Dating someone with short term memory loss




He thinks you're going to cheat on him, then uses his bad memory as an excuse to avoid dealing with it? If his memory really is that bad, he needs to see a neurologist or psychiatrist. See a clinical psychologist. That will provide hard data to show him, "See? Your memory really IS that bad.

I hate to think the worst, but there could be something medically wrong with your boyfriend. I've never heard of a memory that poor. A psychologist will either be reassuring and help him deal with his naturally poor memory, or will refer him to a neurologist. Either way, the shrink will help him deal with it in a non-destructive way. While you're cooking, ask him something about the dish you're making.

He'll have to remember what dish it is to be able to answer your question. Vary the study-test interval based on his abilities. Naturally, this is much easier for trivial things. He might not like being reminded, "Hey, remember factor X about that fight we had an hour ago? At the very least, a professional is better equipped to help him cope with memory deficiencies. At best, they ate an early warning sign for something more serious.

My partner knows a ton of people, and when we go to events, we often see people that I've met before, but only once or twice, or perhaps I only see them once a year or so. I often don't remember their names, but I do generally remember having met them. Your boyfriend's level of bad memory - can't remember which character is the Doctor after a half-hour break?


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Nthing that he get a medical checkup for that. I see three problems BF does not recognize he has a problem. GF you is making a questionable decision by moving in with him. As to the last Is there some compelling reason why you are about to move in with him? What on earth makes you think that this will be any easier once you live together than it is while NOT living together? Do you not see how this will just set you up for more stress of even larger proportions once you co-mingle your stuff and lives?

There isn't a magic bullet for hacking memory, any more than there is one for growing wings. Find a mind with all the pieces, at the very least. Metafilter can't rescue you from a bad decision. The best thing to do is not to make it in the first place. I have a friend with memory issues. Really bright guy, but when we have a conversation he can easily forget what I said and attribute it to himself or forget it completely. He admits to it though. That said, I think your boyfriend needs to get checked out. Sometimes it could be something as simple as a nutritional deficiency.

For example, a Zinc deficiency can lead to poor memory as well as other symptoms. Otherwise, it seems like recent science shows that improving memory is most effective by practicing recall. So the easiest way to improve memory is to use it. Another direction might be neurobiocs. Nthing he needs to see a doctor - you may need to record him saying something he later forgets or something like that, since he may not actually realize how severe his issue is if he is forgetting that he didn't remember something if you see what I mean , he may also be downplaying it because he is frightened or embarrassed by it.

I have a terrible memory for some things, but I don't forget what I'm cooking, and I don't forget who characters are on TV series I watch I do sometimes forget the details of what happened last week or last season, though, but that's because I tend to forget stuff like that if I don't consciously try to remember them. My memory was definitely affected by concussions I suffered from horseback riding falls, has your BF ever had a head injury? Would he even go to a doctor and talk about the correct symptoms if you aren't there?

If it really is that bad it'll start affecting his work soon enough without some discipline, organizational tools [note taking phone apps, etc], and generally trusting at least a few people. The defensiveness is understandable, I mean, his whole sense of reality is under siege and I can imagine he'll take it out on you without realizing it. Let's say it is just a forgetfulness thing and not anything more sinister cancer, tumor, tbi, etc.

You can't change him. You can't ask him to change and expect that he will. You will have to decide whether or not this is a sticking point and move on with your life. I agree with others that finding ways to cope with this problem is not as important, right now, as getting him to the doctor.

However, even convincing him to get to the doctor will likely require some time and effort. You should write down everything. Even better, if possible, get him to write down things. Keep significant logs of what happen, and when. Who made dinner, what was for dinner, who went to the store, what you watched on TV. This will be useful whenever he insists that his memory is right and yours is wrong.

Don't do this as a way to show him wrong, but to add a bit of sanity back into your own life: The most important things to have records of are any promises or comments he makes about his own memory troubles. I'll take the test and prove that I don't have memory problems! Otherwise, you may find him insisting, the next day, that there's no way in hell he would've made such a promise.

If it's not in writing, just accept that it's as good as having never happened. You'll stay sane if you just accept having to interact with him on his terms, until you can get him to understand the severity of the situation. This is definitely not normal. I'm surprised that, other than you, that his family and friends or colleagues have not brought this up to him.

