struggling, but past the point of hopelessness, is it time to simply give up?

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.

You have to take each issue

You have to take each issue as individual things to work through. If his being late is a huge issue for you, give him 10 minutes past the meeting time and then leave. Make yourself unavailable. If he gets mad, you don't have to listen to that either. Politely tell him 'conversation over' and hang up the phone or leave. He leaves his cell phone at your house..make it HIS responsibility to come get it. Under normal circumstances, I would say GREAT...be kind and return it to him...but yours aren't normal circumstances and your attempts to do him the favor only caused you stress and frustration and a missed lunch. STOP taking on the responsibility for him. You're letting the ADHD control YOU and you're becoming codependent. Get the book Codependent No More. Make it your constant companion. Stop trying to 'fix' and control everything 'wrong' with him. Only he can fix what needs fixing...and he apparently doesn't see anything wrong..so you're possibly left with that reality. You need boundaries. You need to live your life and stop trying to control his...it is SOOO bad for YOU! :( He is an adult. I would bet $100 he knows exactly what your concerns with him are..what the issues that you feel never get resolved are. He's not making any effort to resolve them because you're trying to resolve them for him...and they will buck the system and resist this kind of "control" at all costs. My husband even admitted that he was determined to do exactly the opposite of what I would ask him/tell him to do simply because I asked/told him to. Let him sink or swim...on his own...but you need to find yourself again and get out from under the ADHD.

Sounds like a sexist pig to me

I do not think ADD is to blame for most of these problems. My ADDer is very sweet and although he screws up a lot, he does not try to hurt me and he is not really a male chauvinist pig like your guy seems to be. He respects women.

The double standard, the I'm the man and I'm in charge, would be a deal-breaker for me. Honey, what do you get out of this relationship?

I think relationships with people with ADD can work if they are willing to acknowledge and work on the problems. If my husband was still denying that ADD effects us, I'd be gone.

I agree, I have been trying

I agree, I have been trying to not let it affect me as much, but in the end I just end up feeling like a bad person. I tried exactly this the second time he missed our arranged meeting time, I gave him exactly ten minutes, and then sent him a message saying I had waited but he had not come so I had to move on and run errands. This was the fifth day in a row he had refused to come get his phone from my place and the second time he had missed arranged meeting times completely. I continued to run my errands, and then had to try to deal with him flipping out as well. He asked me where I was, and I said I was doing errands, and he harassed me the entire time asking again specifically where I was. He was not looking for me, he was not on his way to my house, he was just sitting at home. I was not prepared to deal with this after already being disappointed and pissed off at his failure to again meet me. Instead of leaving me alone, and respecting me telling him that it was already midnight and he could come get it tomorrow because I was too upset to want to see him that night and was already in bed trying to fall asleep, he told me therefore I must have gotten back home from running errands and he was going to come to my house to get his phone whether or not I invited him too. After five days of failing to come get his phone himself, he suddenly had to have it at midnight and could not wait for the next morning when I told him he could come. He came to my house after I told him not to and barged in my room (unfortunately my door was unlocked) when I was asleep and demanded he get his phone back immediately. I don't know how to keep boundaries with someone who will not respect me. I don't know what to do anymore. I tried to sit down and have him talk about what had happened that night before giving in to him coming over uninvited and giving him his phone, but he got even more mad and took my phone chargers from me. Finally exhausted and just wanting him to leave, seeing that he was not willing to sit down and address the fact that he had just come over to my house uninvited and against my wishes, I gave him his phone. Though I feel like this was just rewarding his behavior at the time. He took my phone chargers with him and refused to respond to my requests to have them returned until two days later. Clearly having a big effect on my life and claimed it was somehow in retaliation for me trying to get him to sit down and talk when he came over instead of immediately handing his phone to him. I just don't know what to do anymore. He still does not have any grasp on the way his actions affected me, and I don't know how to keep them from affecting me anymore without being continuously depressed and unhappy. He claims now that he addressed my concerns and simply again told me he wouldn't stand me up again, trying to placate me, although when I asked for a more concrete solution given the fact that him just saying that he wouldn't do it last time resulted in him doing the exact same thing days later, he refuses to put in any effort. Now he wants my to apologize for keeping his phone from him that evening and says it was unfair and wrong, he has yet to address the fact that he came over to my place uninvited and that this was wrong. I don't know how to keep him from negatively impacting my life. I don't know how to deal with his lack of self awareness of his own actions. I don't know how to make boundaries that he respects. He continues to claim that he has already addressed anything he has done wrong, which clearly makes me very upset and feel like the situation is hopeless. And on top of this he still is going on and on about how I kept his phone from him when it is essential to his life. If it was so essential to his life why couldn't he come over any of the four evenings before when I literally told him pick a time after I am done with work and I will be at my house so he can get it at his convenience, or make an effort to be at the two meeting times I set up and he agreed to? He also blames me for continuing to be upset about this when he thinks he already did everything he should to address the problem by saying that he would either be there next time or contact me. I can't keep living like this....

I'd have called the police when he came into my home uninvited

That would show him a boundary! And taking your phone chargers to "punish" you for not toeing the line is theft. Honestly, you are letting him run roughshod over you. (I've done the same thing so I know.)

This doesn't sound like ADHD to me. It sounds like a guy who's had everyone bend over backwards to placate him. He is selfish and thoughtless. You are better than that. You deserve better than that.

The only thing that sounds like ADHD to me is leaving the phone in the first place and not showing up when he said he would to get the phone back. The rest of it sounds like a spoiled brat.

If you can't stand living like this, don't. You aren't financially dependent on him as I am on my ADHD husband. You don't need this in your life. You haven't said a good thing about him. I think he diminishes the quality of your life, not enhances it. Find a man who respects you and treats you the way you want to be treated.

I agree with Sueann

Wow; you are letting this guy walk all over you. He barges into your house uninvited and you want him to sit down and discuss it???!!! I'd give him 10 seconds to get out before I called the cops.  That's NOT ADD; that's a controlling bully. You need to show this guy the door for good.

I agree my bf has adhd and he

I agree my bf has adhd and he is very empathetic, the main problem I am hearing is he isn't taking his adhd seriously or taking responsiblity. I let my bf deal with his own consequences.let him think that what those.people say will work but it won't he needs to learn it. Talk to your friends and don't listen to him. If your feeling you need to release your emotions writing them down is great. In the end its your.choice if you can handle him.if he wont treat it he has to learn he may lose you and everything. Remember its your life and if everything you try doesn't work you can walk away.

This is my girlfriend.  I've

This is my girlfriend.  I've strugged with ADHD my whole life, and I know I have it very bad.  However, I think many of the problems in our relationship are not just from ADHD.  Recently, I have asked her to instead of giving my broad generalizations to give me specific situations.  Because often many of the generalizations she gives don't sound to ME like they're true at all, and are VERY insulting, and in no way constructive if I can't think of any specific situation she's talking about.  For instances this part:

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.

I honestly don't feel like that's an accurate depiction of our relationship - it often seems like it's simply the way she feels about the situation... but when has any of that actually happened? And without any sort of evidence or examples to back it up, it's hard for me to see something like that as anything more than an insult... It's emotionally hard for me to hear this stuff all the time without always knowing exactly where it comes from. Like maybe that's partly true - but how do I know?!

Anyways, to the issue at hand... I'd been up all night studying for an exam, and didn't get back home until 2:10pm, I saw that my girlfriend wanted to meet me at 2, and so I quickly read over what she wrote and ran over to find her.  2:00 is a break between classes, and I looked around in the study lounge, but couldn't remember the directions to her lab, and at that point I could not look it up either because I didn't have my phone.  It was 2:15 and I figured she'd gone to class.

Unfortunately she ACTUALLY got out of lab at 2:15 (it varies), and spent until 45 minutes past 2pm looking for me!  I'd thought it was her transition between classes and she wouldn't be waiting at all! It was no doubt a sweet thing for her to do, and I told her that, but a little bit TOO sweet.  There was really only really two rooms I could have been in... and she stuck around 45 minutes past the time I was supposed to meet her!  I feel awful that she waited around, I honestly do, but it's hard for me to want to come forward and talk about when I get screamed at for forcing her to miss her lunch.  It was an honest mistake, and I admitted I could have sent her a message as soon as I didn't connect with her, and I could have read over where her lab was more carefully instead of running out the door -- but I didn't feel like it should be the end of the world.  I took responsibility for not being there, but I didn't come flat out and apologze for making her wait around for 45 minutes - I didn't feel like was 100% my fault although it was VERY nice of her to do that, it feels a little different when she's screaming at me blaming me for it.  It's kind of a difficult position to be put in, I don't know how to describe it.  Like yeah, I'm sorry, but this fight shouldn't last for three days straight.

Whenever she gets upset there's only one thing I want to do, let her know I understand her situation, show her I feel bad, and empathize with her!  I want her to know I understand and I care, and genuinely want to help her!  However, I don't feel comfortable if she goes on and on about what a horrible person I am for things like this.  And this wasn't just a short conversation, like I said she was upset for MULTIPLE DAYS, even after I took responsibility for my mistake! It's the most frustrating feeling in the world.  What can I possibly do besides leave her alone and give her space to sort things out! When all she does is attack me -- I feel like I can only defend/justify my mistake to show her it shouldn't have lasted this long - and to be completely honest that doesn't feel right at all!  I want to be empathizing, not defending myself!!

The next day she told me to come to her house to pick up my phone.  She lives 45 minutes away.  So, I asked her to just send me a text when she was on campus being very careful to preface it with the fact that I did not want to impede on her life, or make her wait, or anything like that.  If she was worried I wouldn't show up, then she should NOT wait around for me under ANY circumstances.  She fought me for an entire hour over about how I "control her life", and how she's not going to "wait around" for me, and have to "constantly update me" about where she was -- something I NEVER asked of her!  I kept repeating to her ONLY send me a text if she's in a place (for instance eating) where I can swing by and pick it up IF it won't disrupt her day.  That was ALL I asked. It would have been one thing if she told me she'd be waiting for me anyways (like even if she's busy she'd have to be watchful... I don't know), or tried to talk to me calmly, or said she wouldn't have an opportunity to do it in town, but she didn't.  I understand she was just upset, and that's okay.  But it was pretty difficult.

Me: Okay, I want to pick up my phone today. Just keep it on you at all times, tell me where you're going to be via a short facebook message. do NOT wait for me anywhere, I do not want to impose on your schedule.

Her: be an adult, you forgot your phone, that should not be a problem i should bear the consequences of, you should bear the consequences of your actions. and since you didn't come when i tried to meet you on campus the consequence is i am no longer going to make extra sacrifices for you, you can make the sacrifice now to come over here, and if you can't give me a time, than thats your fault, not mine, so stop acting like i am horrible. i am the nice one who has tried so hard to get your phone back to you and had it negatively impact your life, so stop whining about how far it is and take the negative consequence of your actions without being a baby about it. it is not my responsibility to be on facebook chat continuously or tell you where i am at all times.

Her: YOU ARE IMPOSING ON MY SCHEDULE. PICK A TIME YOU WILL BE AT MY HOUSE, OR GET YOUR PHONE TOMORROW NIGHT. I WILL ONLY BE CHECKING BACK FACEBOOK FOR ANOTHER FEW MINUTES UNTIL I STOP BEING DISTRACTED BY YOU, GET OFF OF FACEBOOK AND ACTUALLY GET TO DO SOME HOMEWORK.

Me: PICK A TIME AND A PLACE AND I WILL BE THERE. That is ALL I'm asking.

I wound up getting VERY angry.

She remained upset about me not meeting her at 2PM until our next fight on Friday (it happened on Tuesday).  She told me she'd be done with class at 9:30, and although I sent her "see you at 9:30!" as part one of my messages, I wanted to wait until she was home and send her a facebook message telling her I was giong to come over.  She sent me a message saying she'd be coming back at around 10pm, and I meant to respond to it, but I spaced out as I'd been focus on a difficult homework problem and forgot to message her back.  Again, my fault.  Completely.

Well, she left an ice skating show early in order to be home at 9:30. Damn! I felt awful.  I'd meant to send her a messsage back!  And I was waiting for her on facebook to AVOID problems with me showing up when she wasn't there! Well, she got home, and was obviously very upset, and immediately left to go on "errands".   I was kind of weirded out because she'd told me was going on "errands" at first instead of saying she was at an ice skating show (she refused to tell me what the "show" was too), and then at 9:30 she said she had to leave to do more "errands" before 10PM.  Well, midnight rolls around, and she is STILL doing errands.  I had been texted her for 45 MINUTES STRAIGHT asking her one thing and one thing only -what she was doing.  She actively refusing to answer me and tell me where she was... she couldn't tell me anything!! I mean she was texting me back the whole time, just refusing to answer my ONE question, which I might as well have been copying and pasting. I explained very clearly, why I wanted to know what was going on. I was a bit worried she was out getting drunk instead of doing errands at midnight on a Friday night, and I REALLY needed my phone I'd been without it for five days! She refused to let me come over, although she was just at home and all she had to do was hand me my phone, which I NEEDED for the weekend.

Well, I went over anyways, we had a talk, and she refused to give my phone until I fully listened to her and took responsibility.  I felt like I still had to sit there and take SO much blame.  It was hard.  I feel like every time we have ANY issue it's overextended into some HUGE relationship wide problem we've been having since day 1 even though many times she won't back any of her generalizations up.  I took full responsibility for what I'd done, and listened through the things I disagreed with, afterwards I took responsibility, I told her ways in which I could do things in the future differently (I could fully read through her messages, like the one that said where her lab was instead of rushing over to be there on time/ I could send her a message back ASAP when something didn't seem to be going according to plan).  It was honestly pretty hard because she'd been FLIPPING out over that not showing up at 2pm thing for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT at that point.  So, after I'd taken responsibility like she wanted, given a solution when she wanted, and even given more solutions when she wasn't happy with that, she insisted I sit down and write out the entire thing on paper before she would give my phone back.  It was 1AM, and we have a rule about addressing one another's concerns one at a time, so I flatly refused to write it out on paper. I'd done my part, I felt like it was time she listened to the way I'd felt over the past week.

Well, finally, she let me speak and bring up my own issues.  I said about two sentences, and she started SCREAMING at me in the middle of public!!  I was SO pissed off that I'd just showed her so much understanding, listened to the parts I didn't agree with, and taken responsibility despite the fact that she'd unfairly been upset at me for four days over that first incident, and she couldn't even BEGIN to listen to me!!  I stormed all the way to her place, refusing to listen to anything she said, until finally she pulled me asside and told me she just wanted to listen.  At that point I was exasperated, it was late and I just wanted to go to bed.

I went home and sent her the following:

well i'm glad we were able to work through that, in the end it was fairly painless. (not sure if I fully believed that... but I wanted to be as nice as possible, because accepting responsibility is hard for her.)

Here are the things I wanted to address:
1) It's unfair to hold my phone until you get what you want in an argument. what if i took something from you and refused to give it back until you apologized for something?
2) I should not have to ask you where you are like fifty times in a row over the course of an hour to get an answer. It was all I said for about 45 minutes, and I explained very clearly why it was concerning. It would have taken a sentence to answer.
3) A couple days a go we had a LONG drawn out fight over you bringing my phone with you on campus, and about an hour in you told me you weren't even going to be on campus long enough to give it to me either way. Just say that! The entire argument was a waste of time.
4) Next time I'm going to do my best to take responsibility for what I've done wrong in a situation immediately. However you need to learn to pick and choose your battles, and I don't use "battles" lightly. Fights should not last for days on end, and shouldn't last at all if either of us has taken responsibility.

That's really it. I'm glad we worked through this.

She sent me back a number of texts all about ME for what I'd already spent so much time carefully taking responsibility for.  Like what else can I do?  I took responsibility! I told her what I'd do differently next time! I told her how I felt awful! It'd been DAYS! She REFUSED to let me talk about any of my concerns while I take responsibility for what upsets her (= bringing up separate issues... which is fair!).  Yet, the entire weekend was more and more texts that talked 90% about how awful I was as a boyfriend and how I'd messed up so badly over the past week, and 10% about the issues I'd brought up.  She told me she felt like my "mother" from elementary school, said I took complete advantage of her generosity.  Not only that, but she flatly IGNORED more than half of the points I'd made, choosing only to talk about the ones that she wanted to, and mostly choosing just to talk more about how upset she was at me.

These problems don't exactly happen every week either.  The last time I didn't show up on time for something was a LONG time ago, well over a month ago!!  I've told her MANY times she can't use generalizations, she NEEDS to use specifics, because honestly EVERY TIME we get into a fight it feels like we just found another problem that's been the #1 burden of our relationship all year long.

Anyways, the rest of the weekend she spent zero time going over what I'd brought up, and most of it either literally making stuff up, for instance a list of "miracles" she could have done in each situation so that it wouldn't have happened - as if I'd told her me not showing up at 2PM was HER fault!! I never did! Every time I mentioned anything it was once again about my problems, and not her own.  Nothing about my concerns, and ALL about her concerns.  And this is a girl who's taken responsibility for ANYTHING probably a maximum of five times over our entire year long relationship!  Literally, EVERY single time I can think of that she messed up, even when she straight up lied to me, she wound up screaming at me for something (She screamed because I asked her to prove to me that she didn't lie - although she did).  Still to this day she claims that she called her ex-boyfriend and lied to me about it in order to "test me" to see if I'd ask her to prove it to me, and that I failed her test.  Also that she was going to tell me the truth in 24 hours, she was just waiting to see if I'd be suspicious. I've lied too though, so it's a burden we share, it's only the reaction that was different.

So, after weeks upon weeks of her getting upset for multiple days (honestly, it lasts for multiple days each time) over things I did do wrong, things I didn't do wrong, all the meanwhile REFUSING to take responsibility for ANYTHING in our relationship, and after an entire weekend of her flatly refusing to address anything I said and simply rubbing in what I'd already taken responsibility for (why'd I even bother taking responsibility in the first place?), I decided it was too much.  There was an entire month where I spent nearly everyday apologizing for something new.  Eventually I talked to my sister, who is 38 and married, and I began to realize it wasn't ME or JUST my ADHD that was the problem, but that she was actually overreacting to many things for DAYS that probably should not have been all that big of issues to begin with! There have been days where she's come over to my place uninvited to "work things out" and SCREAMED at me, cried uncontrollably, and absolutely refused to let me alone or leave -- and I can't deal with it anymore! And most of I can't deal with hurting HER like that anymore!! I can usually keep my cool better than her, but it's not always easy.  In the end, our relationship CLEARLY isn't working out.  Don't get me wrong, she's a good girl.  And honestly whether it's me or whether it's her things are not going well.  I think we can ALL agree on that.  All I do is hurt her, no matter how hard I try, and it's just not right.

I worry you'll all be biased towards my girlfriend, as she has had to deal with my issues - but I hope you can understand.  And this is an ADHD forum, not just a relationship forum, so I feel like you guys will mostly see things her point of view.  Either way, any fresh perspective would be nice.  I really just wish it didn't have to end like this.  We were good together... but at this point I'm done.  It's not fair to either of us.

Wow... Thank you for taking

Wow...

Thank you for taking the time to explain. There are always two sides to every story, most of us here get that. The one 'problem', if you will, with us "non-ADHDers" is that we all tend to experience a lot of the same issues and never tend to question the 'other side' of things. Speaking from my own experience, as a non-ADHD wife, married to an ADHDer, is that the anger your girlfriend obviously has (if we are to believe your story as we believed hers) is VERY common...and we sometimes remain indignant and in denial about it just as strongly as the ADHDer denies their responsibility for the problems in the relationship. Your girlfriend has probably fallen into the mothering role, but it is up to her to get out of it. It is up to her to stop trying to 'fix' you, it is up to her to let go of her anger, accept your differences, and find a way to make things work in spite of them. If she is yelling at you in public, then it would be really hard for her to deny that she's probably got some anger issues.

We have your perception, we have hers, and as always somewhere in the middle is the truth. You both have to stop fighting. Fights that go days on end happen because it is a choice you both make. Sure, if she's mad and wants to stay mad (typically this is more about wanting to be RIGHT than being mad) then there is nothing you can do to change that...but you can walk away and leave her alone. So often we non's like to beat an issue to death...because we don't feel like we're being heard. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of self-control to say "It was really upsetting to me that you did that, but there is no need to fight about it".

I admit I'm extremely confused about the cell phone situation, but what it seems to me like is just a complete lack of communication. Her version has you being mad at her for waiting in the first place and your version has you running all over trying to find her to no avail...and maybe feeling a bit more like SHE should have made more effort to find you. Either way, communication in these relationships is very difficult sometimes and it is something you both have to compensate for. ADHD does bring this issue to the table, I hope you can appreciate and understand that. Having said that, I think BOTH of you have a lot of 'fault', if you will, in this situation.

In my original reply to her, I told her basically to stop trying to fix you and stop letting you being late dictate her entire life. I stand by that. The only way change happens for these relationships is when you both take a look inside of yourself and stop pointing the finger. LISTEN to each other...sit for 10..20..30 minutes if necessary..taking notes, without critcizing or responding to what the other person is saying. Take your notes and go be alone with them and be willing to admit that what your partner is saying is probably 100% their reality and something you need to work on. Also, don't take it as a chance to 'bash', but genuinely say 'these things really hurt me' ...and I don't mean things like  "when you leave your cell phone at my house you are so irresponsible!" .

Most of the time there are 2-3 big issues that cause these kinds of issues in any given relationship...you guys need to start with the most pressing, the most hurtful, and work on them one at a time and commit to taking YOUR blame in each issue. I wish you both the best. Your response was very articulate and I do see you at least trying to admit your fault, but you need to go back through and read...you pointed the finger at her as much as she did you. I know you were trying to give your perception on things, but in real life this needs to stop..for both of you.

Oh, also...you didn't clarify

Oh, also...you didn't clarify the situation where she accused you of coming into her room uninvited and taking her stuff as 'hostage' until you got your phone....

If I may, you also need to get control of yourself...and your reactions. You cannot justify your reactions REGARDLESS of what you feel she did to provoke it. YOUR reactions are your responsibility and on YOU. Her keeping your phone, if we believe what you said, until you apologized for something you said you already apologized for...that is wrong...that is about control and that is flat out wrong. BUT...it doesn't justify you reacting poorly...ever. My husband used to do this to me..."well, I wouldn't have xxx if you wouldn't have zzz" and it took me a very long time to make him understand that no matter what I do, he has to own his reactions. If I do something hurtful, TELL me..let's discuss it and work through it like adults...don't retaliate..it just makes us enemies and not partners in marriage.

I'm also curious

If he barged into her house while she was asleep, demanding his phone; he didn't say, and I wonder what his interpretation is. Doing THAT would make a big difference to me. It would be totally unacceptable, after she told him not to come over.

Thanks for all the insight. I

Thanks for all the insight. I think a lot of the part that is my fault does result from letting myself becoming codependent. It is hard to figure out how to gain control over my life and not always jump in to try to help when I see my ADHD partner struggling and I guess I have been coping with my partner's ADHD the wrong way from the beginning and taking trying to take on his problems, without taking care of my needs first and to the detriment of my own life and feelings of self worth. Over time this had lead to increasing anger and resentment I have never had to deal with my entire life, and clearly can't cope effectively with now without negatively impacting my partner. I think it was my fault to begin with to think that in helping my partner's life be easier, I let my life become harder and eventually unbearable as I tried to take responsibility for his problems that were out of my control. I kept wishing and hoping he would take control of his ADHD and recognize the problems is was causing, but clearly as long as I kept enabling him to continue through life and expect me to pick up the pieces, he began to expect that it was my responsibility to pick up the pieces. I definitely fell into the mothering role and have been trying to explain this to him for some time to no avail, and have been trying recently to get out of it, but unfortunately I think this has become engrained in our relationship to begin with and I don't know if it is possible to make it work in this relationship.

I pray that one day he will find some professional help, or whatever he needs to recognize the problems he faces to ADHD, and not only take responsibility for them but work on concrete solutions to prevent them from happening to the extent they are affecting his life, but I know now it is not my responsibility to take this struggle on myself. I have to separate my own happiness from his failure to deal with his ADHD and not let its effects take over my life.

Unfortunately our perceptions on these issues are different as usual, he often leaves out or ignores certain details so that he can more easily justify his actions! I know we won’t see eye to eye on everything but I just wish he could accept the situations as they were, and if ADHD was the reason he didn’t actually read the entire message I sent him that clearly left no room for interpretation of times, or what I was doing or where I was, just tell me that instead of trying to make it appear that he did all he could have and it was somehow still my fault that I wound up waiting for him at all. I Even if he did all he could and his ADHD was responsible for the rest at least we could then actually address the role ADHD plays for once and he could figure out some ways that he could alleviate this and if necessary ask me to help him in ways that did not significantly impact my life. Though I have begun to wonder if it’s not just the ADHD anymore and he really doesn’t care enough to make me a priority in his life.

I see that I should not have given it any more time if I had none and just moved on with my life without letting it make me miss having lunch. I realized this afterwards, I was still upset, and even though he told me he would message me in the future if something like this happened and he would make more of an effort to actually read my messages, but he did so after justifying and making excuses for his behavior, which he does more often than not and has become a pattern that in the end makes me even more upset and unable to move past things. It’s nice I guess to hear that he wants to be empathetic, but I have not really seen this happen, at least not before justifying his actions and telling me instead that I did something wrong. Recently, when I have tried to explain how his actions have upset me in some way, he immediately becomes defensive, and the most frustrating thing of all, he thinks I say things in a way that is blaming him, when actually I am not. I ask him to repeat back what he thinks I say, and it is not at all what I said! He thinks this is because I am too emotional to know what I am saying, but doesn’t see that he is so emotional he reacts to me being upset about something immediately defensive and begins to makes countless excuses. Either way by the end we are usually both saying hurtful things that blame each other without really meaning to. This is one of the things I have tried to work on with him, and I thought we made a lot of progress recognizing this a few weeks ago, but unfortunately we never set up some kind of system to try to interrupt this pattern and relate to each other differently, therefore nothing changed.

He treats me this way not only when I overreact, but every situation recently in this manner:


“ 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?”


I think he can’t tell whether I am overreacting or not, because he is not completely self aware of what he has actually done and what impact it has on my life. Regardless I know I should not let him be impacting my life like this but sometimes it is inescapable.

I have lived through this pattern of him realizing he may have done something wrong in hindsight, but spending more time justifying his behavior than finding a solution or listening to the way it made me feel, and in the end my increased distraught at this response has only fueled him to come up with more excuses and made him believe in the end that he has control over his actions or the outcomes of these situations. Seeing this, I decided that I could not let him impose his cell phone left at my house, as a problem I needed to solve. He refused to spend the $3.40 it would have taken to take the bus straight from his place to mine and back, walking takes 45 minutes one way... but that's not how he gets to my house.... the bus takes maybe 15 minutes at the most. He spent hours with me in the evening arguing with me and saying that I should make his life easier by not making him come to my house to pick up his phone, but failing to see how it would affect my life and extremely busy schedule. Every evening I would message him when I got back home and offer that whenever he wanted to come over, I would make sure I was there so I could hand him back my phone. I think this is hardly keeping his phone from him, and that I should not be expected to do any more than this given the situation. Though I actually felt he kept the conflict going for days because he didn’t want to come over and get it and refused to come get it because he said he wouldn’t even see me, when all I wanted was for him to get his phone without me having to sacrifice anything else and so we could move on. I was even pondering making him dinner for him when he decided to come over as a gesture of peace. Although when he insisted I take a larger role in helping him return his phone, I brought up the events that had happened when I did try to meet him in order to try to show him why that even though he didn’t realize it, that this did make my life more difficult, which he continued to argue with me about for days and refuse to get his phone.

I guess it may be too late at this point to turn things around, but I feel like if we were to work on things not only would I have to work on creating boundaries that allowed me to not be as affected by the ADHD as well as emotionally disconnect from feeling like I have to help fix things, so that I can focus on my life and what is under my control and stop reacting to things so strongly that are not within my control. Also though, I would need him to find more concrete ways to deal with his ADHD and not only tell me he is taking responsibility for it, but turn that effort into action. This turning effort into action I think is the most frustrating part, because I do believe he is trying though it seems from reading the forum as many ADHDers struggle with turning promises into reality. We were both putting a lot of effort in, but I think we both need more knowledge and understanding in order to put effort into applying concrete strategies that would actually help. We both need better ways to communicate and relate to each other when ADHD affected or not, something happens to upset either one of us. The thing that is the most depressing for me is that we still enjoy each other’s company, and on the weekends when the pressures of school and work aren’t upon us and there is the leisure to not have to be on a schedule we have the best times together, even the last weekend. Either way no matter what happens I am now trying to take control over myself and my emotions and not allow anyone else to come before my needs. I hope we can work through this, but I know if we both aren't invested in trying to do things differently that there is no use.

Get Melissa's book! Honestly,

Get Melissa's book! Honestly, if you're looking for concrete ways to turn this around for both of you, get the book. ASAP. You do both have to be 100% committed to doing things differently, but it can be done.

As I mentioned in my replies to him, communication is one of the biggest issues in these relationships and it IS because of the ADHD. I TRULY hope he can accept that. My husband can misinterpret a look I have on my face as something negative...when he's 100% OFF BASE. I can also say "the moon is made of cheese" and all he hears is "you're a big fat loser". I know it sounds facetious, but I am 100% serious! Well, let's just put it this way..I cannot stress it enough that what you say and what he hears can often be TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS and it is completely unfair for him to blame this on you...and your emotions. God knows we can be some emotional people, us non-ADHDers, but that doesn't mean we can't speak cognitively. SOOOO many times in counseling I will say something, my husband will become defensive, the counselor will ask "why are you so defensive..what did you hear her say" and it is almost always either "she's trying to control me" or "She is saying I'm stupid" him ALWAYS assuming the worst in my motives. Once she said "no, I just hear her saying she misses spending time with you". "oh" he said..."OK". *pulls hair out*

She always tells us "do not EVER assume you think you know what the other person is saying..take their words at face value and don't add your own spin to them". It really does help. If you're telling him you're upset by him doing something then his response needs to be that he stops, listens to what you're saying, cares enough to think 'wow, my goal in life really isn't to hurt this person that I love' therefore apologizing for hurting you and then figuring out ways (at the very least a compromise) to keep the hurtful behavior from happening again.

I might suggest you put the cell phone issue behind you. Sometimes things happen and you have to just agree to disagree. I know each of you think it points out what is inherently wrong with the other, but see it as a lesson learned, something you don't want to repeat in the future, and let it stay in the past. It is much easier and far more productive to deal with things today, as they happen. He needs to examine where he went wrong, you need to examine where you went wrong, and you both need to agree to try and avoid that situation again. I know where you are..you're stuck not being able to forgive and forget because you don't feel validated..you don't feel like he's owning up to his part in the situation, you still feel he blames you more than he is being accountable for himself...you NEED to hear him say "I totally screwed up, it was all my fault!" before you can let it go. Isn't happening. Not yet. Agree to disagree, move forward, learn what you can from it. The bottom line, this isn't about a cell phone, and who is responsible for it's safe return...this is a huge breakdown in communication and you need better ways to do just that. Get the book..today.

I've been reading both of the

I've been reading both of the books, and though I was sure I was on the path to something new, and was just regaining some hope, but he has given up all of the sudden. I apologized to him for all of my anger and really felt like I was making the first steps towards a completely new relationship. He said we needed to take a break, but now I'm almost positive he is just breaking up with me completely. I am devastated. I know that it wouldn't work if we didn't both want to put the effort in. But I truly thought that I finally understood for the first time my role in this, and couldn't wait to apply my new perspective to our relationship. I am so distraught feeling like if only I could have realized this days, a week earlier things might have been completely different, but he has given up on me completely.

The very best thing you can

The very best thing you can do in this situation is do exactly as he asked...and just leave him alone. The harder you try, the further away they will go. You have apologized and you are doing exactly what you should do, now that you know different you are trying different and it is 100% up to him to meet you in the middle. Take some time for you and take this time to put aside the emotions and figure out if maybe, deep down, this wouldn't be best for you as well. He has a lot of work to do, he might just feel he'd rather walk away than to do that hard work. Who knows? Hang in there!

One red flag might be that

One red flag might be that YOU have been reading the books...has he? It will not work if you both aren't trying.

Carrie, The last year of

Carrie,

The last year of your relationship sounds like the last year of mine. My now ex-boyfriend firmly believed that his ADHD didn't affect our relationship in any shape or form. When we first met I was a very confident woman but that slowly began to change as our relationship progressed. I somehow fell into the mothering role by accident. It started with me asking, "hey do you need anything?" and then seeing the chaos around him made me continue to offer my help. For example, he has a problem with cleaning up his apartment and anything related to household duties. It would sadden me because sometimes he would lose things, other times I just couldn't understnad how he could find anything. Anyway, I would offer my assistance. It then got to the point where he would ask me to help, but I started to feel unappreciated. He eventually decided to break up with me because he felt there was no "spark" in our relationship, and that I was not a fun person to be around. I guess he didn't consider that every time he was late (3hrs) sometime that by the time he did come around, I was tired and irritated. Two weeks later he's found someone else that he says he has a better romantic connection with. I'm so hurt because I don't think this man understands how much his ADHD affected our relationship, and my actions. The funny thing is that even though I'm heartbroken, I feel like my life is a little back in order like it was before we met. I feel my confidence slowly coming back, though he did a great job stripping that away when he told me that I was only 20% of what he needed in a relationship. I offered to educate myself, that we buy books and actually have conversations about what goes on with him and inside of his brain. Unfortunately, he would never follow thru with my suggestions. Eventually I began to feel overwhelmed, inadequate, useless, and unappreciated. I don't know how a man who said, "I love you" could make me feel so hurt.

I hope I can speak for what

I hope I can speak for what she's correct on first. As far as me "running around" trying to find her when she had my cellphone, that didn't really happen. Sorry if it sounded that way! I just went there on Tuesday, didn't see her at 2:10, and left. She'd clarify that she waited until 2:30 instead of until 2:45 as well. She said later her lab had gotten out at 2:15, and she waited around and missed her entire lunch because of me. Anyways, I was not running all over trying to get it from her, I just missed getting it on Tuesday. My point was more that I didn't feel like the issue should last from Tuesday until Friday - with no signs of resolution, regardless of the details. I tried to make it, but couldn't for whatever reason, and I should not be screamed at for 4+ days, even if she had to wait around for 15 minutes.

I also don't think it's fair to say I was ever "upset" that she waited for me, but I certainly pointed it out when she flipped out at me for that long. She NEVER admitted to overreacting in anyway.  Or having done ANYTHING wrong in ANY of these situations.

The holding her stuff hostage -- I needed my phone, and she refused to let me come by or tell me where she was, and I'd been without it for four days (she's right that I could have come over the night before, but she's far away and I'd had homework until Friday night, so I chose not to). There have been many times when she's refused to leave my place after screaming at me for hours, or she's come over when I told her to leave me alone (to "work things out"... but it usually turns sour and I think we both know that). I'll try to lock myself in my room, and do whatever I can to get away. It's VERY painful.

She sent me this message: "You can come over here when you can think of a solution to your issues, if not I am gonna be pissed and argue, and I want one f**king night of peace and relaxation, and so far that does not include you." There were many others after that. It wasn't like I just came over completely randomly.  I did refuse to sit down and simply start listing off solutions to our problems since she'd been fighting with me all night, and done some pretty upsetting things back to me, and I knew she wasn't about to take responsibility in return.

Me: "I'm not sending you messages so I can fight with you, I sending them because I want to leave NOW to pick up my phone because it's already 11:30. Where are you?"
Her: "Are you going to sit down with me and talk about how and what you can do to improve and actually try?"
Me: "We can talk for a little bit, can I get my phone?"

I also went over because she REFUSED to tell me where she was/what she was doing (she eventually said "errands" after I asked five or six times, and I explained CLEARLY why that still worried me, yet didn't get an answer... for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES straight.  VERY irritating!). I thought she was out partying, and not at home/not doing errands on a friday night (you can read more about that in the other post). When I came over to her place, she was NOT asleep (I don't know why she said I woke her up - besides, who in college is asleep before midnight on a Friday night?).  She refused to give me my phone until I sat down and talked. But after I'd fully taken responsibility for everything I'd done, she still refused to give it back unless I did more (listed more solutions, admitted it was a relationship-wide problem, wrote the entire thing out on a piece of paper so we could go over it). I just started searching through her room to find it, refusing to talk to her until I did. In the end I just took her charger and phone instead. I wasn't about to just sit there and take more responsibility simply because she was forcing me to in order to get my phone back! When she did finally give me my phone (about an hour or so later), I handed hers back, but forgot about the charger in my pocket. So I think the whole "breaking into her room" description was a BIT exaggerated... if she had really desperately not wanted around, she could have just given me the phone when I arrived... not sent me texts saying "you can come over here when you think of a solution"... or even asked me to leave when I got there! But she instead she actually held me there and made me talk to her.

Even worse literally ONE DAY or after she posted this about me "forcing" my way to her house, she came into my room because she "had to" pee, I said (MANY multiple times) she could ONLY come up if she left immediately afterwards! Yet she flatly refused to leave afterwards until I looked at some link online, and listened to her go on and on about my ADHD problems!!  She would just vent, and talk over me when I said anything back (she DID apologize for interrupting me later). Maybe it's just hard for me to have empathy for me coming to her room uninvited. This isn't the first time she's come over to my place uninvited, acted irrationally (screaming, interrupting etc) or really upset me, and refused to leave - it's been a major problem.  And I'm not saying this is some kind of justification for anything, however, reading all this feels a bit hypocritical!

So, I was basically invited, but only if I sat down and apologized, which felt a bit forced and ungenuine. We'd been fighting all night/all week and by then I didn't want to do that, I just wanted my phone. She couldn't tell me where she'd been for the past 45 minutes to an hour, and I said I wanted to know and asked repeatedly, yet was denied and answer, so I also worried she wasn't at home but out partying.

The piece you said on walking away and letting things settle, is another point of contention in our relationship. This is what I have been doing when she gets upset, and as you'll see above she talks about how I "ignore her" in our conflicts. Like above when she comes over to my place and refuses to leave, I'll shut the door and try to ignore her. Or if she flips out for days I'll get texts constantly, and eventually I'll just stop texting back (not as often as I should). Usually when the conversation is beyond logic, or doesn't look it it's approaching a resolution, and either I or her am too upset to deal with it rationally. Sometimes I just tell her I'm too upset to talk and hang up.

Lastly, I don't think it's fair to simply tell me I don't see eye to eye.  Or that I'm simply sitting here justifying my actions.  How have I done that?  Generalizations don't get us anywhere.

This wasn't the first time some big conflict like this had happened, there were many more issues the week before that held even less weight yet lasted even longer. And beyond simply refusing to apologize or take responsibility, she's refused to even LISTEN to what she'd done to upset me, and when I've brought stuff up all I get are demands about me taking MORE responsibility (for accidentally wasting 15 minutes of your time a week ago?  Really?), or literally making things up to be upset over - like defending herself against things I never accused her of. I can't take it anymore.

Anyways, I hope that sheds some light on this situation.  Read my first post if you haven't already. I am trying to be as fair as possible, but I did kind of break up with her because of this (we'll see if things have changed by the summer).  Keep that in mind.

Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to clarify some things. I will be one of the first to admit that we non's can learn patterns of reaction that are as damaging (if not more so) to the marriage than the ADHD itself. Again, trying to find the 'truth' somewhere in the middle of what you both perceive as THE 'reality', I think you are definitely not the only person who truly needs to rethink and relearn in this relationship.

-missing her when she had your phone and her 'missing her lunch' because of it, should have never been a huge issue..miscommunication..it happens.

-her insisting that you 'work' on the relationship in order to get your phone back is not only wrong, it is not exactly a productive and healthy way to work things out. Forcing someone to discuss something that they aren't in the frame of mind to discuss is always a bad idea. When dealing with someone who has ADHD, timing is everything. Having said that, it is imperative that you do take the time to sit down and work out your issues. Instead of 'faking' it just to get your phone back, or doing it when your heart isn't in it, you should have said "I really do want to do this, but could we plan on a day and time, right now is just not a good time." If you have been fighting..BAD idea to try and 'fix' things in that frame of mind. She needs to learn to respect that sometimes it is just best to drop it and come back to it later. During a 3 day long fight is optimum time to take a break. Part of being respectful is realizing that things don't have to be fixed...today..right now!

-The "she wouldn't tell me where she was" scenario sounds a little familiar...and let me give you both a little advice about what I HOPE isn't happening there. A) I hope you're not jealous and barged your way into her room because you were worried that she was doing something wrong. B) I hope she wasn't intentionally ignoring your texts asking where she was in the hopes that you'd worry, unnecessarily OR that maybe deep down she wanted you to come over so she ignored them as a way of pushing your buttons knowing you'd come running. C) you don't say so, but I hope that you're being honest with yourself about why you went over there in the first place...to get your phone...and not to try and catch her partying. ALL of these are very unhealthy for your relationship...and I ONLY say this because I have lived it. Get over worrying about what she's doing...be honest with him about where you are and don't ignore him asking. If you don't want to have to answer to him and tell him where you are every time he asks, then reconsider being in a relationship with him. What is the harm? On the flip side if you (adhdboyfriend) are obsessive or overly jealous and ask too often, an unhealthy number of times, then you need to work on your own insecurities.

I could sit and pick all of this apart for hours...but since you've decided to take a few steps back and re-evaluate things, I will just leave it at that. I applaud you for trying. I applaud you both for coming here to try and get help. I hope that neither of you takes away from my posts that I'm blaming either of you solely for these problems. I think you're both making a lot of mistakes...but I also think you're both pointing a lot of fingers. Both of you need to see your own fault and start there...and stop trying to fix each other. It is so normal to feel desperate to want to fix things when you're a non-ADHDer...please try and understand where she's coming from. The problem is that we're completely clueless as to how to go about it...so we go about it in all of the worst ways and cause our ADHDers to completely unravel and shut us out of their lives. We do the best we can until we know different. I hope you're both getting some ideas of how things need to go 'differently' from now on, if you decide to stay together.

It is obvious that neither of you are acting in a way that

honors your relationship.

If you were so concerned about your phone, then you should have done whatever was necessary to get it back.  I can tell you that the moment you instructed me to keep it on me at all times (which you said you told your gf to do), I would have been angry.  YOU forgot it, and you should be able to get it back without inconveniencing me.  You had no right to know exactly what she was doing. Errands is a good enough answer for someone who doesn't feel like talking to you and specifically telling you everything going on.  She was angry with you and wanted you to leave her alone, and you nagged her for 45 solid minutes demanding to know where she was.  That was obnoxious and I think you know it.  Busting into her house demanding your phone was not only uncalled for and obnoxious, but if it was me would have led to your likely arrest.

Was she right? Nope.  And complaining about the same issue with missing lunch for 4 days is way too long and way out of line.  Refusing to leave your house or give you your phone until she had her say or forced you to look at ADHD links is completely out of line.  You need to learn, however, that this issue was not about this one lunch she missed, it was about the myriad of things you do and forget to do.  She is at the end of her rope and is (in an incorrect manner) trying to make you see that your ADHD is much more destructive to your relationship than you realize.

I disagree with what you BOTH have done, and it may just be that you are a bad match.  More likely you just both have bad coping skills for a syndrome that neither of you understand fully.  Learn about ADHD, treat your ADHD, learn how to communicate in a healthy way (which neither of you are doing).

You are both spending way too much time trying to be *right* and no enough time trying to build a happy relationship where you are both accepted and respected.

No one can force someone else to do something about their ADHD (and I understand her feeling because during the first year after my husband's diagnosis he grieved over it and did very little work at developing coping skills.  I wanted to force him.  I even tried to force him.  But nothing happened until he wanted it to.)  It hurts when you are being damaged by bad behavior that is caused by something out of your partner's complete control, yet they seem to just want to stay that way and keep hurting you.  The real issue is deeper than that, and I am sure you don't realize how affected you both are by your ADHD (which you described as fairly severe), but your refusal to cope with it better will doom more than just this relationship in your life until you get help.

Everyone wants to be accepted unconditionally, so hearing "You better change this, or else" gets no results.  It is also true, however, that a loving person would never continue doing behavior that is painful to a person they care about just because "this is me.  Deal with it."  We all adjust for the ppl we are with, we stop doing things that hurt them and try to do more of behavior that helps them.

You both are sitting around thinking you are doing everything good and the other one is messing everything up.  You are both doing good things nad you are both doing damaging things, and you both need to work on yourselves.


There is a LOT of help out there and you should avail yourselves of it regardless of what happens with this relationship.  It is possible to be very happy with a ADD partner.  My marriage is living proof, but it does require work out of both ppl.  Both to do better, and to react better to things that are hard for you to deal with from your partner.