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  #1  
Old 04-20-19, 12:36 AM
annieo'dowd annieo'dowd is offline
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newish relationship.

Hi, I've got into a new relationship with a wonderful man who has ADHD. He is a firefighter and is very dedicated to his job. He has lovely qualities and I have known him for 1 year (as a friend) and 3 months as his partner. The cracks are starting to show, which is concerning me a bit though, and I could do with some advise.

So here it is. He doesn't like speaking on the phone as his mind wonders but that's ok because we can text. He lives two hours drive away from me so we can only meet at weekends and holidays. In texts he is very sporadic. I understand that his job is demanding but I feel like if I text him there is only a 30% chance he'll reply. When he texts I always message right away and we have a good conversation. He makes me laugh but mainly just goes on about his issues at work. If I say something about myself he will talk about it but he doesn't really ask about me much. That being said he is good fun to message and we can be there for hours. But after that he's just gone and I don't know whether I'll hear from him in 2,4,6 days etc. I sometimes have to chase a message.

When we meet things are better but he's very unfocused (he's hit and miss with meds).

I really like this guy. He is sweet, funny and kind at times. But he also is very scatty, doesn't initiate conversations on text and needs loads of reminders.

I worry that I could just end up looking after him and his needs and that mine will not be met. He has low self-esteem because he has been put down at work a lot and that gets to him.

Does anyone have thoughts or advice? Is this typical ADHD stuff.
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Old 04-20-19, 11:35 AM
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Re: newish relationship.

Everyone needs some quiet time to recover after being social, those of us with
ADHD often need more alone time. This is also true of people with issues like
anxiety or depression.

I hate speaking on the phone as I can't tell whether it's my turn to talk and I
get very upset with people who don't give me a chance to talk, or talk over me
when I'm talking. Texting is okay, but I prefer facebook messenger or email
myself. That's just me.

If you continue the relationship, that doesn't mean you have to take care of his
needs. But if you have expectations about your own needs, you may need to
re-think whether a relationship with him is doable.
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Old 04-22-19, 10:30 AM
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Phone Phobia--Is It an ADHD Thing?

It is entirely possible to hate talking on the phone even to people you love and want to talk to...face to face. I can easily forget my phone for days if I have turned off the ringer for some reason. I never wonder why no one is calling...out of sight, out of mind.

Of course my experience may have no similarity to that of your friend. But it has been an eye-opener to me to find other phone-phobes on this forum after struggling alone with this for many years.
My relationship with the telephone has ebbed and flowed over the years. It wasn't too bad when I was young, though I wouldn't say I ever enjoyed socializing by phone. But I could usually get the job done. Then for years in business I used the phone a lot--I found voicemail was a pretty big aggravation (both leaving and returning), but I also found I often had more trouble making and returning personal calls.

After my husband died, though, I somehow developed a full blown phone phobia where I would almost never pick up (I felt terrible if it was a friend), and would procrastinate for hours (or days) about calls I needed to make. I even hired people to sit with me while (among other things) I listened to messages and returned any essential calls. With someone there, I could seemingly do just fine (though I'm still exhausted after 1 or 2 calls). I just would not do it otherwise.

Of course no one could understand...I don't understand it myself! In the modern world, not using the phone is a real handicap, even more baffling because I obviously "could" use the phone. And with e-mail or text, I'm just fine and very reliable about getting back to people (not necessarily quick, because the phone is not on me 24/7). But both individuals and bureaucracies are ready to heap plenty of negative consequences when it appears you are failing to "just phone back."

In the past 18 months, though, I'm starting to take and initiate more calls. I would say this slight crack in my shell has more to do with the kindness and understanding of 2 friends than all the negative consequences that have been piling up from those who are outraged about not being able to reach somebody by phone at their convenience.

I have a long way to go. It's far from being smooth, dependable or stress-free, but patience and encouragement are definitely more motivating than judgement and snippiness. I'm probably making 50 or 100 times the calls I made 2 years ago. I can feel some of the pressure coming off.

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Old 04-22-19, 12:16 PM
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Re: newish relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annieo'dowd View Post
But after that he's just gone and I don't know whether I'll hear from him in 2,4,6 days etc.
This is what concerns me the most. It suggests that he either doesn't understand/care about your needs, or that his life is so dysfunctional (whether as a result of ADHD, or due to other issues) that he can't even send you a brief message to you. Does he go 6 days forgetting to eat/sleep/showing up to work?
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Old 04-22-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by annieo'dowd View Post
But after that he's just gone and I don't know whether I'll hear from him in 2,4,6 days etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesH View Post
This is what concerns me the most. It suggests that he either doesn't understand/care about your needs, or that his life is so dysfunctional (whether as a result of ADHD, or due to other issues) that he can't even send you a brief message to you. Does he go 6 days forgetting to eat/sleep/showing up to work?
I agree...that's not ADHD or phone phobia. That sounds more like his general self-absorption (which may or may not be improvable) or just putting a low priority on the relationship.

Time to find out how he is at seeing the OP's point of view, showing empathy, taking responsibility for his screw-ups, and seeing what message he wants to send and what improvements he wants to make.

Don't come down on him like a ton of bricks (in case he has been oblivious but wants to turn things around), but listen and watch carefully and give him a chance to "fail the interview." He may just not be partnership material for OP.
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Old 04-22-19, 05:05 PM
annieo'dowd annieo'dowd is offline
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Re: newish relationship.

Thanks everyone for the replies - they are very helpful indeed.

I agree that the not speaking on the phone is less worrying than not getting in contact for 2-3 days which is what it's become. He is struggling at work with being late, forgetting things etc and gets in trouble with that. I think he has depression as a result of his ADHD but that doesn't help me in the relationship.

He's told me that many of his relationships haven't worked out in the past and so I think he should have told me what the issues are so we could have addressed it at the start.

I will have a chat about priorities. I don't need to be 1,2 or even
3 on his list but 4 or 5 would be nice. Sad really cos he's a lovely guy.
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