View Full Version : Advice for non-ADHD partners


annie29
02-17-16, 09:18 PM
As a long-term partner of someone with ADHD, when I was looking for support, I became increasingly sick of reading how it's me that should adapt and change all the time - because after all that's what my ADHD partner needs. Often, threads in forums labelled as 'support for partners' are immediately hijacked by those with ADHD quickly telling us what they need us to do in order to help them - like we don't do that and live with that every day.

I couldn't work out immediately why this irritated me so much until I came to the conclusion that, actually yes, their lives are impacted by their condition, heaven knows, we can read everywhere how much it affects them and how hard it is for them to manage because they can't process stuff in the same way as the rest of us.

It may be hard for them, but here's the truth - our brains DO work as they should, but even so, ADHD imposes something upon us that WE can't understand or process and that makes it even harder for us. We don't have any psychological issues but we have to live in a world of chaos anyway, and in many ways that's even worse than an ADHD sentence because it's not our brains that created it.

No meds available to fix us..no diagnosis for our problems..no specialist therapists to help us. We just have to get on with it. The frustration, the fear of not knowing what will turn up next - unpaid fines - motor offences - or even bank foreclosure and loss of home as well as never having a grown-up adult relationship where OUR needs are fulfilled as well.

So, here's some advice to anyone contemplating a relationship with an ADHD-er. Go ahead...if you're happy and rewarded to be a lifelong carer; if you're content to never have your own emotional needs met; if you're prepared to take 100% financial responsibility and manage everything of importance. If you're happy with all that, then respect to you. If not, then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.

BellaVita
02-17-16, 11:42 PM
Hello and welcome to the forums! :)

I'm sorry you haven't found what you need by reading threads in Non-ADD support.

I think, each new thread the situation is very different. Perhaps you've been reading threads that don't apply to you and your situation. Sometimes, the non-adhd partner is being more than supportive and helpful. Other times, the non-ADHD partner does have some things they need to work on. (As well as the ADHD partner)

It really just depends on the situation - no two are exactly alike.

I really think it depends on the relationship and how well the two individuals work together to come to solutions/solve problems/etc. Many people do just fine with an ADHD partner - others do not.

I think it's important that if the non-ADHD partner is struggling, that they should seek out help from a therapist. Therapy isn't just for those diagnosed with a mental disorder. Even the strongest of us need it at times. :)

I can see that you are irritated, I hope writing your OP helped to blow off some steam.

I hope you realize that not every ADHD relationship is doomed - and also there are ADHD'ers reading this thread and it might hurt some feelings/offend some to hear "then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped with no way out."

I'm sorry, it does sound like you haven't had too good of experiences with an ADHD'er. But I can assure you, that MANY relationships here are successful, happy, balanced, and loving.

I'm not going to jump to offense, because I know it can be tough coming from a place where you have potentially had your life ruined by someone else. Instead, I'm here to listen, and give the best support that I can.

aeon
02-18-16, 12:54 AM
...there are ADHD'ers reading this thread and it might hurt some feelings/offend some to hear "then RUN as fast as you can -
get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped with no way out."

It didnít offend me, and it didnít hurt my feelings either, but I did think of the ending of my last relationship and I thought
on some level that annie29 was right, or at least right as far as I am concerned.

Now admittedly, I read it at a time when I am very stressed and feeling poorly, both situational and due to (non-ADHD)
med withdrawal.

And perhaps too, I am all too ready to take responsibility for things that arenít mine to take responsibility for. But all things
being equal, if a situation is SNAFU and FUBAR, by default, I can easily enough see why it is so, and how it came to be so
as a result of me being involved with it. I canít be sure how accurate that seeing is, but itís accurate enough.

So then I thought I shouldnít make trouble for anyone, or become a source of drama for anyoneís life. I know well enough
that every person is in a struggle of their own, and they donít need to have the grade of their hill made steeper.

But I donít know how to resolve that with the fact I am human. I enjoy peopleís company. I want their company. I need their
company. But I donít want to hurt anyone. Iíve never wanted that. It does hurt to see the hurt others have experienced in
engaging with me, more than I could say.

Sometimes I am profoundly embarrassed that I have ADHD. More accurately, I am ashamed. I accept the truth of
my situation, but I am ashamed that it is so. Even knowing it cannot be otherwise, sometimes I wish it were.

Itís easy for me to withdraw and avoid engaging with people, for reasons of my shame of my ADHD, and others more dark.
Once done, it is not so easy. Of all the things I feel, loneliness is one of the most aching and gnawing feelings. But is it
better to feel this so another may not feel hurt because of what I am?

That might sound wrong, and maybe it is, but Iím not sure either way, and I have a suspicion that there may be some right
in it. At least I did when I read annie29ís post. That self-doubt was present, coloring all I could perceive.

I know I am poor at knowing and relating what my gifts are. People have told me I have some, and in thinking about what
they have said, it makes sense...I just have a kind of blindness about those things that makes it seem like I donít have any.
None that I could offer someone else anyway. None that someone could take pleasure in, or find happiness in.

So why am I here? Why do I have these feelings? I never wanted to hurt anyone, and I am so sorry for all the hurt I was a part of.

Watching someone run feels so bad. But I hope they find happiness that they didnít find in me.

Sorry for the ramble, but I had to get it out.

And annie29, I am sorry that you had so many unmet needs, and the hurt that results from that. Iím sorry someone didnít
meet you half-way as your partner.


Blessťd Be,
Ian

sarahsweets
02-18-16, 02:53 AM
As a long-term partner of someone with ADHD, when I was looking for support, I became increasingly sick of reading how it's me that should adapt and change all the time - because after all that's what my ADHD partner needs. Often, threads in forums labelled as 'support for partners' are immediately hijacked by those with ADHD quickly telling us what they need us to do in order to help them - like we don't do that and live with that every day.

I hope you dont think I am hijacking your thread.


It may be hard for them, but here's the truth - our brains DO work as they should, but even so, ADHD imposes something upon us that WE can't understand or process and that makes it even harder for us. We don't have any psychological issues but we have to live in a world of chaos anyway, and in many ways that's even worse than an ADHD sentence because it's not our brains that created it.

I dont think its worse or better. In fact, I think partners of adhd people need therapy just as much as the adhd person because they need a space thats safe for them to say what they need to say without worrying they will upset their partner.


So, here's some advice to anyone contemplating a relationship with an ADHD-er. Go ahead...if you're happy and rewarded to be a lifelong carer; if you're content to never have your own emotional needs met; if you're prepared to take 100% financial responsibility and manage everything of importance. If you're happy with all that, then respect to you. If not, then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.
This is where I think you and I differ. There are many instances of adhd people being able to take care of those things. Now,my husband and I are both adhd but we have had to act like the non-adhd partner and the adhd partner in our relationship.
I take care of the money, appointments and daily household goings on. He takes care of stuff that breaks, car stuff and following up the kids' school and grades.
Neither one of us do those things perfectly but combined I think we work ok together. There are more examples but I dont want to bog down this post.
Im sorry that you feel the solution is to run away from the adhd person and if I knew your specific situation I may be able to offer advice but since I dont I just wanted you to know that it doesnt always have to be do or die.

dvdnvwls
02-18-16, 03:06 AM
Welcome to the forum!

annie29: I understand the feelings you've expressed in what you wrote. However, it seems clear to me that your advice is not specifically related to ADHD. What you've described is a relationship where two people were simply incompatible - if not on a personal level, then certainly in the realm of expectations and requirements.

Your advice would apply just the same to anyone considering a relationship with a person who is other than average in any way at all. Run from people with serious diseases; run from workaholics; run from people who don't speak the same language; run from vegans; run from meat-eaters; in short, run from anyone who is not exactly like you.

There is certainly a grain of truth in that. There are people who should not be together because their differences are too great, or even because their differences are small but irreconcilable.

But giving "Always run from anyone with ADHD" as universal advice to everyone without ADHD is a pretty sad disservice to all those who don't have ADHD and who have (and will have) happy and successful relationships with ADHDers.

Lunamoth
02-18-16, 05:37 AM
Hi Annie29, Iím so sorry that you have clearly had a very difficult experience. The pain is evident in your post and I genuinely feel for you.

Iím the non-ADHD partner in my marriage, and we have been together 16 years. It seems you have been in a relationship that really didnít work for you Ė you speak of not having your needs fulfilled, being a carer, having the lionís share of responsibilities, and not having an adult relationship. To feel that way for an extended period of time could be soul-destroying, and the resentment created must be overwhelming. It sounds to me, and I may be wrong, that your partnerís ADHD and/or co-morbids were not being effectively treated. It sounds from your post like most of the effort in the relationship was made by you. Are you still with this person?

Someone with ADHD is perfectly capable of fulfilling their partnerís needs. I do not know your situation, but I know that if my husband did not take responsibility for his ADHD and strive every day to manage his symptoms then I would most likely feel some of that resentment you show in your post. However, my husband does everything in his power to minimise the impact of his disability on our family unit.

He meets my (and the childrenís) emotional needs, is financially successful, and manages the bulk of our finances. We are very much a team.

It does take effort on the part of the non-ADHD partner to accommodate their partnerís limitations, but to me thatís just part of living with another human being, regardless of any special conditions. As long as he is also making an effort, there is no resentment. I did change my expectations when we finally understood that ADHD was present in our relationship, but I do not consider that to be lowering standards or sacrificing my needs. Itís simply understanding the disability and making changes to how we do things in order to make our lives easier and more pleasant.

I do not describe myself as his carer, and he would be insulted if I were to consider myself as such. I take care of him, and he takes care of me Ė Iím pretty sure thatís the way relationships are meant to go?

Maybe being with a non-ADHD partner would be easier, but I fell head over heels for someone with ADHD. I do not feel like my enjoyment of life has been compromised because of it.

I'm sorry you've had a bad relationship where ADHD was a factor in your unhappiness. Are all people with ADHD like your partner? No, they are not. Are all non-ADHD partners like yourself? No.

People are individuals, with unique histories and experiences. That's where these forums are particularly useful, as you can explain your situation and receive advice that is specific to you. Some advice is always better than others, and it's up to you what you do with it. My advice would be: if your needs are not being fulfilled in your current relationship, then you need to reassess whether you should be in it. ADHD or no ADHD.

dvdnvwls
02-18-16, 05:56 AM
I did change my expectations when we finally understood that ADHD was present in our relationship, but I do not consider that to be lowering standards or sacrificing my needs. It’s simply understanding the disability and making changes to how we do things in order to make our lives easier and more pleasant.

