Hello my lovely people!
I really need some advice on if there's anything I can do to chat to my boyfriend without offending him, and move forward, so we can possibly live together again.
A few months ago my boyfriend told me he thinks he still has ADHD after being diagnosed as a kid, and we both agreed it fit a lot with how he is. To be honest, it's been a shock to me after being together four years - I feel like I'm with a new person, and I feel sad that it's never going to get easier - I always thought he was messy and lacking attention for certain things due to age, job and environment.
I've tried reading up about it a lot, and tried to talk to him about it. He has no interest in medication or counseling. His mum tried all sorts of methods with him as a child and none of it worked, while ritalin made him lose all his friends and he still ended up failing essays due to his dysfunctional family life. He has told me I should take him or leave it - this is how he is, it isn't a condition but his personality. He said if he doesn't make me happy why am I staying with him? He laughed at me for reading a book about it, and told me he was unique - no book will tell me what to do and I should talk to him about it, which I have been trying.
He has limited interest in a good diet and exercise, going for the easiest, tastiest options first, with little routine on when he eats, and it's beginning to show. I know diet and exercise is meant to help, and it's really helped me overcome anxiety and feel good about myself, but if I want to spend time with him, I find it hard to keep it up my healthy endeavours. I'm starting to feel extremely pissed off that it's so difficult for him to do basic things such as brushing his teeth, putting his clothes in a chest of drawers, cooking, turning lights off, showering, and that it's unlikely to change after how our initial chats have gone. I understand that these things can be difficult but in my head I feel these basic self care things could really help other areas in his life - but I don't know if that's just from my own, non ADHD experience. He says he tries to eat healthily and I end up being critical as he's eaten bacon, two pies and fried chicken, which I doubt helps anything in hindsight.
I feel all critical and annoyed that he doesn't seem to want to make any positive changes, and I hate feeling like this! What happened to the fun loving times!?
We have lived together in the past but I'm wondering now if it's ever going to be possible again. When we lived together last time it took everything out of me. We have discussed having separate rooms, as I feel like I need a lot of alone time to make sure I don't lose sight of myself. I am generally feeling terrified still however, as I feel there is no progress and it will end up how it was before, and if that's the case, how can we grow up to have kids and buy a house?!
How have you guys with SO's overcome the problems you can face as a result of ADHD? Is it possible to talk about it without offending one another? He's such a lovely, funny and kind guy, a best friend, but I also am starting to wonder if we have a future without dysfunction and chaos. I really appreciate it if you've managed to read this far and any advice you have. X
Why do you want to move back in with him?
Submitted by sickandtired on
Most of the folks on here are either miserable living like this, trying to get away, or happy they left.
Look at the facts.
Submitted by CaliforniaGirl on
The only advice I can offer is to look at the facts in your own words.
- He has no interest in medication or counseling.
- He has told me I should take him or leave it.
- He laughed at me for reading a book about it
- it's so difficult for him to do basic things such as brushing his teeth... (etc)... and that is unlikely to change after how our initial chats have gone.
- I find it hard to keep it up my healthy endeavours
From where I sit - He is telling you that this is it. He's not going to do anything differently. He refuses.
So, it seems like you have to decide if you can do that and if you are ok with the effect that it has on your health and well being.
It's not an easy decision.
You said you lived together in the past ...
Submitted by sickandtired on
...and it took everything out of you. Can you write down what daily living with him was really like? It might help you to clarify your own true feelings about it if you write it down.
So his ADHD diagnosis as a child was news to you?
Submitted by Chevron on
Worrier, you wrote:
few months ago my boyfriend told me he thinks he still has ADHD after being diagnosed as a kid, and we both agreed it fit a lot with how he is. To be honest, it's been a shock to me after being together four years - I feel like I'm with a new person
It is certainly all right to be shocked, if he hadnt told you about his childhood ADHD. Obviously his mother thought his ADHD challenges needed some support and professional help when he was a kid.
A lot of people who have ADHD as a child still have it as they age.
You need to know that no matter how hard you try, and no matter what motivates you as you try, you can't fix his ADHD for him.
