View Full Version : Non-ADD partner has questions....
Hi, I'm not sure if I'm allowed here, but I do not have ADD, my boyfriend does. He's had it since childhood, but his parents did not want him on medication. So today he's not taking medication but smokes a lot of pot. He says it helps him. I've know him now for 4 weeks, 3 of which he was a fantastic person, and that was why he hooked up, but the last week he seems to have turned into someone I don't know. He won't answer my calls or return my messages for days.-and always has excuses...which brings me to my question: Has this to do with the ADD? I know he really likes me, he's told me, but I just don't get him or ADD.
Welcome to the forums. Of course you are allowed to post here. You should have a look at the guidelines linked in my signature for best effect though. :)
There are specific forums for people like yourself that have questions about others with ADHD.
His behaviour seems as if he's not getting the support or treatment he might benefit from.
Your best bet is to do some reading and use the search function to sift through some of the points already made here regarding grass and relationships with people with ADHD.
There is a long list of forum titles in a drop down menu at the bottom of the page that can link you up with the forums directly related to your questions.
Remembering my fraternity days, I agree that although your boyfriend could benefit in pursuing assistance for his ADD. I believe the behavior you are describing has more to do with the mmm...how you say "partake?"
thanks for replying, but without sounding like a total idiiot. What exactly did you mean by partake?
09-12-04, 05:14 PM
I have been with a man with Classic ADD symptons for almost two years now. He refuses to get help saying I am trying to destroy his self-esteem. Of course, I am responsible for all his problems. If you are only a couple of weeks in to the relationship I honestly feel you should get out. This is the most challenging thing I have ever done and I am at the end of my rope. Go find yourself another person. Dealing with someone who has this means you need to work hard every day to try to understand and cope. It is a very difficult way to live.
"Has this to do with the ADD?"
Well, it might, or it might not.
Talking to him might be the best option. Tell him how you feel (I'm guessing frustrated and confused). Say it just like that... "I feel frustrated when you do X." Keep the focus on feelings and don't allow name calling to creep into it.
Be prepared that the outcome of this talk might be that you break up. If so, it's probably better than continuing in a relationship with someone whose behaviour frustrates you, whom you've told about it, and who continues to do said behaviour.
If you don't break up, and it doesn't get any better at all, then I'd be prepared to cut my losses.
I think what slippy is saying is that he is ignoring you & not returning calls because he just got a new batch of some strong pot & is indulging (partaking) in that, & feeling withdrawn for that reason. Or he might have got some other drugs that effect him this way.
It could also be that he's just falling into a slump & feeling a bit depressed. ADHD can sometimes be closely related to bipolar/manic-depressive. That would explain why he was just delightful for a while then slipped into a much darker mood suddenly.
You haven't said a whole lot & you don't know a whole lot yet so it's really hard to guess. I agree with exeter about being frank with him. Expect resistance though while he's in this mood because it's all about avoiding contact and disclosure. Perhaps withdrawl cautiously for a while & try to get a better picture of what's happening. It's really hard to say without knowing more.
The only way to discover whatever he's keeping hidden is to gain his trust & be accepting/open. A sincere confrontation might be a trusting and genuine gesture but might be percieved as an attack on his weakest side which will just make things much worse quickly and it sounds like that's where you are at right now.
Clearly there is something dark and hidden in his head and it might very well be simply drug use (not that that's simple but...). Find out what it is gently and proceed from there.
Well, thanks to all your adise. I have tried calling him these last few days. I've left him a message on his machine, but needless to say, I HAVEN'T heard from him.....it's been 6 days since I'v talked to him, I'm starting to get the feeling that he is avoiding me and it's not the ADD. Does this sound like ADD behavior? I will sit back (impatiently) and hopefully wait for his call. If he doesn't call by the end of the week then I'll know for sure it's not the ADD afterall.