I do not describe myself as his carer, and he would be insulted if I were to consider myself as such. I take care of him, and he takes care of me – I’m pretty sure that’s the way relationships are meant to go?

I think you've described it very well.

Sometimes, physical examples can clarify understanding.

If we heard that someone left her husband because he couldn't walk, and she couldn't abide the "lowering of her standards" that that entailed, we might not end up feeling particularly sympathetic to her point of view.

There is an argument, often unstated, to the effect that the person with ADHD chooses to have ADHD. That attitude is offensive in the extreme.

annie29
02-18-16, 06:10 AM
My OP was targeted at people without ADHD thinking about getting into a relationship with someone with ADHD. It was direct but certainly not meant to insult anyone.

I actually didn't say that no-one can have a successful relationship with an ADHD-er. I was simply pointing out that you have to be prepared to live in that world which can be distressing and difficult and which, in effect, as a partner (not a parent) you are volunteering for. And yes, the vast majority of advice out there will tell you what you need to do/change to support your partner and your needs will take second place as they do for many carers in many situations.

My advice to 'run' was aimed at those people who at heart are not really prepared to do this for the rest of their lives. It's better to question yourself up front and be honest about it than realise it and regret it 20 years down the line when it's too late. I feel that much advice does not really spell out the toll it can take on the person without the condition.

So non-ADHD-er... be very sure you want to take it on. It's not just about stray socks or lost keys fixed with post-it notes. And as I said earlier, 'respect' to those that can and do make it work.

Fuzzy12
02-18-16, 06:46 AM
Annie, I totally agree that if you are in a relationship that you cannot cope with then you need to quit..for both your and your partner's sake and it doesn't matter what's wrong with the partner or whose fault it is. Like dvd said, you are just incompatible.

Thankfully, being someone who doesn't have ADHD and who has a normally functioning brain you do always have the option to quit. As someone with ADHD I don't have that option but that's my problem. I have always thought that I really shouldn't be in a relationship, in any kind of relationship, because I can't give people what they need. Luckily for me though I have a husband who loves me and sticks by me anyway and can appreciate my good sides, even when it's difficult..very difficult at times.

Fuzzy12
02-18-16, 06:54 AM
As a long-term partner of someone with ADHD, when I was looking for support, I became increasingly sick of reading how it's me that should adapt and change all the time - because after all that's what my ADHD partner needs.



It's not you that SHOULD adapt or change but unfortunately, when you are in a relationship with someone with ADHD it's really mostly just you who CAN adapt and change. There are some things that unfortunately, we can't do. Not because we shouldn't be able to do them (we should) but because we just can't. It's not fair on you and it does suck but unfortunately that is the reality. If you can't or don't want to change and adapt then the best would be to end the relationship and that's perfectly fine and fair as well. I honestly, don't think, anyone should be obligated to be with me or anyone else. It's no one's fault that I am the way I am and no one owes me anything.

sarahsweets
02-18-16, 11:27 AM
My OP was targeted at people without ADHD thinking about getting into a relationship with someone with ADHD. It was direct but certainly not meant to insult anyone.
Key word here: target

I actually didn't say that no-one can have a successful relationship with an ADHD-er. I was simply pointing out that you have to be prepared to live in that world which can be distressing and difficult and which, in effect, as a partner (not a parent) you are volunteering for.
Were you trying to say or reference that being a non-adhd partner of an adhd person more like being a parent? I was unsure.

And yes, the vast majority of advice out there will tell you what you need to do/change to support your partner and your needs will take second place as they do for many carers in many situations.

The thing is...in any relationship, in order to change the dynamics a person can only change and control themselves. Having expectations about anyone is a hard thing to live up to, and will often result in disappointment for the person with those expectations. When anyone is unhappy in any relationship it is not their job to change the person or expect the person to change or even want to change. If something isnt working in a relationship, the person who thinks its not working a certain way must change their own behaviors and expectations. Thats called being human.

My advice to 'run' was aimed at those people who at heart are not really prepared to do this for the rest of their lives. It's better to question yourself up front and be honest about it than realise it and regret it 20 years down the line when it's too late. I feel that much advice does not really spell out the toll it can take on the person without the condition.

I'm curious as to what you thought you could accomplish with your warning. To come on an adhd support forum and warn people about how hard it is to be in relationships with us doesnt make sense to me.

So non-ADHD-er... be very sure you want to take it on. It's not just about stray socks or lost keys fixed with post-it notes. And as I said earlier, 'respect' to those that can and do make it work.

I'm guessing that either your relationship broke apart due to your partner's adhd or that you want out of a relationship with an adhd partner. There may be people who could help you with that but making a thread warning people not to get into relationships with us or to somehow weigh the options more because its devastating to the non adhd partner just doesnt make sense somehow. Did you want advice with something or just to vent?

jende2
02-18-16, 01:49 PM
I agree with Annie's post. Maybe she is here just looking to vent a little. I've always felt that this was a safe place to do so. As a Non-ADHD person who has dated an ADHD person for four years, I just can't do it anymore. I have tried. I'm spent. It's not for ME.

BellaVita
02-18-16, 01:55 PM
One thing to consider - over half of marriages (I think) end in divorce.

