Tips/Advice? ADHD Processing by Thinking Out Loud?



I am new here and this is my first post. I am the non-ADHD partner. My partner of one year is not diagnosed (and he has an aversion to most things in the realm of psychology that involves a diagnosis) but I have suspected for some time he has ADD. I am hoping that I might be able to get some insight by posting some information about our current situation as many of the posts I have read here have been really helpful and have felt like they are hitting really close to home.


Our biggest issue is communication. We have found that often he will say something in the heat of an argument or  a heavily emotional conversation that will seem very harsh, out of the blue, or completely contradictory to something he has told me before when we are not in a similar situation. To give some examples: once he was telling me about a situation with a work colleague who holds a value that is different from our own. My partner started saying things that were against our values, failing to mention that he was thinking through how he would try and emphasise with this work colleague out loud. I got upset, thought he was contradicting earlier conversations. This in turn upset him as he couldn't understand why I was upset. Once we had calmed down and tried to talk about it again, it emerged he was thinking out loud. I had no clue of this at the time. He told me that I should have given him the benefit of the doubt based on knowing him - and he's completely right (I have my own set of insecurities my reaction played into) but it is also true that I had no idea how he was thinking out loud or processing the situation.


Another example was when we were discussing something pretty innocent, and I referenced a previous example of a disagreement we had got into. My purpose was not to revisit the disagreement but to simply use it as an example. Anyway, he started revisiting the disagreement and said something that I was trying to change what he watched on TV (I had gone out of my way to make sure I never once said this in the disagreement, and I did in fact say this to him on multiple occasions - I had no intention of changing him). I then got upset because I thought he didn't believe my intention (not to change him, that I had never asked him to stop watching certain shows). This escalated pretty quickly because I was hurt and I am not very good at being calm or rational when I am hurt.


When we revisited this once we had calmed down (he is very good at revisiting conversations or disagreements and he will preserve until we both feel "right" again), it turned out that he was thinking out loud again. Instead of telling me how he felt (which is how I interpreted it) he was simply voicing the thought processes to try and come to a conclusion. I found this really hard to get my head around until later in the day when he told me that he found it really hard to be able to think about anything in the middle of me being hurt/springing something on him that felt emotional (in this instance because I had referenced a previous disagreement he immediately felt on edge and emotional), and that he basically shuts down. One of his attempts at overriding this is thinking out loud.


It became even more clear during a few moments where we were just messing around and having fun together. He was trying to come up with rhyming words (who knows why? Lol) and he was saying them out loud. A few times the words did not rhyme and he said, again out loud "no, that's not right." It suddenly dawned on me that he was unable to realise that the words did not rhyme until he had said them out loud and he was then able to consider them properly. Suddenly a lot of things made sense and I began to connect the dots. All of the disagreements we had about things he had said were not because he meant them himself, which is what I always took it as being, but it was simply his way of processing something. His cognitive processes make more sense out loud. I do my thinking in my head and he only gets the conclusion. It seemed like such a revelation. I mentioned it to him, and we talked about it a bit, where he confirmed certain things to me.


Other things I have noticed:



he's practically unable to hold a proper conversation or reply to me, or sometimes even listen, if we are in an environment with a lot of noise, actions, visual stimulus etc.

his time keeping is pretty poor. He's often late to things and doesn't understand the frustration

on the whole he is very lazy (he sleeps a crazy amount), and he finds it very hard to motivate himself to do anything without prompting. He tells me that he does want to do the things and to please tell him/prompt him/initiate going out etc. but finds it hard to do himself

He considers himself selfish, and in some ways he is - his favourite pastime is playing video games and he would do this for hours and hours every single night, without fail, if he could get away with it. His default reaction when I suggest something out of his normal routine (which includes seeing me two days a week) is to say no - again, he says this is him processing it and thinking out loud but of course it's hard for me to override that response to wait and hear what else he has to say.

His confidence is very low because of all of these and he thinks he is stupid because of the way his mind works. He's really not stupid.



He is very observant and he sees things I do not. As a writer, I envy his perception

He is incredibly loyal, incredibly genuine and very open with his emotions. I think we would have big issues if this wasn't the case. A lot of the insecurities I have that are fuelled by his thinking that I outlined above are calmed by the other things he says and does.

He is very smart and dedicates himself when he truly wants to. I wish he could believe he is smart.

He is literally the nicest person I know. He goes out of his way to help people, he knows right from wrong, he acts like a gentleman and treats me like a lady.

He tries. So so hard. Which leads me onto my conclusion...


I realise how hard he tries, and I want to help him. Especially now it has dawned on me what he does and how he processes things and how hard he takes it when I get upset. I am devoted to him and our relationship and I want to make this as good as I can. I was wondering if any of the above hits a nerve with anyone? If anyone can offer insight? If there are any tips?


Many thanks