View Full Version : we both have ADD, but he wont "let" me be random


ADDitives
02-16-05, 08:08 AM
i'm 18, and have ADD, and my boyfriend also had ADD.

I always knew there was something a little different about him (even before I knew that I had ADD myself,),

then one day, early on when were were still 'just dating', he said to me "i should probably tell you why i'm so random and impulsive, but i'll tell you another day, because the last girl i was seeing, i told her and she got scared off". and then i said no its ok tell me, so he told me. and then everything he'd previously said and done made so much more sense!

it's fun and also challenging having a "dual add" relationship - at least we understand each other. he's the more logical one, but sometimes it annoys me... he seems to have a better handle on it, and i know he's trying to help, but sometimes he wont let me just have fun and be random. a lot of the time he is far too staright forward and won't let me deviate from a plan . for example, if we are going to the bookstore, im not allowed to look at the stationary store on the way.

Nucking_Futs
03-11-05, 09:33 AM
i'm 18, and have ADD, and my boyfriend also had ADD.

I always knew there was something a little different about him (even before I knew that I had ADD myself,),

then one day, early on when were were still 'just dating', he said to me "i should probably tell you why i'm so random and impulsive, but i'll tell you another day, because the last girl i was seeing, i told her and she got scared off". and then i said no its ok tell me, so he told me. and then everything he'd previously said and done made so much more sense!

it's fun and also challenging having a "dual add" relationship - at least we understand each other. he's the more logical one, but sometimes it annoys me... he seems to have a better handle on it, and i know he's trying to help, but sometimes he wont let me just have fun and be random. a lot of the time he is far too staright forward and won't let me deviate from a plan . for example, if we are going to the bookstore, im not allowed to look at the stationary store on the way.

I was a lot like him when I first began my therapy and behaviour modification programs. I could not deviate from an agenda or the rest of my day was shot. Its a stressful life with little or no rewards, something has to give.

If your comfortable speak with your boyfriend about this and remind him that at 18 you can make a lot of decisions for yourself and if that fails and you'd like to visit the stationary store your a big girl and do not need him to hold your hand everywere you go. I have a feeling he's just not into stationary perhaps making the suggestion that you need some and will meet him at the bookstore in fifteen minutes would have worked as long as you keep your promise.

Its been a long time since I've been in the situation myself. I'm 33 and have been with my husband for well over 12 years so I am hoping that other teens will have some advice to offer you.

Good luck and remember life is full of compromise
Cherity

ADDitives
03-14-05, 03:18 AM
yeah. that was just one example though.
and today he told me "you cant plan". i told him, yes i CAN plan, i do have those skills (to some extent) and that it's jsut that i choose not to use them for stuff like catching the train.
i dont NEED a plan to catch the train, you just do it.

ok... so i've just seen that his over-planning is a weakness in a way (literally just as i wrote that)... and that HE DOES NEED a plan.... ok.

well that changes things. and obviously him and i hvae very different ways of dealing with this.

ADDitives
03-14-05, 03:22 AM
but then there's a bit of... he tries to control me in a way. there's a lot of "no dont touch that", and today he said "shhh stop laughing" even though it wasn't anything detrimental to laugh. it was on the train. what happened was, he had his sunglasses on top of his head, he tipped his head back, and the sunglasses fell back.
it just looked funny. i told him i dont tell him not to laugh when he's laughing at nothing.
then he said "there's a difference between laughing at nothing and laughing at stupidity"

i dont want to sound like this is some sort of verbally abusive relationship, becaue i know it isnt.

half the time i think it's just my paranoia, and i dont know how things are supposed to be. i think of our relationship in comparison (not in too much detail thoyugh, but just in a few seconds of thought..) to other peoiple's and it seems liek it's just not the same... but then again i think we DO HAVE that "something else" there... but right now especially that "somethign else" just isnt working...
i hae to say though, its neither of our fault... my first semester is in intensive mode (13 weeks of work in 9 weeks) and i have no time.

and i think also the transition from the holidays seeing each other ALL DAY 2 or 3 times a week.. this is very different.

i dont think i know what i'm doing in this relationship. am i supposed to know?

