it are two different things. We ALL know that the delivery makes or breaks a conversation all too many times. Discussions do not personally attack. Your  insight could be very helpful here and would be welcome.......but I have to say you seem a bit adversarial? ......

That could be, but at the

That could be, but at the same time it does feel like the only people who get any defense from you is the people who are complaining and not asking about solutions. What about other people who feel offended that they make ADHD sound like anyone who has it, is an aweful person. Why are you only giving them nice advise to those who are demeaning their partners and those with ADD. I actually say something to defend ADD and I'm the jerk. So then this is a website against ADHD? it okay that I have felt offended and I obviously feel unwanted. But that's okay because this isn't a website for those with ADD and relationships. You obviously don't care about people who have ADD if they can't even defend themselves.

Psychology, Am I misunderstanding...

something here?  You responded "that could be" to, I am thinking ,to my saying you were a bit adversarial....and then you follow it immediately with BUT. Which means you really don't believe what you just said about "it could be I am a bit adversarial"......which means it is very difficult to have a discussion/dialog with this kind person ......whether they have adhd or not. I didn't see you asking these last posts.....I see you venting.....because you feel wronged as an adder? the non spouses who feel the same and going nuts trying to "help" the person they love? Trying to understand the very behavior you are exhibiting in your "defensive" posts?

I said before I agreed and really liked your original post. You spoke from your heart for BOTH sides...hmmm ...which one of the posts is the real you?

Where did someone call you a jerk? I can't find it?

I am NOT a highly educated person.....but I know the difference between respect and disrespect. I also know can't talk to defensiveness.....enough said.

my apology

Dear psychologist,

I spoke as if you were not present, since I clicked on the trail of your remarks and found you had made only one post in this forum and that was 7 months ago. But speaking as if you were not present was not a very gracious move. I would like to apologize. My main point above had to do with the baggage of quibbling about the medical school  way of becoming a psychologist. Quibbling in my house is so constant. I have let so much quibbling over small stuff go by - it's a pastime of my husband's to play "gotcha" and now my kids do it, too!  So, strangely enough, I was trying to explain why someone might play "gotcha" if they've been getting fish stories for a long time.

If I could have a redo what I would add to the above is that just because something seems unlikely, that doesn't mean it definitely is bs. This is why I called it the "chip on our shoulder" to react to little indicators that something might be off. It is a problem kind of baggage with us who have been "boiled frogs" with our adhd spouses. 

You could, for example, be an MD/PhD - unusual but not impossible. You could have been trained outside the US in a training model unfamiliar to me. Maybe there are other possibilities, too. 

I think you said some interesting things about everyone having needs, Adhd and spouse, both. Also that "RUN" is not universally helpful advise. I love my husband very much and I'm glad I didn't run 10 years ago when we were 10 years into this and he was refusing to get evaluated.  However, I would never give blanket advice to anyone else to do exactly what I've done. I tried very hard to follow all kinds of professional advice, and much of my own training actually steered me wrong in various ways, and in the end, we ended up going a very different and creative way. I feel we are headed out of the tunnel but it's going to be a long road. Melissa has made, in my opinion a very unique contribution to this field, in encouraging spouses to focus much harder on what they are bringing to the situation, more like a family systems focus than an identified patient focus on ADHD. But I don't think there are one size fits all solutions. I believe each person has to figure out what they value, how much adaptation they can do, and how their own health is affected by the challenges of their unique situation. And if there are children, their well-being must come very high.

If you want to tell us why you went to medical school to become a psychologist, that would be great. 

I finished my training many decades ago, and have worked wth ADHD children (which isn't necessarily the best preparation for working with an ADHD partner, whole different ball game!). 

Its hard to live with

I've had ADHD my whole life. From a young age i gelt different than everybody else and i knew that they knew i was different. I dont think its bad to be different but at times its really hard. I feel like my lifes been a series of disasters and failed relationships with very brief moments of real happiness. I was on ritalin when i was 5 years old i was always more outgoing and open about everything. People would laugh at me and i didnt know why. I had a really bad, and i mean really bad studder. So it was hard to make friends. I would see kids pass out birthday invitations to other kids in the class but i never got one. And when i would pass mine out only a few would show up. I ended up being the class clown type becouse im a funny person and its how i got attention even in a negative light. I was never the bully type. I was a real nice kid. But one day in 5th grade i passed out on the black top showing other people how long i could hold my breath and suffered a serious head injury that changed me. I got migranes for years after that. Missed alot of school, fell even further behind, and what friends i did have moved on. Fast forward to high school. I became with drawn from everybody. Still no real friends. I played football and lacrosse through middle school and on into high school. My team mates would talk to me on the field but it was a different story off the field. I became a trouble maker. Ditched class getting drunk and getting high on whatever i could get my hands on. And then i met a girl. And she was into me. She immediately became my main focus. It was love at first sight. And things were amazing. When ever i looked into her eyes nothing else mattered to me. I would smother her with affection and always wanted to be by her side. We were inseperable i thought she was going to be the one id marry. But i ended up going on a family vacation and when i got back she had told she cheated on me with a buddy of mine. I was devastated. But i was dumb and forgave her becouse i didnt want to loose that feeling of being wanted through all the years of loneliness i had been through. It ended up in flames and i got hurt real bad. Fast forward 4 years onto relationship #2. I wasted no time getting her pregnant. And we fell in love. I found a woman that was beautiful, smart and classy. Things were real good. Back to the 95% good 5% real bad. Idk it felt like a good normal healthy relationship. Im giving her all that i can. Buying her jewelry nice dinners even handing over everything i make to her. We end up getting married. And about 2 weeks before our wedding we have a 5% moment. We still both go through with it. And it was good for a couple months but i could tell she really regretted it after a while. I got stuck in life and my wheels were spinning but i was going nowhere. Always worked but was bouncing from job to job hoping for something better. We stayed married for 2 years before she told me that i needed to get help with my disorder. And i just couldnt see that there wasnt anything wrong with me. I was disorganized, withdrawn and depressed. She ended up lying to me one night and her and her cousin went out and met a couple guys that my wife had worked with. About 5 months after that she told me she wasnt inlove with me anymore. I dont ever really realize what ive done until its too late. I should have listened to her more and tryed to be more considerate of her rather than being impulsive and reckless. Im not a violent guy nor am i abusive. I still drink to forget sometimes and it messes my life up even more. Anyways im seeing this new girl now. And i like her alot. I guess i just like everygirl that shows interest in me becouse i can be hard to deal with. I told her about my disorder and she brushed it off like it was nothing. And that not everything can be blamed on it. To which i agree. But my thought process and the way i act is different than hers. I upset her the other day and i know shes loising interest but i keep trying to pull her back in and at times i dont even know why im just gonna let her down again at somepoint. And i really like her but feel i should cut her loose and save her from the heartbrake later when she finds out im not the man she thinks i am. But at the same time i feel soo much happier in a relationship that im not alone anymore. I think she could be great for me but after reading what some of you have said maybe i should just let her go. 


Hi samp350,

you sound as though you're totally aware that you're different and why. So the next step to a happier and more settled future with anyone is to manage your differences. Be honest with yourself, and have the courage to become a better you. I say that with love because I know that you care or you wouldn't be here posting. It's not changing who you are, just continuing your personal evolution. There are many therapies you can engage to help you enjoy your life more through refining your interpersonal communications. 

I have lived with a an ADHD man in denial for 20 years. We have two beautiful children, and we are now separating. His refusal to manage his differences has destroyed our relationship, destroyed his relationship with his children who hate him and want him gone from their lives, and our house is in a perpetual state of renovation which really sucks to live in. 

Get some help, talk to some professionals, do this for yourself and your own well being and your relationship will improve and survive and thrive if it's meant to be. 

"It's"....Hard to Live With

Hi Samp 350,

I don't want to dwell on the negative sides of your story.....but so much in there is the same as I have experienced myself throughout my life.  There is a case to be made that says..."bad things happen, to bad people"...but this is so not true for those of us who have ADHD.  This is not to say that there are not bad people who have ADHD.  ADHD is pretty indiscriminate when it comes to any other personality or character quality a person might have.  Having said that....ADHD is not who you is just one part of you, whether you like it or not.  It may not have been by your choice in having it.....but you do have a choice in how you deal with having it and that has everything to do with your own perception of yourself and who you think you are?  If you want to change the relationship you have with other people....I think the first thing you need to do is change the relationship with yourself first.  You can't have one without the other, so you might as well bite the bullet, and live with what you've got and make the best of it since this is really the only choice you and I have.  Right?

Speaking to you directly but from the heart and not for any reason other than to turn you around to look at the other side of this in the mirror....."We are hard to live with" for other people from their side of they experience life with us.  It's hard for them....hard on them....hard to deal with.....hard.  No question....without a doubt.

But you are not a "hard" person unless you become one due to your own relationship with your ADHD.  If you are looking at ADHD as your enemy....then you need to embrace it and become one with it.

