I'm new here and seeking advice from others who have been or are in a relationship with someone with ADHD. I'll try to condense this! I was with my ex boyfriend for about 15 months. It truly seemed like a lifetime and I thought he was the one. (I'm 29 and have been in several long-term relationships, my longest was 6 years. I haven't really been single since I was about 16, and when I was, it was for a couple of months. Part of this likely has to do with dysfunctional parents growing up and having to assume the role of an adult in a lot of instances....)
Back to the ex, I started noticing ADHD behaviors from the start, but kinda shoved them under the rug. I never actually realized ADHD was a thing until I started dating him, it wasn't until we were months into the relationship I had asked him if he was ever diagnosed. He admitted he had been in high school, but the meds made him tired so his parents took him off of them and did not pursue further therapy/meds. Ex is 30 years old and when we broke up I gave him a month to move out. That ended up turning into a month and a week since he didn't have everything lined up. Ex has been reaching out to me via text and other social media apps. I explained recently we needed to limit contact as it wasn't healthy for either one of us. Ex was very sad and said I was his best friend and he didn't like where this was all headed.
The reason I decided to leave was because of the forgetfulness (some dangerous situations unintentionally occurred while dating him such as catching the grill on fire, leaving car on while garage door was down...), inability to understand social cues (would talk excessively to the point people would tune completely out), inability to follow through (would tell me something, but then forget about it, and wouldn't follow through unless I constantly reminded), family issues (his immediate family had some dysfunction that made me run)...so, my anxiety spiked and I was in a constant state of wondering if something was going to go wrong. Ex is not on medicine and only started to see a therapist after I urged him to do so, or I couldn't be with him. However, he was extremely loving, communicative, had a sense of humor, fun and spontaneous and we enjoyed going on weekend getaways together. We never fought and were both always able to express how we felt maturely. I will miss this immensely about him....
Ex also has history of jumping from one job to another and is very self-loathing and hard on himself. I was told by several of his family members I was the best thing to ever happen to him, he even told me I am the only girl whose cared enough to help him and he still thinks I'm the love of his life. I tried to stick it out and have been ruminating for over 6 months. I saw a therapist 3 times to get outside opinions and all I got out of that was, "you are young, you sound like these incompatibilities are deal breakers for you, and if you're this stressed and anxious you should consider a break from the relationship...) We definitely had a connection I can't describe, I truly did and do love him, but, I felt like I was taking care of him. Not in an extreme sense, but for his emotional well-being. I started to become depressed and like noted previously, my anxiety soared. I started to become isolated because I was embarrassed to go out with him, and we were never invited out to do things by any of his connections other than his family occasionally. Although I'm unsure if I'll ever have kids, I was scared that adding a child to the mix with him would be overwhelming. I started to become scared at the thought of marriage.
When we split up, I gave him a month to move out of my home, and when he moved out, he was still messaging me daily. We were and are amicable so it wasn't a surprise. I eventually had to tell him we needed to limit communication for our mental health. He was very sad and said I was his best friend and he didn't want to lose our connection. He has been removed from my FaceBook but still remains on other social media platforms,
SO. I'm reaching out to others who have experienced this since I don't have any friends who have. I don't know anyone in my life who has been in this kind of situation, where you have a great connection with someone, but feel like you're going crazy. Do any of you find yourself in a similar situation? I feel really low right now because I don't want to seem like I'm being too picky with my relationships, but I definitely wasn't feeling like my best-self with him. I think the hardest part is that we DO have so much in common and he would never cheat on me or hurt me. I'm also very unhappy with my career currently and having more or less a mid-life crisis. I don't know where I want to go or what my calling truly is or how to pursue it at the moment, so I feel like a mixture of different things going on is making me really sad. He had an appointment with a therapist to talk about medicine but canceled it after I broke up with him. I asked him why and he said because he had too much going on. Yes, that's true, because he started a new job, but, it made me think he was only interested in medicine because of ME. I want him to do it for him.
If anyone can please offer support and advice I would love to connect either through this forum or via email!
You were still in the shiny object phase.
Submitted by bowlofpetunias on
It sounds like you were still in the "shiny object" phase of the relationship. In this part of the the relationship, someone with ADHD hyperfocuses on the person they are involved with because everything still seems new and interesting. You feel special--no one has loved you like this before.
Then the shine wears off and you become boring. You are ignored. TV is more interesting. Someone they started talking to in the line at the grocery store is more interesting--to the point that they forget you are with them!
The fights start--and they can get very, very bad. They start anticipating that you are going to say horrible, horrible things about them. Terrible things can come out of your mouth before you have a chance to say anything because they cut you off and tell you what you were going to say.
Your feelings don't matter. In fact, they don't exist. To paraphrase my wife, they are not inconsiderate--they just don't think about your feelings. Except when they fear that you are feeling a negative emotion toward them--even when it is all in their heads.
You become saddled with more and more responsibility. You respond by trying to get them to do their fair share, which turns into nagging. You feel unappreciated because they criticize how terrible the place is and don't recognize the tremendous effort you have been putting in to cover for their slacking off. Oh, and they would rather fight about what a mess the place is then let you work on cleaning it up! Why didn't you do the dishes? Because you were busy doing the laundry or shopping for groceries is not a good enough answer! You should do everything. Or at least you should have done the thing you didn't do--so you could be blamed for something else. Why didn't you do the laundry? No, doing the dishes is not a good excuse!
You try to be financially responsible--but that is just boring! And it shows that you are a coward--come on, live a little! Stop being afraid of every little thing. Bad things will never happen--until they do. And who could have seen that coming?
They feel so bad about themselves that they can't accept any responsibility for their actions. If they made another mistake, it would mean they are a horrible person. So they can't make any mistakes. It must have been YOU! Yeah, it was your fault, and boy are you going to get it--especially if you refuse to accept responsibility like a good little scapegoat! For example, you wake them up to get ready for work 5 or 6 times, but they keep going back to sleep. You didn't try hard enough! You should have physically moved them out of bed! It's your fault they were late and lost their job!
Everybody else has an anger problem. They explode at little things and accuse you of things that you did not do, but then blame you for being defensive. They get into trouble at work. Why are all their co-workers accusing them of being angry? The co-workers are the one's with anger issues, not them!
The ready, fire, aim pattern emerges. They are angry at another family member? Well, it must be because you set a bad example for that family member, so you deserve punishment too! Any target will do when they are angry. And there can't be enough targets.
(My wife once chose a restaurant to stop at while I was driving the family home from vacation. She asked me if I really wanted to have a beer with dinner, and I said yes. Then we stopped to switch drivers. The kids fought with each other while i was getting coffee and she became enraged. She started yelling at me about how I wanted to go to a restaurant we could not afford. I didn't even know the name of the place--she picked it out! I pointed this out. Oh, but I said I wanted to have a beer--I should have known that she was really asking if I wanted to eat at an expensive restaurant! And I should have apologized for getting defensive--when she screamed at me for something I didn't do! And then it was my fault that she drove in the wrong direction during the fight and set us off track for about an hour. She offered to stop yelling at me if I didn't say anything--but then promptly resumed screaming when I stopped talking.)
Thanks for your response, but
Submitted by tulips2 on
Thanks for your response, but what you describe sounds really overwhelming and not comparable to what I went through personally with my ex, thank goodness. Wow! I’m sorry you went through all that...
It's a glimpse into the future
Submitted by adhd32 on
Tulips, you and ex-BF are still languishing in the glow of the new relationship. BoP is describing the future as added responsibilities compound the stress. ADD is something that never, ever goes away. It isn't cured like the flu. Medication aids focus, it doesn't magically change a person into an efficient, organized, forward thinking leader. ADD can be managed by a diligent person willing to do the work but most of us on here know that diligence and willingness are not adjectives typically used to describe a person with ADD unless it is about their hyper-focus activities.
If you are considering any reunion with your ex-BF, make it conditional. You will be able to gauge his level of commitment by his actions, not his words. Be clear that he has to maintain medical appointments (already blew that one off with flimsy excuse), medication compliance, etc.
ADHD32 - I think that's my
Submitted by tulips2 on
ADHD32 - I think that's my issue as an empath. I always look for the best in people and since I know he can't "help" he has ADHD, I bend myself until I break to try and make our relationship work. There were a lot of irrational fears he would express such as the fear of death and the fear of being lonely for the rest of his life. I started to get anxiety thinking about death, ha! Something I try to just leave out in the back of my mind since it's inevitable anyway. Ex's family also has very serious history of Alzheimer's Disease. He was terrified he wouldn't remember me someday and would start crying because he would obsess about these situations.
I appreciate your advice about making it conditional. He is VERY good with words and communicating, but his follow-through and actions haven't been the best with this topic. I feel like if he were serious he would have kept his prescriber appointment. Our intimate life was so excellent, the best I've ever actually had, our passion and connectedness was out of this world. However, he was very, very sexual. I've heard this can be a common theme with ADHD. I ended up finding out he had made accounts on porn sites. I didn't really think much of it and didn't get upset so long as he wasn't actually interacting with other humans, but I don't think he would have EVER cheated on me. He was honest with me and told me about some reckless behaviors a couple of months before I came into his life...i.e. sleeping with a married woman for several months. Turns out, she was sleeping around on her husband, and he eventually cut this off because she kept saying she was going to leave her husband, but didn't. Basically, she used John for sex. I was very very upset to see she was on all of his social media accounts liking everything that didn't involve a photo of me. Fortunately, he removed her after I commented on how it truly bothered me she was still creeping on all of his accounts. After, she sent him a message (which he was truthful with me about) apologizing for hurting him......
