March 1, 2018 at 7:23 am #195381
Hi Tiny Buddha Family,
First of all, I've read countless articles and am at the point where I'd like advice from others who can relate. Just a brief background on me – I've dated my boyfriend for now a little over a year and we moved rather quickly. Eight months into the relationship, he moved into my house with me (I own) and ever since moving in, I've felt frustrated. Prior to him, I dated a careless man who was emotionally abusive and whose family was exactly the same. It was very toxic and I found myself in a depression. I started having panic attacks, which I hadn't ever really experienced. Prior to that relationship, I dated a few guys who I didn't mesh with so ended those fairly quickly. I met John on Tinder and I was drawn to his communicative and kind nature. Long story short, we fell madly in love, FAST, but, let's get some background on John. He's 3 years older than me, was in college when I met him (he quit his job to go back to school because he wanted something better) so I knew going into the relationship we would be on different financial levels. I own my house, he doesn't have one, I have a stable career, he's just starting out. After graduating in May, he had a job up until October, but then, was on unemployment until the beginning of February. As you can imagine, I was super frustrated and worried about the lack of ambition for not having a job from October-February. I understand jobs are hard to come by, but it worried me he didn't at least have a part-time job while he was looking. I understood though that he had the unemployment to help.
So, with that all said, I started to notice things that bothered me. He didn't have a lot of money so I knew right off the bat our situation may be a bit limited financially on what we could do. My goals are to travel more which I made clear to him when we first started dating. We went on a fun vacation, went to some concerts together, and he graduated 3 months into dating. Great right!? It seems like all was going well. Of course, I had to pay my own way for most things, which I didn't have a problem doing. Sometimes I'd pay for his stuff too, but we tend to stick to splitting everything down the middle. Anyway, I found out he was diagnosed with ADHD in high school. Turns out, he's not medicated. I'm not sure how much this would help him.
Things he's done since I've known him – catch our grill on fire because he forgot he put a propane tank inside of it, left the oven burners on after cooking, or the oven on in general, makes the smoke alarms in the house go off when he cooks….I kid you not this happened last night when I was in bed. I actually DID NOT react, I'm so used to it at this point I'm just like, well, there goes the alarms again. He came into the room apologizing profusely, and I didn't say much. I guess I just know he doesn't mean to do these things, but I'm so different from him on this level…….he has also started my car before and forgot to open the garage door which terrified me, he's forgot to secure the front door (shut fully), has almost gotten us in a few car accidents, rambles on so much in social situations that it can be stressful for me and embarrassing to go out with him. I'm not exaggerating. I'm talking straight out going on a long rant about a topic that people are not interested in. He doesn't get the social hints to stop talking and I've noticed people tune him out. I tend to jump in to cut him off and have talked to him about these things. He said he's aware but feels the need to get the information out of his head. (I guess that's a symptom of ADHD)…
My friends get annoyed with him, my mom gets annoyed with him, and his own family tends to tune him out. I asked my mom for her honest opinion of him and she said although he's sweet, she's irritated by him. She has high anxiety and now is concerned because I told her some of the things that have happened.
So onto the positives. We communicate VERY well. I'm able to tell him exactly how I feel and vice a versa. We have not gotten into a fight because we are able to effectively communicate what bothers us. I will also note that I have seen a counselor twice to talk about things and she told me time will tell and I don't need to rush things. I was so certain I wanted to marry him in the beginning because he's such a sweet man. He helps out around the house, cooks, and is always wanting to know how my day is. I'm mad at myself that I've been feeling so wishy washy on my feelings for him since around November. I REALLY care about him but know I'm pulling back and he doesn't deserve that. His brother is also a huge jerk and I've separated myself from interacting with him (that's another long story) but I encourage him to spend time with his brother, I just can't be around him for my own mental health. I encourage him to spend time with all of his family, I just can't make it to as many events as maybe I normally would (I also have a second business on top of working full-time, so in the past, have had to hire friends to cover for me on weekends to spend time with his family) this year, now that I know how things are, I kind of am picking and choosing what events I should or shouldn't go to. I think if I make an appearance once and awhile I should be good, every holiday/event, is another story.
