View Full Version : Well... that sucked


Mittens
12-24-13, 11:39 PM
Phew.
So currently the dynamic looks like this:
Boyfriend - ADD, 42
BF's youngest here for Xmas - 7
BF's oldest that lives with us - 15
My Neurotic / Partially disabled Mom - 53
(She had brutal back surgery in September and has MS so she doesn't live with me full time, but spends much time out at my place, or me at hers doing things physically or financially for her)

I love every one of them. With my whole heart. They are wonderful people and my family.

Cue next holiday dysfunction.

I work today (I work *a lot*) and do 99% of the cooking. I've been really run down and sick the whole week.. my mom emails me from my house, asks if her and BF can take care of dinner to give me a couple hours off. BF then texts me at work and says he'll take care of dinner and is making ___. My Mom doesn't like ______ (or more so the way he does it) and I suggest something else - too late he's gone already to get the stuff for it.

So bf makes dinner.. forgets it on the stove while he's Skyping his parents, I get it served for his boys, ask my Mom what she would like and she refuses to eat anything bevause she doesn't like what he's made, and responds with "what are you having?"... I tell her nothing, i've been up since 5am, am really yucky feeling and skipping dinner, but I can whip her up something quick for dinner?, to which she goes "Oh, well then i'm not eating either".
*facepalm*
Cue BF getting off Skype and coming in oblivious, eats dinner, goes off on his merry way.
Vaguely talk briefly that yes, my Mom is doing ___..
So my Mom (like I said she's neurotic and that's just her) needs to make a point and starts making cookies at 8pm.
Sigh.
Blatantly ignoring any offers of help or anything from me (which I know from knowing her is her making a point and making those around her very aware of her feelings).
Meanwhile, BF is in the living room with the TV fairly loud with the little guy oblivious, which is just making my Mom more upset bevause he doesn't even know what he did wrong in her eyes, and he's just offended and hurt and choked she wouldn't eat.
At this point I just kind of lose my sanity for a minute, go into my bedroom, and start sobbing because I am a gigantic failure as a woman, as a provider, as a girlfriend / partner, as a daughter, as a step-parent, as an orchestrator of Christmas, and the pressure of financially and emotionally running 1.5 households has just crippled me.
I have my tears, put my big girl panties back on, go out to the house and there's oblivious BF wanting to watch a movie as a family with my Mom on emotional strike making cookies (intentionally that as rolling dough / bending / lifting things extremely aggravate her back, but she is a martyr).
And here it sits as the Christmas Eve Mexican Stand-off.

This turned into just a huge rant and vent. I apologize. I promise i'm usually more sane.
Aren't holidays just awesome for bringing out the best fun of dysfunctional!?

Anyways... off to the battle field to try to negotiate some kind of truth or at least placebo the situation.

Merry Christmas, and hopes of fun in the happy variety :P

BellaVita
12-24-13, 11:45 PM
Yikes (((((((((Mittens)))))))))))

I think that'd drive anybody insane.

You're doing a great job holding up! And no need to apologize that's what this place is for. :) (to let off steam/gain support)

Hope your night gets better....:grouphug:

janiew
12-25-13, 01:35 AM
Sounds pretty crazy!

Welcome ... ;)

Mittens
12-25-13, 02:03 AM
Well, after all the burnt cookies went in the garbage, a round of National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, 2 wound up boys (hopefully) in bed by midnight, one disgruntled Mom and a still obliviously cheery boyfriend.... it's time to start the real work and play Santa.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good (or long night for those others playing Santa) night!

Thank you for listening.. I apologize again for the long-winded, nonsensical rant..

dvdnvwls
12-25-13, 03:11 AM
It was not particularly long-winded, and contained absolutely zero nonsense. I'm sending you a big virtual hug because that's about all I can do. Well, and tell you I admire your ability to be in a situation and really see that situation at the same time, because I simply (most of the time anyway) don't have the capacity to do that. Best wishes for a better tomorrow.

:grouphug:

Fuzzy12
12-25-13, 05:52 AM
Mittens I can relate. My family is pretty dysfuctional too and I keep finding myself in the situation where I am trying to make everyone happy, trying to rescue everyone not happy e, trying to make everyone get along and finally invariably v ends up sobbing in my room.:grouphug:

My dad lives making points too but unfortunately it's usually just me who gets his points rather than the ones they are meant for and it's just me who gets hurt.

I'm sorry you had such a horrible evening. I can't advice much except maybe stop trying to rescue everyone. It hurts thinking of the mother being offended and in physical pain but there isn't really much you can do. Especially when people want to be offended and play the martyr. It still sucks. :grouphug:

dvdnvwls
12-25-13, 06:05 AM
People "playing the martyr" in that particular way deserve only to be snickered at and have fingers pointed at them as they perform their stupid antics. However, cruelty is a really bad idea, and the repertoire of other things that might profitably be done instead is extremely limited.

VeryTired
12-25-13, 11:32 AM
Mittens!

Big sympathy! BIG! Poor you. There is no doubt this is all very tough. You are a brave and capable survivor, that's obvious.

At my house, we have this type of misery at Thanksgiving--we don't really do Xmas, except in a minimal low-key way. But I can assure you, it's exactly the same thing. So, now here's what I've learned from all the Thanksgiving torments and melt-downs over the years, and it can apply to nay high-stakes family holiday:

You can't win. No. Never It will NOT be like a Norman Rockwell painting, or a Hollywood movie. This is not possible. And it is extremely unlikely that your loved (and probably also loving) family members will step up to give you what you most want and need on the holiday. So, re-define success. Make it manageable. Make it about what YOU can do. Or maybe that should be "about what you CAN do."

I define my getting what I want at the holiday as no one I love having a panic or melt-down or huge disappointment. Little ones are OK, but no big ones. If that doesn't happen, I am happy and I got what I wanted. And then for each person, I define one positive outcome that I think it's reasonably in my power to deliver. They key is that it's something I am sure I can make happen without requiring anything from anyone else. It doesn't have to be the other person's most desire thing, just something good for them that I CAN do.

For my dad, that means all meals are served at the hours he prefers to eat. For my brother, I will have hot tea ready for him the minute he arrives. For the my nieces and nephew, that they get small toys to keep them busy pre-dinner. For my partner, that he not have to manage anything involving time or planning, but that I invent tasks for him to do at specific times it's that I remember to delegate someone to ask her to show off her pictures of the kids in her phone. For my partner's grown up kids, it's that we do not impose any conditions on them regarding schedule, whether or not they RSVP, what time they arrive and leave, etc etc. For the cat, I make sure she has the opportunity to hide from the kids.

I'm sure you get the idea. I can't make everything perfect for everyone, and the holiday sure as heck doesn't look like the vaguely Martha-Stewart-esque picture I have in my head as ideal. But I no longer end up sobbing in my bedroom (though believe me, I've been there, many times), and I can reasonably say that everyone else got something they wanted or needed. Good enough!

Also--super important--please build in some kind of small but desirable reward for you AFTER the holiday is done. This is critical--otherwise post-holiday blues can jump out and grab you. I like to go to the bookstore and buy myself some new book that just came out without waiting for it to be in paperback, but the possibilities are endless here. Lunch with your friends? a massage? a day of sleeping in and not doing chores for anyone? You decide.

Merry Christmas, Mittens--and everyone. Don't let you most-beloved people drive you crazy!

Mittens
12-25-13, 11:33 AM
Using the appropriate description from DVD, my Mom is just her own type of 'wierd' :)
She, like the bf, doesn't mean harm and things aren't done in malice - that's just her way of wierd lol.
Family is all about knowing eachother's weirdness and loving them regardless and for it, right?

It's kind of funny - one of the things that gave BF a 'lightbulb' moment a little while ago was actually seeing how my mom can at times be fairly unreasonable / emotionally demanding, and he turned to me after and goes "wow.... is that what I am like when I don't take my meds? is that how I make you feel?".
So - some things are blessings in disguise :)

Here's to waiting for the rest of the family and enjoying the peace and quiet until then, hehe.

I can't say enough thanks to you guys just for reading and listening in cyberspace.

Merry Christmas :)

Lunacie
12-25-13, 11:51 AM
Quite understandable, your rant. I really truly get it. :grouphug:

My sis-in-law doesn't get it and her feelings are hurt because this is the second
year my family and I aren't celebrating the holidays with them. My brother (her
hubby) doesn't seem to care whether we come or not, he plays around with his
in-laws or takes a nap and ignores us. Why should we bother to travel to their
house for that?

My granddaughter has autism, the holidays are very difficult what with the changes
in schedule, the unknown driving her crazy (what time will dad come, when will
we open presents, when does she go to camp, when does she go back to school,
etc). We try to work around it, let her know in advance what will be happening as
much as possible, and prevent any meltdowns. Not easy.

Much easier to send her off with her dad and big sister to visit his relatives while
my daughter and I go to the Chinese buffet with her fiancé and his family. :D

dvdnvwls
12-25-13, 12:44 PM
..., and he turned to me after and goes "wow.... is that what I am like when I don't take my meds? is that how I make you feel?".
So - some things are blessings in disguise :)


Blessing in disguise... Maybe like "Dis is someting dat disguise never quite realized before"? :)

To sort of continue the rant, I make that kind of realizations on a relatively regular basis. Sometimes I'll actually discover the same one ten or twelve different times, because it's a really good one. :(

Up-side: Your comedy repertoire can remain fairly small; chances are he'll have forgotten he's heard it before.

Merry Christmas Anyway. :grouphug:

Mittens
12-25-13, 02:40 PM
Blessing in disguise... Maybe like "Dis is someting dat disguise never quite realized before"? :)

To sort of continue the rant, I make that kind of realizations on a relatively regular basis. Sometimes I'll actually discover the same one ten or twelve different times, because it's a really good one. :(

Up-side: Your comedy repertoire can remain fairly small; chances are he'll have forgotten he's heard it before.

Merry Christmas Anyway. :grouphug:

LOL!!!!
Thank you for the laugh - I needed that.

Christmas morning went well for the kids..
So far just the one crying jag in the basement, and here's for hoping it's the only one today.

Anyone else think holidays just suck?

On the bright side - it's almost a new year, and that's something :)

And off to start the 17 lb turkey.
(and yes, I fully realize I clearly had a very idiot moment buying a 17 lb turkey, lol)
I believe Grant is a good, appropriate name for Sir Oversized Bird.

dvdnvwls
12-25-13, 05:47 PM
At least he's a Grant and not a Loan. :)

BellaVita
12-25-13, 05:53 PM
At least he's a Grant and not a Loan. :)

Hahahahahahahahahhahaha :lol: :goodpost:

Mittens
12-25-13, 06:52 PM
At least he's a Grant and not a Loan. :)

LMAO!
Now I can't look at the poor turkey without giggling!

kilted_scotsman
12-26-13, 06:46 AM
Years ago, my mum (an only child) got fed up hosting parents and assorted spinster aunts over christmas.

So she decided to inform everybody that the festivities would involve a long pre dinner walk in the hills complete with packed lunch. Scotland is famed for it's dreich weather so these lunches were generally eaten huddled in the lee of a rock, hummock or tree.

With a bit of menu planning and the wonders of modern cookery gadgetry the real deal meal could be prepped in advance and be hot and ready for when we returned...

This had the desired effect of eliminating all irritants and couch potatoes from the house.... apart from my brother and I who had no option.

Once it had become the family tradition it became a parental filtering device for girlfriends.... those that arrived with hiking boots survived the familial scratch & sniff test, those that arrived with makeup bags didn't.

kilted

sarahsweets
12-26-13, 07:11 AM
Mittens! One thing that I wanted to say however much in retrospect it is is, you Are NOT defective,a failure,unworthy,unlovable,useless,awful,terrible, stupid,damaged,a baby, a loser,bad daughter,made partner,bad parent or a bad person. In fact you really really know how to hold your sh*t together.

Mittens
12-26-13, 04:32 PM
Mittens! One thing that I wanted to say however much in retrospect it is is, you Are NOT defective,a failure,unworthy,unlovable,useless,awful,terrible, stupid,damaged,a baby, a loser,bad daughter,made partner,bad parent or a bad person. In fact you really really know how to hold your sh*t together.

Thank you <3

However, I must say if you saw my house currently you may disagree with that lol.

The boys went to their Mom's and there's the aftermath of Christmas and Grant all over the place. I was really hoping there would be a fairy that came along and took care of it but no go haha. I'm also supposed to have some ladies from the neighborhood come over for a post-xmas-pajama night of escaping chaos - oh the irony lol. So lots of cleaning, baking, more cleaning, and organizing for that. Eeeep.

The part that really broke my heart was everyone is opening gifts / doing stocking and the older boy looks at me with these big, brown eyes and says "Mittens... you're the only one without a stocking, can you take some of mine? I want to be like 20, and have a job, and give you Christmas too"

That was tough. No 15 year old should have to think like that, or feel guilty, and it totally broke my heart. It was just wrong. That came from one time his dad losing it a bit and yelling while he was in the house during an argument over helping /financially contributing.
I told him a) that's not what Christmas was about, and b) to stop being a wiener and bust into his chocolate. So to know that he clued into my stress was very difficult to hear. However it was adorable that he figured by 20 life would all be figured out ;)

Anyways. I should stop being a lazy butt and get around to making my house presentable and get my poop in a group for tomorrow.

Thank you again for listening.

dvdnvwls
12-26-13, 04:44 PM
Thank you <3

However, I must say if you saw my house currently you may disagree with that lol.
If we judge people by the appearance of the inside of their houses, then I am an evil monster.

But I think I'm not.

Maybe there are more useful criteria.

Mittens
12-26-13, 05:39 PM
If we judge people by the appearance of the inside of their houses, then I am an evil monster.

