View Full Version : Help


SikaLove
11-07-16, 01:32 AM
I have been with my boyfriend on and off for about 4 years now. I love him more than anything in the world and refuse to give up on him. We broke up for an entire year after he cheated on me and now we are back together. He has ignored me for a whole week and it really made me worried. Since we live 3 hours apart, it made it really hard to visit in person, but I drove to his house this weekend anyways. His grandmother talked to me and told me that he has ADHD. Now everything makes so much sense to me (impulse buying and decisions in general, poor money handling, ignoring me for long periods of times, jumping from relationship to relationship). Well here is the problem. I also have a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyspraxia. At least on that end I can understand a little bit as to how he may feel at times. But I don't know how to handle it. How should I support him without making him feel like I am babying him? how do I keep him interested without burning myself out. When he completely cuts me and everyone he knows off, how do I get him to come back to himself? How can I stop him from making impulse financial decisions without seeming controlling. We both want to get married and are making preparations, and he has been hinting to the fact that he is frustrated (he often backs out of things due to frustration) and it scares me that he will back out of an important life choice like this all because of an impulse emotion of frustration. I love him to bits just the way he is, but I do not want to have a miserable marriage. What can I do to help him?

Tetrahedra
11-07-16, 02:11 AM
Good job thinking ahead and planning for your future. You're right that it's best to get this stuff sorted out ahead of time before you get married, and I think it's noble of you to take the first step in getting things pulled together.

Unfortunately from what you've written, I am uncomfortable with telling you to do anything specific. Your boyfriend has issues. Whether or not they can all be explained by ADHD, I don't know. But you're trying to be a good girlfriend (?) and help him out, which is really nice but not always practical. He has to want to improve himself. Otherwise you're going to help him out and he won't be able to sustain this new lifestyle and it will all come crashing down, possibly after you've married and he feels like he doesn't have to impress you, per se.

What concerns me is that he's already cheated on you once--that you know of--and that he has a history of jumping from relationship to relationship. If he has a history of switching relationships, what's going to stop him from cheating on you again if ADHD is messing with his impulse control and he's already proven that he has the ability/interest in cheating? In addition, he also ignores you for periods of time. ADHD or not, this is NOT acceptable behavior. You are an important part of his life. Everyone needs time away from those they love, but they have to be mature enough to communicate to people that this is what they need. It's not okay to give people the silent treatment.

You can't keep him from making impulse financial decisions without seeming controlling. HE has to keep HIMSELF from making impulse financial decisions. Maybe he'll require your help, but it has to be HIM who steps forward and puts the plan into action, not you.

And that's really what this comes down to. You ask very good questions, but it boils down to the fact that he has to recognize and come to terms with the fact that he has ADHD (and whatever else he may have), and then HE needs to be the one who takes responsibility for his actions. You can support him and encourage him and help him, but you are not responsible for his care, his decisions, or his behavior. What is he currently doing to remedy these problems? What role does he expect you to play?

You are his partner, not his parent. Please remember this.

And also remember that people with ADHD might need a little more time to make big decisions such as marriage so that we don't feel like we're making an impulse decision. So please be patient with him if that part isn't going as fast as you like. That said, don't let him draw you out for years and years, either. Continue to support him and encourage him to better himself as you are doing, but don't get sucked into "taking care of him" or trying to manage his decision making.

john2100
11-07-16, 02:33 AM
"His grandmother talked to me and told me that he has ADHD. Now everything makes so much sense to me (impulse buying and decisions in general, poor money handling, ignoring me for long periods of times, jumping from relationship to relationship)"

ADHD is not an excuse for everything that doesn;t work.
Is't kind of uses full disorder, as anything wrong can be bladed on it. Almost universal confirmation to almost any problem ,adhd,,,,

If you have adhd , you can control many of those things even without meds.

One thing:"ignoring me for long periods of times[/B], jumping from relationship to relationship)" That may not be best use of adhd as a excuse. It almost makes it ok.

sarahsweets
11-07-16, 06:07 AM
How should I support him without making him feel like I am babying him? how do I keep him interested without burning myself out. When he completely cuts me and everyone he knows off, how do I get him to come back to himself? How can I stop him from making impulse financial decisions without seeming controlling. We both want to get married and are making preparations, and he has been hinting to the fact that he is frustrated (he often backs out of things due to frustration) and it scares me that he will back out of an important life choice like this all because of an impulse emotion of frustration. I love him to bits just the way he is, but I do not want to have a miserable marriage. What can I do to help him?
You cant stop any of those things you mentioned. You can support him emotionally, but he needs to get treatment in order to improve on his own. Is he medicated?

