View Full Version : Did I break up with him for the wrong reason?


staceyf
01-29-17, 12:51 PM
Hi. I've been dating my now ex for two years and I just recently found out he has ADHD, and that's why we always argued over small things all the time and he was always feeling stressed and frustrated.

I broke it off with him recently because there were multiple times when I would tell him I'm not feeling well and I was in a really down mood, usually triggering an anxiety attack but when he's out with his friends he won't really care to call me and check up on me - instead just says he's busy and can't right now. I just hated how when I texted him that I needed him he didn't find any urgency to check up on me, or even care. So this happened 2 days ago and I told myself that this is it, I need to break up with him. I can't keep dating a man who doesn't care about me but I skyped with him (since we're LDR) and tried to understand where he stood, and why he did that and he himself didn't think of it has him leaving me alone to deal with my own problems, he just thought he could talk to me the morning after when I was more calmed down. After we broke up, he seemed pretty distraught by the whole thing, but I don't know if I'm just thinking this so I can tell myself that this is a result of his ADHD and I should still stay with him. I'm not really sure what to do right now because as much as it hurt, if this is just a product of having ADHD I should have been more understanding.

Side note: other than him doing this when he goes out, when we're on skype with each other he won't really pay much attention to me but he's just too distracted by other things to give me his full attention but when we see each other in person and we are fine in person but it's just when we're apart that we have issues like this.

ToneTone
01-29-17, 02:33 PM
Here's a suggestion: figure out whether you can deal with his behavior or not. Leave ADHD out of it.

Imagine I'm with someone who ignores me when I'm distraught. The person may have been abused as a kid or left in an orphanage or suffered brain damage as a result of abusive parenting ... or might just be immature and selfish ... I'm not sure it matters

Here's what you want to hear ... not that "I have ADHD and that's why I ignore you when you're in pain." That's lame and that's an excuse we all can make given our human weaknesses.

What you want to hear is "I have ADHD and I know it gets in the way of me responding to you ... But I'm working on it ... and here's my plan ... and I'm talking to my psychiatrist ... and to my therapist about developing my ability to respond to you quickly ... And to the extent I have this deficit, I'm going to compensate for this problem by giving you X and Y ... "

I have ADHD and yes that can present challenges ... but you know what: I also had family baggage and problems ... and I had to go to therapy for that ... and no, I can't say to a partner, "Oh my mother had no boundaries and thus I didn't learn how to do relationships ..." and that's my REASON for why I don't respond to you.

If I want to be in a partnership, I have to get off my behind to do all that I can to make sure the way my mother treated me does NOT interfere with the relationship ... And to the extent, that I can't get pass this weakness, I want to be up front with that with a partner--not defensively--but more to recognize that the partner might feel neglected ... and figure out ways to compensate ...

You want to be with a partner because on balance, the person's strengths easily outweigh their weaknesses. What you love about them easily compensates for what you don't like about them. If that's not the case--no matter if there is a condition involved--move on ...

Good luck.

Tone

staceyf
01-29-17, 04:57 PM
Here's a suggestion: figure out whether you can deal with his behavior or not. Leave ADHD out of it.

Imagine I'm with someone who ignores me when I'm distraught. The person may have been abused as a kid or left in an orphanage or suffered brain damage as a result of abusive parenting ... or might just be immature and selfish ... I'm not sure it matters

Here's what you want to hear ... not that "I have ADHD and that's why I ignore you when you're in pain." That's lame and that's an excuse we all can make given our human weaknesses.

What you want to hear is "I have ADHD and I know it gets in the way of me responding to you ... But I'm working on it ... and here's my plan ... and I'm talking to my psychiatrist ... and to my therapist about developing my ability to respond to you quickly ... And to the extent I have this deficit, I'm going to compensate for this problem by giving you X and Y ... "

I have ADHD and yes that can present challenges ... but you know what: I also had family baggage and problems ... and I had to go to therapy for that ... and no, I can't say to a partner, "Oh my mother had no boundaries and thus I didn't learn how to do relationships ..." and that's my REASON for why I don't respond to you.

