First night away from ADHD partner after separation.

Hi guys,

I have posted on here before and vented my frustrations but tonight I'm heart broken. I just separated from my ADHD partner and have moved out. Today was spent moving all my stuff up to my dads house and now here I am alone with my thoughts (I also have ADHD) and feel anxious and unettled.

Brief summary for separation - my partner doesn't take her ADHD seriously enough and has jot been actively doing anything about it or managing it. She doesn't see the impact that it has on me and our relationship. All the things she says she will do and doesn't follow through, the escalation of a series of these types of non happening promises accumulating into much frustration and arguments which I get made to feel like I'm the one that has done something wrong. I'm sick of picking up the slack in our home day to day... Dishes, house work ect although recently it has been better though still well below par.

On Sunday night I took my beloved partner away for a romantic night away somewhere beautiful. An expensive hotel room which has a jacuzzi and sauna in the room! The towels were shaped like swans into a heart on the bed with rose petals and one red rosé for her with a box of chocolates waiting for her when she arrived. She loved it and was crying with happiness. The previous night she stayed out till 4:30am drinking and smoking weed which affected her tiredness the next day. This 'next day' that was suppose to be a wonderful day spend together having Quality time with a capital Q was ruined by my partner and her ADHD running amok. She snapped at me for gently waking her and telling her that breakfast in bed was coming, I cried and was feeling so upset thinking "does she appreciate what I've done for her and all the trouble I've went to? Surely she wouldn't speak to me like that if she did?". 

 

I limped on upset but trying to get out the shock and pain of being treated that way till we left the hotel. She didn't get to fix her hair and spent the next couple of hours looking for a salon to blow dry her hair, distracted and unable to fully focus and participate in our quality time until this was done. Eventually when she did find somewhere a 20 minute blow dry turned into AN HOUR AND A HALF! I waited outside and sauntered about the town like a right fool waiting for her. In the salon she somehow got talked into having a treatment done on her hair as well? I mean what made her think this was okay given the fact I had been considerate enough to sacrifice some of our time to let her get her hair done to make her feel more comfortable about her wet wild undone hair?! 

I was furious and her reaction when she left the salon wasn't of horror and embarrassment at leaving me waiting like a spare part. It was her skipping towards me saying "I'm ready!". Just absolutely mental. The whole day had been spent on her getting her hair done instead of us spending the quality time together that I had hoped for. And also went to a lot of trouble organising, spent a lot of money and drove two and a half hours to get to. I immediately drove us the long journey home.

The disappointment didn't kick in until that night and more so the next day but she doesn't get why in so angry. She says she does but her reactions are not appropriate to the situation and only aggravate me more and make my feelings worse. To the point I've had to leave her and move back into my dads house. There has been a long history of 'events' which have made me feel this way so it's a gradual build up of frustration and her lack of seriousness towards her ADHD and non action taking in learning about how it affects others around her makes the situation intolerable for me. I can't suffer anymore or being made to feel like like I'm overreacting anymore when she escalates the bad feeling by her inability to read and respond appropriately. I just get attitude and defensiveness which aggravates me more.

 

any advice anyone? Thoughts? I have sent her a long email detailing clearly and directly why I'm so annoyed and why I have left so the ball is firmly in her court to respond, though I don't think she will. She's too ego driven and stubborn. It's like a defiant teenager. I'm 31!

any words to help me sleep and stop my own anxiety and racing thoughts. My ADHD makes me very emotionally sensitive and situations turn through my head like torture! Think I'll have to take a diazepam!

Thanks

I'm sorry you are going

I'm sorry you are going through this.  Unfortunately unless your girlfriend is willing to admit that her ADHD symptoms are a problem and try to to manage them things will not change.  Be sure to remember that her symptoms are not personal attacks on you, and aren't a reflection of her feelings for you. It was a really nice get away planned, I'm sorry it didn't work out well. 

