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-   -   A.D.H.D........and Poly??? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4165)

dragonflysky 11-08-2010 08:24 PM

A.D.H.D........and Poly???
Maybe one has nothing to do with the other. That's what I'm trying to sort through. (And I'm feeling confused just trying to get my concerns in writing! LOL)

I've written before that I often feel like a "secondary" to the already existing relationship of "my" couple. I feel like I don't get consulted or notified about what's going on most of the time. And we certainly don't sit down or call or email, etc. to make decisions all together....about anything. And yes....they were together for about a year before he and I met, so there's a certain amount of "knowing" and "comfort" they have together that we haven't had time to develop. At the same time they say they want a poly "family" and don't want me to feel like a secondary. I've had a discussion with him a few times already about incidents where I very much felt secondary, and while he said he didn't want me to feel that way there wasn't much he could/would do at this time to change the situations I raised.

We don't currently live together. I lived with them for about one month when I moved for a job change and to be closer to them about 2 months ago. I've been in my own place for about a month now. When we were living together the communication, decision making, etc. was no different/better than it is now.

Since making the move, I've found out that our guy has A.D.H.D. This might account for some of the reason why he doesn't always think ahead or keep track of his plans for the week, month, etc., gets distracted, unfocused, etc. I just don't know. And I don't know how much is just my ego.

Yesterday when we're all out casually shopping together it came out that he's flying out to visit his daughter and grandsons this coming Friday. I knew he was going to go sometime in Nov., but didn't have specific plans the last I knew. Now mind you...he and I had several hours of couple time before yesterday on Fri evening and part of Sat evening, and he never thought to mention his plans. She said something like "Well, he just made the flight plans a few days ago. I'm sure he would have thought to tell you soon." I honestly don't think he would have! I suspect I would have called him up later this week only to hear he was out of state visiting family, or not even until he got back!!! And that's exactly what I said to my couple. No particular response from them.

Then while we were shopping, a coat caught his eye. We were all standing there together. He proceeded to turn to her and ask her what she thought about the coat in terms of style, weather use, if she thought he was trying to look too young, etc. When he tried it on he turned to her and asked her how he looked, etc. Never even glanced my way much less asked my opinion or feedback. (Now, I'm not a fashion guru, but I think I have good taste. People have complemented me on my style/clothing before. I am, however, 12 years older than she (he and I are the same age), so maybe that was a factor in wanting her opinion and not mine?????) I was hurt and sad, underneath my initial anger. But, I'm tired of pointing things out like this and don't want to be seen as a "whiner", so I let it go.

What I'm trying to sort through is whether these incidents could be part of his A.D.H.D.? If so, they're not the easiest factors to deal with in establishing a poly relationship, and they're not going to change. On the other hand I'm tired of being "overlooked". If it's the A.D.H.D., it would be easier for me not to personalize it...to cut him some slack and attempt to adapt/adjust. Even if it is the A.D.H.D., I'm not sure I want to be part of trying to manage it while trying to develop a poly relationship. It tends to feed one of my concerns about ever considering poly; having enough time, attention and consideration with the one(s) I love.

My ego? My whining? My ?????? Them not working as hard to incorporate me into the "family" as I am, even though they were the ones who approached me about poly?? Thoughts. Feedback, please. Be somewhat gentle, ok? My ego has taken a beating.

SNeacail 11-08-2010 08:48 PM


Originally Posted by dragonflysky (Post 51883)
Since making the move, I've found out that our guy has A.D.H.D. This might account for some of the reason why he doesn't always think ahead or keep track of his plans for the week, month, etc., gets distracted, unfocused, etc. I just don't know. And I don't know how much is just my ego.

ADHD would account for some of this, as well as this is just who he is. I would suggest sitting down and talking with the wife. Does he forget to mention plans to her, how does she deal with it? It could be that he just assumed he told you because he remembered telling "someone". My husband does this to me all the time, I have to remember to ask daily, what his plans are, because it won't occur to him that I might not know. With us it doesn't help that I also sometimes forget what he tells me (especially if it is out of context), so I ask the same question more than once:rolleyes:.

