Dating a Person with ADHD - Do I Continue?

ADHD Marriage: 

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.

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

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:)