View Full Version : ADHD Symptoms or Lack of Respect?


PandoraBoxx
12-30-13, 01:35 PM
Hi,

I'm new here and am hoping that, as a non-ADHD partner, this forum will act as a safe haven and will hopefully provide some sort of support in healing many of the emotional wounds caused by a combination ADHD symptoms and not understanding until recently that my partner of nearly four years has been living with ADHD since long before I was ever in his life.

I should start out by saying that, despite our differences, I believe my partner is a good person. He's funny, he's talented, he's VERY smart and deep down, I know he means well.

He's nearly 45, I'm 31. We met in 2010, when he was turning 41 and I was 27. He seemed a little standoff-ish with me in the beginning but, by our fourth date, we were pretty much inseparable and were finishing each other's sentences. The running joke was that we "shared a brain," as we seemed to effortlessly communicate through non-verbals and would say the same thing at the same time...In retrospect, I suppose he was just being cautious those first few weeks and, once I had proven my trustworthiness to him, he began to hyperfocus on me and our relationship. So much so, that friends were literally taking me aside and thanking me for making him smile. Everyone was noticing how much he seemed to adore me, even though we were still very new at the time.

He's a motorcycle (sportbike) racer and throughout the first few months of our courtship, we were oftentimes found at a racetrack about three hours from where we live. Four months in, we decided to board a plane and take part in a racing event in another province. It was our first "vacation," so to speak and I was SO excited about it. Most of the trip was amazing...I say this because, the night before the race, he was more pre-occupied with his smartphone than usual, was ducking out to make private phone calls and his disposition changed from happy-go-lucky to worried/nervous within a matter of hours. This was the first time I had experienced my boyfriend acting out of character and the shift in his energy concerned me...I started to feel really strange and wondered if it had anything to do with the ex-girlfriend he was clearly still friends with, but I had never actually met. At one point, I asked what was wrong and he said "oh, it's just a family thing." Later that night, before we went to sleep, I said "something is very wrong, isn't it?" He agreed, but stated "don't worry. I'll take care of it."

The day after the race, while we were sitting in the airport bar waiting to board our plane, my boyfriend revealed his relationship history...And the fact that, despite telling me he was single and lived alone on our first date, he was still technically living with the previously-mentioned ex-girlfriend and that she had just found out about our relationship (hence, the drama and the change in his disposition). The way it was explained to me was that they had broken up a year and a half prior and were just friends, but that she didn't make enough $$$$ and wasn't able to financially support herself. So. They decided to share the kitchen and bathroom of their apartment, but he slept on a couch in the coach house/garage on the property where they lived. He said that she had no reason to be upset and swore that he hadn't slept with her or given her any indication that they were still a couple...I felt as if my entire fairytale had fallen apart and was told to block this ("crazy") woman on facebook, in case she tried to contact me. He sounded very convincing ("I stuck around because we were together for a decade and still care for her as a friend. we are NOT together. I wanted to be certain that she would be able to support herself, but it went on much longer than I had anticipated. I don't know why she's upset because we broke up a year and a half ago...please believe me. I'm crazy about you. I wanted to tell you a long time ago, but didn't want you to get the wrong impression and leave me.") and asked me to trust him. My head was spinning but, as it sounded like he was being sincere, I chose to believe him...We moved in together, officially, shortly thereafter.

Almost immediately, he went from being my "perfect" partner to acting like I was his annoying little sister. Everything I did bothered him and he did everything he could to distance himself from me, both physically and emotionally. He noticed that my anxiety was increasing (I struggle with anxious tendencies whenever I don't feel secure in my surroundings) and played on that as often as possible...Going as far as to tell everyone we know (including my parents!) that I'm "crazy." He rolled his eyes often and pushed me away whenever I approached him with concern for our future and spent most of his time out at a bar with friends and/or playing gigs well into the night (he's also a musician). We had a huge fight over nothing and, after I told him to leave for saying something cruel about why none of my past relationships had worked out, he went home with another girl (he and his friends lied to me about where he slept that night, for THREE YEARS). At the time, I had no idea why this was happening and took everything personally. He kept saying it was my fault and that there was something wrong with me, so I kept trying harder to please him. I put so much pressure on myself to perfect (still do), while he sat back and judged me on whether or not my efforts were good enough for him. It was incredibly unhealthy, but I never lost hope that my Sweetheart was still inside of him somewhere. I went to therapy to work on my anxiety but, after spending an hour with my partner and I in a couples session, my therapist quickly started teaching me ways to diffuse his angry outbursts and rebuild my own self-esteem. throughout the entire process, no matter how horrible his words/actions were, I maintained my commitment to my partner. Something wasn't adding up. I started to understand that, maybe, our issues were stemming from his behavior and my inability to understand WHY he was doing it.

Over the years, the following has occurred:

- I've come to understand that my partner is very sensitive and almost childlike in a sense, when it comes to taking responsibility for his actions. nothing is ever his fault, he never intended to do it and/or he was "just reacting" to something another person said or did.

- I discovered that he didn't live in a garage when we met. he cheated on his then-girlfriend of ten years with me (and, clearly, others) and would lie to her about where he was sleeping at night ("I was too drunk to drive, so I spent the night on a friend's couch."). when she found out about our relationship, he insisted that she was imagining things and we were just friends. she kicked him out of their apartment and THAT is why we moved in together...not because his ex-girlfriend was jealous that he was in love with me, as I had previously been told.

- there have been many other girls whom he has met and hyperfocused on since we moved in together (some of whom I've spoken to), most being girls he met while on solo racing trips in The Caribbean and South America, all of whom are in their late teens/early 20's. he maintained relationships with them through email, facebook and phone calls and has admitted to picking fights with me, so he could go outside for a smoke and would have the privacy he needed to contact them. one of these girls worked in a brothel he used to frequent whenever he went to South America. they fell in love many years ago, but now she wants nothing to do with him. he says she's lying and that; although she's his "kindred spirit," they've never had an intimate relationship and have only ever been "just best friends." another girl, whom he met in 2011, was told that I'm his ex-girlfriend and that he wanted to get rid of me, so he could move to Jamaica to be with her...which is funny because, at the time he was telling her this, he was telling ME that he loved me and wanted to work on our relationship issues (which he said were my fault), so we could get married one day....and yet, he wonders why I have difficulty trusting him, right now.

- he told me in early 2012 that his behavior towards me stemmed from the fact that he was still in love with a girl he dated nearly 20 years ago (they broke up when she was 18 and he was 27). he said that, despite his efforts, he could not stop thinking about her. he later admitted that he was in love with me and that he no longer wanted to be with this girl, but has since rekindled a friendship with her (former) best friend and has gone as far as to look for her a few times over this past year. a few months ago, out of desperation, I contacted the girl in question and asked her about their relationship (he can't find her online because she's blocked him from seeing anything to do with her. I found her contact info within five minutes of trying. she got back to me within the hour.)...she told me that, years after their most unpleasant breakup, she was feeling reminiscent and attempted to befriend him. he went to visit her in Scotland with the intent to win her back (while he was living with someone else), even though she had a boyfriend at the time. when his efforts failed, he freaked out and threatened to tell her boyfriend that they were having an affair. she hasn't spoken to him in more than a decade and actually expressed how fearful she's been of running into him, ever since. meanwhile, the story he told me is that she moved to England, broke his heart and he's never gotten over it. she told me he's always been immature for his age, was never a good partner to her and is somewhat delusional in respect to their relationship (they dated for two years, he told me they were together for eight glorious years). she suggested I get out, ASAP. kinda scary.

- he refuses to have anything to do with me sexually and insists it must be related to his age, but I've caught him looking at porn via his smartphone, on a number of occasions (sites that promote 18 year old girls, specifically). he maintains that porn is "smutty" and that "there's nothing sexy about that," and has gone as far as to lie about it, saying "I don't know how this page popped up! there must be something wrong with my iphone!" meanwhile, whenever I make a suggestion as to how we can spice up our relationship, he tells me "you can try, but I know that won't turn me on." he apparently had a blood test a month and a half ago (to check his T-count), but whenever I've asked about the results, he tells me they haven't called him yet. sounds fishy?

- he's told pretty much all of our friends that I treat him poorly. it's gotten to the point where people have stopped talking to me because they think I'm a horrible person. the ones who dare to stick up for me are dismissed as "drunk" or "crazy" and have been told to "leave him alone." he refuses to apologize or even try to make amends with anyone, on my behalf. in his mind, it's MY problem to deal with. on the flipside, if we're hanging out in a group together and a new person/someone he's not seen in awhile says something nice about me, he will beam and spend the remainder of the night being a perfect gentleman. he seems to care A LOT about what other people think.

- when we're away from home (vacations, racing trip, visiting family), he's a lot nicer to me. but as soon as we go back to our everyday lives, he couldn't be any less interested in spending any quality time with me (unless the TV is on or he has access to his laptop).

- on two occasions, nearly a year apart to the day, he asked his best friend to help him "make a swift exit" out of our apartment while I was out of town. the first time, he admitted to it. the second time, it went a little too far and his best friend felt guilty enough to tell me about it (as I'd be facing the possibility of homelessness, should he have followed through). we compared notes on a variety of issues he had heard about over the years and he eventually apologized for believing everything he heard about me. when I approached my partner about this, he said that he loves me very much but that he "sometimes gets really sad and feels we have no hope." making plans to flee the scene behind my back is apparently his way of dealing with those feelings, regardless of how they can/will impact me or my living situation.

- I've noticed that he's the nicest guy in the world to other people but, when it comes to me, his words and actions are oftentimes disrespectful. sometimes, outright cruel. it's as if he has no ability to control his emotions and can erupt at any given time. he yells and starts unnecessary arguments, then acts like a wounded puppy and blames me for letting things escalate. most of the time, this occurs when he's tired and/or stressed about his job (which he's been hyperfocusing on for the last year or so, in an effort to get ahead and become more popular in his industry). he understands what needs to be done in order to minimize his outbursts (sleep, eating balanced meals, supplements, exercise), but never gets around to doing it. all I really get is a sarcastic "once AGAIN, I've said/done the wrong thing...sorry. I guess I'll just have to try harder next time."

- my partner lies. habitually. chronically. impulsively. pathologically. he lies, then covers his tracks so that he appears to be telling the truth (as he's learned that it's difficult for me to trust his word anymore and, depending on how serious the situation, I will ask questions to get an honest answer). I've made it clear that he needs to be honest with me at all times, if he wants us to have a happy relationship. he maintains that he's never lied to me, regardless of how many times he's been caught. this is apparently a pattern that began long before I entered the picture and is somewhat exclusive to relationships.

- sarcasm and put-downs seem to be some sort of coping mechanism. if someone upsets him, he resorts to putting them down. if someone does something he thinks is stupid, he resorts to sarcasm. if the person in front of him is driving too slow, he insults their intelligence. if he doesn't like the commercials he's watching on TV, he insults the intelligence of the advertising executives who allowed them to be aired...he insults my intelligence whenever I ask for reassurance that he's being honest with me ("you stupid, stupid girl!").

- I've gone from being his lover to feeling like I'm his mother. he says I'm beautiful, but am unattractive to him and that it's my own fault. I pick up after him, put most of his dishes in the dishwasher and have to ask/remind him to complete both simple and not-so-simple tasks...BUT, if a friend/business associate asks him for a favor, he's on it.

