resolved

rudeness

Violetta, I am sorry. I guess I have to ask, what are you getting out of this? Is he kind, funny, amazing, great to be around, supportive, generous, or anything that suggests the "love and support of a partner who cares about you?" I don't think your reaction sounds extreme or unusual. I would be hurt and angry if someone I just saw for the first time in years told me to lost weight, unsolicited!

My two cents are that there may be something there, but to have to work this hard and feel this bad? There may be a great explanation or reason for his rudeness or "blurting," including ADHD, but honestly---do you, at this point in your life, want to spend this much time and angst trying to explain away his behavior? Do you want to be with someone who is rude to you and makes you feel insecure, even if "he doesn't mean it" or "can't help it?" Does it matter why he is doing it? It just doesn't sound like he makes you very happy. 

My experience is that some with untreated and unmanaged ADHD can be very defensive, and are pretty good at turning it on the other person, as you say, making you feel like you did something wrong even though you tried to tell him that he hurt your feelings. He might be telling the truth, that he is having a tough time dealing with your feelings, which is another red flag to me. I hope that this works out for you and that you find the relationship you deserve. Best to you. 

 

Thanks Lynninny

Grateful for your reply. These are the questions I am asking myself. I definitely am not willing to carry the ball alone... That is not a relationship. It doesn't have to be perfectly equal, but there has to be some give and take. I've already done the give-all, get nothing realistic ship and it didn't work for me! Trying to be impartial and give it enough time to make a fair determination before talk g on too much damage to get out. 

May I ask, what do you mean by "He might be telling the truth, that he is having a tough time dealing with your feelings, which is another red flag to me."? What does him not being able to handle my feelings indicate? What is the red flag? That if he can't handle my feelings we are starting off in a pretty bad place?  

It's very confusing to determine what is attributable to ADHD and what is just bad behavior covered with a label excuse. 

Everyone deserves to be loved and should not be excluded because of ADHD, or of any other issue. I am trying to give this every chance to survive but despite being told he would work hard to make this work, this is the first issue and he's already withdrawn. Already, I am doing all the work. And it doesn't help matters that we didn't get any practice, he went straight for the jugular! I don't want to get into a cycle that makes me a martyr of unconditional love. 

There is a small window to make big determinations about our relationship in the short term, I don't want to make an unfair or quixotic decision because "over" will be a permanent thing if that what's happens. If I tell him not to come, he will never speak to me again. It will be taken as full rejection and not the reality that he has put us in a position that I just can't handle alone. He won't communicate with me so I am forced into making all the decisions based on what I can handle by myself at the moment.  

Today, a one line email - no greeting, how are you, nothing but - "Are you mad at me?" Perfectly timed after the long holiday weekend, arriving. Early in the morning so I have all day to reply... It feels like a landmlne! Why is anger the only emotion he recognizes? He assumes I am angry because that is what he fears but still can't recognize that maybe I am hurt and alone from being cut off? Why is it all about him, again?

How on earth do I reply to this without doing the "wrong" thing yet again? I still don't know what to do about his impending trip :(

 

 

tough time

Hi Violetta,

I guess what I meant about the red flag was that he may always have a tough time dealing with your feelings. Would you be ok with that? My own experience was that ADHD and its defensiveness rendered my spouse unable to "deal" with me being sad, hurt, upset, or telling him that I didn't like something. Or that he offended my mother. Or that swearing in front of my boss did not go over well. I could not tell him these things, ever. And it is pretty hard to have a relationship with someone who can't deal with hearing how you feel. It gives his feelings and his actions dominance over everything. Mine spent a lot of time trying to convince me that something was wrong with me, that I was insecure or overreacting, because he couldn't "deal" with me suggesting that his words or actions were anything but wonderful.  

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I wish that I could have known more about what I was getting into when I entered my relationship. It sounds to me like your guy's feelings and reactions are dominating your interactions at this point. You are spending a lot of time and energy worrying about how to "handle" him. This may be a permanent thing, this walking on eggshells and wondering what to do. You may never know if his behavior is attributable to ADHD or something else. 

Arghh

Hello. I'm very sorry you are going through this. I wish it were a simple condition easily explained, but I would second, how are you benefitting? My dh makes stupid comments re my figure (size 6) and I have to talk myself off a cliff. It's been 19 years. Find someone not focused on your size. There are so many who won't care. And you don't need the stress. ADHD takes the filter away which means the partner needs to be able to be at peace with themselves more so than when not in an ADHD relationship.  He probably does care about you. But ADHD won't make him the best supporting cast as you deal with all your other stressors. Those of us who love our ADHD folk have to be content with the unfairness of it all, and be very self sufficient. And be able to love ourselves, flaws inclusive. Best wishes.

Thanks ShelleyNW

I am grateful for your reply. I am sorry to hear that you have to go through the same thing, too. it really is cruel to hear someone complain about looks! I feel if he has such a problem with it, he should not have invited the relationship if he is not attracted me and cant take me as I am.... it seems more like a control issue than a out the actual weight.

You said some things that really hit home. But some things that i am wondering about, too.

"And you don't need the stress. ADHD takes the filter away which means the partner needs to be able to be at peace with themselves more so than when not in an ADHD relationship."

"But ADHD won't make him the best supporting cast as you deal with all your other stressors. Those of us who love our ADHD folk have to be content with the unfairness of it all, and be very self sufficient. And be able to love ourselves, flaws inclusive."

All of what you say seems sadly true.

