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Crushed and confused after marriage proposal declined. Have I fai

Hello. I have just joined this group seeking the help and advice of others that might be able to bring some perspective to the end of my relationship.
I am the male/non ADD ex BF that was in a relationship for 3 1/2 years with a non diagnosed, non treated, openly admitting GF of ADD. When we met we were both coming out of disastrous 12 year marriages. We met on match.com and there was instant connection and chemistry. The relationship moved very quickly into a passion, lust, connectedness that I had never experienced nor did I know existed. Within three months she was head over heels and began talking marriage and our future together. At that time however, I pushed back and broke things off because when we first met, I had just come from a horrible marriage and had the attitude that I would never marry another woman again because I never wanted to give my heart and life to someone again to have them crush it and have to experience that pain like I did from my cheating ex wife. We were apart for only a few days and I truly missed that hyper focused attention and love so we talked and discussed taking things slow. We continued on and I remember the euphoric feelings that I had for this woman. There was constant attention on me, towards me and the sex life was like none I had ever known. Her sexual appetite was insatiable and she craved and wanted it constantly. As a male, I thought I was in relationship heaven. We did so many things and activities as a couple that on our one year anniversary I remember telling her that I had done, accomplished and experienced more with her in 12 months than I had in 12 years with my ex. My/our life was amazing!! The second year started to take a turn when conflict began to arise regarding the mixing and personalities of our children. I really began to notice some differences within her son in terms of his disengagement/acceptance of me and my kids. Very little conversation, would isolate himself in his room, wouldn’t engage in conversation. Constantly watched TV (17 hrs straight one day while at my house) or on the iPad or kindle. There simply was zero connection between her son and my kids and I and when I began to bring up my observations and ask questions she would turn into mama bear as she called it. She would attack my audacity, the conflict would go unresolved and it would simply escalate as the elephant in the room. I then began to overhear comments from her friends and family about his irregular behavior as well so I felt my observations were validated. Unfortunately, this led to another breakup due to the stress that was caused when the six of us were together. Yet again,  after a few days we reconciled and decided to move forward with less interaction and activities with our kids. When she and I alone were together, it was pure bliss. But, her parenting arrangement was one of full custody so 80% of the time I/we were with her kids. It was excruciating as I tried to connect with her son. I would try humor but he would stand there confused and stoned faced. I would try conversation topics and would get few word responses. I would ask him to go to the store with me or take him to school but he would sit in the back behind me and wouldn’t talk. The social disengagement and lack of effort on his part was nothing short of frustrating as I had never been faced with an inability to connect with anyone. He just wanted to be alone and his mom saw his behavior as perfectly normal and actually said that my kids were the ones with social issues and that I was the one with the problem. Through my own research, I felt like he was exhibiting signs of Asperger’s syndrome. We broke up again. Then, about a week later, she called asking me to meet for lunch. We discussed how great “we” were and she proposed “what do you think about a fwb relationship” ?  Great. No kids, no more stress and mind blowing sex and fun. This relationship continued for another year but of course the blending of the kids eventually happened because we were together all the time and agreed to try again to make it work. Then, something happened and I can almost remember the day. Her attention to me began to change. She bought her own salon, joined a coed volleyball league, bought a camper on a lake, bought a beat up non working boat AND, bought a house 56 minutes from me. Outside of the business purchase, the other things were done without my knowledge. The volleyball league was full of divorced, cheating, unhappy, flirting people. I was so uncomfortable with the atmosphere because she was one of the biggest flirts and right in front of me. I am never one to get jealous and trust is huge with me but this was different. This took place on Sundays which was our only kid free day of the week and when I asked her not to play anymore due to my uncomfortable and the time it took a away from our Sunday she was quick to attack comparing me to her ex and letting me know that I was not going to control her and that she needed “me” time. When ball season came up again I told her to choose, call or me and she didn’t hesitate with ball. I told her I was done because it was clear that our time together was no longer important to her. We reconciled yet again because I thought that maybe I was being controlling and she did need this time so I came and watched her flirt. Now. Finally to the point of my post. Over the course of the last year I felt like we had finally figured things out. We had “family” conversations and vacations and started to establish traditions. I finally started to feel like there could be a future for us but I was unaware of the distance and uninterest that she was starting to show towards me. I started talking about marriage and our future but she was not interested in the conversation. She would tell me to “just enjoy the moment” like she did and that we could get married in 5 years when her youngest was out of the house. I didn’t understand this change in behavior in terms of lack of affection, lack of interest of doing things together or the burden it caused her to even call me during the day given all the stuff she had to do. I told her I felt like a puppy in the corner with no attention and felt like I was in relationship purgatory. I simply couldn’t talk about the future or the present because it would set her off. BUT. She still wanted the sex and when she had free time that’s all that was on her mind. I actually began to refuse because I felt this was all I was to her which of course led to more conflict, her telling me that things were my fault and that I just brought too much drama and neediness to her life. I thought like my head was spinning at times just trying to keep up with her thought processes that actually started to convince me that I was the cause of all the issues. She lived in pure filth and disorganization. Clothes, papers, junk, stuff everywhere. I was the OCD “everything has it’s place” person and she attacked my “always real estate ready to show” house and way of living as sick and to stressful. But through it all, this past march, I fell in love. I wanted to marry her. I thought that by doing so, I could take or rescue her from this world of disarray and bring her into a more stable world to not only fix her but also her son. When I told her about my feelings and my wanting to marry her she said “no. I don’t want the job. I don’t want to move here. I don’ t want to live with you and Indon’t want to help raise your kids when you travel because frankly they will drive me crazy. I want to live in my trashy town, in my trashy house and raise my own kids”. I was blindsided and felt my heart ooze through her fingertips as she squeezed all life out of it. I had no idea she felt like this nor had I ever heard her reference my kids that way. I was devastated. She told me she couldn’t give me what I needed and used the if you love something set it free line. I told her that I wasn’t the one looking to be set free and that I had to now tell someone that I was in love with good bye. We spoke on the phone that night, I told her I loved her and that she had been set free and I said good bye.
It is coming up on 3 months now and I am left in this lonely, heartbroken world trying to figure out what happened all the while knowing she is back at volleyball with no remorse and quickly moved on to someone else. Did I fail somewhere? Did I miss something? Is this a normal pattern? My therapist tells me to count my blessings and that I dodged a bullet and that I should run and never look back. I agree, but why am I such a mess over someone that I feel completely used me and “stole” all the gifts that I brought to the relationship. I feel used, taken advantage of betrayed and as my son says, “played like a violin”.
Sorry for the length but I am sure you can see the confusion within my head. Thanks in advance for any feedback/resources you can provide.

Replies

Hi, Cjhank.  I’m sorry this woman broke your heart.  I understand how painful it is; I feel as though I was used by my husband.  I don’t think you did anything wrong other than perhaps fail to heed some warning signals.  I did that, too, in my relationship.  I do think you’re more fortunate than me in one sense:  your ex-girlfriend was honest with you about her feelings about getting married.  My husband won’t tell me how he feels or what he wants.  But his actions have spoken very loudly.  It’s so hurtful to have someone who stopped supporting the family financially, wouldn’t look for work, didn’t support me emotionally and stopped talking to me then go on to say to me that my reactions caused his problems. 
Give it time.  I know, it’s hard to not think that I did something hugely wrong when my partners dropped me like a hot potato.  Not that I’ve been perfect.  But I’ve contorted myself to become someone he might want to be with and it’s clear, it ain’t gonna happen.  I can’t do anything other than try to get past the pain.

Posted by rosered on Jul 01, 2014 at 3:19am

Thanks for your reply. The warning signs were obviously there but the hyper focused attention blinded me. I gave this person more time, energy, money and adventure than I knew was capable. I thought I was building towards a future and then in a blink of an eye she was gone and on to someone else. The pain is indescribable and I am also sorry to hear what you are going through.

Posted by Cjhank1020 on Jul 01, 2014 at 5:55am

First, get checked for STD’s. She was unlikely to have been faithful to you and if you had unprotected sex, you may have been infected.

<<Did I fail somewhere? Did I miss something? Is this a normal pattern?>>>

While I’m sorry you are hurting, if you have to ask those questions, you really do need a therapist. There are a whole lot of red flags here including that you both were on the rebound. And its not all her stuff either. Your big head followed the little head. Lust alone can account for part of your obsession with her but this line is a classic codependent one. <<I could take or rescue her from this world of disarray and bring her into a more stable world to not only fix her but also her son>>
She’s in denial about her son and you were in denial about a number of things also.
If she is truly AD/HD her kids are likely to show symptoms also. Her son may have some of that or it may be from living with her and whatever maelstrom he grew up in with her ex-husband.
If she truly has AD/HD with or without anything else such as bipolar which the spending spree sounds like, or a personality disorder such as Cluster B (Dramatic, erratic)
Antisocial PD, Borderline PD, Histrionic PD, Narcissistic PD
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/the-10-personality-disorders

And everyone in love goes through hyperfocus, not just AD/HD’ers. The high is addicting and truly lust is blind. It leads to bonding to inappropriate partners. This may help explain why you are so addicted to her.
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2010/06/11/your-brain-on-love/
love is an addiction for all
watch the ted talk on the bottom.
http://www.mcmanweb.com/love_lust.html

I am being direct and to the point. I am also sympathetic. My late husband died 7 years ago. About a year later I started to date again. Met several sweet men, had fun with them and it was clear we were better as friends. One however was not only sweet, but highly attractive, fit, energetic, brilliant, funny, kind, and an alcoholic nutcase who was a member of a channeled cult ‘school’ he was a Ramtha follower. Believed the earth was hollow, aliens were coming to enslave us, crack open the hollow earth and the oceans would sink inside, a tidal wave would wipe out the coastal areas except for the area around Ramtha’s stomping ground where he would hold back the waters and his followers would emerge from their underground shelters and repopulate the world.
As much as I was attracted to him, in lust, had my own short term obsession, the drinking and cult stuff was enough to stop me from going any further. And a year later I found a wonderful man who is all the above except for drinking and being a nutcase. We’ve been together for 5 years and happier than ever.