- "I don't have time!" "when do you expect me to find the time?!" and "I'm too busy!" are the most commonly-heard things in our household. should I dare to suggest that he "make the time" to do something (even something he loves, such a hobby or learning a new song on his violin), he gets mad at me and says I don't understand because my job/life isn't as demanding as his is.

- my partner rarely expresses any emotions towards me outside of anger/frustration. he can go weeks without saying "I love you" or "I appreciate you." I understand that this may have a lot to do with distractions and/or his self-esteem (as does the cheating, the lying and the pornography?), but I also understand that, when he really wants to, he can express positive feelings and stay focused rather easily. on the flipside, whenever we've attempted to discuss the situation, he says that I "**** him off" all the time because I'm "always mad" at him...this couldn't be further from the truth! for some reason, if I'm not grinning ear to ear at all times, he interprets that as "being mad." which is unfortunate because, at this point, I'm kinda depressed about his lack of positivity when it comes to our relationship and find it somewhat difficult to smile 24/7.

- I've done a great deal of research and am very aware that we need counseling and he will most likely need to take some form of medication, should we ever get that far. he's agreed to do "whatever it takes" to learn how to manage his behaviors but, as he's "too busy" to sit down and really focus on making this a priority, his efforts are always short-lived/inconsistent. one day he's telling me he's incredibly committed to me and our relationship, that I'm "The One" he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with and that he wants us to live peacefully and happily as a family, and the next he's behaving like a teenager who doesn't want to clean his room, just because I've asked him if we can schedule in some time for intimacy...this has been a very difficult situation for awhile now, as it's difficult not to feel hurt when my partner rolls his eyes and says "do I have to?" should I put myself out there and ask him to try resuming a physical relationship with me...I feel old (mostly, due to the nature of the porn sites he frequents) and somewhat disgusting. I feel like he's bored with me, regardless of the efforts I make to prove otherwise.

- in recent months, since ADHD has been brought to light, he's made more of an effort to apologize when he's said/done something disrespectful. I'm grateful for this, but it doesn't really feel like he's being sincere. it's almost as if he's just saying it because he thinks it's what I want to hear (it is), but doesn't really believe it's necessary.

Has anyone else had such issues with their ADHD partner? If so, would you say it;s the result of my inability to understand/overcome the nature of untreated ADHD symptoms or is it purely a lack of interest/sheer disrespect on his part? how do I effectively get through to him while maintaining my own sanity? Is that even possible? I have so many questions...

He says he's working on being more aware of his behaviors, but they just seem to get worse with time. We were in the process of booking an appointment at an ADHD-specific clinic, but I lost my job and $$$$ has been tight for the last few weeks.

Also, I'm sorry if this comes across as one-sided. As mentioned, I do believe that he's a good person, I'm just really disappointed, right now.

VeryTired
12-30-13, 04:54 PM
Hi, Pandora--

Welcome. It sounds like you have a lot weighing on you right now. I hope you will find these Forums to be a place of learning and support, as I have done. Meanwhile, big sympathy to you.

That's an awful lot of stuff you put in your big post. I think you may find that taking things an issue at a time often get better results here. As I read what you wrote, I recognized many issues you mentioned, including:


constant lying
rewriting history
overlapping, unresolved, multiple relationships
change from initial intense positive attention to a very different relationship style
over-sensitivity
making a partner doubt herself
lack of respect
parent-child dynamic


These things add up to patterns often found in: people with addictions, people who are narcissists, and in people who have unaddressed ADHD. There are probably other categories of people who have these patterns as well. But one thing usually seems to be true:

If a person has ADHD and isn't being treated for it, and doesn't understand the disorder, the ADHD is probably kicking that person's butt, as well as the butts of anyone who loves that person. And getting the ADHD treated, and learning about ADHD are super-important starting points that probably have to come before resolving the other stuff is possible. There have been a few recent discussions of this idea here recently.

I suggest that you do a lot of reading here, both in each day's new posts, but also in the archives--you can search on key words, or just read your way back in time through all the posts on this "Non-ADD Partner" board. There are also many good books that you and your boyfriend could read about ADHD, and I think these would be very helpful to you both now.

Keep posting--let us know how it goes and what's on your mind.

Mittens
12-30-13, 05:05 PM
Welcome Pandora!
Wow. You poor girl :(
First off - HUGE HUG!!!
Secondly - and here's a disclaimer... I could be WAY off the mark.
There's a few things with this that sort of get my 'spidey senses' up.
Have you ever heard of something called Borderline Personality Disorder?
Quite often it comes co-existing conditions (like add/adhd).
Might be worth while just to read a bit about it... It may either A) sound *very* familiar and something to think about, or B) it may reaffirm that indeed it fits very well with add/adhd and disclude other possibilities.
bpdfamily has some really great forums if A), and this forum is extremely helpful and supportive (and filled with many really incredible people if B).

There are some things that speak more towards a narcissistic type as VeryTired pointed out, which reminded me of BPD. Also the lying, the gaslighting, 'lack of conscience', etc etc.

I hope you have a good day, and don't ever forget that *you* are not responsible for *anyone else's* happiness. I know it's very easy to get into a situation where you not only lose yourself, but it can feel like you lose your mind in someone else's insanity. Please know that it's okay and even if it's just taking 5 or 10 minutes, just taking some time to do something for *you*. Whether that's be watch a show you like, or read a book you like, or taking a hot bath - something to nourish *you* and make *you* feel good.

Not sure if that was much help - I'm still new at this.

Mittens

PandoraBoxx
12-30-13, 06:18 PM
Thanks SO MUCH for the hugs, the warm welcome and the responses...All are very much appreciated. <3

Truthfully, I've been wondering if it's ADHD paired with a co-existing condition (BPD has crossed my mind on numerous occasions), but am weary of suggesting it for two specific reasons:

1. His brother is schizophrenic and, as such, my partner is VERY sensitive about the possibility that he could be mentally ill, himself. It took me literally years to convince him that his behavior towards me (and his ex-girlfriends) isn't acceptable and that he needs to see a profession who can teach him how to maintain healthy relationships. The tipping point was when, in an attempt to express something while having an outburst, the words that came out of his mouth were abusive...I asked him to clarify (because I couldn't believe what I had just heard) and thankfully, he calmed himself down and explained what he was really trying to say. I was terrified. Five hours of alone time later, he emerged from our bedroom and said he was ready to see a therapist and would "do whatever it takes" to make our relationship a happy (healthy) one.

2. I don't know if he will take the suggestion seriously enough to consider it. We were seeing a behavioral psychologist about a month ago (before I lost my job) and, in his office, my partner acted like a kind, caring, considerate non-ADHD boyfriend who was VERY concerned about my well-being, as a result of my anxiety. The psychologist took all responsibility off of him and placed blame on me because my anxious tendencies have been compromised by my partner's behaviors ("you're afraid to approach her because, as you seem to be saying, she's like a rabid dog who is about to bite you?"), without even considering that ADHD behaviors or something else could be the culprit. I was told that I had to stop being so difficult (WHAT?!)...We never went back. Pretty sure the guy was just fascinated by my partner's racing career...They talked in-depth about that.

Am kinda hoping that, once we get to the ADHD clinic, someone will be able to tell us what's going on and/or how to make it stop...

PandoraBoxx
12-30-13, 06:26 PM
VeryTired, I'd like to thank you very much for summarizing precisely what the symptoms/behaviors have been and for pointing out that there's a plethora of information available for a "new" person, such as myself.

Also, Mittens, I've come to understand the same - doing one thing per day for myself that I would normally do for someone I love has become somewhat of a coping mechanism over the last few months, but is also something that I know is very healthy in a situation such as this one. Thank you for reminding me of how important that is.

someothertime
12-30-13, 06:36 PM
Before you read about BPD read about co-dependancy... better yet... find a co-dependancy support group...

Unless you come back to this thread with a couple of positive actions this guy makes towards you... I'm sorry, ADHD or not... what is going on here is unlikely to change. I think at the time your youth and his dynamic layed a platform for relating... these factors are gone.

Your obviously passionate about this person, values along the lines of commitment and loyalty ( and quite possibly dependance/inferiority ) seem to be blinding you to reality.

Get out, find some fun stuff to do with other people... and look into what is suggested to you here.

NOTE: Please also have an emergency action plan... tell a close friend what your process is going to be and it will help to have some people you can text who can come to you fast. This is just a precautionary measure... You never know what might eventuate and desperation can make people to silly and harmful things.

kilted_scotsman
12-30-13, 06:38 PM
It sounds like your partner has some quite serious issues.

There are a few things to remember

1) If you approach the situation as one of serious addiction then your position becomes clearer

2) He will not change unless he sees the seriousness of the problem.

3) The relationship may have to end in order for change and growth to occur. this is because the person needs to learn to stand on their own and confront their own demons alone.... though support can be given as a friend, this is best done as one of a small group of friends.

4) He needs to commit willingly to the painful process of change and this will involve long term therapy, not couple counselling but deep and personal therapy focussed on his behaviours.

5) You will probably benefit from therapy, because it is likely that he plays a part in fulfilling a need for you. Finding out what that is will be important for you to ensure you do not subconsciously seek to repeat this relationship pattern.

6) The work will take years..... and there is always the potential for relapse along the way.

7) It is not a good idea for you to undertake the role of therapist for him

8) Boundaries are vital...... there MUST be hard and fast rules in place... and you must stick to them.... this is why considering the relationship to be over helps here.... because you may well need to walk away.... maybe not just once but several times.... so get that escape route in place NOW... because you will almost certainly need it as he tests your resolve.

9) what he does are his CHOICES..... this is most important to understand.... he has the CHOICE whether to continue as he is, or whether to confront his demons and grow from a manchild into a man.

Guys who exhibit the behaviours you describe are damaged.... they are often insecure, needy individuals, with immature and conflicted views on women as mothers and sexual objects. Their view of themselves as men is often very rigid and culturally imposed.

You have hit the nail on the head when you said you felt like his mother.... you sensed the switch from girlfriend/sexual object to mother figure..... which happened when he was "caught" transgressing an unspoken rule.

Untangling the mess that is the male psyche is a tough task.... for the man.... most guys NEVER go there, but it's worth the effort... well in my opinion anyway!

PandoraBoxx
12-30-13, 07:11 PM
Someothertime - I can appreciate that. He does try to see the correlation between his behaviors and my subsequent feelings, but it's usually very short-term in nature. He told me this afternoon that he understands and can empathize with how I've been feeling since the hyperfocus wore off (and that he will do everything in his power to be a more attentive partner), but is currently going on his second hour of completing a task in the other room that was only supposed to take "a few minutes" and has just informed me that he is not going to stop until it's completed (the original intent was to finish it quickly, as he was apparently "very happy" to be home with me and was "looking forward to hanging out"). When I asked why it was such a lengthy process, he said it was his computer's fault...Apparently, it's not fast enough.

