View Full Version : how adhd is affecting my relationship


ADD.cat
07-21-17, 02:51 PM
hey everyone

i've just a long and emotionally draining conversation with my partner about how i'm not showing up for this relationship enough. we've been together for about 5 years now and i have always been fascinated by how driven and motivated they are. they have definitely helped me to grow as a person in so many ways, but because they have such high standards for themself, they also have high standards for me. in a lot of ways, i've raised my standards to meet theirs but when it comes to self-motivated growth, i'm still lacking.

over the years we've discussed what our future life will look like. we've talked about opening a restaurant, building a boat and sailing the world, moving to another country, but now our current plan is to build a small house in hawaii and live off the land. as someone with adhd, i've been wildly excited about all these endeavors but have also been unable to conceptualize the work it will take to get there. as of now, we're in the process of buying the land we'll be building on. my partner has been doing everything they can in their free time to figure out what we'll need to do to set up this house, even self-teaching fundamentals of architecture so they can design our house.

i've subconsciously grown resentful of them for their ability to self teach with such great success and they've come to resent me for not working to meet our (or maybe their) goals. i've been feeling what i'm sure is a very familiar feeling to many of you: shame, fear, self doubt etc.

today was yet another conversation about how i'm not pulling my weight, me committing to do more only to be reminded that i've said it all before and nothing has changed. i know that i'm capable of so much more but that all seems to go out the window when i'm actually faced with an opportunity to change.

i know that my adhd is a huge factor in why i'm unable (or maybe unwilling??) to do the work of researching and planning, but i also feel that they are not being sensitive of how my adhd affects me? the problem is i don't know whether i'm being unreasonable or not because there have been times when i imagine them being more adversarial than they are, but i also have felt that they are being more harsh than is really warranted.

anyway, i was mostly here to rant, but i'd appreciate any feedback from you folks about how you may have dealt with similar issues or some strategies that i can employ that have helped you to self-teach. thanks for reading :o

sarahsweets
07-22-17, 09:03 AM
hey everyone

i've just a long and emotionally draining conversation with my partner about how i'm not showing up for this relationship enough. we've been together for about 5 years now and i have always been fascinated by how driven and motivated they are. they have definitely helped me to grow as a person in so many ways, but because they have such high standards for themself, they also have high standards for me. in a lot of ways, i've raised my standards to meet theirs but when it comes to self-motivated growth, i'm still lacking.
Who says you are lacking? Them or you? What defines lacking in your relationship?

over the years we've discussed what our future life will look like. we've talked about opening a restaurant, building a boat and sailing the world, moving to another country, but now our current plan is to build a small house in hawaii and live off the land. as someone with adhd, i've been wildly excited about all these endeavors but have also been unable to conceptualize the work it will take to get there. as of now, we're in the process of buying the land we'll be building on. my partner has been doing everything they can in their free time to figure out what we'll need to do to set up this house, even self-teaching fundamentals of architecture so they can design our house.

i've subconsciously grown resentful of them for their ability to self teach with such great success and they've come to resent me for not working to meet our (or maybe their) goals. i've been feeling what i'm sure is a very familiar feeling to many of you: shame, fear, self doubt etc.

You have to try and work through and let go of that resentment for your own sake. Its easier said than done but it will keep eating at you. I cant give you the magic ways to work through it but it must be done, or you will remain stuck on that long road of bitterness and it will soil the good stuff.

today was yet another conversation about how i'm not pulling my weight, me committing to do more only to be reminded that i've said it all before and nothing has changed. i know that i'm capable of so much more but that all seems to go out the window when i'm actually faced with an opportunity to change.

we are all capable of more, but that more has to be defined by us not other people. If you are trying to be capable of more as defined by your partner, it will never be enough. You cant live up to expectations if those expectations are not clearly laid out with a plan to make them attainable. What are the expectations of your partner? Can you live up to them and are they realistic?

i know that my adhd is a huge factor in why i'm unable (or maybe unwilling??) to do the work of researching and planning, but i also feel that they are not being sensitive of how my adhd affects me? the problem is i don't know whether i'm being unreasonable or not because there have been times when i imagine them being more adversarial than they are, but i also have felt that they are being more harsh than is really warranted.

They probably are. How much do they know about adhd? Have they read about it and understand how it works? Do they know what your particular issues are. In relationships its important to have balance but its more important to have realistic balance. What you are capable of has to fit in with what your partner is willing to accept. Your partner needs to realize what makes you happy and them happy. Your partner has to realize that you have a disability and that there are certain things you will always have trouble with. Google youtube videos about Russel Barkely and watch them, then show them to your partner.

anyway, i was mostly here to rant, but i'd appreciate any feedback from you folks about how you may have dealt with similar issues or some strategies that i can employ that have helped you to self-teach. thanks for reading :o
I wish I had better feedback instead of sounding like some wise old owl in Game of Thrones but I get like that sometimes.
( I hope I got the pronouns right, Im still new to the non-binary/gender fluidity and genderqueer thing. My son is dating a girl who is teaching me to use their proper pronouns and I struggle)

ADD.cat
07-23-17, 07:05 PM
Who says you are lacking? Them or you? What defines lacking in your relationship?
i think we can both agree that i'm not pulling enough weight. i know i'm making more commitments than i can reasonably handle.

You have to try and work through and let go of that resentment for your own sake. Its easier said than done but it will keep eating at you. I cant give you the magic ways to work through it but it must be done, or you will remain stuck on that long road of bitterness and it will soil the good stuff.
i'm working on it. today we had another "argument" but this time i think we both made our needs and grievances more clear and we heard each other. it's just such a draining process


we are all capable of more, but that more has to be defined by us not other people. If you are trying to be capable of more as defined by your partner, it will never be enough. You cant live up to expectations if those expectations are not clearly laid out with a plan to make them attainable. What are the expectations of your partner? Can you live up to them and are they realistic?
this is something i've been struggling to work through mostly because my partner is one of the only people i interact with in my life. it's nice to get some outside perspective. today was a good example. we were prepping some food for lunch and i wasn't taking it too seriously. cooking has been a struggle of mine because i get overwhelmed by the planning of the meal and worrying about whether it will be good to eat. i feel there is a standard of excellence i have to meet with every meal because we always talk about how we could improve our dishes, so i was avoiding the issue a bit. (after we finished prepping we talked about it and i took responsibility for not driving the process of making lunch and that i could have taken it more seriously.) while i was prepping they were bothered because i was having a hard time keeping up conversation while peeling some beets. i felt it was unreasonable for them to be mad at me for something like this but at the same time i could see why they would be upset and we talked about how i could have let them know that i was having a hard time focusing and that we could have avoided some frustration if i were more vocal about my needs but that things didn't need to escalate so quickly because of my struggle to focus.

these kinds of issues make it hard to know if we are both being reasonable and we have to work on striking a better balance.


They probably are. How much do they know about adhd? Have they read about it and understand how it works? Do they know what your particular issues are. In relationships its important to have balance but its more important to have realistic balance. What you are capable of has to fit in with what your partner is willing to accept. Your partner needs to realize what makes you happy and them happy. Your partner has to realize that you have a disability and that there are certain things you will always have trouble with. Google youtube videos about Russel Barkely and watch them, then show them to your partner.
there was a time when we were both more knowledgeable about adhd but i think over time we've kind of let it fall to the wayside. neither of us really frame it as adhd but just how i am and what i'm doing. i think it would be helpful for both of us to gain a fuller understanding of what i struggle with and why but most of our relationship stress comes from not acting to change that behavior and spending too much time trying to explain why it is


I wish I had better feedback instead of sounding like some wise old owl in Game of Thrones but I get like that sometimes.
i really appreciate the feedback you've given thusfar. i think you've asked a lot of important questions and i think i just need to have a dialogue about it with a third party.


( I hope I got the pronouns right, Im still new to the non-binary/gender fluidity and genderqueer thing. My son is dating a girl who is teaching me to use their proper pronouns and I struggle)

you're doing splendidly! i appreciate that you're acknowledging that you're learning, it shows that you care to understand. though my perspective is likely to be different from your son's partner, i'd be glad yo answer any questions you might have about pronouns/genderqueerness etc. :D

ian_ice
08-13-17, 05:44 AM
My humble suggestion: Just get down to work, you might start alittle slow, subsequently, you are going to achieve much much more. ADHD people put in 150% when they put their mind into it.

While you may seem idling, you may be procrastinating and while procrastinating, your mind actually thinking of ideas and solutions. Sub consciously you may have already know what is good what is not so good. When you start putting pen to paper or your fingers to the computer key board, you are going to ace it. So get down to business. You will see what i mean. They may actually tell you to take a break and relax a little; which of course going to be tough to ask u to put a hand break. All the best.