View Full Version : Help! I'm lonely


mamaluv
11-20-14, 08:39 PM
I've been with my boyfriend for 6 years. He was diagnosed with ADHD during his pre-teen years, medicated for maybe a year, and hasn't taken a pill since then. He smokes a bit of pot, it does help him when he figets, but only temporarily helps with his focus.

He's hooked on hunting...he's either hunting or talking about it. I go sometimes, but he mostly goes solo. I find it very attractive that he is so passionate about something. He is so smart, charming, and OMG...so witty. I love him so much. He's very affectionate. loves to snuggle and cuddle but I always get his 'leftovers'. His hobby is the only thing he wants to do or talk about. He is absolutely bored in my presence. If he is with me any amount of time and can't be hunting, he has his face in his cell phone, or he falls asleep. :(:(

I keep myself busy. I workout, visit with friends, I fish, play with my son, clean the house, and it's like he never misses me. I bring it to his attention and he's confused because he says he likes being with me :scratch: If I ignore him anymore to try to get attention, I swear he will cease to exist.

I've tried so many times (in a non-accusatory) way to tell him how this makes me feel but he just gets angry.

I don't want to lose him but I'm lonely :(

Pilgrim
11-20-14, 09:38 PM
I don't know a lot but he is sort of wired this way. I would say that I think there is a way around it. I'm sure he does care for you but he must focus on this cause it gives his life purpose.
Keep us posted pls

Mishka
11-20-14, 11:05 PM
His seeming obsession with hunting is a very common thing for someone with ADHD and he probably can't control it if that is any consolation.

If I can ask - has his behavior always been this way or has it recently gotten more intense?

If his behavior has changed - could he be under extra stress or something else that might be triggering increased symptoms?

mamaluv
11-20-14, 11:42 PM
It does give his life purpose and he loves me dearly. I'm just lonely for his companionship. He's zoned out when it's just us and it's like he's not even 'present.' I don't know how to not feel so lonely and he doesn't know how to zone in on me. After 6 yrs I don't really know why he is with me since he seems so 'uninterested.'

RobboW
11-21-14, 03:59 AM
You would possibly be able to find a mutual activity that you enjoy and he can obsess over? He is very ADD, quite normal to be that way. It won't change. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you, just he lives a bit in his own little universe.

Fuzzy12
11-21-14, 06:13 AM
I am a lot like that as well. I think, it's great that you are so understanding and encouraging about his hobby. I think, unless he's so obsessed with it that it interferes with his functioning it's good that he's got a hobby that he's passionate about. I know that at least I tend to get very depressed in the absence of any stimulation.

My husband (and others) often complain that I'm always on my mobile and I guess, it does make them feel lonely. Unless a conversation is very stimulating I struggle to give it my full attention. ADHDers, in general, do tend to get bored easily.

I also rarely miss people, especially those that I see on a daily basis. It doesn't mean that I don't care for them though.

I think, as Robbo said, the best would be to find an activity that you can do together. You could just ask him what he thinks he might enjoy doing with you.

someothertime
11-21-14, 07:40 AM
I think this is potentially quite addressable with some practical conmittments from you both that schedule some clear, consistent "us time".

it would help his side if there was a clear change in place / activity / objective...

I feel for you though really identify with how he's behaving... It is a common default way of doing things... That is to be proccupied and leave out / not maintain certain areas of our lives that while valued deeply... Drift into a sort of black hole...

I wish you both the best and by the sounds of things there are a lot of positive aspects of you both.

mamaluv
11-21-14, 10:08 AM
I think this is potentially quite addressable with some practical conmittments from you both that schedule some clear, consistent "us time".

it would help his side if there was a clear change in place / activity / objective...

I feel for you though really identify with how he's behaving... It is a common default way of doing things... That is to be proccupied and leave out / not maintain certain areas of our lives that while valued deeply... Drift into a sort of black hole...

I wish you both the best and by the sounds of things there are a lot of positive aspects of you both.



Right now, in our area, there is 2 days left of deer hunting. He has not dropped a deer, so I don't expect to see much of him. We used to fish together, I still do..love it, can't wait for ice fishing, but now all he wants to do is hunt. Alone! We will hike, go out to our duck blind we built this, year, but he mostly wants to go alone. I know it's his time for 'peace', his fine line to zone in and out sort of say, but right now his hyperfocus is so rampant that he's not eating and sleeping well at all. It makes him VERY hateful. I'm very aware to not be an enabler, as my 9 yr old son also has Adhd (he's medicated and it helps with his focus greatly), but I can't help but to worry about his health.

I know he tries so hard and I tell him I appreciate everything, and that I had a wonderful time when he does make time for me, but if I don't make a plan, he usually won't.

Except for the 'honeymoon' phase, he's always been this way. My son sometimes has the notion that other people's hobbies are stupid and a waste of time as well and always wants to do what HE wants. I guess I'd just like to get my way more. Everything seems one sided. I'm not sure what my reward is or if I've even gotten it yet lol.

Stevuke79
11-21-14, 01:51 PM
I can totally relate to this. I am a lot like your husband and I think you have a lot in common with my wife and to me this felt like a familiar challenging dynamic.

If he's like me he's not really board in your presence. It may look like he is board, and he may even say that he is (I know it's weird for me to suggest that he's not really board even if he says he is,.. but stay with me). If he's like me, when he says he's board, it's more that the lack of stimulus is very difficult. It's painful and overwhelming - you could be anyone in the world and he or I would have the same problem. When he picks up his phone, that's actually helping him pay attention to you. BUT he knows cell phones while talking to someone is rude, .. so he looks for an alternative, and if he can't fine one, he falls asleep. There are recently a lot of articles about this. Here is one (http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1882127,00.html).

I used to always either be working, on my bike, or on my ipad. I know it's rude to be on my ipad with my wife,.. and that's something we struggled with. I have learned to find things that I can do while with my wife and daughter that don't make me seem rude or detached like playing my guitar. It of course seems very strange that I always have it on my lap,.. but strange is better than rude and both my wife and my daughter now feel that I spend more time with them.

Soooo,.. he might think of something that he can do while he's spending time with you. (that's different than doing something WITH YOU, .. which of course is also a good idea, but it requires you to want to do the same things which may or may not be the case). like doodling, knitting (wife does this while we're spending time together; she's not adhd though).. or his phone if you can stand it.. ,.. anything that you can carry with you that doesn't totally dominate your eyes and keeps your mouth and ears free.

anonymouslyadd
11-21-14, 02:08 PM
I know he tries so hard and I tell him I appreciate everything, and that I had a wonderful time when he does make time for me, but if I don't make a plan, he usually won't.
Make the plan for him! He might be thinking I know I should and want to spend time with mamaluv. Then he thinks about the details of planning everything out, which is stressful for an ADDer! Make it easier for him, and I think you'll find more of what you want in the relationship.

VeryTired
11-21-14, 04:01 PM
I think this is a very illuminating thread, big thanks to all who have posted here. My partner is somewhat like mamaluv's also--no hunting, since we live in a big city, but he basically can't pay attention to me, although I know he loves me, cares about me and wants me to be OK.