Abraham Lincoln in one of his best known and greatest speeches said it this way when talking about the issue of slavery....

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

As I see this....this was a premonition of things to come with only two ways it could go.  Mr Lincoln was sitting at the threshold of a door which he was put in front of...and had to make one of the most difficult and 'hard" decisions that any president has ever had to make...and the outcome and the choices he had to choose from meant..  the possibility of total annihilation of the country as he knew it.  What Mr Lincoln knew more than any one person at that time...was the simple and undeniable fact that the fate of the United States of America was sitting in the palm of his hand... and as they say....the buck stops here.

In the same way....ADHD is something that will either defeat you...or it won't.  But you will never get past this unless you turn this around and change that relationship with it in a very similar...allegoric way in making this comparison.

What I am saying...might not feel all that good or sit well with you right now.....but on your behalf, and because I share this thing called ADHD with you....I think it would be wise for you, to heal from the hurt you have from your past... and begin to see things from a different perspective.  It's this pain and hurt you've suffered through at the hands of other people.... that you need to see from a different point of view I think.  If you can do this....I think your outlook: how you see yourself and other people....will be be dramatically different in only positive ways.

These women in your past and the experiences you've had are in different than anyone else experiences when they first fall in Love and then it falls apart.  It's not unusual for this to happen exactly as you told it.  It's also not unusual and even common for it to play out exactly has you said and commonly....with the girl or woman leaving under those very same circumstances.  I could have told the same story myself right to a T.

But this is not the story I'm telling now only because I see things differently.  My perspective has changed because I have changed that relationship I have with my ADHD.  As I see it from my perspective....your girlfriend now, your ex wife and the one before that were free to leave and choose to be with someone else and not Love you any more....any time they choose.  You may feel much happier in a relationship than being alone....but the person you are with may or may not feel that way.  They do not have to live with ADHD or a person who has it.  They are free to go anywhere... and be with anyone they want to be with.... and you are not in a position of choosing to "let her go"...speaking in those terms. 

She is free to do this anytime she feels like it and there is nothing you can do to stop her.  The only power you have...or say in the convincing her otherwise so she will choose to be with you...instead of not being with you.  You cannot make that choice for another person.  And as far a saving someone else from you, by "letting them go or cutting them loose?"  What is that saying about yourself?  As you said it..."when she finds out I'm not the man she thinks I am."

And I say this to you out of the same compassion I have for myself as well....."you are who you think you are". But who you think you not how others see you.  Becoming who you want to be is really the only real possibility  you have, in order to change and be different. That is, if this is what you truly want for yourself.  But that is not easy task and definitely a hard and difficult thing to do. 

But, at the same time .. if this is who you think you are....then no one will ever want to be with you?  Why would they?  What reason would you have to remain with someone who has this kind of attitude about themselves?  You would not except the same from them if it were you sitting on the other side of you?  If you cannot live with one else will either?

As far as I could see this in facing this kind of choice myself.....what what is.  What is what has to be done whether we like it or not.  We are not always given easy choices to make....but making the choice is something you have to do.  By not doing it, or not making the right choice will be the only reason why you will fail or be defeated in the end.  I implore you to find the courage in make the right decision and do the hard thing yourself:)


I think it's over

I am the non and my partner has ADHD. We got into a heated argument and I don't think it's going to work anymore. Well it won't work, but the love and sentimental feelings I have are still there and keep saying full out it won't work.

We've been together for two years and I can't keep up that he can't follow through his promises, but what hurts the most is how non-chalant he is when he realizes he broke another one. Apathetic and contempt.

I forgive him and support him only for it to happen all over again.

I feel I should be more appreciative of the effort he puts in, but I just end up feeling lonely and isolated...

I can't keep up with being the bigger person and enabling certain behaviours because he can't help it. If he were atleast putting in the effort to get help then that's great, but he just downloads the latest and greatest producitivity app that's trending in the moment and never really uses it.

I feel pressured for being the bigger person and I just want to love and just "be together" again. He was the sweetest most caring.

I'm not saying I am completely blameless, I should have tried harder, be more patient, but I failed. I can't keep up and I feel so guilty I can't keep up. 

It has reached the point of no return. The trust is gone. I don't know who I see anymore when I look at him.

I also just want to say I'm sorry to all the people with ADD and ADHD reading this these threads and feeling hurt. I can't imagine how it feels to go into a thread to see people speaking about you in this way with such broad strokes. As imperfect yet loving my relationshup was, as an individual I understand it takes two and it was my fault I couldn't be patient enough with my partner. The person and the ADD/ADHD are two seperate things and that people with ADD/ADHD deserve to love and be loved just like anyone else. are most welcome here....

Your words are very familiar to so many of us.

Please understand.....the difficulty in relationships of adhd and non are usually when denial is either partner....the one with and/ or the one without. To be taken seriously the adhd person MUST be present and accounted for where getting help is concerned. THEY need to do their part....and MANY do and MANY do not. The non partner needs to learn also and trust me...your reactions are ones we have ALL experienced. Focus on you and your part. THIS IS NOT about enabling in anyway. You possibly appear to be dealing with a partner who isn't that bad. He may say he has it but inside he doesn't want to really look into it? That is a VERY common you can see from reading here. YOU are NOT responsible for his behavior...only your own. 

Best advice I can give?.......step back....take a breath....LEARN about the how and why of adhd FOR YOUR PART. You cannot help him or single handedly save a relationship that needs the input of TWO to survive. Please surf this site and forum....there is INVALUABLE INSIGHT and ADVICE.

Do not think you are in anyway....less of a person....for feeling the way you do. You are doing the best you can with what you know.....same here for me.....same for your partner.....WHEN you KNOW better(educate, ask questions, set boundaries etc) you DO better. What ever your is yours to make......that is not anyone else's business to say ANYTHING about. 

Please let us know how things go for you:) 

Thanks, Zapp10

Thanks Zapp10 for the kind words. My partner and I haven't talked in awhile, but the space apart had me reflect that its best we go our seperate ways. While the trust is gone I don't lack faith in his ability of being an independent and responsible individual, but I'm probably not the person that's going to happen with. The trust is gone and we are both still young and still trying to figure out who we are and what we want indivually. I think all of these things combined just was too much stress that we can handle in this stage of life we're at.

We have made a lot of effort. All of discussion and boundries, but at the end of the day he never took the steps... just wanted to say "No, I don't want to get anyone involved I can do this myself" without really doing anything and it's been going for the past 2 years. I just didn't have the strength and patience to keep on going anymore. It was starting to affect me internally and how I saw myself.

While I try hard not to internalize it I do feel immense guilt and dissapointment in myself. I know I am not free of blame and there is that haunting thought of that I got treated in a certain way because I deserved it and maybe because I am lesser of a person... Like I tried to undestand why and justify the way I was treated and maybe there is some truth to it, but either way it wasn't right. I got to stop making it about me. His struggles are his and it's somewhat selfish to make it about me anyways. 

Despite it ending, no amount of frustration or struggle erases how meaningful the relationship we created together. Sorry if I sound really sad. In no way by ending this relationship discounts the validity of the insight and advice out there, it just a lot of other things and that the relationship ran it course.

So thank you for your compassion and kindness. And I hope and wish for the best for everyone here.

christianm's picture

Jane Doe

Jane Doe

i am very sympathetic when it comes to disabilities. I am a special education teacher. I also grew up with a mother that suffered from mental illness. Even though she had a mental illness the pain she inflicted on me still hurt just as your boyriends disability has hurt you. So even though I am sympathetic the person with ADHD must take some responsibility. If your boyfriend is apathetic I don't see your relationship improving. He must be willing to work on it too. I am in pretty much the in same boat but it is a second marriage for me and I am 49 and hate for this to fail as well. I do understand your pain but please know that without much dedication it will not work and can bring much heartache.

Thanks Christian

I understand you. You want to be understanding, but it doesn't change how it affects you regardless how often you try and change your perspective. Thank you for your insight and sharing your experience with me. I hope it works out with your husband.

Um Jane Doe, I think you know

Um Jane Doe, I think you know what my point is here. Don't act rude because you wanted a website that you could just bitch about a person with ADD. I was giving insight as to how many with ADHD think so maybe it would make sense to someone. And if you really want to understand you will by asking questions and discussing your concerns.If you can't deal with a person who has ADHD thats your choice, but I had thought maybe you came on here to understand a person with ADHD. That's my point. And while I definitely don't think less of someone who feels being involved with an ADHD partner is difficult and maybe not for them, I don't think that is the case for all and I don't think that generalizing is fair. But like I said we could either use this website to help one another or just to complain. If you just want to complain, I guess that is your right, but it is not going to be as helpful. I put some positivity in this statement I guess I don't belong here.

Psychologist,what you said...

in your original post I thought was well said and took in both sides. What I saw in Janedoes statement?..........someone possibly going through one of the "down" times of trying to understand and come to terms.....with something they don't understand yet? matter how much they have read?.....and is very weary and so..... she expressed frustration?......much like what she has probably endured from her adhd partner?......who may not himself have a handle on it(adhd)?

