View Full Version : Engaged to man with untreated ADHD


MayFlowers
12-13-13, 09:56 AM
Hello All,

This is my first post on here. I am hoping that some of you smart people could offer some wisdom, share some insight on how cope better in my relationship.

My fiance and I have been dating for over 2 years, engaged for 9 months-good friends for a long time. Our strengths include: open communication, very loving/kind, and share similar life goals (want to have kids, healthy lifestyle, etc.).
I have read several good books on the subject and watched some of the youtube videos that RedHairedWitch posted up. If you all have more suggestions, please do send them.
Is it You, Me or ADHD
The ADHD Affect on Marriage
Driven to Distraction

Currently my struggles are with his untreated symptoms and how I am coping.

A caveat, yes, I acknowledge that it it ME who is having a difficult time with his traits/behaviors, and while I want to learn as much as possible about ADHD, I realize that I cannot change him nor do I want that dynamic. With that being said, I'm having a harder time with things/his behaviors.

Basically, things don't get done unless I initiate, plan and execute them. I am so frustrated, angry and disappointed. For example, at times we have gone all week without seeing each other (we don't live together), when we do it has been me who initiates the plans. I created the "date night" every week because I missed him. We wouldn't see each other unless I made the plans. Then on the weekend, he's says, "Hey I'm coming over." as if things are great between us and the week went by without incident. REALLY?
I tell ya, my heart aches and I admit that I struggle, and taken this behavior very personal because well, it feels personal. If he wanted to see me, I think he just would make that effort like he used to when we first dated. I'm doing the "pursing" and it sucks.

While I am tired of being the "adult" in regards to making plans, finishing tasks, getting organized, the bottom line is that I feel quite lonely in the relationship with having to initiate contact. Someone put it quite eloquently in a thread, he is the "out of sight out of mind BF", sometimes hours and hours go by without a word from him.

As far as ADHD diagnosis/treatment I've left that alone because when I've talked with him in the past about ADHD he dismisses me, "Oh, I've never been officially diagnosed." but years ago he took meds for inattention. On the bright side, he isn't entirely closed to discussion about it but he told me he doesn't want to have a "Mental Disorder". I told him that's understandable and listened and then I dropped the subject. Since that conversation about 1 year ago, things have not improved and I'm at a loss of what to do in the relationship because things are getting harder and I'm getting more afraid that I will be the one doing everything in our household when we have kids, and be that lonely wife. I won't do that to myself or my future children.

Thanks for reading.

MF

dvdnvwls
12-13-13, 04:18 PM
You are at an important point in your relationship - not married yet. :)

I have been the untreated-ADHD husband in a long long relationship. After diagnosis (20 years later), my wife left - but things had been very unhappy for a long time before that.

Two major things I think you can do:

First, most importantly, stop taking the behaviour personally or else you will go crazy, and I mean that truthfully, you will go mental if you think he's doing this ADHD stuff on purpose.

Second, I think the best thing you can do for your relationship is to tell him you're not going to live with someone with un-treated ADHD, and absolutely not going to marry someone with un-treated ADHD. And be ready to move on. He will need time to get started on it, but not forever. I have no idea if relationship gurus think that's correct behaviour for you or not, but IMO it's the clearest best way to save yourself from being the lonely wife.

Your children together are highly likely to have ADHD also, so be prepared.

dvdnvwls
12-13-13, 04:59 PM
It's been pointed out to me that I basically just recommended giving an ultimatum, something I'm normally very vocally against doing. I think ultimatums are cruel and misguided methods. And yet...

In this particular situation, in which two people (one with ADHD) are engaged but not yet married, and the non-ADHDer has read extensively about ADHD and yet seems in a very fundamental sense to just not get it, I think the potential for a disastrously sad marriage is extremely high, and I can't see a better option. An ultimatum now is better than an ultimatum after a wedding and two kids, and I don't see ways that that might not happen.

VeryTired
12-13-13, 05:47 PM
Hi, MayFlowers--

Welcome to the forums. I think this is a very good place to learn and find support.