Kilted_Scotsman - I understand what you're saying and can recognize that Ineed to make a plan, STAT. I've thought about it on and off for awhile, but have always chosen to stay based on my views of commitment...And the fact that, if it was me who was struggling with something this serious, the last thing that would make me feel supported in the situation would be if my partner (who has promised to love, honor and respect me through thick and thin) suddenly walked away. I know it's possibly a good thing for both of us, but as I view him as part of my family, this has been a big struggle on my part...I care too much. He says he's ready to deal with it and I've stated my boundaries in no uncertain terms, but then he gets busy with the job and the everyday struggles he faces and all of the positive communication/conversation/promises go by the wayside as if they never happened.

Something I noticed over Christmas is that he was soooo much happier when we were at my parents' house (two hours outside of the major metropolitan area we live in) and even relaxed, while we were there. He maintained that he felt bad for spending a whole day on the couch with me instead of "working" or "catching-up" (thaaanks), but he was SO MUCH NICER to me when he had gotten some sleep and wasn't pushing himself to the extent of his mental/physical limitations...He is nowhere near as happy or as considerate a person as he used to be when we were courting, but he also wasn't screaming at me for no reason and/or ignoring the fact that I'm sitting right beside him because he's so distracted by something more engaging than a person (his laptop, for instance). I understand that his job is very important to him (he's a mechanic), but I also understand that he knows deep down that a person is more important than a motorcycle, but CHOOSES to focus on the motorcycle because it's more interesting. I know this because he's admitted to staying late at work because he feels like it, instead of coming home an hour or three earlier so we can eat dinner or go to bed at a decent time.

I've explained #9 to him on a number of occasions, as he doesn't seem to grasp the correlation between having an adult relationship and making healthy adult choices. He says he understands, but I really don't know.

Mittens
12-30-13, 09:34 PM
Loving someone who is going through a tough time, or facing a challenge (whatever that may be) is a very complicated, sticky situation.

A very simplistic way I thought of things when I was with my ex-husband. When he was diagnosed with a mental illness I told him i'd put as much effort into him, and our marriage as he did into himself and treatment.

It's so easy, regardless of the situation to get 'stuck'. It's also incredibly difficult to skirt that line of where your boundaries end / begin and where you lose yourself.

Please, please, please don't forget about you and *your* health and happiness.

-Mittens

Stevuke79
12-30-13, 09:51 PM
It sounds like your asking if his behavior is because of his ADHD. I don't know but I don't think so. But what does it matter?

If it was, do you think that would mean you are not entitled to a zero tolerance policy?

An example from my life (from the other direction), someone asked me if I tell clients O have ADHD so they will be more understanding if I'm late or make a spelling mistake. To me, this is a very strange suggestion. If I'm ADHD, does this mean they don't have the right to expect what they normally would? That would be absurd.

So I say to you, even if it is ADHD, that in no way means that you have to accept things that you find unacceptable.

janiew
12-30-13, 10:36 PM
I think we should expect decent, healthy, reciprocal behavior in our close relationships - regardless of our issues or their issues.

Obviously it's better if we all come to terms with our issues, but treating others well in the interim is just as important as figuring out how to be ourselves. It might be more important as a measure of our character and ability to grow.

It's called empathy.

dvdnvwls
12-31-13, 02:17 AM
Do you know what you would do next, if it was really over?

Just a note, someone already said it but I want to emphasize - in your current relationship, couple counselling of any kind from anybody is a bad idea - stay away. Individual counselling is the only kind for you and for him. It's because couple counsellors simply do not know what they're doing when it comes to this kind of complex psychiatric problem. I don't mean to be disrespectful, just realistic.

Diony
12-31-13, 06:59 AM
It took me 30 years to learn to truly be happy, you have to be content with yourself. I hope that reason you are very dedicated is not because you would rather not be alone. You have a wonderful attribute to be able to be with someone who has anger problems. At the same time, i don't want it to break you down and make you think that you aren't strong, being with someone for as long as you have been makes you very strong and finding that inner strength to become a better you, thats the best thing you can do. People have this i can have it my way mentality and we know its not really like that, most of us wouldnt be having life problems if it was, it sounds like your partner may have some
of that thinking, if he doesn't get help for his anger then it won't work, thats the one major thing that mskes us break. He may have adhd but he has to live with that, his anger is something he doesn't have to act out on, tel him to only talk to you when hrs calm, if hes angry dont say a word, he can go off snd sulk till hes calm, a journal would help you and him!

dvdnvwls
12-31-13, 07:19 AM
To try to answer the question in the title: I think the answer is "None of the above".

I don't have proper evidence, but I don't think it's ADHD symptoms. My reasoning is that time after time after time when I talk to people here - including several non-ADHD wives of men with ADHD - I have these moments of recognition, saying (either in a post or just to myself) "That is so exactly like me!" - and with your description I get none of that feeling. So you can see how un-scientific I'm being.

And I don't think "disrespect" is a reasonable explanation either.

I think you don't need to know at this stage what his reasons are for acting as he does; I think the essential is that you should know, bottom line, what you really need, and be prepared to insist on getting all of that.

sarahsweets
12-31-13, 07:29 AM
I think that regardless of why he is this way, you should move on and find someone who will not treat you like sh*t.

RedHairedWitch
12-31-13, 01:04 PM
ADHD or something else or not. This is pretty abusive. A lot of women in abusive relationships don't see themselves as in an abusive relationship, they see themselves as strong women loving and helping a troubled man.

I have ADHD. I adore men with ADHD. But if anyone treated me this way, I would walk out the door.

This guy is not a fixer upper. He's an abuser.

Google the signs of an abusive relationship and compare them to your list of troubles in your first post. Seriously, you need to get out.

ginniebean
12-31-13, 02:56 PM
Whoa.. way way too much wrong here. You need to find some love for yourself and get the hell out. At this point it's not really about what's wrong with him it's about wheather you are going to come out of this whole.

He is an abuser.

daveddd
12-31-13, 05:44 PM
doesn't sound at all like adhd

i wouldn't convince yourself thats what the problem is

could he have adhd ? sure, a lot of people with emotional regulation issues turn into ********


but i get a vibe you're really trying to fit him in to adhd, by throwing around terms like hyper focusing to describe his behavior

my opinion, stop doing that, it will lead to expectations that most likely will not happen

PandoraBoxx
12-31-13, 06:58 PM
I can appreciate that.

However, he DOES display many of the "classic" symptoms associated with ADHD (I just failed to mention them originally, as these behaviors are the most disruptive). I use ADHD-related terminology out of respect, as opposed to "throwing around terms" in an attempt to convince myself of something that's very clear to our family and even my partner, himself.

Also, yes, I'm painfully aware that his behavior is abusive. Part of me is VERY upset about that and refuses to stand for it (obviously), but part of me is also aware that the nature of the abuse could be related to his disorder(s) and that he probably behaves this way because he hasn't yet learned how not to. He's clearly sensitive, so I'm trying to be as supportive as possible...At the same time, he KNOWS he needs to get help if he wants me to stay in his life.

dvdnvwls
12-31-13, 11:15 PM
You're actually not refusing to stand for it, until you refuse to stand for it.

Letting it go on, and not leaving, is automatically giving the abuse your personal stamp of approval, whether you intend it that way or not.

RedHairedWitch
12-31-13, 11:38 PM
Doesn't matter if he has ADHD or bipolar or having a psychotic break. For your own well being I strongly suggest that you remove your self from living with him.
You can always move back if he does get real help and there is real improvement after some time.
Don't try to save him. Save yourself

daveddd
01-01-14, 02:45 AM
I can appreciate that.

However, he DOES display many of the "classic" symptoms associated with ADHD (I just failed to mention them originally, as these behaviors are the most disruptive). I use ADHD-related terminology out of respect, as opposed to "throwing around terms" in an attempt to convince myself of something that's very clear to our family and even my partner, himself.

Also, yes, I'm painfully aware that his behavior is abusive. Part of me is VERY upset about that and refuses to stand for it (obviously), but part of me is also aware that the nature of the abuse could be related to his disorder(s) and that he probably behaves this way because he hasn't yet learned how not to. He's clearly sensitive, so I'm trying to be as supportive as possible...At the same time, he KNOWS he needs to get help if he wants me to stay in his life.

I didn't mean it in a mean way

But hyper focus isn't what u describe

U describe obsessiveness or addictive behavior

Seriously wasn't trying to be mean about it

Yes people with the personality you describe will usually have ADHD like symptoms

kilted_scotsman
01-01-14, 07:34 AM
He's clearly sensitive

Possibly not..... people learn how to go through the motions of showing "sensitivity", they can also exhibit all the signs of deep remorse after doing something transgressive... but that doesn't mean they won't repeat the transgression ad infinitum. This is the mark of the sociopath... very charming, highly manipulative and utterly self-centred.

Likewise the phrase he KNOWS he needs to get help if he wants me to stay in his life would be concerning...... is very different from he KNOWS he needs to get help

The way you phrase it implies his motivation to change is purely to keep you around.... this means he is not committed to the process of change and is a BIG marker indicating you need to live separately for a while.

Therefore I'm with RedHairedWitch on this.... You can "support" him.... but it's probably best done from a distance.... physically moving out is probably better for both of you.

Not many guys have the balls to grow up.... to leave behind the baubles of macho and mature into a man with presence and grace. Even fewer do it from the place your guy is.

If you are wanting a monogamous relationship with a guy you can trust not to trade you in for a younger model when real responsibility comes along....move out.... and move on.

PandoraBoxx
01-01-14, 11:55 AM
I understand what you're saying, but am hoping there's another option...Moving out involves uprooting my entire life (as well as his). I'd prefer to stay, but to also make it clear that being supportive isn't the same as allowing him to hurt me. I have empathy for how difficult it must be to live in his world every day, but I also recognize how unfair it is for him to treat me so poorly as a result of something internal that really isn't my fault. He says he wants to be monogamous and loyal and honest, but doesn't seem to understand how that works. That there's CONSCIOUS EFFORT involved in PREVENTING such things and that they just don't magickally happen if he goes about saying he's that type of person.

Don't worry, I didn't think you were being mean. I also hope that you don't think I was being defensive in my response. Truthfully, we have family members who work in the mental health sector. I lived with my partner's behaviors for three years before saying anything (as to prevent anyone from changing their opinion of him as part of our family), but realized that something had to be said that second time he put the ball in motion to move out of our apartment without telling me. THIS is when I first heard about the possibility of undiagnosed ADHD; although, I'd been reading about mental illnesses and how they affect close relationships for months by that point (again, mostly due to his family history). After taking notes and just plain observing his day-to-day behaviors (crazy-making or not), I approached him about the possibility of ADHD. He did a lot of thinking and did a little research on it, then told me that he could identify with a lot of the symptoms. He said he doesn't believe he's been a good person and that he wants to change. I told him that that's great and I will support his journey to the best of my emotional capabilities, but it will take a lot of effort on his part to make that happen. He said he'll do "whatever it takes."