Not surprisingly, there are two main ways of looking at this kind of problem. We can take the perspective of the person who has ADHD. It's not his fault that he is as he is and feels what he feels. He's not trying to do any harm, and he doesn't really have the ability to give the kind of attention that non-ADHD people often can, and want. This is so important--and so hard for us non-ADHD people to keep in my mind. It just violates our experience and expectations. But so what? It's how things are--our expectations weren't designed around people with ADHD, and our own experiences aren't relevant because we don't have ADHD. We have to work as hard as we can to understand that this is one of the ways ADHD can affect our partners.

But there's more.

From the perspective of the non-ADHD partner, these circumstances are very confusing. First of all, the dramatic change from initial romance hyperfocus to normal state ADHD inattention is SO upsetting, sometimes terrifying, usually incomprehensible, not to mention hurtful and difficult. We got into our relationships by revealing our true, consistent selves ... and fell in love ... only to find that our partners weren't revealing their similarly permanent essential selves, but rather have morphed into strangers in some ways.

And beyond that, there's the problem of what one actually needs from a relationship. Some people are good with just a basic level of companionship (shared home, family, etc) but others require (need, not merely want) that attention be paid to them whenever they are present, they want to share thoughts and feelings, and they need to be heard, considered, etc etc. If this is what you need, someone who is out hunting without you all the time is going to be a difficult partner to have.

mamaluv's situation and personality might be very different from mine. But I have to say, one of my biggest problems is that the guy I got involved with is not the same guy I live with today. I entered this relationship because of a level of attention, solicitude, focus upon and interest in me that was very rewarding and valuable to me. But then it disappeared with no warning. My partner and I have been struggling with this for a few years now. I have no answers.

So, it's not really about the hunting, is it? It's about whether two people can work around the problem the ADHD poses, and negotiate so as to fulfill both their fundamental needs while staying in a relationship with each other. Depending on what those people's needs actually are, this can be harder or easier. In my case, it's definitely harder. mamaluv, in your case I think it's a question of whether you actually want to have a relationship with a guy who goes hunting without you all the time or not. Maybe you can accept that, maybe not.

I hope you'll keep in touch and post more about how things go with you.

Stevuke79
11-21-14, 04:53 PM
VeryTired, I think you always bring a much needed perspective that I don't think is otherwise heard as much around here. I always find it very insightful and it really speaks to how hard you work to understand and appreciate your partner.

There is one thing you said:
others require (need, not merely want) that attention be paid to them whenever they are present, they want to share thoughts and feelings, and they need to be heard, considered, etc etc.

I wouldn't have thought that is so, but I may be lacking the full perspective of the non-adhd partner.

To me it seems that someone with ADHD, even very severe ADHD can provide the kind of attention and presence that you talk about. It may have to be more planned and less spontaneous or you may have to reinterpret certain types of queues. For instance, where most people can usually shift gears if need be - to get along with an ADHD'er you may have to schedule "personal time" and "together time". And you'll need to plan that the "together time" be at a time when he wont be distracted. He may need to prepare himself before that time. And it may need to be in a setting where he wont feel compelled to look at his phone. Maybe you two could go to a museum or a restaurant so there will be ambient stimulus to settle his mind. I find that even if me and my wife just have a place to take a walk like a park, .. just walking outside gives me the ambient stimulus to be in the moment.

IMO, and I know I may be wrong, I think someone with ADHD can provide the kind of attention you want. BUUUUUT,.. and this relates to something mamaluv wrote:
I've tried so many times (in a non-accusatory) way to tell him how this makes me feel but he just gets angry.

They must be willing to hear it, and they must be willing to do what they have to in order to make it work.

IMO, this is hard, not so much because of the ADHD (though that doesn't help), but because as soon as you bring it up we associate it with all the times that people either criticized or complained about us or we weren't good enough for them.. and we probably didn't hear it in a constructive manner or from someone who actually cared about us or who was willing to work with us, as I can tell you both are.

But unfortunately, just because you're not like the people who drove us crazy about this all our life, it's probably going to be difficult to have your SO's see you as any different.

I could give you some ideas about how to do that and how to set the stage to change your SO's paradigm for what you're saying, .. but I think you would be best served getting that kind of advice the same place I and my wife did. From a professional. :)

If I ignore him anymore to try to get attention, I swear he will cease to exist.

I'm sure that some people can understand why you think that would work. Maybe even most people would get it - maybe VeryTired can explain it to me... but I think this is counter productive.

In fact, in addition to being painful for you, when you think you're ignoring him, .. he probably thinks it's because you're just as happy as a pig in #@^#!
(when I ignore you, that's what it means.:) And I'm happy for you that you're happy.)

mamaluv
11-21-14, 11:12 PM
Thank you for shedding more light on this concern of mine. Last night he was crying, as it hurts him terribly to see me feel hopeless and lost sometimes. He grabbed my right hand, which is peppered with eczema right now, and said "You know how your hand gets extremely itchy at times when the eczema is just breaking through? Well that's how I feel on the inside. Itchy! Now you can't use your nails on your hand cause it will break the skin and maybe get infected, so you just kind of 'rub' it firmly with your other hand...well, picking up my phone when I'm 'itchy' is the same.......so Stevuke79, 'painful and overwhelming' makes sense now.

I convinced him to see a social worker, it took him 3 years to go twice, told him I thought a coach would be a great idea. Maybe someday he says. He struggles with the idea that he knows he's 'a bit f@&ked up' as he puts it, but he also doesn't want to change who he is. Same with me. I sometimes hate being so sensitive ( I feel everyones pain, I know when people are hurting), but maybe if I weren't so sensitive I wouldn't be so lovable and nuturing.

mamaluv
11-21-14, 11:26 PM
mamaluv's situation and personality might be very different from mine. But I have to say, one of my biggest problems is that the guy I got involved with is not the same guy I live with today. I entered this relationship because of a level of attention, solicitude, focus upon and interest in me that was very rewarding and valuable to me. But then it disappeared with no warning. My partner and I have been struggling with this for a few years now. I have no answers.
.[/QUOTE]


YES! Feels like false advertising. He was totally unaware that he was doing this in his relationships. It's been six years, so I know that guy is never coming back. The wit and charm is still there. The spunk and fire under his feet is there, but the focus on me is gone. It pops in once and a while, but rarely sticks around.

anonymouslyadd
11-21-14, 11:30 PM
mamaluv's situation and personality might be very different from mine. But I have to say, one of my biggest problems is that the guy I got involved with is not the same guy I live with today. I entered this relationship because of a level of attention, solicitude, focus upon and interest in me that was very rewarding and valuable to me. But then it disappeared with no warning. My partner and I have been struggling with this for a few years now. I have no answers.
If you dated an NT, do you think he'd show the same passion today that he showed on your first few dates?

What relationship doesn't lose steam? You'll never find a relationship in which the person you see in the year 2008 is the same person in 2014. How could that ever be possible, VeryTired? Life is strange and it changes us.

It seems like your focus is consumed by a disorder instead of a relationship phenomenon: relationships start off very hot and generally cool down. It takes work to keep them hot and probably even more work with an ADDer.

Mamaluv, if this is not a beneficial discussion for you, please PM me or let me know in this thread. I felt like this could benefit you, VeryTired and maybe me, too.

Stevuke79
11-21-14, 11:43 PM
I convinced him to see a social worker, it took him 3 years to go twice, told him I thought a coach would be a great idea. Maybe someday he says. He struggles with the idea that he knows he's 'a bit f@&ked up' as he puts it, but he also doesn't want to change who he is. Same with me. I sometimes hate being so sensitive ( I feel everyones pain, I know when people are hurting), but maybe if I weren't so sensitive I wouldn't be so lovable and nuturing.

I'm glad you guys seem to have made some progress.

A therapist never tries to change anyone. And if you see one as a couple he's not likely to even treat the ADHD directly.

A good therapist will simply give you guys the language to tell each other what you want and discuss how you both can have it in ways that are comfortable and agreeable to the other.

mamaluv
11-22-14, 12:05 AM
This thread is extremely beneficial. Great explainations and suggestions. Also, I do make plans for us, I guess there's just that part of me that wishes he asked me.

I was in a 13 yr relationship (married 9) before him, so I totally understand the spark will fade. I guess I'm just used to having someone that is more 'present'.

It takes a lot of work for both of us. We have patience for one another most times.

There are times that I think OMG I can't do this. Other times I am aware how lucky I am to have someone who is faithful, lovable, loves my children, works, etc.

anonymouslyadd
11-22-14, 12:11 AM
Also, I do make plans for us, I guess there's just that part of me that wishes he asked me.
It is disappointing. I wish I could've done more for my ex-wife.

someothertime
11-22-14, 05:54 AM
Yup... I wanted to tack on to Verys detailed post and your response to mine...

I wrote this huge post last night but it looks like it didn't come through...

It is Apollo important to emphasise, after the point about the non_adhd partners understanding... that there is HUGR scope to change the way things are done to facilitate an adder...

Fir example... If you both made fortune cookies with things you wanted from the other... Then every Saturday you drew one of the other persons... One wonders...

The reason such game induction does not evejtuate is the former ( partners focus on what not how... ) or interpersonal things.. and as humans behavioral change is hard enough with or without adhd... And when it's a couple moreso.....

Imagine half these struggling couples getting intensive Dbt type behavioral interraction talorying coaching rather than talk only etc... One wonders...

So yeah... You'll be so much more empowered / on track if "style" is a huge part of the solution... Alas.... We people so often steer this into excuse or blame ( intent ) territory... Even saying that does.... Gee...

So yeah... Probably makes more sense saying that one shouldn't talk Spanish to an Englishman.... No fault no blame.... Just a ttanslator / language.

Greengrasshoppe
11-22-14, 12:08 PM
My relationship sounds like the OPs too... Sigh...

VeryTired
11-22-14, 02:16 PM
Wow, great discussion unfolding here. I think mamaluv has really given us all a lot to think about.

Steve, you are always so thoughtful, so reasonable in your approach to these complicated relationship questions. I want to pick up on what you were saying in response to my previous post. Maybe I am wrong on this--maybe this is my blindness to perspectives unlike my own. I really don't know. But I htink for some people the need in a relationship is to be seen, heard, attended to, recognized, known. That is a thing in itself. I think this can be a primary need. The shared activities or what have you are nice, but engineering their occurrence doesn't directly satisfy the need.

I am not sure if this thing I am talking about has a name, but I'll call it acknowledgement and responsiveness. In my relationship, doing a lot of work to get my partner to remember that I want or like or need something is often worthwhile, but the real need--the deep, urgent thing I am feeling--is to be seen, recognized, considered, responded to, and that precludes my engineering the acknowledgment and response. This is a terrible, difficult, maybe impossible thing for me to need from my partner, for the reasons we all understand and have been discussing.

But just because it is either arduous or impossible for him to do what I need doesn't mean that I don't need it. OK, we can all understand that even lovely, mutually respectful, good-hearted people can have severe incompatibilities that are hard to negotiate. But this is something more complicated.

The guy I first met and fell in love with was NOT like this. Ever. The whole premise of the relationship was attention, intimacy, interest, shared thoughts, conversation, emotional connectedness, the meeting of minds (and bodies). That was the point. And those are things I value and require in a romantic relationship--and those are things I can sustainably provide indefinitely. But my partner cannot do that, does not do that, doesn't really even see how he has changed or understand now why I need what we once had.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that a person can only do what he can do, and that my having a need doesn't make my partner able or obligated to fulfill it. And I see that my need must be very uncomfortable for my partner, often. He's a good guy who wants me to have what I need. I am not even arguing that what I need is typical or reasonable or straightforward. It's just--what I need.

And I saw a parallel with mamaluv, who needs attention and shared experience but isn't getting it from Mr. Deerhunter. He needs what he needs, too, and this thread has done a lot to illuminate what that might be, for the benefit of us non-ADHD-ers.

To me this seems like a bedrock issue--so deep, so rooted, and so much stands on its foundation. A couple who can work this out can probably work anything out. A couple who can't may end up not being able to work anything out.

VeryTired
11-22-14, 02:30 PM
annonymouslyadd--

Thanks for your response to my previous post. I think I understand what you are saying, but that is really not what I was talking about. I have been in many relationships, I know that they evolve, and that intensity diminishes for most people over time. That's all fine and normal. What I have been talking about is something very different.

I don't know how to explain better than I already have, and this is not the first time I have run into incomprehension on this point. It would be presumptuous for me to say "just trust me on this, it really happens ..." so instead I'll just tell you that in a discussion group for partners of people with ADHD, this topic comes up a lot and everyone there immediately gets it and chimes in. It's not just me.

The hyperfocus that people with ADHD often bring to a new romantic relationship is many orders of magnitude different from how people without ADHD typically do it. And when that hyperfocus ends, often instantaneously, like turning off a switch, it is incomprehensible to someone who doesn't have the same on/off switch. It is like having your lover turn into another person, right before your eyes, without his noticing what's going on or caring how that affects you. This is very heavy stuff to experience. It has a kind of Twilight Zone feel--surreal danger, terrible loss.

I feel that it's my job to understand this to-me bizarre phenomenon that is part of what's normal to my partner. It's my job to accept that this is just how he is and what happens to him. He's not trying to hurt me or trying to do anything for that matter. It just is. But I think it's also his job to understand that this is all far from normal to me, that seeing my partner seemingly turn into another person is scary and disturbing, and that it's not surprising that I expected my needs to continue being met because they started out being met. I expect him to understand the reality of me, even if it takes a lot of work, just as I struggle to understand the reality of him.

I doubt I have really clarified anything here, but I'm trying ...

mamaluv
11-22-14, 08:48 PM
VeryTired - I have been to therapy a few times for myself, and also for/with my son to help deal with our difficulties, but this is my first time speaking with someone who understands the need to be important,wanted, desired etc. It's not like I ever wanted someone hooked to my hip all the time or under my heels, but it is a valid need for some people. I've struggled, wondering if there is something wrong with me for wanting or needing this trait in someone. No disrespect, but this need was never so apparent until I started dating my sweetheart.

I think we all have our 'isms' as I call them, and at times I know he's wondering where the 'fun' mamaluv went. He did not notice this '360' and was not aware of my shock and disappointment at first. He couldn't understand why I was not myself....talk about confusion lol.

