I'm in desperate need of advice. I'm in a relationship with a man who has been diagnosed with ADHD, but doesn't take medication or seeks any other kind of treatment. We're in our early 30s and together for almost one-and-a-half years. The beginning of our relationship was incredibly wonderful, in general I think he's a nice, faithful man who gives me lots of physical closeness (cuddling,...) in private (he hates PDA) and also usually helps me when I'm in need. We usually text and call a lot and meet each other regularly. So far, so good. However, things started changing a couple of months ago and I just don't know what to do. I can't really say where I'm just too sensitive or where he really is being unloving, unkind and just not a good match. I try to cope with the ADHD, but because he refuses treatment there's only so much I can do and only so much I can take.
We met when he was working at a temporary job close to my hometown. The job was limited to I think July or August of this year and after that the company offered him a position as branch manager in pretty much a city of his choice (there are spread all over the country). Prior to our relationship he used to live in a smaller city that he really liked, he said his whole life he has been looking for a home and that this city was the first that ever made him feel that way (well, he only lived in one other place before, but oh well..). Because of my career I'm limited to a few cities that offer great opportunities, but I'd be willing to go for 2nd or 3rd choice as well. However, in his city I can't get a job and he knows that I'm also not really liking it there that much. Because change is such a big problem for him, we discussed this matter many times. We agreed that we wanted to stay together and move in together and after a while he said we could move to one of my top 2 cities for 1 or 2 years so I can get my career going. He told his boss to find him a position there and everything was fine. Until he told me that he had been taking on a job in "his" city behind my back and that he will quit his current position. No word about our original plans, no empathy, no remorse, no uneasy feeling... Just him glowing, telling me that they're "so nice" and "their way of working totally up his alley"... I asked him what will happen to our original plans and he just said "Well, besides our relationship there was never any reason for me to move there in the first place".
After a night or two I tried to talk to him about it again and I tried to see things from his perspective. He said he think it'd be a good idea if I pursue my career goals in "my" city of choice for a year while he stays in "his" city for a year to enjoy his sports team, meet friends etc. Then, in a year, he'd know if he warmed up to my city and we could also explore other cities together to see which ones we like. However, he already behaves likes he WILL not leave his city anytime soon. While he never really worked on our original plans, just complaining about high rents, he goes crazy apartment hunting in his city.. He looks at places more expensive than the ones we wanted to rent together, even took out a huge loan for a designer kitchen that was mandatory to take over from a previous tenant (he didn't end up getting the apartment btw). He chooses apartments where no cats are allowed although I have one that I'd never leave behind. He invests in expensive sleeping coaches so friends from the SAME city can stay overnight (!?!?). His future talks never really include any other reality than him living and staying in this city, working that new job (he will start in a few weeks).
Obviously, I could go with the flow and see what'll happen, but I also have a very hard time dealing with his behavior. We would be in a LDR then, he promised to visit each other every weekend. If there'd be an important or special event, we could of course talk and find a compromise or skip visiting for a week, but we agreed on devoting the weekends to our relationship. He already made plans for the next couple of weekends though, like bar nights with his friends, concerts he knows I don't want to go to, parties etc. He never talks to me about them, he just decides he wants to go and I can either join him or do something else. He never ever plans a night out with me, never suggests anything we both like.. It's been an issue for over a year now anyways and all talking doesn't help.
He is just so selfish and inconsiderate of my feelings.. Every time I bring topic up he starts rolling his eyes, screaming that I'm ruining his life, that I'm just stress, then he slams doors, punshes walls, breaks phones and totally freaks out. He says if I would just stop discussing stuff we could have a great relationship. He's not interested in my life at all, always forgets important events, never asks about my day. I had a really important job interview yesterday, he texted that he'll be at his friends' place and that he will call me from there.. After 8 hours of not hearing from him, I texted if we would still talk today. He just texted back "No". I replied that I wanted to talk to him about the interview and he just wrote something like how he didn't have time all day (he was on Facebook liking stupid stuff the entire time!!) and now he wants to talk to his friend and eat. He was writing it in a VERY mean way (English is not our native language) and just basically ignored me since. This happens a lot. He promises to call or text, nothing happens, when I ask the other day he tells me he had absolutely NO TIME to be on his phone. But he's on his phone ALL THE TIME, even online on Facebook for hours.. When I confront him he comes up with stupid excuses like Facebook logged him in or he just pressed the button for a second or the app is broken.
He puts his needs first ALL the time, it feels like he CAN'T put himself in my shoes even if he tried. He never comforts me when I cry, he talks about breaking up a lot, too, but always says something like "I WANT to be with you forever, but I don't know if I can survive it" or he just shrugs and says "I don't know". His newest idea was to stick to our relationship (being a couple, texting, meeting...) but thinking hard about whether to stay with me or not. When I told him how hurtful this is he freaked out again.
There are many, many other things that hurt me and make me uncomfortable, I hate how messy he is, I caught him in lies as well (he always only dripfeeds me the truth....), he takes NO responsibility, everything is my fault, he tells friends that I never met that my jealousy is ruining everything, he tells me his female friends are pretty but never compliments me... The list goes on. Sometimes he refuses to kiss me because of stupid stuff like "My eyes burn today". I'm constantly too annoying and too much stress. There are SO many things I've read in this forum that made me think everyone is dating my boyfriend ;)
I admit I have jealousy issues that won't go away because we can't have a conversation about the times he hurt me and broke my trust (he didn't really cheat though).