SikaLove
11-07-16, 01:26 PM
Thanks to everyone who responded. I talked to him this morning finally. We discussed what his grandmother told me. Apparently he was diagnosed as a child and used to be on meds. His mother took him off the meds in middle school due to side effects and somehow convinced him that ADHD is not a "real" thing and is just a ploy for pharmaceutical companies to make money. I now realize this is going to be more difficult because if he doesn't believe he has it, he won't try to solve it. He did cheat on me once, but he came and told me about it right away. It was with his ex girlfriend while I was out of the country for 3 months. I found out afterwards from her friends that it was premeditated on her end. Which is still no excuse and is the reason why I broke up with him, but I chose to forgive because the whole 3 years prior to that event, he had never cheated on me. When I say he jumped from relationship to relationship, that was before we met. I don't know if that helps clarify some of this information. when I say he ignores me for long periods of time i mean like maybe a week to two weeks, especially if he is going through a tough period in his life (like death of close friend, or bad grades in college). He will go from texting me everyday and calling me every evening and morning to not responding to a text or a phone call until after 3 or 4 days.

sarahsweets
11-07-16, 03:34 PM
Thanks to everyone who responded. I talked to him this morning finally. We discussed what his grandmother told me. Apparently he was diagnosed as a child and used to be on meds. His mother took him off the meds in middle school due to side effects and somehow convinced him that ADHD is not a "real" thing and is just a ploy for pharmaceutical companies to make money.

How did he feel about you discussing his personal issues with his grandmother. I know if it were me, I would not be happy about that no matter what the intentions behind it were.
Shame on his mother though.

I now realize this is going to be more difficult because if he doesn't believe he has it, he won't try to solve it.
Right, and you cant make him think differently, he has to want to change it.

He did cheat on me once, but he came and told me about it right away. It was with his ex girlfriend while I was out of the country for 3 months. I found out afterwards from her friends that it was premeditated on her end.
I am not sure why you are justifying his mistake. It doesnt matter who planned what, or if the ex threw her naked body into his arms- it was still up to him to cheat.

Which is still no excuse and is the reason why I broke up with him, but I chose to forgive because the whole 3 years prior to that event, he had never cheated on me.
How can you be sure?


When I say he jumped from relationship to relationship, that was before we met.
A behavior pattern is still a behavior pattern even if it happened before you. Its part of his relationship history.

I don't know if that helps clarify some of this information. when I say he ignores me for long periods of time i mean like maybe a week to two weeks, especially if he is going through a tough period in his life (like death of close friend, or bad grades in college). He will go from texting me everyday and calling me every evening and morning to not responding to a text or a phone call until after 3 or 4 days.
I am not sure why you are willing to accept this- I wouldnt. There would be no excuse that would work for me not hearing from my S/O for 4 days, a week or 2 weeks.
It takes 1 minute to text "Im alive."
Especially if you plan on getting married. What will he do when he has to come home to the same house and wants to isolate and withdraw-but you are there?

SikaLove
11-07-16, 04:18 PM
How did he feel about you discussing his personal issues with his grandmother. I know if it were me, I would not be happy about that no matter what the intentions behind it were.
Shame on his mother though.

I didn't go and ask his grandmother to share personal issues with me. I went and asked if he was home and told her to let him know I stopped by. She was the one who decided to share the information with me because:
1. She didn't want me to be blindsided by it after the wedding. (To be honest I suspected something for years before she even told me.)

2. She realized he had been cutting himself off from her this last week and she was concerned for him. (They are really really close and he spends a lot of time with her).

3. She knows I am a nurse and she thought maybe if she told me I would know what to do about it. (obviously not)

He wasn't mad that she told me. He just didn't think it was that big of a deal to even share. He actually was surprised that I thought it was a deal. His mom taught him this because that was how she was taught. I understand how this can happen. His mom is a foreigner as am I and that is the way they often view these types of things. That is how many foreign cultures view mental health issues; they think it is made up by doctors. It is a work in progress.


We have been texting today and he seems to understand it a little more. I pointed out many instances where he had showed symptoms of ADHD which kinda showed him that this was a real thing. He is now open to some kind of treatment but not pills. so at least it is a start. In fact he is hopeful to the notion that there really is help for him.


I am not sure why you are justifying his mistake. It doesnt matter who planned what, or if the ex threw her naked body into his arms- it was still up to him to cheat.


How can you be sure?



A behavior pattern is still a behavior pattern even if it happened before you. Its part of his relationship history.


I am not sure why you are willing to accept this- I wouldnt. There would be no excuse that would work for me not hearing from my S/O for 4 days, a week or 2 weeks.
It takes 1 minute to text "Im alive."
Especially if you plan on getting married. What will he do when he has to come home to the same house and wants to isolate and withdraw-but you are there?