I think dvdnvwls basically told you what you need to hear. But there are many degrees of nuance and point of view in these matters! So I am chiming in too. I would say that it is pretty well unsustainable to try to do a relationship with someone with untreated ADHD unless the circumstances are very unusual.

So I don't think there's much you can change about you to make matters better. I would say that either your boyfriend gets treatment and recognizes that his ADHD is something that affects both your lives every day, or else all the things that are making you unhappy now will continue. And if you marry and have kids, these problems are likely to be a lot worse, not better.

If you search around in the archives of these forums, you will come across a thread started by Kylief8 that contains a lengthy and very intense discussion of what it feels like when your ADHD partner's new-relationship hyper focus fades. Not everyone experiences this, but for those of us who do, it's shocking and brutal and scary. I'm deliberately using strong words, because I can't emphasize enough how big a deal this can be.

I'm certainly not saying that people can't have beautiful and happy relationships with partners who have ADHD. Of course they can. But untreated ADHD is a super-tough thing to negotiate. Even treated ADHD can take a real toll on everyone in the relationship. And I am telling you that if I have known that my partner had ADHD, and what that meant for him, I would not now be in this
complicated and often very difficult relationship. So many promises have been broken, agreements disregarded, hopes deferred, goals disregarded, dreams shattered.

No one likes the idea of ultimatums. But when one person's behavior affects the other this dramatically, making a clear boundary between what you will tolerate and what you cannot isn't the usual kind of ultimatum. It's not about dominating the other person, it's about saving yourself. It's very important to be able articulate what you need and what you can't tolerate.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping you'll keep in touch and let us know what happens with you--

Lunacie
12-13-13, 05:49 PM
>>

While I am tired of being the "adult" in regards to making plans, finishing tasks, getting organized, the bottom line is that I feel quite lonely in the relationship with having to initiate contact. Someone put it quite eloquently in a thread, he is the "out of sight out of mind BF", sometimes hours and hours go by without a word from him.

>>
MF

I can totally understand that you don't want to carry the sole responsibility
for this relationship. But I'm curious about the last part of that paragraph.
How often do you feel he should call you or check in with you? Hourly? Daily?
At bedtime each evening?

someothertime
12-13-13, 06:17 PM
I would advise accepting alot of the communication stuff... we need our zone... Same with the planning and execution...

If he lives a generally sustainable life.... and you are happy as people together.... then perhaps try a teency thing on a macro level... Like.... it's his job to do xyz... ( i.e. Plan every second outing.. ).... Something not stressful.... Just a small task that you two come across often.... Link it into communication somehow as this is what seems to be the key sticking point right now.

Now the goal of this is not to get it done. The goal is to see how you ( and him ) can develop / negotiate... express....refine.... together... as a sweetener offer to do the same for him...

Use every single tool and understanding you've gained from those books to really operate in a different way....

-The way you ask for things
-The way you expect things
-The way you present information
etc.

and keep refining it... ( NB: You may have to ditch planA in a week or two and go to planB...thenC and so on... )
( possibly the the same amount of effort he will have to go through )

After two months... by negotiating and using this "small thing" to alter you mode... and for him to demonstrate he is "there".... You will give yourself the answer to your question.

The good news is that even without ADHD... couples face similar issues. The two primary causes of relationship failure is people don't change and people change too much ;) When you look at ADDers in general.... once you accept what we can't change you'll find we score pretty well on the changeVSnochange scale.... but to live together for years.... negotiation ( read: message transmission... may not be verbal ) and effort ( not compliance ) is key...The difference is you go into it knowing that not everything is changeable... And with an open mind and love... anything is conquerable...

