Hi everyone. I am new to this board and found it after someone recommended my boyfriend of 2 years (we'll call him Andy) be evaluated for ADHD. After reading several books, prowling forums, and reviewing research articles, I am wondering how I have missed all the signs and symptoms for two years! Fortunately Andy has agreed to go through with an ADHD assessment and (hopefully) treatment but I have some questions for all the non-ADHD partners who have years of experience under their belt because, right now, I feel a little like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole...
Andy has classic ADD symptoms:
- Poor time management- at one point he got so involved with a video game on his computer one weekend that the entire day passed and he didn't even notice. When I finally reached him 4 hours after we had planned to meet (he didn't even notice his phone ringing the first few times), he was shocked that so much time had passed.
- Blanking out during conversations (and it's partner in crime, forgetfulness)
- Poor financial management- he is an impulsive spender. Despite (or perhaps the cause of?) the fact that he has credit card debt which that money could go toward, he still seems to have several new gadgets each week.
- Shuts down when he is overwhelmed by detail.
- Poor planning ability.
He is in his early 30's, has the same, stable job for the last 4 years, and seems like he should be well into his journey to adulthood. But instead, he continues to bounce from roommate situation to roommate situation where he rents a room at someone else's house (and all because he doesn't want the responsibility of a lease or being an official renter). All of his previous adult relationships have lasted no more than a year because the girl has broken it off. He constantly talks about buying a house or a new car but there is no action toward making that happen (saving, budgeting, etc.) and the way he spends his money indicates that this isn't a priority. He self medicates with video games on his phone to the point where I can't have a 15 second conversation with him without him pulling his phone out and diverting his attention to it. It seems that he is just content to play the goofy "oh that's just Andy" role rather than taking on adult responsibilities.
Seeing these as symptoms of his brain working differently than mine, rather than taking them as personal indications of his involvement in/value of our relationship, has made a huge difference in my ability to handle many of these situations. However, my question is this- where do you draw the line between the symptoms and the person's actual personality/motivation/desires?
This question stems from the fact that after 2 years he still has no answer when I ask him where he sees this relationship going. I ask him what he wants for his life (marriage, kids, a house, etc.) and he says he doesn't know and doesn't really think about the future. Is this complete lack of future goals/desires (even in a very general way) a common occurrence for people with ADHD? I worry that I am desperately clinging to the ADHD possibility as the reason for the indecisiveness, but instead it might actually just be how he operates regardless of the diagnosis. I love him and support him but I also know that he is the master in conflict avoidance, so telling me that his life goals are different than mine is not something he would be inclined to do. Because of this, I worry that I will spend another 2 years with someone who has no life goals that coincide with mine. I will support him as he goes through this process no matter what, but I am curious if I am just being naive in thinking that treatment for ADHD will solve this issue.
Any insight you have would be much appreciated. :-)