If I want to be in a partnership, I have to get off my behind to do all that I can to make sure the way my mother treated me does NOT interfere with the relationship ... And to the extent, that I can't get pass this weakness, I want to be up front with that with a partner--not defensively--but more to recognize that the partner might feel neglected ... and figure out ways to compensate ...

You want to be with a partner because on balance, the person's strengths easily outweigh their weaknesses. What you love about them easily compensates for what you don't like about them. If that's not the case--no matter if there is a condition involved--move on ...

Good luck.

Tone

Thanks Tone that really helped me. I'm just having a hard time getting over this breakup but It's still fresh. I've told him multiple times to work on helping his ADHD and he never took action to do anything. If he doesn't care then he doesn't care - there's nothing more to it than that.

dvdnvwls
01-29-17, 05:40 PM
This type of thing - concentrating only on whatever is here & now, and having a tough time keeping track of anything that isn't "in his face" at that moment - is something that all ADHDers deal with every day.

As ToneTone described, it hardly matters why - except for this:

Does knowing that this is partly an ADHD thing make you feel any different about it? Does it matter for you personally to know that it's not a simple thing, for him to remember what's not in front of him? If he's constantly "working on this" for the rest of his life, and taking it seriously, does that feel better than imagining maybe he just doesn't care?

It might not feel "better enough" for you to accept it. Be honest with yourself - some people in your situation would legitimately not be able or willing to stay with the person. It's better to be honest and up-front about it (without being harsh or judgmental of course). It's better and less painful to stop things now, if you know it's not going to work.

DJ Bill
01-29-17, 06:43 PM
This type of thing - concentrating only on whatever is here & now, and having a tough time keeping track of anything that isn't "in his face" at that moment - is something that all ADHDers deal with every day.

A.

I second that thought....I only live in the now, and right here where I am. If someone is farther away than next door, I often pretty much ignore them.Not intentionally, its just whatever is "in my face" is taking up all of my brainpower or attention... I remember when I went to my first year of college, I totally left my "girlfriend" from high school alone. She wasn't too happy about it and I didn't know any better at the time.

But I was 17 then, not a "real adult".

I'd like to say I don't do that anymore......but I still do decades later. Only after diagnosis did I realize what I was doing to the people around me. .

staceyf
01-29-17, 08:50 PM
Yeah I was thinking that it's because he's too distracted about who he's with to reply to me and that's why he didn't call. I don't know. It was so frustrating being in that relationship but I love him so much. I can understand why he is the way he is, but it doesn't change the fact that it hurts me.

I've decided to give him some time, maybe when we are apart he'll think about the relationship from another standpoint, maybe he will try to focus on not allowing his adhd to affect our relationship as much. I'm just going to give it time and see how it goes in a few months. I really do understand that it's because of the way he is, because when I spoke to him after he was so mad and so frustrated at himself it's sucks to see him like that, it makes me not want to even get mad. Going to stay hopeful lol. Nobody is perfect and just because someone has adhd doesn't mean I need to just abandon it completely and never look back.

dvdnvwls
01-30-17, 03:10 AM
"Not allowing his ADHD to affect the relationship so much" is exactly like "not allowing his broken leg to affect his running so much". It's truly an impossible expectation.

Expecting him to try different things that might help - that would be more reasonable.

sarahsweets
01-30-17, 04:58 AM
Hi. I've been dating my now ex for two years and I just recently found out he has ADHD, and that's why we always argued over small things all the time and he was always feeling stressed and frustrated.

I broke it off with him recently because there were multiple times when I would tell him I'm not feeling well and I was in a really down mood, usually triggering an anxiety attack but when he's out with his friends he won't really care to call me and check up on me - instead just says he's busy and can't right now. I just hated how when I texted him that I needed him he didn't find any urgency to check up on me, or even care. So this happened 2 days ago and I told myself that this is it, I need to break up with him. I can't keep dating a man who doesn't care about me but I skyped with him (since we're LDR) and tried to understand where he stood, and why he did that and he himself didn't think of it has him leaving me alone to deal with my own problems, he just thought he could talk to me the morning after when I was more calmed down. After we broke up, he seemed pretty distraught by the whole thing, but I don't know if I'm just thinking this so I can tell myself that this is a result of his ADHD and I should still stay with him. I'm not really sure what to do right now because as much as it hurt, if this is just a product of having ADHD I should have been more understanding.

Side note: other than him doing this when he goes out, when we're on skype with each other he won't really pay much attention to me but he's just too distracted by other things to give me his full attention but when we see each other in person and we are fine in person but it's just when we're apart that we have issues like this.
It doesnt matter if its his adhd. Its not working for you and he may never change. If you could live with that, then you wouldnt have broken up with him. Its ok that you did because you saved both you and him from expectations that neither of you could ever meet. Its tough being the the non-adhd person in a relationship. Its like you need to learn all new coping skills. Some people can make it work, others need more from a person then the person is willing or able to give.

I am not trying to say your expectations have no merit or that your should just suck it up, just that what you want and what he can give are different. Sometimes these types of relationships are so good, the bad never has a chance- but a lot of times its has to do with being a suitable match and what the other person wants in the relationship.

My husband and I are both adhd. In the beginning, we both had certain characteristics that would have been difficult for the non-adhd'r to deal with . I am very lucky because we are soulmate material but there were times when one of us was doing better than the other and it was hard on the other person. Even if hes the best, nicest guy except for his attention to you or concern for you, or his reactions to you, its not something that you want right?

Postulate
01-30-17, 08:05 PM
Meh, it's as if a penguin from Antarctica was sad that her husband, the lion from the African savanna couldn't understand how cold days can be. I'm new on this forum but it has nothing to do with ADHD according to me.

Johnny Slick
01-31-17, 12:03 AM
Well, I mean it literally has everything to do with ADHD because the incompatibility came about because of it. That being said, yeah, feeling as though you're not getting a vital thing from a relationship that you need is for sure a deal breaker whether the party isn't providing that due to ADHD or schizophrenia or being an actual penguin or whatever. If it's not working, it's not working.

I will say that even though inattentiveness is one of the hallmarks of ADHD, a person with the condition can often do things to make themselves more attentive for a specific time, be it taking medication or working out right before the call or... well, there are a lot of methods. If you are going to go back to him I think you do need to discuss what's going to be different the next time you feel down and need to to be picked up.

sarahsweets
01-31-17, 03:41 PM
Yeah I was thinking that it's because he's too distracted about who he's with to reply to me and that's why he didn't call. I don't know. It was so frustrating being in that relationship but I love him so much. I can understand why he is the way he is, but it doesn't change the fact that it hurts me.

I've decided to give him some time, maybe when we are apart he'll think about the relationship from another standpoint, maybe he will try to focus on not allowing his adhd to affect our relationship as much. I'm just going to give it time and see how it goes in a few months. I really do understand that it's because of the way he is, because when I spoke to him after he was so mad and so frustrated at himself it's sucks to see him like that, it makes me not want to even get mad. Going to stay hopeful lol. Nobody is perfect and just because someone has adhd doesn't mean I need to just abandon it completely and never look back.
yes, but do you really want someone like this? Someone who needs to be apart to realize what he is missing?

Little Missy
01-31-17, 03:48 PM
I have this theory: He'll be there if he wants to be.

dvdnvwls
01-31-17, 06:10 PM
I have this theory: He'll be there if he wants to be.
That theory goes very wrong when the person we're talking about has ADHD.

When I really want something, and I know for sure that if I want it then I have to be there for it, I often end up not there. ADHD is like that, far too often.