View Full Version : Need help with ADHD girlfriend


sponger0
11-15-13, 10:13 AM
I am really needing some help. I am really getting fustrated with my currect relationship, yet I love this girl to death.

We have been friends for over 10 years. I met and a long time ago and we were friends for years. I had been after her for a few years now and we finally started dating and have been together for 2 years. We know each other very well as we have been very close.

She is loving, caring, and one of the sweetest people you could ever met. To me she is amazing. I love being with her. But I am starting to realize some of the problems I am having and I am not dealing with it well. I will say I am bipolar to add and have been through therapy and have a therapist to see when times get too difficult for me to manage.

The problems I am having is that I feel alot of times ignored. Or that Im not important enough to pay attention to. The cell phone has become a big issue as it seems she is always on it, even though I am right next to her. And I wonder is it really that much more important than me? Another thing is if I ask her to do something, she says I have plans, maybe, we will see, and it drives me crazy she cant commit to do something with me. I have asked on occassions to have nights where there is no cell phones. She had no problem with it. I also seems like she is quick to make plans with other people, but I just get her to do that with me.

She tells me I mean the world to her. But I dont feel like it alot of times. I feel like I dont really matter and if I wasnt around, it wouldnt make a difference.

I have tried my best at being patient....but I just feel like I cant get her attention, unless I start getting upset. And by that point I dont wanna talk about it or anything. I have tried reading up on ADHD, but it really hasnt seemed to help me understand.

Im really coming to my witts end and need some help so I dont just throw this relationship away. If it wasnt for the things I have mentioned, I would be completely happy. Please help

sponger0
11-15-13, 01:48 PM
Sorry that was suppose to say been together for 2 months

Nicksgonefishin
11-15-13, 02:32 PM
It sounds like you love her very much.

Is she getting treatment for her adhd?

If she isn't subtly encourage her. You get treatment for your bipolar. She should step up and treat her adhd.

If she is getting treatment be mindfull of your own issues.

You 2 have a relationship where you can both give each other feed back about each others symptoms. I would have a conversation about open feedback first. This can open a conversation for her to let you know about the symtoms from your bipolar she has issue with as well.

Don't judge her for her adhd as I wouldn't judge you for your bipolar. It doesn't make you who you are and adhd doesn't make her who she is. Bipolar is a small part of the whole you just as adhd is a small part of the whole her.

Look at each other as "this is the most qualified person to help me grow"

If a conversation causes conflict or you don't feel you can discuss things properly couples counseling can add a referee into the mix.

If you are a book hound gena peras "is it you me or add" is a great source for non ADHDers. Also orlovs "adhd effect on marriage"



for her I highly recommend Barkley ' s "taking charge of adult adhd"

dvdnvwls
11-15-13, 03:17 PM
The problems I am having is that I feel alot of times ignored. Or that Im not important enough to pay attention to. The cell phone has become a big issue as it seems she is always on it, even though I am right next to her. And I wonder is it really that much more important than me? Another thing is if I ask her to do something, she says I have plans, maybe, we will see, and it drives me crazy she cant commit to do something with me. I have asked on occassions to have nights where there is no cell phones. She had no problem with it. I also seems like she is quick to make plans with other people, but I just get her to do that with me.

She tells me I mean the world to her. But I dont feel like it alot of times. I feel like I dont really matter and if I wasnt around, it wouldnt make a difference.
This is a tough situation that happens with a lot of ADHDers. When the relationship was new, she probably had an extreme focus on you, which obviously feels really good; but that extreme focus can't last forever, even when two people love each other this much. So now you are seeing what an ADHD person's attention normally looks like - and it's hard to even tell that she's paying attention at all, because her attention is scattered onto her phone and everything else and everyone else. The scattered attention is something that really hurts her, and she doesn't like being that way, but that's the way her brain is. She isn't able to choose to pay more attention to you, because the "attention focusing unit" in her brain is way out of adjustment. In her mind and heart, the meaning and value of you are huge, just as they were before; all that's different is that the weird extreme focus power (some people call it "hyperfocus") has turned off.

Your idea of a no-devices time sounds good, and it's no surprise that she's happy with it. She is not that dedicated to her phone or to people online or whatever - it's just that those things are really really easy to focus on - with all the status updates, the different things to do and people to talk to, and so on, the ADHDer's natural scattered focus is effectively harnessed and rewarded.

