New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Couples With One ADHD Partner

A difficult relationship with adhd

Hello my name is michael and my girlfriend michelle is having a really hard time with me, do to the fact that i have ADHD. She struggles enough in school as an honorol student, but now that im in her life she seems to strugle 4x as more than she did before. And the worst part is that i cant help her with any of her work. Im out of school but in college. And for that reason. Michelle is now more concentrated on me and what i have to do and also how to do it that she has lost sight of her future. Im to blame. Arent i?  Well anyway i love her to death i already proposed to her and our one year anniversary start this month on 12/24. But i cant seem to see her struggle anymore. Its too much. It tears us apart with constent arguments. Back and forth on how i cant learn from my mistakes. How i can never pay attention or just listen for once. I easily i get distracted. And worst of all. Time management. I get angry now a days and i cant control myself. I push to the limit without knowing i do. And i cant stop it. I dont take pills or any treatments. But i cant leave her. Ive tried but i just cant. I love her too much but i dont want to cause her anymore pain. What should i do. We’ve tried to work it out but nothing seems to work. Please someone help.  I don’t want to lose her


Uh, I would say, get thee to a psychiatrist quick!

If you have any specific objections to medication on moral or ethical grounds I would urge you to watch some Dr. Russell Barkley on YouTube.  He can explain way better that I can here what is going on in your brain. 

I have been married to a man for 16 year who has ADHD and now we have a daughter who also has ADHD.  He was diagnosed as an adult, but always knew there was something up with his brain that he couldn’t seem to “get it together”.  I can’t even imagine we did now BEFORE medication!  And I wouldn’t even think of not medicating my daughter now.  That said medication is not the only thing you have to do, but it is the FIRST thing you have to do because all other interventions do not work on an ADHD brain UNTIL it is medicated.  And thank science that there are drugs that can help with your impairment so you can more easily manage.  If you were autistic or had biipolar the drugs are ify at best with the level of help they offer.

But you can try all the interventions you wish but whatever you do it will be easier if you find the right medication at the right dose for your ADHD. 

And you need to educate yourself really well on what exactly is going on so that you don’t get angry and frustrated!  This is not something you can just try harder and get better.  It does not work that way, just as a diabetic cannot “try harder” to make his pancreas make more insulin!  It is a problem of physiology - we still (wrongly) think as a society that if there is something wrong with the way your brain works (as if it is not an organ like all the other ones!) then you should be able to just hunker down and try harder.  But no one, absolutely no one would expect you to try harder to see if you needed glasses, you would just get them.

It is because we are just now understanding exactly what the impairment is, and figuring out what the fix (the ADHD glasses, if you will) is, that it doesn’t seem “real” or like an actual disability.  But it is.  Would you judge someone harshly who developed diabetes?  No, so stop judging yourself and expecting things you cannot change to be different.

And if your girlfriend expects to stay with you then she needs to study too.  If not it would be like being with someone who lived up a flight of stairs and you’re in a wheelchair but they refused to put in a ramp.  ADHD needs accommodation and anyone not willing to accommodate it is just, frankly being a jerk.

Posted by YellaRyan on Dec 07, 2013 at 1:49am

I’m the one with ADD & my husband wound up doing everything and watched me like a hawk for screw ups.
He got so stressed it was awful- screaming & me not getting what was wrong.

This is how we got out of this fix.. It took a long time and the weirdest thing is that he needed to learn that I think and observe the world in a different way than he does.

I was diagnosed at 61, and ADD stopped me from doing many things I wanted to do, especially in college.

I suggest - if you haven’t been formally diagnosed- to go to a psychiatrist because you may have a combination of physical and thinking problems and they are all MDs

2. Willpower, my a—! No you can’t make your brain work different by trying harder. What look like mistakes are brain functions thAt go awry without you being aware thAt it’s happening. That means you didn’t notice what happened so you can’t learn from it  

3. Diabetics take insulin to live and if you have ADD then You need to take what your body can’t make so that you can think like a normal person easily without struggling and fighting.

4. Meds
- focus , now I can tell when I drift away from what I started to do

- Ritalin, so I don’t get sleepy in the afternoon and get get stuff done in the afternoon

- supplements so my body can use these raw materials to build neurotransmitters needed by my brain to think. I don’t make enough on my own.

Finding out about ADD for both of us

Once you get a diagnosis, then it will take time for you to figure out, with your docs help and trying out meds, the drugs that work for you, how much you need and when to take them.

It’s complicated - I like to think of this process as getting the soup seasoning just right for me
Good luck

Posted by wrongagain on Dec 07, 2013 at 2:48am

My man is the one with ADHD…. I was super frustrated with him and how he couldn’t learn from his mistakes until I educated myself. I know know why he reacts this way and what to do about it so we don’t keep going around in the same fights. Russell Barkley YouTube videos are helpfull. Also….are you getting treatment at all? You have to show her you are trying too. A tiny bit of help goes a long way. She will really appreciate it!

Posted by Christmas on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:09am

Thank you guys for all your advice. It really helped. Just today i when to see my doctor. He is going to get me checked. So lets hope for the best!:)
And as for my gf. She knows about this site. She showed it to me actually. She is already more informed about this than me. And to be honest. I think that just got her to be more pissed at me than usual. She says she loves me. But when shes mad she tells me she wants a grown up and as much as i try to be as perfect as i can be. And as grown up as i can be. Or even know i can be. Its never enough for her. She overwhelmed and its ruining our relatuonship. I just dont know how to explain to her how hard it is for me to do things especially cuase i dont know whay im doing. First time ever trying to deal with all this. And its such a struggle but really thank you guys so much for everything. Althought i have to keep looking back to what i have to read thank you!:)

Posted by Mikey24 on Dec 10, 2013 at 9:43am

That your girlfriend found the site and has let you know about it speaks a lot. She is looking for ways to get things to work.
There are some great videos at the totallyadd web site that are done with excellent insight on ADHD. Both from the person with and without it.
Taking the step to get help from your Doc is fantastic. No matter what, share discuss and learn as you both can. Remember no one is perfect. Learning the why- it sort of helps; I struggle with that every time I realize when I’ve messed up my plan, my day. I’ve taken to asking friends to point out when things are going better and when they aren’t. Changing the behaviour is going to take a lot of time and effort- if it can be changed.

Posted by Benevolence on Dec 11, 2013 at 8:02pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions