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Recently diagnosed with ADHD- relationship issues

GatsbyCat profile image

Hello everyone.

I've recently gotten diagnosed with ADHD- it explains so much- the forgetfulness, impulsiveness and disorganization. Tried going to a behavior therapist; she told me more about herself than helping me.

In any case, my relationship is suffering because of my ADHD. I am now finally getting medication- Focalin 10mg for about 2 weeks now. My dosage will increase to 20mg starting next week. Any advice on improving relationship and/or this medication.

All help is appreciated. Thanks to you all.

20 Replies

Hello GatsbyCat.

Congratulations on your diagnosis.

Everyone's ADHD situation is a little unique, and often depends on age and environment and other developmental factors that might be a little difficult to measure, but my best advice regarding medication is to think of it as a tool, not a cure.

I take Vyvanse 40mg. I'm 53. I grew up in the 70's as a child, and back then we did not have as much of an understanding of ADHD like we do today. As a child I was a day-dreamer type, couldn't manage time very well, and often failed to take in and process information from parents, teachers, etc. Pretty much marched to the "beat of my own drum" lets say. AND.... still kind'a do, LOL.

Regardless, I am a successful adult, well adjusted, married, kids, good job and generally well managed personal and social life. However, I have had my moments, setbacks and plenty of failures and rough starts, and it's those things that have helped me the most.

ADHD or not, we all learn from failures, mistakes and set backs. That's how we're designed, but medication can help keep us on track a little better. Again, not a cure, but a tool to assist us in moving forward learning and discovering more about what we need to do in life to be more successful in our lives, which includes how we interact with others.

So, with that, let me suggest that everyone on the planet has difficulties with relationships. Relationships are not easy; they are often messy. Does ADHD make them more difficult? Maybe, perhaps yes, but don't let ADHD be the excuse either by you, or the person your with. Learn to work with and around issues, but to do that you'll need to know what exactly the issues are, and then determine if it's an ADHD thing..... or is it something else?


GatsbyCat profile image
GatsbyCat in reply to

Hello Danc2019~

Thanks for your reply. Yes, it might not be JUST Adhd- although I think that makes it harder. I am 58 now, so there was nothing to indicate this diagnosis as I was quiet and got good grades up until 8th grade. OBT, my mom is bi-polar (which I am not- checked with my doctors). And my dad probably had ADHD, anger management issues and control issues. Oh, and my first serious relationship was a domestic violence matter.

So, with that interesting background, it's a lot. I'd just like to throw it all away, and learn to be happy. That seems hard to do.

Appreciate your advice.

What are some of the problems you're experiencing in your relationship?

Hello, quietly lost~

I would really like to start over with him. In the past, I was not truthful. Plus, I was depressed and did not do much housework.

And, then my dad died, and we tried helping out my mom (who is bi-polar)- which I am not. It was a difficult situation as she lived several hundred miles away, and her caretaker was basically skimming money. Hard to manage that remotely.

During that time, my brother was a jerk to us. He accused us of taking our Mom's money, which in fact we were supplementing. Never an apology from him for this treatment. Now of course, we are estranged from his family.

We're recovering now from all of that, and I've been recently through the ADHD diagnosis, and FINALLY getting medication- focalin- just 10mg to start.

BTW, I recently had carpal tunnel surgery from work related issues- temporary disability for over 2 years now. We'll be doing the settlement soon from workers compensation.

So much going on that it's hard to manage everything. I get depressed sometimes about this.

He is such a great guy, and to have helped out my family means a lot. I think that he is overwhelmed and frustrated right now too.

Appreciate any advice.

I think starting with a conversation that covers what you just shared. Let him know that you've been thinking about how things have been so far and you'd like to make changes. Let him know that you want to try to make a new start, and ask him what he'd like from you and from you as a couple as you do that.

It's impossible to undo things that have already happened or been done, but you can decide together to move forward and improve things for the future.

I'd say have each of you to write down what's important to you about a relationship. Also, what do you like about your relationship now, as well as what are some things that you'd like to change.

If you want, you can also check out the book "The 5 Love Languages" which can sometimes help open communication between couples.

All in all, it takes work. There's no easy road map to making things better. But if you approach it from a place of honesty, and if you are open to receiving the feedback that he has for you, then it can be done.

Thanks quietlylost. I did take your advice and told him just what I've said here in this safe forum. We are doing a "reset". I'm very fortunate to have such a patient and helpful guy in my life. So, I am truly trying to listen more and really hear what he's telling me. Relationships are certainly not easy. But I want it to be good and happy for us both, so willing to do the work..

An area we agreed upon is to simply accomplish 1-2 things a day in the housework stuff so that we are not overwhelmed and try to do everything in one day. So today I got 3 things done. Gold

I'm ordering the book you mentioned. It sounds useful.

One thing I've noticed now that I've upped my Focalin dosage to 20mg is a slight headache in the morning. It's only been a few days with the change, so just taking it slowly and writing down any differences for when my next doctors appointment. So far, it is mostly all good.

Thanks for the advice. Always helps to hear more ideas.

I just started focalin also

GatsbyCat profile image
GatsbyCat in reply to Done061604

Hello, Done061604

What's your dosage and what differences have you noticed?? Have you tried other medication or is the first ADHD medication for you?

I would consider therapy. I think ADHD can make things harder especially when things get more stressful, like helping your mom. Communication is key!! I have 2 sons with ADHD and recently realized I am too. It explains a lot and has helped me frame my struggles.

Not every therapist is created equal!! I know. Keep looking. Perhaps someone who is experienced in ADHD.