Your original post was encouraging to BOTH sides and I appreciated it very much.......this post?.......I am thinking you just did to her what she did to you.......only you very much did it in does that "help" a hurting person....adhd or not.....period

I hope you re think your response......we ARE on a forum where emotions run high and all over the place because of the source.....adhd. My guess?.....she has been on the receiving end, from her partner the same way you yourself....spoke to her.

Imagine the roll of the dice.

Imagine the roll of the dice.

I am imagining that fateful moment when two people choose to start marital counseling with a psychologist and one of the partners has ADHD.  One of the partners scrolls through the provider directory for their health care plan.  That person probably chooses someone based on hours, location, some "blurb" on the website.  Sure, this person's website says he/she is fluent in ADHD matters.  Great.  The website or psychologist may or may not disclose a personal understanding about ADHD.  The couple may or may not ask. The partner is probably NOT going to advertise the need and solicit referrals the way you would for a heart specialist or surgeon or even a remodeler or auto mechanic..... nope, the need for a marital counselor would probably be kept quiet and therefore be a rather blind choice.  How fruitful do you think the counseling would be with be with this person?  How would the non ADHD partner be expected to respond to the first "Um, Jane Doe, sweetie" or you're just bitter?  Would it be helpful to hear the same tone and language from a counselor?  Nope.

I am comparing the message and tone between this poster and posts by Melissa or other visiting psychologists and I see a real disconnect.

Someething Missing Here......and I Think, I Know What?

Hey Psychologist,

I wanted to chime in here and say that something came to my attention when I was reading through the dialog that you started in commenting to what Jane Doe had to say.  I agree with Zapp here......"what's the point?"  I might have responded to her as well by saying  " You've got a point alright....and if you wear a hat, not one will see it?"  To make my own point in response to her but what would be the point in doing that and why?

Mostly as I read through this thread....I noticed some things in common with most of the treads on this forum.  People who are frustrated and people who are venting.  Not every post or comment is this and some are without those things and trying to find answers or advise but those two things along with the personal opinions and interpretations of what others actually see  (or think they're seeing ) has more to do with the context that's missing in their own personal situations and what they know themselves about ADHD and how to apply that to what they seeing and their own perceptions. in....not knowing or without not stupid.  That much is for sure and there is nothing wrong with being "ignorant."  But just that word alone in common vernacular is misconstrued from it's original meaning in meaning only "without knowledge" or just not knowing any better?  That in not a crime and I'm as guilty of that as anyone to be sure.

If there is a problem or "not understanding" happening here as I see not coming from everyone else without ADHD but with us as far as being defensive.  You are being defensive here and with that comes the things you've said.  Like dancermom was saying....not so much what you said by how you were saying it?  And it comes from what Jane Doe said and I will not disagree with you what so ever.  You are not "wrong" here...but in context....neither is she?  She was making a disparaging remark about your credibility and dismissing you as an authority (or experience) as a psychologist by trying to minimize you and your knowledge in comparison to her own which as far as I can tell...she has none in that respect and you do.  And since you have ADHD....her feelings and opinions about you personally..should not matter or make a difference one way or the other since......"that's just her opinion based on her personal feelings which are valid to her and you really can't argue or disagree with right?  You can't really argue or disagree with another persons feelings and everyone is entitled to them and they are what they are?  You're not going to change or control another persons feelings so why even try?  Even if you know they are wrong.....what's the point in doing that?  If someone is on a personal Crusade to right what is wrong in the world of aren't ever going to please everyone so why put in all that effort in the first place?  But at the same time....people also come here to vent because they're frustrated (or angry or hurt or..........) and I'm no different?  I try to limit it that as much as possible but sometimes I just need to get it out and I have a need to get things out in the open where I (or anyone else) can see it?  What Jane Doe was doing was making it personal and doing it in a dismissive way and kind of hiding behind that instead of saying what she really feels.  She was making it about you in her own defense and was being defensive and you are being defensive right back?  But why is that?

My personal opinion here for what's it's based on a realization that you either come to accept or you don't and putting it this way "You can't sweep the ocean....back into the sea with a broom."  

That's my take and the point I wanted to make here.  In another comment...something really struck my attention and I wanted to tie this in with what I saw within the comment itself.  This is not saying anything about the person who made the comment since I have no knowledge of their personal situation or the person they are with.  To start...this is what that person said as their own personal opinion and their own personal perception on this topic from her perspective.......

95% GOOD 5% BAD

Submitted by nomorebadhead on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 23:16

"Honey if my marriage of 11 years was 95% good and 5% bad I would feel like I'd died and gone to heaven.  There is something you aren't considering! Disorganized people cannot live with organized people! its simple physics. I hoped differently at a point in my life a long time ago! but imagine trying to constantly re-negotiate your marriage every month, like your adhd'er has amnesia. it's freeg'in exhausting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

There is so much contained in this comment that I want to address and tie in here I don't know where to begin.  Again...this is not about the person who said it I'm not making any commentary of her at all....but in respect what you were saying about addressing the forum out of context to this thread and defending those of us with ADHD in respect to not feeling wanted...or welcomed...and then being far as making generalizations or being unfair....I think this has everything to do with it as far as people with ADHD are concerned.  It is the point and I hear you loud and clear and I do understand exactly everything you're saying and I most agree with you.  Of course....why wouldn't I....I know what you know and know the experience exactly.  I can relate with you perfectly but that's part of the problem?  If those who can't relate or even refuse to try and understand....what are you going to do about it and what can you do to stop them?  Nothing?  So what's the point in doing it or even trying to if that's the case?  What does this serve ( or who maybe better) and what will become of this.......more of the same?

For example....taking from the comment made by nomorebadhead.  I love that handle by the way....but I have no idea what that means really? lol  If that was me saying this or coming up with that handle....I'd change it to "nomoreFAThead"...which might be more appropriate speaking from the attitude she conveyed along with my own opinion about myself from what that say's to me but that moving away from anything I'm saying so I'm not going there for sure. 

But that would be me again....just doing what I do.....being a smart ass and poking fun which I do all the time about myself in jest.  But in context to venting or expressing yourself that's not such a good idea to vent about the person you are venting about..while they're sitting in the same room with you at the time!! LOL  I think that's as much the issue here on this forum than anything else but saying.....there are some who come here and think they occupy the only side or space that needs to be shared here and that is in I hear what you are saying as well.  I myself have brought this to the attention of those who think that this forum is only for those who don't have ADHD to come here to vent about their spouses and spout sweeping generalizations and ignore what is being said by those of us who have it which is just ridiculous in thinking that we shouldn't be here and they will just ignore you and "it" will just go away.  Not so much. lol   ( "IT" again lol )  But that's just not reading the label ahead of time and not knowing where they are?  You can't call the kettle black in that respect having ADHD can you? lol

If anything...I just wanted to point out what I see as a glaring or critical error in thinking which is exactly getting down to the only point I wanted to make here...."There is something you aren't considering! Disorganized people cannot live with organized people! its simple physics."

(buzzzzzzzz) Whoa!  Let's step back here and talk about physics and look at this conclusion that she has drawn which is what she believes is true.  It's just her opinion and her perception which again....I'm not attacking or criticizing.  The critical error is in how it's stated as if....this is a well established fact..and this is true for everyone which it's not?  It's just an opinion but it's not stated that way.  As it's's a definitive conclusion as if it's speaking for everyone.  The other thing within it and one I am all too familiar with is this "black and white" kind of...":all or nothing" way of seeing things.  BAD...or ....GOOD (and then the % given speaking in those terms) and using "physics" as her means to validate what she said in an kind of failed attempt to prove she is right? nothing in between?  It's that "nothing in between" as I'm saying this...where there is no room for any other explanation or alternatives to a problem.   And when that happens...what do you we do?  We dismiss anything irrelevant and there can be no room for discussion or looking to/for alternatives to find a solution?  If that's the matter how many solutions you come up with in white.....good...or bad.......right....or will fall on deaf ears.

At the end of the day here within just this one example of what I'm trying to point out this person has already come to her own conclusions and instead of saying what she said....stated as her personal opinion.....she's made a definitive statement drawn from assumption that she is right (or correct) and has taken a position here that clearly leaves those on the ADHD side of things to have to take one on the opposing side?  You've got no choice here when confronted with this except....not taking one yourself and just remaining as neutral as you can in response?  Other than can choose to fight this all your life and waste your time or do what I do which still serves no real purpose other than to shine a light on what they said that was incorrect from my perspective.  I could go step further and not do that, but make a point again about how this is not a "definitive scientifically proven "fact of physics" and just a "personal opinion" based solely on how she feels?

In the past....I could easily done what Jane Doe did here and just reply to her comment by saying.....

"sounds like a personal problem" make a point?  And what would that point saying that?  Certainly not making the point I just made...and being dismissive at the same time and throwing it back in her face the same as Jane Doe did with you?

