View Full Version : Struggling in my relationship


sampeckinpah
10-18-16, 11:53 AM
I dont think there is anything wrong with me as a boyfriend but when my girl friend comes up to talk to me about how im selfish, distant/ never talks anymore, not very romantic and Im kind of rude sometimes. She says all this stuff but I dont know what to do about it. Its hard for me to want to do some of these things most of the time I dont want to talk because Im introverted, and the romantic thing doesnt really seem necessary for me because I love her. I guess Im rude because I blurt things without thinking, we went to couples counseling and stopped fighting over pointless things but now this came up. Is it bad that I dont want to do these things? I could take her out on more dates but im worried about spending money because I always make the impulse buy that I want and put myself in debt. I seen her searching things up on the computer asking why i was so distant and I dont love her anymore

aeon
10-18-16, 01:42 PM
I dont think there is anything wrong with me as a boyfriend but when my girl friend comes up to talk to me about how im selfish, distant/ never talks anymore, not very romantic and Im kind of rude sometimes. She says all this stuff but I dont know what to do about it.

One of two choices: kick someone so judgmental to the curb, or teach her how to state her needs such that she owns those things, and can ask for your help.


Cheers,
Ian

sampeckinpah
10-18-16, 02:06 PM
yeah : / I wanted to blame why are relationship was doing so bad because I have ADHD but i dont think thats very smart of me

20thcenturyfox
10-18-16, 09:16 PM
1. Will you act/treat her differently than you do now because, in that case, you would know you're a lucky dog?
2. Or, will you act/treat her just the same as you do now?
3. Will she--being the perfect girl for you-- be happy with that, or
4. Might she still feel you're selfish, distant/ you never talk anymore, you're not very romantic and/or kind of rude sometimes...but just not say anything because, you know, she's the perfect girl even if you're far from the perfect guy for her?
5. Or, being the perfect girl for you, will she find the perfect way to express her needs so that you want to up your game?

Meanwhile, for the less-than-perfect-but-still-motivated-caring-partners, there could be lots of small improvements to be made--and ways to help each other be your best selves--on both sides.

Even without the extra challenges of unemployment or depression, inattentiveness and impulsivity can really lead to hurt and misunderstandings. And if you are the one being inconsiderate or oblivious, make sure you are not expecting her to make all the allowances and adjustments.

sampeckinpah
10-19-16, 10:57 AM
woah, yeah that makes me feel like I got to do some improvements, I got her flowers today so that is a start! I wrote it on my day planner

ToneTone
10-19-16, 12:52 PM
Body language and TLC counts for a huge amount of closeness in relationships. Hugging is huge. Touching gently is huge. Doing people favors without being asked is huge.

I don't know if this is a male thing or an ADHD thing or a male ADHD thing, but I was talking to a buddy who also has ADHD and we both talked about the challenge of doing two things at once: being tender and nurturing and present in the relationship while also paying bills on time, doing some cleaning and straightening or just performing well enough in our jobs.

20thcenturyfox gave you great questions. I'm going to steal those for my own life! ...

I would also say, to see if you can convert her complaints into desires or requests ... meaning she's complaining about you being distant ... See if you can get her to spell out what behavior would indicate you are being close. She may stay negative at first, because it takes practice to ask positively for what we want. We're much better (humans) at complaining about not getting what we want.

Silly example: if I'm in a restaurant, I have noticed people complaining. "I ordered this hamburger well-done and it's rare and I don't like it and yada yada." When I'm on my game, I skip the complaint and get to the request. "I ordered well done and I'd like to set this cooked more (while holding plate for waiter to take back)."

By doing so, I've given the waiter a clear message and clear directions and the waiter quickly returns to the kitchen to correct the order. I've seen people complain ... and then the waiter will ask, "Do you want it cooked so more?" And the person will say "No!" It's clear they want to say yes, but they feel like they can't ask for that.

So ideally your partner would ask specifically for more of what she wanted, but if she doesn't, you might try to pull that out of her, and that'll give you some good feedback.

And the final truth: the romantic thing is ALWAYS necessary in a relationship. Otherwise you have a platonic friend. And people can't read our minds that "we love" them.

And wow again, 20thcenturyfox's questions are mind-blowing.

Good luck.

Tone

sarahsweets
10-19-16, 02:04 PM
If we want our needs met-we have to ask for what we need. We cant have expectations if someone doesnt specifically know what we want. It sure sounds like she is unhappy but she is unwilling to own her part of the relationship. Its very easy to blame one person, especially if that person has a disorder.
What if you never ever change? Would she still love you?

anonymouslyadd
10-19-16, 04:38 PM
If we want our needs met-we have to ask for what we need. We cant have expectations if someone doesnt specifically know what we want. It sure sounds like she is unhappy but she is unwilling to own her part of the relationship. Its very easy to blame one person, especially if that person has a disorder.
What if you never ever change? Would she still love you?
The other side (tone and fox) have made some good points, but I worry about him becoming a punching bag. It's easy for an ADDer to accept heaps of judgment. We're perfect targets.

To the OP, work on the things you can work on, but remember that she has a part in this. Don't let her put you down, but respect what she has to say. She needs to meet you halfway, and if she's a little compassionate for your condition, maybe she'll cut you some slack.

ToneTone
10-19-16, 05:24 PM
Absolutely, the OP doesn't want to put up with abusive language at all. But I didn't get that the OP felt he couldn't respond more (the ADHD issue).

I got more that he didn't think what she was complaining about was serious.