Lots of people can't put up with other people. - some neurotypicals can't put up with [certain] other neurotypicals - or some neurotypicals can't put up with [certain] ADHD'ers - or some ADHD'ers can't put up with [certain] neurotypicals (some ADHD'ers can't put up with other certain ADHD'ers!) - it's normal and natural.

It really has to do with the two people that are involved in the relationship.

Sometimes things just don't work, sometimes people aren't compatible.

Lunamoth
02-18-16, 04:55 PM
And yes, the vast majority of advice out there will tell you what you need to do/change to support your partner and your needs will take second place as they do for many carers in many situations.

I think this is the problem. Why did your needs take second place? That's not a recipe for a healthy relationship.

Advice on how you can accommodate someone's disability is very valuable, but if it's only one person making all the accommodations and compromises then how can it work? The resentment and exhaustion would be insurmountable. The effort has to come from both sides to ensure each partner's needs are being met.

Living with an ADHD partner doesn't mean not having your needs met. Like with any relationship, if it's not working for you either change it or move on.

annie29
02-18-16, 07:00 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with the responders who say that the difficulties ADD causes to a relationship are simply about 'compatibility' - seriously? Even a cursory glance at the data seems to indicate that relationship breakdown is significantly higher where ADD is a factor, especially over the longer term.

I also take issue with the stance that for a partner, dealing with a psychological condition is just the same as a physical disability - it's just not.

I'm sorry if it's hard to hear but I think many of us do find it too much. There are exceptions obviously and I have to say that Lunamoth does sound like a rather wonderful, wise person proving that it can be done.

However, I think that there are probably many non-ADD partners living in quiet desperation trapped for whatever reason: kids, finances trashed, no alternative home and my intention was simply to raise the issue from this perspective, that building a successful partnership with an ADD sufferer is tough. You might not be cut out for it and it's something you need to ask yourself early on.

dvdnvwls
02-18-16, 09:40 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with the responders who say that the difficulties ADD causes to a relationship are simply about 'compatibility' - seriously? Even a cursory glance at the data seems to indicate that relationship breakdown is significantly higher where ADD is a factor, especially over the longer term.

I also take issue with the stance that for a partner, dealing with a psychological condition is just the same as a physical disability - it's just not.
From your point of view, what are the things that really make the difference between living with someone who has a physical disability and someone who has a mental one?


I'm sorry if it's hard to hear but I think many of us do find it too much.
It's not "hard to hear" at all.

Did you not know what you were getting into?

Lunacie
02-18-16, 11:14 PM
I suspect that we don't take it personally when a family member has asthma and can't breathe ...

... or can't join us in a physical activity because of MD or arthritis or whatever ...

but I know how hard it is not to take it personally when certain behaviors appear, although they are really a result of the neurological disorder.

I wonder if it would seem different if we had only ever heard of them described as neurological disorders rather than "mental" disorders?

aeon
02-19-16, 12:30 AM
I wonder if it would seem different if we had only ever heard of them described as neurological disorders rather than "mental" disorders?

Iíd bet a five-, no, a ten-spot that it would.

That said, the blaming and shaming would continue relentlessly, albeit with different flavors of nastiness.


Cheers,
Ian

acdc01
02-19-16, 03:30 AM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with the responders who say that the difficulties ADD causes to a relationship are simply about 'compatibility' - seriously? Even a cursory glance at the data seems to indicate that relationship breakdown is significantly higher where ADD is a factor, especially over the longer term.


I think statistics often don't tell the whole story. The divorce rate is most likely bumped up a lot by ADHDers who were not diagnosed until after they were already married. This can cause enormous strain on a relationship as neither partner understand and know how to manage the ADHD. Below's an article that supports this idea. It points out that even though divorce rate is often extremely high with older couples, there is not really any statistical difference in divorce rates between younger couples with an ADHDer and younger couples without. The writer suggests that one of the reasons for this difference may be because the ADHD went undiagnosed for a long time, even till after marriage. I'll say, I'm not sure if it's not also because the younger couple hasn't been married for as long a time (you would think they would compare couples of similar marriage lengths though in a study) - but again, it just goes to show you can't trust data you don't understand the details on.

That said, I don't believe you should "run if you don't feel rewarded having to be a lifelong carer" but I do believe you should make sure your relationship can work before you get married.

For myself, I can tell you that I do need certain things to function normally but I now know that if I have those I function very close to normal. For example, I need to live in a smaller home and as a minimalist in order to stay clean and participate in household chores. If I have this, I'm not perfect but well within the range of normal. As long as I'm with someone who wants this type of minimalist lifestyle, this quirk of mine doesn't affect the marriage at all - in fact it helps it as we both value the same thing.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/may-i-have-your-attention/201309/adhd-doesnt-cause-divorce-denial-does

sarahsweets
02-19-16, 04:09 AM
I also take issue with the stance that for a partner, dealing with a psychological condition is just the same as a physical disability - it's just not.

Doesnt matter what kind of disability you think is more detrimental what matters is that it is a disability.

I'm sorry if it's hard to hear but I think many of us do find it too much. There are exceptions obviously and I have to say that Lunamoth does sound like a rather wonderful, wise person proving that it can be done.

The only reason its "hard to hear" is because this is a support forum and even though you think you are doing good and posting in the right section, what you are saying is not supportive.

