Attention Deficit Disorder.
When we talked with the Relationship Therapist on Thursday, she pointed my now ex bf in the direction of getting help for his ADD. Something he had already known he had, but not really thought he might need help. She also talked about the phenomenon of emotional flooding, a term pioneered by John Gottman. He also talks about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or the four key predictors of relationships that would end badly; Defensiveness, Criticism, Stonewalling and worst of all Contempt. We both spent time reading up on these new terms and that gave us a better understanding of how our cycles of conflict were triggered.
Since then, we have also realised that the ADD actually had more far reaching effects on us. His perception that the grass is always greener on the other side and his refusal to give up most of the key components of his single life which caused a lot of the conflict in our relationship, most likely stem from his need to go searching for dopamine highs. It is a neurotransmitter that is low in individuals with ADD. Some people display addictive behaviour to try and get the high from alcohol, smoking, sex or exercise. In my ex’s case, he was addicted to the social highs, but was also always on the look out for new relationships because of the dopamine hit he received in the infatuation phase. It suddenly makes a lot of sense why he always said, if the relationship broke up in the first two months, it was always the girl’s decision. If it broke up later, it was his decision. He had no reason to break up when he was in the throes of love. It’s only when the dopamine levels dropped and the reality bit that he began distancing himself.
Life suddenly makes much more sense and I feel an overwhelming sense of love for this guy and what he has had to cope with his whole life. He has overcome all of the handicaps he is burdened with to be a good dad and provider and functioning citizen and employee. I just want to put my arms around him and hold him till he feels that love.