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ADD & Relationships

I’m a 36 year old woman that was diagnosed with ADD a few years ago after my 8 yr. old son was.  After filling out the paperwork to see if he had it, I realized that’s what has been wrong with me over the years.  I have never felt “normal”, always felt “fuzzy headed”.  Anyway, I’ve struggled with personal relationships all my life.  I have never felt truly connected with someone or “in love”.  I’ve been divorced for 6 years.  I’ve been dating a guy on and off for almost 2 years now.  It’s been a constant battle though, at least I have felt that way, he thinks it’s all in my head and that we’re meant for each other.  I can’t figure out if I’m just not in love with him or if it’s the ADD getting in the way.  We will get along great for awhile and then I feel like my feelings for him just disappear and I don’t want to talk to him or see him and just feel like being alone.  I’ve broke it off with him going on the 3rd time just the other day.  I start feeling distant from him and not connected.  Right now I feel like I wish he would just move on with his life and find someone else.  He is totally confused and I feel bad for him.  Every time we try to work things out, I change my mind and want out of the relationship.  I’ve never taken medication for ADD just because I’m scared of the side effects.  Wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me??

Replies

It would be wise to fill out the paperwork for yourself and see a physician qualified in ADHD. There are many options and approaches for dealing with ADHD.

http://www.caddac.ca/cms/page.php?111

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:05pm

Ok, thanks for the info, I will check into my treatment options! Have a great day!!

Posted by luvmy2boys76 on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:29pm

Don’t be afraid of the medications. They are not all the same and we’re not all the same and it’s possible you may have to try more than one before you find a good fit. But, they are not addicting or habit-forming and the desired effect of making you less “fuzzy-headed” will far outweigh any possible undesirable side effects. And if there is something you don’t like about a particular medication, just stop taking it. Good luck.

Posted by Tom K on Jul 11, 2013 at 12:56am

I have a similar story.  Very similar indeed!  One big difference between your story and mine, though, is that I *am* taking meds (Strattera and Focalin).  Guess what?  They help with my mood primarily, but they don’t eliminate what you are describing.  I have the exact same sense of disconnection at times.  I’m divorced and have been dating someone for about a year.  I have broken up with him twice.  Right now, things are great and I feel very connected to him.  But sometimes, those feelings just aren’t very strong and I, too, wonder why he doesn’t just move on.

Posted by hitwcidb on Jul 11, 2013 at 2:30am

Just curious:  what happens when/if *he* wants to pull back?  do you find yourself pulled toward him then?  I sometimes think I do that.  That my reactions are just plain contrary!  Sort of like a touch of ODD.

Posted by hitwcidb on Jul 11, 2013 at 2:35am

I don’t know if it’s the same for all of us ADD/ADHDers or not.  Of course, we’re all individuals.  I have definite trust issues.  Even with my own family members that I love me.  I isolate myself, and often go thru periods where I don’t keep in touch with even those I love the most.  Then I come out of my shell and do better for a while.

I guess, a bit like a turtle.  Except, I spend more time in than out.  I’ve also found the same in relationships.  Even though I’ve been married for 12 years now, and we’ve had many foster kids, and now guardianship of two teens, I often feel like the odd man out.  I’ve gotten better over the years, thanks to therapy.

But I haven’t made much headway with organization or my ADD.  My social skills, though improved, still need a lot of work.  I’m 47 and terrified to go back and finish my college degree.  I know I’ll bomb out again, even my intelligence is above average.

I wish you the best!

Posted by ytg137 on Jul 11, 2013 at 2:38am

Dr. Phil said if you break up more then twice, the relationship is doomed, won’t work out.

Posted by Pink ginger on Jul 11, 2013 at 5:16am

Did this shifting of feelings happen in your marriage as well? While I never feel like I don’t love my husband there are times when I feel it stronger or less strongly than other times. Mostly I feel like I make his life so much harder because of my issues with ADD. I do however isolate myself from time to time from friends and family even though I love them…I just can’t deal all the time. Each of us deals with ADD differently and each of us has our own life experiences as well, so the way it manifests itself will be individual as well. Get tested and get some counseling before you make any rash decisions.

Posted by happyaddmom on Jul 11, 2013 at 7:53am

hitwcidb:

No I’m usually glad he does leave, I then have a sense of relief come over me…I don’t get upset and feel pretty good when this happens.  I’m thinking my feelings are just not as strong as his.  My feelings will be good for awhile and then I start dreading hanging out with him.  He thinks I’m mental of course LOL!!