As a side note... narrow your focus a little bit... ( at least try to some days )... This is how we see the world... The next hour... the next minute... it's part of the reason he didn't get in touch with you. From his side... he needs tools to replace the opposite of that... But like dvd says... one doesn't pick up tools unless they are needing to build something... and learning that they have a need takes alternate modes of communication or a certain "progression" that cannot always be forced... If you do go the ultimatum route... Keep that narrow focus thing in mind... as soon as you start talking long term... were off the page... ( we have concepts but can't relate them back to present actions - without tools )

MayFlowers
12-13-13, 08:49 PM
Big thanks to all who read and gave feedback, I can tell you it is truly a relief to have found this sight and to have your support.

Someothertime: I will start with being aware of my "Mode" and the way in which I ask for things, etc. Admittedly, I've grown resentful and angry so this is a good place to start for me I think. The ultimatum thing has crossed my mind on multiple occasions, I will need time on this before I'm at that point. (I am getting closer by the day). He is a strong-willed person, perhaps such that he would walk away as a point of pride, I need to be prepared to stand up for what I know that I need/want in a relationship.

Question:how certain are you all that this is part of ADHD? (I know you aren't doctors) I am 100% certain but I could use an unbiased perspective and a little validation I guess...

Also, in response to Luncie:" I can totally understand that you don't want to carry the sole responsibility
for this relationship. But I'm curious about the last part of that paragraph.
How often do you feel he should call you or check in with you? Hourly? Daily?
At bedtime each evening? "

By this I was referring to 3 areas,
#1 I want to hear from him every day as a "check in" in the morning and at bedtime-this is going well 80% of the time.
#2 when we have plans that he tells me what time (approx) he will be at my house for dinner or a date-um, 20% of the time he voluntarily does this. If I don't ask/prod him he will not come over until very late b/c he gets distracted doing stuff at home / isn't able to manage time.
#3 tell me what his plans are for the week so we can get together-10% he does this on his own.- I don't even know what to say here. I make all the plans for our future. His job makes it hard to plan b/c his boss are all ADHD, I swear! They tell them on Thursday, "We need you to work all weekend." Geez! How can anyone plan or have a life!? Ugh...(venting)

Thanks for reading.

MF

kilted_scotsman
12-13-13, 08:59 PM
I'd say be careful... you say you are not living together and don't see him for a week or so at a time...... I'd wait until you've lived together under the same roof for a while before making any big commitments....

Also a guy who doesn't want to have the "mental disorder" label probably has a resistance to accepting and dealing with his own issues.... we ALL have weird stuff in our psyche we need to deal with if we're to live fulfilling and happy lives.... particularly in the maelstrom of a family....

so, though he may not feel he has a "disorder" (which is acceptable to many of us here) he almost certainly needs to develop a healthy curiosity about his way of "being" in this world and how that might affect his relations with others, romantic, familial or professional.

I would suspect a degree of withdrawal from full engagement with the world around him if he is not willing to initiate.... and this will become an increasing issue as his responsibilities increase.

If you end up having a family his ability to initiate action.... and also initiate and follow through on mundane administrative tasks will make a massive difference to the viability of the family unit in times of stress.

so.... get this stuff out in the open....discuss it.... it's too late when kids come along....

kilted

someothertime
12-13-13, 09:45 PM
Tools, tools, tools! But McTavish is grabbing the proverbial by drawing attention to the two way nature of this deal... and practical steps from here...

Thanks for coming back and adding info... I will tell you one thing... In 12 months of treatment i've stretched ALOT of my comfort zones... communication ( for me ) is THE MOST DIFFICULT thing to address... in particular if it's obligated. If I were him and being honest and you asked that of of me... I can realistically say that it is not gonna happen... and that's with me being at the table and wanting to change... I could find "unique" solutions that are a little more random and serve a similar purpose... But frequent un-"driven" contact... just not me...

Here is a tip for you... find 5 ways of communicating with him ( phone, text, email, sms, viber, chat....whatever........ ) rotate them....see what happens ;)



Question:how certain are you all that this is part of ADHD?

