My ADHD Fiance Broke off our engagement

My fiance and I have been together for 5 years.  Two years ago, we entered into a long distance relationship (about 1600 miles apart) while he is attending graduate school.  6 months in, he came back home and proposed to me.  I was ecstatic.  About 6 months after that, I started to notice signs of ADHD in him, though he was 30 and had never been diagnosed.  He was struggling in school, not producing the required work, and was worried about getting kicked out of his program.  His communication with me, especially the intense, "I miss you so much" type of feelings that permeated our first year apart, started to wane, and then to nearly disappear.  For days on end we'd communicate only via text, and sometimes he'd leave me hanging for hours at a time.  I convinced him to go his psychiatrist, and he was diagnosed with ADHD and placed on medication.  I was very supportive of his diagnosis and helping him with coping mechanisms.  During this year, he got a DWI and promised to stop drinking, but he didn't, and he lied about it for weeks before I found out.  I forgave him, and even told him the drinking was ok as long as I knew about it and it stayed contained.  A month later, he broke off our engagement over the phone, two days before I was supposed to fly down to see him and spend the summer with him.  I am devastated, and wondering if this behavior is typical in ADHD relationships?  He has still not given me any answers as to why he suddenly broke off our engagement, and I feel the ADHD probably has a starring role in the blame.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Did he lose interest due to lack of constant stimulation?  

As difficult as it is to believe, consider yourself lucky

Hello acw1188, I am so sorry to hear your situation.  I know you must be devastated, as you say, but all I can say is consider yourself lucky as difficult as that is to truly believe right now.  I know because I lived through 27 years of hell in my ADD marriage and I am sure you have read many of the stories on this blog.  Everything you described is very typical for ADD and the problems you see so far would most likely have just been more problematic with a marriage and eventually having children.  One thing that is very common is the limited communication when apart.  They say out of sight out of mind is common for the ADDer (let's hear from those with ADD on this statement).  Not only did I experience that in my marriage, my ex continues to behave that way today to his own children who don't live close to him.  It drives me nuts and all the emotional responsibility falls on me (son has ADD and depression) and the ex is totally oblivious to what he is doing.  Also, maybe your fiance was overwhelmed with school and he couldn't focus on anything else.  Again, story of my marriage and many others.  He could only focus on work and couldn't focus on being a husband, parent and homeowner.  Oh, and I left out the fact that you most likely would have been blamed for everything as time went on.  The drunk driving was also a VERY serious problem with my husband.  I wouldn't want anyone to suffer because of a breakup, but it is better to suffer for awhile now than to have to suffer an entire lifetime.  My husband took off 2 years ago and every day I am tortured over what he did and what I sacrificed only to now be alone when I am older.  I wish you the best.       

Sorry that happened to you,

Sorry that happened to you, it must be painful. I can remember just how madly in love i was with my husband, and when he broke it off with me (for a couple days then came back) I was devastated. Now almost 20 years later sadly I can barely recall why I was so in love with him, too many years of struggling has got in the way. Any marriage is hard, but marriage and ADHD is very hard, for both partners. Then throw children in the mix, mine both have ADHD, and that just makes it even harder. There are many ADD spouses on this site that have been able to manage the ADHD fog and maybe your F would have also, but maybe he wont. Mine unfortunately has not, doesn't seem to want to either, drinks and drives also, scares me when he has the kids, I don't trust him, will he stay sober while he has them will he have an accident.... I wish I never married him, BUT if I hadn't I wouldn't have my two children who I love dearly but take all my energy. Was good of you to recognize and guide him to seek help, this may help him greatly the rest of his life.   

overwhelming time for him...

Hi there,


I think it sounds like his life is out of control right now- worrying about failing out of school, DWI, new'ish ADHD diagnosis... It sounds like it may just be too difficult for him to keep the relationship together right now...

I am ADHD woman... have been sober for 10 years... married for 9... 

