View Full Version : New to the forum...very thankful to have found this place too!


_Karen_Cee_
06-29-16, 05:18 PM
Hey y'all - I'm Karen and I'm new here today. I am in a relationship with a guy who has AD/HD. He is medicated and does ok when he takes it. That's the key words...when he takes it. When we got together twelve years ago (married for ten), neither of us knew he had this. Me being a teacher you'd think I would have caught on but adult AD/HD is so different that childhood AD/HD. At least that's what he tells me. To be honest, other than age, I can't see that he's much different than some of the kids I teach in regards to the signs and symptoms of this awful disorder. Disability. Whatever you want to call it. He refers to it as a disability, since he doesn't have the ability to function like a normal person would. At any rate, like a lot of us on here, our relationship isn't the best and recently it took a turn for the worst with a series of events that led to us separating and we will have to file bankruptcy due to how he handled our finances. I see now (too late now though) that I should have handled those important details so we wouldn't be where we are now.

I do have to ask - and maybe someone else has already asked and gotten an answer but like I said I'm new and haven't really delved into things just yet - but I suppose it's normal that the non-AD/HD partner feels more like a parent than a partner...spouse...etc? I've made accommodations for him, helping him plan...make reminders...lists (oh lord I hate lists!)...remembering to speak softly and walk even softer...keep my body language in check...because any infraction of the aforementioned might result in a total lack of respect or ability to handle his anger. He doesn't handle stress well AT ALL, which I gather is pretty typical of some AD/HD adults?

Yet through all this...I love the guy. We did get back together, ending the separation and so far he's trying. We are in counseling - couples and individually. I'm just SO tired y'all!! Tired of dealing with the constant reminding, the lack of support for me (he has tons of it), constant forgetting, the anger, the stress, the not taking his meds, all of it. I'm just tired. On top of all this I have a teenage daughter who has learning disabilities, served through an IEP in our school district, who also shows signs of AD/HD and heaven help me but her bio dad refuses to allow her to be medicated. *BIG SIGH* I feel like I'm drowning and there's no rope or flotation anything to help me stay afloat. GAH!!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I hope I haven't offended anyone or said anything inappropriate. I am just so glad to have found this ONE spot that might be my salvation through all this. I just hope this is the place I need to be in to either survive this or hang on long enough to be able to make a clear headed decision for the future.

aeon
06-29-16, 06:07 PM
Hi, and welcome to the Forum. :)

It may be normal that non-ADHD partners have experiences that feel more like parenting than partnering, but that doesn’t mean it should be expected, or that it is, absent other considerations, acceptable in and of itself.

You said a lot, and for sure, you have a full plate.

If you accept,

:grouphug:


Well-Wishes,
Ian

BellaVita
06-29-16, 06:22 PM
Big hugs. :grouphug:

He really should be consistent with his medication - can he have the bottle next to his bed on a nightstand with a glass of water or water bottle, that way it's the first thing he sees when he wakes up?

Why won't he allow for your daughter to be medicated? Stimulant medication is safe and has been studied for decades.

It does happen sometimes, in non-ADHD + ADHD relationships and in non-ADHD + non-ADHD relationships that one partner ends up feeling like the parent. This definitely is unhealthy for the relationship and needs to be fixed.

You've got support here, continue to vent/rant all you need. I hope that somehow, you can find some peace in the chaos.

_Karen_Cee_
06-29-16, 08:53 PM
Sometimes I think I need to make a list for me (and I hate lists)...of things I need to NOT do, say, act, or feel. But then, that to me is like being a robot. Staged. Acting in a play...a 24/7/365 kind of play. Oy Vey!

Thank you...to whoever created this place, this forum. I was beginning to wonder if I was alone out here in this world. :)

qanda
06-29-16, 11:34 PM
remembering to speak softly and walk even softer...keep my body language in check...because any infraction of the aforementioned might result in a total lack of respect or ability to handle his anger.

What you said reminded me of my daughter when her anxiety was at it's worse. My husband and I felt like we were walking on eggshells. Now that her anxiety is better, we don'.t have to be as careful. I also have become great at remaining calm, not showing any negative emotions, etc. We still must remain calm or she reacts with huge anxiety, but before it felt like we were always walking on thin ice and might break though any moment. Do you think your husband also has anxiety?