Tell him it's not normal. I'm with facetious - this seems weird. Is there a chance he's exaggerating his memory problems to manipulate you for his benefit? I have trouble believing it could truly be as bad as described with him not acknowledging that there might be a problem. Has his memory always been this bad?

He definitely needs to see a doctor, but if his memory was as bad at work as it is at home or with things like TV, he would probably be having some kind of issue there, so it almost seems like a selective memory thing.

Dating someone with short term memory loss

Not necessarily intentional, but possible unless he is having problems at work but forgets he got reprimanded at work that day by the time comes home or just isn't telling you. They're great, but he's only seen them once a year for the past fifteen years because they're far away. His job as an architect involves so much documentation that it's probably easier for him to remember things at work than it is at home. His friends are all work friends, which means that they see him at his best, surrounded by irrefutable data.

Now that I consider it, it seems really strange that I'm the only one who could have noticed, but I can't think who else would have. I mentioned it to his best friend, who thought my examples were hilarious but not too serious. He's never had a traumatic brain injury and he doesn't do drugs, but his family does have a serious history of cancer. Thanks for the perspective, everyone. I really thought people would say, "Oh, lots of people are like that.

And facetious and J. I've been wondering this for some time and haven't been able to pin down whether or not this is what he's doing. I thought maybe I was being uncharitable in that assessment, but if outside viewers think so, too? Maybe I need to be less generous in my explorations of this. The part about this that strikes me as odd besides, you know, the whole thing is that apparently he is capable of holding down a job and living successfully in the world while still having this problem. If he forgets what he's cooking while he's cooking it, then why doesn't he forget where the grocery store is, or how much money is in his bank account, or at the very least to pay his bills?

How can he function at work? How can he drive places, or, if he uses public transportation, remember bus routes? If this were truly a general impairment, one would think that things like that would be at least somewhat difficult for him too. I have slight prosopagnosia, so I too sometimes need to be reminded of the characters in a TV show or movie, and I almost always forget faces, and won't recognize people in a context where I'm not expecting to meet them, but other than that I have an excellent memory.

Is there a general theme, or perhaps a few, that you can identify that separates things he does forget from things he doesn't? This sounds like a very strange difficulty. I hope you guys can figure it out. That was the kind of memory problem I was expecting when I clicked. This is much more serious. You are showing great compassion in trying to work with this instead of just throwing up your hands in frustration and leaving him over this, by the way. I hope you can get it worked out, and your efforts are rewarded. It's possible his functioning is significantly impacted in other areas of his life, but he can't remember that it's occurring.

If it was just, "He can't remember my friends" or just "He forgets social engagements," or just "He can't remember TV shows," I think people would be like, "Oh, ha ha, yeah, my spouse is like that too. I think I just don't pay very good attention while it's on. Either he needs to see a doctor like yesterday, or he's using it as a really sociopathic control mechanism in your relationship. And I doubt he'd forget who Dr. Who was if he was using i as a really sociopathic control mechanism.

My husband is doctor-resistant and it often comes down to, "Do you want to just go, get this over with, and make me happy, while proving to me that I am crazy and you do not have a problem and getting to say "I told you so," or do you want me to keep nagging you about it every day for the next six months?

What Causes Memory Loss?

Because those are really your two choices. How old is your boyfriend? I don't know how the hell this guy can manage to do his job if he constantly forgets who the Doctor is from episode to episode. I cannot imagine working with someone who forgets everything and nobody ever noticing this or having a problem with it. It sounds overall like he's got an actual problem, but I do kind of wonder if he's faking at times at home. Either that or he is in trouble at work and you don't know it. Anyway, I'd say not to move in just yet and rethink things depending on how the doctor visit goes.

Things are kind of dubious here even on top of the memory issues. I would be hesitant to move in with him right now, were I in your shoes. Can you postpone that? I think he's bullshitting you. No architect would be able to do their job competently with the memory you describe. I don't know what exactly his job involves, but being a design professional means having a lot of things in motion at once. Documentation helps, but if he had to rely on transmittals and phone logs to get through his day, that's all he'd be doing. For what it is worth, I went out with a girl who pulled this shit all the time.