Another thing I wanted to mention...when John and I got together, he was still in very serious communication with his ex-girlfriend (they dated for about a year...and she was several years younger than him...) Both were still connected on social media, and he was still dropping his pet off at her house when she requested. I told him I felt VERY uncomfortable with that arrangement. .....The dog was his, never hers. He ceased communication since we started dating and her social media accounts are public and I found out she posted a picture of herself crying saying "no more toxic people". Anyway, that's a lot of information. It just shows you how he kind of clings on for dear life to relationships.
ADD and addictions
Submitted by Angie_H on
Your story is even more complicated, now that you have shared more. My alarm bells are going off. I doubt your boyfriend was honest about much of anything with you. Why would someone who cheated on others not cheat on you? Don't be gullible, don't be fooled. My husband only confessed to things when he was so thoroughly caught that he could no longer deny them or try to lie his way out of 'trouble'. Don't be susceptible to your ex giving you STDs. How many times do you want to be tested for HIV?
My husband maintained 'friendships' with many women. I can't tell you the number of times he 'confessed' and gave up his secret life. It was a lie again and again. He even colluded with a girlfriend to have her write a 'farewell forever' e-mail to him, and he shared it with me. Clearly she was mocking me, which he said I was misinterpreting.
Eventually he decided to work on our marriage, after I already had a lawyer and was choosing one for him because he would not. He stopped arguing and telling me I was imagining things. He started apologizing, and he is consistently making amends by his treatment of me. Pay attention to behaviors, not promises. Eventually you will feel firm about what is best for you.
All the best,
Submitted by tulips2 on
Thanks for your note. Yes, that was my initial though too, but, he said this woman's husband was aware she was sleeping with other men. After she slept with John, she jumped to one of John's friends. I found the whole situation disturbing, actually. Mostly because my character personally would stay as far away from a married person as possible. Fortunately, I can honestly say with him, we were very happy romantically. My main concern was when we broke up, I did some sneaking on his FaceBook, which he had open on his computer, and saw he had went out of his way to message a girl at his gym who is very desperate for a boyfriend right now. I know this because I have friends who go to his gym as well. She had asked to spend time with him at the gym and he ignored the message. As soon as we broke up, he sought the message out and said how sorry he was he didn't see it. That was a lie. He had seen it, he just knew I didn't feel comfortable about her. He had also taken a trip with her out of town while they competed with their team and my gut went INSANE. I felt so upset that she went out of her way to ask to car pool with him....let's just say when I confronted him he swore up and down and all around it was not as it appeared. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
However, the longer he is away from me, I think I'm going to see he will move on quickly possibly due to his needs to be intimate with others. I also noticed he didn't have very many male friends but several female friends. I didn't have to worry about him being flirty, etc. but maybe I was too blind in love. I'm not going to assume anything because I did trust him when we were together, but you make a good point. This is why I fear getting involved with another man in the future. I know this is so fresh, but I just fear having to worry about other women, and that's the last thing I want to add to my to-do list. With John, I really didn't feel like I had to worry, even though his behaviors regarding some things were questionable. You are a strong woman and I really wish the best for you in your marriage! <3
Submitted by Angie_H on
You are in a complicated situation. Driven crazy by your boyfriend and missing him horribly after breaking up. I have had a long relationship with many, many frustrations and hurts, yet I always felt a special bond with my husband. I wanted a good marriage with him more than anything. It was not in my control to make that happen. We went to counseling, I went to counseling. I read book after book, joined support groups.
My husband finally started working hard on being a good husband when he realized I was going to divorce him and never look back. I still have frustrations with him, and I'm sure he does with me, but we are generally happy.
What can you and your boyfriend do differently? Take it slow? Date without living together? Talk??? What does your boyfriend want? You may not know. My husband still does not share anything he thinks I should do differently. His usual answer is, 'If I think of anything, I'll let you know.' Have you tried making lists or some other way of understanding what was good and what was hurtful to you? Do you journal?
You will find many people here will advise you to run away, and they may be right, but only you can decide what is best for you. (My husband was manipulative, and it took me a long time - years - to realize that and to become immune to it. He seems not to try to manipulate me any more.) It can take some time to understand what you need (Have you examined your relationships with family, friends, co-workers?) and what your boyfriend needs (You may never fully understand that.). If you can, take it slow, learn as much as you can about each other. What worked? What didn't? What do you each think you each can (really can) do differently if you get together again?
All the best,
Husband 33 – Interesting
Submitted by tulips2 on
Husband 33 – Interesting perspective! John was an insanely negative person prior to meeting me, then, most of the time we were together, he was much more positive and I didn’t run into these severe issues you describe. John did cook and clean, so it sounds like there are some even more severe cases than what I experienced personally.
I can agree we were both smitten and obsessed and wanted to get married. I think sharing responsibilities may give me anxiety with some things with him. He has a dog, but one time, when he took her back home for the weekend with him, he forgot her dog food. It’s things like that I won’t understand and noticed my memory has deteriorated over the course of several months because I’m always consuming the information from his life that includes a lot of forgetfulness.
At 30, he seemed motivated, but then cancelled his prescriber appointment. He does see a therapist monthly after I pushed the importance of him getting help. I hope he continues to do so.
Angie_H – Complicated, indeed. I’ve never had a bond with anyone like I have John. Ever since he moved out, I feel less tension and stress. It was months of anxiety and stress. I have made lists and I also have journaled. For some reason I just couldn’t accept the situation no matter how much I truly wanted to. I care immensely for him but having a relationship with him drained all of my energy. There were SO MANY GOOD things that I found myself crying at the drop of a hat because I didn’t want to give that all up. Yet, I also had to be real and understand this man clearly has ADHD and will, for life. I needed to understand that to fully love him, I must accept the ADHD. I couldn’t though. It was so draining! I didn’t think I could be drained this much. Basically didn’t ever feel like I could fully count on him because I knew he’d forget things, etc. yet, he could be so good with other things.
It was a confusing relationship. Thanks so much for your insight! I’m not sure what the future holds, but I definitely think having space for now is a good thing. Him living alone away from me is probably best for awhile.
You sound like you're
Submitted by SweetandSour on
You sound like you're pretty together - meaning you do have awareness of what the dynamic was and how it affected you. Simple minded advice here: hold onto the good memories and mourn the loss - grief is normal - you'll get through it and so will he. I don't think you should reverse your decision. The things that are already a problem will become worse and bigger problems later on and all predictions are the "in-love" and "connected" behaviors and feelings will lessen and won't provide the counter-balance to the things that bother you to the extent that they have so far - which wasn't even enough for you. Maybe you're feeling guilty? Could you end contact with your ex for a specified period of time - say 6 months no contact and then I'll call and see how you are? Could you write him a letter or an e-mail saying that your decision is firm, but thanking him for enriching your life and give him some words of affirmation about the good things about him so that he comes out of the relationship with something positive? I'm sure it's hard to resist him when he's pleading, so you need to be firm about your boundaries. That isn't unkind; in the long run, it's kinder than waffling back and forth or lashing out at him after you become overwhelmed again.
SweetandSour - Absolutely
Submitted by tulips2 on
SweetandSour - Absolutely aware. I'm a very sensitive person so I tend to really take in every little details both good and bad. I'm loyal as hell, so sometimes that gets the best of me. I did feel guilty leaving him because we were still in love when I told him we needed to break-up. Fortunately, he has started to dwindle on communication. I maybe here from him in one form or another once a day, before, it was several times a day. Of course I felt guilty ignoring him, because I don't have any ill feelings toward him. I removed him from FaceBook much to his dislike. He responded with, "...it'll hur tme more not knowing what you're up to in life..." However, I'm the opposite, it'll hurt me way more knowing what he's doing, who he's with, etc.
I agree that I will need a few months before even considering getting back together with him. I need to sort myself out mentally. I became depressed, confused, and anxious. I'm typically an upbeat positive person and just trying to make everything work and accept the situation as it was, really took the wind out of my sails. I have had long conversations with him about how truly amazing of a person he is and listed off some of my favorite things about him. I truly believe in bringing out the best in people and being kind. I don't think he's been used to this by others. I agree with your statement that it's not unkind to set boundaries. I feel like at 29, I'm still learning so much about what healthy boundaries are. It's very, very difficult for an empath like me. VERY hard. I tend to be a people pleaser. I'm trying to get better at this though. Thanks so so much for responding. I can't express how helpful it is to talk to others in this community about what I'm going through and to hear advice/personal experiences! This is a blessing in disguise.
I want to emphasize though
Submitted by tulips2 on
I want to emphasize though that I have never felt this connection with another human before. I absolutely was head over heels for him and he was so in love with me. The passion was most definitely there, but the fear of whether or not he was going to burn my house down on accident, was also there. His brothers seem to have personality disorders/ADHD...one actually was careless and managed to burn his house down. : / So it's clear to me there is history in the family of ADHD and I don't think I can handle bringing a child into the world with someone like him personally, because I get way too overwhelmed. It's a constant teeter totter of emotions and pros and cons. Thanks again for all your valuable advice, this is so helpful.
Submitted by c ur self on
( I absolutely was head over heels for him and he was so in love with me. The passion was most definitely there)
Angie...Never connect physical passion to Love....Not real healthy enduring Love...Passion is Lust...Real Love is commitment...It make a man or women live faithfully....It makes them still be the apple of your eye 50 years later, when the passion has died.....I sure hope you get to experience Real committed Love in your life time....
