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at_wits_end 11-16-04 04:14 PM

dealing with anger caused by my ADD fiancee
 
Hi all,

I'm new to these forums, but have browsed a bit. Long enough to see that some others have experienced, shall we say a *tad* little bit of anger, frustration and the like with our ADD partner. :) She is aware of her ADD, and is taking meds (adderall) and sees a therapist regularly. She so much wants to "fix it" too, so there is that positive place to start with!

The last few months I have found that my ability to be patient and understanding has mostly evaporated. I should state that everyone I have ever known would describe me as extremely patient and understanding (far in excess of what is average), so this isn't just run of the mill behavior for me. This now means that things that probably aren't *that* big of a deal seem like "here we go again", and the actual important issues pretty much hits me as "i really love her, but do i really want to live with someone who can't do A-Z" and "why the heck can't she just follow through on a mutual agreement for ONCE"? None of which seems to be terribly helpful to the situation, or at least to my morale.

To be clear, I love my fiancee very much and do not want to see our relationship end. I am willing to do just about anything, short of jumping off a cliff, to make our relationship work. So what I'm looking for is, what sorts of things have you done, said, read, heard or whatever that has helped you:

1. Deal with your feelings of anger, which borders on blind rage at times. I'm not a violent man by nature - you have to do something pretty F'd up to get me to "see red". I've "seen red" a couple of times recently. This really disturbs me.

2. Recharge your own batteries to get to a point where you can help yourself cope, let alone help your sweetie to cope.

3. How to get back to the point where you feel like their lover, not their father.

I have done some reading, online and books, and most of what I see boils down to "you just have to ignore/accept/excuse" the ADD, and not expect anything to greatly improve. I can't do this. I am very much a "I can fix it" kind of person, and my inability to do anything except nag her/drive her crazy is making me crazy too.

Any thoughts?

at_wits_end

Alynnstaff 11-16-04 05:21 PM

Hi at_wits_end:

I'm new to this forum too as my boyfriend is ADHD and it's becoming frustrating for me as well. I can completly relate to what you have described (except I tend to feel more just plain hurt rather than angry - and when angry I've just gone away somewhere to let myself deal with the anger - so, I guess I can't relate with the "blind rage" part).

As far as being extremely patient, I, too am like that. I've found that my extreme tolerance and patience goes beyond what is good for me and I find I end up "sacrificing" parts of myself to accomodate that "patience". My "patience limit" is pushed a lot, but I often don't let on. To me, I think being more than reasonably patient is an issue in itself - my own issue at that.

I hear you on the fact that it "seems" like our only option with our ADHD partners is to "accept/ignore" these behaviors. That is something that I struggle with as well. It's like I, being the non-adhd partner, am supposed to sacrifice my own needs of just getting a little bit of attention/affection from my partner or to having to ignore broken/forgotten promises over and over, to accomodate him. Meanwhile, it seems like he (I'll say he does try sometimes) can just sit back and "do nothing" about it. The actions just plain hurt. Although, I know it is not that way - as I said, he tries and, yes, it is a struggle for him - I do question myself if this is something I want to settle for (and yes, I do love him)?

It's hard.

I'm now trying to think of ways to enlighten my own life with my own interests. Makes me feel a little sad, though, because I would like to do things more with him that he and I can build on. How can two people build on something if the foundations are completely seperate and no bridge to connect them? Frustrating and saddens me. But I have my own life to think of as well, and it is only up to me to make it happier and more coloful.

As far as playing "parent" - I don't. I've left parenting of him to himself. (And, hey, you know what? I hate cleaning and doing laundry myself, so it's not so bad that he forgets about it too - at least I don't have anyone nagging ME about it...lol).

So, being in nearly the same boat, if you find something that works for you, DO TELL and I will do the same. It's the emotional/affectionate parts (or lack thereof) I have the most difficult time dealing with.

Sometimes it just makes me feel completely taken for granted.