ADDitives
03-14-05, 03:29 AM
or maybe i'm just fussing over nothing and everythings fine.. but if i'm not 100% happy... then maybe its not fine? not that i expect to be excsatitally happy all the time... but i mean... i dont think i'm quite satisfied with this. or i am? i dont know.

how do i find out if i am or not?
i'm so confused.

timh
03-14-05, 07:26 PM
ADDitives,

I think he is viewing your actions as being critical of him. Most with ADD have had to deal with other's being critical towards them all of their lives. They are constantly on the defensive and ready to strike back. Is your BF in therapy? Are you in therapy? If you are, maybe you could invite him to one of your sessions to observe. This might show him how to work through some of his anger.

Good luck.

ADDitives
03-15-05, 01:37 AM
timh,

i'm confused.. what actions are you specifically referring to here?
yes i know about the other people being critical. i know this because i have add.
no he's not in therapy.
no i'm not in therapy either.

Nucking_Futs
03-15-05, 11:37 AM
or maybe i'm just fussing over nothing and everythings fine.. but if i'm not 100% happy... then maybe its not fine? not that i expect to be excsatitally happy all the time... but i mean... i dont think i'm quite satisfied with this. or i am? i dont know.

how do i find out if i am or not?
i'm so confused.

You find out thru a whole lot of honest open communication. I've been with my husband for over 12 years and we still have days were we ask ourselves "am I happy?", "is this the one" you just have to talk and if your not comfortable with talking openly with your boyfriends you may have to face that possibility that he is not the one. Love is the hardest and most frightening thing in the world but if you don't take the risks you will miss out on so much more.

Outtherechica
03-15-05, 08:50 PM
I'm not sure if I get what you mean excately on how he is. If he is not letting you be yourself and your not doing anything wrong- then that's dumb. Maybe you need someone more out going to hang with.

ADDitives
03-16-05, 05:50 AM
futs... i think its more that neither of us HAVE the words or know how to say what we mean. it's not that we don't have that openness.. because i think we do... maybe not as much as others. i thought about this, and we communicate feelings other ways than verbally, most of the time. i dont mean... stuff in bed, what i mean is like a smile or a touch (not in that way! lol) or something like that.

i do acknowledge though, that there does have to be words, and words need to be there to communicate content of things. some things actually just dont have right words or neither of us can find them, but umm.. i've lost what im actually saying right as i'm typing this so....

chica: thanks for your comment, but its not really that he's not letting me be myself. it's more about .. he's trying to help in a way, but he's probably not helping me with the RIGHT things... eg. my impulsivity and hyperactivyt, so an extent, dont really need help the way he thinks.... but i understand why he does it... he's trying to help me directly, but of course, he can only help me with what he can actually SEE.

i'm not defending him or making excuses, i'm just explaining and i undersand why he does it now.

sometimes he does mock me a little bit... not in an intentionally mean way, just... if i'm taking a long time to get ready, he will make a comment, and if i talk about one thing then to onto another, another, another without finishing, he will make a comment, ; and if i'm in a flurry of things here and there, he will make a comment. not in a mean way... and i know i just interpret it wrong, and either way i dont like it very much and next time he does it i will talk to him about it.
what he says is valid, but i just dont like how he says it.... i dont know.

ummmm... i think ive had enough about talking about this in this thread for a while, ive sort of sorted things out in my own head.

i'll come back and post again if i have another thing to sort out... talking it through here helps me figure it out.