When I met my husband, we started a fast and furious courtship... that eventually became long distance. I broke up with my husband at that time... WHY did I do that when I still loved him? Because I knew I was going to f*ck it up and hurt him...  When we were together, it worked... but I had never previously been able to maintain a long distance relationship with anyone... I thought- better to break up now and have nothing really unforgivable between us than to ruin this man's life... maybe later if I get my life together he might still be around... It was a big risk.

A year later- we got back together (still long distance) after I had quit drinking... He never gave me an ultimatum, but I instinctively knew that it was the only way I could guarantee that I could keep my promises... 

My thoughts on why your guy broke up with you: He probably feels guilty about something... Either the drinking- or perhaps there's more you don't know about... does he have a history of cheating on past girlfriends? Because if he's drinking to the point that he got a DWI- what other judgments is he making that are skewed? Maybe lots.

Anyway- I think you need to leave this. If he cleans up his act and comes back- maybe you;ll give him another chance and maybe you wont... but take your power back.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.



Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your reply.  It's one thing to hear from people like me without ADHD, because they understand my side of it completely, but completely different to hear it from someone who truly, truly knows because they live with it inside of their head on a daily basis.  Everything you've said makes sense.  He's been feeling guilty, as he says, because I've been "so supportive of everything" and have backed him 100%, and yet he hasn't followed through on his promises and he hasn't been honest with me.  The day he broke things off, we'd been skyping, and I mentioned to him that I'd picked up a book and was reading it, a book called ADD and Romance, by Jonathan Halverstadt.  The minute I showed him this book, he became really strange, very withdrawn, and I thought he was angry with me for researching how his ADHD is affecting our relationship.  I thought I was being helpful and supportive, but perhaps he didn't see it that way.  Or perhaps he felt guilty that I'm trying so hard when he knows he hasn't been (or can't?).  

I don't know if he's ever cheated on his past girlfriends.  I don't think so, but then again, he lies constantly and does it well, so maybe he's been lying for 5 years about his past.  I've had a horrible 6th sense since he left that's told me I should be worried about other women, but I never could prove anything.  He's always denied anything was going on and told me he loved only me.  However, with him away at grad school, with all these young, pretty girls looking up to him and out drinking with him every night (including one in particular who bailed him out of jail) I worry that's exactly what happened.  I may never know.  I think that would be more devastating to me than any other reason that he said goodbye.  :(  

Doing my best to get my power back.  This forum is helping, so thank you so much.  

I replied back below...

it landed in the wrong spot... but it was meant to be a response to your latest post...


Another unhappy ending

I married my best friend.  We have known each other for 20 + years. We have a five yr. old daughter and have been married for 2.5 years.  I have been tortured to say the least.  My husband has known adhd since childhood, was medicated till about 13.  I never really noticed anything with his personality ofcourse during his hyperfocus stage.  But when real life started boy did he change!! Couldn't handle the sound of the baby crying can't wait for her to grow up.   He happens to be a neat freak as well. If something does not go his way ... he is cursing slamming even over the slightest thing.  i am really ready to let him go now.  His answer to any issue with me is always fuck this don't want to be married to  you i have heard this atleast 12 times in  the short time of our marriage.  he always comes back says sorry brings the flowers...i take him back i love him and love our little family.  this time he has gone as far as to contact a lawyer, (never went ) he wants to separate get his head together, find love ...Now he thinks he has over reacted? i can't go through this again!!! i am hurt and tired and just can't.   p.s. a year ago after a violent outburst i managed to get him to go to the doctor, he went 3 times was prescribed medicine and that it he says hes cured... help!!!

awwww.... I'm sorry you have to go through this.

Sorry- this was meant to be posted in response to the original poster's latest post to me...  but I posted it in the wrong place...

Heartbreak is just awful.

I certainly hope that there is no other girl involved.  And there may not be. It could just be general guilt...  but I just wanted to be completely honest about how things had happened for me in my past (when there was still alcohol in my life).

Big hugs to you moving forward. I think you sound like a wonderful partner and this is not a failing on your part.

I hope this gets resolved for you- either by getting back together and working through this- or being able to ultimately move on and have some peace with that.

I'm sorry this happened. I can tell from your writing how gutted you are and it just sucks.