Trying to live with his ADHD + his addiction... HELP.


Approximately 4 months ago (July 9 2010 to be exact) I fell in love with my current partner, he is amazing, extremely intelligent, funny, extremely loving, affectionate and creative, always making cute love letters and sending me thoughtful texts when I'm at work. I thought I had hit the jackpot! I jumped into the whole thing head first, i just knew he was everything i ever wanted in a boyfriend, so as he had a bad rental history he moved into my apartment with me : ) I knew before he moved in with me that he had a problem with using methamphetamine (ice), and made money dealing illegal drugs, he assured me he wanted to stop and was committed to giving up both dealing drugs and using ice to find work as a massage therapist, at this point he had not made me aware of his ADHD, and I had never even heard of it. When he moved in he continued to use methamphetamine and when I asked why he wasn't making an effort to quit he explained he had ADHD, and was using ice to self medicate while he waited for his psychiatrist to prescribe dexamphetamine which he told me is used to help his disorder (previously he had been using dexamphetamine in QLD, where he had been given a script for them, but after moving to NSW was having real difficulty in obtaining again) After he reassured me it was needed for this purpose and not to induce a "high" he further  explained that without the meth or dex his head was in constant chaos and caused him physical pain. Not wanting him to be suffering constantly I agreed I was ok with him to use meth till the dex had been prescribed.

When I asked about his plans to do the massage therapy he said he couldn't afford financially to keep using the ice on that kind of a wage, I agreed as he barely makes much money dealing and does not want to get caught so deals as little as possible.

During the short time of us living together I have noticed things that have REALLY annoyed me such as;

Always being late, and making me late in the process. making a mess and not cleaning it up. being disorganized and not getting things done on time. not paying bills on time, even when I constantly remind him. Missing appointments. Knowing me and him have to both be somewhere at a certain time, recent example we were both invited to a birthday party which started at 6pm, we were both running around together trying to get things done when he said he needed to buy an outfit for the party, and off he went to do it, around 5pm i sent him a text reminding him that the party started in one hour and best hurry home, and sent another text at 5.30pm, when he did arrive home he sat down and started looking around the house, i told him hurry as  you have 20mins to be ready, and he snaped back saying not to rush him or he will become stressed, people with ADHD he said were always late. we were late(as always) to the party. I assumed all these annoying things were due to the use of ice, so i was prepared to let them slide until he received medication.

one mouth ago he received his dexamphetamine tablets but hasn't chosen to take and continued to use ice. I sat down with him and told him ice has to stop, and i don't want drugs in my house. He agreed so I asked him to set a date to quit and to quit. He set the date, so I assumed he would be saving to support himself for when he would no longer need or receive income from selling drugs to support his habbit, or at least be looking for a way to get his massage therapy dream put into action, its not like i haven't made an effort to ask him how is he going to afford to rent the room he needs to do the massage, and what the plan is to advertise, and what if he doesn't get clients for the first couple of weeks, (as he refuses to work for someone else, as I suggested so he could get some clients first) But every time i try to talk to him about it he interprets it as me having no faith he can do it. But to be honest the way he wants to do it is unrealistic and has massive potential for me having to support him financially. I dont believe he is in the position to be so picky with choosing a job.

About 3 days ago I jumped online to discover what ADHD really is like and have since learnt that the things he does he cant help, but yet he dosnt even really care himself about doing things to help. I seem to be already doing everything i can to help, today even I asked what can i do to help this? and he wants me to sit down with him and write out a list and a plan, um..... i really think if he believes lists are going to help then HE needs to find a pen and write one, all i think i should have to do is to remind him to do the things he has written down. To me it seems he is quite happy to be late, he never rushes to do anything to meet dead lines, or as I have suggested buy a daily planer and write things in it so they don't slip his mind. He seems to have an excuse for EVERYTHING! And more often than not its me being blamed for his reasons why the ice hasn't been dealt with sooner, why he is disorganized, I just want to know if it is me? but its not like i even understood how ADHD effected him untill just 3 days ago. And in all honesty I really need some space from him (which i have mentioned to him) , hes always at home unless he runs out for 20mins to do a drug deal and has ONE friend that comes over to my house when they catch up with each other. I'm only given space when im sleeping or at work, which is only 3 nights a week and im hardly alone, its work. I really need help or I am going to have to break up with him.

