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Adult ADD

(19 Posts)
RubyRed2017 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:31:54

My STBX has announced that he thinks he has this condition and that it would explain why is he

-forgets appointments
-doesn’t listen to people or loses concentration
-finds it hard to do routine paperwork

These are all traits of his that caused problems in our marriage because he never stepped up to do the shitwork.

My diagnosis is that he is a lazy selfish twat, but he seems to have medicalised it. I realise I sound harsh but I had 20 years of him being an inadequate life partner and this feels like a convenient excuse. Has anyone else come across this?

Offred Sat 04-Nov-17 08:34:48

Well, he could have it but does it matter at all?

He spent 20 years being an inadequate life partner, this has killed your relationship. He could have done this thinking 19 years ago couldn’t he? He didn’t...

You just need to say ‘that’s nice dear, now, the DC’

CappuccinoCake Sat 04-Nov-17 08:38:05

It's quite possible it is but that doesn't really matter now does it?

Gingernaut Sat 04-Nov-17 08:39:38

It's possible. I was only diagnosed with ADHD-PI (apparently the medical community stopped using ADD in the late 90s/early 00s) this year and I'm 49.

However, if he's not learned some coping strategies by now, never tried to learn how to cope better and thinks a diagnosis gives him some sort of Get Out of Jail Free card then he's also a twat.

Good luck OP.

madwoman1ntheatt1c Sat 04-Nov-17 08:44:49

has anyone else come across adult ADD? Well yes, of course. I don't think I'm understanding the question properly.

CappuccinoCake Sat 04-Nov-17 08:49:31

I strongly suspect I am. I'm super clever on paper/academically but struggle with all the above things. Lots of supposedly easy household things overwhelm me.

I use coping strategies such as putting all dates in my phone or I will completely forget.

Car keys have to go by the front door. I never have any recollection of where I put things. At all. I look in the places they are likely to be but have no recall of what I actually did.

I still struggle with procrastination and often do everything in the last few hours.

My mind works v fast and can get bored in conversations if I find them boring. I really struggle with this socially and make extra effort to concentrate with school mum gossip.

moomoo222 Sat 04-Nov-17 09:01:35

Well it is a neurobiolgocal condition which does cause all of the above because the frontal lobe processing on the brain is not neurotypical.

If he had always had difficulty understanding emotions or reading facial expressions and worked out he was undiagnosed autistic then you wouldn't call him an 'unemotional twat' for example.

However most people (especially with the form of adhd he says he has which is far less noticeable because of the lack of hyperactivity) do have problems living with people because they are perceived as lazy, scatty or useless. Just managing everyday tasks that other people find normal and simple is utterly overwhelming & no matter how hard you try you can't which is dispiriting.

Also 19 years ago this wasn't recognised or understood in the way it is now, so he would have just thought he was lazy, scatty & disorganised (& secretly wondered why everyone else seemed to find general life shit so easy).

If you hadn't reached this stage & were looking for ways to help or better understand him (or for recommendations for him to better manage ADD/ADHD) there are some great books. However as you've had enough (which is fair enough -
It is a mindblowingly frustrating condition to live with) probably too late. It is a 'thing' though!

Offred Sat 04-Nov-17 09:18:11

ADD/ADHD was pretty well recognised in 1998.

But my point was more along the lines of ‘isn’t it funny he has now, after the op has already left, suddenly realised he might have issues with things the op has spent 20 years putting up with’

Whatever the problem, if it takes you losing something for you to see it, when your partner has spent decades miserable and desperate over it, it’s just too late and also it’s an indicator of selfishness.

Offred Sat 04-Nov-17 09:19:52

I mean there was nothing stopping him having empathy 19 years ago or even 5 years ago was there? Even if he couldn’t have given it a name...

RubyRed2017 Sat 04-Nov-17 09:25:56

Thanks all.
It is too late for our marriage. He is moving in with his new partner next week, in a city two hours drive from here. Far away from the kids.
I’m very sceptical about his self-diagnosis as he never seems to forget things that he wants to do like going out with his mates or seeing his girlfriend.
He has also held down a high-level professional job for years except when he got bored with it.
I think he’s making excuses for himself. No disrespect to genuine sufferers.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Sat 04-Nov-17 09:27:18

I think you are being unfair to instantly dismiss this. He could well have ADHD. What's he doing about it is the more important question IMO.