I do understand what is happening and I know it is probably moreso a struggle for those with ADHD, but I still cannot help feeling how I feel. It is frustrating - especially the more you grow to love the person.

He has awesome qualities - he cares for nearly everyone and will help anyone out in a pinch (he's helped me A LOT) - but it's that lack of "definable" relationship attention (except for sex) the bothers me most because I cannot differentiate myself apart from the rest of the crowd in regards to importance to him. Sometimes I think that if I left him that it wouldn't bother him.

I know it doesn't answer any of your questions, but just know we're all in this together!

Sorry for being so long winded!

--Amy

KarenC 11-16-04 06:12 PM

Amy and At-Wits-End -

I've been where you are. It can be incredibly frustrating and sometimes alienating. Here are a few things that have helped me cope.

1. Therapy on my own for anger issues which was really an anxiety problem manifesting itself as anger.

2. Letting my husband's smaller daily struggles be his own. This is very very difficult because of our natural desire to step in and help. If our help is unasked-for, it only makes your partner feel like a child and doesn't help him/her on the skills that they need to work on. If he askes me to help find his keys, remind him of something, schedule something, etc, I'll gladly pitch in. I'm more proactive in the bigger things that affect us as a couple and have found that this relieves me of the daily kvetching.

3. Don't expect the ADD to be totally fixed with drugs and therapy. These help but the underlying condition is there. Setting your expectations on a total cure will only lead to dissapointment and frustration for both of you.

Besides doesn't "fixing" imply that your partner is essentially "broken." How do you think that makes them feel? If your partner had, say, diabetes, would you expect them to be cured? No - you'd expect that they be treated.

I hope some of this helps. Despite these strategies, I still get angry and frustrated sometimes but that's true for any relationship. Try to remember and celebrate the things that attracted you to your partner in the first place.

Garry 11-16-04 06:43 PM

Im one of the Ex-Angry Ones

And theres lots of us here

And we will answer lots of questions

And we probally wont even get angry and yell at you


_______________________________________________
Welcome to your new Home Away From Home

All your new brothers and sisters will be glad to help you anyway we can.....


Read, Read, and Read some more, and when your ready, jump in and post away to the threads that interest you.


As I am very lazy when it comes to typing so I have created a welcome page and ADDed a link here to get you there

My Welcome Page

Garry

crime_scene 11-16-04 06:50 PM

Like right now I'm a little frustrated...as my LD friend and I were supposed to talk tonight and he agreed and everything, but I call and....empty house!!!

But I know two things: 1) he doesn't mean it 2) he def cares about me but doesn't show it in the same way as other friends might. He doesn't say, oh you are my best friend, or I'm just crazy about you or anything like that, but it is more in what he does, because he is a do person and how he trusts me. But it isn't easy. And it would be harder I think if you are living with someone, because your lives are much more interdependent.

I wonder if either of you have read that excellent book on relationships by Jonathan Scott Halverstadt: ADD and Romance. It's really exceptional. I'm sure without it I wouldn't be enjoying the relationship I have with my friend right now. Er, except for this exact moment. (chuckle)

Yeah, it can be frustrating, but he's worth the extra effort. Having your own goals and interests is definitely adviseable. Otherwise you spend too much time focussing on him/her and not enough on you. And I gotta say, you're treading on dangerous ground if you're a fix it/can do person, because you can't and er can't with someone else. I think you're just setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment on that angle.

Just my perspective, but I'm always looking for tips for improvement myself!!!!

exeter 11-17-04 02:02 AM

Ok, just for the record, I'm an ADDer, but my best friend has ADD, too, (and she's not medicated :P) so I can definitely see both parts of the issue, if only in a limited sense.

One of the things my best friend does that gets on my nerves a lot is forget to call me when she says she will. I'm very good about that myself, so it annoys me to no royal end. But, we have been friends for 12-13 years, so I have basically just learned to not let it bother me. It's not personal, she does that with everybody!

There are other things, too, but that's been my main strategy, to realize that it's not personal and has nothing to do with how much she cares about me. She's always there for me when I really need it... like this past Saturday when I was feeling rather depressed.