But I think I'm not.

Maybe there are more useful criteria.

Actually what makes me evil is threatening my Mom and darling boyfriend with the same fate as the turkey if I get home from work tomorrow and the house is a mess again ;)

RedHairedWitch
12-26-13, 09:14 PM
In my family (which has many ADHDers) we have a rule :
NO DINNER FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HELP to the satisfaction of the person making dinner (or mom)
This means that after presents everyone is given a task that must be completed before dinner is on the table. Could be cleaning up wrapping paper, walking the dog, setting the table, mashing the potatoes. And if you don't help, you go to bed hungry, even the adults because "they have to set an example"

I strongly suggest that you start implementation of such rules, even for non holidays . The whining at first will suck. But it will make your life easier in the long run.

I seriously want to hand your man and mom a stocking and ask them how hard it is to go to the dollar store?

Mittens
12-27-13, 12:20 AM
In my family (which has many ADHDers) we have a rule :
NO DINNER FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HELP to the satisfaction of the person making dinner (or mom)
This means that after presents everyone is given a task that must be completed before dinner is on the table. Could be cleaning up wrapping paper, walking the dog, setting the table, mashing the potatoes. And if you don't help, you go to bed hungry, even the adults because "they have to set an example"

I strongly suggest that you start implementation of such rules, even for non holidays . The whining at first will suck. But it will make your life easier in the long run.

I seriously want to hand your man and mom a stocking and ask them how hard it is to go to the dollar store?

The stocking doesn't bother me at all. I suck at receiving things at the best of time, and that's not what Xmas is about.
However - that is a really good point. An extremely good point about insisting on help. The problem with bf is i'll ask, and he'll genuinely want to try, but it gets lost in his shuffle...

RedHairedWitch
12-27-13, 01:43 AM
No matter how bad his ADHD is, if a garbage bag is placed in his hand before he can take off to sit in front of the computer, he should be able to fill it with wrapping paper etc

The key to ADHD is routine, if it becomes his rule that he sets the table before you guys can eat, it will become routine.

janiew
12-27-13, 01:50 AM
Routine for ADHD is key. Train that man.

Love your description of the Christmas family dysfunction!

Lol, we had our own version of it...

WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFf

Mittens
12-27-13, 12:06 PM
Routine for ADHD is key. Train that man.

Love your description of the Christmas family dysfunction!

Lol, we had our own version of it...

WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFf

I'm 99% sure every family does - and those that 'don't' lie about it ;)

At least it's over now till Easter :P

Mittens
12-27-13, 11:17 PM
Just a warning now... this is basically just a post-christmas-continuation rant/vent.... who knew getting things out in a non judgemental environment would feel positive!? (sorry, still new to the online forum thing in that respect)

So darling bf wrapped up a picture of various models of tires for my car for me for Xmas. Super sweet and *super* needed.
I was extremely apprehensive because intentions (even the best) don't always = reality....

I drive a fairly atypical vehicle. It's a 2-seater, 6 speed hybrid that's very little. I love it. I'm a car gal. I live in rural Alberta and have a 60km commute one way to work every day and back, so with Alberta weather and the amount of driving I do - tires are a big deal.

I start looking at the tires the local shop have,and researching reviews.... there's one set that on paper look awesome, but the reviews tell a different story, including concerning the warranty through specific tire company....
I tell bf last night about my concerns, and that i'd like to do some more research on other brands to feel more confident / comfortable.

This morning he texts me at work to tell me he went ahead and ordered the tires, and they will be here Tuesday.
*facepalm*
I tell him i'm very grateful, and thank him, and say that I am hurt and frustrated because we talked last night and I wasn't really confident about those specific tires.
He ignore me.
I said that it was very important to me since I depend on my car so much, and it really sucked to feel like he disregarded and ignored my reservations / say in it.
He ignores me.
I texted him saying I loved him, because I wanted him to know wanted to talk and not fight.
He texts me that he loves me .
And can I please pick up ____ cord thingies for his computers he's working on.
Now I start to get upset.
Usually it's extremely difficult to rattle me, but one big button I have is being ignored or blatantly disregarded.
I tell him sure, but did he read any of my other messages?
He then sent me a picture of what the cor looked like....
I will be 100% honest and say this was about the time I lost my ****.

I am normally very calm, very logical, and try excruciatingly hard to be understanding. I am a firm believer in constructively talking and not just 'fighting'.....
Apparently I kind of snapped and all that went out the window.
I was ignorant, angry, vile and condescending. In general a massive jerk face.
I kind of see it as - no matter what, if someone is hearing me, regardless of their response I need to really put effort in to be fair and constructive because they are doing their part by listening... by ignoring me it's taking away my right to my feelings or opinion, and that is very not fair and not cool in my eyes.
So I respond that I am not an idiot, and I am aware of what the cord looks like, thank you.

Pretty much went downhill from there.

I told him it was adding insult to injury to ignore my attempts at talking about feeling disregarded and ignored...
He responds that i'm having a bad day, taking it out on him, and maybe i'm upset because I asked him to pick something up out of my way.
I told him no, none of the above and to be clear I am upset because he blatantly was ignoring anything I said about my feelings and feeling disregarded.

So he ignores me some more.

Needless to say, by the time I got home I was *really* upset.

I was snappy with him when he asked me where the cord was.
Then he goes"what the f... is your problem"
I told him I said exactly the problem, and that it was because he refused to even acknowledge my attempts at talking to him about something important to me.
He says it's actually because i'm angry he made his own decision and that i'm basically a nazi and super choked because he did what he thought was best and that angered / hurt / offended
....... wtf?
No, I told you why I was upset, and Google the tire reviews himself if he didn't believe me.
But, too late, he is on the kick i'm the devil and taking away his rights as a man, i'm a big b~tch, (to be fair, I was bring a big jerk face), and telling me if I want a kept man to go ask my various male friends to cow to me.
Sweet.
So I give up.
I just started saying 'yes dear'. 'Oh, okay'. 'sure'.
There's no point in even responding because at this point he's intentionally trying to antagonize me by mentioning people I care about irrationally in negative lights.
Granted - my response was not the correct one. I realize and own that.
He keeps going on about irrational things and elaborating on his theories, and I keep agreeing.
Eventually he gets tired of the lack of participation on my end and here we stand.
Sigh.
I suck at this 'supportive partner' thing today.
I'm not sure how the night will go.
I'm tired and not sure I care at this point.
Hopefully tomorrow both of us are in better places and able to talk about it.

I am determined to not allow it to be swept under the rug - because I have a lot in the past and my self esteem has suffered badly from it... I just need to figure out a way to diplomatically stick up for my boundary in a fair way.....

Anyone that says this relationship stuff is easy lies... like a sidewalk :)

Thanks again for listening. I never realized how much I truly appreciate it before.

dvdnvwls
12-28-13, 02:48 AM
:grouphug:

This was not your fault. Not exactly anybody's fault. (But it does seem clear that he did a spectacularly bozotic job of listening.)