So the question is, as California Girl said, especially since he has communicated clearly that he's not going to be taking meds or going to therapy, and has told you that your one option is to take him as he is...can you live with him as he is?
Submitted by GiveMePatience on
I'm sure that I speak for many here in telling that you I understand your situation well and wish that you were not going through it...
I do not want to comment 'directly' to what you have written here... as this decision has to be ENTIRELY your own... But I would like to express something. In ANY relation, ALL relationships, ADHD or not... NO ONE should ever ENTER a relationship with the MOTIVE of 'CHANGING' the other person. Period.
"Change'' can ONLY happen from WITHIN. Within ONESELF.
We can 'influence' others... We can 'inspire' others... But we CANNOT 'CHANGE' others.
'HAVING ADHD or NOT HAVING ADHD', that CANNOT 'CHANGE'. It is not a 'CHOICE'.
Thank God there are 'things' to lessen the symptoms of ADHD... or books or therapies that TEACH 'behavioral modifications' and such... but...
IT IS WHAT IT IS.
My very best to you.
GiveMePatience..... I agree wholeheartedly
Submitted by kellyj on
... and from what I've read it isn't that uncommon more for women than men for variety of reasons to think that their man will will change. I can speak directly about a couple things that have been mentioned here and add some things that I've recently learned actually validated myself after my SO, has recently departed for many of the reasons the same reasons that are mentioned here that have to do with me but more to do with the past before I met her and working on getting things organized and a system going and a structure that I can live with. A working structure for me that is that's the most important part. I'm really the only one who knows if it if something will work or not and many times I will try something to see if it will sometimes it out early fails... again for reasons that I know why more than anybody else which is not to say is different advice than what the experts say but adapting that advice and working it in to what I already have to work with. In other words I know my strengths that come with ADHD and those are particular to me so I have to take whatever I'm adding or trying to change and make that work for me however it works. It is somewhat of a process and sometimes the first attempts don't work or I need to modify it slightly to fit in with other things that are working for me. Unfortunately it seems that sometimes no matter how good the idea sounds when I get down to doing it I find out all the reasons why it doesn't work exactly that way for me which means not abandon it completely but modify it some overtime and integrate that into what already works. This is the thing that looking from the outside no one knows but me what that is and that really is the truth. Once I find something that works I'll stick to it and then add other things to that as time goes on. It does take a lot of effort there's a lot of failures and there's a lot of feelings of giving up sometimes out of frustration. It is a personal Journey that no one can do for you and it's not always easy in fact sometimes it's exasperating.
I remember saying something very similar to what the OP said about " this is just how I am, you can take it or leave it "...my way or the highway... so to speak.
In the couple's course that Melissa offers to this website, I remember her mentioning this "my way or the highway "attitude as being kind of the death knell as far as change goes. Like I said I remember saying that when I was 10 years old, and the reply from my parents was " no one is going to like you ".. out of their own frustration....the only difference with me though is no one knew I had ADHD or anything about it at the time ... they just thought I was being disobedient and choosing not to do what they said that's how they saw it and that's what I couldn't explain ?
Not listening and not deferring to others is a problem having ADHD. I am fully aware of this now if I wasn't before.
You don't ever get cured of having ADHD... you only learn how to manage the symptoms and for those like myself who had it as a child and the major symptoms went away there are still some symptoms that linger or even lie dormant that emerge only under certain conditions and not others... which would be my case with one caveat..... when I'm not stressed , when I'm not full of anxiety and I don't have an angry person breathing down my neck.... I managed to do this quite well as long as I'm allowed to take the expert advice and make it my own in a way that work, and integrate that nto what I already know that works I'm not abandoning everything that I do trying to do everything differently all at that once. This is something I knew going all the way back to my childhood or realized that I couldn't do things the same as others and I had to find a different way. Many of those had some maladaptive qualities to them which I can directly relate to how that affects others negatively including including these symptoms that you mentioned which only arise under pressure... pressure ,anger , resentment.... check all the above.