Just be thankful this guy isn't your husband...
I have to agree with the
Submitted by cmo22 (not verified) on
I have to agree with the other posters that since you don't have any "real" commitments to each other yet, you should just get out now. I'm also an empathy you will spend years if not decades trying to push this person into helping themselves and it does not work. My husband was like your bf diagnosed when he was a kid, but stopped taking meds and left it at that. The fact that neither of these men thought to seek help for themselves from their teens to their 30s is a red flag. So I'm not saying we should avoid people with ADHD in general. It's just that starting a relationship with someone who has no understanding of their own disorder is just going to make your life incredibly difficult. And you will sit, daydreaming about what life could have been like with a healthy, functioning adult who is kind, patient, and understanding. Best of luck to you xo
Cmo22 - Wow, you hit the nail
Submitted by tulips2 on
Cmo22 - Wow, you hit the nail on the head in such a simple, poised way. I'm thankful I could help him seek out help, but I think once the seriously dangerous events occurred (blowing up propane grill, starting car in garage and forgetting to open garage door...) I knew in my heart I wouldn't 100% feel "safe" with him. The fact that he canceled his prescriber appointment was a huge red flag to me. When I asked him why he canceled and he said he had too much going on, I figured that was a lazy way of giving up. Once I ushered him to reschedule just to seek options, he claims he's going to look into it. I doubt he will now that I'm no longer tied to him. Other red flags included dealing with his dysfunctional family that made me feel as though I was walking on egg shells. I had dealt shortly after the break-up with some family members pushing me to change my mind to be with him again (not his immediate family, but cousins...) one family member said, "the greatest feeling is getting back into the relationship with the person you love and are supposed to be with." I felt that was extremely rash. This is the same person who agreed John should be medicated. John's mom wanted nothing to do with me. I'm actually glad I got out of it the more I realize how much I suffered trying to blend in with these people. : ( As an empath, I'm sure you can relate!
I have friends with ADHD, but not as severe as John. I also know my friends are medicated and have asked them for their advice. They strongly encouraged me to get John on medication. His cousin asked me to buy John's meds for him. I told him that wasn't my responsibility, and again, I thought that was a rash statement...
I truly had found myself daydreaming what life could be like with someone who I wouldn't have to "worry" about. Thanks for sharing your insight. Wishing you the best of luck in you relationship with your husband!
IMO, if the family is that
Submitted by cmo22 (not verified) on
IMO, if the family is that insistent that you stay in a dysfunctional, unsafe relationship, it is because they like having you there to deal with his behaviors. They probably know the only way he will seek help or have a shot at a "normal" life is with you by his side. My husband admittedly says that he probably chose me in the beginning because I was sympathetic & kind (I believe ADHDers prey upon people like us). Unfortunately I know the "I didn't get around to it" excuse all too well, and honestly doesn't that make you feel like you aren't that important to him? Here you are begging and pleading hurt and exhausted, and they just "cant find the time." Anyway, you are right to not go back there. You deserve to take care of yourself for now and for someone to genuinely help take care of you in the future!
Cmo22 - I think you’re right.
Submitted by tulips2 on
Cmo22 - I think you’re right. I’ve heard other comments from other family members. One of his aunts warned me to “watch out for Johns mother” about 6 months into dating him. That stressed me out. I know what it means now since she ignored my attempts to get to know her. John did reach out to her knowing this was an issue for me and I read his messages, so I know he did try and get some relationship building going. However, it was too late in the game. As you can see, it hasn’t exactly all been smooth sailing in the 15 months we were together. I realized I often times just let his excuses roll off because that’s what I expected out of him. I definitely deserve more. His brother is getting married this weekend to a very unkind woman and he wants to practice his best man speech with me. I had agreed a week ago to listen to it and he wanted to know if he could come over. I told him instead it would be best to record it and then send it to me, so I can provide feedback. This is certainly a matter of teaching myself how to set healthy boundaries with him. Otherwise, I’m going to get sucked back into being with him and/or sleeping with him and I think my mental health deserves more. Thanks again for your insight, it really helps!
Good for you! Having him
Submitted by cmo22 (not verified) on
Good for you! Having him record it is a great idea, and hopefully it sends him the message that you aren't looking to start anything up again! It sounds like his family is full of nightmares too, you definitely dodged a bullet! ;)
Cmo22- I feel like the stress
Submitted by tulips2 on
Cmo22- I feel like the stress the family caused me wasn’t worth a lifetime of it. Although I’ve never had a connection as strong with anyone else other than him, I feel like these issues were clouding everything else to have a calm relationship. My concerns were it would get worse before it got better. I didn’t realize how exhausting it would be trying to find a good life partner. I would have chose him but his ADHD and the family, I think, are too large of issues that likely will not get better. : /
Thanks for your note. : )
Submitted by sickandtired on
You seem hung up on the incredible close connection you had with him. Please realize that this is a common thing that happens at the beginning. I too thought my ADHD boyfriend was my soulmate. I was so impressed how he would drop everything to help me, how he wanted to spend all of his time with me, the incredible passion, etc. I thought I had found “the one”. He moved in with me a couple of months later. Then after a couple more months, he quit his construction job because of a disagreement with his boss. He never worked again for the entire TWELVE years I wasted with him, trying to get that initial “soulmate” feeling back. Read my past posts. He became chronically angry and obsessed with buying broken stuff on eBay when he had tons of unfinished projects in my house. Anyway, after falling and breaking my leg on some of his junk, I realized I was living with a dependent person who had soooo many needs, but lacked the empathy to care for me when I was helpless. He blamed me for breaking my leg, and was cold and angry to me .
I broke up with him after my broken leg healed 3 years ago, and a year ago, I married a wonderful, normal, happy man. My ex still sends me angry emails, saying I “owe” him. He is still living in the past, trying to break me and my husband up. He even had the nerve to email my husband telling him all of my faults and making up a few, and he made up a fake email account that was almost identical to my husband’s, and proceeded to send me a “break up email” trying to impersonate my husband. He STILL doesn’t have a job after all this time, and is dependent on relatives and other women for money.
You sound like a very kind person. You have insight into what healthy boundaries are, and you are healthy for sticking to them. You expressed genuine concern for raising a child with a person with ADHD. Your fears are very valid. Some spouses on here have had their children put in real danger by their ADHD spouse, like forgetting the toddler is in the swimming pool alone. We never had any children together, thank God, but my example of how ADHD thinking can be disastrous is this. My ex and I were visiting Hoover Dam. We were walking our 50 pound healer mix dog, who ex knew was the light of my life. He was walking the dog slightly behind me when I noticed the people coming towards us with horrified expressions on their faces. I turned around to find him lifting my precious dog UP on the RAIL of the HOOVER DAM!!!!! I immediately jerked my terrified dog down from there, and yelled at him, “What the hell are you DOING!!!??!!! He said “I just wanted him to see the view”. Then he was angry at me for the entire trip, for being “mean to him”, and caring more about the dog than I cared about him. I got so tired of him saying that every time I saved one of our pets from his crazy behavior.
If you are interested in having children, I would hope you would find the best fatheryou can for your future children, not someone who could inadvertently put them in danger, or pass on the ADHD genes to them.
I am so glad I never went back to my ex..... and so is my dog.
sickandtired - Wow, twelve
Submitted by tulips2 on
sickandtired - Wow, twelve years sounds like quite a long time to undergo that kind of stress! As soon as John moved in, he did struggle to find work for 3 months! He had a seasonal job and knew it was coming to a close and even though I had lined up networking opportunities for him and practically had a manager job handed over to him, he declined to take action and do anything about them. These were red flags. He would spend all day at home supposedly applying for jobs and painting the inside of my house (which took him WEEKS because he couldn't finish the project...)
The blaming you mention is kind of starting to ring a bell for me...John would make comments like, "I'm trying to hard to help you, I can't get you of this funk..." so basically, it was turning into a "me" issue and not a "us" issue. I was depressed and anxious and he couldn't "fix" me...I started to think something was horribly wrong with me and wondered why I couldn't accept the things as they were. I mean, just like you, I swore up and down when I first met him, he was the one, my search was over!
I'm so so glad to hear you left your relationship and are married to someone wonderful. It's truly disappointing your ex is still hounding you. John lived in the past too and he still messages me once a day or reminds me of all the amazing times we have. It's difficult, but I realize it's in the past. It sounds very toxic that he's so desperate to keep bothering you even though you've clearly moved on. John has reached out to some of my friends and connections, I'm just thankful I got out of this before the "shiny honey moon phase" like so so many have commented on here about, was over. Man, I would have been unrecognizable I feel. I understand everyone's situation is different, but boy, everyone is or have experienced some form of exhaustion from the ADHD.
Oh my gosh, the dog situation just gave me anxiety. I have a 75 lb dog who is the light of my life and has been my best friend for over 8 years. I often worried when John would take him for a random car ride or walk as I feared he would drop his leash and something would happen to my sweet baby. John would say, "you love that dog more than me..." well, actually, yes I do LOL. His brother, who burned his own house down, grabbed a puppy by the neck and made her scream one time. I watched it happen and said oh my gosh, you don't pick up a dog like that. He's like oh she's fine...clearly just totally clueless.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and I'm glad to hear your leg is better! <3
Yes! They don’t recognize danger.