Hope that helps.

crime_scene 11-17-04 12:19 PM

Exeter, yes, there when I need it, that's a good example. Once when I was going through some really hard times my friend called me on his cell from work when he got an odd message from me and devoted some of his time to making sure I was ok. He was very worried about me. He's very serious about his work and focussing on it, and his willingness to put that aside and call when he could have just instant e-d me back something comforting and gone on with his job, that counted extra for me.

Freddyj 11-17-04 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by at_wits_end
Hi all,

I'm new to these forums, but have browsed a bit. Long enough to see that some others have experienced, shall we say a *tad* little bit of anger, frustration and the like with our ADD partner. :) She is aware of her ADD, and is taking meds (adderall) and sees a therapist regularly. She so much wants to "fix it" too, so there is that positive place to start with!

The last few months I have found that my ability to be patient and understanding has mostly evaporated. I should state that everyone I have ever known would describe me as extremely patient and understanding (far in excess of what is average), so this isn't just run of the mill behavior for me. This now means that things that probably aren't *that* big of a deal seem like "here we go again", and the actual important issues pretty much hits me as "i really love her, but do i really want to live with someone who can't do A-Z" and "why the heck can't she just follow through on a mutual agreement for ONCE"? None of which seems to be terribly helpful to the situation, or at least to my morale.

To be clear, I love my fiancee very much and do not want to see our relationship end. I am willing to do just about anything, short of jumping off a cliff, to make our relationship work. So what I'm looking for is, what sorts of things have you done, said, read, heard or whatever that has helped you:

1. Deal with your feelings of anger, which borders on blind rage at times. I'm not a violent man by nature - you have to do something pretty F'd up to get me to "see red". I've "seen red" a couple of times recently. This really disturbs me.

2. Recharge your own batteries to get to a point where you can help yourself cope, let alone help your sweetie to cope.

3. How to get back to the point where you feel like their lover, not their father.

I have done some reading, online and books, and most of what I see boils down to "you just have to ignore/accept/excuse" the ADD, and not expect anything to greatly improve. I can't do this. I am very much a "I can fix it" kind of person, and my inability to do anything except nag her/drive her crazy is making me crazy too.

Any thoughts?

at_wits_end

"Iam ADD..2 LOST MARRINGES.tHAT WERE A KNEE REACTION.aND LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND INFO.Reading is ok,yet opions.I would say,that going with her to thearpy is best.See her reality,and experience it first hand.Its a heavy life liveing the rest of your life with an ADD human.Half the time I strugel with living with myself.So it may be important to understand she may need to pull back a bit at times to have the time to process.As the ADD mind does need time,more so then the normal mind to first feel,then think,then process,that choice.Hope it was helpful.
Freddy

Alynnstaff 11-17-04 07:49 PM

Thanks for the insight you all provided. I actually have the book ADD and Romance on order. I hope it will provide further insight for me. I was actually told by someone once that I am an idealist - so, you can just imagine the nice little added complications ADD brings into an idealistic romantic world. :P

I've actually started therapy of my own today...for my own reasons. I was hesitant because I had a very bad therapist from when my parents sent me to one back when I was an adolescent. I figure this will help me though. I think I found a good one. I would recommend this to you, at_wits_end, especially because it's involving anger...and becoming explosive at that. I've known people who have ended up in troubling circumstances because of their anger.

You are right in saying it "cannot be fixed". I wanted to post that in my last message but forgot. Funny thing is, as incredibly frustrating and indirectly hurtful as it can be at times, I do enjoy the many qualities that are probably ADHD related - like cleaning not being a top priority (as I said before, I hate cleaning and it's nice not to have someone nag me about it...), I love travel and so does he, so he'd be willing to experience new places with me without hesitating (BONUS!!); I love to try new things and keep life interesting. He does too. I love playing games and ditto for him. When he gets goofy, it makes me feel okay when I get goofy (finally, someone I don't have to pretend to be all prim around - yay!). He understands when I need my time away because he needs his time away as well. I keep in mind all of those things when I get frustrated. Plus, it just melts my heart when I look at him sleeping quietly at night. (I know, weird).

