I have only been with my ADHD boyfriend for a little over a year now. He has been diagnosed and prescribed medication ever since kindergarten, and to my knowledge his symptoms have not gotten any better with age, although neither have his methods for coping with the negative effects his ADHD has on his life. Instead of learning to address these effects and deal with the consequences ADHD has on his life, he has developed a kind of blinding self confidence or ego that I somehow has shielded him from having to accept that his actions directly result in the negative consequences he experiences, and therefore even though he clearly knows he has ADHD, is almost oblivious still of the effects it has, he sees the effects, but just writes it off as accidents that simply happen, instead of anything he might be able to change to put in any effort. Apart from this blinding amount of self confidence he has, he is very much like most of the ADHD significant others described in these posts. Anyways, to the most pressing issue.
I am his first serious girlfriend. I have been in quite a few relationships in the past, so as I remember from all the way back in the beginning, there are some things in relationships you can't necessarily just know from the beginning, but you must make a few mistakes in order to gain the experience to deal with certain types of situations. So from the very beginning I was very understanding and patient with him. And he was definitely hyper focused on me as we began our relationship, so it was easy to sacrifice the extra time, understanding and patience, and get attention and be cared for in return. But pretty fast things started going downhill until I find myself here now. Feeling completely emotionally distraught and wondering why I am now with someone who is more of a burden on my life than a benefit. It seems as his hyper focusing on me alleviated some of the ADHD symptoms I am now feeling the full force of. The negative impact these symptoms have on my life is very frustrating, but even more frustrating is my boyfriend's reaction to my frustration. The blinding self confidence that somehow gets him through his days without having to be upset with himself over the negative consequences of his ADHD, is now causing him not to be self aware of the negative impact his ADHD is having on me. Therefore time and again I have tried to bring up simple things that would make me happier that he could work on, and tried to sit down with him and figure out how to put some of these solutions in action, but am met with denial and placation, instead of any effort to do anything differently to make me feel better and still end up feeling like I am putting in 90% of the effort taking care of him and maintaining the relationship while my patience is running out and so is my ability to continue being understanding as we get into the same fights week after week with no improvement. His lack of awareness of his issues has gone from frustrating to completely despairing, as he now sees me with a shorter and shorter fuse and now attributes our relationship problems to me not being able to be understanding enough, instead of his lack of effort to make any progress in addressing the issues that torment my life.
Months later I have still continued to try to get him to address some of his symptoms, but by this point it has reached a whole new level. I am beginning to wonder if he completely lacks empathy, why he doesn't understand the connection between him causing me to be upset by continuing to do the same things over and over again that he promises not to. I get more and more upset and try to get him to seek more drastic solutions (not really drastic for ADHDers, but drastic compared to just saying oh I won't do such and such next time.) and am met with even more resistance. At this point I have no support anymore from any of my friends who have all completely distanced themselves from my mess of a relationship. My boyfriend seemed to think that my friends opinions of him were the problem, not his behavior, and therefore made me promise that I was not allowed to discuss my relationship with them, then I lost all support. At this same time I later found out he was justifying talking to his friends about many of his problems with me being upset with him, and even contacted his only ex and discussed intimate details of our sex life with her as I later inadvertently found out. I had lost all support, was quickly losing hope in ever having a relationship with him where he was not in denial of his ADHD and worked on addressing the issues that plagued me, and kept wondering if he even cared about me at all anymore, because his actions clearly did not show it. When confronted about the hypocrisy of him not allowing me to discuss our relationship with my friends but him being allowed to talk to anyone, even his ex girlfriend about intimate details of our sex life, he in some way justified his actions, not even sure how now, as he usually does.
And finally it has reached a breaking point. I have been desperately trying to show him how he needs to actually work on his ADHD for our relationship to improve but I have pretty much completely given up. I happened across his computer one day and noticed he had been looking through relationship sites and noticed a site called the attraction forums. being interested in what he was reading, I did my own research eventually. (He has a tendency to do hours and hours of research on the computer and find something he likes that proves his point instead of reading other opinions and becomes enthralled with it) Well not only did I find what kind of things he was reading, but found his posts that he clearly wrote, quite a few about me during the time he told me I couldn't discuss our relationship with anyone, he was discussing it with the world! And what I read specifically is why I no longer have any hope, or maybe even respect for him any longer, the first part is an excerpt from someone elses post, tried to edit it for language:
*When she is behaving irrationally and like a petulant kid*
Lets get one thing straight;she absolutely has the right to be irrational, to engulf you with her emotions at the drop of a hat. She is a woman; it is her god given right.