I'm 22, and he is 34, he has been bankrupt, has no license (lost it due to speeding, which i have read is common for people with ADHD), no savings, no commitments and the hobbies he says he enjoys doing i never see him doing or all involve me in some way , he spends money when he knows he has bills (also read is common ADHD behavior) then has to borrow money from me. Always asks me what im doing and how long i will be. I now understand all these things are just because of his ADHD. Yesterday i told him i wished he had told me what it ment to live with ADHD and he said he wasn't even aware that all these things were part of ADHD. he then said all the annoying things he does will disappear once he starts the medication, and i know that's not true because i also read that the medication just helps with the concentration part of ADHD, he still needs to take an active effort to see a therapist to change his behavior or time management therapist. I dont understand why only just now he realizes, its not like he was diagnosed yesterday he found out 4 years ago, wouldn't the doctor tell him the medication wouldn't fix EVERYTHING and that he would have to do things to help? I feel really stuck. And I really really need help!  i really am in love with him and don't want us to have to end the relationship.


You need to walk away.  There is nothing you should do to "try" or to "work this out".  You have no idea what you are getting yourself into.  You are not only dealing with ADHD (which is extremely difficult) but a serious drug addiction.  Do you want the rest of your life to be like this?  Take it from me, someone who is early 30's and separated from my ADHD husband (who I LOVE dearly) won't get better.  Not to mention I dated someone before him who abused meth and during his high he physically assaulted me.  If you want me to be brutally honest, he tried to kill me!  You don't have to feel stuck.  HELP YOURSELF.  I don't mean to be hard on you but LISTEN TO ME.  I'm DEAD SERIOUS.  You are 22 and you are so young.  There are plenty of men out there!!!!  You may not see if now and you may want to help but you CAN NOT SAVE ANYONE!  You are lucky that I am on this board and read your post because you WILL NOT find someone else who understands what you are going thru. ...NO THERAPIST, NO FRIEND and most likely NO OTHER STRANGER.  LEAVE.  You can fall in love with someone else.  I've been where you are twice! TWICE! 

There is part of me that didn't even want to respond to your post because you are going to do what YOU want.  I had to find out the hard way and learn for myself.  Although people tell you to walk away they weren't with someone with ADHD.  Feel blessed I get both sides of your situation and this is coming from someone who was you.  My heart goes out to you but I hope you at least listen to me and even if you don't leave tomorrow you keep this in the back of your head.  You need to save yourself for what can come and give yourself the opportunity for a good life.  You will not have a good life by staying with this person.

fuzzylogic72's picture


I agree with the above poster. It's possible to have a thriving relationship with adhd in the picture, and it does not need to be an arduous chore, but that is ONLY when BOTH people stop blaming, stop being fearful, predicting negativity, do more reading/research, find the right meds/treatment therapy, and both sides respect themselves and the other. Your problem is that you are with an adhd person with what sounds like a major drug problem, and legal risks that could easily affect you if he is dealing and has any of that crap around. Any addiction is ugly, and an adhd person who is not taking full responsibility for making sincere and lasting efforts (changing bad lifestyle choices), is a VERY dangerous, and toxic creature. If you capitulate about the drug thing, and try (and try, and try) to support and help him despite him not trying to change his life drastically, then you are in for a long, lonely, and quite likely hazardous drive. I think you know what to do. Many of us had to hit rock bottom, and have NO ONE and nothing left before we learn to rely on ourselves, respect ourselves (the only way to be able to respect others) and take charge of our lives. It's at THAT point when we can have a healthy relationship with the right person. Even then we still need support, encouragement and understanding, but at least we worked on ourselves enough to recognize when we have that special someone, and appreciate them, and do our best to give back the energy and love that they give us. Is that happening in your relationship? Do you think it ever will? Think hard about that, and make the decision that will be the best for you (and it might even end up helping him help himself too).

You deserve better; go find it.

I wish you the best...