09-13-04, 12:30 PM
Well, we live together so that sort of thing doesn't happen, but before I moved in with him we talked on the phone or online (we were long distance for a while) every day. With other people (family members, friends) I tend to have trouble keeping in touch, but not with him.
Personally, I don't think I'd put up with that if I were you. Unless there's much more to it, it sounds like your relationship is completely one-sided and you don't have any communication going on. It really seems more like immaturity (or some other kind of problem) than ADD. Have you been able to talk about the state of your relationship with him? Maybe he just doesn't want as serious a relationship as you do. Even if that's the case and it's simply a matter of wanting different things, he should still be open and honest with you and not string you along.
Well if you don't know, you don't know so..
but I can understand being upset
Pinkpanther: you are absolutely right. I feel like he's stringing me along. I have asked him if he is, and that I don't want to be. He told me, very convincingly, that he would never do that to a woman. He wants to continue this relationship. Funny, because I haven't heard from him for a week now. He stood me up last Wed.at the last minute telling me something came up, and hasn't called me since. I know this is his way of avoiding me, I was just hoping it was the ADD making him act this way. Now how do I let go?
Broken hearted, Carm
09-14-04, 06:30 AM
Carm... speaking as an ADD guy... if this is his behaviour, and it's killing you now, you can't have a long term relationship with him. It will bring you nothing but pain. Dump him now and find someone capable of giving you the love you deserve instead.
GUYS DON'T CHANGE FOR WOMEN. Period. No matter how much you love him, no matter how gorgeous you are, no matter how accommodating you are, no matter how you plead, manipulate, or pray. I keep wondering when women are going to wise up to this fact.
I'm sorry :(
This is, of course, just my 2 cents worth. It's entirely possible I am wrong.
GUYS DON'T CHANGE FOR WOMEN. Period. No matter how much you love him, no matter how gorgeous you are, no matter how accommodating you are, no matter how you plead, manipulate, or pray. I keep wondering when women are going to wise up to this fact.
Clam, when are you going to get with it...We been knowing this for the longest time :p....I do hope you realize vice versa. I think people should not have to change for a person....When You start relationship with someone you love them for who they are right from the start..only reason a person should change is because THAT Individual wants to.
Love me for me Or Don't love me at all....So Sayeth Draga! :D
Clam, I hear you, but when I met him he was the person I fell in love with. Somewhere along the line, somehow he changed into this reclusive person I just can't get a hold of anymore. 1 week without calling me, my leaving him messages, this just can't be happening to me. He said he wanted to continue this relationship. Avoids talking to me when I confront him about his avoiding me. I do know he smokes a lot of pot, takes no meds, so what do you suggest I do or go from here? I've never been in a relationship where a guy won't call for a week. I should probably just face up to it, he aint gonna call. This is his way of dumping me and here I am thinking it's ADD! Fool aren't I?
09-14-04, 09:05 AM
I think maybe when you first met him he acted a little different (as most of us do in the very beginning of a relationship) because he was trying to impress you. Or maybe being around you made him feel better so he acted differently. But whatever the reason, I'd bet that what you're seeing now is his real personality. Consider yourself lucky that you found out what he's really like so soon. Regardless of whether he's so busy that he doesn't have time to talk, or whether this is his (incredibly immature) way of breaking up with you, you shouldn't stand for this behavior for a minute longer. If it were me I'd be proactive and give him the boot, if only to make myself feel better.
So Pinkpanther how do you suggest I give him the boot?
Pinkpanther, you won't believe what I just did. I called him, his answering machine picked up so I left him a message telling him I called to say hello and to see how he's doing, I didn't say to call me back or anything. Did I do wrong?
09-14-04, 10:25 AM
I'd call him up and tell him his behavior is unacceptable and you can't remain in a relationship with him. Tell it to his answering machine if you have to. I don't really think any further explanation is necessary. If he can't understand that he's treating you poorly then he's not quite connected with reality, is he?