There's a lot going un-said here, some from you and some from him. Leaving things un-said, because they are "obvious", is IMO the one single fault that covers almost this whole entire blow-up.

There are things that it is safe and proper to assume in any relationship. Here they are:

1. The other person has no clue about the things you didn't say out loud.

2. The other person is in fact pretty damn shaky even with the things you DID say out loud, twice. :eyebrow:

3. I forget the third safe assumption. But I know for sure that there wasn't a fourth one. :(


More seriously... as the "mental noise level" goes up for each of you (Christmas, general excitement, different routine or lack of routine, trying hard to please and to meet expectations, trying to be a good partner, whatever else is going on...) the ability of the ADHDer to pick up on your assumptions goes from two percent to about minus eight hundred percent. Your ability to predict his behaviour and his impulses likely also goes from "OK" to "not a chance". In tense or excited or unfamiliar situations (those that cause "mental noise"), or even in situations where there is a lot of ordinary physical noise or distraction, both of you need to treat any high-stakes conversation as if you're teaching calculus to a squirrel, explaining every. last. little. detail. TWICE - including the assumptions and logic behind what you're saying.

It's hard. If there's a better or easier way, somebody tell me because I want it.

Mittens
12-28-13, 04:05 AM
:grouphug:

This was not your fault. Not exactly anybody's fault. (But it does seem clear that he did a spectacularly bozotic job of listening.)

There's a lot going un-said here, some from you and some from him. Leaving things un-said, because they are "obvious", is IMO the one single fault that covers almost this whole entire blow-up.

There are things that it is safe and proper to assume in any relationship. Here they are:

1. The other person has no clue about the things you didn't say out loud.

2. The other person is in fact pretty damn shaky even with the things you DID say out loud, twice. :eyebrow:

3. I forget the third safe assumption. But I know for sure that there wasn't a fourth one. :(


More seriously... as the "mental noise level" goes up for each of you (Christmas, general excitement, different routine or lack of routine, trying hard to please and to meet expectations, trying to be a good partner, whatever else is going on...) the ability of the ADHDer to pick up on your assumptions goes from two percent to about minus eight hundred percent. Your ability to predict his behaviour and his impulses likely also goes from "OK" to "not a chance". In tense or excited or unfamiliar situations (those that cause "mental noise"), or even in situations where there is a lot of ordinary physical noise or distraction, both of you need to treat any high-stakes conversation as if you're teaching calculus to a squirrel, explaining every. last. little. detail. TWICE - including the assumptions and logic behind what you're saying.

It's hard. If there's a better or easier way, somebody tell me because I want it.

Could you elaborate more on the part about things going unsaid?
I have learned that being very specific and very literal is important, but it is something I struggle with, so any advise or suggestions of improvement would definitely help. It's tough for me to try to 'listen' to myself as an outsider in that aspect, so any input is greatly appreciated because that area is one of the more challenging for me, for sure. I think "Oh, of course that made logical sense", and then remind myself (or try too) realize that bf isn't in my mind / can't see or hear the inner workings of my melon. Not to mention no matter how hard someone tries, they will never have the same benefits in terms of point of view as someone other than themselves.

I'm not sure if that made sense, and I apologize, i'm not stellar at trying to explain myself.

+8o at 5pm, -29o at 1am. Thanks Alberta!

dvdnvwls
12-28-13, 04:46 AM
I failed at this. My wife left me. Don't take my comments too seriously.

ADHD of anyone in a relationship absolutely requires that you break the Golden Rule, on a regular and permanent basis.

If you treat him as you would want to be treated, i.e. if you speak to him as you would need to be spoken to, it's a failure. And vice versa - if he considers how he would want to be treated, and does accordingly for you, then you'll end up with the wrong set of tires. :(


For both of you, the other person has ridiculous and incomprehensible requirements for how things need to be said and how things are going to be understood - and if you "go with your gut" and do what you know for a fact is right, then you lose. The real solution is counter-intuitive, against your instincts, requiring you to act in a way that is (to you) almost morally wrong, in order to get the desired outcome.

Studying each other's crazy incomprehensible requirements and actually going along with them when the chips are down is what I'm getting at. It's hard.
I think that's the essence of it. Again, we know what happened last time I tried this in real life, so be wary of listening to anything I say.

VeryTired
12-28-13, 01:24 PM
There is no doubt that dvdnvwls is right about what he says, and it is very hard for both partners to be mindful of this. But back to the incident you reported. Wow, these well-intentioned, but poorly executed holiday gifts! I received one myself, and I have just been reading about this same issue in an online support group for partners of people with ADHD. It's the topic of the week, it seems.

Often, my partner DOES NOT HEAR me when I tell him what I want or need if we are talking about his ideas for a presents for me. He gets an idea in his head of what he's going to do, and he really wants to do something nice for me. It seems as though his IDEA of what I want holds his attention much better than my answers to his questions about what I ACTUALLY want. This makes for frustration for us both.

I have needed a new winter coat for three years, and haven't bought one because we have no money because my partner is unemployed. Recently, he asked me if I wanted a coat and I said no. He asked me what kind I would want IF I did want a coat. I explained that it's very hard for me to find what I want (size, color, material, style and function issues) and specified exactly what I like in a coat. I told him again that I would get by for another year, and that when we have money, I will do a broad search for what I really want and need, and buy it then.

Cut to Xmas day: under the tree, a big package for me. It seems he received an irresistible e-mail of a close-out deal from a retailer he likes. The coat matched none of my preferences, and actually embodied several of my pet peeves. It had a few features that represent his own preferences. And--it didn't fit me. I tried hard to express appreciation for the thought, while inwardly being appalled. And my partner was hurt that his gift wasn't perfect and that I wasn't thrilled with it. If it had fit me, I would have probably pretended to love it, but it didn't fit and there's nothing I can do about that.

So, now I have to do the work of returning the coat I had told him I didn't want, he is upset that I didn't fit the coat and love it, and I am frustrated that he couldn't hear me and that he spent the money after I told him repeatedly that we couldn't afford it. This is not a happy Christmas story. Don't get me wrong--my partner has a good heart and wanted to do a good thing. But he got it wrong, and if I tried to tell him about this, it would be exactly like your exchange with your boyfriend about how you felt about the tires. I'm sure he wouldn't be able to hear me explain it.

Some messages simply can't be conveyed, it seems. Sometimes this makes me very sad, and sometimes I just figure, that's how it is, and try to keep moving forward. It's never easy. So you have my sympathy for your situation, and I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for how you handled things. Maybe it wasn't how you'd ideally wish it to have gone, but cut yourself some slack. It's hard to be be your best self when you are hurt or frustrated. Try and be patient with yourself, just as you try to be patient with your partner.

And no matter what, make sure you end up with tires that are OK--safety first!

dvdnvwls
12-28-13, 01:59 PM
The coat and the tires have some obvious similarities, but also I think some partly-hidden similarities:

- an overwhelming desire to please

- an even-more-overwhelming desire to be smart and capable

- ...leading to taking offence when being told "actually, those are not the right tires" but hearing "You're not smart or capable after all".

