Q: As a non-ADHD partner for 2.5 years to a 62 year old gentleman who won’t accept the Amen Clinic diagnosis of ADHD, I feel my teaching and counseling abilities have run out. I am looking for follow through on major negligence in his home and retirement if I am to remain; and, health accountability on his part. Right now he will take the suggested supplements but only for me not for him. How do I first get my partner to see the multiple traits he possesses as a cluster representing ADHD rather than providing each with an individual excuse.
This is such a tough situation. Unfortunately, you are not alone.
First I should probably explain some things about how we with ADHD behave in relationships.
- Most of us have experienced a ton of negativity, and thus we have wacky attachment styles (this is MY theory)
- Many of us have very poor self-awareness and feel the need to be “right” all the time
- We see things in a black/white way and have issues with compromise
- We are consistently inconsistent, and so our partners don’t know what to expect. Ever.
- Other points of view are difficult, and we often perceive them as criticism or rejection
All of this can create a hot mess for our partners. And I say all of this as a person with ADHD who is married to a non-ADHDer.
If I were able, I would have my husband give you his .02 as well.
The best solution for US has been two pronged:
- Really uncomfortable honesty. As in he tells me when my behaviors are out of control. And I tell him when I feel totally out of control.
- Counseling and education for both of us.
Your email sounds as if you already know what needs to happen for you to stay in the relationship. I guess the question then becomes are you willing to work to hold onto the relationship? And is your partner?
I can’t really answer those questions for you. But I can give you a couple resources.
Whatever you decide to do, know that just by sending this email you are showing your willingness to try to understand. And that means everything. To us.