It is tiring but sometimes it can be so rewarding. He is a whiz with numbers, he has been a HUGE help with math for my youngest son. Although at times he is not able to get things moving on his own, he is able to assist my son and that gives him more purpose and a sense of pride.

Everyday can be rewarding if you just open your mind.

SirSchmidt
11-22-14, 09:13 PM
I think this is potentially quite addressable with some practical conmittments from you both that schedule some clear, consistent "us time".

it would help his side if there was a clear change in place / activity / objective...

I feel for you though really identify with how he's behaving... It is a common default way of doing things... That is to be proccupied and leave out / not maintain certain areas of our lives that while valued deeply... Drift into a sort of black hole...

I wish you both the best and by the sounds of things there are a lot of positive aspects of you both.

I can relate to your husband in many ways. I quoted someothertime's post because it brought something to mind.

Whenever I'm focusing (or perhaps hyperfocusing) on a particular task it's very hard for me to break away for ANY reason. If the person I loved most walked into the room, I'd still mostly focus on the task at hand. If I was forced away from the task, I'd still be thinking about it and may seem "distant".

If your husband is anything like me, he probably doesn't like being interrupted from his own schedule last-minute. Not only this, but he may not be capable of switching focus and spending quality time on a whim.

If you schedule some together-time in advance, he'll have more time to mentally prepare for it and focus on you instead of something else. This could be a weekly date night, walk, or any activity that both of you would be excited about.

Fuzzy12
11-26-14, 06:37 AM
Thank you for shedding more light on this concern of mine. Last night he was crying, as it hurts him terribly to see me feel hopeless and lost sometimes. He grabbed my right hand, which is peppered with eczema right now, and said "You know how your hand gets extremely itchy at times when the eczema is just breaking through? Well that's how I feel on the inside. Itchy! Now you can't use your nails on your hand cause it will break the skin and maybe get infected, so you just kind of 'rub' it firmly with your other hand...well, picking up my phone when I'm 'itchy' is the same.......so Stevuke79, 'painful and overwhelming' makes sense now.

I convinced him to see a social worker, it took him 3 years to go twice, told him I thought a coach would be a great idea. Maybe someday he says. He struggles with the idea that he knows he's 'a bit f@&ked up' as he puts it, but he also doesn't want to change who he is. Same with me. I sometimes hate being so sensitive ( I feel everyones pain, I know when people are hurting), but maybe if I weren't so sensitive I wouldn't be so lovable and nuturing.

That's a brilliant description. Thanks for sharing it. That's exactly how I feel. It's an itch that won't you leave alone till you scratch it. Then you might have 2 mins of peace before it starts again.

Medication has really helped me with that itch. Unfortunately, it lasts just about long enough to get me through work but not my home life in the evenings. There are options though to make them last longer or dose differently.

To me it seems that someone with ADHD, even very severe ADHD can provide the kind of attention and presence that you talk about. It may have to be more planned and less spontaneous or you may have to reinterpret certain types of queues. For instance, where most people can usually shift gears if need be - to get along with an ADHD'er you may have to schedule "personal time" and "together time". And you'll need to plan that the "together time" be at a time when he wont be distracted. He may need to prepare himself before that time. And it may need to be in a setting where he wont feel compelled to look at his phone. Maybe you two could go to a museum or a restaurant so there will be ambient stimulus to settle his mind. I find that even if me and my wife just have a place to take a walk like a park, .. just walking outside gives me the ambient stimulus to be in the moment.

:goodpost:

I can't pay attention to two things at the same time, even if one of those things are just the thoughts in my head. I also can't pay attention when I'm stressed about something else.

Also, I won't know that I need to pay attention unless I'm explicitly told. So if hubs needs sudden, spontaneous attention it's difficult.

Walks are brilliant. Beautiful surroundings don't necessary distract me but they relax me and open my mind. We've had some great talks while walking!!

Greengrasshoppe
11-29-14, 09:30 PM
I've been with my boyfriend for 6 years. He was diagnosed with ADHD during his pre-teen years, medicated for maybe a year, and hasn't taken a pill since then. He smokes a bit of pot, it does help him when he figets, but only temporarily helps with his focus.

He's hooked on hunting...he's either hunting or talking about it. I go sometimes, but he mostly goes solo. I find it very attractive that he is so passionate about something. He is so smart, charming, and OMG...so witty. I love him so much. He's very affectionate. loves to snuggle and cuddle but I always get his 'leftovers'. His hobby is the only thing he wants to do or talk about. He is absolutely bored in my presence. If he is with me any amount of time and can't be hunting, he has his face in his cell phone, or he falls asleep. :(:(

I keep myself busy. I workout, visit with friends, I fish, play with my son, clean the house, and it's like he never misses me. I bring it to his attention and he's confused because he says he likes being with me :scratch: If I ignore him anymore to try to get attention, I swear he will cease to exist.

I've tried so many times (in a non-accusatory) way to tell him how this makes me feel but he just gets angry.

I don't want to lose him but I'm lonely :(My SO is sort of the same way except his obsession is work. We hardly ever go out. He forgets or whatever. Time goes by and then it's months before we've done anything fun. I've even asked him to set an alarm as a reminder. He did. But the last time, we were fighting and not talking. I'm just tired of it. It's like he's not interested in me. Then he should just break up with me.

anonymouslyadd
11-29-14, 10:31 PM
My SO is sort of the same way except his obsession is work. We hardly ever go out. He forgets or whatever. Time goes by and then it's months before we've done anything fun. I've even asked him to set an alarm as a reminder. He did. But the last time, we were fighting and not talking. I'm just tired of it. It's like he's not interested in me. Then he should just break up with me.
As bizarre as this may seem, it's even difficult for us to plan or focus on things that we enjoy. I love to write and don't always want to learn about writing. :confused:

It must be discouraging. However, I bet he's disappointed in himself for not being able to meet your needs.

dvdnvwls
11-30-14, 05:10 AM
From the perspective of the non-ADHD partner, these circumstances are very confusing. First of all, the dramatic change from initial romance hyperfocus to normal state ADHD inattention is SO upsetting, sometimes terrifying, usually incomprehensible, not to mention hurtful and difficult. We got into our relationships by revealing our true, consistent selves ... and fell in love ... only to find that our partners weren't revealing their similarly permanent essential selves, but rather have morphed into strangers in some ways.

...

mamaluv's situation and personality might be very different from mine. But I have to say, one of my biggest problems is that the guy I got involved with is not the same guy I live with today. I entered this relationship because of a level of attention, solicitude, focus upon and interest in me that was very rewarding and valuable to me. But then it disappeared with no warning. My partner and I have been struggling with this for a few years now. I have no answers.

No woman in the world lives with the same guy she initially got involved with; everyone changes over time. You're not the same woman your partner knew at first, either, and the ways in which you've changed may not be any easier for him than his changes have been for you. In addition, two people in a brand-new relationship who are neurologically different from each other are both more likely to make mistaken assumptions about which parts of their new love's personality and characteristics are going to change and which parts are going to be relatively stable.

