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  #1  
Old 02-28-08, 12:10 PM
Shandra421 Shandra421 is offline
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My boyfriend has ADD

Hey I'm new here. This is my first post. My boyfriend writes on these forums. His user name is DancetheSpears. He says it really makes him feel better when he writes on here so I figured I'd give it a try. Maybe someone can relate to what I'm going through. I might start to ramble but I just want to say everything that is on my mind.

I've been dating my boyfriend now for a little over ten months. I don't really remember when it came up that he had ADD but at first I thought it was no big deal. I figured all that meant was that it was hard for him to pay attention to things and he was really hyper. Boy was I wrong.

I have never been exposed to ADD before. Sure, lots of people I know say they think they have it because they can't ever sit still or stay focused on one thing for a very long time but none of them were every diagnosed with it.

My boyfriend told me about his past and how it was really hard for him to do school work and how he loves to play video games and to read, and how he has been in and out of college for a couple of years. It almost seemed has if he was trying to warn me about how he is. Like I needed to be told in advanced before I found out so that I wouldn't be surprised.

I soon started to see what he was talking about. Now before I go into this, let me describe myself to you. See, I'm a very organized, time oriented person. I'm constantly planning ahead and managing my time. When things don't turn out the way I pictured them or planned them, I am very disappointed. I like to think of myself as a very responsible person. I'm that person who shows up to work and school at least 10 mins early to eliminate the possibility of being late. I hate days that I don't feel like I didn't accomplish anything. Yes, I do procrastinate, but I try really hard not to. So as you can see, being with someone who has ADD is a bit of an adjustment for me.

I started to see the ADD side of my boyfriend. He usually is late for work (we work together), and he isn't time oriented and barely even knows what time it is. He is very unorganized and looses things constantly. I tell him to do one thing and the next second he forgets what I told him or didn't even hear me. He is always so focused video games and computer games (which might not be because of ADD). I plan things for us to do and sometimes those plans fall through because of him and that really bothers me. He stays up all night and then sleeps all day the next day and doesn't get anything done.

It might seem like I'm bashing my boyfriend but that's not what I'm trying to do. Thatís how he is and I accept it. Yes, it is very hard at times. I hate repeating myself and with him I have to remind him constantly of things he needs to do or what time to be at places or remind him of plans that we have. It is tough.

Yeah I know I nag. I'll admit that. And he knows that. But I'm just trying to help him do what is best for him. He understands that and tries to not get mad at me for always being on his case. I know that is hard for him to do.

I've tried many things to try and make things easier for me and him. First we tried making a list of things he needs to get done. But that just seemed to overwhelm him. Then I bought a try ease board and wrote the days of the week on it and what he and I both needed to get done on each day. That kind of worked. What sometimes seems to work for him is to set reminders on his cell phone that go off at times during the day when he needs to do things. But we still haven't found a very good system that works for the both of us.

I've come to understand that I can't change him. I hate saying the word "change" because it seems like I'm trying to totally change who he is and to try and mold him into someone I want to be with. Really, I'm just trying to help him. I want to help him find a way of doing things that works best for him. I see how things frustrate him and that upsets me. Being organized comes so easy for me and it's hard for me to sometimes understand that it's not so easy for him.

What kills me the most about his ADD is how depressed he gets sometimes. He sometimes stays up all night just getting down on himself. I hate that. Absolutely hate that. He is such an amazing guy and definitely the smartest person I know. I can literally ask him anything and he as an answer for me and if he doesn't, he looks it up for me. He is constantly trying to find ways to help me out. He is without-a-doubt the most generous person I know.

I'm the type of person who stresses out a lot. I usually have enough to worry about in my life so when I have to worry about his life too, that adds a ton of stress on me. It's really easy to just give up and say I can't do this anymore when things seem to get out of control. But I just have to step back and cool down and realize that I'm not going to throw away things so easily and that I love this person and I'm not going to give up on us.

Whenever I get really angry with him, I try to think about if it's the ADD that's bothering me or if itís really just him. Yes, sometimes I do explode and get mad at him for his ADD and afterwards I feel awful. I know he can't control it, but it's very hard for me to see that sometimes since we are such different people.

I am extremely grateful that he has come in my life though. He has taught me patience and has given me so much confidence in myself. He constantly compliments me and does so much for me. He sees my flaws and helps me work through them. He is always there for me.

So if ADD is the only "negative" thing in our relationship, then so be it. Things could be a whole lot worse. I could be with someone who is cheating on me, or treats me poorly. But instead I'm with someone who loves me uncontrollably and has taught me so much. I know we can work through our problems and every step we take makes our relationship stronger.

Those of you who are with someone or know someone who has ADD, I know if can be tough at times but just try to be understandable and compassionate. They aren't choosing to be that way, thatís just the card they were dealt. Try to step back and look at things from their point of view. If things are hard for you, know that they are ten times harder for them. I hope I was a little bit of help
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  #2  
Old 02-28-08, 01:12 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

chage well take time even years buit i wish you luck my boyfriend and me have adhd so we have hyper in it so is not easy but is worth it
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Old 02-28-08, 07:35 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shandra421 View Post
He is always so focused video games and computer games (which might not be because of ADD).
It might have more to do with it than you think.