I understand you wouldn't accept this. You are free to do as you please. Every relationship is different with different dynamics. I can't spell out to you our entire relationship in detail from start to finish to explain to you just how I knew he wasn't cheating. Yes, part of that is trust, which he earned both at the beginning of our relationship and after he cheated. We have always made efforts to never hide anything from eachother and he came to me right after and told me everything that happened and begged. After a whole year of being apart, he worked so hard to regain my trust and went to extreme lengths to prove himself to me. I understand how many girls would not trust him again, but I chose to. And I am actually very happy with that choice as I do love him very much. I am not on here to ask everyone whether or not they think I should be with him. I just want to know from people who have ADHD how I can best help him through this process as I do not have much prior experience with it. I know his behaviors are not ideal for a happy marriage, and I think with therapy we can possibly be better equipped to handle it together. And I genuinely appreciate all the feedback thus far. You guys have really helped me think this through.

sarahsweets
11-07-16, 08:56 PM
I didn't go and ask his grandmother to share personal issues with me. I went and asked if he was home and told her to let him know I stopped by. She was the one who decided to share the information with me because:
1. She didn't want me to be blindsided by it after the wedding. (To be honest I suspected something for years before she even told me.)

2. She realized he had been cutting himself off from her this last week and she was concerned for him. (They are really really close and he spends a lot of time with her).

3. She knows I am a nurse and she thought maybe if she told me I would know what to do about it. (obviously not)
Im sorry if I came across as blunt or lacking compassion or empathy, I can see how it might of come across that way. And I know his grandmother wasnt gossiping about him and had no ill intent- just as I can see how you didnt have bad intentions either. I guess it seems 'off' to me because ultimately its his business-kind of- and I dont think even his grandmother needs to necessarily get involved with his relationship- but maybe they are so close that those types of boundaries arent necessary. So apologies for that.


He wasn't mad that she told me. He just didn't think it was that big of a deal to even share. He actually was surprised that I thought it was a deal. His mom taught him this because that was how she was taught. I understand how this can happen. His mom is a foreigner as am I and that is the way they often view these types of things. That is how many foreign cultures view mental health issues; they think it is made up by doctors. It is a work in progress.
I understand better now, thanks for clarifying.



We have been texting today and he seems to understand it a little more. I pointed out many instances where he had showed symptoms of ADHD which kinda showed him that this was a real thing. He is now open to some kind of treatment but not pills. so at least it is a start. In fact he is hopeful to the notion that there really is help for him.
It is hard to get someone who was molded to be anti-anything to consider other ways of looking at treatment but yes, it is a start.





I understand you wouldn't accept this. You are free to do as you please. Every relationship is different with different dynamics. I can't spell out to you our entire relationship in detail from start to finish to explain to you just how I knew he wasn't cheating. Yes, part of that is trust, which he earned both at the beginning of our relationship and after he cheated. We have always made efforts to never hide anything from eachother and he came to me right after and told me everything that happened and begged. After a whole year of being apart, he worked so hard to regain my trust and went to extreme lengths to prove himself to me. I understand how many girls would not trust him again, but I chose to.
Again, my apologies if I didnt demonstrate the empathy I actually do feel for your situation but statistically speaking, many cheaters who cheat have done it more than once so thats where I was coming from with all that.


And I am actually very happy with that choice as I do love him very much. I am not on here to ask everyone whether or not they think I should be with him. I just want to know from people who have ADHD how I can best help him through this process as I do not have much prior experience with it. I know his behaviors are not ideal for a happy marriage, and I think with therapy we can possibly be better equipped to handle it together. And I genuinely appreciate all the feedback thus far. You guys have really helped me think this through.
I really feel like a tool for not stopping to look at it through your eyes, I was looking at it through mine-which wont work because I am not you.

ginniebean
11-07-16, 11:05 PM
Without medication there is little chance he can manage any better. Not all people with adhd can tolerate medication. Most can, encourage him.

Tetrahedra
11-08-16, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the additional information. My previous post still stands as my official reply, but I'd like to give you a little more background information from the perspective of an ADHD person, as you have asked.

I have two things in common with your boyfriend. The first is that I denied my ADHD for years thinking that it wasn't a big deal. The second is that I, too, have the pattern of ignoring people, so I can offer you a little bit of insight on that topic.

My parents led me to believe that ADHD wasn't a "real" thing. It was just a label given to kids who couldn't sit still and ended up over-medicated by pharmaceutical companies that had too heavy an influence on doctors. It wasn't until I had nearly failed out of college and I pursued therapy that I realized that I had ADHD and it was a real thing that affected my life.

The most important thing that you and your boyfriend need to understand about ADHD is that it isn't just a disorder of attention. It affects executive functioning which sometimes has serious consequences. The DSM criteria that is used to diagnose ADHD doesn't give you true perspective on how people are affected with ADHD because that would be just about impossible. What it does is that it lists a few symptos that someone would notice about a person with ADHD. It's like going to your doctor and saying that you have a headache and your ears are plugged up and then being diagnosed with an illness.