It is not all part of ADHD... I know that for a fact. But changing ones behaviour begins there ( or professional diagnosis of whatever it ends up being ). And oddly enough, it is these "routine" behaviours that closeness amplifies.

ginniebean
12-13-13, 11:23 PM
It's not going to work. sorry, but it's just not.

sarahsweets
12-14-13, 05:27 AM
If he wont get treatment that chances are slim that things will work out.

dvdnvwls
12-14-13, 05:50 AM
sarahsweets is being optimistic. If he will get treatment, I believe chances are still slim. Honestly, MayFlowers, if you have really read those books you listed and yet you're asking these questions in the way you're asking them, I believe that YOU have a lot of learning to do to be able to be in a relationship (with anybody, not just someone with ADHD).

MayFlowers
12-14-13, 10:55 AM
sarahsweets is being optimistic. If he will get treatment, I believe chances are still slim. Honestly, MayFlowers, if you have really read those books you listed and yet you're asking these questions in the way you're asking them, I believe that YOU have a lot of learning to do to be able to be in a relationship (with anybody, not just someone with ADHD).


Ok, that stung. What makes you so sure that our chances are slim? Who is the one reading these books? I'm devouring whatever I can get my hands on so that he and I have a happy relationship together. I don't disagree that I need to learn about being in a relationship, I believe that we all are constantly learning in that dept. What I am upset about it is your pessimism and lack of hope for me/us! That really hurts. Regardless, I do appreciate the brutal honesty even though I don't like it. We call could use reminders to hold up the mirror on ourselves.

After reading more in the Orlov book: Surprising ways ADHD affects your Marriage (I'm not done yet), I've realized much about the person I have become over the past 2 years. I'm unhappy, I nitpick and sure I feel ashamed about that. I frequently nag. I feel angry. Oftentimes I think judgmental about him when he doesn't do things in the way I want when I want....all poison arrows. So, as they say, it is both parties.

Now, I realize from all of your responses that I don't get it really...that his brain is wired differently thus he will behave differently and it isn't about me-it's about how he is in the world, his world. Maybe now, with guidance I will be able to meet him there, see things through his eyes instead of holding him to my "world" standards then judging him when he falls short. I love him and want to be with him.

I'd like to have this conversation with him, as I mentioned in my first post. Could you all give me some ideas on how to broach this topic of ADHD in our relationship without using an ultimatum? (I will be sure to explain my part of this dance also)

What has been your/your spouses approach?

What is successful/unsuccessful?

Thanks,
MayFlower

Lunacie
12-14-13, 11:45 AM
sarahsweets is being optimistic. If he will get treatment, I believe chances are still slim. Honestly, MayFlowers, if you have really read those books you listed and yet you're asking these questions in the way you're asking them, I believe that YOU have a lot of learning to do to be able to be in a relationship (with anybody, not just someone with ADHD).

I think this is sadly true. My hubby didn't have ADHD but I remember doing a
lot of waiting for phone calls before we moved in together. And I remember a
lot of waiting afterwards too. He'd go hunting or fishing or to visit a friend and
say he'd be back by whenever but was always late - and me with my anxiety
disorder was left waiting for hours, imagining the worst (shooting himself,
drowning, car crash, etc).

Same thing after we divorced and my daughter (also divorced) and I bought a
house together. If the bus bringing the grandkids was late I would panic. I'd
be standing in the middle of the street watching for the bus and calling the
school office on my cell phone, practically in tears.

A couple of years ago my daughter convinced me to go to a therapist and a
psychiatrist. I started taking meds for the anxiety and I Do Not Miss The
Stress At All !!!

Nicksgonefishin
12-14-13, 12:21 PM
sarahsweets is being optimistic. If he will get treatment, I believe chances are still slim. Honestly, MayFlowers, if you have really read those books you listed and yet you're asking these questions in the way you're asking them, I believe that YOU have a lot of learning to do to be able to be in a relationship (with anybody, not just someone with ADHD).


What he is saying here is that perhaps before you assume that the issues in your relationship exist solely on your fiancee take a look at yourself inwardly and try to gain some more insight. After all you are half of the relationship. Also if you did read those books at many points throughout all 3 they stress the importance of treatment and counseling for both partners.