Submitted by sickandtired on
We have a lot in common. My ex would always accuse me of worrying too much about the dogs, and he lost all sense of self. He acted as if he and I were the same person, if his needs were met, then “We” were OK. Later, his own personal self-loathing spilled over on me too. I think that is what happens when the honeymoon phase inevitably wears off. They get so close they want to live off of YOUR self-esteem, using your accomplishments, your money, your memory, etc. so when you become part of them, your needs ( which should be just as important as his in the relationship), whither and die on the vine.
It is a very unhealthy unbalanced relationship. When you break it off, they have no life because they have chosen to depend on you for EVERYTHING.
Congrats on getting out, and choosing a healthy life. You are young and have so much life ahead. I’m 63, and if I can build a wonderful life after climbing out of the ashes of past trauma from an ADHDer, so can you!
Oh my gosh, the first
Submitted by tulips2 on
Oh my gosh, the first paragraph seems like what I experienced with his self-loathing that consistently was present in our relationship. I have two jobs, a decent social circle, and I feel as though he was living through me. It made me uncomfortable. I felt like we were on different levels. I lost myself trying to make sure he was happy and make our relationship work. I sought out counselors on several different occasions just to make sure I wasn't throwing the towel in too early. The other day he messaged me saying how he felt absolutely broken and how he keeps making mistakes at work, that he's getting wrote up for. Then, it turns into how he's having issues at home with his family, then, how he doesn't know what he's going to do with his life and how everything is turning upside down and so different from a year ago. Well, yeah, it IS different, because things didn't work out. It was either stay the same and not make any progress, or, get out of the situation. My mom has already commented on how I seem much more positive than I was before now that he's out of my home. She said I don't seem as depressed, I actually don't feel like the fog is suffocating me anymore. He's only been out of my house fully for not even a full week yet! I thought it would take much longer to feel somewhat better, but I guess months of being NOT myself, wore me down so much, my energy is screaming to come back.
Thank you so much again, I can't express how happy I am to have found this community. It has been tough over analyzing the situation and trying really hard to figure out whether I should go back to him. However, I think being alone is super important. The relationship was VERY rushed and not on my terms. When we started out I expressed that I wanted to be only friends, but, he pursued me harder than any man ever has before. I was impressed by this. I learned so much and although he is a good person, we just weren't compatible lifelong partners. I hope I can give back to this community by reaching out to others on this forum with what I've truly learned dating an ADHDer.
Submitted by sickandtired on
Wow. My X pursued me aggressively and rushed it too. I was so flattered and impressed with his enthusiasm about me, I thought he was the perfect match for me! That enthusiasm and hyper focus from him faded quickly. After that phase was over, he would obsess about other women, openly saying things to me about waitresses, women walking by, whoever was in his field of vision, even though I had repeatedly told him his comments about other women hurt my feelings. My feelings didn’t matter to him after the hyper focus stage was over. My only purpose was to meet his needs. It was so insulting, listening to him analyze every inch of a woman’s body, out loud to me, while we are having dinner at a restaurant. “She must work out, she has such sexy legs”. or “That girl has a lip ring. I wonder what it’s like to kiss a girl with a lip ring”. or he would say to our poor waitress, “You have a great body. I’ll bet you never had any kids because your stomach is so flat”... He would not accept that these things hurt my feelings, and embarrassed the waitress. He was hyper focused on her or whatever new shiny object that would come his way.
After the hyper focus phase, he started making a big deal about the fact that I am a year and a half older than him, implying that I was old and he was not, that I didn’t understand him because of our “age difference”. He even said he thought a younger woman would be better for him because she could understand him better. Well, my new husband is 8 years younger than me, cares about my feelings, and we understand each other just fine!
Holy smokes. That's AWFUL.
Submitted by tulips2 on
Holy smokes. That's AWFUL. Fortunately, my ex was not like that, otherwise I would have left him so fast! I learned the hard way when I dated a sociopath very briefly a couple of years ago, and experienced the exact same behavior you mentioned. He was so observant of other woman and would make very similar comments like you mentioned. Sickening. Thank goodness you got away! That sounds so unhealthy and a huge blow to someone's self-esteem! : ( My ex did make me feel like I was the only woman in the world, he would tell me how beautiful I was mostly every day, I didn't have to experience that kind of behavior, but man, I'm so happy to hear you're out of that.
Submitted by sickandtired on
Thank you for your kind words. You said your ADHD ex didn’t act that way...well mine didn’t either, for about the first two years. Think of their emotional response to you as a pendulum that ranges from wonderful to horrible. I found that the intensity of my x’s “love” for me was just as intense as his hatred for me eventually became.
Your comment about it being
Submitted by barneyarff on
Your comment about it being 12 years you used trying to get back the initial feeling back.
I'm sorry for your loss (of 12 years) Having just moved out, it crossed my mind that even after asking several times that the common areas be free of clutter, my husband would/could not comply He took all the empty spaces I've come to realize that anything I asked of him, he would say he needed more time... We've been married 40 years. So, not only did I let him take all the spaces, I let him take most of my time. I feel sad about that. Please use your time for you. My experience is that not only does an ADDer take your spaces, they take your time, too. Maybe that a little over dramatic, but the truth is snuggled in there somewhere
Submitted by tulips2 on
Thanks for your note. I'd have to agree with this. John would say he never had any time for anything, but he didn't prioritize and then would get extremely overwhelmed. Space and time, I'm going to be amazed at what I can do with only my energy being utilized towards the things I have to do. I'm hoping my memory improves from not having to worry about another person so much.
BRAVA, Tulip! Brava!
Submitted by barneyarff on
BRAVA, Tulip! Brava!
Thanks for the kind words Barneyarff
Submitted by sickandtired on
It’s never too late to rebuild your life. I know I felt better the instant I got him out of my home and my finances. I was warned at the time by folks on this forum that he would stop at nothing to stay in my life, and that’s exactly what happened. He used my personal information like credit card numbers and bank cards to get cash, and he stole both of our two vehicles I had totally paid for because I had trusted him to put his name on the titles as joint owner. He opened accounts in my name using my personal information, and completely ignored a restraining order to come on my property and steal my new SUV. What I’m saying is be very careful during the early stages of the breakup. They become so dependent on us, when we withdraw our enabling, they will hold on for dear life, because they forgot how to survive without us doing EVERYTHING for them.
Clean spaces and time.
Submitted by dedelight4 on
Clean spaces, time and broken things. These three things have been huge issues for me, because they are so extreme, and there doesnt seem to ever be any hope for change.
H is extremely messy, but yet he will be the first one to yell at someone else's mess. You can follow the path of mess whever he goes throughout the house, because he NEVER puts things where they belong, only drops them where he 's at. Doorknobs were made for ties and belts......always....regardless that I put up 2 belt and tie racks for him. Shoes taken off anywhere, but usually where they can get tripped over, and the backs of them are broken down flat because he won't take them off his feet properly.
I have spent years cleaning up these messes, and I think Ive learned something. He must hate clean spaces. The very minute I clean and remove the clutter, he gets something and covers up the newly made clean space. It's uncanny. It happens every time I clean......every single time. "Oh yea, a clean spot, let's PUT something there.
Clean spaces, and having clutter free zones is a good thing. It's peaceful and helps create a general sense of some order. Plus, when you need an item, I can go to its designated spot and find it, its there. H gets SO angry because he can never find anything he needs, but HE'S the one causing tbis. By still not learning enough about his ADHD, we have a hard time coming up with sustainable solutions. He just keeps saying, "I need to be more organized". And, I've heard this for over 35 years H. It doesnt matter how many organizatiinal things we have, he wont USE them. He will still drop anything, anywhere, continue to shop, bring in stuff, and pile it up on the outside of organized places, or the helpful organizational items.
Time: the next thing. Every day he says ," I dont have enough time", stresses out, and repeats it again. But, he doesnt realize he's spending 3 to 4 hours or more a day on video games. He DOES work hard, and I have always appreciated this and tell him so often. But, he wastes SO much time on the computer, as well as not being able to process how to socially maneuver to better his own world, especially in his job. He rushes around constantly, rushing through the house, here to there, in a frenetic panicked state, "there's not enough time". (past several months he's slowed down some from an injury) This, is a major drawback of those who choose to STAY in denial of the extent of their ADHD symptoms. (Which he still believes is just a focus problem) But, I know deep in his heart he knows better. Why choose to stay stuck? Forever stuck in a vicious circle when there IS belp.
Broken things. My once beautiful house is a pile of endless projects, now rotting and half done. Cobwebs and junk are everywhere, that he keeps piling up. Its like an episode of Hoarders. How can he see anyone else's mess but not see these huge piles of mess and broken things he did himself? It has to be a sickness or just complete denial of " It's not that bad". It IS. Stop the denial, and accept that you cant control this, is what I want to say. But, I know it wont make any difference. The worst part, is my health is failing, and I dont have the strength to keep up with this any longer. So our house is a junk pile of broken debris from "projects", carelessness, and unchecked /undertreated ADHD symptoms and denial.
Sorry for the rant, just has to de-stress about this.
Submitted by barneyarff on
Might I add that your time was taken too. All that time you used trying to find solutions (like the tie rack), all the time you spent here The time you spent trying to figure out how to make your life work amidst the chaos And, in my experience, if I put my foot down and say, "this mess on the table will be thrown away if it isn't moved within the hour" I will hear "But I need more time" Then no matter what I do, I have caught myself up in a trap because if I give him more time, he has learned he can work around me and if I throw the stuff away I am mean...
