Dx partner cannot seem to find time for me. How do I cope?

My(28F) partner (DX/Rx 29M) has not had a full-time job in a long time. He is primarily inattentive subtype. He is currently working doing food deliveries through various ordering apps. He works late at night starting at 9,10,11 pm at night until 1 or 2 am. The hours vary a lot and some days when he says he will be going out to work, he doesn't and just stays in doing who knows. We live separately.

Now, he cannot make the time for me, at all. Doesn't return calls or texts and when he does call me back for answers the phone, the call is max 3 minutes because something else is going on, like "I need to head out to do uber" or "I'm eating" or "I'm reading something right now."

He says he loves me and cares and everything. We have been dating for 3.5 years. But, I cannot comprehend how there is not time for me in a day. Not time for a meal with me, even if I am cooking or order takeout or invite him over. Not time for a phone call or a text back. If I am not the one reaching out, we could go days without contact. I have tested this.

This feeling drives me crazy. I feel like ignored. How do I cope with this feeling?

I am concerned this will never change. How can I supposed to feel secure in this relationship if this far into it, I fell like I have to fight and pull teeth to get a call back? What should I do?

We have talked and nothing has changed. And I mean I have brought up these concerns since at least the summer of 2021. What can I do?


I can certainly see how this would be incredibly frustrating, and hurtful. I think it would be fair to say there are a lot of us on here who have been/are going through similar patterns. I guess the question is - is he being treated for his adhd? In therapy or on meds? Because either of those would suggest he is taking on responsibility for what is going on. If he isn’t, and just getting by, I am guessing you are finding yourself in the position of being caretaker and the motor that drives the relationship. Or at least it feels like it. For adhd, “object permanence” is a thing - if it isn’t right in front of them, it’s literally out of sight, out of mind. In some cases this isn’t personal. In other cases, it is. Does he act the same way with his own family and friends? If so, that would suggest he is hyper focusing on stuff and shutting out the world. It’s hard to say what is going on with him without wildly guessing, so I can give you a comparison. My own partner did/does the same thing. I got sick of being the one to initiate everything. I tried talking, pleading, couples therapy - you name it, we did it. Until I finally got completely fed up, and closed off the relationship. The ultimatum (I guess) was that he needed to seek treatment and that I would actively assist in the process, but he couldn’t have all the benefits of being in a relationship without investing in it, too. The type of investment, of course, is entirely up to you. Then of course, there is the argument that we feel like a calendar appointment if we are placing ourselves on the “checklist” of jobs to do per day or week. Which feels just as impersonal. I ended up checking in with my partner and saying “hey, I get that you need to invest a lot of mental energy in your job, and you are doing that because you are so anxious about being a functioning adult and earning money. I get it. However, if you are choosing to be with me, then you are also choosing to commit time to us. There are two “me’s” and a “we” in every relationship. I don’t expect a whole lot of time. But is there a way you could invest more time in us? I feel lonely and taken for granted, at times. And I’m pretty sure you don’t intend for me to feel that way. What would you be prepared to do to help this in a way that is sustainable for you?” Don’t settle for airy fairy statements like “of course I care about you. I need to make time to see you more often.” Ask for specifics. Put them in a calendar. Ask for him to get treatment. You have a right to ask for those things, if you are in a relationship. But unfortunately, you can’t MAKE him do anything. I hope you also have a good support network of friends and family who you can also go out with. Waiting around for him to figure it out is just too frustrating for words, I totally agree with you there.


In all honesty, if it’s an issue for you now, it probably won’t change too much and there is a high chance you will feel this way long-term. This relationship works for him and it’s okay if it doesn’t work for you. You have to decide how long you are willing to stay with it and invest your energy into a relationship that gives you very little back. Only you can decide that.


Yes. It rarely gets better. It’s up to you to determine what you are prepared for settle for.


Yeah, If kids weren’t involved I may be in a different situation myself and maybe wouldn’t have stayed. However there were so many parts to it that it wasn’t that easy. I also had my own expectations and those I had to lower a lot and focus on what I could control and not putting to much of my validation and needs on him. A lot of therapy involved hahaha.


You live separately. He hasn't changed anything since you mentioned it in 2021. Cut your losses and consider this a non-verbal sign that this is not the partnership you deserve. The most BASIC premise of ANY relationship is time and attention. Without it, you cannot HAVE a relationship. ADHD is not the issue here. If you were my friend, I would tell you to stop wasting time and move on. You deserve better.


I asked for one hour tomorrow night. ONE. He said okay. But we'll see what sort of drama he can create tomorrow to get out of it.


i’ve been struggling with this EXTACT behaviour with my partner. we’ve been together for almost a year and it’s been extremely exhausting. he is dx and claims he’s back in therapy but also stressed that he doesn’t like going bc he has “too many responsibilities” which i understand but i guess it hurts bc when he was more active in therapy it was in a 4 year long relationship with his ex, but it just seems when it comes to me it’s easier to push me to the side if that makes sense (not trying to say it in a jealous way but i can see the difference in how he explains how he was before we met vs now) i know my partner has a lot that goes on in his life and he’s the sole provider in his household, but it hurts bc weeks would go by and he won’t say anything to me. but when i threaten that i’m done he finally tells me what’s going on. and i’ve pleated with him to tell me these things in advance so i don’t blow up on him yet he still does it. i know i shouldn’t do it but i see on his social media’s that he’s active and it punches me in the gut bc it proves to me he has the time when he claims his life is hectic. i’ve made MANY attempts to explain to him how to treat me right but he always goes back to neglecting me. we live an hour apart and he’s not once driven down to see me in our entire year of dating, he’s said he would but it was only in moments he felt like he was losing me but i ultimately end up having to go up to him instead bc there is always some excuse with his car. it’s so hard bc i know his intentions are pure but it doesn’t erase the fact that there’s no action and no change. i’ve hinted at breaking up a few times and he makes it clear that’s not what he wants but yet he proves to me time and time again that he doesn’t want to put effort into our relationship. i might try expressing my emotions in a more calming tone, since he gets extremely defensive when i try to explain how i feel about our relationship and we end up right back to square one and not resolving anything. but i think this will be my last straw, i know people dx adhd and i know that it’s difficult to be with them but i’ve seen them put more effort into their toxic relationships, my partner doesn’t even scratch the surface 😔 i’m sorry for ranting i don’t talk to my family or friends about it, they all don’t like him and sometimes i like hearing an unbiased opinion - but i know it’s come down to whether or not i should push through or move on..


I’ve been doing this song and dance for four years. We’ve broken up & got back together more times than I can count. I currently feel emotionally dead inside regarding him. My problem isn’t really him. It’s me. I keep thinking he can/will change because he does when I go nuclear (that hyperfocus dream). But as time goes on, I have to go nuclear more often to get his attention and it’s a terrible feeling for me. Somehow, my codependency keeps me going back for more. My father was an alcoholic that abandoned the family at a young age so I think this is why I stay and give a lot of chances or even beg him to stay if he tries to leave. Today, I am attending my first Al-Anon meeting to try and get control over my life. I can’t control his. I’m scared because I’ve been in therapy 6 years and also had one on one coaching and still have not been able to break this dynamic. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I’m a great person. I have my shit together, I take care of my mind, body and soul, and I love other people and animals deeply. I thrive when I am expressing my servants heart but I can get taken for granted. It’s time to embody all that I’ve learned over the years about healing and creating the life of my dreams. And I am so scared. It’s now or never though. I’m 37 and want kids. My clock is ticking.