I was at an ADHD couples seminar this weekend and they had a quote that resonates, all unhappiness is caused by unfulfilled expectations.  While it was perfectly reasonable for you to expect a great weekend after all your planning, part of why you are so upset is because those high expectations were not met. For those of us who love people with ADHD we learn to amend our expectations to what is reasonable given the condition, and the level of management. Unfortunately after a late night partying she was bound to not meet expectations.

I hope that you find peace. Best wishes.

Making Due

I see you delivering this same message around the forums Shelley, and it is totally valid. I expect for many cases it is an absolute necessity. Nevertheless, when reading something like, "we learn to amend our expectations to what is reasonable given the condition," I cannot help but feel dejected. The dearth of romance there is just painful.

As a non-ADHD spouse, did you not only have to learn to lower expectations, but also learn to drop resentment for having to do that? No one wants to be "handled," and it just makes me sad to think that some degree of this is necessary in an ADHD marriage. Perhaps accepting this without the judgment is part of getting to a healthy place, and the voice inside me screaming objections to this kind of marital calculation is just clinging desperately to a fantasy.

carathrace's picture

amending expectations

I read Shelley's post to my ADHD husband this morning and we agreed that "amending expectations to what is reasonable" is definitely the way to be.  Romance is not relevant to this at all.  It's about having your eyes wide open to what is, and your heart wide open to feel and give compassion and understanding.  I'm aware of my husband's limitations and that doesn't make me love him less.  I don't "handle" him, I respect him.  Jack you make it sound like something it's not. 

I understand what you mean

I understand what you mean here, and yes this is a much better way to be. Even in a non ADD relationship where both people don't have it this ideal is definitely applicable. It's just that, well that can be alright for so long and then when the accumulative effect happens where 4 or 5 things happen in succession over a short period of time that really tries your patience, it's very very difficult. It's hard not to blow up or be frustrated. Where is the line? How much slack can you give before you feel an inch turns into a mile and a piece of string turns into a rope!

I want to be more patient and communicate better with my partner. We have fallen into the 'parent - child' scenario and neither of us wants to be that way. 

Cara, I was taking her point

Cara, I was taking her point and running it through all my worst fears/insecurities. In all honesty I think my gut reaction is to bristle at the idea of having limitations, and if I can get past that first impulse the second one is to make sure they don't hang around for very long. Acceptance of some that will always be there is a longer process I guess.

From other comments you've made it seems like there was a time when you did not respect your husband. Changing that was probably the result of work on both your parts, but I'm curious about what he did. One of the oft-inaccurate impressions you can get reading this forum is that most cases involve much more changing in the perception of the non-ADHD spouse than changes in their partner's behavior. The disparity bothers me.

carathrace's picture

Respect

Truly Jack, there has never been a time when I didn't respect my husband.  What he has done to make me fall in love with him all over again, is that he accepted the diagnosis of ADHD and began learning everything he could about it.  It's even hard for him to read a book from cover to cover, so that impressed me.  And he's very open with me.  We don't do it every evening, but we have been trying to have a check-in time every night to say how things are with ourselves that day.  When I see that he's trying to follow his coping strategies, my respect for him is reinforced.  I'm not saying it's all roses.  We've had some big fights.  But one thing we promised each other when we got married was that no issue was more important than our relationship.  In that sense, ADHD is just an issue.  We work at guarding our words when we get mad, not to say things sarcastically, try to use "I" statements instead of "you" statements, stuff like that.  We were both married before to people with personality disorders, and we are so grateful to have found each other.

Perfection is a Fantasy

Hello Jackrungh. I'm sorry you read negativity into my response. I read your post and I see you hanging onto the shoulds of a relationship. It should be romantic, perfect, expect the best. The problem with shoulds is that they are based on assumptions that don't exist in all relationships. One must act on the reality not false assumptions. It took a long time to really understand that, but it does allow me to truly let go of the resentment and anger to the manifestation of ADHD symptoms. Now I get angriest when dh chooses not to manage his symptoms. So I get frustrated with him not getting to bed until 2am because I know that means I must expect that nothing productive will be accomplished the next day because symptoms will be in control. I'm not upset at the lack of productivity, because its expected. 

In Michael's case romance could be expected. What a wonderful outing he planned. But then the girlfriend stays out all night. Oops, time to change expectations. Her symptoms will clearly be in control. So you can either cancel until she chooses to be on board with the plan, or go knowing that you will have to go with the ADHD flow. Neither have to be bad. Then next time you make sure she's on board before going out with her friends so that you both expect her to be well rested the next day.  Ideally.  Nothing changes unless she is willing to treat the condition of course.

Managing expectations is really about accepting your spouse for the person they are. 

Overstep

Thanks for the clarification, I was thinking along an embellished track, but I didn't perceive your comment as negative. The negativity was my response to it. I'm not shooting for some ideal or perfection, but I think introducing more of those "shoulds" into the activities between a couple is a good way to improve the overall state of the relationship. Getting triggers to step outside myself and take some time/effort to show affection in various ways is one of the things that is driven by the idea of should. More romanticism rather than always romantic.
There seems to be some break-point at which a spouse's sense of being loved is enough to be satisfied. I suppose the shame I feel at not meeting my wife's particular level just multiplies at the thought of "forcing her to lower the bar." I know that is not a fair characterization of what you're talking about, but I have a hard time thinking totally objectively about it. It also seems like a dangerous thing for the ADHD spouse to take seriously, and might serve as a rationalization to slow or stop reaching for the bar.

Michael said something that made my feelings clearer: "You can only lower your expectations so low and falsely reframe/alter your reactions against your true emotions before you feel like you aren't being yourself."
What frightens me is this "so low" point. What saddens me is the change or leave calculation at that point. It is hard to think of this as anything but falsely reframing/altering ones reactions against their true emotions (Even if that is not what is happening).

"Managing expectations is really about accepting your spouse for the person they are."
This is a much more positive way to express the idea. The stress is on my side of things trying to change into the best version of myself so that she doesn't have to do all that much accepting. I understand you can only control yourself, but ethically don't you think the onus is on the ADHD spouse to treat symptoms?

What is the goal

Hello. The idea behind this train of thought is that all unhappiness is the result of unmet expectations. So for the adhd spouse to be happy the expectations should match the most likely outcome of the current set of inputs. The spouse would love to surprised on the upside. Then you get elation vs standard happy instead of happy instead of standard disappointment. Also, changing expectations doesnt always mean lowering them. That is far too negative a view of ADHD. 

I like that you recognize it's your responsibility to treat symptoms. That's absolutely true. And as you begin to do so consistently your wife's expectations can change accordingly. It is also the non ADHD spouses responsibility to communicate what they would like to see improve. One can have expectations allowing for happiness in the daily course and still advocate for, support, and applaud change.  All relationships need to accommodate growth and change. 

Thanks for your reply. I

Thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean... Expectations. Hmmm. That's a difficult one isn't it. We all have a picture perfect idea of what we want our relationship to be, which most of shatters after time in all relationships as we find the perfect balance for us within the context of 'this' relationship rather than a generalization that we try to create prior to entering a relationship.

I know that her symptoms aren't personal attacks on me and the strange thing is that I know whole heartedly that she loves me and wants to make me happy. I think that as I said in another reply here that it just gets so frustrating when I'm inconvenienced or feel frustrated by whatever incident that is usually an extention of other similar themed incidents. You can only lower your expectations so low and falsely reframe/alter your reactions against your true emotions before you feel like you aren't being yourself. Maybe this is my bridge to cross and a learning experience I have to go through to be a more understanding/better balanced human being emotionally. My own ADHD makes me highly sensitive and I can be quite intense at times. This I want to work on. 

How can I help this situation? What can I do to make life easier for her AND for me? How do I get her to see the impact of her ADHD without her reacting angrily and defensively? In this time I have apart for a few days... What can I do to prepare for the reunion meeting with her with productive and useful ways to move forward and work on preventative measures rather than just limping along?

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Take gentle care of yourself

 MichaelADD,

I am so sorry that things worked out the way they did - which was not they way you had hoped and dreamed. 

While you are away, I hope you will allow your wounds the time they need to heal.  Broken hearts do heal, but they take time.