With her, she'd "black out" from alcohol and conveniently forget everything from 6PM onwards. Obviously blacking out from alcohol every time you drink is a huge problem and she's either drinking like a sailor or has some sort of serious medical problem. The serious medical problem ended up being "manipulation" and I picked up on it fairly quickly. How long have you been with him? This reminds of all the gas-lighting comments I've read on here, in a way. I worked with a guy with poor memory before.

He could do his technical job but he had to write everything down. Everyone who worked closely with him knew it. But even he could remember mostly conversations and such. Your bf is either pulling your leg or there is something very wrong. Please don't move in until this is addressed. I can see someone maliciously intent on messing with someone else pretending to have forgotten a recent argument, or pretending they think they've done all the cooking lately, but there is no reason for him to pretend he doesn't remember the characters in a TV show.

If he has some kind of brain damage these parts might not have been affected. I am not a neurologist, I know this from first-hand experience. Does he interact a lot with clients or does he mostly work in the office? If he does spend a lot of time with clients you might be able to use this as a way to convince him to see a doctor: I have a terrible short-term memory, though it's not as bad as your bf's.

For instance, if you tell me your phone number, I will have forgotten the first few digits by the time you tell me the last ones. I am not exaggerating: And if I ask you to repeat the first two digits, the number in my head will then be 88? I also can't remember directions of like "turn left, then turn right twice, then do three blocks straight, and the turn left. But I CAN do it. In fact, I've occasionally played lead parts in Shakespeare plays and the like. With me, it's more like 3 or 4. But I definitely CAN hold 3 or 4. I wonder if your boyfriend can.

Try testing him on this, if he's willing. So I can easily remember to go to the store any buy eggs, cheese and butter. Eggs, cheese, butter and milk is a little tricky. If you ask me to buy eggs, cheese, butter, milk and ice cream, and I don't write down a list, you're probably not going to get everything you want. So when I'm memorizing lines, I do it in four-word chucks: To be or not, to be or not, to be or not, to be or not I say it over and over again, until I can push it into my permanent memory maybe repetitions. My permanent memory is fine maybe even a bit better than average. If I say "to be or not to" over and over, it won't work.

I can't hold that in my temporary memory long enough to get it into my permanent memory. Once "to be or not" is cached, I move on to not to be that, not to be that, not to be that Notice that I've overlapped the "not" at the end of "to be or not" with the "not" at the beginning of "not to be that. I have owned the fact that my temporary memory sucks, and I don't pretend it doesn't.

I don't use paper much. I use various computer tools like Evernote. That works for me, because I'm pretty much always near a laptop or an iPhone. But if I'm not, I'll use napkins or whatever. I've been outsourcing my temporary memory to paper or computers for so many years, it's not a big deal to me, and, in general, my life seems to be about the same as someone who can do this stuff in his head. When I go to the store, I return with all the ingredients. The difference between me and your boyfriend is that I'm aware I have a disability; I've owned it; and I have strategies to deal with it strategies that don't generally burdon other people.

Back when I used pens and paper, I always carried several pens with me. I wasn't going to let running-out-of-ink be an excuse. So, as everyone here has said, he needs to get tested. But even after that, unless the doctor gives him a pill that instantly solves the problem, he needs to come up with coping strategies.

He has to a admit that he has a problem, and b take responsibility for it, rather than saying, "Whatchagonna do. One thing to note: ALL human memory is imperfect. You remember things much better than your boyfriend, but don't create a fantasy in which he has a broken memory and you have a perfect one. Your memory is good, I'm sure, but it's not perfect. People who know that I have a crummy memory tend to think that means their memory is always right.

About once a month, I get into a weird argument that goes like this: I remember us agreeing to that. Well, you know you bave a bad memory. Maybe I'm misremembering it. But is it possible that you're misremembering it? Then it turns out -- via objective evidence, like an email -- that we DID agree to go to the movies. I am at a disadvantage in arguments about remembered things, not just because I have a bad memory.

Also, because, in those arguments, I will admit that I may be misremembering. In my experience, people with generally good memories won't admit that even as a possibility. But NO one has a perfect memory. Still, most people seem to assume that if a memory feels really strong -- not fuzzy or misty -- then it MUST correspond to truth. That's simply not true. I have often wondered my my temporary memory is so bad, but no doctor has ever been able to explain it or cure it. However, I do now have a possible explanation.