From my particular point of view, which is likely to be peculiar and biased and not easily transferred to someone else's situation, I found that my ex (who is NT) seemed to me to be taking care not to change her practical, thoughtful, real-world-relevant characteristics, believing that in doing so she was maintaining her true consistent self; unfortunately, her non-practical, emotional, real-world-irrelevant, inconsistent characteristics were exactly what I ended up feeling the loss of. I felt as if she was gone, not because she was physically gone (though sadly that ended up happening eventually), but because she became emotionally less "available" as time went on - her laudable practical concerns and her unwavering consistency of her favourite parts of her personality (which frankly were the parts I didn't need and the parts that had never attracted me) were (to my ADHD mind) not anything valid on which to build a relationship. When we discussed relationship issues, I felt as if I was an employee being summoned to a meeting, because the "business" of our relationship was kept front and centre at all times, and I didn't have a clue how to tell her "I miss you" in a way that she could grasp or understand - she thought I had deserted her, which in some way I had, but she wasn't able to fathom that she too had deserted me, in a different but very significant way. (In fact, it's quite possible that what I've just written is too faithful a re-enactment of those unsuccessful encounters, and that I might have given you no information of value. There may be a lot "lost in translation".)

I remember weeping inconsolably that if I had been looking for a business partner I would have chosen very differently. This is because at some point, due to her valid and proper concerns for the future, my ex became "all business" and stopped engaging with me at an emotional level. I sense that this issue is one of those "peeling an onion" situations - both because there's always another layer to analyze, and because I cried a lot. :(

someothertime
11-30-14, 07:03 AM
on hyperfocus ending... love... is like a magic medication for many of us...

we have spark, nurture... basically everything... and that 'narrow" focus allows us to feel stronger and deeper than we often do...

put another way... your love was his medication... this i think... is never finite and perhaps your ( plural ) most powerful ally

VeryTired
11-30-14, 07:13 PM
My apologies in advance if this is too long, and too much about me--I don't know if this is still relevant at all to the OP.

I am particularly talking to dvdnvwls here, since once again, he has given me an enormous amount of important new perspective to think about. So, I am struggling to re-make my own certainties and assumptions. I DO still believe that the sudden shut-off of some ADHD-ers' new relationship hyperfocus is a distinct phenomenon, quite different from how non-ADHD people typically change over time. We don't need to get into all the specifics here, however, or into all the other people's stories I've heard about this.

Actually, what I am hearing from you now, dvd, makes me think that it's not that important whether I am right about that or not. So instead, I am struggling to use what you said about yourself as a tool to start imagining my own partner's point of view and feelings more clearly than I have been able to do so far. I think that he is probably experiencing something similar to what you say you did.

I am very very interested by the idea that your ex's favorite parts of herself were not necessarily those which you valued most. I believe that this is something that happens between people all the time, in all sorts of relationships. And it can be extremely hard to recognize or understand when it happens. So I really admire your insight into your own experience.

It is very easy to assume that we ourselves know best what is really true about ourselves, what our real essential selves are. But so what? If our partners value other aspects of us more highly, even if we deem those parts they prefer as relatively trivial, well, that is their right.

Anyway, I think I may be doing what you describe your ex as doing. I think it is very very easy for two people both to "desert" each other at once in the way you describe. I am sure that it was my partner who changed/deserted/went away first, but it's not convincing at all if I try to insist that that experience didn't change me when it happened. Of course it did, and so now I am different, and my partner no doubt experiences that difference of mine as a desertion of him as well.

I think this doesn't just relate to the the loss-of-initial-romantic-hyperfocus issues, but also pertains to more general difficulties we have understanding each other. For instance, my partner tells me sometimes that he feels as if I am frustrated with him all the time for no reason. I usually try to respond to that by telling him what the reasons for my frustration are--but just as the things he does that frustrate me are invisible to him while he is doing them, they also are hard for him to understand when I tell him about them. To me, it's clear that he is repeatedly doing something I asked him not to do, raising his voice at me, or changing the plans we have already made …but to him, these things don't have meaning, can't explain my irritation, and don't merit my response of frustration. I am not a particularly irritable person in general, and I don't get mad without reason. Yet to my partner, what I just said about myself isn't true--he is quite sure that sometimes I inexplicably get mad at him for no reason.

I'm not sure if any of what I just wrote will make sense to anyone else--or be of the slightest interest. But it has sure helped me to think aloud about this here, and to learn from what dvdnvwls said. There is one thing more that I want to say, though, before I'm done here.

dvdnvwls, I am so, so, so sorry to hear of the painful and awful things that happened to you in the break-up of your marriage. You are such a fine person, and it is so evident that you gave your all to that relationship. I know that after-the-fact sympathy from a stranger isn't worth much, but I can't let this go without sending you admiration for your sensitivity and decency, and deep regret that you were hurt.

anonymouslyadd
11-30-14, 08:31 PM
It's amazing how relationship issues seem to be cast onto the ADDer, as opposed to looking at it from both sides. Additionally, I've never seen an NT discuss their part of the problems, on this site. This unbalance makes sense, though.

The trouble with discussing subjects such as these is not having both sides of the story. However, we can make one healthy assumption: ADD can bring havoc to a relationship. The issues from ADD can put extra strain on it.

There's another side to the story.

Learning from my marriage

When I was going through counseling, which I experienced for nearly two years, I realized that I did not cause all of our marital problems. My ex-wife blamed me for every problem from our spiritual woes to cleaning up junk mail off the kitchen table. Like my ADD coach told me, ADDers will happily agree with the criticism. We've heard criticism our whole lives. Not only did I welcome it, I wallowed in the criticism.

A month after my wife left, my awesome therapist diagnosed me with ADD, and with her diagnosis, she lifted years of guilt, sorrow and pain from my shoulders. Finally, there was a reason for the procrastination, poor organization and inability to finish tasks. Over the next two years, we unraveled my relationships, including my pending divorce.

Balancing the blame

My therapist helped me balance the blame, and the problems began unfolding. With that unfolding, I learned that I did not cause all of our marital problems. I didn't cause my wife to cling to her family, taking their side over my own. I didn't make her less secure of a person. There were other things she did that I don't want to share.

ADDers do great things

My therapist also helped me see the great things I did for my ex. Before we were married, she saw a therapist, and I went to sessions with her. I went to her therapy sessions before we were married. I also took a job with benefits, something she needed, for her. I didn't need the benefits then. Also, when the doctors wouldn't get back to us about her Lyme's Disease test results, I went into the office and demanded to know the results.

Final thoughts

We both had problems, and maybe ADDers have more problems. However, this idea that we're the lone culprits or the cause of the problems is ludicrous. We don't cause every problem. Everyone has a part, and everyone brings baggage to a relationship. Everyone. Also, my therapist impressed the fact that everyone has a part in the problems and learning that part is critical or else you take it to the next relationship.

Ironically, my ex-wife remarried about a year later and within a few months was divorced. Another divorce! Granted, we were both young and immature, but we were also adults.

ADDers have extra issues, but we don't destroy relationships. It takes two to do that.

dvdnvwls
12-01-14, 02:48 AM
My apologies in advance if this is too long, and too much about me--I don't know if this is still relevant at all to the OP.