So for now, maybe focus on yourself.  Do something nice for yourself.  It is sad when a person tries to explain their hurt or disappointment or pain - and gets "what about me" heaped on them, rather than the understanding they so desperately want.  

What I have found to be so true here on this forum, is the wisdom that a Non-ADHD spouse cannot do anything to improve the relationship if the ADHD spouse chooses to be alone with their ADHD.  It is somehow safe for them, but sad for us.  

I am at a place where I so want to leave, but I feel so incredibly guilty, as I have set up the pattern of doing it all, keeping the peace, making it all work, and alongside, I have co-dug ourselves into 10s of thousands of dollars of debt.  . . . and now after 20 years of  this enabling behavior,  I want to pull the rug out from under him.  

Peace to you, and take gentle care.

 

Thanks for your reply, I'm

Thanks for your reply, I'm sorry for your situation. Hope it gets better :)

Well I saw her this morning and she was angry at me, understandably. My frustration and disappointment resulted yesterday in me blowing up with rage and taking the action I did. I can't expect her to take too kindly to that or respond positively. After calming down somewhat today and reflecting I feel I overreacted and let my rage dominate my thinking and actions. Not that I'm justifying or playing down what she did on Monday, that was awful. And I was very upset about it. But I know I let myself down by behaving that way and have probably made it more difficult for her to be understanding and empathetic towards me. She probably takes me packing up and leaving to mean that I can just get up and abandon her at any point and that she's expendable. As though it is easy for me to leave her. 

We are having a few days apart to think and then meet up and talk about if we can move forward together and save this relationship. I want to because I love her very much, I just want the relationship to be more balanced out and for her to realize that she has a condition which needs to be treated or it annoys and upsets people around her. I want her to take her ADHD seriously and see how it affects me when it's untreated. I also need to do some introspection into how I act and react. I know my frustration doesn't help and I need to learn better communication methods and to be able to recognise that some things that happen are symptoms and not a personal reflection of her. This is very hard. Even when I know it's not her personally, i still feel frustrated because either I've been inconvenienced as a result of whatever or I don't have my expectations met. Tough one.

 

 

take care of yourself!

Hi there,

I have your brand of ADHD- very sensitive and empathetic- but sometimes disappointed when my expectations are not met... and sometimes can get enraged... Highs and lows and super intense. It exhausts me... Ugh. But much better for me with medication and CBT...

 I think your partner's behavior was brutal... She should not have acted that way. Did you tell her beforehand how you were envisioning the weekend? Because that helps.

As for your reaction- driving immediately home and then moving out- yeah- it was pretty extreme if you intend to stay in the relationship. I think taking off in the heat of anger is a very impulsive response (one of your symptoms)... and it probably made her feel terrible and also angry at you... and perplexed... because she wasn't looking at your list of her behaviours that led up to this...

If you really love her and want to try to work it out- I would start with an apology for your reaction. And then let her know that it was actually not anger so much as sadness, hurt and disappointment. Let her know what your expectations were and how you wanted her time and attention. Tell her that you should have stayed to talk it out but that you were too upset for that to be productive.

Once that goes over (if it does), then indicate that it wasn't the act of getting her hair done that pissed you off. It was the accumulation of a bunch of behaviours that have made you feel uncared for and unappreciated... in general the feeling like you are the one shouldering the majority of the labour in the relationship- both emotionally and in the house... Say this gently and not during a battle... Maybe you guys can have a really open and vulnerable conversation. If you start getting mad- take a break. 

Those are my suggestions... Hang in there buddy! This is not easy!

As for calming your anxiety and stopping ruminating on this... write a long letter- that you don't send- to get your thoughts clear... take a long hard run... go for a drink with an old friend that makes you laugh and enjoys your company... Those are all my tricks (except I don't drink)...

 

Wow... Your reply has really

Wow... Your reply has really helped make me think a lot about my own ADHD's impact on my relationship. Thank you.