Unfortunately it's easy to look at any criteria of the DSM and justify it with a remedy. For example, you can choose 'Often fails to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or in other activities' and then say "He just needs to work on paying more careful attention." While it's true that we should work on our ability to pay attention, what it doesn't say is WHY we don't pay attention - and that WHY is critical. Denying the impact of ADHD is effectively neglecting that there is a WHY behind these symptoms and that they can't just be brushed away or improved with a little elbow grease and hard work.

If we keep on the topic of making careless mistakes, it's not just about trying to rush through the work or not giving the work enough time or not "trying hard enough." The ADHD brain has impairment that keeps it from working as efficiently as it should. Training and hard work can help make it better, but it's not going to be as good as a neurotypical individual.

My suggestion is that you and your boyfriend find a way to understand the impact of ADHD on his life. As I said before, I grew up thinking ADHD was a joke. One of the biggest things that helped me improve was reading people's personal stories about ADHD where they weren't using ADHD as an excuse. (Unfortunately so many people I met who had ADHD used it to excuse subpar behavior or to get out of doing work.) Finding a therapist who was familiar with ADHD helped me immensely, as did joining this forum and having discussions with people who understood what it was like to live with ADHD. Having people who were able to validate what I was experiencing and support me was a huge help, and I can't thank my therapist enough for all that he's done for me, nor can I deny the usefulness as a forum such as this. In addition to seeing a therapist and using this forum, you two can also explore other options in your community, such as seeing if there are lectures/talks or other educational opportunities.

Something I didn't find personally useful were youtube videos. The lectures by Barkley were decent, but the ones that revolved around people's "personal accounts" came across as hoaky and contrived to me. I had trouble relating to them, and it was very hit or miss. Part of the appeal of this forum is that you can bounce ideas, symptoms, and stories back and forth with people and you get genuine answers. Sometimes they're relatable, sometimes they're not. But you can truly see the impact ADHD has on people rather than just following around a 15-year-old girl with a shaky camera rambling on about how she can't focus.

The second thing of note is that my interest in things (and to a lesser extent people) waxes and wanes. Sometimes I'm completely enthralled and I want to immerse myself in that place/person all the time, and sometimes I just ditch and ignore it. It doesn't matter so much when it's something like a book. The worst thing that can come of it is that I won't remember what was going on in the story the next time I come across it. But when it comes to humans being the thing that I ignore for long stretches of time, it's not appropriate. I have to force myself to take extra care in respecting other people in this regard. It's hard, but you or anyone else doesn't deserve to be ignored, whether it's for 20 minutes or three weeks.

Express to your boyfriend that this bothers you and that you want to come up with a solution to this problem because it impacts your relationship. Maybe he didn't realize that it was bothering you and it's something he can correct with little effort. Or maybe it's going to take more time and work to get it together. Regardless of the scenario, this is one aspect I highly suggest that you two work on. It might bother you minimally now, but I guarantee that it's going to grate on you as the years go by. It's much easier to change the pattern sooner rather than later.

I really hope that this works out between you and that he can come to terms that he has ADHD. It's taken me years to get to that point, so don't be surprised if he doesn't jump on it immediately.

Pilgrim
11-08-16, 01:38 AM
Without medication there is little chance he can manage any better. Not all people with adhd can tolerate medication. Most can, encourage him.

Speaking from personnel experience, and not knowing that we both had ADD, people who have ADD have that propensity to cheat because it's such a thrill.
I'm not saying everyone with ADD cheats but if there's form I would watch out. People here understand so much about this condition. From personnel experience someone who cheats you just become non reliant on. From his perspective if he thinks ADD is something people made up in there head, he's in for a surprise. If I was diagnosed with ADD I would see where it holds me back.

dvdnvwls
11-08-16, 02:09 AM
In general, ADHD treatment without pills is a failure.

All the other things that can be done (therapy, coaching, etc) are only possible if he gives his constant attention to them, and he won't be able to give constant attention without pills.

kilted_scotsman
11-08-16, 08:48 AM
Without medication there is little chance he can manage any better.

In general, ADHD treatment without pills is a failure.

It is true that the majority of ADDers who have access to meds find them very beneficial. I am concerned that statements like these diminish the success of those of us who don't/can't take meds.

THe OP's boyfriend may choose not to take meds..... his choice and I feel it's VERY important that his partner isn't given the impression that without meds he will never overcome the issues that the OP feels currently plague his life.

However I would say that if he chooses not to move toward meds he takes full responsibility using whatever support he receives to grow in a way that helps him stand on his own two feet while still acknowledging his continuing vulnerability.

This is hard to do....... it took me until my late 40's to even begin this process,leaving a trail of broken relationships with people who loved me, or thought they did..... because even though they professed love the relationships broke down when I carried on being me.....even though I tried to change to suit them.

It's important for the OP's bf to find ways to discover who he is.... which may not include a relationship with the OP, no matter how much she loves him, and he may have problems with that.... wanting a close relationship, but also wanting more personal freedom and space than the relationship can stand.

