My boyfriend has ADHD. We have been together for several months and he was open about his ADHD from the beginning. I decided to educate myself as much as possible in order to understand him. In general I think we have a very good and loving relationship - he is one of sweetest, gentlest, funniest people i know. He has also always been very open about the painful childhood he had, as well as unhealthy relationships before he met me. The issue now is that I'm discovering these past experiences effect him more than he wants to admit. He refuses to address them, says he is not depressed, even though when he describes symptoms to a doctor the doctor suggests he is depressed. I think his ADHD is interfering with his ability to address other issues. Such as, perhaps, he cannot focus on what the problem really is/lack of interest in pursuing changes in his life.
For example, he complains he is tired all the time, his body "aches", and, even getting up off the couch to take the trash out is too much effort and he has to literally force himself off the couch. he says its not that he lacks motivation, he wants to get off the couch but he is literally just too tired. So i suggest to go see the doctor, maybe something is physically wrong, maybe he is missing something in his diet, etc. And he responds no, the doctor will just tell me I am depressed and I know that I'm not. So I suggest trying another doctor. He responds, ugh, no, this is my 3rd doctor already! I suggest he excercise more - that could help his energy level. He retorts that he gets more exercise than most Americans since he walks to work (his only form of exercise, 2 miles per day, though he only does it "when the weather is nice"). I suggest that his occasional walking to work maybe isn't enough and he shuts down.
It is getting extremely frustrating to talk to him about things. I don't like to cause him any stress, so instead of pushing the issue, I drop it, but I want so badly to talk more about it. But the few times I've tried he gets upset, says he doesn't want to fight (even though I am not arguing with him or wanting to cause a fight at all, just gently talking to him about things, offering suggestions, etc).
We also live 2 hours apart and have talked for a couple months now about him moving to the same city as me (not living together yet though) and getting a new job here (even before I met him he planned to move to my city anyway; most of his friends live here). But weeks have gone by and he hasn't even finished his resume yet. I tell him if he's not ready its ok, but he should tell me if so. He says he wants to move more than anything, its just that the economy is bad and he's worried he won't be able to make the same salary. I suggest that he at least try, that he is worried about a situation that doesn't exist yet, since he hasn't even looked at what jobs are available. then he shuts down and says he doesn't want to be pressured. So, I give up talking about it, but inside I am going crazy. He says one thing but does another.
If I am ever critical of anything he says or does, even if he hurt my feelings unintentially, he immediately just gets defensive. Rather than addressing the issue that my feelings were hurt, he just gives excuses. I tell him I understand that he didn't say or do it with an intent to hurt me, but that I did get my feelings hurt. He has an excuse for everything and I am noticing more and more that he won't actually address any problem. There's always a reason, in his mind, for why he does something, or why he won't do something. He accuses me of starting a fight and I say, no, I am calmly talking to you about my feelings. and he just repeats his excuse and complains no one understands him. Apparently he doesn't see how hard I try to understand him.
i have suggested he try to put his past behind him. He says he has, that he never thinks about it unless someone else brings it up (I guess that means me). I suggest that maybe even if he doesn't think about it, it still can effect him emotionally. I suggest that he move beyond the anger he has towards his parents (and other bad relationships in his life) He retorts "I think after what happened to me I have every right to be angry". So I say, of course, what happened to you was horrible, but the negative emotions are doing nothing helpful for you. Then he gets upset again and says we are fighting and he doesn't understand how he can possibly think positive about what happened to him. So I stop because I can see that he is too frustrated to speak rationally with me.
In my mind we have never had a "fight" - we've had some discussions that ended up getting him upset or shut down, but it was more of an over reaction on his part to my bringing up a senstive subject.
Anyway, I am posting here, becuase first, I/we need help. and I think his reactions, lack of motivation, etc to the above situations have a lot to with his ADHD. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really want our relationship to work and don't want it to get to a breaking point.