How to get through to ADHD partner

I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, and I have always known that he has severe ADHD. He is extremely hyperactive, but it never really bothered me too much. However, we have had a lot of problems in our relationship that I think are stemming from his ADHD. Recently I left work at 5:45 instead of 5:30, and he became extremely suspicious of why I left 15 minutes late. It turned into a huge argument because I am such an honest person and I love him so much, but he constantly thinks I'm "up to something", or he "smells something fishy". I have tried to talk to him so many times about this issue, that he needs to trust me and that he has no reason to doubt me. I have just gotten to the point where I feel like giving up, because every time I try to approach the situation, he gets defensive and puts up a wall. Everything is an attack on him.

He doesn't take medication usually. He only takes it when he has to study or has a test because it makes him extremely unfriendly, and he won't eat. His mom has told me how difficult it was to deal with him as a child, like everyone was against him. She read a lot of books and they even tried therapy. I recall him saying that he knew what the therapist was doing and the games that he was playing... I just think that is the way he views everything.

It's like he picks apart what he thinks other people are doing or thinking. He thinks they have ulterior motives. He then changes his actions so that he has the upper hand. It's almost like a game of manipulation with him, but he's the only one playing...

I am seriously at my breaking point and don't know how to get through to him! I want him to realize what he is doing, but he just feels attacked when I try to address it. Does anyone have a suggestion of how I could approach the situation? I have even thought about asking his mom about it, but then I feel like he might feel even more attacked...


What you describe does not really sound like ADHD, but some kind of Paranoid Personality Disorder.... sorry I can't be of more help.  Plenty of people reject the diagnosis or the meds, or believe the meds are part of some drug company conspiracy, but what you are describing seems beyond that.

By the way adhd meds are exactly what a paranoid person does NOT need.

None of us can comment

None of us can comment knowledgeably on a web site message board. Your boyfriend needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist (what about the one who prescribes his meds?). In the meantime, keep yourself as safe and together as possible (and talk to someone yourself if you feel the need). Good luck, sincerely.

sounds familiar

Ok, I am not a psychiatrist either, but this does sound familiar.  I don't have feelings that are this extreme, but I SO often misunderstand people and before diagnosis often thought I was being attacked and then found out the person I thought was attacking me had no ulterior motives at all and no idea what i was talking about.

My father is SEVERELY ADHD and gets very suspicious of other people's behavior.  He likes to play 'games' as well - but for him it's about competition, not fear or paranoia.  He even tries to compete with total strangers with whom he strikes up conversations.  It is very embarrassing to go to a restaurant because he always starts an argument with the waitress/waiter!

Zoloft helped my dad a lot.  He can't take stimulants because he's on blood pressure meds...  but he STILL loves to pick fights with random people.  it's so odd... and he is always trying to push people into doing stuff they dont' want to do and his favorite thing is sabotaging social events by making himself the center of attention (long unexpected speeches at weddings etc).   I have found over the years that the best way to keep him from taking over something in my life or pushing me into something I don't want  is when he comes up with a 'great idea' for me I say, "Hey, that's a great idea Dad!" and it's like magic: he loses interest within days....

Good luck, and yeah - get a really thorough evaluation.