And what does this ( or who ) does this serve by doing this anyway?

No one.....that's the point?


Why is there such a fluff about this?

Here's Jane Doe's original post

Um ...Psychologists don't go to medical school...

That's it Not a syllable of attitude on her part.  Not a syllable of discarding ANYone's advice about living with ADHD, in any capacity.  Not a syllable of negative stereotyping of people with ADHD.

In fact, what she said was factual.  Psychologists arent trained in medical school.  psychiatrists are, as a specialization beyond basic medical training.  And go through medical, not APA, board certification.  But psychologists are trained in psychology departments.

So what she asked about was  a glitch in Psychologist's self description of his credentials.  Period.  Nothing more.

I'll ask you to look back in this thread to see who started judging her and presuming interior motive based on nothing, zip, zero, but a factual remark about training credentials. 






I think it was me- and I am sorry

Zapp then asked, "and your point?"

So I replied (possibly getting Jane Doe's motivation wrong) that it was a detail that stuck out funny - seemed fishy (and to me too) and some of us spouses might have a "chip our our shoulders" about stories that don't sound quite right after all the "grandstanding, confabulation, exaggeration..." etc.. we get from our spouses. Especially the professional expertise was part of the basis of the advise to not be so ... negative.

Then all heck broke loose, as I was accusing our Psychologist of possibly a bit of mostly harmless exaggeration. I admit, it was confrontational, but I actually didn't think Psychologist was around to hear it. So, bad on me, really. 

I do think if you have such an unusual training route as md/phd you should know how rare it is and not be surprised people have not heard of it. Medical School does not usually equal psychologist. That JaneDoe thought it was odd seems perfectly straight up to me.

Anyway, I think the fluff started with me and I'm really sorry. 

Holy COW!!!!!

My response was to the point?....because I suspected she was just in a "moment" that MANY of us experience. And how many times in that moment do we read or hear something encouraging about a successful relationship with our spouses IS possible to achieve.....and our situation is dealing with denial......and...." WTH!!! GREAT! glad SOMONE has a positive outlook! Cause right at the moment .....I DON"T!!! ".....I really thought this scenario was behind her comment.

I bit someone's head off here not too long ago and offended them terribly. What Jane Doe said was peanuts compared to my snarkiness and I immediately apologized but it was not acknowledged. It was also along the same lines as this post fiasco. I will NOT forget my behavior in that moment nor let it happen again. For me "and your point?" means you have left something/need to clarify because I don't understand. Sweet Jesus....I thought about responding to Psychologist a while before I did..... I do not regret addressing Psychologist. 

What do you do when someone you love doesn't want help? Doesn't want to see the damage that they are causing? NO ONE navigates this life challenge in a split second. And someone who has should know to have a little bit of patience and compassion and not act like THEY have been through it and KNOW EXACTLY what to do.....JEESH!  And the loneliness that comes (not to all) is reprieved by places like this forum. Having a place to say your thoughts, ideas...WHATEVER!.....because the one who loves us most can't/won't listen to us in daily life......not once in a blue moon.......DAY after DAY get my meaning.


Good Point NON

What I didn't say to psychologist and only focusing on what appeared to be wear the "fluff" was coming from....I read what she said before and after and she was not making any accusations or innuendo and was taking a lot of this on as...."I'm not sure but I know I have a part to play"

Honestly....that's what I heard and that's how she came across to me as well?  I can only speak about myself here and what I experience with my wife at times and speaking in those terms....I recognize "minimizing" instead of "acknowledgement"....and "statements" getting confused with opinions?  This is what I'm use to ...and this this is how I can recognize this and apply it to becoming defensive as it seems that psychologist was taking offense?

I think the problem comes so often on the ADHD side of things....that once you get so use to people do this with expect the next person to do it too.  That much is not hard to figure out I think?  But if you apply Murphey's Law here and look at the dialog going back and forth.....if you leave things unclear of unsaid and you respond instead of acknowledgement with a personal statement that is about the other person instead of saying what your own feelings are  (instead)'s likely you will get a response back from this....and the last thing that was said...will be the first thing the another person will expect to hear or that is in context to the train of thought.  When something gets taken out of context...or is brought up as a "side bar" in relationship to the person saying's likely to get refuted if that is misinterpreted and they are jumping to conclusions?  Jumping to conclusions is the problem....not saying anything really?

The other thing here that is a  problem is with sarcasm.  Sarcasm and tone...don't translate well on the internet?  To say the same thing with two different meanings....all that is needed is to change those two things and now it will  take on a different meaning or connotation?

As I'm saying this...there is also a difference between "questioning" someone and asking someone "a question?"  One is telling...the other is asking?  One is a statement...and the other one is curiosity?

Murphey's Law says....if you weren't's likely to be taken the wrong way with ADHD and being so use to being "questioned" instead of being asked I think?

Just my two bits but also to confirm....I wasn't offended by what Jane Doe said and I didn't have that reaction?  But I understand and can easily see why psychologist took that the wrong way possibly? In context to all the other things that she said....I didn't pick the same one he did at first either?  Only to say what I was saying about sarcasm? If you aren't acknowledging that you heard the other person..and you are just dropping a statement about the other person back as your response......that just telling them about them....that's not acknowledging them and this CAN be.....exactly that.  A way of dismissing a person and throwing it back AT THEM questioning them...instead of asking a question or akowledging them?  Both were not happening...and both needed to happen to avoid this I think?

For me for example....I'm so use to being dismissed in this way.....unless anything else is said by my wife ( unlike the things Jane Does said before)  I have few options to guess from and if I had to guess would be what I experience the last time they said it?  Once you've got enough of those under your belt to figure this out (for the person you are with)  you don't need to guess anymore but saying...maybe you should?

What I heard was a lot of "should haves" and "suppose to be's" and "would of "could of's."  That's red flag for something missing and not being said I think?  Wait...strike that....not what's not being said....what's being assumed and not spoken?


The other thing here that is

The other thing here that is a  problem is with sarcasm.  Sarcasm and tone...don't translate well on the internet?  

Or its lack.  The absence of it...but you or someone else fears or presumes that someone else is being sarcastic, but really has no evidence of that at all.  You're working out of your past, not out of the present.

There is no voice tone on the net.  There is no ability to see faces.  We dont have time and space prior relations with the people who write something.  So we really, really are short of anything that helps us contextualize remarks by a brand new arrival in an online group.  It's really not cool to make up something for their un expressed feelings and thoughts, J.  We all need to have the grace not to impute things to people on the net based on no evidence, nothing that they said, only one's own presumption. 

Heavens to BETSY, all of us, people with ADHD and nons have had a boatload of negative presumptions and stereotypes shoved at us.  

Where is the milk of minimum human kindness needed to take people where they literally say they are, without presuming that they are mean? 


Programming ....That's a Tough One

I hear you's true for me and everyone here and I can't disagree.  I just recently read something about how our brains work and we are programmed to pick up and recognize patterns.  We don't know we are doing this but we are.  This isn't denial...this is how we are made?  And this is it really isn't it?  The reason for the communication break downs with the person you KNOW  all too well?  And it comes from people you know all too well in the past.  Growing up in a co-dependent environment myself, meant that there was a lot of thinking for people and triangulating going on?  That's a pattern right there and if it's the only one you know....then this is what you expect even subconsciously?  That's difficult habit to break but not an excuse either.  It may only explain why but the answer is not to assume?  I trying to do this as we speak with someone who is doing that back with me?  I can't tell you how difficult this is to keep track of?

There is a Catch 22 here that really fowls this up speaking for myself again only.  I don't expect anyone to be kind....I expect what I expect to be the same from a lifetime of the same thing from other people.  To expect any different would be naive and in denial?  On the other hand...if you do not doing what you said?  Even if I don't assume.....I still expect what I expect and my experience will right a lot more than I'm wrong as long as I'm not paying attention and I can't be perfect or never have a moment when I miss something or stare out the window thinking about something and somebody will go...."what wrong?  You look like you are completely checked out?"  Of course...I am checked out to other people...but I'm hyper focusing intensely on something as far from being checked out as you can get.  Even if I do this only once at the right time with the wrong person....they'll be telling me what they think...I'm doing? And if I don't respond or didn't hear them because I'm still thinking so deeply about what ever...the next thing they'll do is get irritated and tell you something about yourself, what you're doing and what you're thinking about?  Something like " bad night at home with the wife or just not enough sleep.  Your so spaced out you can't even hear a word I said. In reality...none of that is even close to what is happening with me...and I haven't said anything yet!!  And ...I did hear them and could repeat what they said....I just needed a moment...but I didn't say that either? lol

"UHG!!! lol   It never ends is what it is?  Just because Johnny jumps off a cliff...doesn't mean I have to? lol


PS  Being in the "ignorant bliss of denial"...was lot more comfortable and a lot easier to manage!  All you needed to do was go to your "happy place" and never have to worry about anything? lol  It's a lot less work and effort let me tell you!! lol  But it's totally worth the effort and people are a lot more kind to you when this happens because you are actually connecting with them and not thinking what ever it is your thinking they are saying and actually listening (instead of what you think they said in your happy place which is really not so happy after all. lol )

I just came back to point this out as I thought about this?  I may have a moment but I heard them and I am listening.  In denial....not only did I not hear them.....I heard them incorrectly and resonded to what I thought I heard?  I'm talking about in person...with all those cues and all that non verbal there which is absent here as you mentioned this NON.  It was so cloudy at times in those moments...I can barely tell you what I was thing about?  That was just....between me and myself and what ever was said by anyone else....was what ever me and myself heard which was what ever I wanted it to be instead of what was actually being said?  I still may stare out the window....but there's a big difference in what I hear know....compared to what I thought I heard before.  Same symptom.....big difference.