Thank you both so much for responding so quickly! I really have needed advise from people that understand the impact of ADHD.  I have spoken to my partner (Link) after reading your advise and said if the drug dealing and methamphetamine use doesn't stop I will break up with him. And he is willing to stop using the meth tomorrow, and sell whatever drugs he has left and end it. Although he did say it could take a while to get rid of the drugs he has left, wether that be 1 week or 6 weeks, obviously with this kind of thing it all depends on the level of demand as to how long it takes for it to disappear. I guess I do really want to give him a chance to succeed and stop, and get a new job and get his life in control but clearly I am responsible for when I decide enough is enough. Its so hard because I am in love with him. I really would like to know realistically how long from today (after telling him I will break it off) you think I should give him to have a new job and be in contact with a therapist to help with ADHD. I know I am strong enough to leave I just don't know what time frame to give for it to be fair. All last night I was an the net looking for therapists in Sydney (we both live in the city) to help with ADHD, and all the while was thinking, shouldn't he be doing all this? I mean after living with it for 4 years shouldn't he have been seeing someone once a week for the past 4 years? I called him over to the computer to show him all the therapists that are trained to help people living with ADHD, but he seems to have his heart set on NLP or hypnosis for treating it? Anyways..... how much time??? till the end of the year? one month? I just want to give him a chance. but I'm only giving one. what do you both think is a fair time frame for me to give him to seek help and find a job?

Distance yourself for now...

You need to leave him until the dealing is done.  1-6 weeks is a short time and if he's going to do the right thing to be with you then he can wait a few weeks.  Considering the severity of your situation and his age I would NOT trust that he's going to do what he says he is going to do.  Someone with a serious drug addiction can't just stop, they need rehab and a lot of work after rehab to stay clean.  Someone with ADHD isn't going to be "cured", its about managing the disease through therapy, diet, working out and medication.  There is no quick fix and you are fooling yourself by believing him.  He's going to tell you what you want to hear not the truth.

I think rather then giving a time frame that you will leave him, give a time frame that you will get back together with him if he meets his goals.  What I mean by that is do NOT see him.  Any communication you have with him should be over the phone.  Even then, will he be telling you the truth but you can't "control" or "baby" him into doing the right thing.  This needs to all come from him. 

I'm telling you this because I know the outcome. Look he's 34, he's not a child.  He's most likely set in his ways and if he's thinking his cure is a hypnotist he's being foolish and he's not ready to give it all up and work on himself.   Although a hypnotist may be a good idea in conjunction with his ADHD therapy and his rehab but its sure as hell not the answer to his problems.  If anything that treatment should be working out, getting a massage, going for acupuncture.

I say all of this because in the end you're going to be wasting your time.  What's fair is if he proves himself that he is ready, willing and able to change.  Then at that point you can be with him and give him a timeframe for finding a job but there is a looooong road ahead.

When you 'allow' him 1-6

When you 'allow' him 1-6 weeks to get rid of his drugs, you're basically saying it is OK for him to continue doing what you just said you told him had to stop. Using or selling, either way he's around them and risking staying addicted and being arrested. Putting a time frame on a drug addiction is insane. He either needs to stop you need to make a clean break. The drugs should have been a deal breaker all along...I worry when you say you're 'strong' enough to leave him...because you've 'accepted' a drug addiction for 4 years now?

He needs professional help. Please don't deny're doing yourself no favors..nor him. If you're not ready to cut him loose then I would not set a time frame for him on the drugs...they would be As for hunting for a job I would insist he get a resume done ASAP and be pounding the pavement everyday. Seeing him TRYING is what you should expect.

You're should be HIM on the computer hunting for therapists, but if he isn't at a place where he can/will do this for himself, then maybe you should do it WITH him...for now. Eventually he'll have to start taking responsibility for himself. You really are in for a very long road ahead unless you play your cards right and quit enabling him. It is the only chance either of you have.

fuzzylogic72's picture

stand firm

I agree with hope09 100%. The 1-6 weeks to unload a current stash is BS; if he was truly motivated to change, they'd be in the garbage by now. I use cognitive hypnotherapy with my psychologist, and it is effective for me, but it is only a small adjunct to everything else he needs to do. Be clear that this is the best chance you can give the relationship to work, and that is why you are moving out (or him moving out) asap. State you expectations (addictions counseling/rehab, find a psychologist (CBT is great), and at least go to a few job interviews. You can tell him you will meet in person in 4-6 weeks, which will be enough time for him to absorb all of this, and decide if he's is ready and willing to put the effort in. If in the meantime he slips/spirals out of control, then you can feel thankful that you saw the future now and are free of it. When you meet in person again, go see how he's living; good or bad, the truth will reveal itself. Do NOT see him in person during this time apart, not even ONCE!! He has to feel what it's like to know you are gone, and that the remedy is in his hands.