Pink ginger:

I like Dr. Phil’s answer, that makes me feel even better!!

Thanks so much for the responses, it really helps me to try and figure this all out.  I’ve been extremely stressed over this whole dating thing and really feel like just being by myself.  I’m a single mom raising 2 boys that are 8 and 10 and they bring me more joy than any man has.  I would love to find an ADD coach in my area to help with some of the areas in my life I’m struggling with.  This is my first step in the process and it’s helped a bunch already.  Thanks again!! smile

Posted by luvmy2boys76 on Jul 11, 2013 at 7:10pm

Honestly, I am a single mom with ADHD with a son who has ADHD. I’m happier being single. I’ve figured out the parenting thing and my son and I are in a good place. He’s 13 and really needs stability as school gets harder and he prepares for college. I’m not too keen on messing that up. I’m fine just dating, but if things get serious or it gets to hard (ie, no longer fun), I’m no longer interested. Right now I’m OK with that. Maybe I’ll want it more when my son needs me less, but right now he’s what’s important to me and that’s OK.

Posted by adhdmom2000 on Jul 13, 2013 at 2:12am

adhdmom2000:

Thanks for the post, that’s exactly how I feel.  The relationship I’ve been in seems like more work to me than fun. He just doesn’t get how I feel because at times I will feel happy about us and then it just fades.  I told him I just want to be by myself and it totally blows him away. He thinks we get along perfectly and thinks I’m just throwing it all away. He’s making me feel like I’m nuts for feeling the way I do, so it’s good to hear I’m not alone.  Anyway, I ended it once again.  Now my mind feels clearer, I’m happier and not stressed about our relationship and my feelings anymore.  I like my freedom and not feeling like I’m on someone else’s schedule.  I really don’t feel the need to be in a relationship right now.  Thanks again for your input…it really makes me feel good and at peace!! smile

Posted by luvmy2boys76 on Jul 15, 2013 at 6:49pm

I get the feeling that most ADD/ADHD sufferers are artists and dreamers…and that the need to sometimes be alone is par for the course.  There is also the freedom of not being on someone else’s schedule.  I need to have important appointments on at least 3 different calendars to remind myself of them.  I sometimes feel the need to be separated from my immediate family, though I love them dearly—I just want to be alone sometimes—I think this is typical of anyone going through ADD/ADHD.  This is especially true if no one else we know has it.  There is a sense of them not being empathetic to us.  I was often accused of being a “flake” and even “retarded” (and this was from teachers and school administrators)!  As Princess Diana once said, “Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”

Posted by carol_klavon on Jul 17, 2013 at 12:34pm

I am the same. I love my family also but I also need my alone time. I think it is because I get too overwhelmed when everyone is asking me to do things for them or asking me questions etc.. When I am alone it is just me and my brain and I need it to rest sometimes. My husband gets mad when I don’t want to sit and talk but he always talks about negative things and its boring. So he gets the wrong idea that I don’t love him when that is not the problem. I just can’t sit still for that long I want to do other things. I agree with carol_Klavon that you may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Also maybe you could just be upfront with him and tell him that sometimes you just need to be alone or have some personal space but it does not mean you do not love him.

Posted by Cowgirl50 on Jul 17, 2013 at 4:32pm

This is amazing. Thanks for posting your question and everyone that responded. I’ve have all these same issues, but never knew they could be related to ADD. I’ve never been good at ending things, so I’ve gone as far as changing continents to try to get out of a relationship (didn’t work).

I have the same feelings of wanting to distance myself from friends and family, maybe not forever, but certainly for extended periods of time. Feelings of disconnectedness. I’ve got no advice because I am just discovering this for myself, but thanks again for posting. It’s just a revelation that I’m not nuts.

Posted by Palibe on Jul 21, 2013 at 1:23am

Palibe:

Your welcome, reading through everyone’s comments has helped me so much too.  I though I was the crazy one, but it’s good to know other people are feeling the same way as I am.  That makes me feel less crazy.  I feel like it’s so hard to sort out my feelings and my mind feels so cluttered with “ifs”.  I’m constantly wondering if I’m doing the right thing in my life.  I feel constantly confused when in a relationship.  I’m hoping I will find the right someone one of these days and it will all just click, but I could be wrong.  Nothing seems to “click” in my life.  I just take things a day at a time and try to be happy for myself and my 2 boys.  Like I said before, my boys and my family bring me more joy than anyone seem to.  Thank you all for posting!!

Posted by luvmy2boys76 on Jul 22, 2013 at 7:37pm

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