However, I think that there are probably many non-ADD partners living in quiet desperation trapped for whatever reason: kids, finances trashed, no alternative home and my intention was simply to raise the issue from this perspective
If someone, not matter the reason is living in quiet desperation then it is their job to leave.

BellaVita
02-19-16, 07:28 AM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with the responders who say that the difficulties ADD causes to a relationship are simply about 'compatibility' - seriously?

That is perfectly fine to disagree, I know that you have good reasons for doing so.

Even a cursory glance at the data seems to indicate that relationship breakdown is significantly higher where ADD is a factor, especially over the longer term.

Wow, I didn't even know that. Thank you for telling us.

I also take issue with the stance that for a partner, dealing with a psychological condition is just the same as a physical disability - it's just not.

I have to agree with you here - it isn't the same.

Physical disability comes with its own challenges, and mental disabilities comes with a different set of challenges.

I'm sorry if it's hard to hear but I think many of us do find it too much. There are exceptions obviously and I have to say that Lunamoth does sound like a rather wonderful, wise person proving that it can be done.

I agree with you, Lunamoth does sound like a wonderful person. When you say "exceptions" would you please explain what you mean by that?

However, I think that there are probably many non-ADD partners living in quiet desperation trapped for whatever reason: kids, finances trashed, no alternative home and my intention was simply to raise the issue from this perspective, that building a successful partnership with an ADD sufferer is tough. You might not be cut out for it and it's something you need to ask yourself early on.

You're right, it can be tough. But in many cases it is well worth it. I think challenges in life make us stronger, make us grow as people, and help us to grow intellectually as well.

I'm really sorry you had those things occur in your relationship - that would devastate anyone.

I think you hit an important point: "it's something you need to ask yourself early on."

So many times I think that is a thing people ignore, people think they can "change" the person with ADHD - when in reality that cannot and will not ever happen.

No one, non-ADHD'er or ADHD'er, should ever have to change themselves for someone else.

I hope you can find peace and move on to a happier life somehow.

ginniebean
02-19-16, 12:00 PM
People have always resented accommodating disabilities. Handicap parking, curb cutouts, access to buildings, access to higher education. There used to be a lot of bitterness and resentment and it's still here even tho is becoming more accepted. With more hidden disabilities people will often overestimate the ability of the person with a disability and underestimate what a person with a physical disability can do. (according to research and i am not going to spend hours digging it up so believe or don't)

In relationships, people get hurt, it's easy to hang it all on the adhd. In fact wouldn't it be a wonderful world if all of us could absolve all of our own imperfections and.mistakes on something like adhd. We'd sure be.able to walk away without crippling shame and blame.

Seeking to be mean and cruel and bitter in a drive by posting is kinda sad and i even have some sympathy.

I'm sorry your relationship hasn't worked. No one should have to live with such a great amount of bitterness, resentment and anger. I wish you peace, joy and happiness in all your future relationships.

Free to Fly
02-20-16, 12:56 PM
So, here's some advice to anyone contemplating a relationship with an ADHD-er. Go ahead...if you're happy and rewarded to be a lifelong carer; if you're content to never have your own emotional needs met; if you're prepared to take 100% financial responsibility and manage everything of importance. If you're happy with all that, then respect to you. If not, then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.

I hear hurt and frustration, and the OP is looped in to her situation. If she is feeling trapped, for whatever reason, it is hard to see a way out. Not an easy path to walk, and not one I would want. I don't think I would want to be married to me......and I don't think my wife would have chosen to put herself in our situation, if she could have understood what was happening in my head. If we are going to be supportive, and patient, maybe we can find a place for the OP to vent and find help here.

Luvmybully
02-20-16, 01:34 PM
I have been the non-adhd partner for 34 years. We have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.

My emotional needs are met. My husband and I are still together because we are absolutey compatible. Without that very simple, basic, element, no relationship will work.

Yes, it IS that important.

We both have needs. We both have challenges. Limits. Strengths. We compliment each other. (COMPATIBILITY) We are important enough to each other to find solutions to our struggles.

My husband is my life partner and my best friend. Not being together is simply unacceptable. For both of us.

It is very possible to have a satisfying life with a partner with a disability. But if you are not truly compatible, it is never going to work.

Lunacie
02-21-16, 06:01 PM
It may be hard for them, but here's the truth - our brains DO work as they should, but even so, ADHD imposes something upon us that WE can't understand or process and that makes it even harder for us. We don't have any psychological issues but we have to live in a world of chaos anyway, and in many ways that's even worse than an ADHD sentence because it's not our brains that created it.

No meds available to fix us..no diagnosis for our problems..no specialist therapists to help us. We just have to get on with it. The frustration, the fear of not knowing what will turn up next - unpaid fines - motor offences - or even bank foreclosure and loss of home as well as never having a grown-up adult relationship where OUR needs are fulfilled as well.

So, here's some advice to anyone contemplating a relationship with an ADHD-er. Go ahead...if you're happy and rewarded to be a lifelong carer; if you're content to never have your own emotional needs met; if you're prepared to take 100% financial responsibility and manage everything of importance. If you're happy with all that, then respect to you. If not, then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.

I'm the oldest person in a family with ADHD all around. Yes, it makes life harder for all of us, just as my granddaughter having diabetes makes it harder for all of us ... our world changed completely when we had to learn how to plan and prepare meals in a whole new way.

