I have been reading this website on and off for 3 years now. I have read Melissa's and Ned's books and own many more related to understanding ADHD and own every self help relationship book under the sun. I am 35 and have been with my bf (who has ADD) who is 34 for 3 1/2 years now. He was diagnosed as a child and has been on meds for years on and off. He gets his adderal from his family physician.
I met him at work while going through a divorce. I fell in love with him bc he made me laugh like no other and felt he "got me". He was a wonderful listener and seemed to be as affectionate as a person as I was. My divorce was to a man that put work above our marriage and refused to get therapy with me until I left him. My ex got his life together and faced his own demons, but it wasn't until I met my bf that I realized how much I had settled for...I loved my ex but chemistry was not a big part of being attracted to him. It was his intelligence. I loved that my bf did not care to be in the spotlight all the time, like my ex, and I finally felt like I was in a relationship built on equality. My parents were married until my mother passed from cancer, and I have always wanted a relationship where I could rely on a husband like my mother could rely on my dad and vice versa.
6 months into my journey with my bf and getting over my divorce, my bf lost his job. I was sad for him but where we worked my sister husbands also had lost his job and rebounded so I thought my bf would do the same. It was a blow to his ego. That is where I feel this spiral took place.. He is very intelligent as most men with ADHD I have met and extremely witty and creative. A curve ball was thrown when I lost my job about 4 months after he did. I have had many back surgeries and had barely survived the first surgery before he knew me. My position was absorbed and so we both were unemployed. At the time I was not looking for a serious relationship, although he had already told me he loved me. We spent our days together having fun playing scrabble games. After the "honeymoon" phase of not working and having fun, I became serious looking for work again and expected he would as well. We already had talked about the future by now and after a year of living with other roommates we choose to move in together. I was ready and it seemed to be perfect timing with his roommate moving in with his own gf.
When we moved in together I found myself being the only one to unpack while he played video games for days and tried nicely to ask for help and would get the pat answer he seems to give now “of course, no need to ask" but he never would follow through. In turn of wanting to have a nice home ,I re-injured my back. It was awful and I could not move. I did not have insurance and it was a very long journey. I ended up finding out I had screws penetrating through veins and arteries in my back and was sent to a top of the line hospital hours away to have my hardware removed from a lumbar fusion years ago and stints put in my body so I did not bleed to death. My bf had to take some responsibility and drive me back and forth to appts hours away and take care of me. We also had a puppy and he had to take care of him as well. There were days on his meds that he was great and other days he was belligerent yelling and being sarcastic trying to make me feel terrible for all the responsibility he had taken upon himself. When I finally started to get better I would clean and cook between each new injection, or burning of nerves in my back to get better. I was determined to get better bc I wanted to have children someday and i could not live with this pain forever.
Unfortunately with the stress of this newfound responsibility, he stopped being affectionate and was just stressed at all times. He would take his adderall and be up for days bc he cannot sleep when taking his meds, and then sleep for days. He is moody and if I try to express my frustration of feeling alone, he will say “well I will just shut-up and than I will never upset you". When I ask if he will try and work on helping us to communicate more effectively he will sometimes try based on if he had taken his meds that day. The days he does not if I even start with a question or just to tell him we have to pay bills he will yell at me to stop! And will refuse to talk about anything for days.
His self-esteem is very low, he gained weight and has not spoken to his friends in years. He even avoids going home now to see his parents just two hours away bc he does not want to face them asking questions about his job hunting. They are well off and pay for all his bills, rent, car payment and health insurance. I do not have that luxury and had to get a temp job that ended up becoming my full time job and now i have been working for over a year. He has not worked in over 3 years and rarely applies for jobs. I have created new resumes and cover letters, grasping at straws to save what we once had I will apply for him myself. I speak with his mother all the time and is so worried about him. I am his first real relationship. I love him so much, but realize I hold onto when we met...I am sorry if this is long but for 3 years I had read and kept hope things would get better and they have only worsened.
I have tried to do all the suggestions Melissa and Ned suggest, I try not to nag and only ask once. It will take him weeks to take out the trash and if I ask more than once gets very angry and tells me I am so annoying. When he takes his meds he is the same man I fell in love with for a short while, but the same cycle of coming down off his meds makes him cranky and feels everything i say and do annoys him. Also even on his meds I think he takes too much because he will hyperfocus of video games, the internet, tv, his music or anything that is distracting for hours and hours on end. I feel invisible and he does not understand how on his meds how I could feel alone. I am not a confrontational person, but will defend myself if I feel he is being mean or saying stuff that is untrue. Over time it has become worse and worse and I think bc he is scared and sees his own inability to take control of his life that he lashes out at me and tries to make it seem all is my fault. I have no problem apologizing when i make a mistake and always want to please. What I have realized though, is I have slowly over time put up with behaviors that are unacceptable. The dysfunction which includes name-calling, telling me the shut the f up, stone-walling when I try to engage in a serious conversation makes me cry and makes it worse. He will apologize very rarely and promise not to say mean things again, but in the heat of the moment he always goes back to lashing out. I am blown away that this is the same man I met who wanted to hug me at all times and adored me to no end, and that is why it is so hard to let go....
I started seeing a therapist a few years ago bc i was so depressed and did not want to talk to my friends about our problems. I did not want them to judge him. My bf agreed to go to a therapy session with me and it went great, but he was on his meds and was very impressive. I had to go on antidepressants for the first time in my life. He was on the ball with his meds with the therapist but sadly he ended up turning anything my therapist said about my nature as a tool to help us as a way to try and put me down and hurt me and then I did not feel I could trust him anymore.