Previous posters are not being pessemists. They are being real, blunt, and brutally honest. THEY HAVE BEEN IN HIS POSITION and done the percievably horrible things to their spouses that you are describing! I spent 3 years in a relationship with an ADHDer who was unwilling to get treatment. I myself was diagnosed as ADHD and as i go thorugh treatment I realize how unhealthy our relationship was. For the 3 days tops a month we had a month that were absolutly unbeleivably incredable there was 27 toxic days a month... The distance between you 2 right now is what is holding you together.

The issues you are having now will not change without treatment. In fact they will get worse. His ADHD will get worse. Your self worth will decrease. Over time this has an all around negative effect on your self esteem.
Ask yourself if he truely makes you happy. Not "he makes me happy when he does this" or "sometimes he makes me happy" but does he make you happy? I would think if you were happy you wouldn't be on here...

True love is loving someone unconditionally and accepting and loving them for their flaws.

I would encourage you to go see a counselor because you don't know what you don't know. Go on your own now and learn about yourself then worry about him and going to counseling together or him getting his own treatment.

At a minimum add Barkley to your list of authors. I think he will might give you some balance to your perspective on ADHD. Orlov and Hallowell are great but they tend to be a little on the "gifter" side of adhd. Barkley keeps it real. He has some great youtube videos as well that break down the harsh reality of adhd to a neurotypical individual.

Nicksgonefishin
12-14-13, 12:40 PM
Ok, that stung. What makes you so sure that our chances are slim? Who is the one reading these books? I'm devouring whatever I can get my hands on so that he and I have a happy relationship together. I don't disagree that I need to learn about being in a relationship, I believe that we all are constantly learning in that dept. What I am upset about it is your pessimism and lack of hope for me/us! That really hurts. Regardless, I do appreciate the brutal honesty even though I don't like it. We call could use reminders to hold up the mirror on ourselves.

After reading more in the Orlov book: Surprising ways ADHD affects your Marriage (I'm not done yet), I've realized much about the person I have become over the past 2 years. I'm unhappy, I nitpick and sure I feel ashamed about that. I frequently nag. I feel angry. Oftentimes I think judgmental about him when he doesn't do things in the way I want when I want....all poison arrows. So, as they say, it is both parties.

Now, I realize from all of your responses that I don't get it really...that his brain is wired differently thus he will behave differently and it isn't about me-it's about how he is in the world, his world. Maybe now, with guidance I will be able to meet him there, see things through his eyes instead of holding him to my "world" standards then judging him when he falls short. I love him and want to be with him.

I'd like to have this conversation with him, as I mentioned in my first post. Could you all give me some ideas on how to broach this topic of ADHD in our relationship without using an ultimatum? (I will be sure to explain my part of this dance also)

What has been your/your spouses approach?

What is successful/unsuccessful?

Thanks,
MayFlower


I recently had a conversation with my grandmother who dedicated her life to my ADHD traited grandfather. She wanted to make all the pain and suffering in his youth up to him. It took her 50 years to realize that you can't make an unhappy person happy. You can't heal them.

The change has to come from within. They have to want it. It is very similar to alcoholism or drug abuse. If he doesn't want to change you can't make him. This is why an altimatum is your only recourse.

ginniebean
12-14-13, 01:23 PM
Hi, MayFlowers--


I think dvdnvwls basically told you what you need to hear. But there are many degrees of nuance and point of view in these matters! So I am chiming in too. I would say that it is pretty well unsustainable to try to do a relationship with someone with untreated ADHD unless the circumstances are very unusual.

So I don't think there's much you can change about you to make matters better. I would say that either your boyfriend gets treatment and recognizes that his ADHD is something that affects both your lives every day, or else all the things that are making you unhappy now will continue. And if you marry and have kids, these problems are likely to be a lot worse, not better.

