I need reassurance from someone...

I have recently separated from my DP of seven years (he has just recently like three months ago been diagnosed with Adult Add/ADHD... We have agreed that we are not "broken up" but are living seperately as the stress of financially supporting our entire family (2x dogs, 2x cats, 1x 9 month old baby, me and DP) was beginning to take a toll on my mental health.  I feel I have done the right thing as he needs to learn how to manage his ADD without me mothering him, which is what I have done for the last seven years without knowing it and since reading so much on ADD/ADHD have now discovered SO many other things that Ive been doing over the years that have been blatently WRONG and DESTRUCTIVE for him and myself.

Since we have separated I have suggested we get some couples counselling as we obviously have alot of things and ways of communicating that we need to relearn.  Plus we need to re-connect as we both turned into people we didnt like as we were dealing with something we had no idea about and were at logger heads cause I didnt understand him and he didnt understand me.  He has said that although he is keen, he doesnt want to start yet until he has learned more about his condition with his counsellor... He also says that he cant promise me that he will still want to be in a relationship with me after he learns how to deal with his stuff...

We share a daughter and he is the love of my life and I actually cant imagine raising our daughter without him...

Does anyone have any advice for me? Is he just looking for a way out of this relationship without hurting me?  Or is it something that someone with ADD/ADHD would want to do, work on themselves and THEN work on the relationship?  I wouldve thought that it would be something that would happen at the same time, as I would like to support him through the changes he no doubt will be making...

2 Really Good things are in place...

This website is full of examples showing a couple who is experiencing  One Sided ADD Knowledge. The #1 Good thing is that your ADD DP now knows what he is dealing with and as an ADDer myself, I can tell you right after diagnosis I ran the marathon of emotions which follows from joy to shame. #2 You are beginning to understand what has been affecting you for years. If either of the ADD/NonADD couple refuse to recognize ADD's affects on a relationship there is going to be a rocky road ahead. Don't panic yet, because he has a lot to process right now. Don't jump to conclusions because you could be really surprised at what he is really thinking, but been unable to communicate. There is a lot of work for you, even after putting up with so much and he will need more than meds. Counseling for your DP is a must and relearning a lifetime of bad coping skills.

Keep reading... There are so many examples from both sides of the coin that can give excellent advice when you need it most.


thankyou so much

i guess I just needed the reassurance that all is not lost.  I adore this man with every inch of my being and certainly dont want to give up hope that we can be ok again.  I know there is a high chance of our DD having the same issues, and I wont be able to help her as much as he will be able if he is able too.

I just wish we had known about this years ago and cant believe how many years we've wasted being at logger heads with each other fighting things we didnt even know we were fighting...

You are welcome :)

I'm glad to help... One great point of sadness was when I thought of all the ways I was affected by ADD growing up. I was 43 when I found out and I figure the I've still got half my life left which can be greatly improved and at least I know what is going on in my brain. I am 95% sure my DD#2 is just like me and I will do anything to keep her from being held back by ADD. I can spot so many ADD reactions in her and help her through these moments so she can better deal with them in the future. Knowing what you are dealing with is The Biggest thing you can do to get through all of this.


DP is turning 29 this year

and he feels like he has wasted much of his life plagued by this inner "demon" that made him different from everyone else... I guess its all about time and giving things a chance.  Which is def the hardest part for me as I am not patient by any means, something I know I am going to have to work on for the sake of my relationship lol

Can I ask how you have found ways of managing?

Moving forward...

I know exactly what your DP is feeling, referring to reflections on the past. As you learn about ADD and how your life evolved from your successes and failures, you tend to think of how the failures can be explained by ADD effects. I sure did... How could I have gone to college and end up with 170+ hours and yet only an associates degree??? Just one example. You really have to see what you can do moving forward with your ADD awareness and new skills. Think of what you can now do better. Exercise is aslo a key to the ADDer. I used to weight over 280 pounds and at 5'-11' this was not heading in a good direction, I now have stayed in the low to mid 180's for well over a year. I began walking first thing in the morning and after work 2 miles each walk. I feel 5X better on the mornings when it starts with a walk and the same goes for the end of the day. The chemicals released during exercise are exactly what an ADDer needs. I have not stopped reading and posting about ADD since I was diagnosed. I will not let this just slip into the background, meds help me a lot, but are only part of the management of ADD. 

I'm sure MANY will back me up here... You Cannot Fix him :) He must want to help himself and it is contagious when you start to unravel the mystery of what makes you tick. Patience on your part is also key, because non of this is easy and we all slip from time to time. You are on the right track!



I can't speak for others but there was a period in my own relationship where we both stepped back.  My BF definitely needs time to digest big emotional upheavals and had a history of retreating to do it.  The funny thing with time is that is so subjective.  He needs way, way more than I do but does come back to the table.  That has stopped happening now that we are dealing with the issues better.  Upheavals that would have taken a week to sort out now come and go within the day and sometimes even the moment. 

Don't assume he understands what is in your mind.  Own your own shortcomings.  Articulate them very specifically and, "whatever you say, say it with love".

But, to answer your question, yes needing time is common and doesn't mean he doesn't love you or won't come back.

thankyou :-)

I guess the hardest part of all of this is that I am a rescuer by nature and a fixer, and from what Ive read, it seems ADDers are very attracted to that as they wish they could be more of a fixer in themselves but lack the focus to do so.  And so stepping back is hard for me as all I want to do is "fix" it, knowing perfectly well that I cant...

Can anyone suggest what they "right" thing to do is in regards to giving him the spce he needs?  Do I still visit?  Do I still (Sorry maybe TMI) sleep with him?  Do I still tell him how wonderful I think he is and how much I love him?  Or would I be best to completely step back...

Ask Him

It's hard to say but with mine the absolute right answer was give him space.  He knew I loved him.  When his thoughts were already busy, interacting only added to it.  My BF couldn't interact sexually if things were off between us and said so.  It would have been an added pressure for me to push.

My bf is good about articulating what he needs and would tell me, "don't push, I just need to chill".  Took me a while to not be scared by that.

It doesn't hurt to let him miss you.  Think of your own mental process.  The angst dies away and you start remembering the good sides.

Ask him but if you do be prepared to respect his answer.

I used to think that being a

I used to think that being a rescuer and a fixer was a good thing...now I realize how it has plagued me my entire life. You can be a loving, giving wife, mother, and friend and not be a rescuer or fixer. Read CoDependent No More by Melodie Beattie...and read it again. Then re-address the questions you've asked yourself in this post.

If I had one thing to do over, I would have stopped sleeping with my husband when he left two years ago (for 2 months). He still got everything he wanted/needed from me and I got nothing but pain and grief and no answers. I let him run the show entirely, and it hurt ME. I don't regret where we have ended up, but I guess we all have those times when we wish we knew then what we know now. Read the book. Being a fixer and rescuer is what keeps you stuck in the same cycles with him. It has to stop.