His big thing now is he spends all his time listening to podcast he downloads and playing video games. I try to make sure I bond with him bc I realize it is important to show my support for his interests, but it seems that he has no interest anymore in sharing my own. I try to do my own things I love on my own time, but that is not what i want in life. I want a family where we can have children, make breakfast, watch cartoons, laugh and have friends over to barbeque and feel we have a share household. I pushed marriage a while back but have not done so anymore...I am not sure I want to go down this road. With my health I may have to adopt and it is a long process and we are nowhere near emotionally, mentally or financially in a spot to and the clock is ticking. I am very frightened.
With my physical issues i cannot support us and the bigger issue for me is I do not feel respected or listened to. The five languages of apology and love are books we read together occasionally when I can get him to, and to me are fantastic, but he does not follow through. Any talk of anything involving job hunting, money, a future or of any serious nature immediately pushes him away and he things that is all we do. I will not bring anything up for months to give him space but I am sure he can tell how sad i feel and maybe he feels overwhelmed...I do not know anymore i am so confused. His mother feels I should leave him and feels he does not realize what he has and will not until he is forced to grow up. He will hang up the phone now on his mother just as he does with me and I feel I have let these disrespectful behaviors have gone on for far too long. My sister just had a baby girl with a hard working husband that realizing bills must be paid and takes pride in fixing up their new home and would do anything to make her happy. Seeing all this these past months have been pushing to me to the brink of my threshold. He refuses to see a therapist, he gets his adderall from his physician and I know comorbidity goes hand in had with ADHD. He has terrible anxiety and depression, which needs to be addressed.
I try very hard to step back and let him fix his own issues and be his supportive gf but I am not happy. He never initiates sex or cuddling. I have to ask him to come cuddle or sit next to me on the couch and when he does he acts annoyed so it is not worth it to me. We watch what he wants to watch and I feel like I cannot be truthful with my needs for when I do his turns it into me being the problem. I try to listen to his reasoning but we end up fighting over mean and deplorable words he says trying to hurt me and get off track. I feel so lost and at the same time hate myself for still loving him bc i know the man he once was and would give anything to get that back, but do not know anymore it that is possible. I am a very optimistic person that dealt with my mother having psychological issues and feel I should be able to support him and should and feel and immense amount of guilt when I feel like giving up and dream of the day a man will want to provide for us and not everything is split down the middle, but in theory I am the one that pays for all our groceries and "fun" even with my frugality.
I feel if i left he would finally realizing how sweet and generous of a woman he has that always tells him how much I love and appreciate anything he does that I notice that when he actually tries. I am not perfect by any means but do feel I am grounded and just want an equal partnership and recently feel like it is never going to happen. If he does not like what I am saying he will just leave for hours to drive and bury himself in his comedic podcasts to get away and he falls asleep on the couch and we never sleep together. My name I chose 3 years ago was Crossroads, but now feel it should be Witsend. I am 35 and want children and we discussed over year a half ago getting married planning on a week from now, and my own Grandmother gave him her ring to give to me. As my bf's mother said, he has had all the tools to become successful with all the support anyone could dream of and his has to grow up. I do not have the funds to move out but am thinking of asking my sister to help...I hate to break up our family but without him taking ownership of how much our relationship has deteriorated I do not see how we could ever make it anymore. I stuff down all the horrendous things he will say to me taking my past I share and twist it to try and hurt me as to keep from dealing with is own short falls, but I am very happy and content at 35 at who I have become, I just do not understand how I could walk away from my ex and ensure a divorce yet with my bf even with all the bs and knowing it will still be a challenging in the future that I still love him immensely kills me. I cannot help, it has to be himself and I do not feel anymore he can help himself. I think he is over his head.
Sorry for the long email, it was 3 years in the making and wish I could just revel and rejoice in all the reasons why ADHD is a blessing and not a burden, and it can be, but it is only up to the person with ADHD to take control and they have to have a loving significant other that is willing to listen to their feelings and try to accommodate their needs and be reciprocated in each direction. Any advice is appreciated from married, divorced, ADD, etc. I am so sad and tired of sleeping alone and never cuddling or feeling wanted and I am beautiful vibrant woman inside and out. I have never had a problem attracting men, but what matters most to me is a man that is willing to listen and also work on us, not separate. Humor helps immensely but without admittance that this cycle has gone on for far too long and refusal to change feels like a slap in the face that i am not worth it enough for him to take charge and save what we have left together.
Thanks guys and my heart goes out to everyone on this website. Neither party (adhd nor adhd) is perfect but it is the devotion to wanting to protect the sacred bond we build and once had, and to me I have always felt we should treat our partners like the day we just met them, giving them respect, honesty and love and best of all romance.
I would appreciate any advice on how to get him to get a new evaluation. He has promised me so many times when he is at his own breaking point but then retracts. I have researched and found 2 excellent therapists that can help him that are very seasoned in working with adults with ADD. I recently wrote him a letter telling him how unhappy I am and need change and if not I think it is best he goes home for a while or I move into the old condo my sister has for a bit. This was weeks ago and he said he wanted to write me back but has not. I feel like I am not holding to my word and in desperation hope he will want to get better but I do not know….As a lot of people on here I am so lost and sad. I love him so much and I am not the kind of person that gives ultimatums, in fact I hate that, but I feel with him that is the only way he will get help.
Any thoughts I would greatly appreciate. Thanks for listening.