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I have OCD and he has ADHD
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lwstover2590 posted:
I have OCD (mostly about keeping the house clean and tidy) and my boyfriend has pretty severe ADHD. We live together, and we fight constantly about how he forgets to clean up after himself, put things away in the proper place, clean his dishes, and other things that involve cleanliness or tidiness. He's prescribed Adderoll for his ADHD, but he sometimes forgets to take it; either on or off his meds, he still is super forgetful and untidy. It drives me crazy, but he doesn't see it as a big deal. At first, I tried to show him how I liked things to be, and asked him to do it that way from now on. He always says he will, but then keeps forgetting; every time I go into a room and see something like a dirty dish or dirty clothes on the floor, I get upset and start lecturing him about how he doesn't do what he says he'll do. He gets mad, defensive, and annoyed, and we fight. However, even after we make up and agree to be better with each other (he remembers to clean up for me and I don't raise my voice at him), he still forgets. Because he keeps forgetting, I get frustrated and feel unheard, and so I raise my voice to him and get exasperated. This gets us nowhere and only makes things worse. The fighting has started to drive us apart, but I really want to make this work. I need help to cope with our differences so we can save our relationship. If we can't find a middle ground on this, it's very possible we'll end up breaking up. Please help!!
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cevangelin responded:
HEYYYYY!!!!! Don't raise your voice LOL.
Getting angry at someone with ADHD will cause them to willfully defy what you are saying. They will withdraw, get defensive, get their feelings hurt, and WILL NOT be motivated to do what you are saying.

My personal advice: DO NOT MARRY THIS PERSON. And do not continue to live with them. UNLESS you both are being treated 110% for each of your conditions. My husband and I have been married for 9 years. I have anxiety and OCD tendencies and he has terrible Adult ADD. It is a DISASTER. I have been miserable, suicidal, miserable, suicidal, miserable, depressed, miserable, and did I mention miserable.

I read that the average person with ADD takes hearing/seeing something 1500 times to LEARN IT. So if you told your husband nicely "Pick up your coffee cups from all over the house" TWICE A DAY FOR 2 YEARS! He "might" learn to do it. Are you willing to do that for EVERY relationship challenge or problem. Or for him to learn something about you or your preferences etc. etc. etc.????

Go to a site called adhdmarriage.com (that I am a member of) and read the testimonies of the non-ADD wives who have been married to ADD spouses for years. It will BREAK YOUR HEART!!!!
 
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Raven951 responded:
Dear lwstover2590,

I also have ADHD. I know that this may sound like a simple solution, but have you thought about hiring a maid? I have the same problems that he does and if I could afford to hire a maid I would do it in a heartbeat. I realize this won't fix everything, but it might help a little.

Also, you might try leaving pink neon post-its for him in the danger areas reminding him to take his meds, pick up his laundry, etc (use any color that he hates and then change to a new color when he gets used to the pink--he will notice the change). The only way that I remember is by making it part of my morning routine. I dose them out by the day in a giant purple pill holder. I see it everytime that I open the cabinet to get a glass. Also, your could try setting an alarm on his phone that opens to tell him to take his meds.

If when he takes his meds, and he still has the same issues, he may need to tell the doctor. His meds might need adjustment. Also, have you ever thought about asking him if you could go with him to one of his sessions? (If you decide to do this, I would probably OK it with the doctor first.)

I have also seen support groups for non-ADHD spouses. Maybe you could get ideas there. There is also a really good book that may help you:
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder by Gina Pera and Russell Barkley (Aug 31, 2008) Good Luck!
Raven951
 
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ocdjen responded:
OMG! You are writing about my story and my life for the past 5 years. My boyfriend has ADHD and is not taking meds. I had my OCD controlled until recently. I think he brings out the worst in me! I hate this. I really love him, but I am doubting that things will ever get good enough for me to be able to tolerate and handle the craziness! We started seeing a therapist together for a few sessions, but we aren't getting to solutions yet, except to point out to him how his inaction causes me so much anxiety and frustration. He started to pay more attention and pick up after himself, but as soon as he gets hyperfocused on something interesting to him, he drops all awareness of the environment (or the thoughts and feelings of others) around him and everything slides again. I am the mommy and he is the kid. My son is already 23 and has been on his own for 5 years already. He has ADD too, but manages very well. I taught him at a young age how routine helps to remember things. If a 23 year old can handle daily tasks, why can't a 48 year old!!! He has never had to learn or care about the house. He had mom growing up, then married, divorced, single, married and divorced and while single again, just hires a housekeeper to take care of stuff. I would love to get a housekeeper, but that won't help with all the clutter he leaves around every day that I feel the need to pick up just so the house stays halfway neat. Either I need to learn to let it go, or I have to leave this relationship. He is slowly driving me absolutely crazy! Any ideas on how best to manage my anxiety and not make him defensive about changing his ways, would be very helpful!


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