Mittens
12-28-13, 03:11 PM
The coat and the tires have some obvious similarities, but also I think some partly-hidden similarities:

- an overwhelming desire to please

- an even-more-overwhelming desire to be smart and capable

- ...leading to taking offence when being told "actually, those are not the right tires" but hearing "You're not smart or capable after all".

I believe you 100% hit it on the head.

It's heartbreaking.
I *know* his heart was in the right place.
I *know* he wanted nothing more than to do something *for* me.
It just went really wrong...

My Mom told me a story of when I was little. I was constantly trying to help and do innovative, nice things.
So she has a pair of bright, white reebok sneakers.
It's winter, and they got dirty. So in my small mind I believed putting white out all over the bottom of her shoes would make them white again and it was sheer brilliance.
Well.
My Mom went outside and nearly went ***** over tea kettle because of course I had covered all of her shoe treads and made her shoes into curling rocks.
She told me how hard it was because I was beaming that I was so proud I had helped, and yet my 'help' almost broke her tail bone :/

Since he's had all night to think of all the reasons I am upset (in his mind) and how it's all about me being choked he made a decision without consulting me and how emasculating that is to him, i'm not sure how today will go.

And of course I spent the evening reassuring and convincing my mom bf isn't a total pr!ck, and really - he doesn't call me names and call me down on a regular basis.
Part of that dimension isn't bf's fault. I was married before and it was a very abusive relationship, so my Mom kind of has her antenna up in that respect, but I do try to repeatedly explain that a) bf is *not* my ex husband and B) yes, it's hard but he genuinely doesn't mean what he says to me. We argue about that fact quite a bit but i'm hoping in time she'll understand. I can't blame her - she's my Mom and just protective of me. Like I can't entirely blame him - he's still learning about himself.

I cancelled my friends coming over. For a number of reasons. The volatility of the situation just wasn't good, and my house is again a disaster which is horribly embarrassing to me. I booked Monday and Tuesday off work, and to be honest a big reason is so I can get the house back under control.

Sigh.

Hopefully bf and I can talk more reasonably today.....
I truly do hate fighting, and especially when my Mom is here. My place is supposed to be somewhere she comes to relax and get taken care of, not listen to fights or get caught in the middle :/ i'm really glad the boys are at their moms...

dvdnvwls
12-28-13, 03:24 PM
There's a problem of how to accept the attempt to help, and to understand the difficult reaction, without accepting much of him "saying things he doesn't mean". I think in your compassion for him (which is beautiful and I wish we all could meet someone as compassionate as you are) that you might be letting yourself get stepped on more than ought to be acceptable. I don't know, cause I'm not there, but your mother not liking it might be some kind of indicator. She's probably wrong about the details, but maybe listen to her instinct that something is not right. You should continue to be compassionate, but at the same time I suspect you shouldn't be taking this much s#t.

kilted_scotsman
12-28-13, 04:18 PM
I think the tyre tale is interesting..... particularly from an Transactional Analysis/ego-state viewpoint....

It looks like both parties are flipping between Parent and Child psychological positions.... and never really hit the Adult state, where things would have been quickly and easily sorted out. This is very common with relationships involving ADDers.... an hard to avoid unless you're aware of what is happening.

I also feel SMS texting is a particularly difficult way of communicating....very prone to screw ups. Do not use it when communicating anything other than very basic info, (particularly with an ADDer).

If something happens that generates emotion.... don't use text.... either wait for face to face or phone.

kilted

dvdnvwls
12-28-13, 04:32 PM
kilted_scotsman, you consistently see things of which I am dimly aware and wish I was more conscious of. I think I need to read through your old posts for a while. Thank you.

VeryTired
12-28-13, 05:46 PM
Hi, Mittens--

Your plate is just so full. Overflowing, really. If canceling the friends coming over felt like a relief, then good for you. But I worry--if you end up having to cancel things that are fun or for you, because the stresses of everything else get to you, that can set up a bad pattern.

You're taking care of a lot of other people--who's taking care of you? If you're the only one around who has the skills for that job, so be it. That's way better than nothing! But it's not so hot if taking care of you ends up being your lowest priority. I have made this mistake, often, in the past. It was incredibly hard to re-educate myself to make taking care of me a high priority, and it doesn't fit my natural instincts. So I have to work at doing it. But I'm never sorry that I have when I do so. Maybe this could apply to you, also.

One more opinion: I admire your understanding that your boyfriend doesn't mean all he says. But I think it is vitally important to have crystal clear, cast-iron strong boundaries drawn at whatever points are right for you. Don't understand more than you should--some things just aren't right, and you have to make a stand when they happen. I'm sure you know this, since you were formerly in an abusive relationship. Just remember that there are plenty of things short of outright abuse that aren't OK either …

Here's hoping you get some peace and quiet, rest and relaxation ...

Mittens
12-28-13, 08:54 PM
Thank you to everyone that responded. There's a lot of very, very valuable advice and insight.

.....
BF is hiding out in the bedroom and hasn't talked to me all day.
To be fair - I haven't said anything to him either.
Just finding it hard to find the motivation today.

I still haven't figured out how to stand by my feelings without it just repeating itself.
I'm not entirely sure that's the right thing.. I mean, relationships are all about compromise.
I keep questioning this because part of me is incredibly hurt that in an area of my own strength (vehicle knowledge) that 100% effects my daily life (not his) he makes a snap, uneducated decision despite knowing my reservations... and then ignores and belittles me for trying to bring up my feelings.
The other part of me knows if I told him he was right and I was sorry (neither I truly believe) it would blow over and make him happy.

It's a catch 22. There has to be a 'meet I the middle' that works for both, doesn't there?

I keep repeating to myself that damnit - I DO have a right to an opinion, and I DO have a right to be hurt and upset.. but then I also know if I put that aside I could easily smooth the situation over.

There's nothing that can be done about the outcome now - I can just hope the tires and warranty aren't as crappy as what the internet sites say...

However, I don't want to set a precedent that it's okay to do that either :/

I made that mistake financially when he first moved in with me, and it got us into the mess we are now in that regard. I honestly believe if he felt he HAD to pull half the weight, and he didn't know that I could handle everything that things would be different.

That's a hard one to admit, but my head knows better, and knows that was a preventable situation that wasn't prevented because of my actions (or there lack of) and enabling.

Ugh.

Is it 2014 yet?

Does this get easier?

dvdnvwls
12-29-13, 03:26 AM
Every person always has the right to their feelings. Always always always.

BUT every person's spouse does not always have to hear or know or agree with those feelings. Sometimes it's counterproductive.

Mittens
12-29-13, 03:49 AM
Every person always has the right to their feelings. Always always always.

BUT every person's spouse does not always have to hear or know or agree with those feelings. Sometimes it's counterproductive.

