I'm in a relationship that's on the rocks, partially due to my ADD. I'm looking for some advice from people who have been through something like this before.
I'm turning 30 in March, and have been dating a wonderful woman for three years. We've been living together for most of the time, but just before Christmas she strayed from the relationship. I found out and forced her to move out around the new year. She didn't cheat, but it was a breech of trust, to say the least.
After things blew up, we started going to counseling, and her concerns finally came out. I learned she's been distraught about my apathy for finding a new job. (I'm a newspaper reporter who's being forced to find a new career becaue of the decline in the newspaper industry). Apparently I make her feel like she can't broach difficut topics with me for fear I'll belittle her concerns or get upset at them. And sometimes I'll act rudely in social situations with her familiy and friends. At a wedding recently, I wasn't feeling up to partying and dancing, so I went and sat by myself. She interpreted that as rude. At Christmas dinner with her family, I just had to take out the iPhone and read the news after three hours of talking with people I hardly knew.
She never brought up these concerns over the last year or so because she felt like she couldn't get through to me. She's a very bright, naturally driven person who might be pursuing a PhD in the fall. She's also a speech therapist, so she has some idea about how ADD affects kids, and is a very understanding person. But it's understandable that even the most understanding people in the world can give up if they don't see any other way to go.
A week or two ago I was formally diagnosed with ADD, and I'm learning that some of my traits she's complaining about can be atributed to ADD. Somtimes I say sarcastic or rude things to her, and ocasionally I have an outburst, although I think it's fairly rare. I attributed my lack of proactive career hunting to a confused time in my life and a terrible economy, although perhaps ADD contributed to it. In some social situations I appear withdrawn from the conversation, and if it goes on for a long time I'll even take out the iPhone and start reading the news (it was probably a bad idea for me to get the iPhone. It's pretty addictive). It all appears connected to this condition. I've been struggling with these things for my entire life, and have gotten fairly good at controlling them. Unfortunately, the deamons still come out some times, and they're still affecting my relationships.
Now that I know what her concerns are, I've taken immediate steps to address them. I've been more proactive with finding a new career - planning on going back to school in May. I'll leave the iPhone in the car when we go out to dinner. As a behavior therapist, she has suggested some strategies to help me with my outbursts, and she's learning how to approach me in ways that won't set me off or make me feel like I'm being attacked. I'm also on Vyvanse, but still trying to get the dosage right.
We're slowly learning and accepting that some situations are just hard for me to handle. I'm just programmed differently than she is, and when I do things that upset her she's learning that it's not on purpose. This perhaps is the most important breakthrough thus far.
I'm learning why I love her so much. I just feel so comfortable around her, because she has accepted some of these traits for a long time. It just got to the point where she couldn't handle it anymore, and she chose not to deal with it. Now we're dealing with it, and I think we're making progress. I would hate to lose this person who seems so willing to accept me for who I am, flaws and all.
I don't know if we'll stay together in the end, but I'm wondering if anyone has some advice or has been in a similar pre-marital situation before. Some words of wisdom or comfort would be appreciated. My parents' relationship has been affected by my father's inattentiveness and behavior in social situations, and I don't want to end up like that.