I knew nothing about ADHD until a friend suggested my oldest granddaughter has it. In learning about it, I learned that I have it, that my daughter has it, and both my grandkids have it.

I began learning how to take care of myself and a whole new way of parenting that wouldn't blame my grandkids for their ADHD symptoms, and learning how to help myself and help them.

It isn't any easier to parent (or co-parent) kids with ADHD just because you have ADHD yourself.

And sorry to break it to you ... but we didn't create all the chaos in the world by having ADHD.

Over half of us also have depression and/or anxiety over the same problems you're complaining about, forgotten bills, unpaid fines for driving offenses, missing therapy appointments and forgetting to take the very meds that we spent months testing to see what works without raising our blood pressure or lowering our libido or a whole host of unpleasant side effects.

I think it's a huge leap for you to believe that it's harder for you as a non-ADHD person to handle living in a relationship with one of us, than it is for us to live in a relationship when our disorder makes relationships and social niceties very puzzling and difficult.

And ... ADHD is highly hereditable so many of us are living with ADHD parents, ADHD children, ADHD siblings. We do know how hard it is, but we don't have the choice to run away.

I'm not sure what the point of all this actually is, so I'll just stop by saying "Thanks for being yet another person to invalidate our diffiulties by saying you have it harder than we do."

Socaljaxs
02-21-16, 10:25 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with the responders who say that the difficulties ADD causes to a relationship are simply about 'compatibility' - seriously? Even a cursory glance at the data seems to indicate that relationship breakdown is significantly higher where ADD is a factor, especially over the longer term. first of all data is and can be skewed to whomever is trying to prove something. Plus not everyone with ADHD have the same problems or top issues. You want to limit your life and condemn a group based on a few. Have fun with that, that's about your fear and not anout reality.

I know I have severe ADHD yet my relationships don't suffer because of it. I'm actually very in tune to people and my social skills are just impulse issues of not shutting up and interrupting. In every relationship I've been in romantically I'm the one that seem to be taking care of the other. Not me that is a one that doesn't show or give out my feelings..

Your few or one or whatever bad relationship, is just going to limit you.

I also take issue with the stance that for a partner, dealing with a psychological condition is just the same as a physical disability - it's just not. once again limited mind.... do you have any clue the amount of suffering a person with a physical disability deals with? I will take my mother and myself for example, my mom had a life threatening illness for 13 years and I had/ have Cronic pain issues, and major disability issues that effect every aspect of my day. Plus I have ADHD. Guess what the physical pain both my mother and I experience, will always be more important than another person. We are testier have less patience and need help to do things daily.

Live in daily pain and struggle to walk a block or scared to eat anything because you may end up having a bowel movement in your clothes, and you tell me how much you really want to care, how much attention or affection you give to another person... Pain especially chronic pain will cause so many issues in your life relationships finances ext. plus medication and lack of being able to do things. always tired. Bathroom and food issues. Barely able to walk. Just want to feel normal physically.... Sorry, but pain will be more important and effects a person more than ADHD will. Ever get a migraine or be in extreme pain, break a bone? If so tell me which would be more self centered? Just saying

However, I think that there are probably many non-ADD partners living in quiet desperation trapped for whatever reason: kids, finances trashed, no alternative home and my intention was simply to raise the issue from this perspective, that building a successful partnership with an ADD sufferer is tough. You might not be cut out for it and it's something you need to ask yourself early on.

Well, like I said sometimes people fail at relationships. Regardless of illness. While it's easier to blame others,verses looking at oneself for flaws. However,you closing yourself off to one group based on few is sad and all you are doing is limiting you.

RedHairedWitch
02-22-16, 12:51 AM
Imagine there is a support forum for rape survivors. In that forum is a subforum for the partners of rape survivors. Because having a partner who is struggling with PTSD and such is damned hard.

Most partners post good questions, such as "My partner now has body issues, how do I make her feel beautiful again?" and "Sometimes i feel like every revolves around her healing process, is it okay to have a little me time?" and such.

But sometimes people post questions and vents are along the lines of "Since she got raped 3 years ago, she won't do what I like in bed, how do I make her give me oral sex?" and "I don't think it's fair that I have to have sex with the lights off now and she's not as into it as she used to be, I'm thinking of leaving her."

What do you think the response to such things would be? Would you think it was fair and okay for partners to make posts like that?

A lazy partner who lets the dishes pile up, interrupts you when speaking and forgets your birthday is a walk in the park compared to being married to a combat vet, or a rape survivor. Having a financially reckless partner is nothing compared to having a partner who is suicidal.

ADHD is an invisible illness. But it's among the most minor and manageable disorders out there. Compared to bi-polar, schizophrenia, cluster B personality disorders, fibromyalgia, etc and so on ... ADHD is a piece of cake.

Try being married to someone experiencing psychosis.

Socaljaxs
02-22-16, 01:06 AM
ADHD is an invisible illness..

:thankyou::goodpost: right here is a big part of the problem, it's not seen or visable, and as with any illness that can't be seen somehow a disconnect of others exist. Like just cause it can't be seen by others, doesn't make it any less real.

My spondylolisthesis was discovered at 26 for me, so to the naked eye, it would seem like I'm faking it cause I don't look ill. Guess what I was, I struggled every second of the day just to live some version of quality. But it wasn't visable, no one looking at the damage my nerves received..

