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I'm afraid we might need to separate

Community Member

Hey guys, my partner has ADHD and we just found out after 7 years together. I'm so committed to finding out how to help and how to minimise its effect on our relationship.

I have anxiety issues although eventually took it upon myself to talk to someone about it. My partner wasn't very tolerant of it, but maybe that's the ADHD.

Anyway, we were talking about ADHD and relationships last night, and long story short, i opened an old wound around the holidays where we were hanging out with her friends and family, but she wouldn't come spend a few hours with my friends who happened to be holidaying in the same area. I tend to lose her to the (her) group so to speak, any time we hang out with all of them, but if it's the other way around, i try to put her first and look after her needs and participate as a couple.

In conclusion, she reflected on it last night, said she didn't enjoy hanging out with my friends as much, and when i mentioned the countless times I've compromised to visit with her family and friends and she won't do the same for me, she said "that's your choice" kind of thing. So long term, she's basically saying we either hang out together with her 'group' or we do separate things...

And i just don't think that's okay with me, or sustainable. I feel it's a deal-breaker but I'm so far in I'm worried about ending the relationship. Most other things are fine ...

14 Replies 14

Hi Steve,

I’m sorry you find yourself in a tough spot at the moment, I can hear the frustration in your words. Although the issue on the surface is around her prioritizing her friends to the exclusion of yours, I think the real issue is her unwillingness to compromise and be fair to you. To expect you to hang out with her friends and family for the entire trip, so much so that she wouldn’t even go for a walk on the beach with you for an hour is just plain rude and arrogant. You had also spent a lot of time with her family without complaint and when you simply wanted to go and see your friends once, you weren’t afforded the same respect. If this was the only issue and she was simply shy around people she didn’t know, then I think it’s not really a dealbreaker. But it seems to be a pattern of behavior, and she obviously places herself above you in the hierarchy. Only you can know whether her good points outweigh her bad and whether she is loving and caring in other ways, but the flip side is that being with her might mean forgoing your wants and interests for hers most of the time and always being in the wrong and having to compromise (although compromise usually means that you both meet in the middle, which doesn’t seem to apply here).

Hello Steve, this conversation has been good, just a thought, is that you can't keep agreeing with what she wants, hoping that it will eventually change because this may not happen and could become a worse situation for you.

Take care.


Thank you! Yeah it's the hierarchy thing that worries me. I've often felt to be a low priority, or I've been stood up separate times (i know that's a strong term) due to group plans changing last minute (which happens a lot)...

But yes, her flexibility only goes one-way most of the time. She has a lot of good points and a very 'lovely' person. But i guess that doesn't always translate to lovely relationship...

And I'm not perfect, of course. But i show up every day, but an often left to feel alone if that makes sense 🙂

Thanks for your informative response!

Thanks Geoff, exactly. It's my fault if i keep moving the goal posts too, hence why I'm on here. This is not to justify my thoughts, but validate them for me so i might find the strength to really try to put my needs first and be strong about what i think i deserve. I'm all about give and take but feel like I've given too much for not much in return, on one level, anyway.

That's the tricky thing. Day to day is pretty good, albeit little emotional intimacy (but that may be the ADHD)... I can deal with that, but not when things i miss out on are afforded to others.

Thanks again for your response 🙂

Hello Steve, it's all about balancing everything out, there may be situations you can and will accept but draw the line on other decisions that are not appropriate.

There may be issues that are negotiable if that is allowed, and you could go half n half, but you don't want it to be a dominant decision, because that's not fair on you.