However, when she behaves like a petulant kid- it is your job to put her in her place. Cut it off at its source instantly! Youre the man in the relationship- act like it and dont let her walk all over you! If you dont like her behaviour, then you tell her;you do NOT appease her, politely reason with her or walk on eggshells. You f**** TELL her to back down, there and then! She NEEDS you to be this man, to keep her straight, and she will have so much more respect for you because of it. Allow her to submit into her feminine being- she will love you more for it.
Example- You have some free time in your afternoon and decide to surprise her at work one day as you havent seen her in a day or two, so you pop in to say hi. You are having a lovely chat over a cup of tea when you jokingly put your arm over her shoulder and pull her towards you, ordering her to come here [for a cuddle]. She turns around, pissed off, and accuses you of treating her like a dog. She then continues to dismiss your presence and speak to you like s*** on her shoe.
What NOT to do- What? Im not treating you like a dog babe; I just wanted to give you a cuddle. Babe, come on, what are you doing? Dont get all pissed off at me now; [waaaa waaaa waaaa, please sweetie, I cant stand it that you have withdrawn your affection even though I havent done anything wrong. Please be all happy again- Jesus guys! Grow some balls!]
What TO do- [stop, look dead into her eyes] What the f*** are you doing? You know full well I was joking around and not treating you like a dog. Ive gone out of my way to do something nice for you here, Ive come to see you on my day off, dont f**** speak to me like that. Think about it and get a grip. I dont want to listen to this, Im done; [now LEAVE].
After this happens, dont contact her. Thats what she will expect you to do, let her realise that you really are pissed. Leave her to contact you however long that takes, she will. If you cant physically leave, then just withdraw your attention and get about whatever it is you are doing.
When she tries to reconnect (whether in person or over the phone), give her your attention. If she is still grumpy and is expecting an apology from you, then state why you were pissed off, tell her that youre not going to apologise but if she wants to just move on then thats fine and youre happy to do that. Then just change the subject and move on.
If she continues to try and argue instead of moving on, then put her in time out and try again next time she initiates.
Remember- if you accept her bad behavior she will no longer trust that you have self respect, she will no longer have respect for you either. A man that looses womans respect soon will lose that woman.
And my boyfriend's response to this:
wow, one of the best posts I've read. If this was cleaned up, I'd say it should be in the best of forum. this is the kind of relationship advice i've been looking for on here.
I realize sometimes you have to pick your arguments, if the girl is just being a little brat for a little bit, ignoring it is best, and bringing it up is - as you pointed out - very beta. It assumes you think things are bad. So what you should you do in situations where she's doing subtle things or pushing bad frames... ignore her? be rude back? if it lasts all day, don't let her have sex/sleep over? And how do you know where to draw the line between s*** you should just ignore (or whatever), and when you should pull out the big guns and put her in her place?
That is the way he has been treating me for months. Though when you take out just a misunderstanding like the one described in the situation above in the post he read, and insert, say him standing me up twice in a row during the same three days when I try to do him a favor and return him his cell phone that he left at my house, and sacrifice eating lunch to wait for him and search for him only to find out he didn't show up and didn't contact me in any way to tell me he wasn't going to be there(he's a computer scientist, even without a phone, its not too difficult).
Yet of course the first time he said it wasn't going to happen again, and as usual the same exact thing happened barely days later, not I am trying to get him to take the next step and actually work on a solution, but he refuses and refuses to even speak to me saying that:
you wanted me to take responsibility, then you wanted to hear a solution, then you wanted two solutions, then you wanted me to recognize it as a overarching issue of our relationship, and when that wasn't enough you wanted me to write the whole thing out on paper and go over it. followed by much profanity and him refusing to talk to me at all until I stop talking about any solutions, well I think thats what the cuss words meant.
He does not apologize for making me miss lunch and instead tells me its my fault for looking for him and waiting for him if he wasn't there at the correct time to begin with. Yet of course couldn't even count the times I have been frustrated due to his lateness and eventually left while he got angry at me for not waiting long enough patiently enough, unfortunately no matter what I actually do or don't do, its always wrong. its obnoxious, and then when I am of course still quite upset because he can't recognize how him not showing up and not contacting me negatively affected me and also was unable to correct this simple behavior two days later. All the while he is treating me as the above post outlines, talking down to me, ignoring me, not listening to me intentionally on top of what the ADHD already accounts for, belittling and invalidating my feelings, and failing to show any remorse for the way his behavior has affected my life. I feel like my friend's don't respect me anymore for letting him put me in this position and not getting out of the relationship and I don't know if I can even respect myself anymore for continuing to sacrifice my time, effort, and slowly mental health on someone who is so oblivious of their actions and refuses to try anything differently at all. I just can't live like this anymore. I could have sworn underneath it all was a man who would when push came to shove be willing to give something back and give me support when I needed it but now I am as alone as I have ever felt in my life and in utter despair. I feel like I have to finally admit that there is no way that this relationship will ever improve.