Also, it regards to your daughter. My daughters child psychiatrist wanted to try fish oil for my daughters adhd as many adhd meds can make anxiety worse. He recommended fish oil with high EPA (read the back of fish oil bottles in health food stores to find one with high EPA). My daughter takes 4 fish oil pills a day which equal almost 1,000 mg EPA. It has helped with her focus in regards to homework.

NYCKAT80
06-29-16, 11:41 PM
Hey y'all - I'm Karen and I'm new here today. I am in a relationship with a guy who has AD/HD. He is medicated and does ok when he takes it. That's the key words...when he takes it. When we got together twelve years ago (married for ten), neither of us knew he had this. Me being a teacher you'd think I would have caught on but adult AD/HD is so different that childhood AD/HD. At least that's what he tells me. To be honest, other than age, I can't see that he's much different than some of the kids I teach in regards to the signs and symptoms of this awful disorder. Disability. Whatever you want to call it. He refers to it as a disability, since he doesn't have the ability to function like a normal person would. At any rate, like a lot of us on here, our relationship isn't the best and recently it took a turn for the worst with a series of events that led to us separating and we will have to file bankruptcy due to how he handled our finances. I see now (too late now though) that I should have handled those important details so we wouldn't be where we are now.

I do have to ask - and maybe someone else has already asked and gotten an answer but like I said I'm new and haven't really delved into things just yet - but I suppose it's normal that the non-AD/HD partner feels more like a parent than a partner...spouse...etc? I've made accommodations for him, helping him plan...make reminders...lists (oh lord I hate lists!)...remembering to speak softly and walk even softer...keep my body language in check...because any infraction of the aforementioned might result in a total lack of respect or ability to handle his anger. He doesn't handle stress well AT ALL, which I gather is pretty typical of some AD/HD adults?

Yet through all this...I love the guy. We did get back together, ending the separation and so far he's trying. We are in counseling - couples and individually. I'm just SO tired y'all!! Tired of dealing with the constant reminding, the lack of support for me (he has tons of it), constant forgetting, the anger, the stress, the not taking his meds, all of it. I'm just tired. On top of all this I have a teenage daughter who has learning disabilities, served through an IEP in our school district, who also shows signs of AD/HD and heaven help me but her bio dad refuses to allow her to be medicated. *BIG SIGH* I feel like I'm drowning and there's no rope or flotation anything to help me stay afloat. GAH!!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I hope I haven't offended anyone or said anything inappropriate. I am just so glad to have found this ONE spot that might be my salvation through all this. I just hope this is the place I need to be in to either survive this or hang on long enough to be able to make a clear headed decision for the future.

I know everyone is different, but what changes do you see when he takes his meds vs. not taking them? My bf has yet to go to a psychiatrist (trying to get one at the moment) and hasn't been treated for ADD/ADHD yet, so I'm desperately hoping something will work. Thanks.

sarahsweets
06-30-16, 02:42 AM
I do have to ask - and maybe someone else has already asked and gotten an answer but like I said I'm new and haven't really delved into things just yet - but I suppose it's normal that the non-AD/HD partner feels more like a parent than a partner...spouse...etc? I've made accommodations for him, helping him plan...make reminders...lists (oh lord I hate lists!)...remembering to speak softly and walk even softer...keep my body language in check...because any infraction of the aforementioned might result in a total lack of respect or ability to handle his anger. He doesn't handle stress well AT ALL, which I gather is pretty typical of some AD/HD adults?

I know it can feel like you have to parent him but be careful that you dont get to comfortable doing that. It can be like enabling and change the dynamics of your relationship. ( who wants to have sex with a parent?)
I have adhd and so does my husband. So I have to work on my own issues as does he, and we have to work on dealing with each other. One thing we dont do is act like parents to each other. Its hard not to want to jump in an micromanage what the other partner doesnt do well, but in order to learn we have to try and be willing to mess up, so we can learn to do things the right way.

When it comes to medication, well thats non-negotiable. We are medicated because it works and if he or I werent consistent with taking meds, neither of us would be accepting of that. I wonder if your husband truly wants to treat his adhd, or would rather use you as his treatment?
If you are doing all the work changing your behaviors and being mindful of him all the time then is the motivation to take his meds even there?

