Having trouble moving on

Hi, I am so appreciative of everyone's comments and insight here, have been reading through many posts. I think it may be the only thing to prevent me from feeling more used than I already do right now. But must say that it is the last place I thought would find myself after a 3 month relationship. (with a man having ADD).

I'll try to condense everything...
Basically what I didn't know at the time, and know now from these websites, is the existence of hyperfocusing. I met someone with whom I had never felt such a mental, emotional, and physical connection with, and this man said he felt the same about me. We couldn't believe how lucky we were to have found each other. For both of us it had been over a year since moving on from long-term unhealthy relationships, so the timing seemed perfect. It's not usual for me to get this close to someone so quickly...opening up to him about things some people I've known for years still don't know. We kept saying how great it was we could talk to each other about anything. Have so many common interests & despite how much he's hurt me, I see a good person there.

Although saying he felt he would fall in love with me, I'm the one who ended up falling for him. Just in time for the hyperfocusing to end when his career became too stressful two months into it. Whereas we'd spend days together and I used to get numerous "I miss you's," days would now go by without hearing a word from him. I had become the initiator of all contact. Was so confused, not having fully understood his disorder. I thought he was being a big jerk but guess now I realize he wasn't aware of how much he was leading me on at first (even asked me to not see anyone else). Well at least it makes me feel better to think he wasn't aware of it.

A month ago I asked what was happening, and he asked for space to get his life together, saying it was best for "us." Then he resumed contact a couple days later like nothing was said. I was an emotional mess by then, and didn't understand how he could feel fine. So I brought up my confusion again, and he was very apologetic for hurting me, saying he greatly cares, but then went back to asking for space. Also said he'd like to contact me again to see how our lives are going (not sure what that really means). Well, hearing this, how can I let go of someone I've fallen for, knowing he might enter my life again.

Here's what I am wondering....when the hyperfocus stage is over, do you think it's how feelings are expressed that changes, rather than them disappearing? In any other relationship, I would have said bye and moved on, thinking it's obvious the man's uninterested. But I've never been this confused about a person in my life. I don't know if he's pushing me away as a defense mechanism now that he's aware I'm hurt, cares enough to protect me from a hurtful relationship, or simply isn't thinking about me at all anymore.

Now it's been one month since last seeing each other (only have had a couple of digital communications during this time). I've asked to see him (via email of course), but he's not responding. It's so difficult because I haven't fallen for someone like this ever in my adult life. (I'm in my 30's, him his 40's). I should've known better than to believe the beautiful things he said so quickly, but it felt real. I was saying things too and meant them. I don't fully understand how he can let this go after saying he's never had such a connection with a woman. I don't know what to think. A few months isn't a long time, but we spent so many days & hours together, it feels much longer.

By the way, he is taking meds and sees doctors (for both ADD and Social Anxiety Disorder). Just thought would mention that, because in this situation the problem isn't that he's undiagnosed or ignoring treatment. Which again makes me wonder if this is the best he would ever treat me. In addition to the sadness, I can't help but feel anger that we were so close and intimate, and now I feel like am harassing by asking him to see me for a couple of hours. Doesn't feel right. He said to do what's best for my own interests, yet I feel sick seeing other men. Am trying, and end up thinking about him throughout the dates. This feels so unfinished. I'm fighting the urge to call, or write a letter, don't know what to do. Am not sure if the "No Call" thing applies when ADD is in the picture. I am not into playing games and just truly want to have interaction with him. One of my close family members has a mental illness, and it's not my nature to walk away from someone I care for.

Thanks for reading...I know there's no magic solution, just need to vent to people who understand ADD more than I do. My friends and family don't understand how heartbroken I feel.





Non-ADDspouse's picture

Dear having trouble

I read your story here, and I feel I have to reply. I am married to a man with ADD, and let me tell you, it has been a struggle. I too experienced the behavior of non interest after the honeymoon is over"if you know what I mean" I have never stopped feeling the abandonment in 20+ years. It's horrifying to think that I've spent so much time in this state of..maybe I can help him, make him see me, love me, notice I'm alive. It's a crushing and painfull situation, because now I have a daughter with him, every year I wanted to leave, I would say to myself..well maybe things will be better this year....heartbroken and torn up like a wounded souldier...I carry on, just so I won't break the heart of my girl and other relationships that I've hidden my nightmare from.