While you still have a chance to get out gracefully. Examine why you "are in love with him". If its true you know in your heart what to do. Using the ADHD card to explain away all the chaos is a crutch bound to turn out to be rubber.  You sound like a loving caring person. There is someone out there who is well adjusted and FUNCTIONING who could only wish to find someone like you. Believe in yourself and put one foot in front of the other. If he gets his life together there is no one to say you can't pursue it/him/you(s) later on. Although I pray you find someone else in the interim

  god i wish i could tell


god i wish i could tell him to leave and i would get back with him once he has sorted himself out.... but like i said he has no where else to go? no money. bad rental. if i was to turn around and say that he would be on the street with nothing. but at the end of the day he obviously hasnt made any effort over the term of our relationship to change his behaviors, and that is his responsibility to do. and im not to blame for all his past decisions and how they have impacted his current situation, thank the lord i found this web site and thank you all for reassuring me that his ADHD behaviors are things he has to make an attempt to fix,  i can see what needs to be done and honestly i believe you when you say its going to be a LONG LONG dragged out process if i allow it to be, so far he hasn't made any effort to start looking for a job or finding a therapist so, as much as i love him, as much as he is wonderful in so many ways his unwillingness/ unmotivated actions to make change has really pissed me off! its not like there is no help out there! i found this site! we have Internet access! live in the heart of the city! there are SO many people that can help him through his addiction and im not qualified nor in the position to help ether of his problems. im 22! thank you for all your positive advise, and honesty towards this. who knows how long things would have continued this way if it wasnt for all of you. THANKYOU SO MUCH. love Tayla. Xx

ADHD & Marriage

Hi, just read your posts Tayla, then read the comments by other ppl, so glad u found a forum where u can get other ppls opinions that are valuable, these ppl know their stuff. Seems like my advice doesn't do the job a lot of the time because we are so close, I mean my advice could seem like I want you to leave him just because I love u so much. Truth is you ARE a beautiful, caring person with so much going for you that it is @*%$ing frustrating trying to get u to see that u SHOULD insist on a relationship that serves you.  I know you really want to be in love and I want to see you in love with yourself FIRST. Take notice of the advice.....

Stay strong Beautiful xo

waynebloss's picture

Space is needed now!

Take it from a man that has almost destroyed his 12 year marriage because he would not change because he didn't want to!  Time to leave and see if he really wants you or just use you as a crutch.  Looking back I can see my wife telling me that things were going south but thought I had them under control, I had them beat if I wanted to but why when I had what I wanted?  It wasn't until my wife told me what was going to happen or she was leaving, and I know her very well, she was not BS'ing me at all!  I was hurt, ashamed, embarrassed and felt like I was not a man for seeking help with something wrong with my brain. Once I started reading, seeing a counselor, starting medication and FINALLY understanding that I was responsible for my actions but there was a reason why I did those bad behaviors!  Now our marriage is still in hell but I can tell you that I am a better person for the changes I have made and hoping that trickles down into our marriage! 

Recently, within the last 3-4 weeks I moved downstairs, I sleep and live down there after our kids go to bed.  (They are young so they are in bed early.)  This time away, has been something she has asked for but I was not willing to give it to her, now I can understand why she asks for it. It SUX BIG time but at the same time it has allowed me to work on other issues that I have and also allows her a "safe" place to rest and start her healing process.  It will take time and 1-6 is and will not be enough time, so I agree that you need to either leave or have him leave, if he means it about changing for the better he will but he will NOT as long as he has a crutch to lean on....I used my wife as one!  It hurts and it stings but time away will allow you to start healing and also find out how serious he is in what he has told you.   

Good Luck, God Bless!!