There's a book I highly recommend called "Healing ADD", by Dr. Daniel Amen. It's a book which has really given me a lot of insight into my own ADD.

One of the things he's discovered in his research is an ADDer's brain tends to be understimulated instead of overstimulated. So the brain tries to find ways to stimulate itself, such as constant repetitive thoughts, being late(and getting an energy rush from the excitement of squeezing things in the last minute), watching tv or playing video games, or engaging in risky behavior.

Once I discovered the reasons for my particular behaviors, I started creating workarounds for them and they were pretty effective. It wasn't an instant 180 turnaround, but I certainly made more progress in the months afterwards than when I was struggling beforehand.

Kudos on sticking it out with him.
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Old 02-28-08, 07:40 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Shandra---

I totally support you! My wife is a freakin' saint! She has put up with so much that would be wierd, but she deals with it with grace and humor and is so wonderful and supportive...moreso since I've been diagnosed, if that's possible.

I wish I could get her to come on here and post, but she's really not interested. Sigh.

You'll find help here, I'm sure.
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Old 02-28-08, 07:50 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Hi Shandra,

I know where you're coming from living with an ADD'er: my wife is the ADD'er in our house so I know how trying it can be.

You're not alone.

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Old 06-16-08, 11:28 AM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

I can relate to what you're saying...as one with AD/HD, I've put many people through the same things. And I hate it when I do. It makes me feel bad, but I really can't control it. Let me tell you, if your boyfriend already hasn't, that as a person who has a concept of time, you are a godsent. You balance out many areas of life that would be horrific for him were you not around.

I can particularly relate to the time concept. I live in what I call a "time bubble". Someone might ask me to do something, and I will tell them I will. I am very sincere in my response. But once that request leaves my time bubble, it's almost as if it never existed. I will invaribly remember...about a day or two after the promised response. It just kills me to let people down. But your understanding is a daily gift to him, I'm sure.
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Old 06-16-08, 06:18 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

You said you make lists together, are the lists too long?? One book I read said only to put five things on your list. I use my dayplanner that's big enough to stick out of my purse (I know that doesn't work for guys, lol) It has about an 1 1/2 inches by three for each day, and I put my 3-5 main goals for the day in the space.

A whole weeks worth of stuff to do is too overwhelming for me to look at, so only things like doc appts and tests for college are put in in advance.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:01 AM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Shandra, I know you posted this a long time ago and I notice it is your only post, so maybe you don't come here anymore.

Anyway, I could relate to everything you wrote, 100%. I could have written every word of that, and more, to describe my relationship with my ADD boyfriend.


Curseandblessing - your idea about a little "daily planner" is a good idea. I have a HUGE diary summarising my lessons for school, and for important events etc, but sometimes I try to make 'lists' for the day (never, ever works!). Maybe just writing down 3 - 5 things on a small piece of paper could help me.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:34 AM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Hi Shandra, Welcome to the forum!

Wow, you are a breath of fresh air! Not that no one else is (I haven't had a chance to read all of the "non-ADD" people's threads and posts - just that your post was at the top of the thread list and grabbed my attention).

I do have ADD... And don't know if you've had a chance to read other threads and posts from us who do have it.

You are so full of love for your bf and that's great! Love conquers all! I know you and others have heard that before, but consider it a reminder. If you're wondering if you two will be able to have a life together, I just want to say that my husband is also a non-ADD person and has put up with my ADD for years. We have been married for 25 years and still going strong. After I was diagnosed with ADD (I had suspected having it after seeing commercials about it and the symptoms described me exactly), I showed the psychologist's evaluation report to my husband. Once in a while when I see something about ADD, that I think he should read so he can understand why I act the way I do, I show it to him.

I do try not to use ADD as an excuse. But when my husband gets on my case for something, I jokingly say: Hey, I have ADD - back off. But I try not to do that too much.

As soon as I make an appointment for something, I put it on my cell phone and my "Outlook" calendar, then (if I have any ink in my printer), I print out my calendar in case something might happen to the computer.

Thank you so much for your thread!
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Old 07-29-08, 06:45 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Hey, i just read that whole thing, you and your boyfriend sound IDENTICAL to my boyfriend and me... we should keep in contact.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:25 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

I can completely relate. My dh has ADD, and I have been working hard to learn as much as I can about ADD. We also found out that he may be bi-polar type two. I am so tired, but I am continuing to try to work it out.

The computer games and other things are just a given, that's how I see. Accept them, but put limits on them.

One thing that has improved for us, is when I ask him to not tell me something trivial when I don't have time to listen, he respects that. He used to get mad if I didn't listen ALL THE TIME. Now he understands that he needs to work at filtering what he wants to tell me. It's nice that he doesn't get mad about it.

Keep on keeping on. They are worth the work.

