Is it his ADHD or is he just bad ?

My boyfriend returned to work after a month of vacation. We work for the same company, but he works offshore. Sometimes if we communicate ,its via e-mail,maybe the phone. Off work, he has to call, cos its offshore. Otherwise, there's the e-mail. Get this , in his month of vacation, he didn't call or e-mail once. When I asked him after his return, he said he was sick and forwarded his credit card bill and prescription.But I know he was doing a few transactions online for his business ( on the side). So he hyperfocused on that, and forgot to call and let me know he's alive. Fine. His reply also included that his family were also pissed that it could be months before they heard frm him.

I'm been doing alot of reading on ADHD, and would love to say " oh , this is ADHD". But that shouldn't become an excuse right? Normally, I send him e-mails ,to which he replies. We skype ,and he calls occasionally. I just feel that I'm the one making all the contact. Almost makes me feel  desperate. He's been divorced 3 times, with the kids and  all. He's also abused drugs and alcohol. But he's making a change,he still drinks but not to excess I think. Atleast he has a job.Though,he's been saying that it's getting a bit boring for him,the money's good.

This is a long-distance relationship ,turning 5 months old, and my family and friends think I  can do better. It's been a few months since I saw him, unless  you count skype. I know he's done some negative stuff, but what he is now, and will be like in the future is what I want to focus on. Yet, I don't where we are. In the hyperfocus stage, we said "I love you" to each other quickly. Just recently, he said he was crazy about me. But he wouldn't send me that " hi, how's your day been" email ?

I like him, and I think we can see each other, see where this goes. But how do I know I'm not being made a fool of ? He's just opened up on his ADHD, but I don't know if he's following up on his meds. Should I keep making contact or, let him reach out to me ? The thing is,if it's the ADHD,I am willing to work with that,  but if it is plain selfishness, why should I bother ? If I raise this to him,I'm not sure how he will take it. I don't want him to think I'm needy or , I don't trust him.

I'm looking for any advice you guys might have. Any insight ?

ADHD is very hard to coupe with

If you already know he has ADHD and you are already frustrated with the relationship and your not married to him I would run like hell!!  It is not easy to deal with a person who has this in their adult years.  I hate to sound negative but if I had any signs and did the research on this b4 I got married to my husband it would have never taken place.  You have No clue how hard it is on you.  You want to fix everything for them but if they don't want to fix it you will feel like a failure.  Hope this helps you even a little.  it is my opinion but I live this life everyday and I want out almost everyday.  Life doesn't have to be this damn hard....

I'm not sure if it is the

I'm not sure if it is the ADHD or if it is the person.  Some personality traits are ADHD and some aren't.

What I can tell you is that I've waited 11+ years for my DH to "reach out to me" - I've finally come to the realization that it isn't happening.  I know he loves me and I know he's trying so I'm staying in the relationship for now.

His hyperfocus lasted for quite a few years before we got married.  If it had lasted less then 6 months we probably wouldn't have even married.

Is it his ADHD o is he just bad ?

Thanks guys. I don't really know what's going on in his mind. I was reading all our e-mail correspondance today, the last time he wrote " I love you" was 2 months ago. But if I do send him an e-mail, he replies to most of them. I don't want to give up on him, as I would also be losing a friend too. I understand that ADHDers may not be able to make friends or lovers that easily. This is my first romantic relationship too. So I don't want to come across as too needy , but it'll be nice to return to the hyperfocus days.

Now that his online business is picking up slightly, I don't know . Could he be engrossed in that ? I guess my whole confusion is I'm not sure after the hyperfocus where we both stand. Does he have the same interest in me or, he's lost it ? We could still be friends, there's always skype & e-mail.  But I don't know . If he doesn't say "I love you " , does it mean I mean nothing to him ? In that one month of vacation, he missed my birthday. When I mentioned it 2 weeks later, he apologized and just wished me. Even if he was sick for 1 month, part of me wished he could have sent some gift online atleast. That would have been nice, like an e-card. I don't know how is he managing his time, but perhaps could he have set a reminder for my birthday ? even a belated gift or wish without me having to have mentioned it first ?

To make matters more complicated, we work in the same company, though he's offshore. I don't want anything to become too  nasty. I guess that's why I'm not setting boundaries on certain things. Should I start setting some boundaries , or atleast dicuss it with him, given its only 5 months ? Now that he's offshore, perhaps a phone call a week, maybe a Sunday ?

Would this be too much  or worth it ?


Tell him

I'm not sure, but it sort of sounds like you expect him to *know* that he should call, say he loves you, buy you a birthday present and so on.  This of course seems very obvious to most women but to men, particularly men with ADHD, it is not obvious at all.

I would suggest, if you want to continue in your relationship (which you may of course decide is not worth it), that you sit down with him calmly and basically lay out what you need in order to feel loved and happy.  As long as the list isn't too long, he should respond positively.  If he doesn't - well there's your sign.  But know that you may have to remind him many times of some of these things.  It just doesn't come naturally to nearly all men, and from what I've seen, especially men with ADHD.

I, of course, have learned a lot of this the hard way, through endless disappointments, arguments and so on.

He's had 3 marriages

Thanks Tasla. He's had 3 marriages, so I don't know what to say.

What keeps me going is I know he's a pretty good man. He works hard and all of that. It's just the ADHD. It's messing up us both, till I don't even know if he is interested in me.

