View Full Version : not sure its ADHD related but

09-06-16, 03:23 PM
so my partner and i separated after 5 years. at first i was mad and he was mad and i kicked him out. i was so used to these arguments and just over it. after one day i waited and he didnt come back he had left for good. we have kids and he has been perfectly fine dealing with them and supporting me as a mother from afar which i know i should be thankful but everything in my life is just saturated in him. I had long relationships before but i spent 5 years raising kids with him and i gave myself so much of myself to him and i feel like im dying more and more everyday without him and it hurts so much and he is perfectly fine and says love was never the issue my kids just needed him.

Everything in my house reminds me of him all my hobbies all my music, when i talk to someone and they just don't get it and i know he would of the closest to anything in this world of understanding me and its gone forever because now he is completely normal as if we never had a relationship at all. 5 years just never happened for him and it was everything to me.

He encourages me to go and date and move on and he says he is fine to have time with his kids when ever i want to go out it hurts and i don't know how to get past this 20 something years and im only half way over my childhood but that was easy cause you couldn't miss what you had never had but when your missing the best thing that happened to you and made you happy how do you give it up? (obviously my children don't count in that but its hard as well not to be envious of love he gives them freely that he says he never had for you)

09-08-16, 11:14 AM
No matter how you look at it, it's going to be hard. If the kids weren't in the picture it would be easier, because you'd be able to get some distance from him and allow yourself time to heal. With the kids, he's likely going to be part of your life for a long time, so it's tough to let go of the feelings you have for him. If your goal is to regain your sense of self and to learn to be a single person again, as best as you can, set boundaries with your ex. Limit conversations to the kids, and try to rely on other people for support. I was once in your ex-boyfriend's position; wanting to be there for her, trying to be supportive to her and help her figure things out. The problem was that I didn't see that I couldn't be the person to do that; that my attempts to help were making it far harder for her to move on. As much as you can, put the brakes on being friends until you are your own person again, and can be friends with him without all of the complications.

I'm assuming from the tone of your post that there isn't a possibility of rebuilding your relationship; going on a date with him... Even if it was a possibility, you'd need to figure out how things would be different, or you'd find yourselves in the same arguments all over again.

As far as "moving on", a big part of it is figuring out who you are. For a while it sounds like you were so invested in the relationship that you lost your own identity. Part of rebuilding may mean making some changes. Trying new things, meeting new people, trying a new 'look' (either personally or with your home decor). You may also try to hold off on dating until you know how to be you again, otherwise you might end up losing yourself in a different relationship.

I feel that I've been successful in my current marriage (about 4.5yrs) because I learned how to be happy as a single man. We are a couple and deeply invested in each other, but we also know how to be our own people, and have parts of ourselves that we keep our own.

09-09-16, 01:18 AM
For a while it sounds like you were so invested in the relationship that you lost your own identity.

This is my point, we were and still are so much became one person, i believe it's called interdependance or codependant. I am only 25, so 5 years for me is such a long long time to be with one person. so much personal growth happens in that time at 20 i feel people do not even know themselves yet and we committed to a forever and lived and depended on one another so much that my personality beliefs ethics and character blended with his in a way and i took on his as well and we grew along side one another. i knew i was giving more then i should after two years i knew i had lost the real me and a part of me rebelled and he couldn't and really still cannot communicate his end of things.

I have alot of personal issues and character failings as im sure all people have some where and my weakness's are overindulging passion and emotion just wanting to feel but as he has ASD he already constantly felt too much and i would starve for attention and affection but i never broke us for it, i let my needs break me instead and conformed to his just because i wanted it so much to work because there was not a time in this world where i was ok with who i was what i looked like or how i acted except with him he made me better as a person as i did him but we never could meet in the middle or communicate emotions. how does one with ADHD who thrives for excessive sensory input work with someone who has ASD who feels too much and cannot cope.

i'm sorry the process is long and i'm not taking it well at all i'm trying so hard to be ok as people remind me it was never about me it's about my kids having a good future even at the sacrifice of myself

09-09-16, 09:15 AM
The first thing I'd like to say is about your last comment. Personally, I'd tell people that suggest that you sacrifice yourself for anyone, even your children, that they can take a long walk on a short pier. I don't intend to sacrifice myself for anyone! How in hell can that do anyone any good? Instead of sacrificing yourself for your kids, how about learning to take care of yourself and getting your needs met so you can have more to offer your kids, not least of which is setting a good example. I'll get into it more below, but people talk about self-sacrifice, self-sufficiency and selflessness as a virtue. My feeling is that it's a huge load of crap. Trying to be self-sufficient is what landed me in a mental health crisis. I have an amazing life now, and the more I learn to rely on others rather than try and handle things on my own, the better off EVERYONE is, because I'm able to be and do more for everyone in my life.

The lesson I learned when I was about your age was that love is not enough for a relationship to work. You can love someone and still be miserable. You can love them and know that you're no good together.