I am particularly talking to dvdnvwls here, since once again, he has given me an enormous amount of important new perspective to think about. So, I am struggling to re-make my own certainties and assumptions. I DO still believe that the sudden shut-off of some ADHD-ers' new relationship hyperfocus is a distinct phenomenon, quite different from how non-ADHD people typically change over time. We don't need to get into all the specifics here, however, or into all the other people's stories I've heard about this.
I think you're right about that. I would add, however, that the truth of this point doesn't have much practical significance; it isn't like an ADHDer could reasonably sign a contract saying he won't let that happen to him. :( The exception to that lack of significance is when his partner actually gets alerted to the fact that he may change much more than an average person would - and only when she receives that alert before she "takes the plunge".

I think this doesn't just relate to the the loss-of-initial-romantic-hyperfocus issues, but also pertains to more general difficulties we have understanding each other. For instance, my partner tells me sometimes that he feels as if I am frustrated with him all the time for no reason. I usually try to respond to that by telling him what the reasons for my frustration are--but just as the things he does that frustrate me are invisible to him while he is doing them, they also are hard for him to understand when I tell him about them. To me, it's clear that he is repeatedly doing something I asked him not to do, raising his voice at me, or changing the plans we have already made …but to him, these things don't have meaning, can't explain my irritation, and don't merit my response of frustration. I am not a particularly irritable person in general, and I don't get mad without reason. Yet to my partner, what I just said about myself isn't true--he is quite sure that sometimes I inexplicably get mad at him for no reason.It may be that your partner is stuck "between a rock and a hard place", because you're continuing to expect him to do things that simply aren't possible. ADHD is not reasonable. ADHD is not sensible or fair, and there's no possible satisfactory explanation for the things I do wrong. That's why it's a disorder. If he is, in your eyes, supposed to be held accountable for something he isn't capable of doing, and if you've seen him fail at that thing (no matter what it might be) over and over, then your continuing to hold him accountable for it is in line with that famous popular definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over, etc.), and in addition it doesn't sound particularly humane (repeatedly berating a fish for its continued inability to climb a tree).

Men are weird. :o

One of the ways in which ADHD men are especially weird is that we are all emotionally hypersensitive. The ADHD men who appear to be not emotionally hypersensitive are simply the ones whose hypersensitivity is so great that they have carefully constructed their entire lives around avoiding emotional suffering.

That means, in this situation, that if I feel that I'm being forced to choose between "I'm a bad person who is wilfully sabotaging her plans" and "Her entire thought process and her emotional reaction are invalid and ought to be ignored", I'm unfortunately going to go for the second one, even though intellectually I can see it's not true.

I'm sure he would love to hear from you "This method is not working; I'm going to try a completely different strategy instead, one that doesn't include the mistake of trying to hold him accountable for something he's clearly not capable of." This will likely lead to an unfair division of labour, but let's face it, the division was already unfair; changing a flawed strategy in this way won't give you any extra work, it will just remove some stress.

He wants to do what is good and right. If he keeps not doing it, it's because he isn't able, not because he wants to spite you. The great curse of his entire life is that he looks like he should be able to do the same as anyone else would do. Many times I have secretly wished that I looked deformed or stupid, because having a "disabled look" would give warning signals to those around me.

dvdnvwls, I am so, so, so sorry to hear of the painful and awful things that happened to you in the break-up of your marriage. You are such a fine person, and it is so evident that you gave your all to that relationship. I know that after-the-fact sympathy from a stranger isn't worth much, but I can't let this go without sending you admiration for your sensitivity and decency, and deep regret that you were hurt.Thank you - I really appreciate your thoughts. :grouphug:

A lot of what happened to me is also happening to a lot of other people with ADHD. If I can shine a light into a dark corner for someone, allowing them a better chance to work things out while their relationship is viable, then I welcome the opportunity.

stef
12-01-14, 04:28 AM
I The great curse of his entire life is that he looks like he should be able to do the same as anyone else would do. Many times I have secretly wished that I looked deformed or stupid, because having a "disabled look" would give warning signals to those around me.



I've been following this thread but I hadn't posted anything here yet
THIS is so true!!!

Also you know just your presence may be very reassuring to him. he is focusing on the hunting but just knowing you are in the next room, may mean more than you realize.
Have you thought of developing an interest or hobby of yours, that doesn't interest your partner at all? that would be ok!

VeryTired
12-01-14, 09:19 AM
dvdnvwls wrote:

One of the ways in which ADHD men are especially weird is that we are all emotionally hypersensitive. The ADHD men who appear to be not emotionally hypersensitive are simply the ones whose hypersensitivity is so great that they have carefully constructed their entire lives around avoiding emotional suffering.

Yet again, you have really nailed it. I see this happening very directly with my partner. All of what you wrote gives me a great deal to think about. Very great thanks for this.

Little Missy
12-01-14, 09:43 AM
Yup on dvdwls. I think it is pretty much the same for ADD women too.

It truly is a tough disorder to live with.

Fuzzy12
12-01-14, 10:00 AM
Yup on dvdwls. I think it is pretty much the same for ADD women too.

It truly is a tough disorder to live with.

Yes, it is tough. It's tough when you yourself have got ADHD and it's tough to live with or have to deal with someone close who has got ADHD. The cumulative effect on the ADHDer is even worse. :rolleyes:

Fuzzy12
12-02-14, 07:18 AM
Yes, it is tough. It's tough when you yourself have got ADHD and it's tough to live with or have to deal with someone close who has got ADHD. The cumulative effect on the ADHDer is even worse. :rolleyes:

Just to clarify. I didn't mean to say that the ADHDer is worse off than the non-ADHD partner. I wouldn't be able to judge that. I meant that in addition to having to deal with ADHD, we also have to deal with how our ADHD affects others and the combined effect of both of these factors can sometimes just be too much.

daveddd
12-02-14, 07:40 AM
dvd

One of the ways in which ADHD men are especially weird is that we are all emotionally hypersensitive. The ADHD men who appear to be not emotionally hypersensitive are simply the ones whose hypersensitivity is so great that they have carefully constructed their entire lives around avoiding emotional suffering.


exactly

once these types get into the intimacy phase of the relationship distancing and avoidant mechanisms kick in

the simplified relationship hyper focus term bothers me, I'm sorry

i feel like it turns us from humans to a bag of chemicals


i know its not meant that way, but its just not about stimulus , then on to the next shiny object

Greengrasshoppe
12-02-14, 08:23 AM
"once these types get into the intimacy phase of the relationship distancing and avoidant mechanisms kick in "

Could you elaborate on the above pls?

daveddd
12-02-14, 08:51 AM
"once these types get into the intimacy phase of the relationship distancing and avoidant mechanisms kick in "

Could you elaborate on the above pls?

tried to see if i had anything off hand because i have to run, sorry

people with add are real people with real wants and needs (not implying anyone said otherwise)

needs like very tired said she had, our needs aren't dopamine or serotonin

recent science is shown that add is largely about the avoidance of unregulated emotional states avoidance can be external — obsessions -complete avoidance and subject changing of emotionally salient material, etc

or internal— rumination, suppression etc


for some the emotional intimacy part of a relationship is to painful to face do to some ingrained schema or another



were not just using you for a hit of dopamine , then tossing you to the curb

Pentax
12-02-14, 09:29 AM
One of the ways in which ADHD men are especially weird is that we are all emotionally hypersensitive. The ADHD men who appear to be not emotionally hypersensitive are simply the ones whose hypersensitivity is so great that they have carefully constructed their entire lives around avoiding emotional suffering. Thanks to you dvd and to all who have remarked on hypersensitivity. You're helping me get a frame of understanding a kind of interaction in my relation over which I've had a great deal of pain. Sudden onset, I cant for the life of me see what the trigger was, though I rack my brain to review my tone, my words, the antecedents, his situation of stress before the moment happens.