 I deeply regret the way I reacted yesterday and wish I could go back and deal with it differently. My enraged state left me unable to think coherently and see nothing more than my own hurt and disappointment. She sent me a nice message before i blew up and overreacted to which I didn't take in the right spirit and i ended up looking for even more reasons to be offended. I wish I wasn't like that and didn't react so maniac like. She was very angry this morning... To the point that when I was crying she couldn't give me a hug and told me to get out. She did however send me a nice message after I left:

"I'm sorry you're so upset, I really am. You're words and actions yesterday have hurt me more than you'll know, which is probably why you didn't get the reaction you wanted from me this morning. I do love you, as I said more than anything and unconditionally. In my book you crossed a line yesterday and I've taken it really badly and I think my emotions are too extreme to talk properly just now, I think we're both consumed with upset and hurt, major anger on my part as well, so I think it's best to talk properly in a few days when we've both calmed down and thought about exactly what we want from our relationship, if we still want this relationship. Xxx"

This is really hopeful and I intend to express my regret and sorrow at my actions when I see her. I replied saying I was sorry for how I acted and that I love her and will give her space to think until she's ready to talk. In the meantime as a highly sensitive person I'm in bits waiting it out. I'm not going to contact her till she's ready, as difficult as it is. I also know I need to stand my ground on Mondays events which led up to this and also the fact that we can't move forward unless she really takes her ADHD seriously and takes steps to learn about it and manage it. I want to do this with her as I need to re-educate myself on it and deal with my ADHD issues.

I am actually starting CBT tomorrow! How did it help you? I also started taking Concerta XL this week which has lifted my brain fog which has plagued me for months. 

Again thank you for your reply, I'm definitely taking on board a lot of what you said.

Thanks

CBT is the best!

Hi there,

Good to hear that you found my response helpful... and I am glad that your partner is waiting to cool off before talking.

I am on concerta (54 mg) and ritalin (10 mg in the morning and 10 mg before dinner)... I also go to therapy weekly and exercise every day that I can (very good for ADHD people in particular). Cognitive behavioural therapy is basically examining the way you think. Your therapist will help you to realize where your thinking is faulty and help you stop certain bad thought patterns.

For Example- up top when you describe your girlfriend going in to get her hair done and you walking around the town like a fool and then your girlfriend coming out and not being apologetic and instead smiling happily at you... and how that made you angry...

Your therapist might dissect that whole situation... question you about why you would feel like a fool. Why couldn't you enjoy a nice stroll around, get a coffee and a paper and enjoy a few minutes to yourself? Were you really a fool? Weren't you just a nice guy who was pampering his sweetheart? When she came out smiling, wasn't it because she was still feeling all warm and affectionate towards you because you had surprised her with such a lovely weekend trip?  Maybe she did a more elaborate hair appointment to look pretty for you. Maybe she was was smiling because she was happy to see you, happy to be with you and happy for you to see the reaction to her hair. Maybe if you hadn't immediately been furious, the next words out of her mouth would be, "I'm sorry that took so long! the girl said 40 minutes and I thought I would surprise you..." Her taking an hour and 20 minutes in the salon- did that really ruin the weekend? Aren't there 14 or so waking hours in the day? 

It's basically examining situations where you look for the worst or assume the worst (in yourself and/or others) and getting you to see where it's faulty logic or over emotional or too strong of a conclusion...  I find it VERY helpful and it's gotten me into the habit of reviewing my chain of thoughts before impulsively blurting out something or taking some rash action... of course it doesn't always work- but it helps a lot and the medication helps. My communication has gotten a lot calmer. I used to get so mad so quickly... now I am much calmer. I also can now sense when I just have that irritable, picky mood going on where I just need to stay away from people until I am feeling better. I will actually say to my husband, "I feel that awful dark feeling. It's not personal. I'm really grumpy and sad today, so maybe just stay away from me because I don't want you to take it personally and I don\t want to blame you for it- because it is not you. It's me and it's all internal and I know it will pass in an hour or a day- but I am spilling over... sorry...". And usually he gives me a warm hug and then leaves me alone and that works better for everyone. 

