View Full Version : In need of help and advice with ADHD Boyfriend.


Brooklynd
01-07-17, 11:33 PM
Hello, I'm new to this forum and am in need to help understanding my ADHD boyfriend. His ways are starting to tear our relationship apart and I don't know what to do about it. I've read articles and such, but thought getting direct advice from others that deal with ADHD on a daily basis might be more helpful.

Just recently my boyfriend and I have moved in together and I'm starting to see his ADHD more than when we lived separately. I can handle the never sleeping, disorganization, and forgetfulness. But I can't handle the lies, stealing, and impulsivity to do bad things. Since we've lived together I've found him lying about losing his job, in which he pretended to go for about a week and half. Said he paid rent and 2 weeks later found an eviction letter on our door, he didn't pay a dime, though tried to pay 5 different times and every check came back declined. He spends money like crazy. But worst of all, I've found that he's stealing neighbors mail, including banking information and credit cards. Though none have been activated, he admit he thought about it when he lost his job. He tried to explain he doesn't know why he lies and does these terrible things, but I'm assuming it has to do with his impulses when he's bored. He's also an ex addict and found a used bottle of cocaine under the mattress. He took a drug test and he was clean. He said it was old and when we moved and he found it, he didn't know what to do with it, so he hid it there.

I'm at my wits end trying to understand the way his brain is wired. I love him, he's a sweet man and does so much for me, he's not all bad. But I don't know how to help this problem and neither does he. The only solution I can come up with is medication and counseling. I'm still not sure that would even help with keeping me in this relationship.

I hope someone might be able to help shed some light on how to deal with this and if this is normal ADHD behavior?
Thank you in advance!

Greyhound1
01-08-17, 01:07 AM
The only solution I can come up with is medication and counseling. I'm still not sure that would even help with keeping me in this relationship. Forget about trying to figure out the ADHD brain. I have spent my whole life trying to figure out my own and still can't.:)

I hope someone might be able to help shed some light on how to deal with this and if this is normal ADHD behavior?
Thank you in advance!

Hey, welcome to the forum.
I think you have already come up with the most viable solution. Counseling and treatment of his ADHD sound most critical.

Some of what you describe may be considered "normal ADHD behavior" such as impulsiveness, forgetfulness and being disorganized.

The lying, stealing and bad behavior may be uncontrollable for him due to having ADHD but I would not consider that to be "normal ADHD behavior." I put that in quotes because there really isn't really a "normal" pattern for our behavior.:)

Getting proper treatment for his ADHD will most certainly help but to what extent, may be up to him.

Best wishes,

Little Missy
01-08-17, 10:51 AM
Stealing other people's mail is a Federal Offense.

john2100
01-08-17, 12:15 PM
I'm at my wits end trying to understand the way his brain is wired.

I hope someone might be able to help shed some light on how to deal with this and if this is normal ADHD behavior?

You are describing a behavior that is just as common is non adhd people.
There many adhd people who lead healthy, responsible life with or without medication.

You can't blame ADD for everything. ADD certainly doesn't help , but it will not make you steal mail for example of just stop going to work.

I'd say watch Russel Barkley videos on adhd on youtube to get better understanding and couple of books ,for example: Driven to distraction ,hallowell

kilted_scotsman
01-08-17, 12:37 PM
Even though he may have ADHD.... ADHD is not an excuse for the behaviours you describe.

The most crucial aspect is whether your partner accepts the toxicity of his behaviours and actively seeks to change, not just by taking med but also by doing some kind of process such as therapy or 12 step program.

In a situation like this it is important to look closely at YOUR OWN behaviours.... why are you willing to accept behaviours that are well beyond the boundaries of acceptability in a healthy relationship? This would indicate that you are "needy" in some way that he fulfills.... and it's these unconscious needs that are going to cause problems for you both now and in the future.

These situations are interactions of TWO peoples needs and issues...... his and YOURS...... so even if you move out and terminate the relationship I would advise you look closely at why you ignored possible warning signs and moved in.

Alaskamoose
01-08-17, 05:15 PM
I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of that; to me the lying is unacceptable; medication and counseling can definitely help in a huge way if he is open. Ethics are another matter, and I would have a heart to heart with him over the deception; relationships are but on trust; his issues sound more than just adhd, and I am one.