Nucking_Futs
03-16-05, 03:50 PM
futs... i think its more that neither of us HAVE the words or know how to say what we mean. it's not that we don't have that openness.. because i think we do... maybe not as much as others. i thought about this, and we communicate feelings other ways than verbally, most of the time. i dont mean... stuff in bed, what i mean is like a smile or a touch (not in that way! lol) or something like that.lol I knew exactly what you meant. Here's the truth communication verbally between two individuals is something that must be learned and nurtured much the way you would a small child. Start small, work on it together. Speaking from the voice of experiance my husband and myself took years and it was a constant uphill battle for a very, very long time; but, it has given us a stronger marriage. Just think how far you two will go if you just work on finding ways to let each other know not only what causes you pain but what makes them important to you. Its a thought anyways.

i do acknowledge though, that there does have to be words, and words need to be there to communicate content of things. some things actually just dont have right words or neither of us can find them, but umm.. i've lost what im actually saying right as i'm typing this so....lol Don't worry I've become very good at reading between the lines. YOu need words to communicate but don't have the vocabulary...here's an idea next time you feel he's criticized you unfairly just tell him that really hurt my feelings. Ask him to tell you what hurts his feelings. Once you know its easier to not repeat that mistake. Like I said you don't have to know the dictionary by heart sometimes it takes nothing more then a comeback along the lines of "ouch".

chica: thanks for your comment, but its not really that he's not letting me be myself. it's more about .. he's trying to help in a way, but he's probably not helping me with the RIGHT things... eg. my impulsivity and hyperactivyt, so an extent, dont really need help the way he thinks.... but i understand why he does it... he's trying to help me directly, but of course, he can only help me with what he can actually SEE.

i'm not defending him or making excuses, i'm just explaining and i undersand why he does it now.

sometimes he does mock me a little bit... not in an intentionally mean way, just... if i'm taking a long time to get ready, he will make a comment, and if i talk about one thing then to onto another, another, another without finishing, he will make a comment, ; and if i'm in a flurry of things here and there, he will make a comment. not in a mean way... and i know i just interpret it wrong, and either way i dont like it very much and next time he does it i will talk to him about it.
what he says is valid, but i just dont like how he says it.... i dont know.

ummmm... i think ive had enough about talking about this in this thread for a while, ive sort of sorted things out in my own head.

i'll come back and post again if i have another thing to sort out... talking it through here helps me figure it out.

I'm glad your sorting it out and I know how a thread can be beat to death. We're here when you need us.

Cherity

timh
03-16-05, 05:06 PM
timh,

i'm confused.. what actions are you specifically referring to here?
yes i know about the other people being critical. i know this because i have add.
no he's not in therapy.
no i'm not in therapy either.
today he said "shhh stop laughing" even though it wasn't anything detrimental to laugh. it was on the train. what happened was, he had his sunglasses on top of his head, he tipped his head back, and the sunglasses fell back.
it just looked funny. i told him i dont tell him not to laugh when he's laughing at nothing.
then he said "there's a difference between laughing at nothing and laughing at stupidity"

I was referring to your above quote. He seems very sensitive to other's perceptions about himself. You were in a public place and he did something that you thought was funny, but he viewed it as if he did something stupid and you were being critical.

There are two books by Dr. Gottmann, 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work and Relationship Cure. Excellent books that I credit to helping save our marriage. Get them, if you can. They are very helpful.

Nucking_Futs
03-17-05, 11:47 AM
i've been lurking in the forums this morning and have seen a pattern of ADD'ers and non-ADD'ers complaining about their sig. other. Now, I've done the samething and can make my husband look like an all mighty *** with just a few words when in truth he's a great and supportive man. Can you maybe give us a few of your boyfriends possitives, what makes him special to you, how he's supportive?

ADDitives
03-18-05, 05:21 AM
i've been lurking in the forums this morning and have seen a pattern of ADD'ers and non-ADD'ers complaining about their sig. other. Now, I've done the samething and can make my husband look like an all mighty *** with just a few words when in truth he's a great and supportive man. Can you maybe give us a few of your boyfriends possitives, what makes him special to you, how he's supportive?
umm... i just like to be with him. the positive things about him for me.. arent stuff you can put into words. i think thats the whole problem here :)
but i like the way he looks at me sometimes when i catch him looking at me in a certain way, or how he smiles at me, and cuddles me. and he likes to be with me, and take me places. hes helpful although i think he just .. doesnt know when it's ok to bring it up, and he probably really doesnt want the conversation to lead to stuff about him (even though i really care and i want to know if he's ok... and i dont htink he is...)

