I'm the one with diagnosed ADHD in my relationship. Yet, I found myself only relating to the 'non ADHD partner' descriptions in the book.
Here's the overview of my situation:
I have ADHD, late diagnosis (I'm 25). I was diagnosed recently, and so I met my partner pre diagnosis and treatment. I had always been on a mission to 'fix myself' pre diagnosis, and read a lot of self help books with inconsistent results. Since being diagnosed and medicated I'm feeling the best I've ever felt and am able to start taking control of my life in a way I always wanted so badly. I exercise religiously, and take a huge amount of care of my diet without being too restrictive in an unhealthy way. Making sure I eat small meals throughout the day with enough protein to keep my brain running optimally, plus fish oil supplements and melatonin at night to regulate my sleep cycle (the latter being the most recent and hard fought for change, my sleep has always been difficult).
My partner has Bipolar, diagnosed and well managed long before I met her. Plus a recent diagnosis of hasimotos disease, something she's been suffering with for a very long time without getting any answers. She was diagnosed very recently but knew she had some sort of chronic health issue before we met, so it's always been a part of our lives. We have also suspected ADHD and she's booked in to be assessed, but who knows given that the other illnesses have cross-over symptoms?
We met, we got along intensely well, we progressed quickly, typical of an ADHD relationship I've heard. Here's the thing, I'm the one feeling left in the dust. I want to spend time with her and feel the connectedness I felt during our first few months. She doesn't fully get it, and can feel very connected to me while spending her days playing computer games. I try to converse with her, and she get's distracted by the cat. I'm extremely sick of talking about the cat. I feel resentful and lonely. We've had a lot of long and difficult conversations about how there's an unfair labor division when it comes to household chores. I feel so much better when I'm in a clean and organised environment, it really helps the ADHD brain. I need things to be organised so that I don't have to exhaust myself looking in 50 different places for the items needed to complete one task and so I have spent a lot of energy trying to maintain and improve the house.. and yet I was being thwarted by the amount of mess she was creating. Recently that aspect has gotten a lot better though and I've been able to spend time on my hobbies again.
Our relationship though, it's still incredibly sad to me. I don't feel that any of the things that I considered our special qualities have remained after we moved in together. I feel so lost and alone. It's starting to feel hopeless. We spent the first day in a very long time feeling connected and doing something fun a few days ago. We were working on a home improvement project together, and then watched a movie. That was maybe 4 hours, and then she ate something that seemed to bring on a very intense bout of sickness. We're not sure yet if it's a hashimoto's flair up, or if it was an unrelated miagraine or food intolerence.. but this sort of thing is extremely typical. She's so sickly, which is really unfair on her. Having said that, I don't think she does enough to prevent these chronic health issues. Hashimoto's disease from what I've read, is very food and exercise sensitive. You're supposed to cut out thing's that your body is sensitive to, and make sure to do low impact exercise regularly. She has been more careful about her diet than she had been earlier in our relationship, but she still loves to eat pizza and also forgets to eat for long periods of the day. Plus being quite addicted to energy drinks and smoking. Along with not having a regular exercise routine.
I can't live this life with her anymore. I feel isolated by her illness, and by the responsibilities of this house and trying to maintain a connection to her. So often I'll miss a call from my friends because I'm crying, having an argument with her, or finally having a nice moment with her that I don't want to interupt.. and so it's affecting my connectedness with my friends too. Not to mention that my work has also been affected, this is all so exhausting and inconsistent that it's hard for me to maintain a routine. By the way I feel the need to explain this as I've seen that a lot of ADHD partners have out of control finances and put a lot of strain on their partners: our finances are completely separate and we both split everything 50/50, so my work being affected doesn't put any more financial strain onto her what so ever. I have savings and investments in stock that I can dip into if in financial trouble..
When I put it all down like this, it seems obvious that this just wasn't meant to be. But I'm still holding on to something.. it's difficult to let go.