For me, at my age I don't feel as though I have anymore time to give to this project of helping my husband "manage" his ADD.
That is why I left Monday. BTW----he hasn't contacted me.... Out of sight, out of mind I guess
Sickandtired- Oh my gosh. I
Submitted by tulips2 on
Sickandtired- Oh my gosh. I hope that it wouldn’t turn into this with my ex. He did however, message me several times yesterday very random small talk and I finally told him recently after providing him feedback with his speech that I needed time to myself. Let’s see if he respects this, but I have a feeling he won’t. Looking back and seeing how many people said how happy he was since I came into his life and how he’s changed for the better, makes me feel as though he didn’t have it together before me anyway.
What I mean by this is, he didn’t have it together before I came into his life, once I came into his life, it LOOKED like he got it together, because I had it together…
Dedelight4 – Oh goodness, I couldn’t live like that. Clutter gives me serious anxiety. As soon as ex moved out I did a deep cleaning to my house and it was good for my soul. Fortunately, he wasn’t messy, he did do his best to keep things clean and helped me with chores. I’m sending positive vibes and love your way! Please take care of yourself, you only have yourself in this life, and you deserve to live happier and in a clean home. No need to apologize, it’s very clear to me that some changes should be made for you to live your best life.
Barneyarff – Sending love and light to you as well. I’m so glad you recognized the need to step-up and take care of your own health.
My DH is much the same but
Submitted by Libby on
My DH is much the same but insead of "It's not that bad" I hear "It doesn't matter". Or I get told that nobody else's wife cares about things like neatness and order.
I am daily cleaning up his messes. It is much the same at my house as yours. I spend the time to set up a system and he just can't seem to figure it out. I do think a ot of the problems tie in the their inability to keep track of time. My DH seems to think he doesn't have time to be neat and tidy.
My DH also works hard. His time waster is the phone. He spends countless hours chatting with anyone and everyone. No concept that if he cut that down he would have more time to do other things that need doing.
Libby - Wow, you women are
Submitted by tulips2 on
Libby - Wow, you women are very strong and kind with what you're all putting up with. I would not feel comfortable constantly cleaning up after my significant other. : / My ex loved chatting with anybody and everybody too and I think that's why he is having severe issues with his new job.
I wanted to circle back and get your opinion on a message he sent me today. After he emailed me his speech, I responded with one sentence telling him that I thought it was good and wished him a lovely weekend. I told him I was giving up my phone for awhile because I needed time for myself. He responded that he'd like to catch up in a week and have dinner if I wanted to, but if it, he wouldn't bother me anymore.
I started crying after I got his note, probably because I'm overly sensitive right now and still this is very fresh, he hasn't been out of my house for a full week yet.
Submitted by cinnamontree on
I can relate, I also just broke up with my ADHD boyfriend because he refused to get treatment. He had been seeing a counselor for a year and when the counselor told him he needed to get tested for ADHD he stopped going for a few months until I made him go back. He still hasn't ever gotten help beyond his weekly counseling treatments, he thinks he doesn't need it. I know it's hard. I was with him for 4 years and we had some really beautiful times together. I thought he was great, he helped me around the house, he actually did our laundry and most of the cooking since I work and go to school but little things started piling up. Things like he'd fall asleep while cooking and I'd come home to an apt full of smoke, he's at a job he loves currently but he went through 5 different jobs in three years before that. He got mad at me for waking him up for work one time and thought I was trying to kick him out of the house. I know he loves me, everyone we've ever met sees it and comments on it but it got to the point where if I didn't leave now the only future I saw was leaving with kids when he was spiraling down. His spirals got pretty bad and he was self destructive. I had given him until the first to get out, didn't find a place til a week after that, even now he still has a few things to pick up. He's my best friend so it's weird coming home and not talking to him. I know he wants to get back together and has told me he wants to take me out to dinner soon. Basically, I'm just saying I know what you're going through right now and reading what you posted has made me feel a little less alone, just know that you are not alone either. Remember why you did what you did, you can't help someone that isn't willing to help themselves, appreciate the good times that y'all had and take pride in knowing that you are a very strong person because sometimes leaving is harder than staying.
Hi Cinnamontree - Interesting
Submitted by tulips2 on
Hi Cinnamontree - Interesting. My ex didn't tell me anything about his therapist asking him to get tested for ADHD, then again, he did only see him twice. Supposedly he has an appointment next week, but part of me thinks that now I'm out of the picture, he's going to give up on that too. John thinks the therapy helps, but I'm thinking he's saying that because he knows that's what I want to hear. John is VERY anti-meds, even though I think he really should be medicated to improve the quality of his life. It definitely sounds like we are similar with what we went through. John would cook and make the smoke alarms go off, but never fell asleep while cooking, that had to be terrifying! I can relate about feeling sad losing a best friend. Thank you so much for your note and making me also feel less alone. I've been struggling since he moved out last week and this community has helped save my sanity. Leaving is harder than staying in this situation for sure. A new friend of mine asked me last night what happened between John and I. It hit me pretty hard because it's so much easier to say, he was a jerk! However, I said he had severe ADHD and family dysfunction. Part of me is going to just tell people we didn't mesh as well as we though if anyone else asks. I feel guilty telling the truth about us because I don't want it to seem like I'm putting him down. It's really hard not to go back to him because we shared so many beautiful memories, but, I really need to figure out my own life and stop giving so much of me to men.
Submitted by sickandtired on
Please be prepared when (not if) he will try to guilt you into getting back with him. He knows you are a kind person, and he will use this knowledge to try to manipulate you to let him back into your home. This happened to me. After 2 years, I broke up with my ex, but he kept emailing and calling, and I made the mistake of letting him back in. It took another 10 years to get him out of my house. He still emails me with long pitiful stories of how much he is suffering. I never answered any of the over 50 emails he has sent since 2015, but he keeps creating new email addresses to get past being blocked. I just hope that all of you newly broken up folks out there realize that it’s not over like a normal breakup would be. They will do ANYTHING to get their enabler/ATM/maid/caretaker/mommy back.
Wow-your paragraph about TIME
Submitted by dvance on
Wow-your paragraph about TIME hit me hard. My DH is the same: no time for working out (he is overweight), no time to golf (something he loves, he has clubs and we can afford), no time to see the eye doctor (we have vision insurance, the eye doc is walking distance to our apartment and has Saturday hours), no time to go check out his painful knees (again, we have insurance, our doc has offices walking distance to our apartment and they too have Saturday hours) and YET...HOURS playing video games and scrolling through you tube videos and watching reruns of The Office. Often the TV is on, you tube is on his iPad and he is playing a game on his phone. I have stopped having any feelings about those things beyond observe and move on. People spend their time on what's important to them, regardless of what comes out of their mouths, right? I too get sucked into Instagram and have to remind myself that I feel much calmer if I limit my mindless screen time, so I set my Fitbit to buzz me at 7pm to close up screens. Now, I can do this since it is summer and school is out, I could not pull off the 7pm no screens during the school year when I have actual work to do, but I also don't want to lose hours of my summer to mindless screen scrolling that does not leave me feeling calm and refreshed.
But I digress. I just cannot fathom how video games and you tube hold the attention of a 50 year old man. I would be climbing the walls with the amount of time he spends motionless in front of a screen. And our garage is a nightmare. And his closet is a nightmare. And our son's car that he has been going to fix for a year remains unfixed. And the photos I need posted on our neighborhood website to sell some items remain unposted (this I can do myself). It really is crazy making.
Oh honey, run don't walk away
Submitted by dvance on
Oh honey, run don't walk away from this man. Seriously. What can I say? What can all of us on this site say to make you see what a disaster you are in for if you take him back/stay? Look, I read your story this morning, I read all the comments. Many of us have been on this site for many years--look us up and read some of our back stories. Here's mine: I am 48 years old. I have been married for 23 years to an ADHD man. I wish with all my heart I had never married him. There were some of the same warning signs as you have listed but I thought I knew better, our love would see us through, we would be different, pick a cliche. It doesn't work like that. About a month before we moved in together, my then boyfriend flew his ex-fiance in from New York to stay with him because she was having some kind of crises. He was broke (so I thought) and I knew nothing about her or that he had done this until his MOTHER told me. And yet...moved in together and married him. How stupid was I?? Pretty darn stupid.
Think hard about what you value for the long term. If you value honesty, ADHD people are not a good choice. My DH lies like he breathes-read other stories here-many of us have this experience with our ADHD person. If you value faithfulness, ADHD people are not a good choice. My DH has crossed a line with three women that I know of. If you value job stability, ADHD people are not a good choice. My DH has only held down his last three jobs for three years (never his fault of course...). If you value follow through, ADHD people are not a good choice--you see that and you read it here. Seriously--you said yourself that your anxiety soared with him in 15 months and right now you have very little to lose--no kids, no shared property, no health issues, no aging parents (the stuff of real life). WHY would you sign on for that for the long term? What makes you think he is all of a sudden going to be good at finishing things? Good at being faithful? I think you talked about him seeing a married woman in one of your replies?? Listen--if he has no problems helping her break her vows, how seriously do you think he will take his own? With many ADHD people there is always a "reason", an "excuse", a "rational", a "justification" for their behavior. Let me think of the ones I have heard: I forgot, I didn't mean it, I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't think you would find out, why do you care, it doesn't concern you anyway, it's none of your business, I have to do what's right for me even if it hurts your feelings, I misspoke, that's not what I meant, I never said that, I didn't get that text/email, my boss is a jerk, my colleague dropped the ball, I ran out of time. I could go on.