I 100% agree with that.
I also believe in picking your battles.
I try to think of it as "okay. ____ upset me. Will it matter in a month? A week? A year, 5 years ?"

Ie. He constantly has to 'carve' a path through electronics and clothes of his to get to his side of the bed. Does it bother me? Absolutely. Very much grinds on my nerves. Does it *really* cause serious harm? No.
Does him (in my eyes) ignoring and belittling my feelings bother me? Extensively. I believe if it happens repeatedly it would effect me a month, a year, 5 years down the road.
The principal is what really bothers / hurts me.
And then I second myself if I really should be sticking by them.
Is it major 'enough'? Is it really worth it? Where's the line? Am I just being a big girly girl?

I'm not going to tell bf it embarrasses and frustrates the heck out of me a project in the yard he started is still evident in the middle of winter - that just hurts his feelings, and there's nothing that can be done till the spring anyhow. I try to keep his feelings in mind and go "okay Mittens - how important is this, and is it worth the possibility of causing bf emotional strain / impact?"
Again - I wish there was a 'clear' right answer, but seems to be a guessing game of averages and hoping for hope.
:/

Is this the right track?

dvdnvwls
12-29-13, 04:04 AM
Somebody else better say something useful because we have crossed into territory where __________ and me are pretty much indistinguishable in any way that matters, and I don't know how to respond.

RedHairedWitch
12-29-13, 11:38 AM
Poor sods. Saw a need and tried to fill it. And failed utterly. Some times I wonder if NT women are even capable of pleasing, if anything would be good enough?

For Yule I gave my ADHD man a list. And he gave me one.

I asked for a housecoat, and got PJs. That's alright. I got new PJs. Yay for PJs! I asked for something with an owl on it (I have a collection) I got a bottle stopper with an owl, no idea what I'm going to use a bottle stopper for, but yay! I got an owl thingy for my collection.

He asked for a video game. I got the right game but for the incorrect console. The Wii U instead of the Xbox360 (we have both) he would rather the 360 because more of his friends use it apparently. But that's okay, he's happy anyways and thanked me graciously.

The list goes on and on like this. So what?

VeryTired
12-29-13, 12:45 PM
Red Haired Witch--

You make a good point about being positive about what one can be positive about. I like your attitude about that and think I think it's a great way to approach gift-receiving occasions. I find your point about NT women is a bit less useful, because it's a very broad generalization, one that I believe you have made before. And since it kind of implies that Mittens, the OP, shouldn't be complaining, I find it less than helpful in the Non-ADD Partner support board.

We're all here to engage with what's really difficult, and Mittens certainly indicated that she was aware of her boyfriend's feelings and intentions. So I say, let's offer her some support. (Or, if I happen to be the NT woman you think can never be pleased, well, hmmm. I don't think so but maybe you're right. I'll ponder the suggestions. But … Mittens ought to be able to ask for support and get in on this board in my opinion.)

Mittens
12-29-13, 01:35 PM
Poor sods. Saw a need and tried to fill it. And failed utterly. Some times I wonder if NT women are even capable of pleasing, if anything would be good enough?

For Yule I gave my ADHD man a list. And he gave me one.

I asked for a housecoat, and got PJs. That's alright. I got new PJs. Yay for PJs! I asked for something with an owl on it (I have a collection) I got a bottle stopper with an owl, no idea what I'm going to use a bottle stopper for, but yay! I got an owl thingy for my collection.

He asked for a video game. I got the right game but for the incorrect console. The Wii U instead of the Xbox360 (we have both) he would rather the 360 because more of his friends use it apparently. But that's okay, he's happy anyways and thanked me graciously.

The list goes on and on like this. So what?

Thank you for taking the time to respond, and being honest.
I'm not going to say I agree 100%, but the beauty of feelings and opinions is that despite what anyone else thinks or says, they are *yours*, and I do 100% respect and appreciate them.

You're honesty and perspective from the other side did open my eyes, and thank you very much for that.

It made me realize that ya know what? I bet if I expressed the positivity and encouragement towards bf as much as I expressed my Hurt feelings, I would think things would have gone down far differently.

If I would of taken a step back, told him how proud and elated I was that not only did he do something JUST for me, worked very hard towards something for ME, but he followed it through... that the act and work and thought itself was fantastic, and a huge accomplishment, and a big step forward, I would bet he would of been a lot more receptive if I talked to him after and asked him to tweak the process or details of it.

It's amazing how a different perspective can make you look so differently at yourself.

I was selfish and focused on my hurt, instead of seeing the "whole" situation - case of not seeing the forest through the tree's, and in this case... I believe Red helped me to learn where the line and compromise is - putting as much credit and effort in recognizing HIS actions, as I do to my feelings, as that is truly only fair.

Thank you :)

Mittens
12-29-13, 01:44 PM
Red Haired Witch--

You make a good point about being positive about what one can be positive about. I like your attitude about that and think I think it's a great way to approach gift-receiving occasions. I find your point about NT women is a bit less useful, because it's a very broad generalization, one that I believe you have made before. And since it kind of implies that Mittens, the OP, shouldn't be complaining, I find it less than helpful in the Non-ADD Partner support board.

We're all here to engage with what's really difficult, and Mittens certainly indicated that she was aware of her boyfriend's feelings and intentions. So I say, let's offer her some support. (Or, if I happen to be the NT woman you think can never be pleased, well, hmmm. I don't think so but maybe you're right. I'll ponder the suggestions. But … Mittens ought to be able to ask for support and get in on this board in my opinion.)

Thank you for writing. The biggest impression I get from your posts is that you are incredibly compassionate, sensitive, strong, and intelligent. You are a beautiful person :)

I think I get Red's statement about NT women.
I know (and I would never, ever say this outloud), i've thought to myself "AHH! Will BF EVER be able to pull his share!?".
So it only makes sense that from the other side, they'd have the same feeling about us, right?

I know bf is a strong, capable man.

My Mom said something that stuck with me.

"You have to have realistic expectations. I could look at my cats and expect one to learn French - because damnit, it's about time someone in this house is bilingual!"

I can't expect him to be like me - he's not me.
I can expect him to try and excel to the best HIM he can be.

My Mom's cats won't learn french, but they sure can make sure to be good feet warmers on cold days :)

I could be way off the mark, but that is what I took out of it.

However i'm the first to admit - what the hell do I know? ;)

Mittens
12-29-13, 01:58 PM
Somebody else better say something useful because we have crossed into territory where __________ and me are pretty much indistinguishable in any way that matters, and I don't know how to respond.

*HUGE hug*
That must be a very, very frustrating feeling.
I'm sorry I brought those feelings up, and I would imagine that's very hard to think about :(
Thank you for posting that for my benefit and so I could get assistance.