GatsbyCat profile image
GatsbyCat in reply to EJ5050

Hi EJ5050~

Well, you've correctly identified the issue. Yeah, this "psychiatrist" was so busy telling me about her great trips and new relationship that I began wondering who the sessions were supposed to be benefiting? Maybe I should have started charging her for listening to all of her life stories... Just kidding.. maybe not??

I will be seeing my GP in April to check on the medication dosage and general health, so at that time, I think I will also ask her for a different recommendation. She's been good at helping me get to see any specialist that I might need, so she should be able to help me out.

Do you know of any good ways of looking to see who gets good ratings for a good ADHD specialized psychiatrist or counselor?

Thanks for the advice.

Hi GatabyCat -

I’m 67 adult male retired & married 30 yrs. w/ADHD diagnosed at 62 years old + Sobriety date 2009 an Active member in AA.

(about resources to find new providers in your area)

Are you member of Cost is @ &30 / yr. is the largest nonprofit organization devoted help and support children and adults with ADD)

A. You get; “Attention - magazine” four times a year paper copy and. Digital copy online.

B.) Access to Chadd com’s website addressing different issues that we ADHD’s have with solutions.

C. Plus - access to phone an ADHD Specialist at Chadd.Com On the website locate the 800 number , you may ask the specialist to locate providers psychiatrist and search that specialize in treating ADHD.

Sincerely JR family-man

Hi, Johnfamilyman~

I'm not a member of CHADD, because there is NOT a local support group anywhere close to where I am located. I wish there was a local group nearby.

Thank you very much for telling me about the benefits. Those sound super helpful. I will look into this, while staying at home during the COVID 19 virus outbreak.

Since it sounds like you're a member of CHADD, would you mind telling me what has helped you the most?? And overall, what do you think of it?

I appreciate your advise.

Dear GatsbyCat,

There are many paths toward lrecovery from ADHD. We finally identified the causes of our condition! The solution seems simple - but not easy. Some of us may be self awareness of other metal - physical-emotional and spiritual issues to work on.

The first five year after diagnosed I didn’t get much relief from providers such as change of behavior and meds.

Then Nov 2017 everything changed. The death of our adult daughter - mother of three girls. Now Grief-depression anxiety - memory lose and ADHD. Seeking acceptance of our tragedy some emotional balance, and meaningful life together with my wife and family members.

Plus I’am in Therapy twice a month and physiatrist regularly and I am a recovering alcoholic in the twelve step program of recovery with Alcohol Anonymous. 11 years without a drink.

Chadd offers comprehensive support for ADHD on line. ( my Provider suggested I join to help me in recovery.)

See this link let know if you think May be helpful. This link should Chadd.


I wish I did! That is the direction Im thinking of going. Good luck!!

GatsbyCat profile image
GatsbyCat in reply to EJ5050

Hello again~ Just read the post from LM and he is seeing an ADHD coach! And, has listened to YouTube lecture series from Dr. Barkley...

Interesting ideas..

Hope you are doing better on this journey!

Thx for sharing!!

I’m sorry for all of the extra challenges you’re dealing with at this time.

My advice comes from the heart and with many years of personal experience of doing it all wrong in the relationship area.

I find that people may not want you to change... it can be considered rocking the boat. Sometimes in certain relationships the non-add partner doesn’t want to hear about your ADHD or your meds.

Find someone other than a relative with the same genes that you can trust to help you monitor your behavior improvements during the medication titrations... if the relationship is a bit shaky to begin with, make sure to be working out or doing something away from your partner as the meds wear off each day (unless it doesn’t). There can be a switch that flips the minute it’s out of your system and all of the unattended stress can come out as a tornado and find you both without shelter. The arguments can become an unhealthy “fix” if you are not medicated. Very bad habit that could be picked up.

ADDitude magazine has been a great resource for me. They really do a great job of explaining so much, enlightening the patients as well as many doctors.

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort to treat your ADHD. 😉

GatsbyCat profile image
GatsbyCat in reply to HonestAbe

Hi HonestAbe

I appreciate your kind words.

Yes, every day I do my pilates and elliptical which gives me a mental break. It also makes me feel better in general (and hopefully I lose some more weight)

ADDitude magazine is a great resource, I read it as well. Interesting comment about the arguments, I'll pay attention to it

Thanks again🌷

Hi there.

I totally I understand what you are going through.

Everything you described is exactly my life too.

What I learned is not beat myself too much about.

You have to communicate with your partner and explain to her how you feel.

Everything that happens in your relationship it shouldn’t only be you admitting when you are at fault.

Two people needs to communicate with each other well and stop blaming the other person for everything being wrong in the relationship.

My First tip is breath. Second tip don’t beat yourself too much. Third communicate with your partner. Fourth don't blame

yourself all time.

Fifth tip express your feelings without being too emotional or freak out.

What I mean always make your point or express your feelings when you are calm and collected.

Do activities daily that will help be calm and help your brain.

I hope this helped a little bit.

This is my experience and I not speaking about everyone here.

Feel free to reach on Instagram or Facebook.

I would like to help all the way if you need my help.

I know it’s easier than said.

I am not a fan of connecting here because I can’t properly with everyone.

Your experience is yours.

Whoever is charging of this website needs to upgrade to place where we can live discussion.

This is good for starting point but we need to expand to a bigger plant form.

There is a lot of people who need help with their adhd and this is not enough.

I say this because people don’t respond quick enough.

If we had a page on Instagram or Facebook for adhd imagine how easier it would be for everyone.

I don’t know maybe I am dreaming too much.

I hope I can get a response from admin or someone in charge.

We need to expand guys it’s 2020.

We need to have this and video chat where people can also connect.

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