Knowing this sort of stuff particularly when one is young is unusual....

My advice would be.... forget diagnoses.... go off and explore oneself and what relationship means to you... try therapy, go to workshops, take the odd course or two, nurture creativity, together, alone and with others.

D you want your relationship to be a home you come back to or a place you never leave?

SikaLove
11-08-16, 09:42 AM
Again, my apologies if I didnt demonstrate the empathy I actually do feel for your situation but statistically speaking, many cheaters who cheat have done it more than once so thats where I was coming from with all that. I really feel like a tool for not stopping to look at it through your eyes, I was looking at it through mine-which wont work because I am not you.

Thank you for your concern. I think you asked pertinent questions that I myself asked before choosing to return. I guess it helps that we were best friends for years prior to the relationship. Thank you for trying to see it through my eyes as well.

SikaLove
11-08-16, 10:23 AM
My suggestion is that you and your boyfriend find a way to understand the impact of ADHD on his life. As I said before, I grew up thinking ADHD was a joke. One of the biggest things that helped me improve was reading people's personal stories about ADHD where they weren't using ADHD as an excuse. (Unfortunately so many people I met who had ADHD used it to excuse subpar behavior or to get out of doing work.) Finding a therapist who was familiar with ADHD helped me immensely, as did joining this forum and having discussions with people who understood what it was like to live with ADHD. Having people who were able to validate what I was experiencing and support me was a huge help, and I can't thank my therapist enough for all that he's done for me, nor can I deny the usefulness as a forum such as this. In addition to seeing a therapist and using this forum, you two can also explore other options in your community, such as seeing if there are lectures/talks or other educational opportunities.

Thank you for this. I think you really helped me understand more as to how he thinks. I have scheduled an appointment with my therapist for both of us.

The second thing of note is that my interest in things (and to a lesser extent people) waxes and wanes. Sometimes I'm completely enthralled and I want to immerse myself in that place/person all the time, and sometimes I just ditch and ignore it. It doesn't matter so much when it's something like a book. The worst thing that can come of it is that I won't remember what was going on in the story the next time I come across it. But when it comes to humans being the thing that I ignore for long stretches of time, it's not appropriate. I have to force myself to take extra care in respecting other people in this regard. It's hard, but you or anyone else doesn't deserve to be ignored, whether it's for 20 minutes or three weeks.

We talked on the phone for almost 4hours last night. It was mainly him talking the whole time. I found it interesting how he gets like that with a topic that he finds intriguing (in this case, ADHD), but it is hard to keep his attention longer than 10min at a time to talk about pretty much anything else and have him remember it on his own the following day. I feel stupid for not having made efforts to get him to get this checked out. All the signs were there and I always found it really odd how he acted, but I just never considered what it could be.

Express to your boyfriend that this bothers you and that you want to come up with a solution to this problem because it impacts your relationship. Maybe he didn't realize that it was bothering you and it's something he can correct with little effort. Or maybe it's going to take more time and work to get it together. Regardless of the scenario, this is one aspect I highly suggest that you two work on. It might bother you minimally now, but I guarantee that it's going to grate on you as the years go by. It's much easier to change the pattern sooner rather than later.

We talked about mutual respect and actions that hurt other people. he seemed to get it and said he would try to tell me first if he needs space and not go more than 2 days without getting back to me. lol...baby steps.

I really hope that this works out between you and that he can come to terms that he has ADHD. It's taken me years to get to that point, so don't be surprised if he doesn't jump on it immediately.

i am hopeful; thank you for your advice. I know dyspraxia is very different from ADHD, but I think even still, my personal experience has been helpful in dealing with this. I know it will take a lot of time for him to really completely accept. A quick question, I tend to baby people around me. I don't know if it is because I am a nurse or because I was cooking for my family since age9 and taking care of them, but even my family members talk about how I always take care of people like i am their mom. I realize with the research I did that people with ADHD despise this. How can I help him make sound decisions and remember important dates and information without "parenting" him? How would you prefer someone to correct something wrong you are doing? I am really bad with tact at times. I do not want to lack him respect.

Pilgrim
11-08-16, 10:57 AM
Kilted makes a good point in referring to ' finding ways to discover himself '. This is so true.

You can leed the horse to water. Not really. This is just something that happens. Some people are content, others never really see what's going on around them. I know a few of both.

This is actually a good starting point for me in forming any sort of relationship. I'm not sure what they call it, but a form of self awareness. I'm not saying they have to be good, but they display a lack of self destruction.

sarahsweets
11-08-16, 12:02 PM
..baby steps.



i am hopeful; thank you for your advice. I know dyspraxia is very different from ADHD, but I think even still, my personal experience has been helpful in dealing with this. I know it will take a lot of time for him to really completely accept. A quick question, I tend to baby people around me. I don't know if it is because I am a nurse or because I was cooking for my family since age9 and taking care of them, but even my family members talk about how I always take care of people like i am their mom. I realize with the research I did that people with ADHD despise this. How can I help him make sound decisions and remember important dates and information without "parenting" him? How would you prefer someone to correct something wrong you are doing? I am really bad with tact at times. I do not want to lack him respect.