Please--grow up and stop romanticizing this man-child. 15 months together is not that long to be this attached. Release him to the wild and stick with your therapist to figure yourself out. A stable relationship with a stable ADULT does not make you anxious or feel like you are going crazy. Your uncertainty about your career is NOT a reason to stay with him-those are two different things and staying with a chaotic, unstable guy is not going to help your career. One thing has nothing to do with the other. He canceled an appointment to get meds because he started a new job? That's BS. Does he work 23 hours a day? No? Then he had time to get to the appointment. That was an excuse. He does not want to get on meds for you or anyone else or he would have already been on them.
You should be the most picky about relationships that you possibly can be. Why would you want to saddle yourself with someone who does not bring out your best self? That will only get worse when the stresses of real life happen--health stuff, children, aging parents, job stress. Adult life gets more full and busy and stressful, not less. Imagine if he left that car running in the closed garage with a child in it. Or if that grill caught on fire with a little one around. You say you were embarrassed to go out with him. How is this sustainable for a long term relationship? Wouldn't you want to have couple friends and be able to socialize? Many of us on this site talk about how lonely we are in our marriages and how most of what we do is separate from our spouses. Many of us pursue hobbies that don't involve our spouses or participate in activities without them just to have any kind of social life. I can tell you that is not what I wanted for my life, but at this point my DH and I share nothing in common. We used to do things together and over time he has told me that he "didn't really like that stuff he only did it to keep me happy". So I go to things like museums, opera, theater, book clubs, cooking classes--things we HAD done together that it turns out he didn't really like--and he sits home in his chair scrolling through you tube videos. He is only 50 years old. He has no adult friends of his own and no hobbies or interests of his own that he actively pursues. His grooming is less than stellar and he too has trouble with social cues so I am embarrassed in public as well. Not a recipe for a healthy marriage.
At age 29 you are not having a mid life crisis. You likely aren't crazy about your job and are trying to figure out what to commit to career-wise. We have all been there! If you were my close friend I would say run from this man and spend your mental energy figuring out what your calling is, what your life's work is. There is not a man in the world that can make you feel whole or complete or fulfilled at the end of the day if you don't feel that way on your own. I am the Assistant Principal of Catholic School and I love my work. I love my principal--I would follow her over a cliff. I don't make much money but this is what I was born to do and I love it. Figure that out for yourself and I bet the guy won't seem so appealing. It may take some mucking around before you settle on a job. That's okay. You said he would never hurt you. That is not true. Leaving a car on in a closed garage could have hurt you. Setting a grill on fire could have hurt you. Being unable to keep a job will hurt you. Making you feel anxious enough that YOU had to seek therapy is hurting you. A grown man not addressing a mental health issue is hurtful. If he had cancer and refused treatment, how would you feel? If he needed glasses but refused to wear them and insisted on driving anyway, that would be dangerous. Actively refusing to deal with ADHD is just as reckless. Untreated ADHD does not end well for anyone. It is my opinion that adults have a responsibility to be as physically and mentally healthy as they can be for the people in their lives. It's not fair to a wife or kids if a parent is not fully present because of a health issue they refuse to deal with. My DH should never have gotten married or had kids. That way he would have gone to work (when he was employed) and come home to fritter away his time watching reruns or scrolling through you tube and not have to be nagged by a wife to finish projects or do things with his kids. Many folks on this site have similar experiences: the non-ADHD spouse ends up being the parent to the ADHD spouse as well and that is NOT what we signed up for, not a marriage of equals and it breeds all kinds of resentment on both sides, none of it beneficial for a healthy marriage.
I hope you can truly take in what I am saying: this man will hurt you in the long run. It may or may not be on purpose, but that really doesn't matter when your feelings are hurt. The jumping from one job to another is not good. Do you want children? Do you want to stay home with them at all? You may not have those options if you don't have a husband with a solid job. Please block him from all your social media, cut ties and move on. 15 months is not that long. Move on. Figure yourself out.
Submitted by sickandtired on
VERY well said Dvance. I wish someone had said all of this to me 12 years ago. I suffered a serious fall with broken bones in 2013 due to my ex’s hoarding junk, and I still have pain in my back and ankles. I also have stress and high blood pressure from the chronically chaotic life my ex led. I wouldn’t wish a spouse with these behaviors on my worst enemy.
sickandtired – Over 50 emails
Submitted by tulips2 on
sickandtired – Over 50 emails!! My goodness!! UGH. This just really frustrates me for you. As if you owe him anything, sounds like he’s insanely unstable and truly needs to create his own life. I appreciate the warning. I guess because we were only together for about 15 months, I didn’t run into these type of behaviors. Maybe I left before things got really wild. I just can’t seem him turning into people like so many of you have described. There were red flags with his behaviors but nothing to this extent, however, we were still very much in the honeymoon phase.
Dvance – Thank you for sharing your story with me. You mention lying and I think that’s something John would casually do. He’d make comments and I’d catch him and say, no, it’s not like that! He’d be like oh, well, I guess you’re right. He did fabricate somethings and I think because I was so used to it and knew he didn’t have any malicious intent with it, I shrugged it off. Some of the things he did that REALLY bothered me including opening packages that were addressed TO ME and also getting on my computer when I wasn’t home and probably going through all my stuff! I found it interesting after he was on my computer, my laptop had a piece of broken plastic…he swore up and down he didn’t do it. Then he said, you don’t believe me do you!? I’m telling the truth! I felt really bad and said okay, but it’s just weird to me that I wasn’t on the computer, and it happened to break…he was honest about other things he broke and replaced those. I met him on Tinder...I think I'm staying away from free online dating applications in the future. Ha! John promised me he'd start taking me on weekly dates, because I deserved it. He never followed through with those. He would surprise me with a cupcake and expect to be rewarded. He would say things like, "are you happy now that I surprised you?"....
I appreciate that you took the time to read through all the messages/replies to give such valuable insight. Your comments about the social life really hit me hard. I had been thinking I’m just being too hard on him and hearing from others this is a common theme regarding feeling isolated makes me realize it would be crazy for me to welcome that back into my life. Since leaving him my friends have come out of the woodwork and I started signing up for things to do without feeling guilty, stressed, or tense about it. In the past I would be worried if I didn’t invite him to something because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I also didn’t want other people to feel mentally exhausted with his presence. John does the same thing with YouTube! He was on it ALL OF THE TIME. He did have one hobby outside of me but otherwise, we did everything together.
You also made me just realize that in the 15 months we were together, all of the connections he made through me were very positive, social, exciting people. I only met really gossipy, rude, destructive people through him. We didn’t form any solid bonds with others when we were together. I can’t honestly say I’ll miss anyone now that I reflect on the last year.
I can’t thank you enough for sending me such a detailed response, it really has helped me. As much as I hate hurting people and blocking them out of my life, if I let him reel me back in, I’ll be just destroying myself. You have seriously opened my eyes and provided an observation that I seriously needed. I wish you all the best in your life and send you positive vibes! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! <3
You are welcome and I am
Submitted by dvance on
You are welcome and I am sorry to be so harsh. I wish someone had taken me by the shoulders and given me a good hard shake: if a man flies in an ex-fiance you knew nothing about when he was supposed to be broke to stay with him a month before you are going to move in together THAT IS KIND OF A PROBLEM. WHAT was I thinking??? And now I am 48 with two teen age boys and 23 wasted years. I don't know if I would have believed someone if they told me what I was in for, but I sure wish someone had tried! But really I have no one to blame but myself--I mean really. How gullible was I at age 24??
When you said he would bring you a cupcake and expect a reward--my DH cannot be thanked enough for anything he does. It's ridiculous. He makes dinner and all through the meal he will say wow, this is good, or do you like this? it came out really good. Like multiple times. Okay--enough already--we said thank you once like a normal person now move on. I know these sound like small, petty things when we list them like this, but consider years of bizarre behaviors. It adds up. Most of us remind me of that frog that if you put it in regular water and heat it to boiling it will sit there and be boiled alive, whereas if you throw a frog into boiling water it will jump out and save itself. All of us have been in the slow boiling water for a long long time.
I rarely talk about my DH to anyone and I haven't worn my wedding ring in two years. People I meet are often surprised to find out I am even married. How screwed up is that? I hear my friends with, you know, healthy marriages, talk and I just have no words. That they do things together-work out together, take classes for fun together, go away for weekends together, rush to get home to have dinner together, run things by their spouse before making a decision because they value their opinion and I just have no words. My DH is the last person I go to for anything-support or advice. I had a pretty significant event happen at school the last week we had students (bad) and he still doesn't know about it. It really shook me up and I have been teaching for 17 years, but whenever I say anything negative about school all he says is get another job. Um...no...I love my job, just venting right now AND by the way...he gets fired pretty much every three years like clockwork so forgive me if I am not taking career advice from him!
Listen, I do understand not quite knowing the direction you want your life to go, but that is for you to figure out and this man-child is not the answer. Please really take in what all of us here have said. Cut ties, clean break. Work with your therapist, do fun things with YOUR friends, pursue hobbies YOU enjoy, try new things, maybe take classes in something new I don't know--try new stuff! Have fun-don't be with someone who makes you anxious. That's not a good plan for the long term.
Dvance, slam dunk
Submitted by dedelight4 on
Wow, what an absolute, complete description of what it is like to live with a person who has ADHD, and then also won't be adequately treated for it. It can take your entire life away before you know it, and the stress is an "off the charts" kind of stress, which also seriously affects your health and peace of mind.