Tone

sampeckinpah
10-19-16, 05:40 PM
Thank you! This is all great advice and Im going to definitely put it all to work! And yeah I was kinda thinking that what she was complaining about wasnt that serious. But I do see how she is asking a lot from me, when I dont really ask for anything. So is ADHD the reason why I dont put effort into these things? Because Im not really that concerned of them? Its also very overwhelming for me because I have so many things I have to improve on myself, just because I have recently found out I have ADHD. So now I am like obsessively trying to find out how to make myself better.

sarahsweets
10-20-16, 04:01 AM
Thank you! This is all great advice and Im going to definitely put it all to work! And yeah I was kinda thinking that what she was complaining about wasnt that serious. But I do see how she is asking a lot from me, when I dont really ask for anything. So is ADHD the reason why I dont put effort into these things? Because Im not really that concerned of them? Its also very overwhelming for me because I have so many things I have to improve on myself, just because I have recently found out I have ADHD. So now I am like obsessively trying to find out how to make myself better.

Its great that you want to address her needs and make improvements but try not to take that burden all on yourself. Like I said, there are always 2 sides to a street. She may want certain things to change but that doesnt mean that she has nothing to learn from or growth to go through. I worry that this will harm your self esteem if you look at this as all your fault.

ToneTone
10-20-16, 01:47 PM
Working on yourself is great. Make sure to tell her that, share that. I noticed a while back that I wouldn't share really helpful information with a partner. Like I was withholding exactly the kind of information that would reassure the person and help them relax.

Took me some time to rewire the brain circuits to start sharing info that actually defends myself, explains what I'm thinking and why.

Could be ADHD ... I'll tell you how this revealed itself in me ... I also used to struggle with reassuring women I was dating. At some point, I dated someone I was REALLY into, and I found it much easier to be present. And then I went back in my history and realized I was getting involved with people that I liked but wasn't really deeply attracted to.

So I don't know if this is relevant at all for you (or if this is my own quirk) but make sure you are attracted to this person. It's a lot easier being present with someone you just viscerally drawn to as opposed to someone you intellectually think is good, but for whom you don't have that strong attraction.

And yes, for many ADHDers it seems to be hard to attend to life, school, job, whatever ... and attend to a relationship as well. There have been serious discussions on this board about that issue. And I have noticed my own struggles with this challenge as well. It's like it's hard for brain to do the two things--romance and romantic presence and work and everyday life--at the same time.

But that may just be me.

Good luck. Just be really honest with yourself about what comes hard and what comes easy .... because if we're honest, we can begin to address these issues over time. There's no magic switch to flip. But over time, I think we can make progress.

Tone

sampeckinpah
10-21-16, 02:54 PM
I believe I am attracted to her, the only flaw of her that bothers me is that she can be grumpy/ really mean sometimes. When she said all of this to me, I was like oh wow, all of these things bother you that I do but the only thing that bothers me is when you re grumpy :( It does kinda hurt the self esteem because I feel like a bad boyfriend and I'm not playing the role. She takes me out to fast food like a couple times a month but I tell her I dont want it, we go anyway though. She usually pays, I pay sometimes but I am unemployed. I almost broke up with her one time because I felt like she deserved better than me

20thcenturyfox
10-22-16, 05:21 PM
I have to agree my smart-*** questions above were one-sided. I'll explain where I was coming from in a second.

But I actually concede that the other side, how well your own needs and desires are being met--and what you think brings out the best in you as you work through your present challenges--must ultimately be the measure of whether she is a good partner for you.

If there's one thing most of us would agree on about ADHD, it's that having a supportive--not necessarily indulgent or enabling, but intelligently supportive--environment can make a huge difference in our ability to cope and grow, improving our whole quality of life. In short, the right sort of partner is a godsend; the wrong sort of partner is an albatross.

The trouble is that the right sort of partner inevitably requires ongoing investments of all those things we struggle with: time, energy, attention, planning, money, enthusiasm, and emotional availability. Right? And how in hell are you going to pull those particular rabbits out of a hat when you are staggering under a triple load of unemployment, discouragement, and a new diagnosis of ADHD?

It's one thing for a committed long-term partner to stand by you while you go through a rough patch that limits what you can give back for a time. But when you start out in such adverse circumstances, there's a good chance that both people are more ruled by short-term interests that may not even be good for you in the short run, never mind stand the test of time. Investing more of yourself in the wrong person just wastes time for both.

So while the romantic in me says that maybe this perfect person will come along and dispense all the needed patience, understanding, sex and financial support in return for just the satisfaction of helping a friend in need, the realist says it's entirely possible the stars will just not align right now for you to attract and keep a real quality partner at a time when you may actually need to focus your energies on recovering and adapting and learning to manage yourself...thereby becoming a better partner yourself.

Most of you are probably too young to remember "the Ann Landers Question: Are you better off with her...or without her?" It's harsh, but I think it's probably still very apt. OP has a lot on his plate; I wish him luck and plenty of friends to help him through it.

sarahsweets
10-23-16, 04:50 AM
I believe I am attracted to her, the only flaw of her that bothers me is that she can be grumpy/ really mean sometimes. When she said all of this to me, I was like oh wow, all of these things bother you that I do but the only thing that bothers me is when you re grumpy :( It does kinda hurt the self esteem because I feel like a bad boyfriend and I'm not playing the role. She takes me out to fast food like a couple times a month but I tell her I dont want it, we go anyway though. She usually pays, I pay sometimes but I am unemployed. I almost broke up with her one time because I felt like she deserved better than me

You have got to get a handle on your self esteem! I can tell you, you are not the only person in this relationship with a problem and you are not having your needs met.

20thcenturyfox
10-23-16, 02:02 PM
So much of what ADHD'ers need is better ways (hacks, habits, skills, workarounds, etc) of how to regulate ourselves.

Even the best partner can't do it for us, but he/she can help motivate us to keep trying and make all our efforts more worthwhile. Shortchanging a quality partner is shortchanging our own future happiness.

Look up the above at zenhabits.net. Contains many excellent suggestions.