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2217782 tn?1394367572

ADD fiance

About 3 months ago my fiance was diagnosed with ADD, something we have learned he has had from childhood but was never diagnosed or treated. He also has OCD which is being treated.

I realise that his behavior is something that cannot be altered quickly, these lifetime of bad habits will take time to break but I am finding it all very overwhelming and hard to be in a relationship.

He is yet to be seen by a professional but has asked for my help. I have tried my hardest. I made him aware of his inappropriate behaviour, something which he asked me to do - but each time I do he resents for doing so. Any advice i give is brushed aside, he says he cannot take what I say on board because i am not a professional. He also uses his ADD as an excuse for every day problems which are not related to his ADD in anyway.  
He is uncontrollable and I cannot be his counsellor any longer, I fear it will tear our relationship apart. How can I be there for him without becoming too involved and stressed.

Has anyone else experienced this and can give me some advice on the matter?
8 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there!  Well, I'm curious who diagnosed him if he isn't seeing a professional.  Add should be diagnosed by a psychiatrist.  And then medication, behavior modification, organizational strategies/coping strategies are dealt with.  He really needs to take this step.  I would not trust a diagnosis until he does.  ADD is very specific in terms of the criteria needed to be diagnosed professionally and I would rely primarily on a psychiatrist to do that.  Perhaps a clinical psychologist can also give this diagnosis but they typically can not prescribe necessary medications.  They often work with patients along with  a medical doctor.

Anyway, I think you tell your boyfriend that you are there to support him but can't be his counselor just as you've told us.  Tell him it is unfair to ask for input and to then resent it.  I would stop giving him any input and instead, keep encouraging him to seek the professional help he needs for this. Be very clear about this.  And I also wouldn't allow him to make HIS problems YOUR problems.  Not fair to you at all.  Set boundaries which would include not taking things out on you, relying on you for therapy, or asking you to be his girlfriend while he goes untreated for a disorder that requires attention.  THAT is all on him.  Please keep that in mind.  

Loving and supporting is different than being an active participant in what is going on.  

Does that make sense?  
2217782 tn?1394367572
Hi SM,

His OCD and ADD were both diagnosed by his doctor and he was then passed on to a centre which deal in adult psychological services. The doctor told him to focus more on his OCD as there is little they can do for his ADD (which I find completely ridiculous). I said before he is being medicated for the OCD and he has found it to be very effective. In the end up it is the ADD which is proving very difficult to deal with, but his doctor was adamant that our health system do not treat or medicate ADD sufferers. Crazy, right?

He was due to be seen in May by a therapist however they cancelled on him but are now accusing him of failing to attend an appointment in August 2012 which is impossible as he hadn't even been diagnosed back then. It's a very frustrating time and it seems the system is failing him.
We only found this out today after weeks of me nagging my fiance to go and inquire why he still hasnt seen a professional. He needs to actively take part in his own therapy, something he resists every step of the way.

Thanks SM, I will try hard to put this across to him. Part of me babies him. He had a bad upbringing and has never really had love or support so I feel a need to overcompensate for that - I'm really going to have to stop that, for both our sakes.
Avatar universal
You're not qualified nor should you be expected to be his counselor. It's extremely unfair of him to put that burden on you and you need to tell him that. The only way he will get better is with treatment by a qualified medical professional. If he wants to keep feeling like crap all the time then whatever, that's his problem. But I don't think you should stick around and have to put up with his progressively bad behavior.
13167 tn?1327197724
swabes,  you're not the right match for him.  ADD isn't a "habit",  it's a bring thing.  Like left-handedness.

Your strategy of "breaking him" won't work.  He needs a much more flexible partner,  who will accept him as he is.

You've picked this one guy,  I don't know why,  and now you're going about a full time job of molding him to a man you want.  He's not the one you want.

13167 tn?1327197724
oops.  "brain" thing.  
134578 tn?1546634665
"I realise that his behavior is something that cannot be altered quickly, these lifetime of bad habits will take time to break but I am finding it all very overwhelming and hard to be in a relationship."  You've obviously been in a relationship for a while, since he is your fiance.  Were you finding it overwhelming and hard to be in a relationship before he had a diagnosis?  Or is the way he behaves only a problem since there has been a name attached to it?  In other words, presumably he always had ADD.  What is different now?  Like the others have said, there is no pill to take to remove ADD.  Is the difference that you think there is somehow a way to cure him and he is being to unruly to do it?

If you want to stay his fiance, both of you need more education on the nature of his disorders, and a clear idea on what to expect in the best case from medication and therapy.  

It just doesn't sound to me like you were on a conditional footing with him if you were willing to marry him, but that now that you know what he has, it has become conditional.  What's changed?
2217782 tn?1394367572
Problems started to arise before a diagnosis. Concentration problems and forgetfulness. The reason he visited his doctor was because we suspected he may have had OCD, but the doctor told him he had ADD and OCD. He went to the doctor because our relationship was suffering. We would have quite in depth conversations about how we could change things for the better and set some ground rules but in a matter on minutes he had forgotten everything we discussed. This frustrated us both and he decided o go get checked out.

I do not want to change him. He has said this is the hardest thing he has ever had to deal with and he has asked for my help which i am doing to the best of my ability but certain aspects of his ADD make it difficult. All i want is for him to actively participiate in getting it under control, something we he has expressed to me that he wants to do.

I'm not saying either he changes or thats it. Im just recognising that the way we have been approaching this isn't working. Its reaching make or break with us right now and I want to do everything in my power to make it work. I love and care for him a great deal and I want to help him through this I just don't know how.
2217782 tn?1394367572
Also I have tried to educate us both on ADD. I have spent countless hours online looking up ADD and book marking pages I thought would be helpful. However when I've offered to show him the pages ive book marked he says it'll be boring or that he can't be bothered or he won't understand. I've offered to explain the parts he thinks he won't understand but he still wont. I told him he might find looking on the internet useful to which he replied 'im not an internet kind of person' - but he spends hours YouTube and his playstation. I similarly suggested the library but again no interest.

There have been so many opportunities for us to both learn about this, about coping tools etc but he has rejected them all and I often wonder when he sees a professional, is he going to reject them too?
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