It sounds like the combination of your ADHD and desire for affection and emotional communication and his ASD created a lot of friction; that you love each other, but can't satisfy each others' needs.

The good news is that you're STILL young. 5 years is a long time at your age, and it will take time to work out who you are again... It sounds like you're coming out of that relationship with a better understanding of what you need in a partner, as well as some things you might want to work on, like sacrificing your own wellbeing for the sake of someone else.

Have you been in therapy, or have you considered it? I'd also consider looking to see if there are peer support groups in your area; it sounds to me like you would benefit from connecting with folks who have similar challenges; work through them together.

All in all, it doesn't feel like an ADHD issue, though it does influence every part of our lives... From what you described it sounds more like you have difficulty maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships, and end up sacrificing your self-care in an effort to make your partner happy, thinking that will preserve the relationship.

Consider this: Self-interest is not selfish. A few reasons off the top of my head:

1) If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be of much use to other people.

2) If you take steps to make yourself happy, that happiness is contagious; your mood will impact everything you do and everyone around you.

3) The more you do for yourself, the more energy you'll have, so you'll be able to do more for the people in your life; you'll also be far more efficient doing it

4) The more self-interest you engage in, the less stress you will carry, and the more creative you'll be when tackling problems. And the little problems and stressors in your life won't bother you nearly as much.

5) Sometimes by denying ourselves, we're denying others too. I went to the same club on Thursday nights for two years because a friend of mine "really wanted to go". I finally said "Do you mind if we do something else this Thursday? I need a break from that place". His response? "Oh, THANK GOD!!!! I was only going because I thought it was what you wanted to do!"

Another point I feel is important based on my own experience: No one person is enough to support me. It doesn't matter how great that person is, or how supportive; I can't talk to them about everything, and they also will only have one perspective. The more people I connect to, the more people I can reach to for help when I need it, the more perspectives people will have, which means more choices for me.

If your partner doesn't give you all the physical affection you need, then find friends who you enjoy cuddling on the couch with watching a movie. It doesn't take away from your relationship with your partner; you are still there for them; it just makes sure your own needs are met and that you're happier, more relaxed and at ease with them when you spend time together. If you need to communicate emotionally, being able to talk it through with your friends means you'll be better equipped and more patient when doing so with your partner.

Taking care of myself makes me a better husband, a better father, a better employee. I encourage you to look to yourself and think hard about WHAT you need in your life, rather than WHO, then look for ways to get your needs met while rebuilding your sense of self.

09-09-16, 11:02 AM
Its tough because you did alot of your growing up (20-25) with him. I dont know what advice to give other than to say to stick to your boundaries and keep contact with him to a bare minimum.

09-10-16, 10:27 PM
Have you been in therapy, or have you considered it?

I am constantly in and out of therapy but i have an amazing ability to self destruct my own therapies as i rail road my therapists into intellectual discussions on Today's psychology and sociology. usually therapy becomes me talking about all the things i have no one to talk about to keep my brain from starving when i feel like im surrounded by insanely ignorant people.

All your points are very true and i realize them. support groups are not common practice in my area nor is support for ADHD. and although i have BPD it's not enough of a label for local mental health support.

I am planning on self discovery, as from stopping from giving everything, i wish i knew how to stop that. i don't know how not to throw my all in or keep distance thats obviously my insecurities and self esteem issues and the decisions are made on impulse. By i cannot use logic to guide when emotions overwhelms me so much.

I feel avoiding relationships is for the best as this is not a healthy response and to be honest i am a better person not loving another.

09-14-16, 10:22 AM
My best suggestion based on your experiences with therapy is for you to be up front with your therapists and ask them to help the conversation stay on you, as you've got the same habit as me: As soon as a conversation goes to an uncomfortable place, I know just the topic to bring up that will let me evade the discussion; people usually just LOVE to talk about their profession!

Part of my own recovery was learning to be okay with a bit of discomfort. If I'm comfortable that means nothing's changing.

As far as treating yourself with kindness, hopefully you'll be able to show yourself that the better you treat yourself, the more you have to offer others. At least that's the way to look at self interest as being a selfless act.

It might be good to stay away from relationships for a while; then, when you feel you're ready, you'll hopefully also have lots of people you know well to get into a relationship with! My wife and I knew each other off and on for 10ish years before we got together; by the time we were in a relationship we already knew what type of people each other were, and already had the conversations (e.g. kids, lifestyle, attitudes and values) that didn't usually come up until I'd been in a relationship for a while with the person (and would usually cause friction/problems).

As far as learning healthy boundaries, you're still young, so have plenty of time to learn the skills. One of my colleagues who specialises in working with families would likely have some articles/resources/tips, so PM me if you're interested.

Good luck, and remember that acknowledging this and working on yourself will help you be a stronger, happier and kinder person!