the other day i was ****ed off at him, and we were walking along from the train to his house... i decided maybe i should just turn around and get back on the train and go home, then he was reallly concerned for a second, then he smiled at me and gestured and said "come on :) "
and that made me feel really good, and like he really wanted me with him. i can't describe it enough.

he likes to share things with me... i just mean general things. he'll sit there and show me objects he has like... here listen to this song, watch this part of this movie, look at this thing i hvae. he's quite funny.

and thats only stuff he does for me! lol

and.. haha... he's actually very sweet, and thinks he's diong the right thing. he found out that i like a certain type of boxed chocolate... well now EVERY TIME its appropriate to give chocolate.. i get those. (i think i'll get sick of them after a whlile!)
but he thinks hes doing the right thing (not that its wrong........... uh...) what im saying is... yeah.. he's .. i dont know actually. i know what i mean but i cant say it.

ok.. i could sit here al day and talk abotu the thigns i like about him. or MORE THAN LIKE about him :eek:

lol. bt i don thave the time!

oh and he just does nice things. i needed to go to officeworks (big stationery shop) to buy cd-rs and cardboard, so he took me there, picked out which te best cdr-s to buy would be, carried the cds, and then when i'd paid... HE CARRIED IT ALL OUT TO THE CAR FOR ME!

i said to him "i knew i needed you here for something! to carry it all!"

Nucking_Futs
03-18-05, 04:37 PM
I think you said it beautifully and believe that we all judged him a little too harshly. Love is in most instances not explained or shown with pretty words but with actions. I spent half my life in abusive home after abusive home when my husband tells me he loves me I always tell him back don't say it, show it.

thrillofitall
03-22-05, 01:43 AM
Well I hope you two can work beyond these issues. I don't know that I have advice for you other than to be yourself, and try to explain yourself to him. Perhaps letting him read this post may help him know how you feel?

so_impatient
08-10-05, 07:54 PM
oh my god i love you people... you are all so much like me. random, so random!

pembroke
08-10-05, 10:22 PM
oh my god i love you people... you are all so much like me. random, so random! :) what a great thing to say! made my day....even though i was not a part of this conversation....

whiteraven
08-10-05, 11:38 PM
but then there's a bit of... he tries to control me in a way. there's a lot of "no dont touch that", and today he said "shhh stop laughing" even though it wasn't anything detrimental to laugh....
..."he said "there's a difference between laughing at nothing and laughing at stupidity"...

Ok, ADDitives, I have to do this a bit at a time, I am 45 and am just learning to do this. I know where you are coming from here, because I have a lot of trouble with this. When my husband does this stuff, and I know he loves me and doesn't mean to hurt me, it confuses me. Am I wrong??? Not usually, so it is important to know how to trust your feelings.

What I learned is... if you feel that someone is speaking to you in a disrespectful way, or you feel that they are expecting you to act like they think you should act then you are probably right. In the examples above you are definitely right.
Now, what you can do, without doing the same thing right back to them, is clearly state your feelings without telling the other person what to do about it. Like, "When you tell me not to touch something, or to stop laughing I feel like you are trying to control me (or that you are interfering with my free will) or whatever it is you really feel. No one can argue with what you feel. No one can change what you feel. If they do argue, you can say, That is what YOU feel. What I feel is this.
Then he gets a chance to express himself (if he wants to). If HE feels you were in danger of dropping something, tell him that you are a big girl and can handle the consequences.
And if HE feels you were making fun of him, then you can explain you would never laugh at him just with him and that life is good and laughing feels good.
BUT YOUR FEELINGS ARE YOURS. Don't let anyone change that. I've done it for a long time, and it is hard to change when you get set in a pattern.

i dont want to sound like this is some sort of verbally abusive relationship, becaue i know it isnt.

Just two ADDers trying to work it out! My husband is ADD too, but undiagnosed.
Your boyfriend has worked out a way of coping by keeping inside the lines very carefully. You fly by the seat of your pants, like me. Neither is wrong, but both should be respected and valued.

...i think of our relationship in comparison ...to other peoiple's and it seems liek it's just not the same...