I say he knows he needs to change if he wants me to stay because we've clarified that his behaviors have crossed many of the boundaries I've had for years, in regards to healthy relationships and that, should they continue, I can't stay. He wants to change both for himself (most important. obviously.) and for the sake of our relationship. When we were in therapy earlier in December, he said some really nice things about me that I never even knew he believed...Not certain how true they are/were, but he maintains that I'm important to him. The issue is that he doesn't think/know how/believe it's necessary to back his words with positive actions. He's pretty much a walking contradiction. He loves me, he loves me not. He thinks I'm important, he treats everyone and everything else as his top priorities. He wants to grow old with me and have two daughters, but it doesn't even phase him when I express my fears that parenthood could overwhelm him to the point of partaking in old behaviors (running away when it's most convenient for him) and/or that being so distracted by other "priorities" could lead me to feel like a single parent. He says he doesn't want to fight with me, then blows up over nothing and persists until I cry (I'm a strong woman, but it's difficult not to take it personally when a loved one is always directing their angry towards me).

It's gotten to the point where the words that come out of his mouth aren't at all what he was trying to say and, as a result, no matter how hurtful he's been, I'm told it's my fault for misunderstanding what's been said. I've asked if this is indeed the case or if he's just saying whatever he wants and determines his next move based on my reaction, but he says he just can't communicate with ME. Everyone else in his life? No problem. But ME? Big problem.

I find it interesting how, in saying that, he's forgetting about the other two long-term relationships he's been in and how he constantly lied and fought with his former partners, as well. He's also been telling me for years that he "has difficulty communicating" and oftentimes gets me to proof-read his emails to ensure that he's saying the correct words...

Add to that the fact that he can go a whole day without speaking to me, even though we're sitting in the same room, and always doing ten things at one but never finding the time to finish any of it...This is so frustrating.

daveddd
01-01-14, 12:02 PM
constant lying
rewriting history
overlapping, unresolved, multiple relationships
change from initial intense positive attention to a very different relationship style
over-sensitivity
making a partner doubt herself
lack of respect
parent-child dynamic


what i meant by it was these above issue that very tired was nice enough to bullet point seems to be your issues

adhd is inattention and hyperactivity , at least thats what the meds treat

yes , emotional dysregulation is a part of adhd and can lead to things like this

but at that point it is no longer "adhd" , and meds being the primary treatment for adhd would not be useful for those things

i very much feel where you are coming from with wanting to group those in with adhd

it gives the actions a physical (kind of) explanation and makes forgiveness much easier

so i just meant don't expect adhd treatment to help with the issues that seem most impairing to you

PandoraBoxx
01-01-14, 02:16 PM
I agree. ADHD meds and therapy can only do so much. The rest is up to him.

We just had a major fight that escalated out of making a game plan for the next month or so (implimenting the processes we've both expressed interests in, in order to better our communication and relationship dynamics). He got impatient because I was talking, I mentioned mindfulness of the way he speaks to me when he's upset and that I wasn't talking for the same of pushing his buttons, I was having a conversation with him.

Long story short, he said I'm the only person he's had relationship issues with and I said "that's not true. both of your ex-girlfriends had similar issues." He pretty much lost it over the fact that I had spoken to them without asking first and said I have no idea how much embarrassment I've just caused him. He's not even willing to listen to my reasons for speaking with them (I wanted to see if he was right and if it WAS all my fault or if this is just his pattern when it comes to romantic relationships) and just told me that he doesn't know if he loves me, anymore. I've been told that I should consider myself lucky because, in being such a sneaky person, I don't deserve to have him in my life.

I didn't speak to them to be sneaky, I honestly wanted to know if he was being honest with me about his past relationships and if all of our issues were indeed my fault. What I heard is that these women have had similar experiences with my partner and that he may have unaddressed psychiatric issues along with the ADHD...What he's not realizing is that, regardless of what was said to me, I chose to be aware, but also stay by his side and love him as much as I always have. I may feel unappreciated and disrespected most of the time, but that doesn't mean I don't love him as part of my family and try my best to understand that he doesn't always mean to hurt me.

And now, I'm the villain.

ginniebean
01-01-14, 03:41 PM
These are not adhd issues, sounds like borderline.

You will always be the villain.

Mittens
01-01-14, 03:51 PM
I agree. ADHD meds and therapy can only do so much. The rest is up to him.

We just had a major fight that escalated out of making a game plan for the next month or so (implimenting the processes we've both expressed interests in, in order to better our communication and relationship dynamics). He got impatient because I was talking, I mentioned mindfulness of the way he speaks to me when he's upset and that I wasn't talking for the same of pushing his buttons, I was having a conversation with him.

Long story short, he said I'm the only person he's had relationship issues with and I said "that's not true. both of your ex-girlfriends had similar issues." He pretty much lost it over the fact that I had spoken to them without asking first and said I have no idea how much embarrassment I've just caused him. He's not even willing to listen to my reasons for speaking with them (I wanted to see if he was right and if it WAS all my fault or if this is just his pattern when it comes to romantic relationships) and just told me that he doesn't know if he loves me, anymore. I've been told that I should consider myself lucky because, in being such a sneaky person, I don't deserve to have him in my life.

I didn't speak to them to be sneaky, I honestly wanted to know if he was being honest with me about his past relationships and if all of our issues were indeed my fault. What I heard is that these women have had similar experiences with my partner and that he may have unaddressed psychiatric issues along with the ADHD...What he's not realizing is that, regardless of what was said to me, I chose to be aware, but also stay by his side and love him as much as I always have. I may feel unappreciated and disrespected most of the time, but that doesn't mean I don't love him as part of my family and try my best to understand that he doesn't always mean to hurt me.

And now, I'm the villain.

Whatever his "reasons" - in the blame game *no one* wins.
It's projecting.
He's embarrassed and hurt because you caught him in a lie, and the way his mind processes that is anger and consequently lashing out / convincing himself it's *your* fault because his ego can't take the possibility it is him.

It's a very backhanded, destructive way to deal with things for both partners.

I'm very sorry you had the hear / listen to that.

The ones closest to us are the ones with the most power to hurt.

Have you ever walked away from him? Or shut down the conversation?
Ie, as soon as he spins it around (and that is far easier a detail to discern in those that are skilled at conversation manipulation) before it escalates, either repeat the same response to his exaggerations (i'm sorry, that's not constructive so i'm not responding to that) or simply saying you are walking away from the conversation till it can continue more constructively?

*big hug*

Anastasia
01-01-14, 04:23 PM
Hi and welcome,

I have a.d.d and I was married to a person with bpd. I chose to leave, because he would not acknowledge it and was Dx on more than one occasion. He would take any other Dx than that one.

I chose not to continue in a marriage that I had to practice therapeutic responses to his ways to keep the peace, and he wasn't doing anything.

In the end I could not see the true from the false anymore. "Crazy-making" is often seen in bpd and eventually you get so emotionally corroded you will believe black is white after being pummeled with lies. It's exhausting. Leaving a bpd is not easy and exit can be dangerous in "some" cases. The days after are even more exhausting. He tried everything, suicide threats, new promises, tears etc. If I didn't buy it I was called the worse names in the book in the same conversation. "come, home please sob, sob, I will do anything" I respond "no" he responds "F****** c***!" lol. I mention that because sometimes the insincerity is such a game and so close to the surface they can't even hide it when they hear something they don't like.

May be some sounds familiar? I am the a.d.d one, I have caused many harms in my relationship's but not in this style.

Right now you are in a position of power, that is not legally married and no children to be effected by this yet. It makes the decision so much harder.

You appear so kind, loving and loyal. I hope you look into this further and please know love should not be a daily battle.

RedHairedWitch
01-01-14, 04:44 PM
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

Rebelyell
01-01-14, 04:49 PM
Hell im over sensitive and DO not act this way! THis guy is a real scumbag get out ASAP and save your sanity and dignity before its too late. He sounds likea pathological liar,a narcissistic ******* and bpd.IDK how people like this don't eventually end up getting knifed or a bullet in them but that's because they have everyone convinced its not THEM!

Mittens
01-01-14, 04:57 PM
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

AWESOME source!
That eloquently put what I was trying to describe.

Thank you
And Pandora - hope you're having a better day :)

VeryTired
01-01-14, 04:58 PM
Pandora--

Desperate people do desperate things. Normally, contacting a partner's exe would be creepy and inappropriate. But you felt the need, and apparently when you did, you found out things that confirmed you in feeling that your choice was necessary. But what does this tell you? If you are in a situation where that seemed like a necessary choice, I think you are in a bad situation.

I differ from some of the people here in that I think ADHD can be related to a lot of the problems you describe. They are not in themselves indications of ADHD--of course many people with ADHD are lovely to their partners and would never do the things your boyfriend has. But someone with untreated ADHD can get into a heck of a lot of trouble, build up bad and ineffective habits and coping strategies, and be confused and confusing about a lot of important things. I saw my partner do a lot of those kinds of things before he was diagnosed and treated for his ADHD.

Only your boyfriend can get himself help and solve his own problems. You CANNOT do it for him. I understand that desperate feeling of not wanting to tear your life apart if you feel that love and hope and hard work can support your boyfriend to better things. But--they can't. If he is going to get help and change, it should happen now, and you can't make it happen for him. Let him sort himself out, then if you are meant to be together, you can try again. Don't get drawn in deeper to his problems. I am giving you advice that I wish someone had given me a long time ago. It's not about whether or not he's a good person, it's about whether or not this is a healthy life for you to live now.

kilted_scotsman
01-01-14, 06:21 PM
This guy hasn't BEGUN to understand his issues let alone deal with them....

However...... lets start with some basics....

99% of guys will say they want to be "monogamous and loyal and honest".... and have two lovely kids and live in a nice house etc etc it's a default position when talking to a woman......because you NEVER get a regular lay by saying you want to be promiscuous, unfaithful and a liar, never want kids and think living in a trailer park would be great.

There are words and there are DEEDS.... words are meaningless.... DEEDS are truth.

Some guys are brought up to think that they need to be in control, and that part of being a man is to disrespect/objectify other people, particularly women. This is often coupled with a fragile, highly egocentric sense of self requiring repeated demonstrations of dominance and control. sometimes his is diagnosed as Borderline Personality... sometimes Sociopath, more often it's called being a bully and an *******.

The way to disrupt this pattern is for such a man to relinquish control.. this usually occurs through some catastrophic event.... however in this case it needs to be done voluntarily.... he cedes control of his life to you... he does what you say.... in everything.....period..... but this comes with a heavy caveat for you. you must be ever mindful that what you ask him to do is designed to help him become aware of himself... this is not easy. This role reversal needs to last a significant length of time.... probably at least a year.

Next he has to believe you can and will walk away....and walking away will not be financially or logistically complex for you.... therefore.. he assists you to make whatever arrangements you think are required so you can leave quickly and easily if you wish.... we are not talking equal shares or "this was mine that was yours" divisions here..... you get what you need/want.... he gets what's left. Ideally he know that you can tell him to leave.... and he leaves.

Truth is essential.... therefore you start from a clean slate.... he tells you EVERYTHING, and you promise you won't walk away... but from that point on... complete honesty from him, otherwise you do walk... and if you discover he's been less than honest at the start.... again you walk.

Equality..... whatever he does.... you can do.... no gender roles.... he goes out on his own... you can head out on your own.... you do the dishes/cooking.... he does likewise.... cleaning.... shopping... it all counts.... he flirts... you now have carte blanche to do so to, and you tell him that. This can be quite tough for partners.... as both sides have usually been brought up in environments of gender bias.... go hang out with a few feminists and build a solid support network of women friends....big mamas who take no mess from any guy... and make sure they come round to chew the fat on a regular basis... their the ones who will be giving you most of the feedback on how your man is doing on his journey.