I am not a doctor, a psychologist or a neurologist, so take this with the appropriate grain of salt: I have Asperger's Syndrome. Is it possible that your boyfriend does, too? If you don't know what it is, google it. See if he has any of the symptoms. I didn't know this until a few weeks ago, and it never occurred to me to check, but short-term memory problems are often but not always symptoms of Aspergers.

Comments (87)

Good luck to you both. My husband doesn't have a poor memory; in fact, it surpasses my internet-rotted one by far. But, he does have significant hearing loss, and misses things all the time. This leads to similar problems, and arguments, such as you've described.

Dating someone with short term memory loss

He's been tested - he knows it for a fact, and over seven years later is finally coming around to considering hearing aids. Their first question was "Does your wife mumble? If this is only happening around you, but not at work - something's very wrong. He is a lucky guy to have met you. I think I am lucky to have found him. I think I just have to be aware of what I assume is obvious is not to him.

Thank you for your help. I'm also currently dating a man who suffered a TBI 8 years ago this month. We went to school together I was in the same grade at him. From 1st grade on I had an enormous crush on him. We have been dating since I had a car accident and was recovering and my brother decided to invite him to a BBQ we were having to cheer me up. It's been very hard. I knew him in school but really only from a far The him I've come to know is the him post accident.

I don't know what all is from the TBI and what isn't. I feel guilty for being angry with him and expecting so much from him when I know it just isn't possible. But I too love and adore this man. I have my entire life. He sounds like me and others here, so glad you have joined us on this walk and love him so much to try and understand. My memory can and does drive my hubby crazy at times, but after 16 yrs he is very patient with me.

I have no control what so ever over what I will remember or not. I may remember sometimes, have a growing black hole of safe places I have put things never to be found again. Now including three sets of identical hand emb hoops, used to be just two. Forgot I even bought other two, girlfriend reminded me, she understands. But some things we do remember strangely. I have a brain book I write important things in. Hubby looks after our paperwork like insurance etc, thankfully. At times when I forget he will go over things slowly with me, that sometimes hits a cord, not always. He accepts I may tell him the same thing several times as I have forgotten I have told him.

I just asked him for any ideas from him about it. He said all of above, be patient and understanding as you are, and work ways out together His biggest fear is I will forget him, been told he neednt think he is that lucky. Your doing everything you can do for him, and he will really love you for it. Sometimes I think she will never find a man who would love her for who she is and be able to deal with the memory loss and the ups and downs, multi-tasking, etc.

Will someone see all the good she has and help her through life? As parents, she is so tired of us overprotecting her but I am terrified of her future. Driving is a huge deal we are dealing with now and she just started a job. I wish a wonderful man came and make her as happy as she deserves. No one deserves the complications from a TBI, no one. I admire each and every one of you, as well as the people who you have found to love you and accept you, bless you all. I have a steel trap memory, something tbi did not take away, but sometimes I 'check out' during conversatiins.

Where I go I cannot tell you, but where ever it is I think is a lovely place. Though it appears to others I am still present in the conversation, often by nodding or replying with one word responses. Those close to me or who work closely to me have learned to get a verbatim confirmation from me that I heard them. I have learned to offer that to others, thus allowing them to fill in any gaps. I cannot tell you how many times a staff person has left my office, afyerwhich I vaguely recall having said 'yes' or 'OK', only to have to call them back in to ask what I just approved.

If there is something you want your boyfriend to remember, you might want to try asking him to verify he heard you by confirming what he heard, not by a mere nod or 'yes', which seems to be an auto response built in. Also, I have found that a lot of the communication and organizational practices recommended for high-functioning autism and Aspergers have also been useful for me.


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    This is new to me so I am trying to find out all I can, so I can be better support to him and understand the dynamics of having a relationship with someone who has to live with TBI. Any advice would be appreciated! A friend sent this to me.. As far as I can see, grief will never truly end. It may become softer overtime, more gentleand some days will feel sharp. But grief will last as long as Love does - ForeverIt's simply the way the absence of your loved onemanifests in your heart.

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