The issue for me here is not that I don't love myself. In fact, I do! Enough to consider if this relationship is potentially too unhealthy for me to engage in. I am one of the most self-sufficient people you will ever meet. Truly, you have no idea. Being totally self-reliant makes it harder to take on a harmful situation willingly. This is a high risk relationship. I don't think there's any question that I love myself enough to handle being in a partnership. It seems to me the question is, does be love himself enough? I can't make him love himself. And if he doesn't care enough about himself, then there's little he will be able to contribute to us until he does. 

So I suppose the situation is already answering itself. I am supposed to accept his flaws but he  doesn't expect to love me fully with mine. Yes, this is inherently unfair and being that it is about looks (a changeable thing), seems to indicate a level of shallowness not attributable to ADHD. 

Honestly, I was at peace with myself until the man I loved said I wasn't good enough for him but loves me anyway. Then says he doesn't mean it. This is so very confusing, and his attraction to me is such a fundamental element in the equation, how can I just ignore it? I am fine with myself. He has made it clear that he is not fine with me as myself. To me, that sounds more like verbal abuse than love. How to distinguish in light of ADHD? 

Well, I am still not sure what to do about the practical issues at hand. 1) his impending visit - is it a good idea to let him come? I am not sure that it is a good time to do so 2) the fist comm in days that only asks me if am angry - how do I respond without him withdrawing again? I feel like be is controlling the situation but contributing nothing.

I need help with learning the way I have to talk to him to get him to stop being defensive and share. I have the book but are reaching an emergency here :( 

 

 

Communication

How to communicate without him getting defensive? An age old question. When I need to discuss impt or difficult things with dh I schedule a meeting. I try to set a time when his pills have taken effect but not worn off, and when he isn't hungry. First thing in morning or later in the evenings are bad. Use I statements. I'm feeling hurt and confused when you complain about my figure... This doesn't always keep defensiveness at bay but its hard to argue feelings don't exist. 

If you were a dear friend of mine I would discourage the visit. He also may love you, flaws and all, but the broken filter lets insensitive passing thoughts out. Dh loves me, but wouldn't mind me more fit. Still it creates insecurity you don't need romantically. Unfortunately meds don't do much for the filter.  Good luck.

I need help with learning the

I need help with learning the way I have to talk to him to get him to stop being defensive and share. I have the book but are reaching an emergency here :(

You cannot get him to stop being defensive. You cannot make him share. You have no control over his ADD. He is not able to manage his own life.  You would be signing up to manage yourself and manage his life also. We cannot get someone to change who they are.  Even if we can as wives do that, it would only be for a while, while we are "policing" them.  Then, a person is who he is.   You need to be able to talk the way you talk, dress the way you dress and look the way you look.  And be proud of yourself as you are.  It sounds like you have plenty to be proud of.  I am going to tell you something you do not want to admit to yourself at this time.  You are somewhat afraid of him.  Maybe not physically, but in some way you are afraid to deny/defy him.  Otherwise the words, "I don't want you to stay here." would not hesitate to come out of your mouth.  You don't need a reason.  You have the right to say what you want and don't want for no other reason than that is what you want and who you are. Are you afraid he will be sad, lonely, afraid, angry?  Will he talk badly about you to others or say mean things to you?  Are you afraid of being alone or him ignoring (not loving) you?  He is doing that already. He is a grown man.  Grown men can handle themselves.  What are you afraid of?

I am one of the most self-sufficient people you will ever meet. Truly, you have no idea.

Before I was married to dh, that is exactly as I would describe myself.  Look at my posts to see what I have turned into after decades of working and trying to turn him and me into two people who could "make it work".  I was the only one working at it. 

carathrace's picture

savvy woman

Violetta, I am impressed by your intelligence and by your awareness of yourself and what is happening to you.  You are really on top of it, girl!  What Shelley & Lynninny have said sound like really good observations to me.  You said you have been reading this site for some time, so you must be aware of all the unhappy relationships involving an ADHD partner.  In most if not all of these, the non-ADHD spouse or partner either didn't know what they were getting into, or their partner's ADHD has worsened over time.  I read many posts that say something like, "I have completely lost myself, don't know who I am anymore, have to try to get myself back."   My question is:  when you are seeing these problems NOW, why would you want to go any further with this guy?  You know who you are, you are a very savvy woman and I would hate to see you lose that.  You say you could use some help with your day-to-day issues, well...best to not hope for much of that with him.  I love my ADHD husband, but I can't really go to him with my problems -- that's for my girlfriends.  I don't think it's his fault, he tries to listen, but his mind goes off somewhere...or the things I say overwhelm him....anyhow, I've learned to adapt, as others have mentioned, but I sure would hate you to go into a relationship counting on getting some support for yourself and then realize you're stuck and have to compensate.

What I would do if I were you is not let him come for a visit.  Or if he insists and you feel weak, make him stay in a hotel. 

To Violetta

Please just look at your statement "I feel like be is controlling the situation but contributing nothing." That is how your whole life will feel if you continue to be involved with this man. At this point in your life, do you need to feel like this?
 

Thank you all so much for so

Thank you all so much for so many thoughtful, insightful, and truly helpful replies! Please feel free to add anytime. I am so grateful. I have been away from home and therefore away from the computer but reading your replies with a heavy heart and a clear head.

 I look forward to following up with a more complete reply tomorrow... Cant type a lot from the phone. I have an interesting conversation to relate regarding this matter. Until tomorrow - V.