If he does have ADHD that doesn't mean you need to stay with him. But if you have DC you will need to keep on dealing with him so the sooner learns whether it is or isn't ADHD the better. And if it is he can hopefully start learning ways to cope.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Sat 04-Nov-17 09:28:43

RubyRed2017 not forgetting mates (or girlfriends) doesn't mean you don't have ADHD.

Porpoises Sat 04-Nov-17 09:33:36

He could well have adhd. Or he might not.

Seems like you want to get angry at him for lying. There's no point, you're not a couple anymore, just leave him to it.

moomoo222 Sat 04-Nov-17 09:42:01

Ah, but as I said you can be well aware it is mind blowingly frustrating to live with whilst also feeling just as frustrated with yourself because you don't know why you can't just sort it out & be like everyone else (be more organised, remember appointments, stop procrastinating..). You can empathise with the person who is being driven mad, but if you can't change, which is what you all want, and you carry on being the same it doesn't help anyone.

The OP sees it as an "excuse" not a reason or explanation- so you could turn the 'empathy' argument around surely?

& yes ADHD was recognised in the late 90's - mostly in children with behavioural issues. Plus it was thought that most children 'grew out of it'. I certainly had no awareness that an adult could have it or could have had it since the 70's or 80's and struggled through adulthood being unaware that there was an underlying reason for being like that. The OP clearly demonstrates, not everyone (in fact most people) is aware it is a 'thing' & think people, especially adults with ADD/ADHD are making excuses for crappy behavioural traits.

Often adults with the condition don't realise it is the reason/that they have it because they think ADHD is what the kid behaving badly in the restaurant has, not the reason they are two weeks behind with a work project, their bedroom looks like a teenagers & they were late, forgot their wallet & are wearing odd shoes!

moomoo222 Sat 04-Nov-17 10:09:26

Also ADHD is no barrier to professional success - Richard Branson has it for example. However frequent career changes/getting bored & moving on are seen often in ADHD'er. Also remembering fun interesting stuff like the fact you are going to meet a friend but forgetting appointments or that you were supposed to do a chore or make an important call would fit with the profile, not discount it.

I get OP that you are past caring (& completely understandably) with you STBX. But if he does have it (& everything you have described would fit with that) it is useful to understand and recognise it, especially if you have kids together as it can be genetic.

Gingernaut Sat 04-Nov-17 10:17:22

He might be trying to rewrite his past to 'explain' some of his life choices to his new partner.

Without an official diagnosis and a treatment plan, I'd be very sceptical.

CappuccinoCake Sat 04-Nov-17 10:58:35

Lots of adults now in 40s won't have a diagnosis, unless misbehaved in school.

Offred Sat 04-Nov-17 13:28:27

Ok moomoo but he doesn’t have a diagnosis of ADHD... it also isn’t the OP’s concern...

I doubt very much anyone would leave someone after 20 years of empathy and acceptance that they had an issue.

What usually happens is people leave after 20 years of putting up not only with crap behaviour but also with ‘I don’t have a problem’ denials...

And then obviously ‘I have ADD’ after you have left is annoying whether or not it is true.

With any disorder people can only understand and empathise if the person with the disorder accepts there is a problem and tries (not necessarily successfully) to ameliorate it.

To have had 20 years of being told ‘my unacceptable behaviour is acceptable it is you that has the problem’ only to get ‘oh I have had a problem all along’ is very irritating, whatever is the truth.

RubyRed2017 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:38:16

Thanks Offred.
Yes of course if he’d tried to do something about it during the 20 years it would have been different.
There is plenty of common sense advice on coping strategies out there whic is all glaringly obvious, using reminders on you phone etc-he never tried any if this.
It also wasn’t the only problem, he was very controlling in a passive aggressive way. Any time I complained about him letting me down he would sulk or fly into a rage.
He doesn’t have a diagnosis and it seems like the type of condition that is hard to objectively diagnose.
Maybe he does have it. But it’s the fact that he was in denial about his behaviour and the effect it had on me that really killed our marriage. He just didn’t care that I had to be the only adult in the relationship as he could never be relied on to do the boring stuff.

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