:-) Carolyn
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Old 08-11-08, 03:36 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Hi there. My boyfriend also has this but in different ways. I ahve been told he has done a total 360 change upon meeting me but do not know the old him so cannot agree. Howvere he does some of the things listed but it is not as bad. He can sit still and remmebers things. He also calls me everyday and has almost become obsessive with me. We have been going out for six months now and he wants to see me every day and tells me constantly he loves me and doesnt want to let me go. He is so amazing and generous and caring... but he is so worried I will find someone else that can't even go out with people or he has to know who it is or their gender. I do have a lot of friends of both genders and apparently am pretty so thats why he is worried... however is it just him being a guy or is it his add controlling him. He is not crazy abotu video games as I do not even think I have seen him play any and goes out all the time. I'm starting to wonder if he has grown out of it or what. He does not have any hobbies and hates when he is alone. He actually makes me feel bad when I am not with him or out having fun without him and it sucks. I love him and everything but I am kinda confused on how to take this. I have not had to encourter with a lot of ADD but I have seen severe ADD before and he is no where close to that however how do I deal with this obsessive behaviour as it gets more and more controlling. And am I weird to think we should not be spending sooo much time together? Any ideas? He can concentrate, sit, play or whatever. He remmebers things even when I dont yet he has ADD. Yet he has come to my house and sat doing absolutely nothing and been fine... was my company enough casue I was cleaning the whole time letting him do his own thing which was nothing.

Anyways this is long please give me some advice to make this last. Cause we both get so frustrated and its hard. I am exactly like the girl who posted this add and I do help him where ever I can but it seems only selective things effect him. He is not late to work, does not need a schedule and can sit for hours (we go to sports events all the time) yet his parents want him to do somehting and he doesnt or he is out doing stuff and keeps himself that busy. And this recent worried obsession is starting to scare me... I too need my space.
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Old 08-11-08, 03:59 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Leannelynn:

His controlling behaviour is not ADHDrelated, I can almost promise you that.

I think you may help yourselves by looking into fx the personality disorders.
I'm not saying he has one, it's just that fx Borderline personality disorder springs to my mind - Most people with that disorder can't stand to be alone and will sometimes do the most weird and excessive things not to be left alone, even for short periods of time.
One of these things can be to be very, very obsessive about you and spending a lot of time praising you a LOT.
And sometimes shift to the complete opposite in rage and despair because they feel you're leaving them.
They can be very manipulative and jealous about it and are experts in (not always consciously) making people accomodate, and start feeling guilty and like they are bad persons, even if, from an outsider's view, their requests for "alone time" is well within normal and healthy limits.
If this sounds at all familiar, do yourself a favour and do a bit of research.
Maybe there are ways to work with it.

Either way, your boyfriend meeting one or other diagnosis criteria does not make his reactions and controlling behaviour acceptable in a sustainable LTR.
I've had boyfriends who sound like him and I think you need to be very much aware of how he is handling things - and how you react to it.
Be really aware that you are not clipping your own wings and caging yourself in in your attempt to make him feel safe because you love him.
If he's anything like my former bfs, it'll only get worse from now on.

Once again: Dosen't sound like ADHD to me at all.
He may have that on the side though, who knows.

Take care,
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Old 08-11-08, 04:05 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

well he is not controlling persay, he is protective and honestly you can see that he wants to be with me. But I do not see this add that he is taking pills for... He will ask all the info and such for what i am doing and who will be there then when i point out he is being controlling he gets all worried and backs off saying he realizes his mistake and appoloziges but its hard. Cause it happens to often. And he is annoying in the mornings without his pills... i get soo easily frustrated I almost force him to take his pill so he is normal again.
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Old 08-11-08, 05:09 PM
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Re: My boyfriend has ADD

Well, if he's annoying without his pills, and otherwise feels normal, maybe his ADHD medication is just working really well. That's good.

I'm relieved that he's not as bad as he comes off in your first post.
Maybe it's become something like a bad habit for him, since he starts it all over again everytime? Try not to go along with it, for both of your sakes.
It's exhausting to a relationship to have things like that popping up all the time. Especially if the words "Sorry, my bad again!" really doesn't stop the other person from doing the same thing again the next day. And the next, and the next... :P

Lol, all I wanted to say was that his way of loving you which may be a bit smothering at times but other than that okay, is not part of general ADHD behaviour to the best of my knowledge. It's "just" who your bf is as a person I think.

Have you ever taken "the long talk" about it with him?
Tried to ask him how come it's so important for him to know?
Told him how it affects you - to the point where you sometimes find it hard to have a good time out on your own without feeling guilt?
I'm sure that if he loves you, he really doesn't want you to feel like that.
I can't imagine if he's otherwise mentally healthy, that he wants you to have the feeling that he doubts you and doesn't think he can trust you.
If he's the good guy you think he is, he'll work hard to stop himself from asking to show you that he trusts you and that it's okay that you go out sometimes without him.
And maybe there are some alternative things you can do or say to him, that makes it easier on him to trust you without making you "amputate" your own personality, which he loves. (And vice versa)

Just some thoughts from an ADD girl who has always been independent and trustworthy, but who used to be really bad at setting up boundaries herself and therefore only has very limited experience with well functioning relationships with nice guys.

Aaaw...
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