My Partner Might Have ADD


Hi all,
I’m a college student and am very concerned for my boo, whom I think may have ADD or ADHD. They are very talented at art but tanked in their first year of college. Recently, they learned that their financial aid was cut off because of their low GPA and lack of improvement after a warning. At the same time all of this was going on, I was reading this book called “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exersise and the Brain.” I was reading it in interest of aiding my own mental health, but was really surprised that in the chapter on ADHD how the symptoms reminded me of my partner. The next time we called, I told him about it.
He was intrigued, and in the next few days researched ADHD a bit and took some questionarres. They said it was very likely that he had an attention disorder. I pushed him to see a proffessional for a diagnosis so that he could know for sure and possibly continue to make changes that would aid him (not necessarily medication). He was all for it, but was kind of talked out of the idea by family. He has always thought about maybe joining the military, but he said that he would have a much harder time with a diagnosis of ADHD. I’m really concerned. He wants to continuie to earn a degree by appealing for financial aid or continuing at a cheaper school, but I’m not sure he’ll be successful if he doesn’t change something. I really am concerned that he might have a disorder and is losing a chance to go to college by not getting help. He keeps saying he just needs to manage time better and work harder, but that’s what he’s always said and it hasn’t worked before.
I can’t tell him how to live his life. But I want to support him to be successful. At the same time, I don’t want to continue enabling him (helping with homework, scheduling, resources, etc.) What can I do to stand by my partner wether or not he decides to get diagnosed?


Maybe you can make him watch some video’s on ADHD.


Ah that’s the conundrum. A person may need help, but if they don’t want it…


I’d been listening to “Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?” (as an audio book). I’m taking a bit of a break, but it has lots of information about couples where one has diagnosed/undiagnosed ADHD. It also has lots of information on dealing with those who don’t want a diagnosis or treatment. I can’t recall any of the major ideas. Admittedly I tuned a bit of it out, because as someone having ADHD it’s a bit depressing realizing some of the issues that I bring to our marriage. Now that being said, I suspect that my wife and brother both have it. Neither are receptive to the idea of diagnosis as they’re both in denial.


If you think your partner might need another logical argument: If he can’t handle the structure of college without help, how will he handle keeping up with the extreme structure/rigidity of military training without help? (On one hand, routines help us, but on the other hand, we tend to suffer from motivation issues and emotional dysregulation issues that interfere with our ability to handle authority, monotony and structure…)

In some respects, working harder is effective. In other respects, working harder isn’t possible without help.

Some advice for you, too, though, stemming from 24 years undiagnosed, and 5 years in a marriage to a husband who was also undiagnosed until 25 years old: If your partner refuses to do what is necessary for their mental health, it is not your job to do his life for him. My advice would be to ensure you are focusing on your own self care and meeting your needs first. If you don’t have resources left over to help him, respect yourself by letting him know. Your relationship will consume you if you are compromising your own health and giving up pieces of yourself for his well being. If you do have resources left over that you can use to do his work of him, but you don’t want to any more, don’t. If you don’t want to keep enabling him, don’t. If you do, you’ll only grow to resent him, and that will ruin the relationship over time anyways.


Too true. Codependency is a nightmare if one goes down that dark road. It feels like love, but it’s a dangerous counterfeit.

One of the hardest things is to avoid “the fix” and let the one we love find out they need help through there own painful experiences. Many times, the lack of constant conflict will draw someone closer to trusting another’s council.


In the case with my husband, and working with my therapist, I ended up framing it as “necessary conflict” for the health of my marriage. Because, when you withdraw the enabling level of help, there WILL be conflict. Focusing on improving areas where I was frustrated with my own behavior, and ignoring my husband’s behavior, forced my husband to shift his frustrations/resentment to himself. It felt like I was being really harsh at the time, but when I frame it as a conflict necessary for my personal health and the health of my marriage, it’s a lot easier to take on.

Anecdotal stuff

Yeah, I could constantly parent my husband by picking up his socks and dishes for him (result: I resent him), OR I could constantly parent him by micromanaging these chores/forcing him to do the chores in front of me (result: he resents me), when I demand them to be done. Neither of these strategies were healthy for us. I ended up using a strategy like, “I’d love to play video games with you right now, but I’m busy doing X responsibility, and it seems like there are a lot of responsibilities you need to take care of too,” or “I’d love to go to a movie with you, but I saw you spent a lot eating out this month, and I don’t think we can afford to go to a movie right now.” Basically, various versions of “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you if you aren’t taking care of yourself/taking care of us.”


True, if you take a look at my profile, you will see I believe conflict is important, but not the kind that is seeking self gratification, your conflict was truly about preserving your relationship and it looks to me that there was and is authentic love. When a codependent person has conflict, it appears to be about the relationship but its really about the codependent one, the one that NEEDS the other person to be fixed according to their wants. You described it very well in your post, but from another side of the coin.

Codependency is about control.

Pouring myself out at the expense of my own health and sanity or yelling and screaming for someone to start or stop a behavior are both forms of codependent manipulation. They are both ultimately all about me and my unmet wants.

The first one looks like love, but it’s not. The second looks like abuse and it is.

This is dark hole of codependency.