J,a couple of questions.....

about what you said here.....

PS  Being in the "ignorant bliss of denial"...was lot more comfortable and a lot easier to manage!  All you needed to do was go to your "happy place" and never have to worry about anything? lol  It's a lot less work and effort let me tell you!! lol  But it's totally worth the effort and people are a lot more kind to you when this happens because you are actually connecting with them and not thinking what ever it is your thinking they are saying and actually listening (instead of what you think they said in your happy place which is really not so happy after all. lol )

I just came back to point this out as I thought about this?  I may have a moment but I heard them and I am listening.  In denial....not only did I not hear them.....I heard them incorrectly and resonded to what I thought I heard?  I'm talking about in person...with all those cues and all that non verbal there which is absent here as you mentioned this NON.  It was so cloudy at times in those moments...I can barely tell you what I was thing about?  That was just....between me and myself and what ever was said by anyone else....was what ever me and myself heard which was what ever I wanted it to be instead of what was actually being said?  I still may stare out the window....but there's a big difference in what I hear know....compared to what I thought I heard before.  Same symptom.....big difference.

Based on your experience in this particular area....did you find that you may have had a bit of a negative thought pattern (while in denial) and that once you were better able to be "present" you saw things more in a positive light? I am NOT suggesting anything here I am sincerely trying to be sure of my understanding of this as it happens with adhd. I get that there are differing experiences but that negativity does come into play because of life experiences with unknown adhd. Do you think you "see" things in a clearer not so gray way as you began to manage your adhd? Sort of like more of an upper? than a downer?

Also....when you "realize" now that you may have checked out of a conversation with do you handle that? My understanding is no matter how well the adhd is addressed this is going to happen and so I am interested in how you respond now as to how you did when you weren't as aware?

I think you did a good job explaining this particular scenario from an adhd view and I appreciate you doing so. So much of what the adhd expresses is no different than what "we" nons do ALSO. The difference, in my view, is the consistency of the adhd is way more OFTEN than the nons. Like they have a faulty...regulator? I do NOT see my H in a different light mentally from me. We are definitely not in sync emotionally and it isn't all adhd. Fair is fair when it comes to owning responsibility.....sometimes I need to fess up it is ME and sometimes he needs to fess up it's HIM......adhd or NOT.

Thanks again,J

This Is So Important, I Don't Want to Screw This Up Zapp


What I mean by not screwing this up means....I want to be as genuine and serious as I can here and put the humor and making light of things aside for a moment because this as I am the key to unlock the door in what other people want including you ( and all the spouses who are struggling with this )  One question at a time...

"Based on your experience in this particular area....did you find that you may have had a bit of a negative thought pattern (while in denial) and that once you were better able to be "present" you saw things more in a positive light?"

The answer is YES to the negative attitude.  It was pervasive and it flavored every waking thought I had.  About myself and other people across the board. I am seeing it from my own what you and everyone are really complaining the heart of the matter down to the core.

  In's what I have been struggling with in my wife as well.  It comes from the low self esteem and insecurity which is ( or can be ) tied to the very things that are being discussed in this very thread.  You wonder why there aren't more people with ADHD here.....this is it I can tell you.  If there is one NEVER want to exactly the things being said here in this very thread if you are in denial.  The very last and worst thing possible is exactly this.  Worst thing you can actually thing to actually avoid on your end.  Take it or leave it...but it's the truth whether you agree with me or not.

Bottom line?  In the beginning of this post, Melissa gave explicit instructions ...."no ..."run" comments.  Did that do anything to stop the "run" comments from happening?  No.  Count them in this thread alone that defies what she asked "not to do".  That right there...whether it's spoken or not....comes through.  I don't know if this is intuition speaking...or a combination of intuition and the experience of being rejected just one too many times...but the bottom line and where I believe the denial really comes to a head is this:  somehow you know this and you know it despite what the person is telling you to the contrary. You might say..."I Love You"....but for a person locked into denial of this....nothing you do will make them feel Loved and they are telling themselves "I don't believe you".... despite what you say to the contrary.   It's a feeling that you either deal with or you don't.  Not dealing with this and letting it get the better of you is exactly the reason why this exists in the first place.  You do not trust....that the person you are not thinking it, thinking about it, and planning to do so which you cannot deny?  Look at how many responses and comments in this forum alone that say ...."run", "save yourself", "run away run away!!!"...and if we are the devil incarnate? This is why that inner voice says "I don't beleive you".  The evidence of this is apart and cannot be denied  and this thread is just one source of it's "proof" without question..... even the person not wanting to look at it or acknowledge it....."KNOWS it's there."   How can you not know this...when it's so painfully obvious and easy to see?

This you have to live with...knowing it's true every day until you find a way to deal with this and not let it effect you.  You know it...without it ever being said.  When I first came was no surprise to me at all.  I was not shocked or just confirmed what I already know.  This is the source of denial IMHO.....which you don't want to hear or believe it....but yet by not believing fester into negative thoughts and anger and endless ruminating that is like a wound that never truly heals and remains open and inflamed.  The slightest so painful that you end up protecting yourself with self lying and not believing and defensiveness as your only way to control ( and trying to control others in response as well)  in a failed attempt to manage this. It's like putting a band aide on an open wound that really needs stitches to close over and heal?  Healing this wound is the process of coming out of denial and the process not walk in the park because this is such a sensitive and painful area.

This is what I walk into the room with and remind myself when dealing with my wife.  Treating her like a victim will only get more of the same.  Treating her with respect and consideration is the way to do this and that part...I know without having to ask her what she needs.  I know it...because it's what I needed mostly in order to get past this myself.  I still have my moments....but now...I can do this on my own without anyone else's help or input.  It's something you learn how to doesn't necessarily come naturally.  What comes exactly what you're  getting if the person you are still protecting themselves....instead of healing themselves I think?

What I said to NowOrNever in respect to people not being "kind".  People aren't "kind" about this and they let you know "freely" and without hesitation whenever the moment calls for it.  "No one cares" respect to your why should you care about others who are so mean and cruel to you?  Why should you have to be "kind"....when no one is "kind" with you?  This is the self talk of denial talking and you aren't going to get a person out of denial....doing it that way I can absolutely guarantee it.  You will be shooting yourself in the foot...if this is what you think will work and doing the worst thing you can do...and not even realize it?

Why do you think Melissa made this request?  And did anyone listen?  NO.  There you go.  The in the tasting of the pudding as they say? And the proof is everywhere......all you need to do is look and you'll see it, hear it. and feel it...everyday of you life unless you go underground and deny it as the only way to avoid the pain.

The second part of what you asked about being able to be present?...only comes after you go through this painful process of healing that open wound.  Healing in this sense...comes from the pain you have to go through in order to do this.  It's like "ripping" all those bandages off a burn victim but they're scabbed over and stuck to the scabs themselves...and so, you've got to just grab your ankles and  bite the bullet...and just "rip" the whole mass off and expose the festering wound so you can clean the puss out and allow it to heal.  The "puss" in this case ( the negativity that festers into anger) ...are the "thousands" upon "thousands" of wounds you experience that just scab over but never heal.  Each time it happens....the wound is just reopened again until it becomes to much to bear or think about anymore.  Until you rip that sucker off and go through the will continue to get reopened so allowing yourself to become vulnerable or taking the chance is not what you do.  In light of the "proof of evidence" in this thread might be able to understand why this is such a scary proposition and such a "risk" to take.  Anything that points in that direction...will cause that person to go deeper underground in order to protect the wound from becoming re-opened once again.

This is the point what everyone (including me) does exactly the wrong thing in response to this.  Are the things being said in this thread alone being "kind" to this person?  I just told you the answer but it is what people do.

Or...they give sympathy which in respect to this....that just becomes another self fullfilling prophecy in that it the food that a victim needs to survive?  Cut off the food supply...and the "victim inside" will eventually die from starvation?  Sympathy in itself...will do nothing but perpetuate it and will do nothing to really help.  Just another band aid and a means to not heal which is exactly what you need to do...heal.

What my T said was right.  Compassion and humility.  That's a start right there.  And thinking about humility in respect to this....I think what just happened with me in turn with my now what I'm experiencing the same as you.  When you're so wrapped up in your own pain and your own hurt and you think it's because of're aren't considering the wounds they already have and now you so focused on your own wounds you discount and minimize their or don't even realize they exist in the first place.  This "I'm the center of my own universe" kind of attiude...along with "MY PAIN"...and the ....."what about ME!!"  attitude behind the very reason why no one on the receiving end of this....ever considers the fact that this is the reason "why" got this way in the first place.  In this case...there is no confusion of which came first...the "Cart" or the "Horse".  Whether you realize this...or like it or are the "Cart" here and the horse goes in front and was first.

It's from everyone elses own self righteousness and the "what about me" thinking that brought you here in the first place.  And now...that same "self righteous" attitude is saying "run"...."save yourself from these devils!!!!"...."I can't tolerate them any more!!!" from the pain your experiencing but you're neglecting to consider that "YOU" were the source of this in the first place for them along with everyone else..."just like YOU"  in their past?  Like it...understand...or not.  It is what it is and you can accept it or not?  You can always run....and this will only serve to reopen the wound for them....but what does that matter you now....why should you care if you're gone? And that right why it happened in the first place. " INTOLERANCE of your own pain"......and an inability to deal with it and manage.  It works both ways and is exactly for the same reason.  And if you will only serve to reinforce this in them and keep that person in denial unless they get so fed up with it...they finally will do something about it.  The pain of being rejected just one too many times is what caused this to happen with me.  When I got to the point of being so hurt and I could no longer stand the pain....I got pissed off but now....going in a different direction?

So if you're with me so I can answer the rest of your questions?  Once you go through this ultimate "test of fire and pain"....nothing you will ever experience again...will ever compare to the intensity and pain you went through to get there. "Pale" comparison is the perfect analogy.  It is literally....the "test of fire" and by ripping the bandages off all at once....the wounds are left wide open and you are burning at the stake.  You have to burn down to the ashes...and now you are reborn again.

So you asked.."when you "realize" now that you may have checked out of a conversation with do you handle that?"

Like I said....."Pale in comparison"...nothing even remotingly feels the same anymore.  There is NO pain....compared to the "pain" you went through to get there.  For's like no big deal?  What's all this fuss about?  "Oops....I'm sorry.  And I continue like nothing ever it should be?  No big deal and no need to take offense or be offended or hurt if someone get cranky?  I know I do why deny it or make a big deal about it.  "Oops.  and then continue on your way."  It the making a big deal about it and all the defensiveness that causes you to be stressed out and hurt?  If your spouse just moved on and didn't make a fuss about would you because in light of this....just this one example is not such a big thing  and once you stop defending against actually stop doing it as often because notice that you do it...where before....your were doing everything in your power....."Not to notice "IT"?"   ( "IT" again )  That's how "IT" works right there and when "IT"works for the person who has ADHDl..."IT" works for you too.

I think to sum this up.....not understanding the "IT" why evey one fails to do "IT"...on both sides of course? lol  Now I can lighten up once again because "IT" is no longer effecting me even when I went through the memories and the going through this process just to recall "IT" enough to respond to you but unlike before...I don't dwell on "IT" much any more. Dwelling and ruminating come   from not going throught "IT" and denying "IT".... instead.

And in referencing my wife and when she shuts down and says...."I don't want to talk about "IT".  " It's"...not what she is actually saying but she doesn't know what she's saying but I think I do?  What she is saying is....I'm afraid of experiencing the pain again...and I don't want to look at "IT".  Talking about "IT" the same as seeing it and looking at it...which is trying to avoid at all costs.  What she needs is courage and inner strength in order to do this but as I see from her so often....these are the things that are missing and where I can get a little resentful myself.  Thinking....." I did can you.  It won't kill you .....but it will hurt like a M%&*%er F%$&#ER....that's for sure!" LOL

But you can't make someone do this and that part is also very true.  You have to want "IT" that bad to go through all that pain to get there and I think strength and courage are the means to do it?




I think you did a good job explaining this particular scenario from an adhd view and I appreciate you doing so. So much of what the adhd expresses is no different than what "we" nons do ALSO. The difference, in my view, is the consistency of the adhd is way more OFTEN than the nons. Like they have a faulty...regulator? I do NOT see my H in a different light mentally from me. We are definitely not in sync emotionally and it isn't all adhd. Fair is fair when it comes to owning responsibility.....sometimes I need to fess up it is ME and sometimes he needs to fess up it's HIM......adhd or NOT.

Just apply what I just said to the rest of this and do what you will with it?  You've got to do this in a sense to and I think I laid that out for you pretty well if I didn't screw this up?? (kidding here....a little less serious and a little humor never hurts I think?  It certainly can't hurt from my perspective but then how I deal and manage?  Se la vie? )



It's ALL Right Here... NON

In Gottman's research as he said this “There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”

This is the source of negativity right here....."looking for what is wrong".....(right and wrong again???  OMG yes.  Black ,white, good,bad, right, wrong....NO...Stop That!!!! LOL That's me talking not John Gottman lol )

You can say this any way you like....."glass half full, instead of half empty"......"victim mentality"........"seek and you will find"......( win / win scenarios"........"people see what they want to see"......."he had eyes but could not see"........etc etc etc.....they all point to exactly the same thing......"positive".....or......"negative".  Key here....not dependent on anyone else?

And what has my T been saying to me all these years repeatedly....."don't make anything you do....depedent, on anyone else"......"ask your self...are you going "towards something"...or are you "going away from it?"  Going "away" behavior is "bad"....Going "towards" behavior is "good"...

If you have to do this "good / bad" and white only two options for everything..... "THING" to get there for crying out loud!!! LOL

Right on the money.  I know this because once you do realize it's true.  You've got to do it first however...before you come to this realization as can't get there from here:)  Actions's all about "actions" lol


Well said

The answer is YES to the negative attitude.  It was pervasive and it flavored every waking thought I had.  About myself and other people across the board. I am seeing it from my own what you and everyone are really complaining the heart of the matter down to the core.





Thank you,J....

The negativity from the undiagnosed adhd coupled with an extremely devoid of "good" emotion and attention from his childhood has left a very strong confusing esteem for my H.

Having tried to broach the "difficult" times with him through the years(prior to knowing about adhd but well into seeing the family dynamic) has now become more clear to me these past years. His upbringing was not awful by any means and interesting enough.....he does see that his dad had adhd and is coming to see how his mother reacted to it. Of course neither parent KNEW about adhd and I think my H is seeing that and feeling a bit sad for the unintentional chaos that prevailed.

He is currently reading an adhd book by russell barkley.....that is a biggie :) I have kept my composure in moments...more because I can "see" the overwhelm coming on and I need to respect that. I want what is best for us. 

The part on the " dropped" moments in conversation is more for when we are together among others and I realize he has missed something and then the conversation gets a bit lost for him BUT in the moment he doesn't realize it and then he is confused and then the anxiety starts and then...? I am hoping someone somewhere can relate this in a way that helps him find something that works for him in this kind of situation. I do get what is happening with him and presently I say nothing.....I know they talk about cues.....since... if he doesn't know he has missed something .....and is therefore off track in the convo....and he is on a roll there anything I can do?  Of course us agreeing on something would be great.....but initially when we tried this and I was VERY DISCREET(we had agreed on a cue).....I got the nasty look....( I am so over those). Just seeking for real input on this particular adhd moment. I am missing something here as to what I can do or maybe just let it go...period is the best.  When he is on his own......that doesn't effect me. But in a group how do you quietly communicate a "help" cue so he can stay in the loop and NOT get anxious because overwhelm follows and I would rather "head for the hills" than stay in that moment. 

Please remember he is still "on the fence" about accepting the notion of adhd but he is leaning to the "acceptance" side....s..l..o..w....b...u...t....s...u....r...e...?

Please pardon my rambling....I wasn't very succinct I'm afraid.

Ha! Join the Club....Succintness and Rambling? What's That? said some really good observations and for me at least....learning to be a good observer and staying objective was one way that I found that works for me.  I know where this gets to feeling a little "impersonal" or like I am "analyzing" which is only part of this process.  There is more too it than that and that part....may or may not be showing?  Thinking mostly likely "not" but I'm now really thinking about something that Melissa brought up in the blog post about Narcissism?  This concept of "orientation" and how I "orient myself" in the physical when it comes to doing anything or problem solving has everything to do with this?  Trying to "orient myself" in a way that goes against the grain makes everything so much more difficult and sometimes...I just can't do it.  I think part of being "on the fence" or being ambivalent comes from this feeling "all scrambled" when you try an orient yourself in way that sometimes just isn't possible for the ADHD brain wiring reasons there are?

If you stop and think about what exactly are the real limitations here?  What is possible...and what is not possible?  There are mental blocks and barriers that can be overcome in that respect and all of these things are possible and there is not "inability" problem on a functioning level?