Brooklynd
01-10-17, 05:15 PM
Thank you so much for everyone's advice and help! Sorry it took me a while to respond. I just wanted to clarify, as to why it's gotten this far with this relationship is because I've been ill practically since I've met him. Had a bad mold problem in my apartment and had to get out asap. Really didn't have many other options and he's no all bad. He's taken care of me and it means the world to me. But there's this other side to him (as mentioned above) that scares the crap out of me. I knew there were red flags, but didn't know how bad it was till we moved in together. Now I'm aware that this isn't really common with ADHD individuals, though I did find one person who has a son with the same problems who has ADHD. I'm thinking this may have more to do with this shady past of addiction.

Since I've posted my original thread we've talked quite a bit, he says he's willing to get help as he knows he has many problems.. but I've yet to see him make an appt with a therapist or anything. We've read articles together so I could try to understand and so we could figure out ways to work on this problem, but nothing much has come from it. I feel as though he's going to let me walk and I'm sad thinking this was all a farce. But leaving will ultimately be the best thing I can do. Just terribly confused with what the hell happened here!

marygates
01-11-17, 04:38 PM
Thank you so much for everyone's advice and help! Sorry it took me a while to respond. I just wanted to clarify, as to why it's gotten this far with this relationship is because I've been ill practically since I've met him. Had a bad mold problem in my apartment and had to get out asap. Really didn't have many other options and he's no all bad. He's taken care of me and it means the world to me. But there's this other side to him (as mentioned above) that scares the crap out of me. I knew there were red flags, but didn't know how bad it was till we moved in together. Now I'm aware that this isn't really common with ADHD individuals, though I did find one person who has a son with the same problems who has ADHD. I'm thinking this may have more to do with this shady past of addiction.

Since I've posted my original thread we've talked quite a bit, he says he's willing to get help as he knows he has many problems.. but I've yet to see him make an appt with a therapist or anything. We've read articles together so I could try to understand and so we could figure out ways to work on this problem, but nothing much has come from it. I feel as though he's going to let me walk and I'm sad thinking this was all a farce. But leaving will ultimately be the best thing I can do. Just terribly confused with what the hell happened here!


@BrooklynNd , I am going through your same situation, let me tell you for me its ehxausting!!, I still don't live with my boyfriend but he is messy and just clutters everything,he is also forgetful, impulsive as heck,etc, but his Adhd beahiour is really odd for me, What other signs/symptoms do you see in your boyfriend that you find weird? tell me a little bit more about your expercience!:faint:

sarahsweets
01-11-17, 05:20 PM
Ok this may sound harsh- I would run as fast as I could. There is no way this is all because of adhd. In fact the lying and law breaking I would say is not at all like adhd. Stealing the neighbor's mail? Looking at financial information? Lying about working and not paying the rent can be easy oversights for someone with adhd but when you couple it with the other stuff it does not sound very adhd-like to me.

Little Missy
01-11-17, 06:02 PM
Ok this may sound harsh- I would run as fast as I could. There is no way this is all because of adhd. In fact the lying and law breaking I would say is not at all like adhd. Stealing the neighbor's mail? Looking at financial information? Lying about working and not paying the rent can be easy oversights for someone with adhd but when you couple it with the other stuff it does not sound very adhd-like to me.

This isn't harsh at all. Stealing mails is a FEDERAL offense. For your own safety, you need to either move as fast as you can without him knowing or call the police and have them take him away unless you want to be an accessory.

You are going to be in deep trouble.

ToneTone
01-11-17, 09:45 PM
I agree: someone lies to you about working ... and steals mail ... can we say dangerous person here? Nothing good can come of living with him.

As others have said: don't want ... call your friends up ... and run out of the door. Lies have nothing to do with ADHD.

Tone

sarahsweets
01-12-17, 01:30 PM
Thank you so much for everyone's advice and help! Sorry it took me a while to respond. I just wanted to clarify, as to why it's gotten this far with this relationship is because I've been ill practically since I've met him. Had a bad mold problem in my apartment and had to get out asap. Really didn't have many other options and he's no all bad. He's taken care of me and it means the world to me. But there's this other side to him (as mentioned above) that scares the crap out of me. I knew there were red flags, but didn't know how bad it was till we moved in together. Now I'm aware that this isn't really common with ADHD individuals, though I did find one person who has a son with the same problems who has ADHD. I'm thinking this may have more to do with this shady past of addiction.

Since I've posted my original thread we've talked quite a bit, he says he's willing to get help as he knows he has many problems.. but I've yet to see him make an appt with a therapist or anything. We've read articles together so I could try to understand and so we could figure out ways to work on this problem, but nothing much has come from it. I feel as though he's going to let me walk and I'm sad thinking this was all a farce. But leaving will ultimately be the best thing I can do. Just terribly confused with what the hell happened here!