On top of all this I have a teenage daughter who has learning disabilities, served through an IEP in our school district, who also shows signs of AD/HD and heaven help me but her bio dad refuses to allow her to be medicated. *BIG SIGH* I feel like I'm drowning and there's no rope or flotation anything to help me stay afloat. GAH!!
[/quote]
Is your husband her bio dad? If not, you can take the ex to court and get a court order to allow her to try meds. He is not a doctor and he is only half of the parenting team and shouldnt be the one to make all the decisions.

_Karen_Cee_
06-30-16, 09:16 AM
I know it can feel like you have to parent him but be careful that you dont get to comfortable doing that. It can be like enabling and change the dynamics of your relationship. ( who wants to have sex with a parent?)
I have adhd and so does my husband. So I have to work on my own issues as does he, and we have to work on dealing with each other. One thing we dont do is act like parents to each other. Its hard not to want to jump in an micromanage what the other partner doesnt do well, but in order to learn we have to try and be willing to mess up, so we can learn to do things the right way.

When it comes to medication, well thats non-negotiable. We are medicated because it works and if he or I werent consistent with taking meds, neither of us would be accepting of that. I wonder if your husband truly wants to treat his adhd, or would rather use you as his treatment?
If you are doing all the work changing your behaviors and being mindful of him all the time then is the motivation to take his meds even there?

On top of all this I have a teenage daughter who has learning disabilities, served through an IEP in our school district, who also shows signs of AD/HD and heaven help me but her bio dad refuses to allow her to be medicated. *BIG SIGH* I feel like I'm drowning and there's no rope or flotation anything to help me stay afloat. GAH!!

Is your husband her bio dad? If not, you can take the ex to court and get a court order to allow her to try meds. He is not a doctor and he is only half of the parenting team and shouldnt be the one to make all the decisions.[/quote]

Thanks Sarah, I agree with you - it's far too easy to take on the parenting role in this relationship. I do wonder sometimes if he's not taking his meds because he knows I'll step in and "do it all" for him so he doesn't have to think or make a decision. The thing is, the fear of NOT doing it all keeps me in a state of overwhelm. If I don't, I worry what kind of mess we'll wind up in as a family...financially, etc. When I do step back and he feels like he messes up (and honestly, sometimes he does mess up) then I have to deal with the self derogatory comments, then the blame he places on me for his mistakes (if you hadn't done ____, then i wouldn't have ____), and then the emotional and communication shut down begins.

My daughter is not his, her bio dad and I have to share custody for ONE more year (thankyoulordjesusamen) and for now I plan to try an alternative method - the fish oil comment above might work if I can get her to try it, otherwise I'm going to try essential oils. We'll see. Her IEP helps a lot at school and without it I know beyond all doubt she would not be where she is now.

I welcome any advice or experiences anyone cares to share. I need all the help I can get!

Karen_Cee

kilted_scotsman
07-01-16, 12:32 PM
I feel one of the most important things in a relationship involving ADHD is to take a long hard look at all the shoulds, musts and can't that fly around on all sides.

Likewise what you say about the anger is common however that isn't something that is fixed in stone. There is an increasing amount of evidence that this anger is something that can be reduced and sometimes eliminated through therapy that looks at the underlying fears and unmet relational needs.

I feel the most important thing is for someone with ADHD to be curious about how ADHD affects them..... without that it's almost impossible to change oneself or the understand the relational world one lives in. Most of the ADDers I have become close to have some form of attachment issue... usually developing an Anxious or Anxious/Avoidant relational style. This is where therapy containing a good chunk of psycho-education followed by good group therapy is very useful..... I have found mens groups particularly good for guys with these types of relational issues.

Sarah is dead on.... becoming too much of a parent to a partner is not healthy in a relationship...... however it is important to realise that this dynamic is co-created between the partners and you (the non-ADHD partner) have as much to do with this as the ADHD partner.

Karpman's "Drama Triangle" has 3 points.... Rescuer, Victim and Persecutor..... and we flip around between these relational roles depending on circumstance. It's simplistic but provides a metaphor.....

See this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

ADDers often flip between "Victim" and Persecutor" and hook up with people who flip between "Rescuer" and "Victim".

The objective is to move from the "Drama Triangle" which isn't healthy to something like Choy's "Winners Triangle" which is briefly mentioned in the Wikipedia link above.

