My boyfriend and I of 7 years are taking a break. He (John) has move out for 6 months. He has ADHD and I've always known it. He took medication in the beginning, but hasn't for the past few years. I never thought about it in terms of effecting our relationship. I never took ADHD seriously. Honestly, I thought "Oh ADD... everyone has that." However, now that we are trying to decide if we should stay together and work on this relationship or break up, I started doing research about some of our problems. I came across a website about Adult ADHD and relationship and I nearly fell out of my chair. John has 90% of the symptoms listed on the adult ADHD sites... procrastination, chronic lateness, distracted easily, hyper focused on video games or jeep forums (obsessed for hours and hours at a time), can't finish sentences (he gets half way through a sentence then just says... ummmm... ummmmm.... and then the thought is gone and he is off thinking about something else - happens all the time), easily frustrated.... and so forth. Then I read about the relationship problems and I started crying. It was hitting the nails right on the head. John says inappropriate things sometimes. He snaps at me easily. He can completely ignore me for hours --- then suddenly want to be intimate (and I'm like you just ignored me and now you want me to be all over you?), he has trouble understanding my emotions, he cannot plan anything (he buys gifts the day of or days after holidays or birthday --- no surprises... no special trips), he is so focused on jeeps right now that its all he does or talk about or reads about or anything --- I'm like how are jeeps so much more important than me... and so forth. We are breaking up because he relates love to sex and our sex life has severely diminished. Its because I am emotionally unsatisfied and he is not committing to me (can't plan - has no idea what he wants - his thoughts on the subject are all over the place). Also, he is bored in the relationship (also a symptom I read about) and he is restless in our routine. Its a horrible cycle. But what I've discovered is that he is really suffering from ADHD and I am having a bad reaction to his symptoms. He is not being treated and I think the first step to our reconciliation is that he gets treated so he can sort through his flux of intentions and feelings and create a structure in which he can start getting better.
We love each other. We are best friends. We love being near each other. I want to make this work. And now that I know we can work on getting treatment and I can better understand his symptoms and not take them personally - I think it can get better. I feel horrible for never researching it or taking it seriously before.
I decided first I was going to talk to a therapist, he suggested I write an email about my concerns and let him know I am open to talking about it. My therapist will edit the email before I send it to John. BUT what should I say? I do I say I think you need treatment? Does anyone have an example of a good letter written from a loving partner of an ADHD person?
Perhaps I am being cynical,
Submitted by Waterfall on
Perhaps I am being cynical, but I think you should consider moving on without him. One of two things will happen, he will either wake up and realize he needs to get help, or he will continue on without you, oblivious to what his ADHD has done to your relationship. If the first happens, you have a shot at happiness, if the second happens, just thank god you haven't wasted any more time on him. I have been with my husband for over 12 years, 10 of them married. He was diagnosed after we got married. It has been very difficult. I wish we would have figured his ADHD out before we got married, life would have been so much easier. Once you marry and add children, a mortgage, joint accounts and dreams, it gets extremely hard. I am sure he is a good guy, mine is too; it's just so hard to deal with untreated ADHD!
Re: Perhaps I am being cynical
Submitted by Last_Resort on
I've read your reply. As much as I want things to work out with John - I understand what you are saying. At this point, we are not speaking. Its been a week. it was my choice. During this week, is when I started doing research and I talked to a therapist. The plan is not to jump back in to the relationship or even work on the relationship at this point. Rather, it is to encourage him to seek help. Right now he does not know that I have done any research on ADHD nor does he know that I even consider it to part of the problem in our relationship. If he decides to seek treatment, at that point I will agree to be friends and help him through it. If he continues to get better and stick with the treatment, we can discuss how we want to forward. At this point, I just want to know how to encourage to even get help and let me know that I may not have been understanding in the past.
Has he read any books on
Submitted by Waterfall on
Has he read any books on ADHD? Perhaps you could encourage him to read Melissa's book or some of the other well- respected books on the topic. Refer him to this site! I've read so many posts on here from ADHDers who discovered how deep their issues go by reading the posts on this site. You can only do so much. Are you taking care of yourself? I know I tend to obsess over my relationship and it can weigh me down! make sure you are eating right, exercising, listening to music, hanging out with friends, etc. You are important too!
I can totally relate to what
Submitted by tdsb12 on
I can totally relate to what you are saying. I was only in a shorter relationship with a girl (about 1.5 years) but I didn't realize the potential (and actual) impact of ADD on things until after we broke up. I have talked to her since and although part of me wishes that I had known better/more while we are dating I feel a real urge to let her know about what I have found for her to maybe realize the effect ADD is having on her life. I don't know how to do that without feeling like I am blaming her or the ADD for the failure of the relationship. If you do decide to write a letter I would be curious how he responds. What I would say is just make sure you are blaming ADD or him. Maybe say something the effect of "I can relate to what is being talked in these articles" or something like that.
I still don't know if I will contact my ex again because part of me is worried I still want a relationship with her and it will hurt too much to talk to her again. I am waiting until I know that I am okay with just being her friend and supporting her if she does want to address these things.