Look at the bolded parts....none of them should ever be present in a truthful, committed relationship.
LEAVE ASAP even if you have to crash on someone's couch for awhile.
None of this is healthy and not being "all that bad" isnt good. Its not good enough for you. You deserve better than that.

Brooklynd
01-13-17, 12:22 AM
You guys are absolutely right. I'm looking for an apartment of my own as we speak. I've always been a very independent non-codependent woman all of my life, but I can't figure out why I'm even slightly sad that I'm leaving - but I know it's what I need to do. A part of me will miss him - I hear myself saying this and want to shake me! I feel I've possibly been manipulated to the point where I feel I'm losing my mind. I love him and I hate him. But ultimately I know I'm doing the right thing.

ToneTone
01-13-17, 02:05 PM
Well, you're not alone--not by a long shot.

There is this sort of rule of dating that goes like this: the more you invest in a person ... the more time and hope and even patience we expend ... the more committed we (not them) become to the person.

Logic would say the person who treats us the nicest would be the person we most value and feel most committed to ... But that's only one part of human nature. The other side of human nature is that the person who puts up with the most crap ends up feeling most invested and committed--if only to justify our investment of time, energy and hope.

When we're with someone who acts wildly inappropriate and we forgive them/overlook the problem/minimize the problem--especially early on--we get into trouble. Once you do that one time, it's easier to do it a second time ... and the next thing you know, you're deep into a relationship closing your eyes to and minimizing all kinds of bad stuff and flat-out bad treatment. And then you can get into the whole embarrassment thing: I was too embarrassed for what I put up with from my ex to honestly share it with friends.

I was talking to a former girlfriend of mine ... we have become sorta friends ... and we both agreed that it's best early on to pay attention--loud attention--to any inappropriate behavior and confront it right then and there. If it turns out that the behavior that upsets us isn't a real problem, then that will become obvious over time. The worst thing is to minimize problem behaviors.

Anyway, good luck.

Tone

Brooklynd
01-13-17, 04:42 PM
Well, you're not alone--not by a long shot.

There is this sort of rule of dating that goes like this: the more you invest in a person ... the more time and hope and even patience we expend ... the more committed we (not them) become to the person.

Logic would say the person who treats us the nicest would be the person we most value and feel most committed to ... But that's only one part of human nature. The other side of human nature is that the person who puts up with the most crap ends up feeling most invested and committed--if only to justify our investment of time, energy and hope.

When we're with someone who acts wildly inappropriate and we forgive them/overlook the problem/minimize the problem--especially early on--we get into trouble. Once you do that one time, it's easier to do it a second time ... and the next thing you know, you're deep into a relationship closing your eyes to and minimizing all kinds of bad stuff and flat-out bad treatment. And then you can get into the whole embarrassment thing: I was too embarrassed for what I put up with from my ex to honestly share it with friends.

I was talking to a former girlfriend of mine ... we have become sorta friends ... and we both agreed that it's best early on to pay attention--loud attention--to any inappropriate behavior and confront it right then and there. If it turns out that the behavior that upsets us isn't a real problem, then that will become obvious over time. The worst thing is to minimize problem behaviors.

Anyway, good luck.

Tone


You're absolutely right about everything you stated! It's nice to hear an understanding ear from someone who's gone through a similar situation. I understand you may not want to discuss what happened between you and your ex, but I'd be interested to hear your experience. Was it a similar situation due to adhd? Thank you so much for your response!

dvdnvwls
01-13-17, 04:43 PM
If you look at a relationship as an investment (please don't, but if you must...)

With an investment, your own past contributions are not a worthwhile indicator of anything. Only the possible future results of the investment have any validity. If you have an investment in something that is clearly not going to bring returns in the future, you have to cut your losses and get out.

Brooklynd
01-13-17, 04:54 PM
As I'm still in the process of finding my own apartment, his behavior is bizarre to me. He tells me through text that I'm loved and wanted in his life and how he wishes I would stay and work it out. He brings me little gifts home, but he's not very affectionate with me at all. Distracts himself with his phone but no physical signs of him loving me or wanting me to leave. He keeps trying to tell me it's extremely hard for him to deal with negative situations. And to not compare his physical behavior with what he's feeling emotionally. He just has a hard time showing it. My head and heart are just so confused as I'm trying to make peace and get closer as this comes to an end. Again thank you so much for everyone's advice and support. It's helping more than you know.

ToneTone
01-13-17, 08:32 PM
I'm reading this really great book right now, by an FBI agent who talks about negotiations. He is a former hostage negotiator and the book is all about how people negotiate through all sorts of deals and relationships--and even with themselves. Anyway, the former agent's main point is that we cannot pay attention strictly to the words people say. We have to look at body language and tone and previous behavior and more ...