Just like for someone in treatment for cancer, if the person doesn't have the stereotypical look, loss of hair, fragile looking, wigs or scarfs, it usually seems to be overlooked.

Bipolar too. The person seems and looks so normal. Must be faking it. Or seeking attention.

Sadly this invisible illness is in my opinion too big of the problem.

Free to Fly
02-23-16, 02:14 PM
My OP was targeted at people without ADHD thinking about getting into a relationship with someone with ADHD. It was direct but certainly not meant to insult anyone.

I actually didn't say that no-one can have a successful relationship with an ADHD-er. I was simply pointing out that you have to be prepared to live in that world which can be distressing and difficult and which, in effect, as a partner (not a parent) you are volunteering for. And yes, the vast majority of advice out there will tell you what you need to do/change to support your partner and your needs will take second place as they do for many carers in many situations.

My advice to 'run' was aimed at those people who at heart are not really prepared to do this for the rest of their lives. It's better to question yourself up front and be honest about it than realise it and regret it 20 years down the line when it's too late. I feel that much advice does not really spell out the toll it can take on the person without the condition.

So non-ADHD-er... be very sure you want to take it on. It's not just about stray socks or lost keys fixed with post-it notes. And as I said earlier, 'respect' to those that can and do make it work.

I think part of the problem for me is that I wish my wife would actually take the time to jump in to some of these forums, because what the OP writes is what I hear, "If I had known what it would be like, I never would have married you, or I should have left long ago." I have some other problems that make being in a relationship not easy. But, and this is where we used to get into a huge conflict....I have seen bad, I ain't it.

annie29
02-24-16, 08:26 PM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about. Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.

dvdnvwls
02-25-16, 12:42 AM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about. Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.
It would be much appreciated if you would explain this. I know that what I wrote about you was spot-on correct, and it is further confirmed by this latest response of yours.

aeon
02-25-16, 01:12 AM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about. Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.

I said nothing of the sort, and even offered you some measure of compassion.

The fact that post and other posts as well went unaddressed does say something about you, and itís a shame that we wonít be seeing you around here any longer.

http://www.sympato.ch/smileys/megabounce.gif


Fare Thee Well,
Ian

Lunamoth
02-25-16, 01:24 AM
Hi Annie,

I noticed that you posted the same OP on at least one other support forum. The responses you received here were certainly far kinder!

Of course, had you posted about your specific experience rather than making sweeping generalisations about large groups of people, you might have received a different response.

I hope the intense anger you have towards yourself and your partner (ex?) has somewhat lessened through expressing it here and elsewhere.

Best wishes.

BellaVita
02-25-16, 01:30 AM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about. Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.

I did my best to be kind and a good listener and compassionate...I'm sorry you still found that unhelpful. I know I wasn't aggressive.

I hope you take a moment to consider the responses before leaving, we put time and effort into responding as nicely as we could.

Take care and may you find peace.

ginniebean
02-25-16, 02:03 AM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about.

I don't know if you'll be around to read this but even if not, perhaps others will read this thread and maybe get something out of it.

I don't see NT's as the enemy, and I'll talk to you as I would any other person. It's true, we don't know a whole lot about you as an individual other than what you wrote. What you wrote was plenty aggressive, and certainly did not take into consideration that we too are individuals that you lumped all together as if having ADHD was all that mattered. You don't know us either. Yes, you got push back and I do feel it was well deserved.

Why did I say you don't truly get adhd as a disability. I'll show you why.

I became increasingly sick of reading how it's me that should adapt and change all the time - because after all that's what my ADHD partner needs.

When people with adhd tell others in posts and such how to accommodate their disability this makes you "sick"? It's taken for granted that WE have to do a ****e load of work to make ourselves more 'normal' whether we have a partner or not. Just getting by in this world has been extremely exhausting because of our disabilities.

Telling those we love what our needs are, humbling ourselves to say "i need support' makes you sick? And you don't see any hostility in this? Others have pointed out other conditions where anyone saying this would be cruel and insensitive, is there something so special and unique about the hardships imposed not just upon our partners, but on ourselves by being born with a condition we didn't ask for that sensitivity, kindness and fairness should not be expected?

It may be hard for them, but here's the truth - our brains DO work as they should, but even so, ADHD imposes something upon us that WE can't understand or process and that makes it even harder for us. We don't have any psychological issues but we have to live in a world of chaos anyway, and in many ways that's even worse than an ADHD sentence because it's not our brains that created it.

Yes, it IS hard for us. A lot harder than you seem to really be able to realise. "here's the truth"? WOW Adhd cannot be understood by people who are neurotypical? Well, that's actually not true. ADHD can indeed be understood, it does take time and interest, and yeah, it does impose itself on other people in our lives. People who often feel they should shame, blame and mistreat us for it. It's as if we need to be reminded just how awful we should feel because we can't feel bad enough. Here's my perspective of what's true. We DO feel bad enough, there's a lot of sweet individuals here who have been pounded into the ground with blame and rejection and a host of really awful experiences.

One of my reasons for being here is to let others with adhd know they don't need to moralize their symptoms, they don't have to feel like lower or less than human beings. Let me assure you that living with someone who has ADHD is not WORSE, not even close to the experiences we have. People get broken, thrown on the streets as teenagers, beaten, live a life of poverty, end up in jail or worse... dead because of adhd. If there's one thing you can get out of this maybe it's understanding how ridiculously hostile and offensive it is to be told that you having to be around someone with ADHD is WORSE than actually having it.