RedHairedWitch
12-29-13, 10:44 PM
Didn't mean to be rude. As an ADHD woman, it does seem that other "normal" women are just... Impossible with thier standards. But that comes from a perspective of always being judged and never being good enough. Or at least, it feels that way.
I know many amazing NT women, who are great people, except for this strange general unhappiness that everyone and everything isn't quite the way they want it, like they can't just accept things the way they are. They joke it's just a drive to always improve themselves and others. But I find it kind of sad and confusing.

dvdnvwls
12-30-13, 01:24 AM
*HUGE hug*
That must be a very, very frustrating feeling.
I'm sorry I brought those feelings up, and I would imagine that's very hard to think about :(
Thank you for posting that for my benefit and so I could get assistance.
It's not bad. It's hard to think about, but only in the way that a big blind spot makes driving hard. It's mentally confusing but not hurting if that makes sense.

Mittens
12-30-13, 01:38 AM
Didn't mean to be rude. As an ADHD woman, it does seem that other "normal" women are just... Impossible with thier standards. But that comes from a perspective of always being judged and never being good enough. Or at least, it feels that way.
I know many amazing NT women, who are great people, except for this strange general unhappiness that everyone and everything isn't quite the way they want it, like they can't just accept things the way they are. They joke it's just a drive to always improve themselves and others. But I find it kind of sad and confusing.

From what I have learned from bf - not only confusing but unbearably frustrating and overwhelming.

In my personal case, i'm the other extreme. I try to relate that way but polar opposite. When BF, his son, and his 2 cats first moved in with me I would clean my house twice a day.
For the sanity of everyone involved the last year of co-habitating, I have eased up *a lot*. Clutter and messiness causes me *huge* anxiety. We've had a lot of compromises. Ie, both his cats are long haired, and now we get then shaved like little lions which cuts down HUGE on hair, and hugely on my stress levels.

I try to think of him conversely - the anxiety / panic / etc I feel, is how he feels getting out of the house on time, or planning, or scheduling, but multiplied because his head is filled with noise *all* the time, as opposed to mine that has very specific triggers.

When things are good we balance. He reminds me to let loose and not take life so seriously / let responsibility consume me (that's still a massive worm in progress), and I help him with logistics of life.

I have so much respect and heart ache for those living with ADD/ADHD.
I couldn't even imagine.

It's incredible to see how things that come naturally to me, will take him 10x the amount of work and struggle. The amount of strength and perseverance that shows....

Every day is still a learning experience for me, and will continue to be i'm sure.

I'm not sure what I would of done the last little while if it wasn't for Red Haired Witch, DVD, Killed, VeryTired, and the others that have lent me their wisdom and perspective.

You guys are pretty amazing people :)

I can't also thank everyone enough. For everything so far, and i'm sure for all the assistance and support to come.

I don't have a crystal ball, I can't see the future of my relationship, but what I can do is make sure I do what I can to ensure I try to do the best I can.

I apologize, i'm kind of sucky tonight.

Update on bf and I - last night we scrapped... it wasn't a constructive, nor pleasant scrap, and part of which he deliberately brought in front of my Mom.
This morning while he was still sleeping I left him a message that I was sorry for handling things the way I did, and yes, my points were valid - but that isn't an excuse not to think of his feelings and that I should of gone about it very differently. I also told him how proud I was, and how proud he should be, that he not only gave me something I desperately *needed*, but followed it through.
So - tough times aren't over, but for the moment things have smoothed.

Sorry for the babbling.

RedHairedWitch
12-30-13, 02:41 AM
*hugs* hope things are better tomorrow

VeryTired
12-30-13, 01:46 PM
RedHairedWitch--

Thanks for the further thoughts. Of course there are people like what you described. And I can definitely imagine the persistent sting and frustration of having ADHD and hearing a constant litany of frustration or dissatisfaction from others as a result.

As a matter of fact, I had exactly this conversation with my partner this morning, and what I told him was that it is also hard for me to live with constant frustration about his boundary-crossings, or forgettings, or difficulties (the things which make me seem critical of him). I see the two problems as mirror images, two halves of the whole. So I think the never-satisfied NT women you have mentioned weren't necessarily born that way--it may be in some part or entirely situational.

People need what they need, and tend to react with high stress when they consistently can't get it. Of course this cuts both ways. Needing affirmation and acceptance (or even just silence) rather than criticism is very understandable, just as needing to be heard, needing tone considered, needing to be able to rely on one's partner.

Anyway, I'm with Mittens--it is enormously helpful to have the resource of this forum as a way to learn, share, grow, and understand. The Forums are primarily for people with ADHD, but I think it's remarkable and great that they are open to everyone. Learning from people with ADHD is one of the main reasons I am here every day, but there's also something important about being able to share experiences with other non-ADHD partners who have similar struggles and fears to my own. Anyway, I feel very lucky, and very thankful.

dvdnvwls
12-30-13, 03:47 PM
I knew an NT woman once... you know the one to whom I refer... maybe she was not born dissatisfied, but she did not develop it over time as a response to having an ADHD husband. It was something much older than that, tied up in some very nasty family-of-origin dynamics. I don't know whether that pre-developed dissatisfaction surprised me later in our relationship, or if I sensed it somehow at the very beginning - perhaps even mistakenly sought it out as a desirable (or at least familiar to me) characteristic. (??)

My own self-perceived reasons for first being attracted to her were... well, you know, the usual self-perceived reasons any 20-year-old male has. ;) But in reality there was probably a lot more to it than meets the "eye". :)

VeryTired
12-30-13, 04:34 PM
Well, now you are going very deep, dvdnvwls. We all (almost all?) probably have stories of relationships gone wrong, and how we got into them was often a bunch of attractions that--when viewed in retrospect, through the eyes of jaded experience--look less than reasonable. We could probably even say that to make hopeful but unsustainable choices about love is a pretty big part of being human.

It really is true that people repeat bad patterns in relationships, and are sometimes attracted to exactly what doesn't work for them, because that dynamic is at least familiar ... or because of even darker reasons of dysfunction, and seeking out new kinds of failure. It really is true that some of our partners eventually end up as our antagonists more because of baggage they brought with them from other relationships of formative childhood experiences than because of our actions.

All this stuff is important. But to address it, we probably ought to be lying on couches, talking about our feelings in weekly appointments for a few years at a stretch, or whatever the 21st century take on old-time psychoanalysis is nowadays. By contrast, I find that discussing this with online peers and buddies here at the Forums is most helpful when we focus instead on the trouble we get into trying to form couple relationships around dissimilarities of brain functioning style.

So, I hear you and I believe you that your ex didn't develop slowly discomfort with your ADHD-inflected actions over time. She must have had grave shortcomings! You are so kind and sensible, always--a prince of a guy! Something must have been wrong with her if she didn't appreciate you! Sure. But even so, I think we can also explore the possibility that the high level of frustration in a lot of ADHD/non-ADHD partnerships results from more than crabbiness or fundamental character flaws in the NT partners.

We need to understand this as best we can, because a lot of us here are trying to find ways to make their asymmetrical relationships work, without declaring anyone inside those relationships as the culprit or responsible party. And for those who are flying solo at the moment, well, you never know what relationship you'll find yourself in later on.

