If you were just starting out, would you fall in love with your ADHD partner?


I'm in a new relationship of about 9 months with a kind, sweet, romantic man.  He is always late and a couple of times, just didn't show up when he said he would.  I almost broke up with him twice.  He wrote me a note, sent flowers, etc and told me he has ADD.

I bought the book ADHD and Marriage by Ms. Orlov and recognize a lot of the same situations with my guy.

I'm wondering if you long suffering partners would have gotten out when you could have, if you had known about ADD during the courtship phase?

Thanks for your help.  I already have three kids and I think my ex has ADD as well and that relationship ended sadly!

ebb and flow's picture

"I'm wondering if you long

"I'm wondering if you long suffering partners would have gotten out when you could have, if you had known about ADD during the courtship phase?"

I would say no. I fell in love with him, not his ADD. During the hyperfocus stage, I had no idea what was coming afterwards! Even if I did know it was ADD during hyperfocus, I would've just thought it was a case of the "absent minded professor".

He too would send me flowers and notes begging for forgiveness after a fight. During the hyperfocus stage it was exactly what I wanted a new relationship to feel like... just being utterly adored by the one who loves me!!! Yeah, we would fight a lot... but he had me on such a high pedestal, who would ever want to come down?? His instant apologies would make me weak in the knees and crawling back for more of his never ending flow of love. lol  He was so loyal and committed to making it work! Who wouldn't want a man like that?!?!?

If your question was "would you, now knowing what ADD is like, start a new relationship with someone you know has ADD?"... 

I would kindly have to say no. :(

Mind you, my partner and I are just in the beginning stages of therapy and just exiting the 'denial phase'... So, I estimate we'll reach the 'happiness' phase in about a year or two... :/

Ask me then, and my answer may be a different one. :)

No, I wouldn't marry him again

I love him so much but it isn't safe for me to live with him. I fell in love hard, with his essential goodness and kindness, his wonderful listening skills. It was, as Ann Landers calls it, "a friendship that caught fire."

Then we got married and the hyperfocus was replaced with a deep depression, followed by 7 job losses, 3 jobs for me, no meds for me, etc. He's never explained why a marriage so eagerly sought depressed him so much.

He's working now but totally unable to see that some of his behavior is dangerous. He has been assembling a new entertainment center for the last 3 weeks and so I can't walk across my living room. I'm mobility challenged and can't get in and out of my house without risk of falling. He promises to do it but his word means nothing. I feel like I'm never going to be able to live with him with any degree of comfort or safety. AND HE JUST DOES NOT SEE IT! He thinks he's a wonderful husband because he finally is working and he doesn't cheat.

So I'd say the hurt of being abandoned and ignored after the hyperfocus wears off is worse than the joy of having someone fall in love with you that hard. It certainly last longer!

marrying someone with ADD

Hell no, I married my husband 12 yrs ago, second marriage, he had two children, i had one, we now have 7yo twins, i fell in love with my husband after being divorced for two yrs. and met on a blind date through yahoo classifieds.  He was my prince charming, we had everything in common, finished each others sentences, and he moved from another state to be with me and he commuted to work. I regret letting him move in so soon.  It was like taking care of another child the first year, i felt needed after my first husband up and left me and my son.  My husband is a highly intelligent professional, i had no idea what i had gotten myself into.  I have always taken care of everyone else, i thought this man was going to take care of me, instead i am in more debt 12 yrs later than before i met him.  He ruined our finances, he lives beyond our means, AND he has the same honey do list for ten yrs.  Now after all this time, he was diagnosed, am i supposed to wipe the resentment and anger i have towards him and wipe his slate clean and start all over, JUST because he has ADD?????? help

Yes. Quite simply, yes.

Yes. Quite simply, yes. Especially if he's willing to get help and make changes in his behaviors. His overspending would be priority #1. You resent that he didn't end up "taking care of" you, yet you're obviously very angry that you have to 'take care of' him? I'm confused. No one should be taking care of anyone.