Can you understand that some push back when someone says this isn't necessarily hostility? Having your privelage as an NT challenged may not happen on a lot of forums for adhd, but this one actually is populated with a lot of us, who are doing our damnedest to better our lives and recover from a lifetime of abuse.

I really do see far too many people with adhd so beaten down they'll sit there and go, yes you poor thing, you have a working brain, HOW awful for you, and yes, we're just crap compared to you, and we should kiss your rings. UGH, that's what makes me sick. The knee jerk response of "blame me" I deserve it.

They truly don't derserve to live like that. I rejected that quite some time ago tho I will admit at times it still rears it's ugly head and it's a hell I hope you never have to visit.



No meds available to fix us..no diagnosis for our problems..no specialist therapists to help us. We just have to get on with it. The frustration, the fear of not knowing what will turn up next - unpaid fines - motor offences - or even bank foreclosure and loss of home as well as never having a grown-up adult relationship where OUR needs are fulfilled as well.

So, here's some advice to anyone contemplating a relationship with an ADHD-er. Go ahead...if you're happy and rewarded to be a lifelong carer; if you're content to never have your own emotional needs met; if you're prepared to take 100% financial responsibility and manage everything of importance. If you're happy with all that, then respect to you. If not, then RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.

It's funny how the first thing you said was that we didn't take into consideration that we don't know you but you're handing out advice about partnerships with ALL people with adhd?

We will never meet the needs of our partners?
We're not adults? Infantilization is a form of descrimination it's why people used to call black men "boys'

We'll never meet our partners emotional needs?


We cannot meet financial responsibilities?

We can't handle "anything of importance"?



RUN as fast as you can - get out - free yourself before it's too late and you are trapped forever with no way out.


This could not be construed as hurtful, mean, spiteful, viscious or anything like that right? I mean you did go to such great lengths to treat us like actual real people who have individual lives? Different sets of issues than the one's you laid out in worst case scenario? You made sure to say it was a worst case scenario? No, you didn't.

For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily?


Just pointing out? You're not being honest even with yourself, is it possible you may be so angry you truly can't see that you stepped way beyond trying to be 'helpful' to those with out adhd, and really took some massive stabs at the characters of everyone with adhd?

Whether you want to see it, or don't want to see it, your post was hateful. It hurt people, real people with feelings on here. People who don't deserve it.

People who handle all the important things in life, people who pay thier bills, people who are caretakers of others as well, (this is not limited to people who are NT's) People who do backflips to meet thier partners emotion needs and people who are HAPPY as couples and have been for decades.

I get wanting to be understood and not wanting to be met aggressively. But your post did need to be pushed back to. Your advice of "live a horrible life or RUN FOR YOUR LIVES THE DRAGONS ARE COMING" wasn't real advice and wasn't anywhere near fair.

I'm sure you've not had it easy. I'm sure you've had great disappointment. I even care about that. Not at the expense of saying it's ok to be full on discriminating. When you tell people to run away from people with a disability it is discrimination. Consider just maybe that you hold some very ablist views. Like sexism or racism it is offensive, aggressive and hostile.

I do believe you don't mean to be, but don't blame people here for calling it out because they should be.








Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.[/quote]

BellaVita
02-25-16, 02:15 AM
Very well said ginnie. :goodpost:

sarahsweets
02-25-16, 05:25 AM
Interesting that once you have finished spewing out your venom that you tell us you wont be back. To me that shows that we are saying things that have an element of truth to them. When people feel strongly that they are right and that what they say has merit and should be considered, they dont drop it and run the minute things get hard. If you feel strongly that your opinion is the right one, then come and share with us why that is.

Lunacie
02-25-16, 10:24 AM
Well, some pretty aggressive responses going on here from some people who assume much about me that they know nothing about. Some accusations are really quite venemous. Bitter? twisted? sad? No comprehension of disability?....Wow. For pointing out that it is tough for the non-ADHD person? That they should be really sure they are prepared when getting into an ADHD relationship in order to avoid seriously regretting staying in one and have it destroyed by the condition? Wanting to make other non-ADHD people aware of how demanding that role can be and to ask themselves up front if they are making a life choice that they can live with happily? Well, I did wonder why so few non-ADHD partners who are suffering (and they are) put their heads above the parapet - now I know. It's ok, I won't be posting again.

We have some valued non-ADHD members here who participate regularly. :grouphug:

We value their input and their perspective. :yes:

They aren't crying in their beer because we have meds that can "fix us" and they don't. :umm1:



I wish meds could "fix us." That's just not true, and it's invalidating of our medical condition. :(

I guess you think that using a wheelchair "fixes" people with MS? :doh:



You didn't just point out that the non-ADHD person in a relationship has it hard.

You whined that you have it harder than people with a very real medical condition that we can't just run away from after careful consideration.


If you stayed here and read some of the threads posted by non-ADHD partners ...

and the responses from those with and without ADHD ...

you could learn a whole lot and maybe move past that sense of anger and entitlement you have. :yes:

Fuzzy12
02-25-16, 10:30 AM
Funnily enough, I actually thought this thread (or at least the posts I read) was a model of non-aggressive and fairly supportive responses especially considering how vitriolic the OP was. :scratch: