Is it him, me or ADHD?

I have a relationship with a man with ADHD that recently ended.  I love him so much.  I am heartbroken that it ended, but without counseling, we were at an impasse.  It had become less than functional.  We were not married, but I believed it was serious.  He was the only man I've ever considered marrying, but maybe I was just confusing my hopes with what was real.  I am so confused.  His actions never really matched up to his words.  ADHD, or was he just not that into me?  I am very generous and supportive and can often give "too much" without realizing and perhaps be taken for granted.  I believed he loved me back because I just felt it.  He repeatedly ignored my needs even when I expressed directly.  I asked for one "date night" a month.  ADHD procrastinates, and we both have children so we did have lots of family time.  We ended up on 3 dates in a year.  It mattered.  He would get angry if I asked.  Communication was a problem, like one time I asked if he was losing interest and he blew up.  Did I hit a nerve, or is it ADHD?  We also never had sex.  We are both religious, but it was really totally non physical. It was weird that he never even tried.  Right now I feel betrayed, played, and kind of used.  He suggested counseling, and 3 months went by and I mistakenly let things pile up waiting for it.  He had specific criteria for a counselor, so he was going to find one.  When I suggested it, he got mad and ended the relationship instead of choosing to work on it.  Was he just not that into me?  Any insight? 

And the date night thing was

And the date night thing was just an example.  It turned into many things, that just piled up.  What is red flag behavior in typical relationships is sometimes very normal with ADHD.  I just don't know what to believe any more.  He ended up making an online dating profile, and although I am sure he never had an affair, it's just the same to me.  I feel completely betrayed and like a fool.  Now I am thinking maybe everything on the way was just his actions screaming the truth.  I was so sure he loved me too.  Now I just don't know and he won't discuss it. 

Do not take it personally

Hello.  I'm sorry for the loss of your relationship.  I want you to understand that the negative symptoms of ADHD are not personal no matter how personally they effect you.  Usually the ADHD person is very stimulated early in a relationship when everything is new and shiny, but once the shine wears off the ability to pay attention wanes.  That's what it sounds like here.  Do not feel foolish, this is not a reflection of you.  It is about the condition.  You can not battle the condition, that's for the ADHD person to do, and it doesn't sound like he's interested enough in fighting to do so.  But again, that's interest in the fight not in the interest in you.  I'm sure you had good reason to feel he loved you.  Remember the good times.  Mourn the loss of the potential.  Best wishes.

Similar Situation

Hi there, my situation is very similar to yours except that it was my ex female partner with ADHD. You might like to read my recent posts on why I quit and the very different reactions we both had to the break up. I was left confused, empty and grieving the loss, she went straight to online dating. Twice in fact, she did it once before after things become intolerable and I got up and left. She completely lacks the power of reason and has no concept of afterthought let alone consideration for my feelings. She refused to accept any responsibility for the problems and refused to communicate about any prickly issues concerning her condition and behaviour. I doubt she would be a likely candidate for counseling either.

It's strange that you mention the lack of sex, I thought this was just another facet of our broken relationship. She ring-fenced Sunday afternoons at 5 pm which frankly became a bore before it petered away to none. She rarely initiated sex but I think that was just another example of her dislike for anything that amounted to effort, but I cannot say I felt unloved because she showered me in love and affection in lots of other ways. Childlike almost. Everything in her life comes from a compartment in her head making spontaneity a no go area e.g. if I arranged a surprise it would have been a stressful ordeal - for both of us.

I was reluctant to give up but it is clear from this forum that without help from the ADHD partner and perhaps some counseling tips or a joint action plan, these relationships are very heavy going.  

I hope that you find some peace and useful answers to your questions as I have done on here. It's been very informative and has helped me to come to terms with my own situation. Thanks to everyone who replied to me.

Simon (I'm in the UK by the way where our spelling is different to yours!)

Thank you

These answers are so very helpful.  My friends just don't "get it" and tell me I was an idiot from the start.  :) 

Compartments.  Yes!  In fact, he was reluctant to let me into other compartments and it was also problematic.  We are both devout Christians and we didn't worship or pray together.  It was a huge problem for me because my faith is the heart of my life.  But I wasn't part of that "compartment" for him. 

Thank you so much. 

Inner Peace.......coming soon

I am at the point where I have realized that I am trying to think logically about a situation where there was no logic.  Someone transferring their own behavior and saying it was me that did those things just made me face reality.  It wasn't my fault.  It was what it was.  Counseling would have helped, but I can't fix it alone or be the only one that wants to.  I can't question myself any more because I did what I could and I'm ok with that. 

These posts helped me so much.  I was mixing my hopes with what really was.  Or what was not.  I even tossed my box of sentimental things from the relationship today.

I hear he's moved on to his next victim and she's a coworker that he supervises.  And, I am not even bothered by it because I've let go, and I realize he doesn't feel remorse or empathy so why wouldn't he?  I hope for her she is better grounded than I was. 

Of course I still love him, but I love myself too.

Me too

I came to the same realisation over the last week, mainly since I've been reading the threads here and seeing the light. Realising there is no hope for a partnership with an ADHDer who is in denial about their behaviour, who cant see how they are impacting on others and refuse to participate in any form of communication about it.

Rightly or wrongly I have visited website social forums where she's been whiling away the small hours chatting online to all and sundry about all manner of topics and I realised that here is a life within a life, running parallel to our relationship. A bit like a series of boxes inside other boxes.  I was saddened to read her discussing her tastes in music, business, current affairs and all sorts of obscure topics, none of which she ever talked about with me. I actually found out more about her by entering the forum than was ever apparent during our time together. Some of these nights she was 'too tired' to meet up after work or have me over for the evening. To put it in perspective, she was spending more hours online in a week than we physically spent together. I found this secretive side of her personality so hard to understand, I didn't meet her mother or her friends in the whole year we were dating and of course she wouldn't talk about these exclusions either.

Yes it is hurtful, but again I remind myself that I was dealing with someone dysfunctional and irrational with limited capacity to care. However, for my own sanity and self worth, I cannot keep excusing her nor do I want to be subjected to anymore hurtful behaviour. I reached the point where I didn't know what was caused by ADHD and what was downright selfishness, she is an intelligent woman after all making it all the more difficult to digest.  At least it gives us reasons to consider our own wellbeing, sign off and walk away. I know that I gave as much as I could and I don't feel blameworthy, just sorry for the next person in her life.