Now keep in mind, this is just the rambling of someone who hasn't had enough coffee. If your instincts are telling you to hold on for a bit longer, then maybe you should follow that. I'm just telling you what I would do in that situation. I'd much rather cut my losses after a month than keep hoping he'll change and waste even more time and energy.
Pinkpanther, was I wrong in calling him? Not sure if you saw the 2nd post I typed.
09-14-04, 10:37 AM
Pinkpanther, you won't believe what I just did. I called him, his answering machine picked up so I left him a message telling him I called to say hello and to see how he's doing, I didn't say to call me back or anything. Did I do wrong?You're too quick for me, lol.
Most people would just naturally call back, but this one probably wouldn't have called back even if you asked him to. I honestly don't think there's much you can do wrong at this point. He's going to do what he wants to do. Even knowing as little about your situation as I do, I can tell you that you can't blame yourself for his behavior, and you can't change his behavior. So don't worry about doing anything wrong here. Do what you need to do and take care of yourself.
So Lilgoomer, you're telling me this is his way of dumping me. He took the cowardly way out, like most men do as I've noticed.......well to that I say good ridence!
09-14-04, 12:06 PM
I think Lilgoomer was referring to the original intent of the thread, rather than your posts.
And I understand that you're upset about this right now, but remember that you're dealing with an individual. It's not all men (or even most) who have disappointed you, but just this one. If most of the men you're been with have acted a certain way, then you're probably attracting that kind of person for some reason. Men, just like women, are individuals. Some act cowardly, some don't. It won't help you to become angry or resentful toward men in general.
You're right. I do apologize to all the men I may have offended.
I really don't see the horribleness in this avoidance or the urgency to break up. I do not think he is trying to break up with you but rather he's just withdrawling from the world in general. I think it's because he thinks you are special that he's even more afraid (and in that sense cowardly) of whatever demons are haunting him. I think a common ADD relationship problem is that the non-ADD partner thinks all these behaviours are directed toward them when they really are not, if anything they are selfish (inwardly guided) behaviours, but not malicious and often hard to avoid/overcome. It may be that whatever his demons that are making him withdraw from the world (not just you necessarily) are serious problems that are more than you will want to tolerate but at this point we don't know what is driving his withdrawl so we really don't know what is going on. He is clearly hiding *something* and I suspect it's more to do with his own self esteem or fear of comittment or perhaps the pot talking or something else we can't imagine. Until you know what that is, how can you draw conclusions though?
The only way out (and this addresses Pink's question also) is open trusting communication. Tell him you need to talk and are coming over to visit (don't ask: tell). Tell him you are concerned and need to talk about it. You've got to be kind though or he's not going to open up. Maybe push hard but have kindness behind it. Whatever it is.... is very difficult for him.
If your problem is too much apologizing, that's a self esteem thing too & you are taking his bad behaviour more personally than it is intended. I don't get the impression he ever asked you to apologize for anything I know I would never do that & I feel I can relate to his position.
I think whenever these things come up, you just have to talk about them, not simply short quips about the "ADD causing it" but get more indepth or come back to it later and really get to the root of the behaviour. Return to it again & again, explaining how it works. It's pretty complicated how these things operate and is hard for even us to understand so it's really going to take a lot of explaining for a non-ADDer to understand. Wait till he does an ADD-like thing (everyone does sometimes) and point it out and explain that it's like that for you *all the time*!
The other advantage of discussing the root indepth like this is that it will help you understand the behaviours yourself and either correct, adjust, mitigate or avoid those situations in the future... or at least understand. And he will see that you take it seriously, it's not just a quick brush off but you are concerned about this too & willing to put effort into attempting to resolve or at least understand it.
OK sorry if I ranted too much, the dear-abbey in my got out of control (grin).
paulbf explained well what I intended. Pot is such a powerful drug today...much stronger than it were fifteen years ago. But with that stuff, it's like an "inner circle"...those who puff puff, get their calls returned. Especially those who have some to share. Pretty much everyone else outside of the "puff puff" circle gets ingored. Even family, girlfriends and close friends. I never really figured out what it is about that paticular drug and the subculture. All I know is I've seen enough, to guess that's probably "what is."