No two ever are the same, not even close.

i hae to say though, its neither of our fault... my first semester is in intensive mode (13 weeks of work in 9 weeks) and i have no time.

And this is important too. Hold on to your dreams!:)
.
i dont think i know what i'm doing in this relationship. am i supposed to know?
Nope! That's part of the fun!

magiix
10-07-05, 08:29 PM
Wow...
I was reading this... you know, like members of a forum do... and as i read further, i started to notice something. The way that you described your boyfriend, and your relationship really reminded me of myself and this one girl. for as long as we were togeather.. almost 2 years, i suspected some random simularity we had togeather that neither of us could pinpoint. then, randomly while talking to my counselur something snapped in his brain, and he looked at me and said "wait!~ have i ever asked you the ADD questions??" ...err anyway long story short, alla sudden it was quite evidently clear that i had add, upon learning more about it, i realized that thiss girl really showed the same symptoms i had. my un-professional opionion being that she did have it. I tried to talk to her about it... err that didnt go over well, and thats not the point. anyway, the more i read what you were writing, i noticed these simularities...
most of which i dont quite remember... (medication wearing off, or just getting realllly tired..) but i do remember the one thing. being critical of things. and of her. but.... always randomly. something like the whole laughing thing you described, something i might pull outta my ***. thing is, i would never mean any harm, it was just myself being me, random, and critically so...

wow, thats... almost unbareable to read...

next on the agenda...
i mean no dissrespect to anyone, and i tottallly understand that the purpose of such a thing... but... the whole 'how i feel about this' thing needs some work. perhaps this is me, but just hear me out. ok i really dont too have much to say. something along the lines of... the philosophy is there, but the method of delivery needs some work. mind you i am only being critical, and dissregarding that the 'general format' of the example of how to 'state how you feel' is meerly an example. So really what i'm getting at (as i have now more recently discovered) is probably that there really should be a different example to give to others when talking about needing to tell 'how something makes you feel'. the notion of saying to someone "when you do this, i feel this way, and it hurts." is really discuraging towards iniciating the process in the first place.


humm... i only thought of this subject because i've often thought it, and it was sugjusted many times. i hope if nothing else it is an interesting view point that was not inquiored about, or that my rambelings are just dissreagarded. it might be easier.
:)

BlueRanger
10-13-05, 01:21 AM
because he is the wrong person for you.

ADDitives
10-15-05, 10:20 AM
because he is the wrong person for you.
who are you? :eyebrow: what are you talking about? you dont know anything about me, i dont think you even read the posts in this thread.:eek:

you're wrong by the way. oppositionally wrong! :soapbox:

casper
10-20-05, 10:33 AM
U need to talk to him. I know i have a hard time telling people about my ADD face to face. But if doing it in email or writing a letter works then go for it. No matter how u do it u need to talk to him.

ADDitives
08-31-06, 11:01 PM
casper... we both know about it :P

anyway it's not so much of a problem anymore

sweet pea
09-20-06, 01:24 AM
ADDitives,

Your story sounds oddly similar to mine - age included. I only was diagnosed with ADD (combined type) this summer. I would never have found out if not for my ADD boyfriend recognizing the symptoms in me and suggesting I get assessed.

Thing is, before I got diagnosed my boyfriend would sometimes be bothered by the way I'd wander off while shopping (he'd turn around and wouldn't see me), my perpetual lateness (I'm always losing track of time), and impulsiveness (I'll admit, I've said and done some pretty random things) kind of the way you seemed to have described the two of you. It wasn't new to my behaviour, just things I had been doing my whole life. Now that I've been diagnosed, we both better understand my behaviour and he really tries to be more patient. It's understandable that he's learned to cope with ADD since early grade school; whereas, I am still learning so naturally, we'd have different responses to the "ADD moments". I definitely see his ADD as a blessing to us both: he's immensely creative and intelligent, and if not for his ADD I don't think I would have ever "figured it out".

I just love hearing stories like yours because it shows how dual-ADD couples like us aren't necessarily disadvantaged for it. I know it's been a while since you posted; I hope that it's been working out for the two of you!


C.