If you search around in the archives of these forums, you will come across a thread started by Kylief8 that contains a lengthy and very intense discussion of what it feels like when your ADHD partner's new-relationship hyper focus fades. Not everyone experiences this, but for those of us who do, it's shocking and brutal and scary. I'm deliberately using strong words, because I can't emphasize enough how big a deal this can be.

I'm certainly not saying that people can't have beautiful and happy relationships with partners who have ADHD. Of course they can. But untreated ADHD is a super-tough thing to negotiate. Even treated ADHD can take a real toll on everyone in the relationship. And I am telling you that if I have known that my partner had ADHD, and what that meant for him, I would not now be in this
complicated and often very difficult relationship. So many promises have been broken, agreements disregarded, hopes deferred, goals disregarded, dreams shattered.

No one likes the idea of ultimatums. But when one person's behavior affects the other this dramatically, making a clear boundary between what you will tolerate and what you cannot isn't the usual kind of ultimatum. It's not about dominating the other person, it's about saving yourself. It's very important to be able articulate what you need and what you can't tolerate.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping you'll keep in touch and let us know what happens with you--
I'm one of the 20 % of those who cannot handle medication. I experienced psychosis where I felt bugs crawling all over me for months, I went for help, no one thought it could be the stimulants because they were low dose. If I were forced into medicating myself because of my partner handing out an ultimatum I'd never forgive them. You don't have the right over someone else's body. I'm untreated and according to you unfit for all relationships, condemned to anlonely isolated existence.

If this isn't irresponsible I don't know what it. One of the temptations of being a spouse of someone with adhd is absolving yourself. Not looking at what you contribute to the dynamic and it IS a dynamic.


Here we have someone who feels extremely put upon and they don't live together. He calls 80% of the time she asks him to. An 80% success rate is considered perfectly normal. It is NOT deficient by any standards. NT men don't have a 100% success rate. No human does. Sometimes it would be nice if people could set aside all the rules of thumb and actually look at things in a fresh way instead of filtering them thru preconceived notions.


The guy isn't diagnosed as adhd and we're demanding treatment. Cart before horse?


Maybe he doesn't even have adhd.

someothertime
12-14-13, 01:53 PM
Mayflower... you know something... many threads about relationships with a Non-Diagnosed Adder come from an angle of "Should I stay or not stay"...

While ultimately your saying the same thing... You've done a hell of alot more groundwork and your a hell of a lot more resolution minded...

Two things ( maybe more we'll see hehehe )...

1. Many of the "harsher" help requests get "pleasanter answers"... You know... everyone here has really extended themselves to help you. I'm truly in awe... Nicks two posts above are just pure light.

2. The fact that you guys have been together for two years... friends before that does say a lot for you both in terms of potential for something to proceed. My tools stuff... icing on a cake who's flower comes from you having a few counselling sessions.

It looks like you have a rocky road ahead i'm afraid... Ultimately though... you will make a decision based on concessions vs love. The counselling is more to clarify if your emotionally capable of those concessions.

You yeild alot for him... he alters a few things for you maybe... and nothing is ever as smooth as you had ever desired. This does not negate the opportunity for alternate paths... Who knows... you two could quit your day jobs and become goat herding gypsies and live happily ever after for all I know.


"I'd like to have this conversation with him, as I mentioned in my first post. Could you all give me some ideas on how to broach this topic of ADHD in our relationship without using an ultimatum? (I will be sure to explain my part of this dance also)"

You going to several counselling sessions to clarify your core needs and concessions moving forward should send the message clearly without ultimatum. Your not as strong as you think you are. There will be temptation to yield to love in the initial stages... His behavior will reverse...

Stick with the sessions... For now though... maintain a mindset of this is most likely to end unpleasantly... get the counselling... I've just re-read all the posts about 5 times each. With your current emotional landscape your not capable of adapting no matter how strong your desire is on the understanding front... In your OP you make several contradictions... and you try to downplay your needs over his.