I sometimes cringe when I read here about how painful and horrible various people's NT spouses and partners are or seem to be … and I reflect that I am probably just like those bad, insensitive partners, without meaning to be or noticing that I am. I hate finding out that it's possible that I may be hurting my partner just by doing what comes naturally, or what is necessary for my own well-being.

But if it's true, I need to know it, and I can always learn something from what other trusted people post here. And my hope is that those of us without ADHD can offer some similar insights based on our experiences to our friends here. I think we often do our best work in that kind of exchange when we are talking about fear and pain. These are not fun topics, but they nonetheless can be important ones … And, dvdnvwls, you have been working overtime for months now, thoughtfully illuminating your experiences for the benefit of others. I have probably learned more from you than from anyone here about this stuff, so let's just hope that sometimes hearing a non-ADHD perspective can be useful to you in return.

kilted_scotsman
12-30-13, 04:52 PM
dvdnvwls.... there's much truth in the idea that we (as ADDers) seek out partners who may not be all we think them to be. Having had a similar experience to yourself I am interested in Eric Berne's view of "gaming" in relationships.... that we subconsciously choose partners who will play complementary roles to our own in our preferred game of life....

This cuts both ways..... we attract partners for whom WE play a role in their game.... This is often why ADDers end up with Rescuers, or in various forms of co-dependancy.

When we (often through diagnosis/treatment), or more often, our partners (through parenthood) attempt to change the game that the relationship hits trouble.

It's exceptionally difficult for both partners to negotiate these times of change .... and it takes great awareness of one's own role in the game to change it in synchrony with ones partner.

TLCisaQT
01-02-14, 12:33 AM
DVD you are on one lately and making me laugh :)

dvdnvwls
01-02-14, 12:45 AM
dvdnvwls.... there's much truth in the idea that we (as ADDers) seek out partners who may not be all we think them to be. Having had a similar experience to yourself I am interested in Eric Berne's view of "gaming" in relationships.... that we subconsciously choose partners who will play complementary roles to our own in our preferred game of life....

This cuts both ways..... we attract partners for whom WE play a role in their game.... This is often why ADDers end up with Rescuers, or in various forms of co-dependancy.

When we (often through diagnosis/treatment), or more often, our partners (through parenthood) attempt to change the game that the relationship hits trouble.

It's exceptionally difficult for both partners to negotiate these times of change .... and it takes great awareness of one's own role in the game to change it in synchrony with ones partner.
Thank you... you're right, and you described me uncannily well. :(

In my case there were so many "games" going on at once that I couldn't follow them. Using the word "games" in BOTH its good sense (how to play this game well) and its pejorative sense (getting messed with).

Mittens
01-02-14, 12:19 PM
The dynamic point definitely seems to be a common theme on the board as far as I have seen, interesting enough.

And yet I (or he actually) had no idea he had ADD until about 5 months of him living with me when I just couldn't wrap my head around the 'something here is *just* not right..." things.

I wonder what immediate 'signals' each 'type' send off???

I definitely believe if I was ever with someone too much like me things would be very unsuccessful, very quickly. Having the same strengths and same weaknesses rarely actually works.

dvdnvwls
01-02-14, 02:33 PM
My ex and I did not know I had ADHD until 2012, but had been married 20 years before that.

Mittens
01-02-14, 02:54 PM
My ex and I did not know I had ADHD until 2012, but had been married 20 years before that.

This might sound bizarre - but what about it just being the case of the combination being most likely to succeed?

Granted - not saying they all do by any means, but just a thought.

Actually I'd rather think that and out of any personality types / dynamics of course I'd want my partner's and mine's to be voted 'most likely to succeed' LOL

Sorry - this isn't really pertaining to much, just the original comment got my melon working and rolling things around!

dvdnvwls
01-02-14, 03:18 PM
It doesn't sound bizarre to me...

But it makes me really think about "What is success in this context, anyway".

I think one thing that makes relationship success (nearly) impossible is partners who have vastly differing definitions of success. And we had that, on so many levels...

We were (metaphorically) trying to build something. Both of us assumed that we were working from the same blueprint. We weren't. She further assumed that this project had a budget and a completion date and inspections, things which I had never considered.

Mittens
01-03-14, 12:54 AM
It doesn't sound bizarre to me...

But it makes me really think about "What is success in this context, anyway".

I think one thing that makes relationship success (nearly) impossible is partners who have vastly differing definitions of success. And we had that, on so many levels...

We were (metaphorically) trying to build something. Both of us assumed that we were working from the same blueprint. We weren't. She further assumed that this project had a budget and a completion date and inspections, things which I had never considered.

As per usual, that is an incredibly good and astute point.

kilted_scotsman
01-03-14, 08:22 AM
We were (metaphorically) trying to build something. Both of us assumed that we were working from the same blueprint. We weren't.
Sounds like me and my ex......

We play games on a subliminal level... we hook up with people with complementary roles to ours.... by just floating around doing our own particular thing.... interacting with a chaotic flow of other game playing people.....

Think of it as everyone having differently shaped plugs and sockets depending on their role.... as we rub past people in the river of life.... we fleetingly test our connection... and move on... then we get caught in a little quiet back-eddy for a second or two... with someone who's plug and socket fit ours... and wham... we're a unit and swirled back into the river..... locked together by our game sockets......

and when one of us changes the game... the connection is lost unless the other swiftly changes their game too.

Mittens
01-05-14, 12:56 AM
I guess it's all about adaptability....
I'm a big fan of metaphors and similes.

Kilted - you're a very articulate person!
You definitely seem to have a talent of conveying what others mean too.

dvdnvwls
01-05-14, 04:31 AM
kilted_scotsman usually does not convey what I mean, but usually does convey what I wish I knew how to mean. :)

Mittens
01-05-14, 04:52 PM
Just as an update, or i'm using update as an excuse because I just really want to share.

So. My house is a disaster.

However - bf bought, organized, and completely facilitated my car getting new tires. That in and of itself is AWESOME and I am SO proud of him for it.

We had a really great last couple of days.

Both boys were at their mom's, and this was the first time since we've lived together we had 2 days alone. We went to a friends for their little one's b day, grabbed take away on the way home, and hung out in our pajam's and watched a movie.

He surprised me this morning by making me breakfast (and the *best* eggs, bacon, orange and coffee EVER I might add), which was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful.

He took down the Xmas tree last week.

No, it doesn't solve the world's problems, but it was a really, really amazing weekend. He make me feel incredibly proud, lucky, and fortunate to be with him, and I felt very loved.

Anyhow.

I tried really hard to step back and just focus on spending time together. Who knew - we had a very simple, but really awesome time :)

That's my happy news of the day :)

Hope everyone had a good weekend. It's back to the deepfreeze's of -31oC here. Touche, Mother Nature...

-a Very Smitten Mittens :)

dvdnvwls
01-05-14, 07:27 PM
Mittens. :grouphug:

Keeping it as simple as possible is definitely part of the solution. Thanks for the update.