I love my ADHD partner very much. He is a caring, loving, intelligent energetic person, but has not figured out his own role and position in life yet. With my patience and help he is getting more insights and he even has gained a little self reflection! He is happy that I helped him reach this and he has changed greatly. He had to get over his own stubbornness (took him years) and it took him years to see his own personality in nuances. At some points he fails in seeing the good things in his own character, but it has been the case the other way around too. This is all falling in more perspective. He has been seeing a great coach and as I wrote in an other topic he records the conversation to make it easier on himself (not afraid anymore to forget).
When we started our relationship, almost 7 years ago, I was madly in love with him. The butterfly in stomach feeling remained for years. We were so different and at the same time so much alike. I can truly be myself with him. We suspect I have ADD, or at least have lots of ADD traits. My brother has been recently diagnosed with ADD and I suspect my father for having it too.
He has been unfaithful and had literally a couple dozen internet affairs, kissed girls when going out, told more than 200 lies, refused to speak to me about it, didn't know how to comfort me when he had hurt me. He showed me I was not his priority and pushed me down with words and many many more. And at the same time he believed he was the best boyfriend and treating me with respect. The respect lacked in more than one way. I couldn't understand this and I was hurting deeply. At the same time hating myself that I was putting up with him and still loving him deeply. I just couldn't let go, I love(d) him too much. I continued hating the victim role I was being pushed in though.
I have had communication classes and tried every correct way I had learned about in my education. It didn't help one bit, maybe made it even worse. When I started getting really angry things started to change. Shouting yelling, crying brought change. I am a controlled person and when I was communicating correctly I didn't express a lot of emotion in a non verbal way (it is hard for me, I bottle up). But when he actually could SEE me getting really hurt his eyes slowly started to open. He also had trouble feeling empathy. When he had broken my trust again and lied to me about it and saw me getting hurt, he couldn't grasp what the impact were of his actions. Two times in my relationship I deliberately copied his behavior and made him feel what I was feeling in a small and controlled amount of course. It is very drastic and I do not recommend it to everyone. It was simply the last I could do to let him see. I am certain that it opened his eyes the first time and I think it has also helped the second time (still too fresh).
In the times that I was totally lost and when I needed comfort I posted my situation on the internet. People who didn't know an ADHD person in their direct environment couldn't absolutely understand why I was still with him. What are you supposed to do when your heart is crying out for your partner and shutting down the relationship is the last thing you want? Love gives me blindness, I know that. But love also conquers. It hurt me deeply that people blamed me for getting hurt, even though they were right in theory. They could not understand anything I was saying. They also could not understand why I wanted to copy his actions to show him what he did to me. That was also a thing people could not understand. This made me feel more alone. When I started reading about other ADHD relationships a whole world opened up for me. I think that only someone who's also in an ADHD/ADD relationship or has it him/herself can understand the situation we are in.
But it still bothers me, that people judge me negatively for being in love with someone so intensely. Of course I know that I had exposed myself to drama in the past and maybe even still. But love is a powerful thing...I didn't WANT to give up on him. And I still don't want to. I am so happy that my partner has changed his negative ways for over 75%!!!!!!!!!!!! I am finally getting back my confidence in small portions at a time. It makes us clash because I refuse to let him walk over me again, but are relationship is far more equal now. But when I say that he has changed and that we are still having some trouble on a Dutch forum I was on a while ago, the negative reactions really hurt me..Some people expect other people to change 360 degrees over night. And they point fingers at me for staying with him....
How is this for everyone else?
Greetings from Holland.