The thing about the Winners Triangle is the "Victim" moves to a place of "Vulnerability" becoming able to talk about their fears..... The "Rescuer" moves to a place of "Caring" which does NOT involve "fixing" but is more around mentoring and supporting the other to become more aware of their underlying psychological processes.

ToneTone
07-02-16, 12:56 PM
kilted_scotsman,

Man, that was fantastic! ... F-ing Brilliant! ... and deep!

So interesting ... I come from a family with some amazing strengths and some devastating weaknesses ... and this may sound odd ... one thing I wanted out of intimate relationships for the longest time was to have someone I could come to ... to complain and emote about my family. I was stuck in something like that victim mode that you identify.

A few years back, I realized, Wait a minute. I don't want someone just so I can emote to them about how crazy parts of my family are ... I want to get better at dealing with my family and have a relationship for the purpose of connection, love, fun, growth, joy and all the rest. I had somehow thought I was passive and could not get better at relating to my family. I wanted my intimate partner to affirm my helplessness. Somehow this reminds me of all that you wrote her about the various hierarchical roles we fall into.

I'm a teacher, and let me tell you that if you are a caring teacher it is so easy to slip into inappropriately trying to parent students. There are some students that I mentor but I do so in a healthy and even enthusiastic way. But for years, I would get over-involved with students that I didn't want to really mentor.

The breakthrough for me again fits with the thinking you present here: I learned that behind my reflex to parent people when that wasn't called for was a lack of faith in their capability. At some point I realized that if a student is struggling (as long as they aren't at the very edge), they need to face up to that struggle and it does them no good for me to protect them from the consequences of their immaturity or whatever. Now I help people but I don't rescue anymore ... The difference is huge.

Dude, some brilliant stuff you shared! ... Love to even hear more along these lines.

Tone

TLCisaQT
07-03-16, 03:06 PM
Welcome Karen and boy do I know what you mean about tired!!!! I am glad you have found this place and I hope you continue to find the support you need/want :)

kilted - your posts are awesome as always!!!!

_Karen_Cee_
07-25-16, 12:26 PM
Hey y'all...been MIA for a few weeks while I dealt with life here at home. Still with hubby. Getting better with the "non-parenting" issue where the ADD is concerned. It has it's ups and downs though - and a lot of times I find myself metaphorically biting my lip and sitting on my hands to keep from taking over and being a "mom".

Kilted - I read the link you posted - wow! One thing jumped out at me about the entire article and that is the concept of attachment. I am beginning to wonder if the whole reason he insists that we stay together is because he has formed an attachment to the relationship for security purposes. It's something I will delve into with my therapist, that's for sure.

I guess I'm just waiting things out - not sure what to think or feel anymore. I do love him, but in the last few weeks, I'm not sure it's "in love" that I feel. Kinda like we're BFFs living in the same house and sharing expenses. I care deeply about him and certainly don't want anything to happen or go wrong for him yet at the same time I feel like I'm missing out on something somewhere. School starts back for me next week - maybe the structure of work and teaching will help settle my mind and spirit.

Thanks to everyone who's cared enough to respond - it is a help to me and I re-read responses often, even if I don't post much.

sarahsweets
07-25-16, 02:50 PM
Hey y'all...been MIA for a few weeks while I dealt with life here at home. Still with hubby. Getting better with the "non-parenting" issue where the ADD is concerned. It has it's ups and downs though - and a lot of times I find myself metaphorically biting my lip and sitting on my hands to keep from taking over and being a "mom".

Kilted - I read the link you posted - wow! One thing jumped out at me about the entire article and that is the concept of attachment. I am beginning to wonder if the whole reason he insists that we stay together is because he has formed an attachment to the relationship for security purposes. It's something I will delve into with my therapist, that's for sure.

I guess I'm just waiting things out - not sure what to think or feel anymore. I do love him, but in the last few weeks, I'm not sure it's "in love" that I feel. Kinda like we're BFFs living in the same house and sharing expenses. I care deeply about him and certainly don't want anything to happen or go wrong for him yet at the same time I feel like I'm missing out on something somewhere. School starts back for me next week - maybe the structure of work and teaching will help settle my mind and spirit.

Thanks to everyone who's cared enough to respond - it is a help to me and I re-read responses often, even if I don't post much.

I am believer that in some cases love can start as one type and change to another. This is why some people after years of marriage split and its no big deal. They love each other, just not in that til death to us part kind of way.