There is or I should say there are fine lines ... in my ability to do things in certain ways and if I try to do too much or do it in a way that's not working I simply become frustrated and overwhelmed which is what I really try to avoid. This isn't my way or the highway this is directly related to my limitations or my capacities to do any more than I can do at one time. Sometimes I'll do great and I'll have spurts of improvement and sometimes I'll plateau and won't improve until I take the next step. It is a stair step process not a straight line going upwards always improving everyday all the time... that expectation alone can give you performance anxiety in a hurry. Once you start experiencing too much stress ...the next step is depression from too many failures and not enough success in an acting change even when I'm trying my best to do so it does have its own timetable to a certain degree and it doesn't happen all at once. I realize sometimes the changes are subtle and not necessarily noticeable over a week or even a month. I think I recall Melissa in the seminar course mentioning nine months to a year and a half a concerted effort to really make a change and start to see them stick. And there's always some backsliding too, what other duties and responsibilities of Life get in the way you can't do it all the time everyday without it taking its toll on you and you have to give yourself a break now and then as long as you continue to try.. as part of your routine. Even the Blind Pig finds an acorn now and then you know. Ha
This is timely for two reasons but the main one was when I recognized recently that I was not functioning at all due to my personal situation and it was time to get my prescription filled for Adderall, so I brought this up with my prescriber and told her that I felt I needed something else right now at least to get me through a Time when emotionally I'm just simply overwhelmed. Emotional pain can really really affect you and affect your ability to function well under any circumstances. And like you say ADHD or not ... this has a much greater effect than you realize until you don't have it anymore. My own original suspicions of my state and condition were confirmed over the last few days thankfully.... which I can report on that has to do with medication.
Initially when I started Adderall my original prescriber also prescribed Prozac a tiny dose of 10 mg a day to help counteract any side effects that the Adderall might pose for me however I have been on the Adderall now for almost 11 years... and after being on Prozac for a year I decided to stop taking it to see what would happen since I felt flat and I felt it took too much of the hi or the feelings of joy and elation that I would normally get from simple everyday pleasures and kind of made me numb kind of zombie like unemotional which I really didn't like. Over the years I haven't noticed a huge change in my irritability an anger even though I do believe it has brought my threshold down slightly from where it would be without it as far as maintaining my emotions and making me a little less tolerant too emotional stressors but like I said maybe a tiny bit not a lot as I recall being exactly the same before I took it not a big change for me even though for some that's not the case. I seem to be one of the lucky ones that when I finally tried Adderall after a couple other drugs it just clicked immediately like coming home.
But recognizing my inability to function well and the intensity of my emotions and not being able to rid myself of the extreme emotional rollercoaster I was on... I actually started on a drug called Sertraline Hcl which is a generic substitute for Zoloft which has surprised even me on how well it's work in such a short. Of time. I've experienced a little nausea and a little lightheadedness or dizziness but that's already going away... the benefits however far outweigh any negative side effects I could name and I'm not too worried about them as eating before I take it seems to make the nausea go away. that only happened the first two days... it's now day four and I'm starting to feel like a new man already which I was very surprised to see.
The point being that I recognize my own depression.... and the first thing that goes always with me is personal hygiene brushing your teeth showering letting yourself go. For me that's just the canary in the coalmine for depression it's something I've recognized for years going to my youth that I mentioned yet back then I had to grin and bear it and muscle my way through it. Better Living Through Pharmaceuticals as they say... sometimes you need help and there's only one person who knows that and that's me. I had to go in and ask for it and speak directly to the problem requesting her to give me something and letting her do her job. I walked in the door with that knowing that I needed something to get me through a rough time and when I start feeling I don't need it anymore I'll stop taking it. The amazing thing is just how well the anxiety and the stress have subsided and with that the depression is lifting as well and when that happened I started to get things done.
Not having the stress and the anxiety and the daily pressure of someone reminding you of your failures and being allowed to do these things in a way that works with a little bit of experimentation it has made it so the progress is doubled in only if a couple days. This is what I'm attributing to the effect that the Zoloft substitute has for me right now at this moment. That's the thing the inconsistency and the backsliding many times comes due to other things that are getting in the way. it was nice to validate my own words... what I felt was a problem. Stress and anxiety anxiety leads to overwhelm and when that happens nothing gets done. These things are connected you change one thing here and two other things change over there if you follow me. If I can't reduce the stress and anxiety Then I have to find another way and in my case I have no other choice I knew I had options and it's certainly worth a try you'll never know until you try and that was my attitude even if in the past I said I didn't need it at that time I certainly need it now it is the way it works sometimes you have to be your own advocate.
