View Full Version : How to initiate converstion w/ADHD partner? (long - sorry!)
11-20-04, 10:35 PM
Okay, so I'm angry/frustrated. My boyfriend was supposed to meet me at the coffee shop (he said he'd be there in just a few minutes) for the brief time we had together before he went off to do his "stuff" (that seems to more and more interfere with any time we may have to spend *quality* together time).
Well, thank God I brought a book with me. Over an hour had passed (we live one street away from the coffee shop - he couldn't exactly get stuck in traffic....) and he still wasn't there. I was very angry, but thought maybe he got tied up w/our roommate who often talks a lot. Well, I decided I'm not going to sit and wait anymore.
When I got home, he wasn't downstairs, but our roommate was and there was no indication that he was down there recently. Well, I went up to the third floor thinking (but knowing he was really probably playing the stupid video game, but still hoping I didn't get stood up for the f***ing Baulder's Gate game) maybe he was taking a nap from this morning (he went to work out).
Well, sure enough, he heard me coming, turned off the video game (but the tv was still on - it's the only time we use the tv), was getting his shoes and said, he was just about to go over to the coffee shop. I said that "I was there for over an hour and I'm done - thank God I brought a f***ing book with me."
Needless to say, I was very angry and incredibly hurt by that. Being sidetracked is one thing, but having to walk up two flights of stairs, turn on the tv and start the video game is another thing completely - to me, that takes a lot more effort to "get sidetracked".
Not to mention that being "stood up" for a stupid video game completely reinforces that nasty insignificance he's been projecting to me lately (totally won't go into details, but if I gave them, you'd understand).
Well, I was very angry and he was leaving in a bit to go to his party/poker/networking/blah/blah/blah thing so I wasn't about to get into a conversation/argument w/him - it wouldn't have been constructive at all.
Well, that was over 6 hours ago and he gave me no time when he'd be home. I'm sure he'll have been over-stimulated by the time he gets home, so he'll need to decompress and, more or less, not be present with me at all.
Okay, so now I'm really tired of feeling insignificant/taken for granted/blah/blah/etc.../etc... and this last instance just pushed me over the line.
So my question is....how do I initiate conversation with someone who, as of late, always seems "unavailable"? He's always busy, and when he's not, he's not *there*, or playing that stupid game (I swear I'm taking an axe to PS2!!) - so there never seems a good time to initiate conversation. I'm tired of everything having to work on his terms or his schedule or when he's *there* or not.
Go jump on a plane and phone him from wherever you end up
Tell him ..........
You will be home..........
when you get there.................
my opinion for what its worth (probally not much )
11-20-04, 11:07 PM
I tell ya - I certainly feel like doing that!!
11-20-04, 11:19 PM
Actually I dont think its a bad idea. I'm thinking that different people respond to different things.
I don't live with my best friend, so this is a little different, but if I tell him something is no problem then he assumes it isn't, and if I tell him something else is, and I say how I am feeling, he does his very level best to pick up on that and focus on me.
I have to tell you, though, and I'm not sure if this is right or wrong, if I thought he had been distracted by something and forgot to meet me, I would simply call him up on my cell phone and remind him. I would wait maybe half an hour then give him a jingle.
My friend is easily distracted, no matter how hard he tries. Just the way it is. It's frustrating for him too, so as long as he tries, I really have no complaints.
11-20-04, 11:29 PM
Oh, I definately would have done that - problem is, the only phones we use are our cell phones and he keeps his turned off a lot of the time - so, unless there is a troll in his voice mail that will relay a message to him when his phone is turned off, calling him is pretty useless.
He just called now, trying to be all light and stuff - knows I'm mad because my responses were pretty much limited to one word (now he'll know how I feel a lot of the time) and completely flat. A bit hard to be - 'yay, honey, I'm glad you had a good time playing poker...at least one of us had fun'. He said he'd be home in a few minutes and he'd 'see me in a bit' - I'm at an internet cafe now, so, the 'bit' might just be over an hour...and he knows I'm mad.
I will bet anyone a million bucks that when I get home, he'll be playing that dam game.
11-20-04, 11:47 PM
ok, so I can't be that mean and am going home now. Wish me luck in that I can approach this okay without being rude.
But, I tell ya, if that game is on.... :)
11-21-04, 11:51 AM
It's not that I don't know where you are, and its not that I haven't FELT frustrated, its just that beating him over the head with something he can't help...doesn't help.
Nothing can make it perfect, but I had a thought today about a watch that could beep or vibe when some appointment comes up. You'd have to make sure it programmed in though, which would be likely if you made the appointment together. Otherwise, why not make an agreement that you will wait for one another for X amount of time and then do whatever you want after that.
I used to do that with a female friend of mine that was always late. I really worked out well so if we were at a movie, I would wait for her, she would be runnng late and I would go into the theatre and start the show. She knew where I would sit so when she came she'd just head in and join me. If she didn't make it, at least I could see the movie.