Anyway- I am tempted to write a lot more- but let me just leave off by saying- good luck. It sounds like you two both really love each other. Try to be patient with each other. Unravelling ADHD symptoms and coping skills after an adult-diagnosis is really painful and not a snap overnight thing... Even if you both have it- your symptoms will be totally different and your challenges will be too... so don't assume you know what she is dealing with or that she understands what you are going through...  If you get back together- you will likely have to promise her that you will never leave her again (unless it is truly over). And then you have to hold to it. If you are furious- go for a long walk or something. Leaving like that does damage trust... but it sounds like you understand that.

Hang in there and don't be too hard on yourself. You heart is in the right place and your concerns were legitimate- but your reaction was just too big... A common ADHD issue... The more you work on it- the better it will get.

I haven't said anything about how to deal with her behaviour because I don't know enough about it and enough about what you've already discussed with her. If it is a big issue for you- you shouldn't just drop it- but maybe you shouldn't make that a main focus of your first conversation other than to explain your train of thoughts... otherwise it might look like you are minimizing, rationalizing or deflecting blame... The immediate issue is whether she will forgive you for leaving her and moving out. You created that issue. If you hadn't acted so quickly- that wouldn't have to be the first issue- but it is. The secondary issue (if she can forgive that) is whether she would be willing to work on her symptoms as you work on yours and what you need to see in that regard to want to stay in the relationship. 

GOOD LUCK! 

 

Again thank you for your

Again thank you for your thoughtful, insightful reply.

Everything you said completely resonated with me. I woke up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts and anxiety and couldn't get back to sleep. I took on board what you said and apprehensively sent her this text message:

"I'm missing you so so much right now :( xxx I'm trying hard not to send this text because i want to give you space and maybe this breaks that sentiment, but I'm in a complete world of pain right now thinking I've given you the completely wrong impression of how i feel about you because of my ridiculously stupid actions. I want you to know I wish I could go back to Wednesday and not have completely over reacted the way I did. You must have felt terrible, hurt and shocked that I could just leave you like that so easily and just abandoning you. I'm truly sorry. You're trust in me has probably taken a knock and I feel terrible for that as though you can't trust me to be there throughout anything. I never want to be apart from you Elaine, Never ever. No issue is bigger than our relationship and we can always work through it because our love for each other is too stronger than that. I reacted out of hurt, sadness and disappointment and wasn't thinking straight. I need you to know that I promise you I will NEVER leave you like that again. It was completely childish and so unfair of me and I can't sleep tossing and turning thinking about this situation between us, how i reacted and how angry you were yesterday. You have every right to be angry after the way I acted. I'm embarrassed at my behaviour on Wednesday. I want to be in this relationship with you and make it work. I love you completely and unconditionally. When I first met you, you totally sweeped the carpet from underneath my feet and rocked my world. I couldn't keep away from you. Guess what... I feel the exact same way about you now. As hard as I'm trying not to... I just want to be near you. Hope you're okay darling and that you know my true feelings for you. I'm not expecting you to reply. Just let me know when you're ready to talk Xxx"

Do you think this was okay and I haven't overstepped the 'space' boundary? I am so sensitive that I worry, get anxious and feel all over the place so much and i just want things to be okay. I hope I have done something positive... 

Thanks

that was nice!

I think that was a very nice message. I don't think there is any harm in letting her know how you feel and being strong in your words... She can read it or not- but she isn't forced to deal with things before she is ready. However, don't bombard her with more messages. Let her make the next move- unless you don't hear from her for 3 or 4 days...  she needs to know you are capable of turning down the intensity and respecting her wishes... 

I know how hard this must be. Try your best to be active and fill your time over the next few days and just focus on yourself. Deep breaths. This will be okay. 

Hang in there- and good luck with the CBT! Keep me posted!

:)

 

Yeah, I felt that it was

Yeah, I felt that it was important for me to make sure she knew my true feelings for her and not the false impression I've given from my rash, childish attention seeking actions on Wednesday. It was like an eye for an eye, except, she wounded me and in retaliation I chopped her arm off. I had to take responsibility and let her know I was thinking about her feelings as a way of softening her anger towards me.