He turns over all his income to you, some of which you use to pay for your own therapy He receives an allowance out of his income.... some of which he uses to pay for his long term therapy. You take control of all household and other expenses, credit is minimised and in his name.

You have the power of veto on who he sees, where he goes and what he does, particularly socially. He has no power of veto over you. You also have control over who comes to the house and when.... he always checks in with you if he wants to change arrangements.... and since you sometimes say no....his friends know he defers to you in many things.

You'll be getting the picture now..... these are boundaries... they can be relaxed after a while, once he begins to understand and get a handle on his behaviours. What you're aiming for is building a true partnership....where each party respects the others abilities and truth.... however the place you are starting from is not a partnership and therefore the pendulum of control needs to swing a long way from where it is now in order to eventually swing back to centralise somewhere wholesome.

Unfortunately I suspect if you put these proposals to him you will discover that he would prefer not to be in a relationship with you.... he is therefore not willing to do the work that will be required.... whatever the method used.

It sounds brutal.... but its given to you by a guy who was an ADDery *******.... and could also be generous, kind, sensitive and affectionate at the same time. I am lucky in that i found a woman that I am willing to trust completely... and who has the strength and intuition to use that position of trust to help me on my path.

to be realistic... I'd put your chances of turning this guy round at <5%..... there are lots of nice guys out there... and maybe this guy might turn into one eventually....at age 50 or 60... once age gets a grip on his balls.

PandoraBoxx
01-01-14, 08:46 PM
Considering how dishonest he's been about his past relationships and current intentions, I've grown accustomed to asking questions. If I didn't, he'd probably still be leading a double-life and I'd still be trying to figure out what's wrong with ME instead of seeing that we've both played a role in how we've arrived here. I think I may have hurt his feelings to an extent and that he doesn't know how to express that constructively, but I also feel he's manipulating me by staying mad because he knows it's an easy way to make me pay for my sins. I've apologized (for hurting his feelings and not asking prior to speaking with his former partners) and he eventually said he forgives me and that he's done being upset about it, but just as quickly as he said everything's alright, he turned around and told me to leave him alone. When I asked why, he said "you've never wanted to be alone with your thoughts?! fine. go ahead...smother me..." Even though he's pretty much been alone with his thoughts for nearly EIGHT HOURS and I've been tip-toeing around him and trying to make amends all day. When I asked if he still loves me (admittedly because we've been discussing the black and white aspects of BPD and, just yesterday, he said he loves me and is committed to a lifetime of happiness - therapy pending), he said "I never stopped." When I asked why he said otherwise, his response was "maybe I was mad." I told him it's not fair to base his love for me on whether or not I've done something to anger him. He said "fine."

...We're not speaking though, as his preference is to be alone and pretty much pretend that I don't exist, right now. I've been hanging out in our bedroom for hours now (since long before the above conversation), periodically getting up to use the bathroom or to see if he's ready to salvage what's left of our New Year's Day. Prior to that, he told me I was welcome to watch a hockey game and have lunch with him (he made a lovely spread of cheese and crackers), but made it clear that I would just be taking up space in our apartment, as opposed to actually being welcome as part f his life and his family. Gotta admit, am kinda crushed.

I've considered your suggestions and actually made an attempt to implement some of them nearly a year ago (before we thought it was ADHD), but nothing seems to stick. He DOES make me a fancy coffee each morning (including today) and puts an "XO" in it with chocolate sauce (cute), but can literally snap within moments of handing it to me (today's incident occurred when I was about halfway finished drinking it). He also tries to message me when he's on his way home from work (I stressed the importance of communicating his schedule, as I am his partner and sometimes try to time dinner for when he gets home), sometimes empties/loads (half of) the dishwasher for me and took out the garbage yesterday. He gave me the passwords to his email and facebook accounts, as we had a talk nearly a year ago about how "people with nothing to hide, hide nothing." I gave him mine also, as reinforcement that transparency is an important factor in mature relationships and he has nothing to worry about on my end. I told him that I'd only look if he gave me a reason not to trust him. He accepted and understood that but, of course, gave in to dishonesty.

He doesn't seem to understand that earning someone's trust is necessary in the rebuilding of a relationship. It's as if he can't fathom how implementing positive actions and transparency will make a world of difference (but is highly intelligent and can solve most complex of mechanical issues with ease).

Is it wrong that I still have faith in him? Maybe not as much as I DID as recently as yesterday, but I feel like things will change once he gets his butt to a psychologist. I've stated that I think he may be battling something other than (just) ADHD, but his response was "do you REALLY want to be having this conversation right now?!" Then again, in the same breath, he said he wants to explore what's going on and, given there's a diagnosis, is willing to do what he has to do to change his ways.

PandoraBoxx
01-01-14, 08:48 PM
Also, yes. I'm very familiar with gaslighting. But am about to read the article right now...THANK YOU. <3

And thank you to everyone who's offering their help. I really appreciate your kindness.

PandoraBoxx
01-01-14, 08:54 PM
I feel like, if I shared this article with him, he would accuse ME of being the gaslighter... :(

TLCisaQT
01-02-14, 12:55 AM
PandorasBoxx,

I really do feel for you in this situation. I can tell that you are really into this relationship and really care about this guy. I get that. However, (and I'm only going off what I have read that you posted) I think you aren't able to see clearly and are making excuses and justifying some of his behaviors and issues in your relationship. He has a serious history and pattern of poor relationships and lying and cheating. He can be charming and sweet when he wants to be, if it meets his needs and serves his purpose, but can turn it off when it doesn't. He can't let past girlfriends go because he IS immature and NEEDS the attention and affection of them to feed his narcissistic ego. He still pines for the ones that got away. You know how his relationships end?? When the girls finally get wise to his ways and get smart and kick his ***** to the curb. I'm sure he is a "likeable" and Nice guy at times... BUT.. I don't believe he really is a "good" guy, not based on his past record. He thrives on attention and his ego being stroked. I actually believe when he is at work, that motorcycle is what is most important because that is what is there!! I don't know what his diagnosis is BUT what I do believe is that you are a sweet, nice girl who was of course attracted to what seemed like a really great guy. Maybe that is truly a part of him; and maybe if he agrees to get help, he may be able to make some changes; however, if he doesn't, please find the strength to realize that you deserve better and that you WILL find somebody else who will treat you like you deserve. And getting help from a therapist to be strong enough to make the right decision when the time is right is also what I would suggest. I know...easier said than done... BUT all food for thought. Sure, nobody wants to be left handing when they are struggling, but it is not your job to be a punching bag for somebody with "weak muscles" to use to strengthen their muscles because they see nothing else as an option to use!!!!!! I know this was blunt but I really do feel for the situation you are in - it's so hard when you care and love somebody like I can tell you do for him.

dvdnvwls
01-02-14, 01:29 AM
PandoraBoxx: At first I hesitated to ask this question, but after realizing how much you had shared about him, I no longer feel I need to hesitate.

What are the good things he does, the reasons why you didn't already leave?

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 10:07 AM
Hi,

I'm still here because, as crazy as this may sound, I can still see my "Sweetheart" when I look him in the eye. I feel he's still in there, he's just been hiding...When he's relaxed, he's a wonderful person. He gives me hugs and kisses, he smiles and thanks me for making him dinner, he holds my hand whenever we cross the street, he massages my feet when they're sore. He used to write "XO" in my coffee with chocolate sauce each morning, then we got a drip coffee machine and used that for two-ish years, then we moved and I found our old espresso pot...He's been writing "XO" in my coffee again, even though he can sometimes blow up at me within moments of doing that or will act like I'm not even there (when he's getting ready for work). The man's smile can light up a room and there are times when he laughs so hard that all I can see is joy. He used to do that a lot in our earlier days, but since we've moved in together and all of the negativity set in, he only really does it when the cat does something hilarious or he's watching a funny movie/TV show. When we were in therapy last month, he said something really nice about me that I never knew he felt before. He's also told me that, like a diamond, I'm "perfectly imperfect, but entirely perfect for him." That was awhile ago, though. I really don't know if he even remembers saying that.

I've thought many times about leaving, but have always chosen to stay based on two things:

1. My heart is breaking for him. His quality of life; although from what I can see is mostly self-inflicted, mustn't be all that wonderful if he's so busy and so angry all the time and, considering how many lies he tells/incorrect assumptions he communicates to others, I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to constantly be preoccupied with how others perceive him...He's crafty, in that respect. That must really suck. Part of me really feels that he needs to know that, despite his inner demons/unpleasant and/or abusive projections, someone really does love him to death and will hold his hand whenever he needs it. He seems to forget that I know most (all?) of the sketchy things he's done and STILL love him. Instead, I try to understand them. It's easier to forgive someone when you understand their motives (or at least try to).

and

2. I made a commitment to him and our future as a family and I take that very seriously. Some people have mistaken it for stubbornness. I can see how that would happen, but am certain it's just because I respect our relationship enough to put my all into it (conscious decision, made daily, reaffirmed when necessary). Families aren't always easy, but they do stick together through thick and thin. Over Christmas, I saw a side of his Mom that I'd never seen before and he was really upset about it. I had to calm him down, he was so sad (and hyper). They made amends, but he said he's always been put down for not doing anything with his life (he's paid seasonally, but works throughout the year...it's complicated, but always leaves us short in December/January) and that his Mom is always on him to "grow-up" and stop acting like a 20 year old. I can see this from both sides, but it killed me to see my Sweetheart that upset. Walking away from him means I'd be walking away from this sweet, sensitive guy who swears up and down that he's trying but never really gets that far...I also know what it's like to live with a "disability" of sorts, as my anxiety is something that can and does hinder me in certain situations. I know that the LAST thing I need when things get crazy and I feel overwhelmed is for the person I love to disconnect himself from me...We've had many issues with this because, whenever I show any sign of sadness, he tends to ignore me. But I'd never do it to him. So. Yeah.

TLCisaQT - Yeah, I guess I'm trying to rationalize his behavior so that it won't hurt as much...Still does, though. You're pretty much bang-on about the ego boost and desire for attention. I've noticed that he tends to rely on his "celebrity status" in third world countries (they're big into racing) as a way to boost his ego; hence, most of the girls he's cheated with are racing fans and/or girls he met as a result of racing in that part of the world. He's admitted to being VERY emotionally immature and am pretty sure that this is why he gravitates to girls/women in their late teens/early 20's (I'm in my 30's. feeling really old for obvious reasons!)...Emotionally, they're on the same level. Even if it is kinda creepy (to me. for obvious reasons!). I agree with you about the motorbike being the only focus of his attention simply because it's what's in front of him. Every morning, while getting ready for work, he goes off into his own world ("work mode") and pretty much forgets that I'm there. His face looks angry (intense concentration, I suppose), his vocal tone is abrupt and if I dare slow him down, he rolls his eyes and/or complains that he doesn't have time to waste on unimportant matters. He once tried to explain that rolling his eyes; although controllable, was something that he will automatically do on account of the fact that he'd rather be doing something else. BUT that I should understand that he doesn't mean anything disrespectful by it. Yet, he doesn't seem to do it to anyone else. A long, lengthy explanation for something that he CAN control, but would rather justify it than make an effort to be more conscious of it.