I just wish it didn't take away the affection...that's the big down-side to me. But, in time, I will learn to deal with that as well.

--Amy

crime_scene 11-17-04 10:13 PM

I completely get what you are saying. He lets me be me in a way that I have never felt before, and forgives the bad bits. Plus I like very much the complexity of his mind. Yeah, he's a keeper. Even if I STILL can't get hold of him tonight. Ah well.

Hey don't forget subtle...affection is often shown very subtlely. Think unconventionally, because after all, he's an unconventional guy.

Si? Si!!

KarenC 11-18-04 09:56 AM

Amy - My husband is an amazing traveler as well and has brought out my more adventurous side. Between my research skills and his spontaneity, we've had some great trips together.

Alynnstaff 11-18-04 08:46 PM

KarenC - That is terrific! I'm a bit envious now as I'm in total need of an adventure myself about right now! :) I bet you two have ended up in some unique locations.

at_wits_end 11-19-04 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarenC
Besides doesn't "fixing" imply that your partner is essentially "broken." How do you think that makes them feel? If your partner had, say, diabetes, would you expect them to be cured? No - you'd expect that they be treated.

**** I come from a family with a long history of mental illness on my mother's side, so I guess I view mental disorders as something that can be "fixed" if enough time, effort, medication, and patience is applied by all concerned. To your question, frankly yes an ADD'er is "broken" IMO; if they weren't, we wouldn't be here because there would be nothing to "fix". Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to blame her or ADD'ers or make them feel like dirt. It's not their fault that they have this condition. I certainly have plenty of flaws too, some that are within my control and some that are not. While ADDer's do have a serious MEDICAL problem, it's one that certainly *something* can be done to "fix", "solve", or at least "improve" their condition, right? If not, why are we all here? Misery loves company?!? :(


Quote:

Originally Posted by Freddyj
So it may be important to understand she may need to pull back a bit at times to have the time to process.As the ADD mind does need time,more so then the normal mind to first feel,then think,then process,that choice.

**** Interesting point that I'm going to have to ponder. I'm the kind of guy who sees 16 steps past where I am now in a conversation (or whatever the situation is); i already know what i'll say, how i'll react, etc because I can literally run all the scenarios through my head in very short order as the conversation/event is taking place. I have to watch myself carefully sometimes, because I'm "that guy" who is always finishing sentences for you because I know what you're going to say! I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to speed up the process. It's boring waiting for someone to say what you already know is coming! ;)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Alynnstaff
I've actually started therapy of my own today...for my own reasons. I was hesitant because I had a very bad therapist from when my parents sent me to one back when I was an adolescent. I figure this will help me though. I think I found a good one. I would recommend this to you, at_wits_end

**** I have decided to start therapy again (did it a few years ago for depression after my mother killed herself). But that's another story. Basically I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I certainly don't want to explode and do or say something that I would regret because I've lost my composure. Which has almost happened; I just about told her to get her stuff and get out a month or so back. Which is NOT what I really want, I just want to stop being angry, frustrated, and disappointed all the time.

We are also going to try couple's therapy. Hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone for your replies. Beer's on me if you show up in MN! :)

at_wits_end

crime_scene 11-19-04 08:25 PM

at_wits_end:

um......are you ADD??? You just are sounding so familiar...its weird...

crime scene

at_wits_end 11-22-04 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crime_scene
at_wits_end:

um......are you ADD??? You just are sounding so familiar...its weird...

crime scene

**** Not that i'm aware of. Obviously I'm hitting a few chords with you by my description of myself and my actions. May I ask what specifically triggered that thought for you?

Best link for a "self test"? If anything i'd call myself an obsessive/compulsive/kinda controlling about certain things type of guy. Such as, oh...everything, for example! ;)

at_wits_end


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