ADHD daughter and relationship issues - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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ADHD daughter and relationship issues

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I have a soon to be 18 year old daughter with adhd. Her boyfriend, that was her first boyfriend years ago is now back on the scene , also has adhd and anxiety, amongst other family issues. The relationship is toxic, in the sense that they check on each other’s locations all the time, call/text incessantly til one answer, and at times, he hangs all around other girls and blows her off but then she does whatever he wants or apologizes for being upset or she goes to him as soon as he has time for her, etc. It kills us to see her in this situation but she thinks she’s going to marry him someday. He’s got another year of HS but she is due to go away to college next fall. I just don’t know how to deal with this, she won’t listen to anything we say and I hate to see her think this is the best relationship for her. We really struggle watching her go down this path. Has anyone had experience with their teens /young adults and relationships? I should add that he has done and said things in the past that were not good or right and longer make our family want to have him around-she makes excuses for everything he does.

8 Replies

I have a similar situation although my daughter’s boyfriend is generally kind to her. Here’s what I decided. The best way to help my daughter was to keep my relationship with her, so that I could monitor the relationship and be there when she wants/needs me. It does no good to fight with her about since it only drives her further away from me towards him. I encourage her by asking how she wants to handle things. The bottom line is if you don’t teach/allow them to make their own decisions then they don’t develop the confidence to make them.

I recently went through situation with my 17 yr old daughter and her first and only boyfriend. He was always hours late to pick her up, or would just not show. She made excuses for him and accused me of being racist when I told her how I felt (he’s Hispanic). Nevertheless I continued by emphasizing how she should not settle for that kind of treatment, how worthy she is of someone who wants to treat her right. I thought maybe she ignored my message, until she paraphrased them in a therapy session after she finally did break up with him. I think she broke up because she met someone else, but whatever! Glad she internalized the message that she deserved better. She is now in DBT skills therapy group to learn how to manage her anxiety. Anxiety is a beast that not only allows toxic relationships, but so many other problems.

Based on 3 daughters, 2 sons, 12 grandkids(6/6) The more you push against the boyfriend the more she will cling. Keep it unemotional and factual, not personal about the boyfriend. Old Dog new tricks and adhdazed both nailed it. Keep your relationship with her most important. Birth Control might be a thought if you think she is already sexually active or might want to appease the boy. Don't let an accident decide her future. Delay any commitments to him, encourage activities away from the bf that could introduce her to others. Good luck!

This is the part no one tells us about when we decide to have kids lol. Unfortunately the more you push against her boyfriend, the more she will pull towards him just to prove you wrong. So, just let it be there are some things they will have to learn on their own. I have a 21 yo and a 16 yo, one with adhd and I get it. All you can do is be there for her when she has had enough of him. Give her the space to figure it out while you are still being supportive. This is the painful part. As parents we see the picture and they are still behind the camera.Go figure!

From past experience with my daughter and now her son they seem to be attracted to people who have problems like they do. Maybe they can empathize with each other I have no clue. But pointing out boyfriend's faults is just going to make your daughter praise him more. Just be there for her.

I have to agree with Olddognewtricks. Just maintain your relationship with your daughter. Even though we want to make decisions for them we have to let them find their way. It's possible she will make new friends and connections at college.

I don’t have experience with a daughter, but I do have a 17 y/o son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD and in a relationship with a gal who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He just broke up with her because he realizes that he can’t help her if he can’t deal with his own mental issues. I find listening and giving my experiences and then letting him process the information at his own timing works. I’m blessed that my son is a deep thinker and very caring. It pains me, however to see him struggle with depression and getting behind in school his senior year.

I find every relationship is incredibly dysfunctional and has gotten worse as they get older. Though we are typical middle class, young adult child gravitates to those coming from the worst circumstances and who have made terrible choices. Relationships have included homeless, addicts, HS dropouts. They also seem to be blind to how these people caused their circumstance. Our child is college educated with a good job but this relationship issue persists. I’ve wondered why they don’t seek out a more equal partner. Has confused me for many years. My adult child has now arrested their own maturity as there is never a nurturing companionship that addresses their interests. The relationships are all-consuming and one sided. It’s painful to watch this progression into the 20s.

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