Last night, I finally seemed to get through to him and we tried to make amends through watching netflix and eating pizza. I did burst into tears at one point (stress?) and he gave me a hug, but got angry when I started talking to him about it. He kept contradicting himself and it got very confusing...Are we going to try again and start over? Is he going to tolerate me for the next two weeks while you fulfill work-related obligations, then kick my butt to the curb? Does he love me? Is he still going to consider his options, so long as I don't behave the way he wants me to? Why must I reflect on my actions if I want to keep him in my life? I had no idea what he was trying to say because everything about our future (and my day to day life for the next few weeks) was one big grey area. I finally asked him to clarify, simply because I was starting to panic. He got upset, but then told me that he WANTS to start over and his INTENTION is for us to live happily, get married, have children and be a family (we say "family" a lot because it's positive. I say "partner" for the same reason.) and asked how many times he's going to have to say it. I pretty much just needed to know he meant it, as the confusion tactics were freaking me out. I don't need that.

This morning, he was in "work mode" and seemed a little agitated, but there was kindness in his voice when we were talking about how many sandwiches he wanted in his lunch and bananas. We didn't have any milk, so he didn't make coffee. He told me to "try to have a good day" and gave me kisses, but he was sullen and depressed on his way out the door. Maybe he's just tired, but I doubt it. I'm pretty bummed about what happened, too.

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 11:15 AM
Let me rephrase that.

I think that, in retrospect, if his brother WASN'T schizophrenic, I'd have left a long time ago on account of my partner's abusive/manipulative behaviors/language. However, as there's a prominent family history of mental illness, I've come to be more tolerant (although I do cry) and have tried to look for the reasons why these behaviors occur, as opposed to getting mad at him and walking away. I did come close a few times, but I could see it in his eyes that he didn't want me to go and once we talked about it, it became clear that neither of us wanted to end the relationship. He only really suggests we part ways when he's mad at me for bringing up an unsolved issue we've been dealing with and/or whenever I find out he's been lying to me about something (I caught him looking at porn awhile back and instead of being honest about it, he lied and then said we should break up). I've learned that if I fight it, he will spend hours trying convince me of all of the reasons why we're wrong for each other (my fault, of course), but if I ask WHY he wants to break up, he tells me he doesn't...That it's the last thing he wants to do. All of his break-up suggestions have come about when he's angry or feeling ashamed/embarrassed. They're impulsive.

This is why I believe he means well, most of the time. Whatever it is that's causing him to act this way, ADHD-related or not, I'm not even sure that he's aware of it. There really is no excuse for his behavior, but I've been tolerating it on account that I've observed him (and have taken notes) for years and am convinced it's something beyond his immediate control. I feel sad for him.

Mittens
01-02-14, 12:12 PM
Pandora - have you ever heard of the book or theory 'Detaching With Love'?

Nicksgonefishin
01-02-14, 12:23 PM
hmmm.... I've been where you are. Others here have poured out to you on here. I think they are spot on with many things.

BPD is a nasty disorder and hurts the ones they love the very most and is a commorbid with ADHD. ADHD is the easier of the 2 to admit.

You also have huge codependancy issues that need to be sorted out. You call it a "commitment". Is it possible that you are staying out of fear? Because he has told you over and over again that nobody will love you like he does? You don't want to "abandon" him like so many others have done to him throughout his life?

If one pulls back from all of the labels and BS that has happened you need to ask yourself one question. Are you happy? Are you really truly happy to be with him? Not he makes me happy when he does this or that but as a whole are you happy?

With my ex I realized that the 3 increadibly awesome unbelievablely breath taking days a month were not worth the 27 other very toxic days a month. I love her dearly but it wasn't worth my own well being. I lost myself in her.

I would encourage you to go to the counselor by yourself and work on your own issues. Talk about how YOU feel. You seem so absorbed into your boyfriend that it might be possible that you are losing yourself.

One needs to deal with their own demons. Introspection is a very powerful thing. Take a good hard look at yourself and how you handle interactions and your own life issues. Ask questions. Like what is it about me that i'm attracted to someone with narccisistic traits? Why is it I keep going down the same path and trying to get a different outcome?

It isn't clear weither or not he has ADHD or you have ADHD in your post. ADHDers can often be sucked by narcissists. They are happy to fill the void of self avoidance and tell us what to do but god forbid we have our own thoughts...(pardon the transferance).

It isn't your responsibility to make him happy. You simply can't make an unhappy person happy.

Focus on yourself. Do it for yourself. You deserve that. You will grow so much. I'm not saying break up or give up. I'm saying learn about yourself before trying to figure out others.

hugs and stuff-nick

Nicksgonefishin
01-02-14, 12:33 PM
Also you want a future. You want babies. ADHD is genetic so is other psychological diagnosis.

Imagine for a moment the future. You are already basically mothering him. Imagine having Kids who will have a high percentage of having some kind of disorder. Now your stress has been doubled or trippled. Your focus will shift from him to your children and he will abuse you more and more and the children as well. Splitting will become a regular occurance in your household and the children will be turned against you or each other. You will become fed up with taking care of the kids yourself and divorce and then you are alone raising these children. They will grow up with said hereditary psych disorders and also abandonment issues from their father and resentment issues for their mother because dad has manipulated them into thinking that mom is very crazy.

I don't have a crystal ball. And I'm not saying this is what is definitly going to happen but it is a real possiblity.

You CANNOT change him! If he doesn't want to change now is the time to walk. There is no shame in ending a relationship. Return to your friends and family and your own hobbies or discover new ones if you have neglected past ones for too long.

kilted_scotsman
01-02-14, 01:26 PM
"Cheating" not about sex outside the relationship.... it is about shame, guilt, lying, evasion.... and it is VERY corrosive... both to the person being cheated on AND to the person doing the cheating.... everyone gets psychically covered with cheat slime and this guy is encased in layer upon layer of guilt and shame laden cheat slime....

If you are going to change this relationship from a toxic one to a healthy fulfillng one you both have to address this issue....

every time he comes home from a trip he gets metaphorically power-washed before he crosses the door............

The therapeutic technique "Transactional Analysis" states that when there is a pattern of relational behaviour change can sometimes be achieved even if initially only one party changes their behaviour.

Faced with your situation most people (even the cheater) try to change the "cheaters" behaviour.... because it's seen as "bad".

however there is an alternative......

which is to grab a page from the "Person Centred" approach and accept your partner fro who he is right now and change YOUR response to his behaviour....

Here is the basic theory... there are three "ego-states....
Parent
Adult
Child
He is currently acting like a CHILD..... (he is in his child ego state) with big chunks of PARENT, you are acting like a PARENT (parent ego state), but also seem to spend big chunks of time in CHILD ego state (denial).

The theory is that if ONE of you changes where you are "coming from" then things change.... initially with a bit/lot of heat/light/emotion.

He is unlikely to change from PARENT/CHILD to ADULT..... and it would not be advisable for you to spend more time in PARENT or CHILD than you already do... so the only way forward is for YOU to move to ADULT... which is what you are trying to do by being here on this forum.

However this only works if you face up to the reality, of your situation....saying out loud to yourself and then him.....what you are saying passively....

"I like hanging out with you and having sex with other women when you're away seems to be an essential part of your little boy life. at the moment... I'm not altogether OK with that but I'm willing to put up with it given certain conditions"

(Note that if he switched into ADULT, he would say roughly the same in reverse.... "I like hanging out with you but at the moment I sleep around when I'm away.... are you OK with that?")

THen you both start talking about your boundaries/conditions.... you might say....

"1) If I ask you ...You tell me if you've slept around... and who with.
2) If you do it you always use a condom.
3) You get checked out at the clinic afterwards
4) No bunnyboilers, or promising ongoing relationships to your floozies
5) Flings are fine... affairs are not.
6) Don't talk about marriage.... it ain't going to happen till you're a man not a willy waving kid."

This flip to ADULT reduces the guilt/shame/lying... and increases respect/truthfulness. It also uses Person Centred approach by offering your partner "unconditional positive regard".. you might not like/agree with his behaviour but you accept that it is part of who he is right now.... and that's where you are meeting right now........ the future is another place.

This is is a risky strategy.... when one person changes their response... the other has two choices..... change or leave.. a sign of change would be him engaging in some additional personal growth activities. If he does not change.... you have changed therefore you terminate the relationship in it's current form. You can continue to "support" him and regard him as having positive attributes.... just not enough to want to have his babies... yet.

If you don't begin this shift to ADULT ego-state you will probably end up in almost permanent CHILD state with occasional nagging forays into PARENT.... and be a prime target for Gaslighting because this usually involves some form of subliminal collusion between the manipulative gaslighter and their victim through the victims denial.

The difficulty you face is that someone with a history of cheating will be carrying such a huge load of guilt and shame about their "slimy" behaviour that they operate in a mode of denial themselves....and I strongly suspect many of the "nice" things he does are subliminally driven by his guilt....

You entering ADULT state and speaking truth will be shining a light into an area of his life which he has always desperately kept hidden from those close to him and it will be seen by him as an attack on his life and being.....

which will produce a strong subliminal FEAR response

which may manifest outwardly as ANGER/ATTACK... and you have already accurately described this process occurring in an earlier post..

The danger is that this ATTACK can get physical..... particularly when the person has high levels of impulsivity and low emotional regulation.

The longer you leave things before moving to ADULT ego-state...the more violent the emotion triggered by your change of ego-state..... the more he feels he has to lose, the more likely it is he will get physically abusive.

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 01:27 PM
I hear you. I do.

I've been in and out of therapy on my own for years, due to the anxiety. I've very well-versed in what's wrong with me, as well as what I've contributed to our relationship (both positive and, especially, negative). I'm clear on what needs to happen in order for me to relax and start to heal but, unfortunately, every time this has been communicated to my partner, he promises to be supportive and then, days/hours/minutes later, is back to speaking to me with impatient tones and abrupt words. What do I need to get better? Less stress, really. Consistent (not constant) appreciation or even gratitude for the efforts I make to please him (he doesn't have to lift a finger unless he chooses to, as I learned long ago that it just won't work otherwise). Daily kindness and some sort of expression of love...The key to managing my symptoms (of anxiety...I'm not ADHD.) involves feeling secure. I was a VERY happy person when we met (burlesque performer, model, lots of friends, close with my family, wasn't so much looking for a relationship as I had been jerked around by a guy who was emotionally unstable, but my partner had a very calm demeanor and I had these strange feelings of wanting to just "be" in his presence the night we met. the first thing I thought when I saw him was "this man has a very good heart and you're going to marry him." strange? kinda. romantic? totally. and from our fourth date on, we were inseparable. I thought nothing of it other than the fact that, maybe, I had finally found a prince among the frogs.). I was CONFIDENT. I had to be, all things considered. And I quite simply adored him. He used to tell me all the time how lucky he was to have me in his life. Part of me wonders if at that time I was just a bright, shiny new object to focus on, while his other girlfriend sat at home...It would make sense, considering how drastically things changed once we moved in together. I do understand that dealing with my anxiety (which had crept up due to finding out he was living with a woman he said was his "ex" girlfriend and having her find out - and freak out - about me, while we were on vacation) must have been and probably still is difficult for him to live with, but I also feel a little cheated out of being given the love and support that I've asked for since the first moment I noticed it was causing me to have panic attacks, so I can recover and he won't have to deal with it anymore. I can't even count how many times he's asked me how he can help and how many times I've told him "all I need from you is love and support. I need to feel secure, again. no more big secrets or betrayals, okay?" It never registers.