As I understand intimacy, its morally important to know and take ownership for my own bad moods and misbehavior, when they happen, and discipline myself not to transfer to him, as if he were the cause of what I originated. If my illtemper, stress, etc are in me, they're mine to deal with, and it's misusing my partner to accuse him of what ihe's innocent of, in those moments. This I think echoes exactly what an ADHDer wrote in an earlier post, that with a good therapist he had learned that not all of the problems in the marriage were due to him, that his wife had been accusing, shifting the blame for her problems on him

So as the non Adhd one, I have my work cut out. I need to know what's really going on, and take responsibility for my failing and slipups, and not project.

But the same moral shoe fits ADHD feet, in a relation. I've had very bad, painful times (yes, that's my reaction to own and care for but I also get to name my own truth here) when its been my partner suddenly accusing me of criticizing him when neither my mood, nor my physical movements, nor my tone of voice nor the content of words could have triggere that. In 95, 98% of our relation there is no sign of these accusations. At these rare moments, having ransacked myself to see if his accusations fit and finding that they dont, I can see that he's doing the very thing that the previous poster's wife did to him throughout the marriage, in a much more extensive way, projecting on me and blaming me for something that originated inside of him. If Triggered from inside him, he's got to be the one to manage it. i cant apologize and make amends for something I didnt do.

Remarks in this thread have suggested a new thing to understan: that there's something that is itself in itself, called hypersensitivity, that has no moral or intellectual content, that perhaps the sensitivity itself comes with the neurological package? Cartainly i've seen and considered that these sudden accusations could come out of a lifetime of mistreatment or reasonably feard mistreatment by others. But perhaps there's also a biological tendency to lability that he has, that I dont have?



That means, in this situation, that if I feel that I'm being forced to choose between "I'm a bad person who is wilfully sabotaging her plans"[/iiiI] and [I]"Her entire thought process and her emotional reaction are invalid and ought to be ignored", I'm unfortunately going to go for the second one, even though intellectually I can see it's not true. this is very, very helpful, dvd. It gives me the possibility to consider that the shocking labels he puts on me in these thankfully rare moments, and then clings to, against the facts of the interaction, and in th face of my truth telling about my intention, are not his insistence that I'm wretched, but are in fact possibly some interior work of his own, hunting for a conclusion about his reaction that is tolerable to him. You've given me an option for understanding. If that's going on, I dont condemn it at all, and in fact it would be relieving to think that hes doing some inner work. I'd still feel somewhat like a punching bag but it would make human sense, and help me handle my own pain at the labeling.

Certainly telling him the truth of what I was thinking, when he's interrogated me, and reminding him of what words I didnt and did say havent led to any easing

may I ask, to adhders reading this thread, what can a partner, whether she has ADHD or not, do for you in moments when your hypersensitivty kicks in?

What's to be done in these moments? I cant "cease to trigger him" unless I entirely stop speaking or leave the room, and even doing those things sets him off... He becomes very agitated when I stop talking when he starts labeling.. he also becomes more agitated when I answer his questions

If you're in a moment of hypersensitivity, whether the moment before you were in realtime just mistreated or not, what's the best thing for you at the moment, from the person/people around you? I'm up for trying anything.

I hope I've been clear that I'm committed to seeing, owning, and taking care of my own behavior. i'm over 60, have had to live with myself a long time. I have no desire to point fingers. But I need some functional help knowing how to navigate in these moments in which my beloved partner...he's such a great heart, great person, suddenly goes into a rare torrent of accusation based on something inside of him. How to get through those incidents in particular? I'll own the times when i'm being stinky...I need to. But how to deal with his rare, but very terrible to us both cloudbursts of hypersensitivity to something originating in him?

Just ride it out, tell the truth, be calm, let him deal or not deal with himself in these moments? Any help will be great help.

Time of day, by the way seems to be a factor. They always occur at the end of the evening

Grateful to you all

daveddd
12-02-14, 11:46 AM
Honestly. It has to on him

Acceptance and reappraisal is the key

There is a do it urself book. The mindfulness prescription for adhd. It's designed specifically for emotional problems in ADHD


But it has to be on him. And it takes work

But it can be life changing

VeryTired
12-02-14, 01:28 PM
I find this discussion of hypersensitivity very interesting and important. But I have confusions.

My partner has something like the hypersensitivity being discussed here. But what I don't get is why it runs only one way. He typically has very little awareness of what's happening with me, how I feel, what I need, etc. The sensitivity is only about how things affect him directly.

Whereas I am very sensitive to things I experience myself, also--my own hypersensitivity--but I am also often acutely aware of what others are feeling, or needing. So we usually only discuss my feelings in relation to how they benefit or distress him, not in relation to me directly. I find this very confusing.

I have always assumed that sensitivity is a kind of awareness, of knowledge--and to me it's natural if your awareness grows, it's going to include a wider scope than just oneself. I don't think is how it works for my partner, though.

I didn't really explain this very well, but I wonder if anyone here has thoughts about this, or can comment on what I've said. Thanks to all who have been posting about this--it's very helpful to learn more.

daveddd
12-02-14, 01:38 PM
Theory is. The sensitivity will actually make you unaware of your emotions. Like coping. A shut down

Sensitivity stays with the visceral feeling. Possibly blocking symbolic cognitive emotion

This will cause poor self and other differentiation Your anger becomes and stays his. But it causes confusion

What is becoming clear is that ADHD is tied to a phenomena called alexythymia. That is. Difficulty identifying and understanding the source of emotions in self and others

Mindfulness helps name , contain and observe emotion. Then it can be regulated


This will have serious implications in ADHD treatment. In a good way

Fuzzy12
12-02-14, 01:52 PM
I find this discussion of hypersensitivity very interesting and important. But I have confusions.

My partner has something like the hypersensitivity being discussed here. But what I don't get is why it runs only one way. He typically has very little awareness of what's happening with me, how I feel, what I need, etc. The sensitivity is only about how things affect him directly.

Whereas I am very sensitive to things I experience myself, also--my own hypersensitivity--but I am also often acutely aware of what others are feeling, or needing. So we usually only discuss my feelings in relation to how they benefit or distress him, not in relation to me directly. I find this very confusing.

I have always assumed that sensitivity is a kind of awareness, of knowledge--and to me it's natural if your awareness grows, it's going to include a wider scope than just oneself. I don't think is how it works for my partner, though.

I didn't really explain this very well, but I wonder if anyone here has thoughts about this, or can comment on what I've said. Thanks to all who have been posting about this--it's very helpful to learn more.

I don't think it always goes both ways. In fact, I know many people who are acutely aware of their own needs and preferences and appear completely oblivious to that of others. I guess, I am talking about being self absorbed so I'm not sure if that's relevant here. I could be wrong but I doubt that being hyper sensitive to your own needs or issues has any effect on how sensitive you are to that of others.