Breathesgirl 11-08-2010 09:49 PM

Possibility is ADHD. He is also in an open triad with his wife & husband. He IS scatterbrained, for sure. For the better part of two years I had to make it a point to email him the night before our evening together just to make sure it was still happening so I wasn't left wondering where he was & why he hadn't called to let me know plans had changed.

Part of it was that he really didn't remember who he had plans with & part of it was that he had gone off his meds & no one knew about it so his memory was a LOT worse than it should have been.

After a lot of my telling him that it would be nice to have at LEAST 24 hours notice when he knows the plans have been changed, so I can make plans with someone else if I like, he has gone the extra step and tries to give me 48 hours notice!

It used to drive me totally bonkers that I couldn't get any undivided attention from him until I realized that I was getting it, just not the way I was accustomed to. He doesn't fulfill my primary love language, touch, but he does fall into a couple of the others. Once I figured that out I felt a lot better.

Dating someone with ADHD does take a lot of planning, repetition & frustration but it can be SO worth the struggle if he's the right one for you! Things are slowly changing for Possibility, for the better.

He's also a HUGE multi-tasker! He can play a video game, watch/listen to a movie & carry on a conversation & never miss a beat with any of it!

I would suggest sitting down with both of them & getting as much information about how HE is, what can be attributed to the ADHD, what's just plain forgetfulness, etc. so you can make a more informed decision as to whether this relationship is the right one for you.

As for the shopping....If you weren't in his direct line of sight he may not have been able to remember you were along, she should have hinted, strongly, that you might like to give your opinion on it as well.

I have found that repetition will generally get me the results I am looking for, if not when I want them, lol. Like I said, nearly two years of a weekly reminder of when our night was supposed to be before he was able to remember it on his own consistently. Even now if I know he's had a really bad week I'll nudge him via email or chat just as a reminder.

I know there are others on here who have experience with this. Hopefully they will chime in soon. Feel free to pm me if you need to vent or something, lol.

dragonflysky 11-09-2010 12:56 AM

Thanks for your responses and suggestions SN and BG. They make sense and you have some good ideas for me to try. I do think it would help for me to talk with our other partner. She's very organized. Our guy has told me in the past to check with her in terms of scheduling, etc. I have to admit, however, that my ego gets tied up with this as neither of them consult with me about schedules, etc. Also, I've had a pattern in my past of being the one who does that majority of work and compromise in relationships. Both work and compromise are needed, but true "health" involves a balance. Poly has really thrown what sense of balance I was finally developing "off"...and then throw ADHD in the picture....:confused::rolleyes:

Breathesgirl 11-09-2010 09:41 AM

You're quite welcome.

Just take it slow & steady & you'll get where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there.

LovingRadiance 11-10-2010 12:59 AM

All of those examples could be part and parcel to ADHD/ADD.
I'm ADD, so are both GG and Maca as well as every single one of our kids! The only person in the house who isn't-is my sister.

But-ADHD/ADD is manageable-not curable, but it is manageable. There is no reason that he can't learn to be reasonably attentive in regards to your feelings and polite in your company.

We use a calendar. Everything goes on it. Then everyone copies it to their own daily calendars, one person uses their phone, two of us use actual personal calendars, two of the kids use daily lists.... etc.

A friend who is ADD and husband and children all are as well uses google calendars where they can all put stuff in adn it updates to their cell phones. I've never tried that though.

As for being rude-while it's true that ADD causes some issues with open mouth/insert foot, because they "say what they thought before they consider it". That too CAN be controlled.

It's all about really taking the time to educate yourself about your own personal issues in regards to your ADD and then training yourself to use the "helps" that can be put in place so as not to do those things anymore.

It's an endless work in progress.

Breathesgirl 11-10-2010 02:18 AM

I use the google calendar function as well. I can add things on either my phone or the desktop and can see everything from either location. I definitely recommend it for the super organised and the not so organised alike.