I believe there is a "pretending" that goes on, where like my H, pretends to be someone other than who he is, to feel better about himself. But, why do this, when there is REAL help available to be able to function as your real SELF? Part of the mental illness?
I also believe that there needs to be some extra focus just on the spouses and the "nons", of ADHD'ers, for some in depth help as well, without us having to work most of this out WITH the affected person. We have been damaged ourselves, in many ways. And yes, we can all see where the initial attraction to them may have come from our earlier years, that needs to be worked out also, but how can anyone fully be prepared to live a married life with an unknown/untreated mental illness? (Again, where the people themselves wont be treated) Especially, since so many of our spouses dont seem to feel the need for intimate, close attachments. An interesting question, why do they desire to even get married in the first place? I think with H, part of it had to be another impulsive decision, that he felt good about at the time. Now, not now.....time blindness. "It seems like a good idea right now, and I'm not thinking about the consequences of it, OR the responsibilities of it. Then shock sets in, and a ," checking out" takes place.
I do believe that maybe, in the treatment of ADHD persons, if they are being treated from childhood, they need to be made aware that their condition does affect others, so their need to be honest about it, is imparative. Many comparisons are made with other serious illnesses,and ADHD. But, a spouse getting cancer or diabetes, isnt going to create serious psycologically damaging, life threatening daily chaos. (Dont get me wrong, yes it can be devastating) But, with this condition, we're talking about mental illness, which has its own unique challenges and treatments. Its effects are far reaching, and can cause serious harm to so many others......(example, car accidents etc)
What am I trying to say? dont know, I guess. Whew. It's difficult......for sure.
dvance – I didn’t take your
Submitted by tulips2 on
dvance – I didn’t take your post personally since I knew you were simply getting a point across and meant no ill intent by it. No need to apologize. : ) You sound like you have been suffering for some time with your husband and I hope that you find ways to alleviate your stress because you deserve it. As you provide me words of wisdom, please know, it’s never to late to move on from your situation. I understand several people feel stuck being married, but there is always, always, always a way to leave. It sounds like you accept the situation for what it is although it is exhausting. It sounds to me like you’ve learned how to manage the relationship, but that doesn’t make you very happy. I wish you happiness. My mom has been with a man for the last five years and constantly complains to me how she is unhappy. She’ll get mad at me when I point out to her she seems miserable and the only person who can make the change is herself. She feels as though it’s “too late” to be single in her 50s. However, I explain, that wouldn’t you just rather be alone then be unhappy all of the time? They are constantly arguing, not healthy in my opinion.
Dedelight4 – I keep finding myself telling people that I never actually knew ADHD was possible on this scale. I had no idea what I was getting into. NO CLUE how much it would change me in such a short amount of time and make me want to just stay in bed all day because I couldn’t function with the mental exhaustion I was dealing with in my relationship. I fell hard and fast for this guy. I loved how he pursued me. He’s told me I deserve better on several occasions, I finally took his advice.
dedelight~we seem to line up
Submitted by dvance on
dedelight~we seem to line up on a lot of things! I do think a lot about what it was about ME that drew in this kind of man. I was 25, the product of a violent alcoholic father who killed himself when I was 6 and a mom who had severe anxiety and in hindsight I suspect borderline personality disorder (that wasn't really a thing 40+ years ago). So it is quite possible that I was not the best candidate to pick out a stable life partner at age 23-25 (you think?!?!?!? lol). Now at age 48 I don't think I could have a normal relationship with another man. The bizarre behaviors we all live with and the work-arounds I have developed really don't lend themselves to being a solid trusting spouse myself. I don't see myself trusting another man ever again--I pretty much just assume men lie and are untrustworthy. Now clearly that is not the case, I just don't trust myself to find a good one. That is my biggest issue--I don't trust my own judgment any longer. So why do I stay married? Laziness partly. Habit. Shame. Outwardly folks would not think there is a problem--no physical abuse, no substance abuse, and who wants to admit to unfaithfulness?? We don't argue, we don't anything. It's lonely, it's a drag, it's not what I wanted. Our boys are 19 and 16. The big one took a year off after high school and will go to community college in August. The little one will be a senior. Next year they will both go away to college (fingers crossed for decent grades...) and our lease will be up. We could separate. Do you know I used to tell him he was the man of my dreams. WTF was I thinking??? Man did I get suckered. I am at the point where I can no longer be angry at DH--I bought my own risk. Even if I didn't know ADHD exactly, there were PLENTY of red flags and I made my choice. It would be nice if he was so moved as to get mentally healthy for his family, but I can't make him, so here we are. What I can do is make a satisfying life for myself. I love my job, I have a faith community that is really important to me, I have a big circle of friends that I make an active effort to do things with regularly, I do things on my own. This week both DH and my youngest were out of town and the older child was working all day. One afternoon I went to a movie (Book Club--HILARIOUS) another afternoon I went downtown to the Art Institute (Chicago) and walked around for a few hours then went to a cafe that I like for their great chopped salad, read my book, then went to a Planned Parenthood event. I started volunteering for them this summer. It was a great afternoon. All three of those things made me happy--art, food and reading, volunteering for something that I believe in. (I am off for the summer--this is not a regular week!!) Now, would I like someone to share at least some of that with me? Sure, but that doesn't mean I won't do it myself. I have a subscription to the Lyric Opera with another friend that begins in the fall--CAN.NOT.WAIT. We have done this for years and I love everything about the opera. Friends help. Naps help. Therapy helps.
So what am I trying to say??!!??!! No idea, rambling over here too... I wish all of the non-ADHD spouses on here could meet in some central location for a weekend retreat type thing to support each other in person! Truly no one else would believe our stories!!!
Okay. Your first line gave me
Submitted by tulips2 on
Okay. Your first line gave me chills. My dad was a severe alcoholic who was very unstable. He had mental issues, was very violent, and my mom had met him when he just got out of motorcycle gang. My mother was addicted to drugs throughout my entire teenage years. I basically raised myself and worked jobs so I could save up for college. My dad ended up killing himself by drinking and driving. He used to play “suicide scare attempts” to traumatize my mother. Which, as you can expect, traumatized me. I recall one time my dad held a gun in his mouth while we walked into the house when I was about 12. I could write a novel on all the bull crap I went through by taking care of my parents. That’s why I think I clung onto John so hard and fast. He didn’t drink, he didn’t do drugs, and he was always there and made me feel wanted…
I was scared as a child and always had really high stress. That would explain why my mom has such high anxiety to this day. Ironically, throughout my childhood I never once pursued therapy or medication. It was only until I got into a couple of relationships with men that I sought out counseling. I wanted to make sure my childhood wasn't holding me back from love. After talking to two different counselors, that is not the case. I've been told I'm clearly attached to John, but I'm being very smart about what seems like serious incompatibilities for a happy and healthy future for myself.
Mom fortunately is sober, that's all I could ask of her, but we don't have the typical, lets meet up for lunch relationship. I think that's why I so desperately wanted that with John's family. In the beginning, when things were excellent with John and I's family, my mom would get jealous and said I spent way too much time with them. Well...my mom never does anything with me!? I have to practically drag her out to do anything and she won't do anything out of her comfort zone, ever. She won't even bowl with me. <<Venting here>>
I can relate with you on your outwardly comment. People have been confused why I’ve left John, but then I point out how my own safety has unintentionally been at risk. It sounds like you have an incredibly wonderful fulfilling life outside of your relationship. I loved reading about your excitement to go with your friend to the lyric opera, how fun!
I think you’re onto something. Maybe a retreat is just what folks need? I’m wondering if people would be willing to meet up and connect. This forum is seriously the best thing I have found in awhile. I felt so alienated and alone until I made my way here. You can also throw in I felt guilty and crazy. I literally thought I was losing my mind.
Oh honey I wish I could hug
Submitted by dvance on
Oh honey I wish I could hug you for what you went through. It seems like a lot of us had terrible, unstable childhoods that made us grow up WAY before we should have. We got really good at organizing and care-taking and DOING and problem solving and helping and fixing and NOT feeling and being productive--all the things that our ADHD people SUCK at!!! No wonder they were attracted to us initially! And we all figured that's just how adults function, right? One grown up is the screw up and one is the fixer. And then over time we see that other marriages/partnerships don't actually function this way, that two adults can BOTH act like adults at the same time (mind blown) and we start to wonder. Or we get tired. Mentally and physically. Or something happens to us and WE need support and there is none. In all the stories here, it seems there is some slow realization that the way things are isn't right--it may be a slow burn or a big crisis, but something wakes us up and there is no going back. What happens next varies--some of us leave, some of us stay, but things are not the same.
My dad used to threaten my mom and I with guns when he was drunk. He used to beat my mom and I used to hide under my bed and watch. My DH is a big guy and I too felt physically safe with him right from the beginning. He doesn't drink at all-that was attractive to me initially too. I'll tell you what though-finding emails from another woman is pretty darn hurtful too. Knowing that your person does not have your back--not so great. I know that I have changed a lot in the 23 years since we got married (we dated for 4 years before that) but DH did not. He is pretty much the same as he was a long time ago. He makes inappropriate comments in front of my son's girlfriend. He watches shows that don't hold the interest of the 16 year old, much less most 50 year olds. He seems bound and determined to be opposite everything a grown man should be. But--I cannot change that and I am done trying to.