But when you are just missing each other is the hardest especially if you MISS him and only have a short time to connect. I dont' have an answer for that one because the more urgent stuff is, the more likely it is to get messed up. I think surprise is a good back up plan.
Glad you went home though. And gooodest of luck on that. Remember he doesnt mean to and he doesn't want to upset you either!!!
Come to think of it, my ADD best friend does this kind of thing, too. Generally, it takes the form of forgetting to call me/call me back, though. :P I still don't like it, but I've learned not to take it personally.
But, in a partnership type relationship, I can see how this gets frustrating. Does he see this as a problem, too? If so, is he getting help for it? If he doesn't recognize the problem, there isn't much you can expect him to do about it, unfortunately. You might have to find some way to catch him away from ye olde Playstation sometime to make him aware of the problem. He could really be just that oblivious... speaking as a male with ADD, believe me, I know!
11-22-04, 03:03 AM
Some very good advice, guys, and, yes, it is frustrating in a partnership type of relationship.
Well, the game was on when I got home...of course. My desire to talk just went out the window and my little anger nerve was triggered. So, obviously, it was not a good time to talk (just to let you know, when I get angry, I don't express well at all and seem to lose all ability to verbalize and speak normal, so it's very frustrating for me to talk when I'm angry because it is actually hard for me to do so - speaking-wise). I just went to bed.
We did talk today, and he does see it as an issue - and, most of the time, he's pretty good about it and he does try. The thing that just really got me this time was it being a video game that took his attention over me and standing me up because of it. I do understand why it happens and stuff, but, at the same time, it still did hurt (am I not human, too? Part of the hurt is because I understand it - knowing why just doesn't seem to make it feel any better. It's kind of like hurting for someone who is dying - you KNOW they're dying, but it doesn't hurt any less because you know. So, with ADHD, you KNOW that occassionally you will be forgotten or overlooked, but the action still doesn't really hurt any less).
He also knows, too, that his PS2 *addiction* is becoming a bother to me. Funny thing is - it's my PS2 and, hell, if I wanted to I could get rid of it - if I didn't like playing it so much myself (btw, we're both in our 30's - LOL!!!!)! How's that for contradiction? The only things is, I'll play it for only a little while and not put it over other people or situations, whereas he can play it for hours and hours on end. Plus, it's like he lords over it --- when's it my turn? (LOL)
Things are better now. We went to the movies tonight ("National Treasure")and the PS2 was probably quite happy to be turned off for a change. I do feel that the doors of communication are a little more open now...but, it still feels a little hard for me to approach him when I hurt because of something he can't *fully* control - kind of makes me feel like the bad guy.
EXETER: what's the best activity for you to do with someone? I just wanna pick your brain as I'm trying to think of things that he and I can do together that would, 1). He'd get enjoyment out of, and 2). Would keep his interest. I know each ADHD person is different, but I'm just trying to get some idea of a stimulating and changing activity that stays new (for my benefit and his as well).
11-22-04, 03:05 AM
(yay, I'm not a Newbie here anymore! I'm a Jr. Member!) - just wanted to throw that in... LOL! Yeah, it doesn't take much to thrill me.... :)
Hmm. I would say alligator wrestling. I find that having a partner helps me avoid those nasty bites....
Ok, just kidding, of course. :D This probably isn't anything I'm going to be able to answer helpfully, because, as you stated, we're all different, but I'll give it a shot. Personally, I enjoy going to the local bookstore to hang out, drink coffee (occasionally), read books, and sometimes to socialize with the natives. I also dig miniature golf, go karts and bumper boats. :D Bumper boats, especially, just because of the possibility of falling off and getting really wet! (I'm a big kid, sue me.)
Also, I tend to think comedy clubs are pretty ADD-friendly places to go out to. Even if you miss a joke or 2, you can usually just pick right back up where your attention left off.
11-22-04, 03:50 AM
hehe - I like the alligator wrestling.... :)
We already do the bookstore (mostly my addiction), coffee (mostly my addiction), books (our addiction - currently not his, though, as we know what is...lol), and meeting people. I think maybe I'm just getting bored with all that too. (Milwaukee's a small city - and I have no life...lol)
Miniature golf and go karts would be fun!! Haven't done that in ages! I'm trying to get him to go ice skating sometime with me and I suggested salsa dancing lessons - or swing dancing - I've always wanted to learn both. Got him to *possibly* do yoga with me at home (although, I'm not sure how ADD-friendly that might be...I guess we'll find out!)
And, hey, why do bumper boats if there ISN'T the possibility of falling off and getting really wet - what fun would it be otherwise....? :)
(and being a *big kid* in that respect...well, I'd only sue ya if you weren't one!)
Thanks for the suggestions and if anymore come to mind, let me know. (especially the more wacky or unusual they are the better! Wacky and unusual are good!!) :)