But within this "self orienting" thing that she mentioned...there are some real time "limitations" that you just have to work around and there is no trying harder here.  The 'stigma" for example of having ADHD was almost superfulous and irrelevant to me?  Like...."so what"....who cares what anyone thinks of me. Truly.  This is not "sour grapes" thinking....this is actually what I had already arrived at and "owned" so to speak. That was no big effort on my part because I already had that firmly in my thinking already when I was first diagnosed?  So within the accepting the notion of ADHD....that was not what I was too concerned about?  What I was really concerned about...was what I already knew to a certain degree and that's when it gets pretty difficult to explain to anyone and where a lot of confusion and misunderstanding comes from....and of course...the scathing judgment from others?

I can easily site the first real problem I ever ran into and it was a big one for me in that....there were "some people' in my life....who would not let this one go!!! lol mother when it came to religion and Christianity.  I have to be really carful here.,..because I know I am treading on "hallowed ground" so to speak.  But within just this one example where this "self orienting" style....absolutely does not work and there is nothing I can do about it or any way I can change this?  In just this one where so much heart ache and pain came from in that....I could not get my head wrapped around the concept of having this external "thing" out there somewhere that you defer to for answers...and somehow...this makes a "quantum leap" me....and my brain that lives inside me...that is suppose to "GET" from there to here...and somehow....that's suppose to work in making you do something or not?  It's like going to a middle man to get there when this is about you and what you believe....not what someone else says and what they believe?  And if you don't believe them......well you're going straight to Hell because you are a NON-BELIEVER?   Like oh....aren't we special?  You just ...up and decide that you believe and now your special and not going to Hell?  How convenient if that's all you have to do?  How's that suppose to work?  Oh...I can "do anything you want"..and then just go to church and confess your sins...and you're somehow Okay and not going to Hell?  Give me a break!!!  The Hypocricy of it all?  I don't get it?

And after Church...I see the Priest getting into his Mercedes and driving off like any other regular if...."he's special too?"  He's just a guy who chose this as a job...and he's standing there with a cookie in his hand and some really bad tasting wine and you swallow this and that's going to do anything to you?? C'mon....all that does is make you pucker and it taste like exactly what it taste like which is exactly what it is....really bad wine...and a really bland soda cracker?  Give me a break???  And all this up and down..up and down exercising and just reading out of a somehow going to transform you into anything but exactly what you are and this somehow ...makes a quantum not burning in Hell for eternity?  You defer to the middle man....instead of going right to the source?  And somehow...this makes you better...than everyone else who chooses not to just up and decide one day that..."hey...I'll just go to Church and pledge of allegiance and I will go to Heaven but it doesn't matter what you do your actions because this is what is most important?  What you believe....not your actions?"

You may think I'm just kidding here but I'm being absolutely serious.  There was a day I will always remember...that I made a cognitive "shift" in my thinking from the effect this had on me...and I went..."what the Hell....if I'm going to Hell anyway and it doesn't matter what i do...then it doesn't matter what I do...because I can't believe this non-sense and I'm already "Fucked".  And when you've got nothing to lose...well...that changes everything?  If I'm going to burn in Hell for eternity....I might as well have fun while it lasts right?

For me...this was a life changing event...going in the wrong direction and it came directly from the concept of Christianity being forced upon and me and me being told I was going to Hell if I didn't straighten up.  This is what I call.....being "MIND FUCKED" by religion and I had such a bad attitude about this for such a long time ...that I do site Christianity and being forced fed this non sense as the cause for this in me in an extreme way.  There was no how...I could recocile this in mind to get there from here and so...since I was trying my best to beleive what I couldn't believe...the part that I DID believe...was the part about going to Hell.  I had that so firmly in my mind...that I had convinced myself due to my liabilities and limitations in how I "orientate myself" so I can understand things that I was going to Helll no matter what I did and since this is such hypocrisy anyway in that it doesn't matter what you do and all you have to do is read out of a book, admit all the bad things you did that week and it's still Okay and you won't go to Hell....then I'll just pretend to believe.;..and lie to my family and pretend I'm a BELIEVER when what I really think is that this is like believing in Santa Claus but that's actually ridiculous and this is not?mmmmmm? 

Let's see here....North Pole...all white and snowy.....Heaven....all white and cloudy.  Big Guy up know UP (pointing North)...Santa...and  God?  And then you got Gods minion or helpers as in "Angels" and Santa's got Magic elves who do his bidding along with flying Reindeer which is just a different type of Angels.....I'm seeing the corollary clearly ?  So why is one a fantasy and is ridiculously immature to believe and the other is NOT?  And not only not ridiculous fairy tale fodder...but if you don't believe're going to be thrown in some Lake of fir and burn for eternity?  And then there's that  "he knows when you are sleeping...he knows when your awake...he knows when you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake"  OMG!!! WTF...I got these two watching my every move and making sure I'm doing it right?

If you wanted to mess with a child mind who has ADHD anymore than this as in."Fucking With Them" and giving them a complex....this is the absolute BEST and sure fire  way to do it...let me tell you.  At least 3/4 of my own denial  was recovering from this mind Fuck and believing I was already doomed to an eternity in why should I try and do anything about this.  If you've got nothing left to lose, doesn't matter WHAT you do right?

Which of course...was what happened to me as a kid and the net effect that Christianity had on me.  I could make that quantum leap because of the way I "oriented myself and my thinking in these terms" which I could not do no matter how hard I tried?

So for me in just this one devastating example of the cascading catastrophe this caused for me becuase ...I can't lie to God and he knows exactly what I thinking.  He's reading my mind right now and he knows I don't beleive all of this so I can't pull one over on God...but I can with my family by pretending.  I can't worry about burning in Hell right now in the I'll just put that one on hold for until I die and because the reults of worrying about what I already know is going to happen to me anyway...will double Fuck me since I will hate my life here and then burn from all eternity when I get to Hell so what's the point in that I ( ask myself?)  

And this cognitive shift took place at very early age....the quantum leap I made was not the one I couldn't I did the only option out of the two I had left by default as I understood this sooooo...  "If you've got nothing left to lose and you're going to burn in Hell for eternity, doesn't matter WHAT you do right?  You might as well live while you can and not worry about the consequences if your already "FUCKED" and you know it ahead of time?"

I want to make sure I put this into perspective for anyone reading this because I know how inflammatory this may be to something that is at the very heart of your own belief system and yourself in respect to how I personalized this and interpreted it in  my own way but realizing my limitations even then...and then coming to terms with them in the only choices I had left available to me?

Of course...after years of suffering from this I finally threw it all in the toilet and found my own way to get to the exact same place?  And once I came to this realization ...I realized how damaging and what a horrible thing this was and probely is to do to someone and's still happening today which is why I have no fond feelings (actually the opposite ) of going to Church and approaching childeren this way especially having ADHD.  This is a mind FUCK that goes beyond comprehension for someone else that is not wired in the same way in order to reach through to someone...and how the same thing that is :"good:" for one person...can be worse and more someone who has ADHD.

Nothing I experienced in my childhood growing up...was "worse" than this "Christian Torture Chamber" that this caused for me. The effect this had on me....I can't even begin to tell you how "evil" and how :"horrible" this was and just how catastrophically "bad" this was for me and I could not understand any of it and why this was happening to me?  The result was just the opposite...of what is was suppose to do?

Self orienting is the way to navigate and find your way.  It's like you're built in GPS system so you aren't running blind?  Trying to learn of appraoch order to understand it....needs to be run through this GPS sysmtem as a means to learn or understand anything?  When you take Christianity...and run it through this GPS orienting system....out the other side of this is what I got...which had nothing to do with moral compass or GOD and had everything to do with...."when you got nothing left to doesn't matter WHAT you do?

That's how translated and what I did in response?  Not GOOD....I can tell you.  And nothing has changed in my ability to make that quantum leap and actualy say I can beleive something that I can't believe without something to back this up or some proof of evidence which is impossible so therefore...will never happen?  Proof what is missing and no one really knows because no one can prove it?  That would require "trust"....not "faith" and "trust" when it comes to something like have very little "faith in" having ADHD or at it was for me?

So when there are things in there that you need to get past or reconcile.....'stigma" of having ADHD....was the least of my concerns?  Like at the bottom of anything that mattered in respect to this? 



I was wanted to reply to this post because I think that there is some confusion as to if psychologists go to med school and that is what started some confrontation on the website. I am not sure who psychologist is or if she is telling the truth, but just so you all are aware of credentials some psychologists do get there degree from a med school. Mercer University is one of the schools that offer it. It is a relatively new program, last ten years, but does exist. So I think that Psychologist does have some good points, but I am not sure if all people are coming here for professional opinions either.

Need advise.