At first I saw that as compassion only and strength... I'm sorry... It's denial, possibly dependance, insecurity... who knows... point is your externalising whatever it is. This prevents you from facing it.


There is a reason you are here;

"Since that conversation about 1 year ago, things have not improved"
"things are getting harder"
"I will be the one doing everything in our household when we have kids, and be that lonely wife." Moreso... resentful....

I won't do that to myself or my future children.

When I first read Ginnies post I thought it was a little absolute... but what you would have to do to yourself to accomodate and change together from hereon in is monumental.... bordering on masochism...

geez... stay boyfriend and girlfriend... forget whole marriage thing... i'm sorry that I talked about tools... they will help... but all that stuff is secondary to you learning about yourself.

dvd has a point as well though... it's a super duper long shot... like a trifecta really... which is why i suggest bracing yourself for impact now.

Nick... your amazing man.

MayFlowers
12-14-13, 03:04 PM
I think this is sadly true. My hubby didn't have ADHD but I remember doing a
lot of waiting for phone calls before we moved in together. And I remember a
lot of waiting afterwards too. He'd go hunting or fishing or to visit a friend and
say he'd be back by whenever but was always late - and me with my anxiety
disorder was left waiting for hours, imagining the worst (shooting himself,
drowning, car crash, etc).

Same thing after we divorced and my daughter (also divorced) and I bought a
house together. If the bus bringing the grandkids was late I would panic. I'd
be standing in the middle of the street watching for the bus and calling the
school office on my cell phone, practically in tears.

A couple of years ago my daughter convinced me to go to a therapist and a
psychiatrist. I started taking meds for the anxiety and I Do Not Miss The
Stress At All !!!

Lunacie: Yes, I have been in counseling for social anxiety in the past. I took meds for a short time & they did help with the worrying. It is time to revisit this again. Thanks.

MayFlowers
12-14-13, 03:22 PM
What he is saying here is that perhaps before you assume that the issues in your relationship exist solely on your fiancee take a look at yourself inwardly and try to gain some more insight. After all you are half of the relationship. Also if you did read those books at many points throughout all 3 they stress the importance of treatment and counseling for both partners.

Yes, I agree and we are attending counseling. The focus has been on our communication and getting things done with no mention of either of our "issues". We have a session next week.

For the 3 days tops a month we had a month that were absolutly unbeleivably incredable there was 27 toxic days a month... The distance between you 2 right now is what is holding you together.
Oh my god, this is US! :-(

The issues you are having now will not change without treatment. In fact they will get worse. His ADHD will get worse. Your self worth will decrease. Over time this has an all around negative effect on your self esteem.
Ask yourself if he truely makes you happy. Not "he makes me happy when he does this" or "sometimes he makes me happy" but does he make you happy? I would think if you were happy you wouldn't be on here...

True love is loving someone unconditionally and accepting and loving them for their flaws.
Yes, that's true....I don't think I know how to do this yet.

I would encourage you to go see a counselor because you don't know what you don't know. Go on your own now and learn about yourself then worry about him and going to counseling together or him getting his own treatment.

I will do this, thanks Nick. And thanks everyone for giving your honest input.

here is one of my favorite sayings: Hope + Discomfort = Change

kilted_scotsman
12-14-13, 03:41 PM
I recently had a conversation with my grandmother who dedicated her life to my ADHD triated grandfather. She wanted to make all the pain and suffering in his youth up to him. It took her 50 years to realize that you can't make an unhappy person happy. You can't heal them.

The change has to come from within. They have to want it. It is very similar to alcoholism or drug abuse. If he doesn't want to change you can't make him. This is why an ultimatum is your only recourse.

I am in this situation with my Dad.... my mother tried to help him for a couple of decades, then realised it was a lost cause.

Though he had the resources, intelligence and opportunity through out his life he never did the inner work, and externalises things to this day.

Unfortunately this passed down to me.... and it's only now, as I look after him, I realise just how many of my interpersonal "issues" are not purely ADHD but are also due to my fathers pathologically negative self view.