The anecdotal stuff is really helpful for me to hear; thanks so much!


How do you do the thing where you have a triangle and then stuff appears. The triangle right before “anecdotal stuff”


It’s the least I can do. ADHD relationships are hard to begin with! I’ve slowly realized that the thing that tore my parent’s relationship apart wasn’t my father’s intentional emotional manipulation of anyone, it was his untreated ADHD paired with childhood traumas causing codependency issues. When I started to see similar patterns in my own marriage, coupled with our mutual ADHD diagnoseses, it opened up a pathway to (carefully) navigate through to a healthier marriage - something we are still in the process of. I’m really grateful to have this pathway that my parents (and my husband’s parents) didn’t seem to have.

@eon3000 When you are making a post, in the formatting bar above the dialogue box, there’s a little gear that looks like a settings icon. It’s actually a “more options” icon, and hides the tool for “hide details.” It’s helpful when I realized that I’ve written a whole bunch of garbo that most people probably won’t want to read, but some people might want to read, so I can collapse it into an optional reading experience. :joy:


Thank You!


This is such a cool thing! I will probably use it in the future :))))! Wait I wonder if you can hide details within details

Did it work?



I wonder if someone could make a story based game like this using only the triangle tool


wait, but wouldn’t that mean you would have to put two triangles in one section?


Apparently, you can!


(・□・;) Woah, you’re still reading this, quite the trooper. You deserve a reward for reading my nonsense


Let’s try out the poll section!
Which is better?

As you can probably guess I tried to put triangles within the poll but it didn’t work :(.

Failure 2 :(

My poll wont work. It keeps saying there mus be at least two options for the poll to be created :((((. I’ma try one last thing, and hopefully it will work . I doesn’t work ;~;. I’m adding a space right after the [ if anyone can find out what’s wrong with it please inform me…
[ poll type=regular max=3 public=true]

  • Octopi
  • Squid
  • I know where this poll is coming from…
    I have no idea why it won’t work :frowning:


@Eon3000 Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you may be showing some of the symptoms for ADHD. You might want to get yourself checked out. :smile:

By the way, I had to work through all the arrows. Couldn’t hold myself back.


It’s kinda scary tbh. I will likely try in college (once I’m 18 of course (I don’t be 18 when starting college, like 3 months in I will be, I can’t do anything alone until I’m 18)) but my parents don’t seem like they’d be supportive.i feel like if I get a yes they will won’t believe it and say I was just looking for a diagnosis and not believe it. I had sent to a psychologists to get a referral before but they had said no (since I had good grades and he said, and I quote “if you have adhd you are crazy all the time” and a bunch of other things I knew weren’t true from Jessica’s videos and the tons of other things I had seen about it, (also it was my schools social worker who said I might have it in the first place (although I’ve had previous suspicions, I said nothing about it to him (if I wasn’t on my phone this would be a good time to use some triangles my gosh, no one loves to read brackets within brackets (which are kind of like triangles but less visually appealing and you have to do a bunch to figure out what’s actually being said (I should stop now))) I may get my therapist to talk to my mom about what adhd actual is since she’s refused to do any research. (I probably messed up those brackets sorry in advance, if I get home and remember I’ll make them into delicious triangles)


Wow… More professionals giving bad advice. I didn’t have a clue about ADHD until I stumbled across it, but you would think that someone who’s job it is to know about it would be better informed.

I used to do the bracket thing too, like a maths equation. Had to let it go.

Man, I’ve had a wicked toothache all weekend, and I’m almost out of paracetamol. Can’t sleep, and keep ending up here. 6 hours until the dentist opens…


Get all well soon. Tooth pains can be the worst.
I supposedly starting arguing with him but I apparently blacked out. I don’t remember much of the meeting besides being overwhelmed after hearing a bunch of things I knew wasn’t true. And the saddest thing is apparently he gave me a paper to give to one of my teachers and I had no memory of this the next day. I wish I had known, I really wish I had because I would have done it immediately, and I knew my teachers would likely say yes to a lot of things on the survey from last what they say in class. Only reason I knew about it is because my mom mentioned it (like over a year later when it was brought up). And the saddest thing is I saw the paper and thought it was for my mom to give to a teacher and I thought she just wasn’t going to do it. Sorry for my venting.


If I were you, I’d definitely get that checked out. Blacking out like that is no joke.
Not sure how you can get it by your parents, but they should be trying to help you.


Well my black or I mean I have absolutely no memory of what happened, like a section of my life just disappears immediately. Like in this example, I had no memory of an apparent large amount of the meeting. I only realized now that black out can be taken as passing out, and that’s not what I meant. And thus this explanation. I find it’s only ever happened three times in my life though. But thinking about it, I probably wouldn’t notice if it actually happened more. (the only reason I knew about these situations is because of conversations that occurred after.) but even then i don’t think it happens that much. I don’t know why, it when I started calling it that, I should find a better term for it


You should definitely get it checked out, no doubt.
It sounds serious. Ask your doctor about it.


What issues do you feel you bring to your marriage concerning the ADHD? I am just beginning to understand some problems I may be creating, directly or indirectly, due to my not being diagnosed for 10 years into my marriage.