Yes, it is a work in progress but so very worth it for me! :D

midnightsun 11-10-2010 04:13 AM

ADHD... Poly... and Life in General.
Ok, well I would be the "friend" that LR has who has ADHD/ADD and uses the google calendar. :) I am also an ADHD/ADD coach and write a blog about ADHD/ADD as well. For the sake of simplicity, I'll refer to it as ADD... not everyone is hyperactive so hence the disappearing "H."

All 3 of my kids have ADD/ADHD and so do several of my family members and most of my friends. It is a hereditary neuro-biological brain disorder that has been linked by recent studies to chromosomal abnormalities.

There is no data to suggest that ADD is related to Poly or vice versa. What there is a lot of information about is the fact that people with ADD tend to be "mavericks," like to think outside the box, buck the status quo and tend to focus more on solutions and results than standards and social norms. To me, that would imply that ADD'ers tend to be more open-minded by nature. Therefore, one could reasonably conclude that a higher percentage of people involved in ANY alternative lifestyle would likely be ADD.

Nearly everyone I personally know who is poly (meaning I have met them in person) is also ADD or has noticeable ADD traits. Interestingly, every single individual I *personally* know who has acknowledged being bisexual is also ADD. If there is a relationship between ADD and sexuality, in my opinion it's simply related to a willingness to be open-minded and explore alternatives to traditional sexual, relationship and social norms.

The best advice I can offer is to learn as much about ADD as you possibly can. That is the easiest way to start to differentiate between ADD traits and apathy. However, I don't believe that it's ok to use ADD as an excuse to continue behavior that is hurtful in a relationship. It's up to the person who has ADD to explore the particulars of their condition and how it impacts their life and loved ones so that they can learn to mitigate that impact. That's what I do as a Coach.

It's a two-way street... you and the other partner both have to learn to remind yourselves not to take his absent-mindedness personally, and he has to learn to try to compensate for his absent-mindedness (and other traits) as much as he can with the understanding that it impacts his relationships in ways he may not realize. The GOOD side of ADD is that we tend to be smarter, have a unique sense of humor, more technically inclined and more creative than most. I think that's why ADD'ers tend to be attracted to each other... because we "get" it.

Here's my top recommendations for ADD resources, whether you are an adult with ADD, a significant other of an ADD'er or a parent of a child with ADD:

http://www.midnightsuncoaching.com/blog (that's my blog)
http://www.addvance.com/ (very good info on women & girls with ADD)

Delivered from Distraction - Dr. Ned Hallowell & Dr. John Ratey
Super Parenting for ADD - Dr. Ned Hallowell & Dr. John Ratey
Understanding Women with ADHD - Dr. Patricia Quinn and Dr. Kathleen Nadeau
The Disorganized Mind - Nancy Ratey
Odd One Out: The Maverick's Guide to Adult ADD - Jennifer Koretsky
A.D.D. and Romance - Jonathan Halverstadt, M.S.

I could go on and on and on and probably turn the Poly board into an ADHD board. LOL! Anyone wanting more information or with specific questions is welcome to private message me and I'll help if I can. :)

dragonflysky 11-10-2010 05:02 AM

WOW...thanks so much for all the suggestions and resources. Also for the reminder that there are skills/techniques one can use to better manage this condition. I'm not sure our guy would see the behaviors that concern me as possibly related to ADD, but it might be worth discussing with him as he's the one who told me he has ADD. And...I don't think he thinks of himself as a particularly thoughtless and/or uncaring person. So, maybe he'd consider another possibility for his sometimes hurtful behaviors.

As for the "good" side or the "gifts" of individuals with ADD.....I would agree. That's part of what keeps me hanging in there instead of walking away. :) I do, however, think that certain aspects of poly relationships further complicate some of the challenges of having such a condition.

Wayne 11-10-2010 04:51 PM

I've got ADHD as well, and I'm on meds for it. I'm also fairly certain that I have Asperger's (but no dx yet), and the two often go together.

Anyway, the meds make me much more able to do stuff and to remember to do stuff. Getting enough sleep and exercise is also very important! These priorities don't compete with my other priorities... they enable them.

I'm still not 100% where I'd like to be, but at least no one close to me doubts that I'm doing all that I can for them or that I really care about them. And that, I think, is what he should ultimately be shooting for.

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