Ideally, I think, there is a healthy balance between being aware of and attending to your own needs and that of others and maybe ADHDers aren't very good at that. At least I know that I'm not. I either neglect others or myself. I can't do both.

Also, I think, in this case hyper sensitivity might not just refer to being "aware". I would interpret it as "being disproportionately affected by triggers (such as criticism)". And being disproportionately affected consumes a lot of resources and there might just not be enough left for others (or for yourself).

Apologies, I'm struggling to express myself. Hope this made some sense.

In summary, I think, your partner (or I) might get so consumed with our own issues that we neither have the energy, the inclination or the time to consider others. Or maybe we are just selfish..and self absorbed.

daveddd
12-02-14, 02:42 PM
Absorbed neurologically is a way to think of it

Thomas brown has a good analogy. Emotions in ADHD are like a computer virus. Takes over the whole brain. Leaves no room for anything else

But not just external triggers. In ADHD we produce our own negative feelings from within

VeryTired
12-02-14, 07:10 PM
daveddd, fuzzy--

Thanks SO much, I am really seeing this more clearly as you both continue to explain.

These things are very tricky, we all assume that we know is normal or universal. I understand a certain kind of extreme sensitivity, so I assume that someone else who's very sensitive is experiencing the same things I am … but it's not necessarily that way at all.

Just seeing the evidence of that doesn't necessarily make something clear … hearing you guys explain it once doesn't really make it clear … but after a while the experience and the detailed explanations together begin to add up and suddenly I can see that the reality is quite different from what I was confidently assuming previously.

Whew. Understanding is hard work. It's really good, of course--but still hard. Thanks for the help!

Pentax
12-02-14, 08:55 PM
recent science is shown that add is largely about the avoidance of unregulated emotional states avoidance can be external — obsessions -complete avoidance and subject changing of emotionally salient material, etc

or internal Thank you, Dave. Unregulated states...

Pentax
12-02-14, 09:00 PM
Absorbed neurologically is a way to think of it

Thomas brown has a good analogy. Emotions in ADHD are like a computer virus. Takes over the whole brain. Leaves no room for anything else

But not just external triggers. In ADHD we produce our own negative feelings from within

Something like a firestorm, or a flood of stimulation washing over?

Dave, this is great, great help.

daveddd
12-02-14, 09:06 PM
Something like a firestorm, or a flood of stimulation washing over?

Dave, this is great, great help.


no problem, just my thoughts, thanks for listening.

to the question


yep, a confusing flood in which the source and identity is elusive

dvdnvwls
12-03-14, 01:04 AM
I find this discussion of hypersensitivity very interesting and important. But I have confusions.

My partner has something like the hypersensitivity being discussed here. But what I don't get is why it runs only one way. He typically has very little awareness of what's happening with me, how I feel, what I need, etc. The sensitivity is only about how things affect him directly.

Whereas I am very sensitive to things I experience myself, also--my own hypersensitivity--but I am also often acutely aware of what others are feeling, or needing. So we usually only discuss my feelings in relation to how they benefit or distress him, not in relation to me directly. I find this very confusing.

I have always assumed that sensitivity is a kind of awareness, of knowledge--and to me it's natural if your awareness grows, it's going to include a wider scope than just oneself. I don't think is how it works for my partner, though.

I didn't really explain this very well, but I wonder if anyone here has thoughts about this, or can comment on what I've said. Thanks to all who have been posting about this--it's very helpful to learn more.

I'm normally a very empathetic and sensitive person - in fact I can be irritatingly focused on how the other person feels - an emotional sponge, or perhaps an emotional leech, depending on the circumstances. :o

When I'm emotionally hurt, I think I enter a sort of survival mode in which I must at all costs find a way to alleviate or escape the pain. That means all costs - quitting a good job, hurting someone I love, dumping a friend - nothing is off the table. Of course if I can see a less harmful solution, one where I don't quit my job or lose my friend, I'll gladly take it - but not if it means allowing the pain I'm in at that moment to continue.

I'm reminded of the dog I heard about - this dog bit a person badly - and it was discovered (had the dog already been killed? can't remember) that the dog had a raging untreated inner ear infection, obviously the reason behind the bite.

BellaVita
12-03-14, 02:11 AM
dvd

One of the ways in which ADHD men are especially weird is that we are all emotionally hypersensitive. The ADHD men who appear to be not emotionally hypersensitive are simply the ones whose hypersensitivity is so great that they have carefully constructed their entire lives around avoiding emotional suffering.


exactly

once these types get into the intimacy phase of the relationship distancing and avoidant mechanisms kick in

the simplified relationship hyper focus term bothers me, I'm sorry

i feel like it turns us from humans to a bag of chemicals


i know its not meant that way, but its just not about stimulus , then on to the next shiny object

It's interesting. I'm with an ADHD guy and have never experienced the "hyper focus" stage with him.

In fact, now our love/relationship is stronger than ever.(the more time goes on)

BellaVita
12-03-14, 02:18 AM
But the same moral shoe fits ADHD feet, in a relation. I've had very bad, painful times (yes, that's my reaction to own and care for but I also get to name my own truth here) when its been my partner suddenly accusing me of criticizing him when neither my mood, nor my physical movements, nor my tone of voice nor the content of words could have triggere that. In 95, 98% of our relation there is no sign of these accusations. At these rare moments, having ransacked myself to see if his accusations fit and finding that they dont, I can see that he's doing the very thing that the previous poster's wife did to him throughout the marriage, in a much more extensive way, projecting on me and blaming me for something that originated inside of him. If Triggered from inside him, he's got to be the one to manage it. i cant apologize and make amends for something I didnt do.

I have this problem. It actually happens pretty frequently. It's not me projecting my emotions, it's actually me getting confused by his tone of voice (even if normal) and facial expressions(also even if normal) and thinking he's upset at me.

It helps for me when he just reassures me that he's not, in a kind and gentle way.

I don't mean to do it, it really is me confusing what they mean by their voice and expressions.

daveddd
12-03-14, 11:21 AM
It's interesting. I'm with an ADHD guy and have never experienced the "hyper focus" stage with him.

In fact, now our love/relationship is stronger than ever.(the more time goes on)

It could be someone with autism and ADHD may not be looking for the same thing. Or have the same types of needs in a relationship as an nt

I imagine the dyad is much different. Probably in a beneficial matter

Showing to that this is likely not a matter of boredom over time

Pentax
12-04-14, 08:36 AM
I have this problem. It actually happens pretty frequently. It's not me projecting my emotions, it's actually me getting confused by his tone of voice (even if normal) and facial expressions(also even if normal) and thinking he's upset at me.

It helps for me when he just reassures me that he's not, in a kind and gentle way.

I don't mean to do it, it really is me confusing what they mean by their voice and expressions.

Bella this helps a lot. I've been ver y confused because I use the same tones and kind of vocab in other conversations....people are pretty consistent in their speaking styles...nearly all of the time, how I speak doesnt trigger him. But I'm relieved to think with your help that his labeling me in these very rare moments could be coming out of confusion at my tone or intent. He's a wonderful person, like you are. :) I don't overstate that one.

Your SO's simple, gentle response sounds like just the way to respond.

My pain has been at the terrible content of the labels, but you've helped me to see that that's not the part of it that needs my response. Thank you!