Its hard. I am not a nurse but a wife with three kids who doesnt work so I have always looked at the caring mom stuff to be my job. I will say though if your caring for other people interferes with quality time for yourself and your needs, you may want to take a look at it. I dont know if this applies to you but, as the caring party in my household I struggled with putting other people's needs before my own,and rationalized it quite a bit. Unfortunately or fortunately for me, it took recovery from alcoholism and sobriety to help me to understand that my needs were just as important and that I deserved to have them met. Guess Im just reminding you that you also matter, and to keep your chin up.

kilted_scotsman
11-08-16, 01:43 PM
If you look after people around you it's probably worth thinking about Karpman's "Drama Triangle".

It sounds like you're on the "Rescuer" end and your bf is often at the "Victim" end so you interact on this basis.... if this is the case it's likely that you both also switch to the "Persecutor" role as well..... his sudden shutting off contact may be an indicator of this switch..... it's normal for people to switch around..... in fact it's an unavoidable part of the process...... which is why the "rescuer"/"victim" dynamic is so cpmmon and toxic for ADDers...... because the "Persecutor will inevitably make an appearance at some point in the relationship.

THere is a way out .... Choy looked at Karpman's work and produced the "Winners Triangle" a difference in thinking so that (for example) the "Rescuer" begins to think of themselves as boundaried supporter. with concern for people combined with not doing the thinking for others or taking over anything unless asked and they genuinely want to do it. They also have to be careful not to do more than their fair share or do things they don't want to do....


The victim begins to think of themselves as a vulnerable survivor. Building their awareness so they can act appropriately on genuine feelings. THe key for the ex-victim is to build self awareness and problem solving skill. I sense that this process is vital if you are to have a sustainable relationship with your bf.

Even if he doesn't want to take meds, some form of professional therapeutic relationship is probably important.... this stuff is difficult to sort out on your own.

One thing that is VERY important..... you cannot be his therapist..... you can support change but you should NOT attempt to therapise him...... that will reinforce the Rescuer/victim dynamic.

Professional therapists should understand the com[plex dynamics and boundaries inherent in the therapists role and thereby avoid becoming the "Rescuer", or allowing the client to remain in "Victim"

Tetrahedra
11-08-16, 04:01 PM
I feel stupid for not having made efforts to get him to get this checked out. All the signs were there and I always found it really odd how he acted, but I just never considered what it could be.

Feeling stupid is the exact opposite of what you should be feeling right now. You are not his doctor. You're not legally in charge of him. He is not your child, your ward, or your pet. And most importantly - you are not a professional psychiatrist who understands and can appropriately and legally diagnose people.

i am hopeful; thank you for your advice. I know dyspraxia is very different from ADHD, but I think even still, my personal experience has been helpful in dealing with this. I know it will take a lot of time for him to really completely accept. A quick question, I tend to baby people around me. I don't know if it is because I am a nurse or because I was cooking for my family since age9 and taking care of them, but even my family members talk about how I always take care of people like i am their mom. I realize with the research I did that people with ADHD despise this. How can I help him make sound decisions and remember important dates and information without "parenting" him? How would you prefer someone to correct something wrong you are doing? I am really bad with tact at times. I do not want to lack him respect.

Work together as a team. Ask him what he wants to work on, and then the both of you work together to find resources and solutions. For example, if you see that he's missing anniversaries/birthdates and you need to help him remember, find out from him what he suggests will help him remember or figure out what tools he uses so that you can help him adapt a program that works for him. If he uses his smart phone, those dates can be plugged into his google calendar. But if he doesn't use a smart phone, making him switch to an entirely new system won't be beneficial because he has to not only learn the program but also get used to carrying the phone around with him, using it consistently, etc.

If I might be frank, I highly suggest personal therapy for yourself. I'm really getting the whole "savior" vibe from what you're writing and I'm afraid that that itself might not work well with your relationship.

dvdnvwls
11-08-16, 04:36 PM
It is true for a number of reasons that you must take care of your own needs. What people have already said here on that topic is excellent.

But that's not the only thing. Every time that he gets (accidental) messages from you that he isn't good enough on his own, he becomes less able to do anything useful, and more resentful of you. Even if he won't admit to what I just said, it's still true.

BellaVita
11-08-16, 05:02 PM
In my opinion, I don't think it's a good idea to marry someone who has once cheated on you.

I don't think "jumping from relationship to relationship" is necessarily an ADHD thing, and you might get your heart broken in the future.

dvdnvwls
11-08-16, 08:41 PM
There are people with ADHD who it seems do jump from one relationship to another and another and another, and for whom it seems to be an aspect of ADHD rather than a personality trait as such.