But I was so lonely, wounded and frankly bored with the situation I was in for a few months that I was vulnerable to falling in love with someone totally unsuitable.
I had been going through a lengthy grief counseling time with a very good counselor. Working on my own stuff, including the things that made me so needy I almost fell for such a poor choice, is part of what helped me be a more stable and capable mate for my beloved. He had also done his own self examination, found things about himself after his divorce he didn’t like about himself and also worked on his ‘stuff’. He also remodeled himself into someone who could be a better mate for me.

You might consider a serotonin boosting antidepressant, some tricyclics as well as SSRI’s. Some tricyclics also boost norepinephrine which can be a mood elevator in a different fashion.
And it is possible you have some degree of OCD. And serotonin boosting meds are often effective for OCD.
I do wish you well. You are fortunate she hit you so hard you left. I have a friend right now who has been whipsawed for some months by a woman who fits much of the personality disorder traits from above. She alternately makes him feel special and swears she loves him, and then verbally abuses him by criticizing all the things he enjoys and has succeeded at in life. Such as being a 4th degree black belt in karate—she despises all sports and competition, people should take up dance and yoga. He had dogs for years and involved with breeders and trainers. She hates that too. Equates it with rape, child porn and Nazis tossing Jews in trains and hauling off to work them to death. Shipping a dog in a crate on a plane is animal abuse.
It is ALWAYS his fault, the sex is great, she stomps on his feelings, and then seduces him, and gives him the silent treatment for 24 hours. He’s also addicted to her as he is vulnerable, now in poor health making him often housebound and lonely. She’s a vampire who loves to be adored and also loves drama. He’s so lonely and empty that the pain was worth the pleasure. It’s now finally getting to the point he knows he can’t take any more.
Work on yourself, make yourself a better partner and in time, at LEAST a year, try dating again. But make sure you date a whole woman who doesn’t need rescuing. 2 half people in a relationship only make a half a relationship. It takes 2 whole balanced people to make 1 whole balanced partnership in love.
Good luck

Posted by Gadfly on Jul 01, 2014 at 6:39am

Thank you. STD check has been done as I did suspect the unfaithfulness and all is clear. I have been to three different therapists seeking answers. The first two had nothing. The third stopped me about 5 minutes into our initial meeting and said “by any chance did your gf have add”?  He nailed it and has brought me to this intense research phase of realizing that I was losing my mind but I am not crazy. The frustrating part to the end was my offer for the two of us to seek therapy because I didn’t want to throw 3 1/2 years of hard work and pain away. She declined and said she was sorry for letting me and my kids down and that due to “a road block” she was not coming back. I later found out through a text that she said her son was the road block and any man that comes into her life will have to meet him and they will also lose like I did and that she would be alone forever” this is where I felt misled and in a facad of a relationship as only fwb thinking that we were creating a future. I was so wrong and was duped.

Posted by Cjhank1020 on Jul 01, 2014 at 11:43am

That roadblock being her son may be true or simply the excuse she uses when she trades in one victim for a newer model.
If she hasn’t been officially dx’d with ADD, it might be bipolar or a personality disorder or quite likely a combination. The cause is not so much the issue as that her behavior was predatory and abusive. Sociopaths according to one source, are about 4% of the population world wide. Definition is lack of guilt. They can fake it, fake being a victim, fake many things, and LOVE to have people feel sorry for them as it gives them leverage to skin them over and over until the victim is either useless or finally leaves.
Not all sociopaths are ADD and not all ADD’ers are sociopaths. But 1 out of every 25 people you meet has no guilt over doing whatever s/he wants to others. Teachers report they can see the start of this by kindergarten age in many cases and the manipulation skills increase over time.
Finding a way to heal yourself so you do not lose the compassion that made you want to rescue her but learn enough from this to protect yourself from future victimising may be a challenge.
Rather than focus on how she behaved and the cause, look into your own heart and mind for how you were drawn in, what the rewards were for you to keep you so long and how to prevent this again. Not only for yourself but to show your children how to become a balanced adult who can recover from hurts without becoming frozen, bitter, whining, or a predator in turn.
My husband’s death was traumatic. The urge to turn my face to the wall and stop breathing was almost overwhelming. I made a choice one morning. To live or die. I wasn’t ready to die and decided that if I was going to live, I was dang well going to make it truly living, not existing in agony. I had some very good role models in friends who have faced far more severe personal challenges and became more adaptable and resilient, more compassionate, more giving, stood up against wrongdoing more and appreciated their blessings more.
What is right in your life? What can you learn from this? What can you teach your children? What sort of person do you want to become? what to let go of such as codependence and rescuing, being mislead by sex while still appreciating sex?
what to learn such as spotting red flags faster?
Do take care but be careful about blaming it all on ADD. Such stories happen daily for many reasons.

Posted by Gadfly on Jul 01, 2014 at 9:01pm

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