09-14-04, 07:49 PM
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH SLIPPY,,,if you don't smoke pot and you are against smoking it he might not feel comfortable around you. People who smoke on a regular basis tend to hang out with other people who do in much the same way people who are christian baptist tend to hang around other christian baptist..it is a people thing we hang with those whom we can relate to, who share beliefs, interest, and life style. I am some one who has smoked pot, been baptist and decided to be a nudest now an ADDer. I have noticed most of my friends are ex-pot smoking nudest baptist who have ADD!!!
If he is avoiding you #1 QUIT PERSUEING HIM... I gather he is an adult and can care for him self. You persuieing him is BAD for your health. It doesn't matter if it is ADD related or not he doesn't want help for the pot problem or the ADD!!! Some one doesn't want help is some one no one can help. If your boy friend isn't an active part of your relationship there isn't going to be a healthy relationship just the same pattern which you are currently going through repeating itself over and over and over until one of you gets it or dies which ever comes first. When two people are dancing the only way the dance will stop is when one person quits....
OK I understand but it's not always that exclusive and we really don't know what he's clammed up about so I still think it's early to draw conclusions.
Lilgoomer, thanx for the book. I will pick that up later. You may be right about my trying too hard cause he keeps backing away.
Paulbf, your thoughts also make sense. Unless he was lying, I do believe he really likes me. As for my calling him , forget it. He doesn't answer the phone anymore, nor does he return my calls. I don't know if he returns his other friends calls, but I do know he isn't returning my calls anymore. Don't get me wrong, but our relationship was a 2sided one. For the short period of time we were a "couple", we were great together. I know for a fact he enjoyed himself with me. He even said I was a "keeper", and wanted to continue seeing me. Then all of a sudden nothing. The calls stopped, so maybe he is withdrawn from the whole world, but for how long? And if so, I want him to know I'm still here for him, as a friend. Remember, he let it slip when he told me about the ADD, and I'm sure he doesn't even remember telling me, so I can't even bring it up should we talk.
PinkP, I too am interested in what your therapist tells you.
09-15-04, 07:27 AM
Carm - I just wanted you to know that I experienced the same thing as you with someone I was seeing with add. We actually had a pretty good relationship, not perfect of course as there is no such thing, but enough that it was very much worth having. And one day after one and half years of dating and three years of friendship prior he ended it with me saying that he had so many things pulling his attention and that our relationship was sure to suffer for it and that it was best to end it. Out of no where and he wouldn't return my calls once i decided that it would be cool to be friends as he suggested. I would suggest that you wait for him to call you. I mean you extended yourself to him and I think the more time you leave for him to respond the better it will be in the long run. I think that we all get overwhelmed in relationships, those with and without add and sometimes time is the only thing that will make things make more sense.
Falling, thanx for the heads up. I'm glad though that I've only known him for a short time, because had it been for years like yourself, I don't know how I would've handled it. I don't know about anyone else, but when I fall for someone, I fall hard. I give it all I have, no pretending, no lies. That is my problem/downfall I think. So ADD or not, I'm giving him space, I've expressed to him, via:message, that I was thinking about him, now the balls in his court. One good thing came out of this though, I now have a better understanding of what ADD is all about.
09-15-04, 09:32 AM
Carm - I know what you mean about falling hard, that's why my name is falling...hehehe. Just think how much better you will feel if he does reach out to you next vs. you constantly reaching out. And yes, its great to have a better understanding of ADD as some people don't take the time to understand. I do hope he calls you though.
Falling, do you think I should call and leave another message? I'm really feeling anxious right now. I feel like calling, but he won't answer. I don't want him to feel like I'm suffocating him. I just don't understand why he isn't at the very least returning my calls, or leaving me a message either telling me to get lost or that he's not able to talk lately. Just something.
I just want to extend my apologies to everyone reading my posts. I know I've gone on and on with this one issue, which I just can't let go of. This post is the only place for me to turn to. My friends just don't understand about ADD, and they don't seem to think it would/could affect people in this way. This place is the only place in which I could vent.
Carm, I don't think he's lying exctly but certainly hiding something. He might just be depressed. I know I tend to clam up sometimes, that's really not an ADD thing exactly, but generally the result of having emotional 'issues' & feeling unsure of myself (that part is ADD related). I have ADD (I think) and I smoke pot. My wife does not. We are a good match. We split up after dating for a year by my choice. I don't know what I was thinking... fear of a relationship... long story. I didn't know ADD was part of me all these years & I frequently kept my thoughts to myself. After 11 years marriage, my career failing & me being depressed and distant, she wanted a divorce, mostly because of financial insecurity and general uncertainty. An awful tangle of expectations & misunderstanding, largely due to my not being able to explain what was wrong. At the same time, we got into therapy & couples counseling & I discovered ADD but she didn't really believe in that. After the papers have been filed and the house sold, she came to believe and understand about the ADD and that I was not lying or cheating her but genuinely struggling. We have an arrangement to remain in the house for another year before they tear it down & rebuild. We are getting along really well now and talking about continuing to "date" even though we move out separately in a year. My communication has improved with her & the mistrust has evaporated but my career problems are not yet resolved. It is an odd situation but life does not always fit normal expected patterns.
09-15-04, 12:01 PM
I'll just say that the reason I feel Carm shouldn't spend any more time waiting for this guy to have a real relationship with her is based even more on what he does when she calls than the fact that he doesn't call. If it were a case of his being truly sorry he hadn't contacted her and being willing to talk then, it might be different. But by reacting the way he does he's almost making it out to be her fault that he won't give her the time of day. That may be the defensiveness we were talking about earlier, but taken to an extreme that makes a relationship impossible. Whether it's intentional or not, she is being strung along and the emotional effect is the same regardless of whether he's doing it on purpose. If there is some reason that he feels the need to withdraw from her he needs to be upfront about it so he doesn't waste her time and make her worry like this.
If he does have some kind of disorder (like bipolar) that's causing this, then he needs to be honest about that possibility with her and try to get help. Refusing to take his prescribed medication and smoking excessive amounts of pot doesn't do anything good for his brain, and you can't help anyone who doesn't want to help themselves. He doesn't even realize that she knows about his ADD. Given that, his understanding is that she has no reasonable explanation for his behavior. The fact that he hasn't offered any kind of real explanation makes me wonder if he even cares about how she's feeling right now. What kind of relationship is that, where he only cares about her well-being when he feels like it?
Carm, if you absolutely have to know what the problem is, then wait around and try to find a time when he'll be willing to talk to you. But be very careful of falling into the trap of trying to solve other people's problems for them. It can't be done and you'll waste a lot of time, emotion, and energy if you try to fix him. If he's not willing to help himself then I don't see how you can make a relationship out of this situation.
09-15-04, 08:21 PM
Carm - I agree with Pink Panther. I know you feel anxious and want to call again, trust me I've been there, and it wasn't too long ago that I felt the same way, but really it doesn't get you anywhere to keep calling if he doesn't call you back, it will just make you more anxious. I know not having the answers and not being given the opportunity to talk hurts but Pink Panther is right, you can't solve other poeples problems. Try to keep your mind occupied with other things, like going out with friends - anything to keep yourself busy. I know its hard.
09-17-04, 10:54 PM
Pink has a point as you MIA boy friend could have some thing more like bi-polar!! I know reading a post written by some one isn't much to go on but the emotional almost opposite change that has been ongoing for more than 60 seconds sounds alot like bi-polar. I don't know if the above respondants are male or female as some men will RUN if they feel things are moving too fast. Men are "as a rule" less into word and more into actions. This would explaim why he didn't "open up" and just tell you "look I have problem A and it causes me to do B.
