Today, I’m sixty one years and one day old. I’m not 64.
But the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-Four” is playing in my head and I can’t get it to stop.
That song asks some questions that have anxiety at their root.
Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?
I can be handy
Well, we don’t have fuses in our house, we have breakers, but I’m good at figuring our which one has tripped. Well, I would be if we ever tripped one.
But that’s really not the issue here.
People with ADHD are more likely to have multiple failed relationships.
And the reason is?
The biggest reason is impulsivity. We throw ourselves, wholeheartedly into relationships that we think will be wonderful and then when they turn out not to be what we thought they were we struggle to hang on.
And we double down when we think things are on shaky ground. “Things not working the way you think they should? Maybe getting married would help.”
I have no experience
Well, okay, I have little experience. I was married for 27 years when my wife passed away. Happily married for the most part. The rough parts were never so rough as to make us question our relationship.
I’ve had relationships that did not result in marriage in my life, but I like to think that they did result in friendships, though not all of them are as friendly as I’d wish.
And now I’m in a relationship that makes me wish I had a lifetime of years left still, and certainly makes me not want to miss a minute of what there is of my life left.
So, what’s the secret?
I have no idea. Find the right person? Certainly that would make our lives easier, it has worked for me.
When romantic relationships ended for me they were always hard, and usually late in coming. And I always felt bad whether I ended them or whether I had them ended on me.
But I always went, as soon as I could, to the idea that if it wasn’t working for one of us it certainly could not work for the other one for very long. If your partner isn’t happy, you’re either not happy or you’re oblivious.
If you’re not happy, what are you doing in that relationship? And if you’re oblivious … you’re in a relationship with your imagination, not the other person.
With ADHD …
We tend to fall in love quickly. We tend to act on those feelings impulsively. And we tend to drag out bad relationships because we cling to our impulses and to the idea that we don’t want to be hurt or hurt the other person.
And I know that people like us are quite capable of having serial problem relationships.
But I want you to know that they aren’t all like that, not all problem relationships.
How can we make them work?
Go into the relationship with your head up and your eyes open. Lay all your cards on the table, if you aren’t honest going in you’re starting your relationship with a lie.
Check in with your partner constantly, are they struggling with your disorder being part of the relationship?
And possibly most importantly, check in with yourself constantly. Ask yourself how you feel about the relationship, and answer yourself honestly.
If you love the other person
The last thing you want for your partner is a painful relationship, right?
The joy needs to outweigh the trouble. There needs to be happiness despite the ADHD and maybe even some happiness because of the ADHD.
And don’t lose hope. Some of us succeed.
Some of us are still asking, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty four?”
And for me, that’s just three years away.