I am writing for support and illumination as I am at my wit’s end and feel near breaking up with my ADHD girlfriend though I love her very much. I know we cannot change others and I really want her to change. I am 48 and she is 37 and I have two kids.
I do not know what to attribute to ADHD or what to attribute to her depression or simply personality. I value empathy and want to understand her and find solutions. She just learned about her ADHD a few months ago when I pushed her to go to a shrink. She’s glad she found out about this fundamental aspect of her brain.
I also feel my mental health is frayed, my physical health impacted, and my daily life filled with despair, I cry every day. and I know those things are not okay. Here are the issues.
1) She stops texting me back after one or two texts even if we are in the middle of a conversation, planning, or she has just asked me a question. I feel hurt. She just can’t pay attention to me. In the beginning she texted me constantly and had long conversation. Now I just expect to feel disregarded.
2) I need a clean, organized environment, I am in accounting and have a stressful job. Our home is always a mess and I am always cleaning up her stuff. She uses every single surface for clutter. I clean a place and it is messy again in a few days. She has no habits or routines around housekeeping at all. This leaves everything to chance and the last minute. I do 80% to 90% of the household work though we both work full time. And I am angry all the time about it. Even something small like picking up dirty clothes off the floor— she knows it is important to me but drops them in the bathroom for days. She laughs at my requests. I feel like I live with a teenage boy and it means I am always stressed. Nothing stays tidy ever. I feel disrespected and I start to hold her in contempt when I pick up her clothes for the twentieth time.
3) She does not listen well or engage in sustained conversation with me. Our back and forth is usually short. She does not pick up threads in conversation and weave them into a sharing. This leaves me lonely. I will tell her about myself or day or feelings but get no meaningful response so I am discouraged.
4) She has no meal planning or cooking habits. All the meals and shopping are my responsibility. She would eat fast food and candy every day. Making a meal she is likely to burn a pot. This is too much for me and I feel alone in it, again.
5) She would rather play video games than connect with me at night after the kids are in bed. She thinks sitting on the couch together while doing separate things is quality time. I am again lonely and miserable because her attention is always on her phone or the Xbox or the TV or a new project. I don’t feel seen or heard or like she cares.
6) She is a train wreck at work, always late with projects, ignoring her job duties, doing as little as possible, disorganized and seemingly not caring if she gets fired. Her finances are poor and she has no savings, lots of debt, but makes many impulsive purchases and spends all money.
She recently started taking Adderall. Will it help these things? How much will change?
I haven’t listed all her good qualities because i’m overwhelmed by the negative ones right now. She is also kind, creative, smart, athletic, pretty, funny. She is committed to me. She has overcome a lot of difficulty in her life. Before living together I thought we would marry. I feel quite heartbroken now, though and don’t know if I have reason for hope.
Please share any feedback or help I will appreciate all of it.