The thing that is of most concern is why would YOU feel SOOO strongly about continueing to desire some one who is basicially emotionialy unavailible. Is this a pattern in YOUR life? Do you tend to be attracted to men who are so chraming at first then turn into some one completely different, some one who seems to take and not give? I think we have established you can't help any one who doesn't want it but you may want to take a non criticial look at your pattern as this pattern can be very painful not to mention the "pain build up inside you" if this is a pattern. To be quite frank I know you probaby HATE my frankness but most WOMEN WOULD HAVE BLOWN THIS GUY OFF...with much less emotional stress than you express in your post. Remember I am reading your post I can imagine the pain up close and personal !!! I too had similar pattern that is why I am so blantent in my responses.
What began to help me out of my pattern was learning emotional boundaries. Where I begin and others end. My first glimpse was when I read a book called "Women Who LOve Too Much" also I recieved a great deal of insite from alanon---the funny part is I got almost as much help from listening to them as I did going to regular AA meetings...See I WAS the addict!! I went from active addiction to soberity to become a co-dependent ( common when alcoholics/addicts become sober) the pain from my co-dependence to emotionally unavailaibe men would reactive my addiction. I did this over and over and over until I got it. Breaking this cycle started with me taking an honest look at me. See it took my mind off the things I didn't like about me and gave me the illusion of "helping" when I tried to have a relationship with the emotionallly despondant who needed help"my help". I thought I was helping all I was doing was enabling there addiction as well as my own.
In life the challenges keep coming as I by no means have all the answers as I now LIVE with a man who has been sober for 10 years and we are struggling to break HIS CO-DEPENDENT BEHAVIOR!! IT IS ALL ABOUT US AND OUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES OR THE LACK THEREOF( an ADD trait)
Meadd823. thanks for your insight. It makes sense and now has me re-thinking about my behavior and the guys I'm finding myself always falling for. You are absolutley right. I am going to pick up a copy of that book, and hopefully break my pattern. My guy disappointed me yet again, and the funny thing is I don't even think he realizes. I'm done feeling sorry for him or giving him chance after chance. It's others have told me, he uses his ADD as an excuse for his bad behavior. I quit!
09-20-04, 04:04 PM
YEAH!!! Go for it remember ALL personal changes feels uncomfortable at first. The nagging doubts which will occure in the back of your mind remember they are normal and as you make progress the doubts will fade. I put up with men's cr*p because I was afraid of being alone, I felt unworthy of true love, I felt like I was asking too much when I expected a man to PARTICIPTE in the relationship, I HAS A LOT OF FEAR!! DON'T LET FEAR(False Realities Appearing Real) MAKE DECISIONS for you. Emotional health can and will happen . Women who are emotionally healthy in and of them selves attract men who are emotionally healthy in and of them selves. Emotionally healthy men are the ones who will participate in the relationship, they will tell you where there boundaries are and expect them to be respected. One the other hand they will respect yours. When we are emotionally dependent we attract users, addicts and loosers because the healthy ones are seen by us as boaring or we are seen by them as clingie. Once we as women ( men to a lesser degree) start making decisions based on reality as opposed to fears we start on the journry of discovering who we are and finding that all elusive balance. You would be suprized how many wonderful men as well as women are also on the same journey. Where we are in life is what we attract in life. Co-dependence attract addicts, those on a journey to emotional well being attract others also on the road to well being. What a wonderful feeling once that initial fear is over come. You actions will no longer be based on what others do, expect you to do, or others behaviors. Your actions, feelings will be based on what you see as right for your life, apart from the shackles of " fear".
09-20-04, 04:48 PM
I ordered the book over the weekend and I'm totally hoping it will help me establish bounderies that i can put out there without fear so i can stop feeling taken advantage off. This was such a helpful thread - thank you all.