My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. There are still alot of kinks to work out and we've gone through some very stressful situations. Alot of time, having all that going on can play a major yet sneaky role in behaviors to one another.
Anway, one of the ways I've been trying really hard on my end is to cook some really nice meals. We haven't always been able to do that because one of the stresses is a serious financial strain. So lately, I've really made the effort to make some good meals, something my boyfriend has always loved. But lately, he gets so wrapped up in his cell phone (he uses it instead of a laptop) searching for things like for his job (no, he's not talking to people) that he loses track of time, ignores those around him (even when his teenage daughter is around), etc. He's extremely hyper-focused and when he gets like this, it's like moving a mountain to get him interested in anything else.
Well, when I take the time to cook a nice meal, I don't think it's unreasonable to want him to eat with me-to literally put down the phone and go back to it when we're done. Hey, I'm not asking for a lot, we don't sit at the kitchen table, but rather, on the couches and use the coffee table, sometimes watching tv, sometimes just chatting. But it's not often we get to do this so it's a few minutes from him that I ask.
He first says that because he hasn't been able to take his ADHD medication (doesn't have the money for his refil), he just can't make that shift, it's like asking the impossible. If that's really the case, then I feel guilty because I should have more compassion if he can't help it. But is that what this is? Because when I raised the issue yet again last night, he flipped out saying he's tired of me complaining, if I just let him be, he would have been done soon enough, etc. and thought I was being absolutely ridiculous. He is so quick to anger and if I understand ADD, that's one of the factors.
I'm finding it more and more difficult to live with him because he is so rigid, has admitted that he likes things on his terms, and the more I push, the less he's apt to do what I ask. Is this all part of ADHD?
Please help, I am really struggling with making this work.
Well, it could be both. As a person with ADHD, I'm sometimes overwhelmed in social situations and need to "tune out" and do something quiet. And it may be that, without medicine, the effort to concentrate at work leaves him burned out when he gets home. And ADHD can cause one to be a little short-tempered.
So, maybe he does need space. But he should be more polite about it.
Timing is everything! Don't wait until dinner is made and he has his head stuck in his phone to ask him to join you. Plan ahead. Set up a time with him that ya'll can talk about your relationship. Don't ambush him, though. And don't try to set it up with him while he is distracted. If he still refuses to talk with you, then maybe it's time to move on. The only way for a relationship to work is if both sides are selflessly looking out for the other's best interest. If one side is selfish, the relationship will not work.
ADD can cause moodiness, sure, but it's not a constant thing. Being off meds can cause moodiness, but it's not a constant thing. If he can't pull his head out of his.... um, phone.... long enough to see that your relationship is struggling, that's not ADD, that's selfishness, pigheadedness, and general idiot man-ness! Sorry, men.... I'm annoyed at my husband at the moment.... to be fair, we women get idiotic like that, too.... but not near as often!
ANYWAY....... no, I wouldn't say it's ADD causing him to be a jerk. I'd say it's because he's being a selfish jerk that is causing him to be a jerk. ADD doesn't help, but in my opinion, it's not the cause.
Thank you all for your input. I've never truly understood ADHD completely. Interestingly enough, I've gone to the same testing center that my boyfriend went to and learned that because it also causes impulsivity, it can explain alot of my being overly emotional (if something upsets or hurts me, I go from reacting to being ridiculously upset in the matter of seconds). I've had some other health issues going on at the same time so I'm not on meds yet. But I'm guessing that my issues are playing against my boyfriend's and it can be a disaster sometimes.
I'd like to learn as much as I can about ADD because, well, as far as dinner goes, thinking about it now, I guess I could try to plan better (thanks for that perspective). I'd like to think its obvious to my boyfriend that when dinner's ready, it's time to put his phone down but if he can't help it, as Iknow I can't help being emotional for the time being, I guess I can be a little more understanding.
... lately, he gets so wrapped up in his cell phone (he uses it instead of a laptop) searching for things like for his job (no, he's not talking to people) that he loses track of time, ignores those around him (even when his teenage daughter is around), etc. He's extremely hyper-focused and when he gets like this, it's like moving a mountain to get him interested in anything else.
I may be going out on a limb here, but is there any chance your boyfriend is a guy? :-)
Originally Posted by kokopelli70
Well, when I take the time to cook a nice meal, I don't think it's unreasonable to want him to eat with me-to literally put down the phone and go back to it when we're done.
Hmm. And call me Mr. Shot In The Dark, but you wouldn't be a gal, would you?
Originally Posted by kokopelli70
He first says that because he hasn't been able to take his ADHD medication (doesn't have the money for his refil), he just can't make that shift, it's like asking the impossible.... Is this all part of ADHD?
No, it's not all part of the ADHD. He's simply being an arse. And I say that as another arse, married to my first serious girlfriend and still together after 25 years of me acting like your boyfriend, and my wife getting fed up with me, just the way you are with him.
The reason I feel confident it's not ADHD is that tons of guys -- probably a majority of guys -- do not have ADHD but also act the way your boyfriend acts. That's not justifying it, it's just an observation of the way the world seems to work.
But, all that said, let's suppose it is the ADHD. That then gets down to a fairly fundamental question about personal responsibility in the face of adversity. If ADHD was a factor, what does that really mean? That your ADHD boyfriend is going to find it harder to be meal-civilized than a non-ADHD person? Well, sure. But so what? We all have to do stuff we don't like or find difficult. Requiring a cell-phone-intense dude to put the bloomin' thing down and be nice is not the same as asking a depressed person to "cheer up", or a heroin addict to "stop taking that stuff".
My advice would be that allowing the ADHD thing to be a factor here would be a danger to your relationship, and not an aid. Treat this as any other conflict in a healthy relationship and work through it. You know the deal: sit him down; tell him your expectations; let him tell you his; make sure you let him know you understand his side and you can even acknowledge the ADHD but don't let it be an excuse (because it simply isn't); don't be afraid to ensure he understands yours; and get him to agree that ADHD or no, getting together for some meals is important to you. You're not being unreasonable.
Failing that, get another dude to give your dude a friendly smack on the head :-)
Last edited by chronological; 01-23-2012 at 08:56 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to chronological For This Useful Post: Seraph (01-28-2012)
Yep, two ADHD people can rub each other the wrong way easily.
Now, if he's playing with the phone, he's probably not aware of what goes on in the kitchen. So a "Five-minute warning" and a "One-minute warning" (or something like that) might help him adjust to the fact that phone time is ending and meal time is about to start. Not sure how much warning would be best for him, but see what works.
And he should also work on dealing better, but that's got to be his decision.
I have ADHD.. diaganosed i take concerta for it. and trust me being rude is not an effect :P anyone who uses ADHD as an excuse for anything is just being moronic.. i have a hard time paying attention sometimes but honestly its no excuse for anything.. sounds like rudeness to me
as others have said I think it's a guy thing. My DH who does not have adhd has done the same in the past, and just as dinner was ready to go on the table he would disappear and start making phone calls for up to an hour. When he's done this I swear I'd have steam coming out of my ears! His reaction was exactly the same, "what the heck is wrong with you, why are you making such a big deal of this, I'll still eat it" and it took me a long time to get through to him WHY it upsets me so much and he seemed to finally get it.
LOL, I guess this particular subject could be a combination of both (in my BF's case). It can be utterly frustrating because I just want him to get the thought I put behind some of the meals I cook. I know, it sounds lame, but I get pleasure from making good meals and just want us to eat together. The old saying "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar" seems to be true. Hopefully we'll both be able to work at this better because it's not a major issue in the scheme of things