She has replied to me, positively, and suggested we talk on Sunday or Monday night. I said provisionally Monday in case she needed more time and also not to seem too needy. My problem is I find it painfully difficult to 'wait it out' because of anxiety and racing thoughts. I wish I was stronger emotionally to be able to step back and be able to focus on myself but its difficult. I'm hoping in these few days that I can find some way of focusing on how to become better at that. Lowering my intense nature at times. Getting in touch with me and being comfortable being me again without fear of this not working out. I can't sleep without taking a diazepam and even with that I wake up like a lightning strike at like 5am thinking and panicking. Tossing and turning :(

Is there any strategies to help me with this? To stop the racing thoughts turning in my head and the twisting stomach dread feeling? 

I feel so drained physically and emotionally.

Thanks

Michael

Michael.  I must disagree with where this thread is heading.  I have done what you are doing.  Forgiving and forgetting, forgiving and supporting, forgiving and understanding, forgiving and ENABLING.  I have forgiven (stomached) so much.....over the years....this is what happens if you expect to keep this up...taking the onus of your feelings on to yourself and not holding her accountable for her inconsiderateness in the face of your "DOING FOR HER".  My dh does not know he is doing something amiss to me unless I LET HIM KNOW IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that what he did was rude/inconsiderate/thoughtless.  He assumed that if I was not IN HIS FACE that what he did was perfectly fine.  If I mentioned casually or pointed out something he did that was inappropriate, he took that as permission to do it again since I did not give him any consequences that caused HIM any pain. Move ahead a lifetime of rude/inconsiderate/thoughtless decades and ALL my forgiving, supportive ways have been erased in his head and he is not only innocent of being thoughtless but he thinks he is a great guy, always giving and free of worry (since I am the one who takes care of everything).  Even when I DID get IN HIS FACE about something he did or didnt do, he would forget it completely.  Our LIFE has been one great big, "If I can get away with it, I didn't do it, tra, la, la." from him.  Now he is perfectly fine with the way things have gone...he forgets my words as soon as he walks away.  My STOMACH and my self respect are the only things that have suffered.  Does this sound like a loving happy way to live FOR YOU?  She will be fine as you more and more often stuff this sort of ignoring YOU and YOUR needs and feelings.  I worry about YOU.  I thought I was being loving to him by not fighting.  I was not being loving to ME by letting these millions of small hurtful things so by.  I SHOULD have fought and opened my eyes to the fact that he was USING me to take care of him while he went his merry way doing what he felt like it, the way he wanted to do it, at his own speed, in his own time, whether things got done or not....no consideration on his part that we were a TEAM/PARTNERSHIP/MARRIED.  He just did his thing.  Your girl is getting away with doing her own thing at the expense of your self respect.    We had these instances too when I would feel ashamed of "losing it" and then need to try to reconcile.  All those times, were useless...he just was not paying attention to anything I did, or said or needed. Tra, la, la....skipping merrily away from responsibilities. Your first instinct was right.  Listen to your guts.

Do not give your life away to someone who does not care for you.

Jenna- I understand your

Jenna-

I understand your opinions are colored by your own experiences (as are mine and everyone elses), but I don't think the advice given to Michael has to be stridently on one side.

I agree he shouldn't be too hard on himself and I agree that his girlfriend's behaviour is awful and should be addressed... BUT and here is the BUT...

He also has ADHD. The way that he behaved was totally inappropriate and extreme. Yeah- he had a right to be pissed off. But moving out was totally crushing. He used a sledgehammer when he should have used a pin. This is typical of people for ADHD- the reaction itself is appropriate- but the size of the reaction is not. My comments to him addressed his symptoms. But at no point did I say he should never address her symptoms and his desire that she work on better managing them. 

When things are back on better footing (as he claims he wants them to be), then he can address her issues and the problems he has with her behaviour. But if he goes in to the conversation on Monday with guns blazing about her being messy and not listening and him wanting her to address her symptoms in the face of his tantrum- she is not going to hear any of that stuff. It's going to sound like an excuse for his bad behaviour. And frankly- there is no excuse for that kind of behaviour. He can choose to leave her- but if he chooses to stay- he can't be moving out when they have a big fight.