Many psychotherapeutic theories state that young children model their parents way of being in the world from an early age.

My point is that .... not only is it emotionally draining to live with someone who constantly requires support it also can mess up any young children that "imprint" on the person as a parental role model.....

I feel this is particularly true of father->son or mother->daughter relationships....

Therefore my advice is not to move towards starting a family until the person with the issues is making significant progress towards sorting their relational issues out UNDER THEIR OWN STEAM.

Sometimes this process requires time apart, time to explore the self in a variety of situations.... which can put considerable strain on a relationship.... therefore this process really needs to be well advanced before a person ADD or NT is "ready" for a long term relationship.

kilted

sarahsweets
12-14-13, 04:22 PM
One thing I forgot to mention is that people who don't take meds for adhd are not damaged goods.

Nicksgonefishin
12-14-13, 04:49 PM
here is one of my favorite sayings: Hope + Discomfort = Change

With undiagnosed/untreated/denied adult ADHD

Change=Discomfort and Hope is negated by doubt.


I wasn't negating your quote I just wanted you to see how he might be thinking vs your thought process. Also discomfort is too light of a word.... Undredfully painful would be more suited.

Simenora
12-14-13, 04:54 PM
It's not going to work. sorry, but it's just not.

she is so right. mine is dx'd but wont take meds. I live in an unfinished house for the past 12 years. I didn't have a kitchen for 2 years, washed dishes in bathtub. Now we are 50 and he cant be bothered initiating physical relations for the last 6 years. since I did most of the work for 20 years i thought id wait til he got around to showing interest. he never bothered. I really am not dead yet so i got a boyfriend. maybe thats how I cope. but Im still here. Of course I cant take meds. It sometimes frustrates me that he can, he just doesn't feel like it. I am , of course, severe combined type. I am forced into the non adhd partner role. As Barkley states, it is absolutely exhausting.

MayFlowers
12-14-13, 05:16 PM
With undiagnosed/untreated/denied adult ADHD

Change=Discomfort and Hope is negated by doubt.


I wasn't negating your quote I just wanted you to see how he might be thinking vs your thought process. Also discomfort is too light of a word.... Undredfully painful would be more suited.


Interesting perspective....for someone who has lived with "not feeling good enough" his whole life I can see how this could be the case. Im sure that me verbalizing my disappointments only compounds the issue. I feel bad.

Nicksgonefishin
12-14-13, 06:10 PM
I almost forgot.

Do yourself a huge favor and either google or in the adult adhd relationships forum there is a sticky on "detatching with love". This helped me understand what I needed to do. I don't think you have quite reached this level yet but it would give you the tools you need when/if the time comes.

I think this should be my standard answer for dealing with deniers. It took me a long time to understand this concept but i'm much much better for it.

TLCisaQT
01-01-14, 07:41 PM
Hello All,
Since that conversation about 1 year ago, things have not improved and I'm at a loss of what to do in the relationship because things are getting harder and I'm getting more afraid that I will be the one doing everything in our household when we have kids, and be that lonely wife. I won't do that to myself or my future children.

Thanks for reading.

MF

Hi Mayflower and welcome to the boards. I haven't read what others have wrote yet, and I'm sure this will be blunt, BUT:

The chances of things changing and only getting worse when you have kids WITHOUT him getting TREATMENT is highly likely and likely you will... "be the one doing everything in our household when we have kids, and be that lonely wife."

He hasn't changed in the last year, not likely to change in the coming years either. My husband went out and did things with me when we were dating and courting and then we got married and he didn't want to go out and do things, or go grocery shopping together, etc. I wanted to just spend time together. He actually said to me "Maybe you need a hobby." Should have been my first clue. At least you have a chance to really make an informed decision. I didn't know my husband had ADHD until after the kids came and his ADHD got worse and my oldest was diagnosed with ADHD and I knew it was hereditary.

Good luck. I really hope he will have an open and honest conversation with you and feel that your relationship is worth working towards.