And certainly there are people who don't view past cheating as necessarily disastrous for the future.

BellaVita
11-08-16, 08:45 PM
Interesting, is it because they get bored of the relationship? (The ADHD+jumping from relationship to relationship)

I guess in my past experience, and what I've witnessed growing up, cheaters (often) do cheat again, so my view on that is more of a personal one.

dvdnvwls
11-09-16, 12:03 AM
I don't know why - I just know this all depends very much on the individuals involved.

acdc01
11-09-16, 02:54 AM
Sounds like you guys have a plan already with trying therapy for him.

If that doesn't work, convince him to try the meds cause you've tried just therapy so time to try meds too.

Whatever you do, my opinion is to hold off on having kids until you are sure his issues are under control. It becomes much harder to leave a bad situation after that and it's completely unfair to the kids. I realize you guys aren't even married yet but it seems like you are already headed there. Right now, his odds of cheating on you, treating you poorly, deserting you, causing you financial issues - are all very high and will stay that way unless there truly is a change. Make sure the change is real too if you see it as love can make us see things that aren't there sometimes.

SikaLove
11-09-16, 12:40 PM
I found the rescuer and victim scenario to be quite interesting. I never imagined myself as his "savior" but that is the thing about psychology, we often don't see aspects of ourselves and have to have it pointed out to us. I did more research on the triangle thing and I plan on picking up some books this weekend about it. Sometimes I feel like he is my "savior" because he has always been there for me when I was in tough situations and had no to help. I really did not think that my wanting to help could be viewed on his end as controlling, but this is why forums are great. you guys really opened my mind to a lot. For those of you unfamiliar with dyspraxia, I highly suggest looking it up. i think it gives light to my mental processes as well. Either way, as I said before, we will both go to see the therapist. i am curious to know what more I can find out about myself and how I can better different aspects of my character.

SikaLove
11-09-16, 12:44 PM
Feeling stupid is the exact opposite of what you should be feeling right now. You are not his doctor. You're not legally in charge of him. He is not your child, your ward, or your pet. And most importantly - you are not a professional psychiatrist who understands and can appropriately and legally diagnose people.



Work together as a team. Ask him what he wants to work on, and then the both of you work together to find resources and solutions. For example, if you see that he's missing anniversaries/birthdates and you need to help him remember, find out from him what he suggests will help him remember or figure out what tools he uses so that you can help him adapt a program that works for him. If he uses his smart phone, those dates can be plugged into his google calendar. But if he doesn't use a smart phone, making him switch to an entirely new system won't be beneficial because he has to not only learn the program but also get used to carrying the phone around with him, using it consistently, etc.

If I might be frank, I highly suggest personal therapy for yourself. I'm really getting the whole "savior" vibe from what you're writing and I'm afraid that that itself might not work well with your relationship.

Oh my goodness. The wisdom you are bestowing on me is truly mind opening. I almost you were a therapist I could see because you seem to really get my situation. I think I need therapy too, but for different reasons. I never thought about the savior thing but i guess it makes sense.

acdc01
11-10-16, 04:18 AM
Either way, as I said before, we will both go to see the therapist. i am curious to know what more I can find out about myself and how I can better different aspects of my character.

Are you talking about going to see the therapist together or deal separately with the therapist about each of your own individual issues?

I found the whole victim/savior discussion to be interesting and if it actually does exist between you, you guys probably are better dealing with it in the longer term.

Short term though, I feel like your boyfriend is better off spending time dealing with other things. You said he was prone to cutting everyone off, not just yourself whenever he's overwhelmed. This suggests to me that the biggest problems have nothing to do with you and any possible savior/victim dynamic. He exhibits this problem even without you in the equation. You 2 actually seem very much in love and your relationship is still strong even if not perfect and can use work in the long term. In the short term, It's about him right now.

impulse buying and decisions in general, poor money handling, ignoring you for long periods of times, jumping from relationship to relationship. None of this is going to be helped by focusing on how you 2 interact together barring if it hurts his self esteem in which case His therapist should tell him to talk to you about your relationship if there is a problem. You shouldn't dwell on it beforehand.

Anyway, maybe I'm overreacting here but it just felt like you were losing sight of the biggest problems cause the savior/victim dynamic topic sounds so interesting. Like I said, I found it interesting too so can see the appeal. I suspect the journey for fixing his problems has to be taking mostly by him solo without you. It's probably a good idea to ask your own individual therapist if this victim/savior thing is an issue yours. But don't lose track of the fact that the primary problems that he himself has stem from himself and that those problems are the ones he needs to focus on.