Nowadays, sans unpleasantness, I would say that yeah...I'm content with him. SANS UNPLEASANTNESS, he's a wonderful partner and is incredibly considerate in his ways. But with that added layer of anger and communication issues, he's a shell of who he used to be...This is why I wondered if it was my fault. He kept telling me that it was.

As for children, I've been honest with him about how scary it is for me to think about the odds of our babies having a psychological disorder and that I'm really not certain if that's what I want, anymore. He knows I'm afraid of being stuck with all responsibility and possibly having to act as a single parent because he may not be able to handle the stress. I've told him that it scares me because he tends to look for exit strategies when he gets overwhelmed and seems to think that parenting isn't as difficult as it actually is. HE wants the babies, I'm on the fence. It used to be the other way around for a long time, but now that he's at his worst, I honestly don't know if I want to put myself through that. He says he wants to be with me, babies or not. But that he will most definitely be there and won't run away, should it ever happen. I WANT to believe him, but it's not the easiest task on the planet.

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 01:43 PM
Kilted_Scotsman - That sounds VERY similar to the approach my therapist was teaching me in 2012, with regards to diffusing his outbursts. I was great at it for awhile and he even started to show many of the same personality traits he possessed when we were courting, but then he got stressed and way too busy at work, was staying after-hours and just wasn't a nice person to be around. Admittedly, I because frustrated and was upset with him for not showing me or our relationship any real respect. He switched back to his "angry self" just as we were getting back to happy! It's been a struggle ever since.

I'm going to think about ways to approach him in an "adult" state, in regards to the disrespectful way he speaks to me. The cheating, as far as I can tell, has been minimized as we have a standing rule that racing in other countries will only happen if I go with him. Sponsorship covers him, WE cover me or I cover myself, depending on the costs. The last time he brought me with him, he went on national TV and said he brought his "wife." They even interviewed me, at one point. NONE of his female friends even made an attempt to call, see or speak to him, while we were there. Not one. I had heard so much about these so-called friends, but when it was all said and done, none of them came around. I wonder why...He's had the odd "I'm looking for my ex-girlfriend whom I still love" moment, but OMG. when he found out that she and I had talked, he was livid with me and claimed he wanted her out of his life forever. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure there haven't been any other girls since 2012-ish. The outbursts, disrespectful language, lying and placing all blame on me for his inability to maintain commitments to other people (his band, for example) are the current problems.

Thanks a lot. :)

Nicksgonefishin
01-02-14, 02:02 PM
Did you notice in the last 2 posts how you deflected/minimized your own issues and redirected back to him?

Hearing and accepting are 2 different things. Also many of the issues you have talked about here are surface issues. If you keep deferring to him and his wants/needs you will reach a point where you are totally lost. The reason is your self esteem has had its butt kicked the last 3 years and you have learned not to express your own wants and needs.

How was your childhood? Did you have parents that were over bearing and had the philosophy that children are seen and not heard? Who are you? You are more than just a racers gf.

I strongly encourage you to reconnect with yourself. You are a young bright beautiful girl! You have a lot to offer someone but i strongly suspect that you don't even know what those things are anymore.

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 02:25 PM
I didn't notice, but thanks for pointing it out.

I was bullied a lot as a child and teenager. My parents are amazing and were always happy to talk to me about anything and everything under the sun. They taught me about honesty. They did everything they could to make sure I was happy.

Who am I?

I'm smart. I listen when people speak to me. I'm the girl who went from being a B-class circus performer to owning/operating my own (small) marketing firm in less than a year and representing A-list, worldwide charities. I've worn many hats. I love Rod Stewart (LOOOVE ROD STEWART!) and play the banjo rather poorly...But still, I play the banjo. I bought a mandolin after experiencing Nancy Wilson (Heart) play "Battle of Evermore." I love my cat like a best friend. I take photographs of everything and am learning how to use photoshop. I believe in love and honesty and passion, as they are three of the most incredible things in this world and we're so lucky to have them.

I get it, but I also do respect myself and know what I have to offer. It may not come across that way in venting about my relationship and for that, I'm really sorry. The thing is, I'm only really interested in one person. Or, should I say, in learning how to repair my relationship with one person, so that we can both live happily. I know he's unhappy. I also know that, deep down, he knows it's his issue to deal with. Just as I know I'm the only one who can repair my self-esteem. I'm trying, though. Really.

Nicksgonefishin
01-02-14, 02:54 PM
I believe in love and honesty and passion, as they are three of the most incredible things in this world and we're so lucky to have them.


Why are you giving up the things that you value the most to be with someone?

He isn't honest with you and true love is respecting the other persons values and obviously you aren't his passion anymore.

I'm sorry to be so blunt but this is my perspective. Also in your last post you deflected and minimized again! ;)

I realize this isn't a concept that you will fully get instantly. It is a process and takes time to understand. I simply want to point it out so you can get the ball rolling.

To feed your need to understand-
Barkley has a youtube video about adhd or a bad personality.

Orlov has a wonderful book The effect of ADHD and Marriage.

BPDfamily.com was an invaluable resource for me. I identified so much with many posts on there.

Googling or checking out the concept of Detatching with Love. Detatching with love isn't abondoning at all. Infact it is just the opposite thought you will be told over and over again that it is.

dvdnvwls
01-02-14, 03:05 PM
PandoraBoxx...

In reality, there are exactly two possibilities for you.

kilted_scotsman shows Possibility #1 very clearly and in great detail.

I will now show Possibility #2 in equally vivid detail:



Suddenly leave without warning and don't ever go back.

Rebelyell
01-02-14, 03:10 PM
To be gas lighted by someone truly is the pits, to have the blame taken off them n put on you when you did nothing wrong hurts.

kilted_scotsman
01-02-14, 03:38 PM
You are on this forum... he is not.....

You are the one suffering anxiety and trying to save your self esteem.... He is a successful boy racer with girls falling at his feet.

He can father children far into the future, you cannot

As a future mother you need someone you can trust and depend on for decades, he can eat, shoot, and leave... and may already be a dad a couple of times over.

I'm only really interested in one person. .....

he's obviously not!

I'm only really interested in one person.

Why???

I'm only really interested in one person. Or, should I say, in learning how to repair my relationship with one person, so that we can both live happily.

most fairy tales end with "ever after"

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 06:21 PM
Okay.

Between reading those last few posts and a facebook message from an old boyfriend who said (when he looks at my pictures) "I can see pain in your eyes, but none in your boyfriend's...", I think I just had a major "a-ha" moment.

daveddd
01-02-14, 06:53 PM
Okay.

Between reading those last few posts and a facebook message from an old boyfriend who said (when he looks at my pictures) "I can see pain in your eyes, but none in your boyfriend's...", I think I just had a major "a-ha" moment.

who's pain is it?

and why doesn't he have any?

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 07:46 PM
Well, he said he knows it's been difficult for the last little while and that he can see it in my eyes. That I'm tired and sad because I've been making most of the effort. I said he was bang-on. Friends have made similar comments before, but it was long before we knew it could be due to a psychological issue. They just thought he was being a jerk.

I honestly don't know why it can't be seen in my partner, but I do know it's there. Just somewhat alarming that people can see it in ME, but not him.

My best friend had me write a list of five things I want to accomplish this year that make me happy and has challenged me to do at least one per week. She's setting alarms for herself to hold me accountable, as she lives two time zones away and wants to be certain that I keep at it. I told her I like that idea.

Nicksgonefishin
01-02-14, 07:54 PM
Having been in his position before he doesn't realize the pain he is causing you and therefore doesn't have any empathy for you.

My friends tried to tell me for years how unhappy I was. I wouldn't listen to them.
If you have friends who are giving you this feedback and people on here are able to pick up on it quickly from just a few posts on the internet this should be a big wake up call.

I'm glad you had a moment! I hope there are many more to come!

daveddd
01-02-14, 08:59 PM
Well, he said he knows it's been difficult for the last little while and that he can see it in my eyes. That I'm tired and sad because I've been making most of the effort. I said he was bang-on. Friends have made similar comments before, but it was long before we knew it could be due to a psychological issue. They just thought he was being a jerk.

I honestly don't know why it can't be seen in my partner, but I do know it's there. Just somewhat alarming that people can see it in ME, but not him.

My best friend had me write a list of five things I want to accomplish this year that make me happy and has challenged me to do at least one per week. She's setting alarms for herself to hold me accountable, as she lives two time zones away and wants to be certain that I keep at it. I told her I like that idea.

you seem to see something in him

you're right the pain is most likely there in him

with the symptom grouping you describe usually comes the inability to tolerate feelings of distress, along with problems articulating those feelings

with the mother child thing can come projective identification

the sub conscious manipulation of another to feel their emotions for them

a lot of times what is seen as manipulative is truly the only way the person can communicate their feelings

some types of mindfulness can sometimes help you separate your feelings and his

RedHairedWitch
01-02-14, 10:05 PM
If he never changes, can you build a happy and healthy life together?

Even if he does get help and tries to manage his disorder(s) it can take years to see real change. And there will be backslides. Medication stops working sometimes for example. Many people with disorders will go on medication or into therapy for a while, decide they are fixed now and stop. And things that a person may have worked on for years may come back with the aging process or other illness.

What if he just decides not to do the work? What if he only willing to do so much? What if he is one of those people who can't take medication? What if he gets worse in 20 years as he gets older? What if, like many people with disorders, it gets worse with the lack of sleep and stress of having children?

If you can't be happy with how things are now and there is no guarantee that things will improve, or stay improved, should you stay?

Anastasia
01-02-14, 10:06 PM
This pulls on my heart strings. I hear the desperation in you. As the thread gets larger, I am seeing more.

When I was at the point you are now, I was becoming so ill myself. I would hang on every word of advice. However, I kindly disposed of the advice I needed to hear. I held onto the advice I wanted. The advice that held any inkling it may work out, took some blame off of him, advice that said I could do more. I was committed to therapy for his disorder. I thought I could live my whole life with him practicing therapeutic responses to his insanity and ignore the person I am.

I thought he was my wounded soldier. The unfortunate circumstances that life dealt him did this. It's a very maternal insight, and some women don't have that insight when it comes to their "man". Again you seem very loving and loyal.

In reality what was happening was his power over me grew and I became addicted to martyrdom. I then discovered voluntary martyrdom is "sometimes" self-serving. Along with that I painfully discovered my support group, people who love me tremendously grew tired of it. This took a few years. Nothing he did shocked them anymore and any validation I had been given stopped. I was told they would be there when I was ready to act, not talk.

