I am the non-ADHD male, and my ADHD girlfriend of two plus years has me at wits end.
Our biggest struggles occur regarding her non-socially acceptable behavior. She has interrupted me so many times it would make your head spin, including one time she actually covered my mouth in front of her friends to do so. She also is "bossy", constantly giving advice when none has been asked for. This is especially bad in regard to me parenting my 13 year old son. (We are in our late 40s, and she has tow children in their early 20s.) She also is very critical and will blurt out negative comments regarding almost every subject.
She has been diagnosed ADHD and recently has been put on Concerta. She is scheduled to start some sort of CBT next week. This will be her 2nd attempt at CBT, as the first therapist who claimed to be an expert was a disaster.
Here is the main problem. We are in a horrific cycle and I am now of the belief that she is simply rude and selfish, and its bringing me to anger and breaking my heart at the same time.
Here is why. We are in a pattern where the following happens:
1. She will exhibit the bad social behavior. As an example last night in public she was extermely rude to me and some friends of ours. I was having a conversation with them and she came over, demanding that I drop the conversation to dance with her. I objected an let her know she was interrupting and the request could wait. She pulled me onto the dance floor and told me she didn't give a f*ck about the person I was talking to. She then said why would I value that conversation more than I valued her. Needless to say, our night went downhill from there.
2. I let her know that she had (once again) acted on her ADHD impulses and had rudely interrupted. She then went into what I now call her classic DEFLECT, DEFEND and DENY mode. She denied she had been rude and that it was no big deal. She DEFENDED her actions by saying that we were out and that I should value her more than the other couple I ws speaking with. She then DEFLECTED the attention to my reaction, which candidly was my anger. I've seen enough of this movie. It happens over and over and over and my patience is gone.
3. We had a huge blowup when we got home and it ended with us in different beds. This morning she awoke with remorse, and apologized profusely. At this point the apologies ring hollow. If I had a dollar for every post-fight apology she has given to me, I'd be rich.
4. I let her know, once again, that though I can deal with the ADHD tendency to not control the initial impulse to interrupt, blurt out, etc., I was sick and tired of the fact that she will DEFEND, DEFLECT and DENY after the impulsive action has been pointed out. Unlike the impulsive action, at this point she has had time and feedback that she has stepped over a line. Yet, she continues to dig in with her DEFEND, DEFLECT and DENY strategy. To me, this shows me she has no empathy whatsoever for what she has done. She only apologizes, in my eyes, at the end of an exhaustive argument to get out of "trouble". It may take only a few minutes, or sometimes a week or two, but the pattern above repeats, like a horror movie.
She swears she "loves" me and my son. I no longer believe her words and have told her so. I have let her know that I think she loves the "idea" of me, the benefits of our relationship (lifestyle, attention, etc.) but she cannot understand or connect with the damage she does to me and my son. Even if she does connect the dots, that knowledge is not enough to stop her from curbing her behavior and repeating her behavior over and over.
On my end, I feel like I fell in love with the idea of her. Like many non-ADHD people, I received the hyper-focus of her attention early on. She moved in after 5 months and we have lived together for 2+ years. I thought I was dating a very unselfish person, but my reality is that her actions in so many occasions are selfish and rude that I cannot believe her anymore. To be fair, she does some wonderful things as well, but these actions do not make up for the hurt and damage she inflicts on a daily basis.
In a quiet moment today, I let her know that if she did not live with me and we were just dating, I would no longer be asking her out on dates. I would never let someone embarass and treat me as rudely as she has in public and still ask that person out.
When we started dating, we both said we wanted a person who would be a servant to the other. Maybe this was naive, who knows, but it is what we both said we wanted.
I have let her know her actions are like that of a waiter who does a horrible job. Tell her the steak is burned and she will DENY she had anything to do with it, DEFEND that you do not know what a burned steak is and DEFLECT and say you ordered it that way. She completely refuses to validate that the customer thinks the steak is burned and will fight her poisiton to the bitter end.
Her adult son has ADHD and he cannot keep a job, keep friends, steals what he thinks he deserves, etc. She has "had it" with his behavior and is giving him tough love. Essentially, she is no longer speaking to him until he gets his act together. She can see this rudeness in him, and in a weird way can see it in herself, but its simply not enough to make her stop.
I feel like I am losing it. I so want to believe she will change, but I am losing faith that she has it in her to stop the DEFEND, DEFLECT and DENY cycle. She told me tonight she was very sorry, she loves me and she cannot believe the damage she has caused. I am numb to those words...I have heard them too many times with no changes.
Someone please give me some practical advice. I am on the verge of ending this relationship. It has become a very toxic and sick cycle. I feel stuck as she lives with me and though we are not married, it will still be like a divorce.