I guess my question is how I can know if I'm causing his bad behavior because I want to discuss things and tell him when he hurts me.. And I also need to know how sure I can be that he really will move to another place with me in a year?! But with all that distance between us, will he even change? Maybe he'll continue to do his thing and I can suck it up or go. I'm so worn out, I'm not even my usually happy self anymore. I'm going through tough times too (a health problems that requires surgery soon, lost my job....) and I'm always alone with it. However, he requires that I spend hours and hours talking to him about his sore throat...
Am I setting myself up for more disappointment?
I needed to get this out. Any advice or help or comment would help me A LOT. Thank you so much in advance.
You are NOT causing his bad behavior...he is mentally unhealthy
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
However, things started changing a couple of months ago
Yep....because he could only hide his mental illness for a short time. What you're seeing now is the REAL HIM. He's not nice, he's not caring, and he doesn't care what your needs are.
He is just so selfish and inconsiderate of my feelings.. Every time I bring topic up he starts rolling his eyes, screaming that I'm ruining his life, that I'm just stress, then he slams doors, punshes walls, breaks phones and totally freaks out. He says if I would just stop discussing stuff we could have a great relationship.
He isn't just mentally ill.....he is seriously mentally ill. This isn't a mild form. This is serious ugly stuff.
Time to get out and count your blessings that you didn't marry him.
What if you're already married?
Submitted by The Harrises on
I am enjoying this forum and appreciate so many of you sharing your experiences - thank you!
Unfortunately for me, I married quickly and thus didn't discover my spouse's ADHD until later. Divorce is unthinkable for me, but continuing to live this way has become unbearable. My experiences are the same (narcissism, sloppiness, extreme high and low mood swings, hyper focus on what's important to him) as others, but the most damaging part is the rudeness, tyrannical outbursts and personal attacks against me. The more I ask him quietly to lower his voice and please speak to me like someone he loves, the louder and more irate he becomes. It's as though my request is just a trigger for him to get louder. Our social circle has become non-existent now because his behavior is so offensive to others, and to me. After praying, then researching about his behavior, I am convinced that he has some form of ADHD. He has consistently refused to get tested so we will know how to proceed if, indeed, he does have ADHD.
Those who are married to an ADHD spouse: 1) how did you convince them to get tested? 2) do you now share household + financial responsibilities with your spouse, or have you resigned yourself to do all the work so that it gets done? 3) have you forfeited your personal happiness to become a caretaker to someone who is ill?
In need of major help here...
What you're describing is more than ADHD
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
What you're describing is likely a personality disorder....and ADHD may also be present.
You're describing my H in many ways. When we were in our 20s, and he was excited about life, his job, being in a relationship, working out a LOT, his odd behavior was far more infrequent.
I was lulled into marriage, not realizing that some of the red flags that I was starting to occasionally see were just the tip of the horrible iceberg.
as the years went on, and new life-stresses were present, H's outbursts and unreasonable behaviors got worse.
Slowly our social circle shrunk. I remember the first time we lost a set of friends. H and I had been together for 5-6 years. Our first child was about 6 months old. We were at this couple's home and the wife mentioned watching Larry King every night. My H pounced on her in a very rude fashion. In hindsight, I don't remember if we had had a drink or two....probably. It was embarrassing. We never heard from those friends again.
We rarely drank back then, but in hindsight, likely those early outbursts may have involved a drink or two (we never drank excessively back then).
Over the next 5 or so years, he'd have strange and irrational outbursts. The littlest things would trigger him. He could never be wrong, he rarely took responsibility for anything that went wrong, etc. We were able to socialize, but he was still unstable.
throwing things and breaking things in anger. Accusations. Money issues. Impulsive behaviors. Selfish sex demands. Raging anger. It just kept getting worse and worse.
Very minor things would upset him. He would accuse me of crazy things, and then call me a liar when I tried to defend myself...many times he would shout me down so I couldn't even get the words out.
Fast forward another 10- years. H began secretly drinking. now he's a full fledged alcoholic. I can't trust him around friends. He's unstable.
If I weren't financially tied to him, I would have left a long time ago.
So I'm not alone?!
Submitted by The Harrises on
Overwhelmedwife, thank you for your response! You've just elaborated on my daily life with my H. Despite how terrible things are, I am hopeful and looking for light at the end of this tunnel. If it's there, I am reaching for it. If not,I want to move on. Living in-between like this is no longer an option for me.
There is no light at the end
Submitted by Strangebird on
There is no light at the end of the tunnel when it's this bad. I finally let go, and let him go, but after 23 years I have NO social circle, and I'm not even sure how to be happy without feeling guilty or waiting on the crap to hit the fan. I'm not financially tied to him fortunately, but money doesn't make it easier. People are looking at me thinking that the separation and pending divorce are easy for me because I have money to support myself. They're not looking at what my kids are going through, they're feeling sorry for him because he's "poor". So he has everything he's threatened me with for 23 years, and everyone feels sorry for HIM. And nobody believes he has mental health issues because he holds a full time job and presents well in public. Don't let it drag on, or you'll hear yourself as bitter as I am. I love my kids, but I'd love to have the 23 years of my life that wasted with him back. Because the other "wonderful" thing about these guys is, they eliminate and erase all memories of good times, happy feelings, love, even like, from their memory and make it their mission in life to convince your kids and the world that you're an evil bitch.
If you find that you're "walking on eggshells," then likely....
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
If you find that you're "walking on eggshells," then likely you're not just dealing with ADHD.
I like to imagine ADHD as part of a Venn Diagram. ADHD is the center circle and all these other circles surround and overlap that ADHD. And some of the surrounding circles also overlap with each other.