I'm sure you've heard the irritating "Look! A squirrel!" comment when people talk about ADHD. Well, being online on your phone is like 50 squirrels per minute. That's why it's kind of hard to resist. :)

sponger0
11-15-13, 03:45 PM
It sounds like you love her very much.

Is she getting treatment for her adhd?

If she isn't subtly encourage her. You get treatment for your bipolar. She should step up and treat her adhd.

If she is getting treatment be mindfull of your own issues.

You 2 have a relationship where you can both give each other feed back about each others symptoms. I would have a conversation about open feedback first. This can open a conversation for her to let you know about the symtoms from your bipolar she has issue with as well.

Don't judge her for her adhd as I wouldn't judge you for your bipolar. It doesn't make you who you are and adhd doesn't make her who she is. Bipolar is a small part of the whole you just as adhd is a small part of the whole her.

Look at each other as "this is the most qualified person to help me grow"

If a conversation causes conflict or you don't feel you can discuss things properly couples counseling can add a referee into the mix.

If you are a book hound gena peras "is it you me or add" is a great source for non ADHDers. Also orlovs "adhd effect on marriage"



for her I highly recommend Barkley ' s "taking charge of adult adhd"

Oh yes Nick, I love this girl very much. Unfortunately she isnt on the meds she should be. Low income job usually equals no insurance. I have been trying to figure out ways to get her the help, but it seems it will come out of my pocket when I have it. Which isnt out of the question.

Over the years of us being friends, we became very close. She also knows I cant go back to being friends. Not to be hateful to her, but she will hate me cause of my reactions. Also, I realized I cant stand to see her with someone else. And it caused me not to talk to her for a year. It sounds mean, but its really not.

As far as your question on growing, I have learned alot from her by just being friends.

When I bring up something initially she gets fustrated. Maybe its due to the fact its over text. But when we get a chance to talk in person it goes over so much better. I wont lie, with me being bipolar and mostly 85% manic, its hard for me to discuss or talk about serious things without my emotions getting in control. Ive gotten better but I know I can always improve.

sponger0
11-15-13, 03:53 PM
This is a tough situation that happens with a lot of ADHDers. When the relationship was new, she probably had an extreme focus on you, which obviously feels really good; but that extreme focus can't last forever, even when two people love each other this much. So now you are seeing what an ADHD person's attention normally looks like - and it's hard to even tell that she's paying attention at all, because her attention is scattered onto her phone and everything else and everyone else. The scattered attention is something that really hurts her, and she doesn't like being that way, but that's the way her brain is. She isn't able to choose to pay more attention to you, because the "attention focusing unit" in her brain is way out of adjustment. In her mind and heart, the meaning and value of you are huge, just as they were before; all that's different is that the weird extreme focus power (some people call it "hyperfocus") has turned off.

Your idea of a no-devices time sounds good, and it's no surprise that she's happy with it. She is not that dedicated to her phone or to people online or whatever - it's just that those things are really really easy to focus on - with all the status updates, the different things to do and people to talk to, and so on, the ADHDer's natural scattered focus is effectively harnessed and rewarded.

I'm sure you've heard the irritating "Look! A squirrel!" comment when people talk about ADHD. Well, being online on your phone is like 50 squirrels per minute. That's why it's kind of hard to resist. :)

I wont say the focus on me is gone, but I have noticed a difference from before. When I can get her attention, is solid.

I guess I am aware a little bit of what ADHD does to her attention, I guess it's hard as I want sometimes it to be on me, even for just a shortwhile but I have a hard time asking without sounding like a complete jerk.

She knows I get annoyed at her phone habits lol. But I felt it was the only way to get her focused on me for an evening. It was extremely nice to have.

I guess I am trying to understand so I can be more understanding, build a stronger bond and be able for us both to communicate effectively.

sponger0
11-15-13, 03:59 PM
Oh and I completely understand the "Oh look it's a squirrel" Well a little bit. I have a pretty short attention span.

dvdnvwls
11-15-13, 06:26 PM
Two excellent books about ADHD:

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell Barkley
- this book is a full answer to the basic question "What's going on for an ADHD person?"

Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD? by Gina Pera
- this book explores what happens when ADHD people and non-ADHD people are in a relationship together, and how to make it work better.