You are not crazy and you have nothing to feel guilty about. If you found out your boyfriend was a serial killer you would run the other way to save yourself. This is kinda the same thing. Over time he would have killed your spirit and your sense of yourself. Take it from all of us who have been there and are still there.
Dvance, so much the same
Submitted by dedelight4 on
We really seem to share so many things. Incredible. I am the product of being abandoned by my parents when I was 4, and being raised by very physically, verbally abusive grandparents that didnt want me. (Plus my siblings) My parents divorced in 1960, which was UNHEARD of then in the general public. Hollywood gossip magazines would talk about celebrities divorcing, but regular people didnt. Not back then. It was a stigma on us, as well as knowing we werent wanted by 3 pairs of parents, since biological parents remarried. (Mom & Dad, step-parents, grandparent/parents) We KNEW we werent loved, so this created a desire in me to NEED to feel loved by SOMEONE. Not a good recipe to start adulthood with. Parents really mess up their children when they dont or cant do their jobs as mothers and fathers.
Also, what you said about not being able to trust yourself any more really struck home with me. This is where I am mentally right now. I know I can no longer trust myself to love another man, because I know something in myself is broken. My physical health has declined quickly this past year, (chronic pain) and the stresses of life kind of used up all my "fight or flight" reserves. I'm going for a physical soon to see whats what.
I am a pianist/organist for churches, schools, voice students, and LOVE it. But havent been able to do it the past 2 years. Struggling. I also love the Opera, and playing for the voice students who sing opera music is my favorite.
Anyway, Thank You for mentioning about the possibility of meeting in a central place. I was JUST thinking about this, and was wondering if I should make this suggestion. So, I'm so glad you did. I'm sure it would be an amazing thing. We'd probably all bawl our eyes out at first, actually seeing and hugging friends here, who has been through the same extreme life circumstances, and without even having to say a word, just KNOW that other person feels what YOU are feeling, and just plain UNDERSTANDS the pain of it all. Wow. It would be great meeting you face to face. We will have to look at this further.
Hugs to you friend.
Dedelight~how old are you (if
Submitted by dvance on
Dedelight~how old are you (if you don't mind my asking)? I am 48 and sometimes I feel so much older. I wonder if this is all there is to look forward to--alone and more alone. Because like we said, I really don't trust myself to make a decent choice in a partner. I am so sorry for your lousy childhood. It really does a number on a kid, doesn't it? I had a LOT of therapy to reconcile what my dad did and how my mom was. I have not spoken to my mom in almost 20 years and it has been the best decision ever. I wish you could have your music back--music is so very healing--I played violin for years and just loved it. Now I am a very good audience member!! Are you anywhere near Chicago? The Lyric Opera here is just extraordinary. Come visit and we'll go!
I do think our childhoods totally influenced what kind of partner we picked. Many of us had to be adults when we were kids. We got very good at taking care of everything from a very young age--it became our default. For me, everything was a BIG problem to solve. It took me a lot of therapy time to figure out what needed a BIG response from me versus what needed a little response or even no response because in my house growing up we lurched from crisis to crisis--police at the house, dad passed out in the bathroom, puking from the DTs, driving around the neighborhood looking for him when he went out half dressed and drunk, then after he died, being THAT GIRL whose dad killed himself (over Christmas break while I was in first grade no less), mom was a mess, and on and on. Talk about drama. I have a very low threshold for drama now. Really there is so little that needs to be that big of a deal any more. In my classroom I have a sign that says EVERYTHING IS FIGURE-OUT-ABLE. In my teaching/admin life, everything I do is from a problem solving standpoint. I try to be that way with my boys too: take a breath, gather some information, make a plan. That plan didn't work? Think about why not and make a new plan. ADHD folks don't do that very well--they lurch from drama to drama and crisis to crisis, usually of their own making. I just have no stomach for it any more.
Dvance, I don't mind.
Submitted by dedelight4 on
Hey, it took me a little but to get back to you, sorry. I don't mind telling you my age. I'm 61, but feel much, much older. It seems like I've been old my entire life also, because I've never known what it's like to be a child. There were NO happy, carefree days of childhood, with memories of playing, and vacations, or having fun with Mom and Dad. None of that. Only, days and nights of sheer terror, waiting for the next time one of my grandparents to "go off", and on a rampage of severely beating my younger 2 siblings. I stayed out oftheir way, and didnt get the beatings, but I used to bandage up my brother and sister, and wipe off the blood, and put band-aids on the welts they got. I think we all had "easy victim" written on our foreheads, because then my first cousins sexually molested me when I was 11, and he raped my youger sister. She was 9. Thus went on for years. No one did anything, and they even blamed us for being sexually abused, like it was our fault. It wasnt. We were innocent, and no one helped. People at our church would tell me repeatedly, "You kids better be THANKFUL that your grandparents took you in, because its not EVERYDAY, someone would take in a bunch of KIDS". Our grandparents took us in because my Mom was going to put us in an orphanage.
Then, there were dozens of other events on top of this, but these are the highlights. Oh, then I married my first husband when I was 18, because I was told I wasnt going to college, and not to think about it. The week of my wedding, my brother was hit by a drunk driver and killed, he was 10 years old at the time.. ( he was hit in front of our home) And, continued drama with all the parents dysfunctional lives. Crazy stuff.
No wonder I chose the men I chose to be married to. I had NO clue what real love was, or what a stable, healthy family looked like.
I understand what you said about not being able to handle the drama, or crisis any more. I'm right there also. Just dont have the stamina for it any longer. Enough is enough.
Submitted by tulips2 on
tulips2, You are conflicted...
Submitted by Will It Get Better on
I advise finding a therapist that is highly knowledgeable about ADHD and actively counsels non-ADHD partners. You are conflicted: you 'love' the man who is highly focused on you nearly all the time yet another part of your consciousness shouts 'bad, bad, bad' constantly. As you read through this site you'll repeatedly find stories of that 'focus' vaporizing after you are married and some time has passed. It can happen to you (and it is not due to anything you will have done.) You may then spend decades repeatedly asking yourself 'why does he ignore me now that we are "together for always."'
not and andvice but my actual experience
Submitted by pinkiemartini on
pretty much what you have described of your relation with John is what I have with my partner. The special connection and the way he understands me, how he is willing to do anything related to me and yet ... after only 10 months of being living together .. im close to run away ... why? because I just don't feel secure ... our relation is not like yours but the thing is that my partner hasn't found the right medical treatment yet after several years of diagnosed. He has a living pension so he has no "need" to work .. however, that income is good for 1 person but now that supports 2 ... well we have sometimes problems. And the big difference is that I moved from my own country to live with him .. because of all the same reasons you have described about what you like about John.
I feel also that our timing is not right .. i also have that like mid life crisis you mentioned and consider also the adaptation process to this country that has nothing similar to my own country ... it is just a bad equation of elements .. and yet, during 10 months we have tried everything. For now what is my solution? Im planning to go back to my own country to work on myself, ill seek for a therapist so i can work on my own issues because I do have them related to my own insecurities, work on my weight (because definitely all the anxiety that i have lived since I arrived the only way i deal with it is by eating) and take some time out from the daily dynamic of this living together.
It is not healthy to wake up everyday thinking "will this be a good day or a bad day" .. "if it is a good day, for how long will be?" ... it is not healthy to keep thinking on what if this happens or not happens. It is not even healthy to feel drained, keep double checking, making 2 steps ahead of them so nothing wrong happens. The difference with your story, is that even the intimacy is non existent .... so why i am in this situation? ... because i know him for 13 years, 7 years we were online friends and during the last 6 years we dated. The times we met were pretty awesome just like the way you described your week trip. We plan it and go for it ... that is why i never see any of the symptoms ... i always knew he had some problems but during out trips, we had a pretty good time. My mistake? Didnt research on time about ADHD ... I just search about it since like 3 months ago ... Even his therapist tell me " he has improved so much because you are here, he is really changed" .... but for how long? i told him "if you want to change, do it for you, not for me otherwise it will not last" ... he has cried to me and says he doesnt want to lose me and i feel guilty for even thinking about going back to get some help for me. but these 10 months have been hell for me .. Not even the honeymoon phase lasted more than 5 days ... and i already feel myself miserable, depresed and sad. I wanted to have children when we were planning for the wedding ... now i don't even think about it. Well we don't have sex at all haha so of course no children will come .. but my point is that even if we had, i will not bring up right now a baby into this relation right now and probably never ... so far everything i have read from other couples is not much positive when the partner with ADHD doesn't recognize his situation or refuse medication or stops the treatment because of his own reasons ....
So what I would advice you ... take time for yourself and be strong enough to stop any contact with him ... figure out what you really want and work for it and when you are in a better emotional and physical place, if you really want then contact him ... Otherwise you will not end that cycle and will become more dangerous and codependent. You can do it, you just have to be really strong ... that is what i am planning to do while I am in my own country so i can focus 100% on myself. And just maybe think this: List all the things that you have described that you didn't like or enjoy while you dated: his family issues, his forgetting things, his rants about things, also the anxiety that you had, the fact that you don't feel comfortable inviting him to your meetings with friends, the double checking and think if you really want to live with them EVERYDAY ... because that is part of him and his ADHD, is not an item that you can put away .. I think the same as you .... if my partner didn't have ADHD he would be the perfect match ... but the reality is that he has it and it will not go away, he only can find a way to increase his life quality but depends on his will and I don't know for how long that will last? because he can be fine for 2 days and the next 3 is not ... so far that has been for the last 10 months and believe me, you don't want that.