And none of it is easy and none of it is fun and none of it is what you want to do but if you want to change and you want to make a difference then you have to do something different to... try one thing and it doesn't work then you have to try something else until you find one that does. If you don't try if you avoid and say " it'll never work ".... if you're still using the same rationale you did as a kid and you never tried anything different after that once you failed that is a fallacy in thinking that stems from the past not now.
To the Op.. I can only give, I can only give the same advice that Melissa gave in the seminar course would be a good place to Start All Things Considered... but what she said was allowing the ADHD person to do it on their own cut them some slack and take the pressure off usually yield positive results you know once you take the reins off and the expectations that are possibly more than he can do in too little time or at all all at once. I think knowing what doesn't work is as important, as knowing what does but have to try many things to find the right one that does, more than anything else that's what I found. An anger and negative feedback and your own personal frustration. really only makes matters worse it does nothing to help the situation at all but it's understandable.
I think the best approach is to be honest and open without criticism or judgment but but letting him know that if he doesn't do something it will end badly for both of you as a bottom line. That my way or the highway business is a road to nowhere.... there's nothing you can do to force a a person to change... but you can do things to make it worse or better depending on what you do. I always appreciate the truth no matter how much I don't like the sound I know not everyone is like that but I think it's the best approach it's the best policy I know without being judgemental.
I have a part 2 to this which may illustrate this even more so. In my mind it is another instance of the same thing being played out in a different way.
Not sure how to proceed.. whith some shocking information.
Submitted by kellyj on
I was cleaning out some leftover papers and things and found a sack that D had left as fire starter next to the fireplace. I started to pull some of the papers out and my I caught a letter from her doctor that she had torn in two. There was a small piece missing so I couldn't read the entire message but the part that I did read that was crystal clear state " here are the results of your recent lab test... hepatitis C antibody blood test indicate infection with hepatitis C virus..Hep C. Ab. Your lab results are stable I recommend you add..." and then that last part of the sentence is missing. This lab results was dated 12-5-2016 10 months ago and she never mentioned it to me.
This really shocked me and took me back. I immediately panicked and got on the internet and read up on it but I've seen the commercials it's a one out of four baby boomers has it and possibly had it since childhood getting it from their mother as one possibility. The issue is although not as potentially infectious... you can get it from having sex under the right circumstances. Our sex life over the past couple years has been hit and miss and especially in the last 9 or 10 months we may have only had sex a couple times two or three at most and nothing recently for at least six or seven months.
At this point there's no sense in worrying about it as they say it is curable now with recent drugs they have and catching it early as is also important.. so even if I do have it I wouldn't have had it very long. Not years and years as I had a full blood test done when I had to change doctors and they tested for all these things and it came back with a clean bill of health as far as hepatitis C was concerned. That was six seven years ago now... which in the big picture I don't think I'd have too much to worry about as far as liver damage or any damage from Contracting it if i n d did I won't know that until I go get my blood tested which I'm going to do straight away.
I'm not going to speculate how anyone contracted something like that who knows... and of course the worst one of all would be if she contracted it from somebody else while she was with me which might be one reason why she wouldn't say anything. A strong possibility but like I said she she may not know which is most likely the case. Then again she may have known for quite some time and just not said anything. , that test quite possibly was a follow-up stating that she was stable who knows?
Ironically where she goes is where I'm going and I'm not exactly sure how to proceed but I will be telling them when I go there of her doctor in the same Clinic and asking for their advice if indeed I have it. My prescriber said unfortunately the medication for that is not cheap and rather expensive, better than the alternative though that's a no-brainer.
It's the fact that she didn't tell me when she knew almost a year ago that is the troubling aspect of this that lends itself directly to the same mindset. I just won't say anything and maybe it'll is all go away. I'm dealing with my own stress and Anxiety over this I can't deal with another person's.... I think quite honestly that's probably the case more than anything else. Just like anything else that I ran into with her... the pattern is to avoid conflict, avoid the subject and if things get too bad there's always the highway.