I'm not sure if I am doing the right thing by posting on this website but as I was reading I thought maybe someone could help me and I maybe I could provide insight to. I have ADHD. I do not take medications, have not seen a psychiatrist in about 10 years, and due to my current perdiciment I am not really able to see a therapist. I married my husband several years ago and then. Over a year ago my husband  decided to run for a public office in our state, and this has been really overwhelming for me because I struggle a lot with constant changes to my schedule and always having to be on time.  I have got to the point where I am even struggling to get me own child to school on time because I always have a list of events I have to attend all through the week in order for him to be elected in November. I feel like he tried to help me, but it's actually almost insulting how he goes about it. His campaign manager recently recommended to him to get me a personal assistant, someone to "help me" so I always look put together. I feel like I am looked at like a child now.  This never used to be an issue to him, but now I feel like I am a disappointment. I know that may on this website are actually not ADHD and trying to find a solution to their own partners, but I am feeling I need some support dealing with non-adhd partner and all of a sudden I am supposed to change in to this flawless person. He recently told me he really appreciates my strength and cooperation with everything, but I am way overwhelmed here and want  to get help but I'm afraid somehow the media would see me walking in to counseling and start rumors. Any ideas as to how I can try to organize myself a little better. I don't want my husband to think of me the way many of the spouses on here are thinking of their significant others.

I Would Be Honest ... ADHD Wife

I have ADHD and I do see a therapist.  This is timely to something that he just told me so it's fresh in my mind.  My wife is also suspected of having ADHD which brought this up in our session together.  She asked him if he thought she had ADHD and his answer was this.....

"As far as diagnosing anyone or going that route if you are looking for ways to find a solution to this....this answer has more to do with the environment you put someone into and the context of that new environment."

Which from everything you said....this sounds like you if I'm correct?  It wasn't a problem before...but now it's a problem?  And it sounds like it's still not a problem for you husband...but now he's in a different environment that is "all about appearances" with a specific agenda in mind?

So your overwhelmed and I understand this completely.  And are trying to do something you haven't a way you haven't before and this is totally overwhelming right?  So what can you do about this?  Not much about "the agenda" and "the environment" this puts you into by default which has nothing to do with you or your husband if I'm correct in saying that?

And this thing you are feeling like your being treated as a child is real as well.  That parent child dynamic that's working here is causing you to feel this way and I don't like that anymore than you do.  It can really piss you off....stated simply. lol

My best tell your husband how you feel about this.  About your fears and concerns and see's what he say's...speaking in those same terms as I just did?  He might understand this because he's in the "same boat" to you are with his own problems and concerns when it comes to this?  He can't do much about that either so he might just hear what you're saying...and have something to offer you if he can know exactly the postion this puts you in and knowing your own limitations here.  If you can be honest about your limitations and tell him you need help (which if you think about it  ....he already offered it too you but as you were seeing it as an intrusion and being resentful )  maybe you could see this as him doing exactly this.....trying to help and doing what he thinks would do this?  If you allow someone to help you and not feel like you are a child because of might serve to open this up for discussion as long as those contingencies aren't getting in the way?  Contingencies ie"  your resentment and feeling like you are being treated as a child?  It's all for appearances anyway....why should you take that personally since he's doing the same thing for the same reason on his part too.  If you are both on the same can drop all the pretense and get down to finding a solution that works for you right?  The hardest part for me at letting go of the need for help occasionally.  I'm the worst at asking for it...and the least likely to accept it when it's offered.  Take it from someone who's horrible at asking for it....when it comes gift wrapped in a box with a bow on it.....don't "look a gift horse in the mouth" as they say? lol

I hope that gives you something to think about?  I can't tell you what to do of course?




I finally cut all connections and ties and disappeared from his life and his family. It's been difficult due to the emotional baggage I carried for a while and the little extremely good memories we had keep popping up in my head...but the thing is it feels like I finally have a say in my life.

I'm an empathetic soul and when I first met this fella at church I knew instantly that he would be the first guy I love with all my heart. 

As a qualified Foundation Phase teacher I realised before I got to chat with him that he had ADHD with Dyslexia and a bit of depression issues. It was evident in his testimonies at church. He didn't say much but as a teacher you're trained to notice certain symptoms and adapt your teaching style and activities for your learners and also involve an educational psychologist. So I saw it all. But I also noticed his emphatic attempts to be 'perfect' but constantly failure and chose to ignore it as human tendencies. I think at first as we became friends my aim was to help him. I managed to do this as he now has a Masters in his field of study where I am praised. But straight after he no longer needed my help, he sort of started to drift away from me and yet I had fallen deeply in love with him. I knew everything about him. I knew about all his therapy sessions which I had encouraged him to go to and told him to also start asking for medication. What was found out during those sessions was all I had already figured out.

But now my 'job' was done and it kind of felt like I no longer mattered. Well he made me feel like this. So I fought for his heart and I think my fight was too strong and he got pulled into me. Or maybe because during this time, once again, he needed help searching for a job and it was proving more difficult than what he thought would actually be. Well so I was there to pick up the pieces and change his cover letter and Resume following which he got the job of his dreams in academia and poof things changed again.

In between these moments of sharing in his ups and downs and our relationships ups and downs I tried commiting suicide, panic attacks were a norm, Fainting was like breathing and depression became my second name. Something I never was!!! I have always been the most positive person because hey I prayed and just had so much faith in God. I trusted Him. But that all faded away the deeper this 'friendship/relationship' went. I even got cystic acne during this time.


See what I am getting to is, you end up forgetting yourself while you are busy loving an ADHD person. And at times it doesn't come alone. It's some learning difficulty AND ADHD. It's not worth it, not even if he's a saint during the good times because the bad times leave you dead. I'm still in awe of how I have healed but hey nothing is too difficult for God.

The world could use a good person like you as a mentor but not in such an emotionally taxing relationship.

When the relationship ended which he at first initiated but I think he just wasn't of the opinion that I would eventually leave he tried calling me like the good ol times. Telling me what he has accomplished what he still needs to do and how I should remind him about stuff. I nearly got sucked into it again until I realised this is not it we are about to make up again for the umpteenth time. Nah fam. I let that situation go. 

Don't get it twisted I still love him but I love myself so much more to never be caught spending more than a 10 minute conversation with him because I don't know but some ADHD fellas are smart and catch up on all your emotions and then you are back at it again.

The light feeling I have, emotionally and spiritually, the weight I've lost, the sports I have taken up and the mentoring I give to the community made me realise that I made the best decision ever.


Wish him well and leave. Leave him on read if he insists on bothering because you've become familiar and easier to get along with and not your benefit. Love yourself more!xxx

Should I tell him I think it's the ADD?

I am grateful for this forum and this site.  It is helping me to learn about ADD, which I was totally ignorant about until I started dating a man with ADD (he told me on the first date).  We have been dating (exclusive to one another) for a few months now.  We come to this relationship late in life with our own respective baggage.  In sum, I have abandonment and attachment issues stemming from abuse in my childhood, and he was exposed to severe childhood trauma as well.  We recognize the most wonderful attributes in the other, and became quite close very early on in the relationship.  We respect the strength shown in the other as we each faced our own childhood difficulties. 

We are both on medication, and I see a counselor regularly.  He does not engage in counseling.  Our situation is further complicated by the fact that we live over a thousand miles apart.  He appears to have a good relationship with his children, but no close friends in the same city. We both have been married previously and are now divorced.

Most of the aspects of ADD mentioned on this site appear to be present at some level, but the characteristics of ADD behavior that bother me the most are his sudden and extreme anger, his continual placing of blame on me for this anger, and his unwillingness to accept any responsibility for our relationship issues, or even discuss them.  In many ways he is emotionally sensitive, and expresses a desire for deep  human connection, as do I.  We admire each other's intellect and humanity, and enjoy our physicality.  On the other hand, we seem, somehow, to be able to be uniquely capable of causing each other deep pain.

I would like to hear from both ADD men, and women with ADD partners, with their thoughts about whether or not I should continue this relationship, and in particular if I should bring up my boyfriend's ADD as a serious threat to it.  My perspective is that whenever I try to raise subjects around our relationship, he becomes immediately angry, blaming, says or writes very hurtful things, and then distances himself from me.  His volatile anger is nearly always said to be my fault, because he finds my behavior to be outrageous and says that he cannot allow himself to be treated that way by me.  Something about our interaction is clearly painful and frightening to him.  He fends off talking about any difficult moments, by saying that it simply isn't worth the effort.

To my memory, I have never been critical of his forgetfulness, or difficulty in managing time or tasks.  I have, however, chased after him when he preferred to be alone, and mentioned that his driving habits and anger sometimes frighten me.  I have also indicated that I do not like being interrupted so often, and that I feel as though he cuts me off before I have a chance to explain myself.  He would probably say that I assume what he is thinking without asking him directly.  And I certainly can be stubborn.  So far, I have not brought up his ADD at all, but after doing my research on this site and others, it is clear to me that ADD is playing a large negative role in our relationship. 

At the moment, we are speaking very little to one another.  What is your advice, dear forum?  Should I let this relationship slip into the past or should I bring up ADD as a major issue working against us (and if so, how do I bring it up?  I am fearful that he will react angrily and dismissively.)  Or, do you have other suggestions to make?

I am at wits end, and open to all your thoughts and suggestions,