If I don't reach out to him,I'm afraid "out of sight, out of mind " might happen. But I'm getting a little tired of being the one to e-mail most of the time. He'll be getting onshore and returning home in about a few weeks.

I don't know if he's going into "hibernation" again.

Let me see if he's going to e-mail, call or skype me for this week, without me being the first to make contact.

Surya - does he acknowledge

Surya - does he acknowledge he has ADHD?  Is he taking medications and/or getting help?  If not, I fear you are setting yourself up for disappointment and if you are this disappointed this early in the relationship maybe it is better to be just friends.

For years I got frustrated with my husband for forgetting our anniversary, my birthday, and other important events.  Right now he's getting ready to leave for a month for work.  I will put money on it that he doesn't call unless he needs me to do something for him.  When he leaves for work he gets hyper focused on his work and forgets about his family.  He doesn't mean to - he just does.  I used to get so frustrated (like you) but now I've come to realize through this site and through books that it isn't intentional that he does it.

If I don't call to remind him - he'll even miss his son's birthday.  I know he loves me - he just doesn't relay it the same ways I do.

I've finally decided if I want him to take me to dinner - I need to make the plans.  If I want to go to the movies - I need to make the plans.  If I want to go on vacation - I need to make the plans.  It used to frustrate me to no end but now that I understand his ADHD a bit more it doesn't frustrate me as much.  Does that mean I won't ever expect it from him?  No - I just know he's not at a place right now where he's capable of being the one to initiate things.

He's admitted to his ADHD

Hi Lucy,

thanks for your reply.

He's seen a doctor and is taking Concerta. But i don't know how regular he takes them.

We've just begun to disciuss ADHD openly , before we didn't as I didn't know about it.

So I'm guessing I will have to take it slow. I don't want him to think I'm interfering. I hope he doesn't mistake my concern for being too controlling.

I've been reading on ADHD as much as I can. It's just that the only one I know who has it is him.

So I'm not sure  what the behaviour. I keep thinking that if he doesn't think of calling me at all, then it signals he's not interested in me.

I can't fathom that he truly forgets to call due to ADHD, though that could be it. Won't an ADHDer want to hear their loved ones' voices ? 

How do I draw the line between being the one that keeps initiating , and establishing too much contact ? ( he may feel like I'm invading his space, which I have no intention of doing )

Sounds like a good

Sounds like a good conversation you should be having with him.  Tell him how you feel - "When you are gone and you don't call me it makes me feel like you are not interested in me.  I enjoy talking to you but when I initiate the calls I feel like I'm invading your space."

See where the conversation goes.  He might have some suggestions.  He might not realize how you feel and that conversation with him is important to you.  Yes I do think that ADDers want to here their loved one's voice but from my personal experience my husband looses track of time (a month only seems like a week to him).  So while you might feel he hasn't talked to you in ages, in his mind he might feel like he just spoke with you yesterday.

I personally feel that you

I personally feel that you WANT his 'forgetting' to contact you to be all about his ADD and I think you're struggling so much because you know its probably not ADD.

Ask yourself this question...what do you want out of a relationship? A man who does not 'remember' to call/text/e-mail you for a month or more while 'out of sight' or do you want someone who makes you more of a priority? The 'hyperfocus' honeymoon phase of my courtship lasted longer than the span of your entire relationship to date. I felt like I was EVERYTHING to him, still do for the most part, inspite of ALL of the ADD issues.

I think your heart is telling you one thing and your brain is telling you another...and I feel if you follow your heart, you're in for a life of misery and 'chasing' this man. I hope you can find the courage to put YOURSELF first. You have all of the answers to your questions, but it isn't always easy as knowing.

Bottom line..this much doubt, this much neglect, this much BS in just 5 months....far too much. I like hell!

I do want a man who makes me his number one

But the ADHD is never going ot let that happen , will it ?

No matter how much meds he takes , I don't think he's having any counselling at the moment. But I can see he's got his own coping strategies.  I don't know if it is a good thing, but I've come to accept that he won't be the one to initate most of the times. If it is not the ADHD, then I wouldn't put myself on this journey. But he's been diagnosed, and I know I can't change him. He has to do it himself. If he sees a future with me , we have to talk , make sure we've discussed whatever issues , baggage , doubts we have.   

Though its only 5 months, I don't want to act like I'm his wife, and ask too many private questions , like what he does with his finances. I want to take it slow,just keep talking, e-mailing,calling, if I/ he can, fly to each other's country and see each other.

From our conversations, I can understand he's always been judged by his own family,cos he's done the drugs and 3  failed marriages with the hooker, bar girls ( yah, I know ).  What I'm attracted to him , aside from physical qualities, is deep down he's a good man. I don't believe in pre-maritial sex.  But we spent one night together in his room, just watching TV and talking. He could have forced me into something, though I would have kicked his ass. But he didn't. That I can respect. He's funny, smart, works hard. Our relationship is where we have to work harder, if we want to be together.

Right now,I'm also studying and working, gots lots on my plate. He's also looking for alternatives in his offshore job ( we work in the same company). There's a vacany in my office, and he's applied for it. I don't know if he will get it. Otherwise, I'll probably think of flying to see him , cos I know his finances is going to make it hard for him to come over.

Thank God for this site. If not , My family and friends don't know about ADHD and would probably judge him. Me, I want to be his friend first. If we can handle that, everything ontop is an added bonus. Thank you, guys for your advice. Really helps me in my decisions.