I think it might be a good idea to look back at the issues you listed in the first post in 6 months. Ask yourself whether he's improved at all in those items and if so can you see him improving to the point where it won't ruin your relationship. If not, ask yourself if you still think he will improve to that point someday.

dvdnvwls
11-10-16, 02:31 PM
acdc01: All of it ties together. When Person A stops being the "saviour" for Person B, the result is (hopefully at least) what you are recommending. What this concept does is give Person A a way of understanding the whole situation that they were sort of blind to before.

One of the responses of Person B to having Person A as a saviour in a relationship is "I'm not worthy; on my own I can do nothing; my saviour has the only key to my life". Obviously some dangerous stuff.

Another response is perhaps more aware, but no less dangerous: "You're not supposed to be my saviour, and I hate the way this is affecting me. It's your fault that our relationship is in trouble - you're taking my self away from me."

At least I think those are responses to it. DAMHIKT. :(

Seeing this whole concept from a "bird's eye view" instead of being stuck inside it can be very powerful and helpful.

acdc01
11-10-16, 07:43 PM
Dvdknwls, ok maybe I'm wrong.

I just questioned whether the savior/victim thing really exists to such an extreme with them cause it sounded like he's always been cutting people off and acting just the way he is even before their relationship. Maybe he's always set up his relationships to be like that?

Guess op is the only one that knows and she does seem to be leaning towards it.

SikaLove
11-13-16, 10:01 AM
Dvdknwls, ok maybe I'm wrong.

I just questioned whether the savior/victim thing really exists to such an extreme with them cause it sounded like he's always been cutting people off and acting just the way he is even before their relationship. Maybe he's always set up his relationships to be like that?

Guess op is the only one that knows and she does seem to be leaning towards it.

to be honest, I don't know. This is a relatively new concept to me. I am going to talk to the therapist about it. But i am not closing myself to any advice at all. However, I am taking everything with a grain of salt, as you guys are not therapist or professionals either.

acdc01
11-14-16, 10:26 AM
Good for you for taking all advice with a grain of salt . Good luck.

dvdnvwls
11-14-16, 01:55 PM
Dvdknwls, ok maybe I'm wrong.

I just questioned whether the savior/victim thing really exists to such an extreme with them cause it sounded like he's always been cutting people off and acting just the way he is even before their relationship. Maybe he's always set up his relationships to be like that?

Guess op is the only one that knows and she does seem to be leaning towards it.
Maybe he's been taught to expect that. Maybe he was taught so strongly that he now causes it - like he doesn't know there's another way. Lots of things are possible.

sarahsweets
11-15-16, 06:57 AM
to be honest, I don't know. This is a relatively new concept to me. I am going to talk to the therapist about it. But i am not closing myself to any advice at all. However, I am taking everything with a grain of salt, as you guys are not therapist or professionals either.

Very true re: the grain of salt theory but would a professional offer better advice? Maybe so, maybe now, but we are all doing our best.;)

highdefadd
11-20-16, 04:20 PM
I have been with my boyfriend on and off for about 4 years now. I love him more than anything in the world and refuse to give up on him. We broke up for an entire year after he cheated on me and now we are back together. He has ignored me for a whole week and it really made me worried. Since we live 3 hours apart, it made it really hard to visit in person, but I drove to his house this weekend anyways. His grandmother talked to me and told me that he has ADHD. Now everything makes so much sense to me (impulse buying and decisions in general, poor money handling, ignoring me for long periods of times, jumping from relationship to relationship). Well here is the problem. I also have a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyspraxia. At least on that end I can understand a little bit as to how he may feel at times. But I don't know how to handle it. How should I support him without making him feel like I am babying him? how do I keep him interested without burning myself out. When he completely cuts me and everyone he knows off, how do I get him to come back to himself? How can I stop him from making impulse financial decisions without seeming controlling. We both want to get married and are making preparations, and he has been hinting to the fact that he is frustrated (he often backs out of things due to frustration) and it scares me that he will back out of an important life choice like this all because of an impulse emotion of frustration. I love him to bits just the way he is, but I do not want to have a miserable marriage. What can I do to help him?
Hi SikaLove, I'm no Dr. However, I see similar things in your post that your BF and I may have similar issues with... or, not. As I read your post, I began to feel like I used to when serious about a girl. When I think about marrying someone... the first thing I think is, how can I make this person happy, how am I going be as a father, a provider and someone they can count on and be proud of. When your ADD, you can't promise any of it and it makes you scared and full of doubt. Now, all I can see is a horrible marriage, broken children, ill health and an ugly divorce. Abandonment and being alone. That's why I didn't call sometimes or go over to my girl's house. Because, I wanted to be the nurturer, the helper, the head of the house like any man. The one person in the world I wanted to please and give everything to, you don't believe you can because of your issues.
SikaLove, the more you do to help him and point out his short comings, the more this fact is driven home. I know you want to help him cause you love him, he knows that too. It's what makes it so hard. I was never on med's though. You might want to tell him, that life's pretty spooky if you don't know what's going on. Plus, you'll never get right without a correct view point.