Ignore his words. They are useless. I too have gotten sucked into good words. I once continued dating a woman for months because of her wonderful words when it was so clear that she wasn't that into me. Your ex's actions--that's what you want to pay attention to. As they say, the actions speak for themselves. Don't get pulled back by mere words.

The fact that he's saying such things to you now is a sign that you've done a good job in stepping away. He probably loves sending you through ups and downs and if you leave, he can't toy with you anymore.

DVD, if only we were that rational ... but about relationships, very few of us that are THAT rational. Indeed emotions are fundamental to relationships ... but emotions have the downside of pulling us away from clear and reasonable thinking.

Which is why rationally resetting yourself and facing the fact that a relationship isn't working is so hard for most people.

Tone

dvdnvwls
01-14-17, 12:57 PM
DVD, if only we were that rational ... but about relationships, very few of us that are THAT rational. Indeed emotions are fundamental to relationships ... but emotions have the downside of pulling us away from clear and reasonable thinking.

Which is why rationally resetting yourself and facing the fact that a relationship isn't working is so hard for most people.

You're right.

What I should have said is much more simple and direct:

In any relationship, the length of time you've been together and the amount you've been through together are never good reasons to continue the relationship.

ToneTone
01-14-17, 11:48 PM
You are right about that!

And frankly, I've found that principle to be true for projects as well. Don't continue to do something just because I've been doing it.

Tone

Brooklynd
01-15-17, 11:17 PM
Yes, I agree with you both. Even with the nightly gifts and the "I love you's", I don't even feel he wants to be close to me anymore. I can't figure out why this is tearing me apart. I may need some counseling myself to figure out why I care if this guy wants me or not. I know I don't need his love and affection to feel important or valid. But it just amazes me after all we've been through, and after all he's put me through, he doesn't seem to have love for me anymore. Though I did walk up on him this morning looking for a psychiatrist which is promising.. not for our relationship, but for him getting to a better place. I did find an apartment but unfortunately can't move in till February 1st. So, hopefully staying here with him for another two weeks won't completely depress and destroy me! Ha! Wish me luck. Once again, thank for everyone's advice.

Brooklynd
01-15-17, 11:19 PM
Also, does anyone have any advice on how to get back to feeling normal/a little less crazy? Not sure how to explain it, but I've just been feeling anxious and not quite myself from this whole experience. The break up and the craziness within the relationship. Anyone have any good tips besides meditation?

dvdnvwls
01-16-17, 04:13 AM
To feel normal, act normal.

Also, spend time alone, or maybe with people who don't keep reminding you of him.

sarahsweets
01-16-17, 07:53 AM
Therapy can help bring you back to baseline.

kilted_scotsman
01-17-17, 05:27 AM
As Sarahsweets says..... find a good therapist.... and ask... why did I data this person and why did I find it so difficult to leave?

ToneTone
01-17-17, 10:30 PM
Recovering after a bad relationship is difficult. Frankly, the fact that you feel so "crazy" at this point is a sign that the relationship was not good for you.

I've been dumped and it hurts like hell ... but I didn't feel crazy and thrown off ... But when I've been dumped or had to back off of dating someone who I was really working hard to look beyond their faults, THEN I felt empty afterwards.

Definitely therapy is a good option ... and also a forum for exploring how you can recognize red flags as quickly ... and to game out what his red flags were that you can be ready to notice fast next time.

With everyone not good for us, there are always, HUGE, SCREAMING red flags. But under the rush of emotion and hope and attachment and all of that, we ignore them. I see one of the best projects single people face (and I'm in this category) is to get good at finding healthy people, people who will treat them really well and be consistent and all of that ... Seems like it should be easy. Ironically it is NOT!

Good luck.

Tone

Johnny Slick
01-18-17, 12:38 AM
Also, does anyone have any advice on how to get back to feeling normal/a little less crazy? Not sure how to explain it, but I've just been feeling anxious and not quite myself from this whole experience. The break up and the craziness within the relationship. Anyone have any good tips besides meditation?I agree with sarahsweets on this. Talking with an educated, disinterested 3rd party can really help you discern which things are your ex's issues, which are yours, and which were just a part of the relationship.

Brooklynd
02-02-17, 02:11 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know, it's turns out my ex was in fact abusing drugs. I've left and have decided, along with his family, to let him go and make his own choices. Especially since he's in denial that he needs help. Thank you for everyone's advice!