Don't give away your life to someone who can't return the beautiful gestuer of love and devotion back in equal. After all, there is only so much time you have on this precious earth, make it count.

Thanks so much for your replies

Dear Non-ADDspouse, what you wrote made me cry. And it breaks my heart to think you are feeling this year after year. If I'm this sad after 4 months, just don't know if I could handle what you're going through. It makes sense to think someone's behavior will change when they see how much pain you're in, I mean if a person is stayed with long enough, you would think... This is something am trying to let sink in, that the meds might never change how he communicates (especially since he's already taking them).

And like you say kippei, it doesn't make sense for a person to say they care and then let someone go. It's what I've been struggling with, the mixed messages are unbelievable. Only days before asking for space, he mentioned not wanting to move across the country for his career because of "loving me." Makes me wonder if he remembers half the things he said. Thanks for your explanation of how you move on from things of disinterest, not that it makes me feel good, but really helps understand. Last month he said he has to work on alot of underlying issues, I just didn't think that would mean disposing of me in the process. And you're correct in placing the question mark next to "boyfriend," because I also had to do that. Said he wasn't interested in casual dating, but after this behavior it feels like I was nothing more than a fling. His actions & words don't match. Sure, it could be the social anxiety & ADD preventing him from confrontation, but how could I know.

Somehow I have to let go of the beautiful time we had together because it's what I've been fixated on, hoping it could one day get back to that. I miss him. So much my chest feels heavy. Being logical about it doesn't make it hurt less unfortunately... a friend is doing an intervention of sorts to try to prevent me from calling him...the twisted part is I feel a need to hear the disinterest in his voice for it to hit me. I'm reading this and it sounds ridiculous. As if the asking for space wasn't enough. 

Don't beat yourself up about

Don't beat yourself up about this...ANY break up is hard, but I can see where one that follows hyperfocus could be even harder.

Words and actions not matching are very common...and it is part of the ADHD. I am not sure why..whether they believe what they're saying when they're saying it because they feel it at the time or whether it is part of a need to just please the people they are sitting right in front of, I honestly don't know. My husband's miss matched actions and words were usually empty promises not to repeat a bad behavior...emphasis on empty because often it was just an attempt to say and do all the right things at the very moment to avoid any uncomfortable feelings or confrontation and then later nothing he said seemed to matter. There is also an aspect of them really wanting to do better, but not being able to resist the impulse to repeat the bad behavior because of the need for instant gratification. (in my marriage it was going out drinking with friends).

I hope you are able to resist the urge to contact him...many times what ISN'T said in these situations is really where our answers lie. The hard part is accepting that what IS said isn't necessarily the reality. You deserve better.

You definitely should NOT

You definitely should NOT have "known better". Of course you should fall head over heels in love.

I must say though that this story is to me a little off. I am diagnosed with ADD but am a woman. I have also behaved the way that your boyfriend(?) is behaving and I don't know if I would really blame my old behavior on the hyper focusing phenomenon. Basically it's like this, an ADD/ADHD person really gets into whatever they are interested in, in other words, it's very easy to tell when we are not interested in something. I have gotten really into a person, then it's all lovey-dovey, future talk, completely absorbing this new person in my life. But once the person isn't new anymore and I haven't fallen in love I get bored and move onto something else. But I never felt or had the thought "God he's boring" enter my mind, I just ended up not responding to messages, days going by without me even thinking about calling etc. I feel so guilty and bad for these men that have had to experience this kind of treatment, it was pure neglect from the person that they were so in love with (me).

I'm not saying that this is the truth about the man you have met but still think it shouldn't have been left unsaid as I reckon a "He's just not that into you" relationship is a lot more obvious when the other person has this diagnosis. If someone is crazy about someone asking for space just doesn't make sense.. love is the most affective and cheap happy pill there is. Beats any anti-depressant I've ever tried.