I immediately tried to email her to let her know about this to see if she would relate what she knows since they did ask when I made the appointment. I simply said I have no idea all I know is what the letter said and when it was dated.
If I don't have it then this is all a moot point , nothing I can do until then but if I do I don't know how to approach her.... she has a new number that I don't have and she cancelled her old email and it no longer exists. That was her answer to my last email that I sent her stating that I hope we can finish our business together so that we can both move on and move forward. I've been waiting to say anything until I know for sure but once I do I don't know whether I should tell her or not? The one thing that no one understands or agrees with that I mentioned this to both my therapist my prescriber and the nurses at the clinic who took my call..... no one understands why she wouldn't say anything and let her intimate partner know? I can choose to be furious and angry but it will do nothing to help the situation. All I can do is what I can do it still won't change her or anything she does.. right now I'm choosing not to worry about it until I have to and if I don't then I won't. Even then it's not the end of the world and there is effective treatment for it now... thankfully as I read this is fairly recent in just the last the last few years. You probably seen the ads on television by the pharmaceutical company that makes the medication. Sounds like I would be the perfect candidate for successful treatment under the circumstances All Things Considered. She had a responsibility to me and she totally failed and it was negligent in this one case.
I think this speaks directly to the thing same thing... at least for now I'm choosing to see if that way I'm trying to stay objective. Being angry about it at this point is only hurting me.
I'd be very upset, too, J. I
Submitted by PoisonIvy on
I'd be very upset, too, J. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
Over the years, there have been a few things that my then-husband didn't tell me about that had huge effects on our family, effects that might have been less if I had known earlier. In the late 1990s, H's position was not renewed and he didn't tell me until almost 9 months later, even though in the interim I decided to quit my job after discussing my plan with him. And 10 years ago, he received a third warning, almost the equivalent of a termination notice, at another job, and didn't tell me. Several months later, he committed an egregious error and was fired on the spot. I felt betrayed by him not telling me what was going on.
J, it all fits....
Submitted by c ur self on
I talked to my wife a few nights ago about Independent living in a marital relationship....I told her that one thing has caused us way more problems, than ADHD ever could...I laid it out, just like it's been, she listened quietly, and I spoke calmly...She didn't reply, which for her means agreement....
When we or our spouse lives without a heart of conviction to be totally honesty in our relationship, this is the kind of stuff that happens...You can't help but be upset to some degree about it....If nothing else the feeling of betrayal that accompanies this hiding and covering up, is a hard pill to swallow...
But it all fits with the rest of what you've uncovered....I don't know what to say, except to try and step back and breathe...And just take a mental snap shot of all these facts you are uncovering....So you can see it for what it is....And! Try to be thankful that light and truth has started reveling all the lies, deceit and cover up....
I pray you can start moving on day by day in a healthy way...
Her actions have nothing to do with you J...You can't change another person's heart....
where to begin?
Submitted by MrsADD on
You don't really overcome the problems and when you combine your life and have kids it get's harder. The fun is a distant memory because of the constant craziness your life becomes. I have used workarounds and tools for the adhd that have helped with communication for sure. But parenting has been a constant battle and only a few routine responsibilities a father should be able to accomplish have stuck over a course of 5 years. I take what I can get. It is a life of separateness. Due to needing boundaries. Seperate finances. Seperate life planning. Seperate parenting. Yet all while in a marriage. It is weird. Agianst the norm. If you go down the road of marraige and family with this person it will always be you changing not them. They are what they are. In a sense your BF is right, this is what you get. I think without kids I could have handled being married to my ADHD H much better but with kids you are forced into a role of "needing" eachother as a "team". Team is not in the ADHD vocabulary.
I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news. And I think ADHD people are lovable, kind and good intending. But it is a hard love. It is a love where you are constantly bending and accepting. How much can you handle? I encourage you to read the ADHD effect on marriage. Most of us veterans on here have. We have all experienced at least 10 of those stories. Are you willing to accept those stories and do the work to adapt? I wish I had known so much more about ADHD before I decided to have children with my H. I would not have chosen that path with this person I am with today. It is too hard for my personality to deal with the storm that comes with ADHD.