I don't think a.d.d has fueled this unacceptable behavior. I'm still convinced it's bpd. Only an excellent psych. doc can Dx him. Not because it's difficult to Dx, but because manipulation is a symptom, especially if he has convinced himself it is a.d.d alone or would rather it be a.d.d.. If he is not 100% ready to get well, humble and honest, he may very well play the victim with the doctor or omit key information. Sadly, "some" doctors will follow the patient's lead on the 1st visit. If the patient has educated himself very well on the signs and symptoms of what he believes he correctly has, wants to have or would rather have, some docs won't look any further. Here is your Rx, let's make an appointment for a month. Recovery if it is Dx is a huge and timely commitment to intense therapy.

I know this was long, but I hope, along with the others here it sheds necessary light on the severity of the situation.

And again if children are in the middle of an argument with this type of personality, they know nothing but this hurts and I'm scared. These fights can become domestic 911's quickly, especially if they sense you are growing smarter and you are really fed up with them.

PandoraBoxx
01-02-14, 11:26 PM
I've seen him victimize himself a few times, in front of a therapist. I'm the bad one, he's a saint for putting up with me.

We've agreed to try again, but I've laid down some ground rules about consistency in his positive behavior. He's agreed to do it, so am curious to see how long it lasts. The longest we've gone in a previous attempt was three months (then he got busy at work and all hell broke loose in our home life). He knows I think it may be something other than ADHD, but didn't want to discuss the specifics. He DID display some of the more disturbing BPD symptoms last night, though. Scary, scary stuff.

I looked into detaching with love (thanks, Mittens!) and have decided to try it. His ex-girlfriend, back when I spoke with her, suggested I leave an emergency bag with a friend and have some $$$$ put away in case I need it. He really scared her the last time she saw him and she was afraid I'd eventually be subjected to the same. However, his other ex-girlfriend never had any safety issues in the 10-ish years they were together...I think I'm going to start saving $$$$ and will ask a trusted friend to store some essentials, in case he ever does anything like this again.

I'm tired.

Nicksgonefishin
01-03-14, 12:08 AM
Good luck with that. .... an adhd promise I can tell you right now it's a waist of time. Besides if you are planning your exit your heart isn't in it anymore anyways.

I don't mean to be negative but I'm very pessimistic about it.

Your thread has reminded me about my ex and reaffirmed my vow to stay the hell away no matter what.

Also when he plays the "I don't know what I'd do without you or I'll kill myself if you leave" those are bluffs at attempting to control you. Don't fall for it. My come back was always "you're breathing aren't you? Then you will live"

I know it sounds jaded and it is but I just wanted you to know what may be coming. Good luck. And above all else be true to yourself and be safe.

someothertime
01-03-14, 12:10 AM
You need to see past his words.

Your OP is 90% male shoven... words are blinding your reality. Take away his words and where does that leave you?

Seriosly, before expending 1cc of fuel on changing him... ask yourself why you feel you need to validate his DELIBERATE avoidance and distance...

Maybe add played a part in these behavior s developing, I can assure you though... he is every bit aware of what he does and capable of facing that if he chooses to do so.

Remember what you said about his demeanour in the counsellors room? Any chance he's doing it now? Does he ever come to you and initiate talks like this?

TLCisaQT
01-03-14, 02:27 AM
Pandora,
I know that we don't really know you on this board and we don't fully know your situation; however, the one thing we can all agree upon is that what you are looking for an wanting in a relationship and what you deserve in a relationship, you are NOT going to get from this guy. I wish I could shake this reality into you and you would stop giving him chance after chance after chance. People may hate Dr. Phil, but it's true, the predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and he is not making any major changes towards "treatment" for that to change. I know issues of the heart make decisions harder, but everyone deserves to be find contentment in a relationship and be treated well. I truly hope your mind finds the strength to make the right decision. Most of us on here probably think HE is not that, but in the end, that is your decision. Good luck.

Anastasia
01-03-14, 02:50 AM
This is my very bizarre but deeply controlling "I'm so sorry I have smashed your face with the door again" story. I by no means think this will occur. It is an amusing story of how crazy it became. The lengths to keep me down and make me feel as if I was simply tolerated. It is hard to believe. Funny as hell to me now.

At the bottom of our bedroom staircase was a door, it was a closed staircase. The same coming upstairs from the basement. If anyone was going up or down those stairs you know when the door was going to open. I opened the bedroom door that leads to a common hallway one day and it hit him in the face. I was relieved he had no injuries. I was very apologetic and I felt terrible. It started to happen pretty regularly. ( typing that is making me laugh now) I became even more apologetic and felt so bad. "I'm sorry, so sorry, I didn't think you were right there"

Over time I thought "what are the odds!" along with a very good knowledge of what he has been capable of. I came down the stairs one day and opened the door a little slower than usual. In my peripheral vision and through the opening the door makes on the hinged side, I quickly saw him raise his forearm. The door opened to the left side, he raised his right forearm. That's fine. He had it so far in front of his face though. I abruptly stopped the door. Then there was a delayed bang! he hit the door with his forearm. Kind of like the wrestling moves on tv, when the impact and the actions just don't match, they stop to abruptly, if that makes any sense. When we met in the kitchen he was getting ice for his face, holding his nose in pain.

No, I was not in the therapeutic response mood, I smiled so big and winked at him. That's all I had to do. Without one word from me, he accused me of not believing all of the past and present door injuries. I picked up my keys and proceeded to leave, not leave him but to go out. I got in the car and he lifted a brick that was on the front porch and went to throw at the drivers side window. My neighbor was staring dead at him and he threw it in a different direction.

During a humble moment he admitted it was true, the only time I did indeed hit him with the door was the 1st time. I was not aware he loved the pity and how terrible I felt. So much so to continue it.

Imagine trying to convince your family and friends of this?! This is so funny to me now, but a very disturbing discovery. It makes me uncomfortable in a way I can't explain. Nick said bpd is "nasty" this was certainly nasty.

dvdnvwls
01-03-14, 02:55 AM
Getting a fish to promise to climb a tree does not help either you or the fish.

someothertime
01-03-14, 04:11 AM
Another thing to keep in mind pandora is that change in us takes place when all other avenues are exhausted. In a sense, you "guiding" this whole recovery thing is "providing another veil" for him...

I'm sorry if my posts have been a little harsh. It must be challenging to throw your troubles out to strangers and recieve alot of "advice"...

Everyone here cares about your ultimate wellbeing... and factoring in point above, his. TLC said very well what most of us echo.

kilted_scotsman
01-03-14, 08:09 AM
When you read this thread.... it's worth bearing in mind that some of the guys have been like your partner.

We see things slightly differently.... sometimes our advice might seem harsh but it comes from a place where we wanted our loved one to lay down firm boundaries and call us on our behaviour.

Trouble is .....because of our issues many of us ended up with women with issues... women who were needy, anxious and scared of being alone.... just like us. In order to attract women who were healthy for us we had to start the process of maturing and show we were capable of the heavy lifting required..... only at that point did the right people approach us.

The main issue is that you are hooked into wanting a particular kind of relationship with him and you are expending huge energy pushing him into fitting your ideal of a partner so that you can live your ideal of a relationship.

Inevitably he is resisting... but in a state of confusion and anger..because he has been conditioned to want that kind of relationship too...... but it doesn't suit his way of being at the moment. He experiences internal conflict..the more you push... the greater his internal conflict and the more aggressive his response. Trouble is he doesn't understand where that conflict is coming from and he is also conditioned not to be aggressive towards people he "loves"..... so he bottles it up for later increasing internal conflict again....

so the more you push, the exponentially greater is his anger/aggression response.

He is who he is.....just enjoy him for that.... you obviously did once... he's promiscuous, interesting, sexy, he has flaws, he is dangerous... untrustworthy, tender, loving, brutal, armoured, outwardly strong.....

He's just the kind of guy women have flings with, fantasize about "fixing" but not the kind of guy most mature women would want to have kids by.... unless they have an independent income and like the idea of single motherhood and are looking for a hunkychunk sperm donor.

I would think that if he ever grows up and sorts himself out (<5% chance) it'll be when he can't be a successful bike rider any more.... at that point he'll have to re-evaluate his sense of what it means to be a man.... if he can navigate that (which will be a long dark night of the soul for him), he may well morph into a pretty cool guy....

If this happens... (which is unlikely) he'll spend some time on his own finding himself.... then, probably in his 50's he'll hook up with a well grounded mature young woman probably in her early to mid 30's and settle down to an interesting retirement, much the envy of the other dudes in the area.

Maturity isn't an age it's an attitude......

Mittens
01-06-14, 03:11 AM
Pandora - just thinking of you and hoping you had a great weekend / things are going okay

Keep your chin up :)

dvdnvwls
01-06-14, 03:34 AM
I will add one important thing which Anastasia forgot to say in her otherwise-excellent post:

Pretending to be honest and humble is also one of the symptoms. Him looking to you like he is honest and humble is not much of an indicator of anything, because he is good at fooling you.

Anastasia
01-06-14, 03:13 PM
Bingo! another form of manipulation

Daydreamin22
01-06-14, 03:16 PM
I know that adhd inattentive type can sometimes seem arrogant/aloof.
I'm not.

Daydreamin22
01-06-14, 03:20 PM
I'd definitely make an informed choice.
Have you read anything about healthy relationships/ADHD and couples?

Daydreamin22
01-06-14, 03:24 PM
From the little... and I mean two pages.. that I've read. Borderline Personality Disorder is not a part of a person. It is an attitude/affect/behavior (I think?) that occurs in a certain situation under certain conditions. It's treatable. I'm assuming you have to figure it out for him. Sounds like a goal you all could work on together.

I haven't read the abuse section... assuming their is one relating to his ex/

Do you all have the same future goals? Most importantly are you compatible?

Also, the number one thing that predicts divorce in a relationship is contempt.

Mittens
01-06-14, 07:44 PM
From the little... and I mean two pages.. that I've read. Borderline Personality Disorder is not a part of a person. It is an attitude/affect/behavior (I think?) that occurs in a certain situation under certain conditions. It's treatable. I'm assuming you have to figure it out for him. Sounds like a goal you all could work on together.

I haven't read the abuse section... assuming their is one relating to his ex/

Do you all have the same future goals? Most importantly are you compatible?

Also, the number one thing that predicts divorce in a relationship is contempt.

Borderline is very much part of a person, and it's not treated by medications as much as a very specific type of therapy called dialetical therapy.
It teaches the person work-arounds because they can't 'change', but they can learn how to act differently and process differently / treat the symptoms so to speak.
If that made any sense?

Modafinilguy
01-07-14, 02:14 PM
I've got ADHD, and many times also had borderline diagnosis, although it doesn't entirely fit.

But I will tell you, I most certainly treat people better than this man is treating you.

No judgment if you wish to stay, but reading this thread, you deserve to be treated so much better, seriously.

ADDiAnni
02-26-14, 12:29 AM
I am shocked by this post!

I hope you will leave this #%*++*^## person and see a good supportive therapist, not a couples counselor. I am in agreement with many other opinions already stated.

I don't care what excuse is given, his behavior and how he treats you (abusively, over and over again) is almost like a sociopath?, his lack of empathy for you is just stunning. If I were your friend, I'd be using much stronger language than that and calling you every day and spending time with you and getting you out. I hope you have female friends and or family to lean on during this time.

Good luck!

TLCisaQT
03-02-14, 06:44 PM
I wonder whatever happened with Pandora and this guy. I hate it when they to a drive by posting and don't update us :(