View Full Version : Taking its toll on the relationship

12-29-09, 12:27 PM
I have a wonderful boyfriend who I love very much. He's divorced with full custody of 2 daughters. The one daughter is a breeze. So easy going and happy go lucky and behaves. The 8 year old girl has ADHD and is the polar opposite and as our relationship progresses and I spend more time with her I feel horrible for saying it but its almost starting to push me away from him. I've become depressed lately because its so tough.

I guess its hard for me to understand since I can't walk in her shoes for a day but I continue to try. I know she's just a kid and can't control all her actions but sometimes its just....ugh. They were over at my house last night and I know at least twice she purposely defied what he'd told her and as soon as she knew he looked the other way she did the opposite of what she was told. For some reason it makes me very angry because that I KNOW she chose to do. I kept my mouth shut but don't know what to do in the future when that happens again. I can't just let her get away with murder but at the same time I feel like I'm over stepping boundaries by telling on her or scolding her myself (which I am not comfortable doing).

It feels like its always something with her. She's ALWAYS in trouble or doing things she knows she shouldn't do. Things she's been punished for time and time again. Don't get me wrong, she has her sweet moments too and would never intentionally harm anyone but the mischevious behavior and the constant eye you have to keep on her is tiring.

Sorry, I didn't sleep at all last night and can't stop thinking about the direction things are going. I just want to burst into tears and have no one to talk to about this.

12-29-09, 01:18 PM
Hi, welcome to the forum, I hope you find what your looking for here.

From what you said it looks like you are considering ending your relationship with your boyfriend. And you want to make sure you've done everything you can to understand and educate yourself about ADD. Its clear that you really care about him and the girls. I would be happy to share what I have experiened. I am 37 and was diagnosed with ADHD 2 years ago. So I have the perspective of little girl with ADD. I also married a man with sole custody of a little boy. He is 9 now and is profoundly effected by his ADHD. Here in lies the perspective of a parent with a ADD child. I have a few questions first if you don't mind and are comfortable sharing. If you don't want to post answer in the forum you can always send me a private message. You do this by clicking on my user name and scroll and click on Send user a private message.

Just wondering how long you have been dating? How far into the relationship did you meet the girls? How long has he been divorced? Is their biological mother in the picture, if so in what capacity(supervised visitation?)?

I think these things matter in the advice area. I am on my way out right now, I will come back later and give you some general ideas about children with ADD. From the sounds of it though, she is displaying behaviors associated with issues other than her ADD. I'll go more in depth later...sorry, gota go now....

12-29-09, 01:51 PM
I definitely don't want to end it with him. He's the greatest guy I've ever been with and I've been with some rotten ones.

We've been together 5 months and I met the girls about 1.5 months after we'd been dating. It kind of had to work that way as like I said he has full custody. Their mother left him when the girls were 2 and 4 for another man. She lives half way across the country and they talk by phone pretty much daily and she sees them roughly every 2-3 months and gets them during the summer months and some holidays. She is still with the man she left my bf for.

The girl has major issues in school and my bf takes the brunt of it as he's the main person in the picture. I want to be there for him and wouldn't bail on him over this. I don't know, the holidays maybe stressed me out as I was with the girls more and I definitely think the transition from seeing mom to going back to dad effects both the girls.

I've definitely been trying. I attended her school play with my boyfriend recently and she did great. She's very bright and I know it meant a lot to her and my bf that I was able to attend. She is a hard shell to crack as she marches to her own little drummer compared to his other daughter who always wants to be playing with my boyfriend and I where as the other daughter would be content glued to her video game/tv day and night.

Like I mentioned in my introduction post I'm mostly here to understand and learn more.

12-29-09, 02:59 PM
Kids with mental health issues can be very hard on relationships. In general, they are just more difficult to parent. Since they are difficult, you end up with dissagreements over how to parent. How strict, how lenient, overall goals, etc. Your in a transition time now with your relationship with his kids. First step is to establish a bond with them.

Good luch with everything.

01-07-10, 04:49 PM
Is he someone who you can talk openly to? Can you ask him whether he wants you to monitor his daughter's defiant behaviors?

You might start off by being very casual about what you saw and acknowledge that most kids are a little mischevious now and then. Leave your feelings out of it for now and just get information on what role you are playing at this time. 5 months is still pretty early in a relationship and I understand you don't want to be stepping on toes, but at the same time he may want to know if she is deliberately disobeying him so that the behavior can be monitored better. Or ask if he can explain why she does that, just so you can understand her better...

I am in the opposite situation, but when I met my husband I was also looking for someone to be my partner, to share the burden of raising challenging children, as well as rejoice in the triumphs (good times are always better with someone to share them!). I dated with the intent of finding another parent for my kids. Many people with kids don't take this into consideration enough (IMHO) and feel threatened when the partner has opinions and suggestions. You need to find out more about this aspect of your relationship. What are his goals, what are yours...are you both willing to learn from each other, etc.? This is where communication can make or break any relationship...

Ultimately my relationship goal with my husband is to be together when the kids are grown and on their own and share our memories, good and bad, and hope that we've given the kids enough tools and information to live healthy lives.

I hope this makes sense, I speed-wrote it and didn't edit nearly as much as I normally would....