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I read another thread on this bulletin board about a person trying to salvage his relationship, and I wish him good luck and hope for the best but, I just wanted to say something to everyone out there like me that was in a relationship that ended quite badly and beat themselves up over it. Sometimes, our partners have just given up trying to accept our shortcomings but, in other cases, it may not be our fault at all. My last relationship falls into the latter category and, until I talked with a psychiatrist about it, I thought it was my fault and beat myself up over it.

My relationship with A. started out like a fairy tale. We began as friends and over the course of a couple of months of e*mailing and telephone conversations, we began to grow intimate. We shared our deepest secrets and counted on each other for *******. We were inseparable and the sex was tender and romantic. For a while, it was like a dream. Eventually, she started growing distant. Because of my ADD (undiagnosed at the time), I started to feel like a failure and tried as hard as I could to do whatever I could to rekindle our relationship...unfortunately it didn't work. First she started to sleep around with other men, then she started to become abusive and denigrating. Eventually, she used emotional abuse and manipulation to control me. Throughout this period, she battered my self*esteem until the point where I became clinically depressed. She complained that the things I did * my impulsiveness, my need to plan, my lateness, my mood swings and my tendancy to spaceout * were driving her nuts and that was why she started to hang out, and eventually sleep with, other guys. I felt like a complete failure because of this. It wasn't until I talked with a psychiatrist and a psychologist that I found out that my ADD symptoms were only an excuse for her actions. In reality, all the things she did to me were manifestations of her Borderline Personality Disorder. She is undiagnosed because she refuses to believe that she has a problem, even though I wasn't the first guy she did these things to. My psychologist and psychiatrist both told me that it didn't matter what I did, that as a BPD, she would have eventually started the cycle of abuse, manipulation and cheating even if I didn't have ADD. In essence, I was beating myself up for something that was never my fault.

What I'm trying to get across here is that we sometimes forget that our partners may also suffer some kind of mental condition as well. Sometimes, a relationship is doomed and we have to move on to save our own self*esteem and sanity. It's a little harsh to say but, it was a good thing for me that A dumped me because her abuse and cheating would have destroyed me; living with ADD is hard enough without having a partner that does things to undermine our efforts to be "normal". To all the other ADD sufferers out there, I just want you to know that sometimes, when your relationships fail, that it may not be because of your ADD symptoms; it could be entirely possible that your partner also has a problem. Be selfish for once and think about your own welfare and be prepared to move on. You have to watch out for yourself because your partner may not have your best interests in mind, as was the case with me and A.

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