I've lived with the spending issues (took his debit card and solved the problem for the most part) and never did understand how I could cry and tell him "you're causing me so much stress with your spending that I cannot sleep, eat, pay bills, etc" and he would either apologize and swear he'd never do it again or accuse me of trying to control him...either way, nothing ever changed. I knew he cared that he was hurting me by doing it, I knew he loved me, so why couldn't he stop? ADHD. Get counseling, work together to find ways to solve this problem, read everything you can get your eyes on and educate yourself on Adult ADD/ADHD, and learn to accept that things will probably never be 'fairy tale' but that does not mean that there cannot be a very happy marriage. Understand, it isn't him that you've grown to be so angry at..it is his ADD. Separate the two and you will learn to have empathy for him that will have a huge positive impact on your marriage.

Why is this here?

Off topic. Request removal of entire thread. Seriously. Please put it in another category.

It's OK.

It's OK. This is on the heels of a heated debate over whether ADHD people are attacked too much on this site (or even should visit). Someone made this forum as kind of a refuge from the criticism so we could focus on something OTHER than whether we're even worth the trouble. So I didn't want the second topic here to be yet another thread of what we were trying to avoid.

You wouldn't know the background if you're new, and I appreciate that you shifted the topic to another forum. It wasn't a negative question, but it invited negative answers.

Since you're here: As an ADDer, I would say that it just depends. I have dated men who simply were not built to deal with my ADD, but my boyfriend now seems not to regret being with me. After two years and moving in together, he handles my ADD better than anyone else I know. But it's always work for both of us.

I think the best thing to do is talk honestly with him about symptom management. How does he deal with it now? Has he seen doctors? Has he found any strategies to manage his ADD in parts of his life that don't reference you? If he's not taking it seriously as it affects his own life, do you think he will be committed to making efforts on your behalf? I'd get a sense of his history - when was he diagnosed, did he have to try a lot of meds to find one that worked (I did), how was his life before he was diagnosed.

You have three children, so you probably can't afford to focus on romance alone. Enjoy his sweetness and attention, but you HAVE to make sure he's open to enacting ideas to help him get to the right places on time. That might be the least of his struggles. And do take the time to enjoy the good sides of how he is.

As you will see on this site, there is a HUGE range of experiences w/ ADD. Remember that many couples who are managing it successfully AREN'T HERE. ADD is so frustrating sometimes, but I think it has forced me to be more realistic and honest in my dating life.

ebb and flow's picture

"As you will see on this

"As you will see on this site, there is a HUGE range of experiences w/ ADD. Remember that many couples who are managing it successfully AREN'T HERE. ADD is so frustrating sometimes, but I think it has forced me to be more realistic and honest in my dating life."

This is soo true! I agree completely and can only speak for myself as a non-ADDer... I am here because I need help and support for my relationship with an ADDer who is just coming out of denial and into treatment. In other words, he's not fully treated, therefore there is a GREAT deal of frustration in our relationship right now!

If you're already reading Melissa's book, you'll see there is hope to be found when it comes to ADD relationships. That's why I'm here, and continue reading and hoping for 'the great change' to happen in my relationship. I love my ADD partner VERY much!!! (though it may not always show in my very angry/hurt posts) We've been together for over 3 years now!!! I'm here because I want soo desperately to have a life with him where AD effing HD is not even a problem, at all! But that will only come with treatment, education, and change on BOTH our behalves.

In my experience so far, it's been a lot of hard work and effort! If you were to ask ANYONE who is in a relationship where a GREAT DEAL of work and effort was needed daily if they would choose a relationship that required less work, I think the answer would definitely be YES!

That's where I was coming from with my post.

Also, yes, this is in the wrong section! lol No biggy! ;)

I would not have stayed clear

Actually, I think he told me about ADD early.  Knowing some of the symptoms, I didn't feel he had ADD (except for being late a lot).  After moving in together it started getting clearer and some of our worst fights and insensitive things he's said and done I feel can be contributed to ADD (now that I've educated myself).

But I would still do it all over again, the positives outweigh the negatives by far and (3 years in) I do hope that will continue.  We both try to work on our relationship, work on dealing with the ADD and help and support each other.  I think being aware of it and realizing some of the effects ADD has on relationships can help preempt some of the trouble those who've been with undiagnosed partners for years encountered.

fuzzylogic72's picture


It is so reassuring to know there are people out there who will love us enough to accept us (or accept us enough to love us)...

thanks for you post.