 I do think he deserves better from her- but there is a crisis at the moment that he is the author of.

As a final note- don't assume he is giving his life away to someone who doesn't care about him. Did you read her message to him? I bet she loves him deeply. Don't juxtapose your situation onto his. That is not helpful.

 

 

 

 

Smiling again, is there a

Smiling again, is there a chat box or email address I can send you a private message? Thanks

Not sure...

I don't know whether there is a private message function... My instinct is to throw out my email address.. But I don't think that's. great idea on a public forum like this...

maybe someone else can chime in about whether there s a private message function...?

 

This forum software doesn't

This forum software doesn't seem to have much in the way of a UserCP a la phpBB, but if you look at your profile, the edit tab has this:

Contact settings
Personal contact form
Allow other users to contact you by e-mail via your personal contact form. Note that while your e-mail address is not made public to other members of the community, privileged users such as site administrators are able to contact you even if you choose not to enable this feature.

 

Done!

Thanks!

 

Hey there,I sent you a

Hey there,

I sent you a private message. Don't know how it works if you get alerts like you do posts... Thanks! :)

I wanted to ask about preventative measures. Particular conversationally and for myself when I am feeling frustrated, in my own ADHD world I get overcome with emotion and my brain/thought process is too slow to catch up with rational usually until after I've went into melt down. Hence the situation I'm in now :( 

 

i have to become better at this and also not be so needy and like I can't seem to get on without worrying about what's going to happen. It's so difficult having 'no contact' till Monday though I'm iron clad on keeping to that as I know I can be intense. That was why when she suggested Sunday or Monday for meeting I said Monday to give her more time and so I don't seem needy. The anxiety I feel is awful and I couldn't sleep last night again :( 

 

man I feel such doom today and even more wrecked with shame and guilt for my total stupidity. I know she has responded positively to me, better than I could EVER dream for, but why do I worry so? Why do I worry that when she is out with her single friends tonight that she might be tempted by interested guys even though I know she loves me. This experience has showed me how insecure I am and I don't want to be that way. I just feel so vulnerable and scared right now :(

hi! sorry about that!

I'm not able to be on here very much on the weekend. It's family time. I have a 4 year old son and a baby girl... :)

I did get your message and I have meant to respond- but I haven't had the time to give it a proper response yet... 

I'll reply there now- my husband has taken my son to get a haircut and my daughter is napping...

Hang in there!

 

Anxiety over possibilities

Hello. I'm sorry you are struggling so right now. When my DH was having severe family problems he also had a really hard time setting it aside, sleeping, or functioning. I think  the ADHD brain has an even harder time compartmentalizing. This can be very problematic. Meditation can help. Exercise is highly recommended. You need to get some sleep before you see her. Sleep is one of the all time best preventative measures.  Some people recommend imagining the worst possible outcome. This my husband does sometimes. If you can handle the worst then the reality will be bearable. You might set a timer to make sure you have an end time to the exercise. And don't do it right before bed.  Good luck.

^^

I was going to echo jenna in saying that you should be on your guard against absorbing too much of the blame for this conflict. I think it probably would have been better not to text her, and not to swing so far into regret and self-deprecation. In passionate phases of relationships I have felt the rush you will be feeling. That first reconciliatory embrace, the wash of emotions, the makeup sex, sunshine and bunnies and rainbows as far as the eye can see, and how ridiculous that trivial grievance is in the face of such wondrous joy. We ADHD people get off on those moments of crescendo. In these situations it is very easy to let bygones be bygone, and just sink into the bliss of reunion. Don't do that. Perhaps you could have handled it better, but the tone of this split is now decidedly with you as the party of greater fault. She will go with this image unless you stand firm about the things that led you to blow up. My wife has had to smack me in the head to get me to come to reality, and left untreated I expect she will require the same thing. Treatment will hopefully (for both your partner and I) mean less smacks necessary, and more independent connections with reality.