My dad was a drunk and died when I was 13 and my mom had drug issues when I was teenager, so as you can imagine, I grew up very fast and independently. I've taken personality tests and I'm a loyalist and futuristic, which can make me very anxious. It's a good but bad thing. I know I'm going on about the things he's DONE that freak me out, but when it's just us two, we do pretty well. Sometimes I find I'm tuning him out because he goes on tangents, other days, he'll be totally chill. It's so eclectic.
I could ramble on about the topic but I'm curious if anyone else has been in a similar situation where they were concerned about a future with someone. I guess safety is a big deal for me and I don't feel “safe” with him all of the time. Which, breaks my heart. I am now 28, he's 30. I feel like I have to check things because it seems as though he rushes through. He HAS gotten a bit better such as by deadbolting the front door so it's secure, but I still get anxious and worried something bad will happen. I would hate to break up with him because he is so sweet and we are able to communicate and connect. I'm just worried I'm starting to resent him because of his ADHD tendencies. He's very sensitive and emotional, something I haven't really experienced with a man before and obviously in my toxic relationships, I was able to break-up with them and not question it AS MUCH. He's the type of person I would be genuinely disappointed if lost a connection with, but I feel as though lately I'm not giving him the save level of love he's giving me. It really frustrates me because I'm aware of it. I'd hate to give him up because I've dated some seriously awful people.
I also was with a man right out of high school for 6 years because he was a nice guy. He asked me to marry him 4 years in, and we planned a wedding. I cancelled the wedding because we weren't right for each other. Total opposites that couldn't relate to each other. I was VERY unhappy and do not regret that decision. He wanted to be married with kids, I wasn't ready for that commitment. My parents also divorced when I was young and I experienced a lot of dysfunction. Part of me is wondering if I'm afraid of commitment and looking for reasons to run, even though I know not every relationship is perfect. Maybe because I haven't dated very many men, and see so many people in unhappy relationships, I'm terrified. I guess I don't know for sure. I literally have been over analyzing this scenario for the past several months, and it's frustrating VERY frustrating. I'm more of an introverted person so when I find deep connections with people, I hang on for dear life. I'm very much a quality over quantity person and John has treated me well, although we are on different levels. I just don't know what I'd do if he asked me to marry him tomorrow. I told him too we weren't ready, even though I was SO ready in the beginning. I'd be nervous to have a child with him just with the ADHD symptoms.
I should also make note that by being in a dysfunctional family and losing everything as a child, I have hung onto my house for dear life and a stable career. The career does not fulfill, inspire, or make me happy. It is however a job that I can pay the bills right now, I'm wondering if there is some spillover and getting over seasonal depression too.
If you read this whole thing, my goodness you're a saint, haha! Thanks for any wisdom you can all provide!March 1, 2018 at 7:49 am #195399
My thoughts at this point, following reading your post attentively:
1. His ADHD symptoms are fueled by anxiety. He rushes through things because anxious people rush through things: it is the Flight reaction to fear. He goes on and on about topics because he feels anxious. His compulsion is to get the information out of his head so to be calm.
These symptoms are not a life sentence. I have rushed through things a whole lot, did the things your boyfriend does. Through healing (no drugs), through practicing mindfulness, I am now way, way more attentive than I used to be, significantly more.
2. You encourage him to spend time with his family- that may not be a good idea because I don't think he felt safe with his family growing up, his significant anxiety leads me to think there are problems there. I wouldn't discourage him from spending time with his parents, his brother, but I wouldn't encourage him.
3. Back to anxiety. At one point you experienced panic attacks that you didn't experience before. Anxiety expresses itself in different ways at any one time and throughout a person's life. The two of you can help each other manage and heal from your individual anxieties.
4. That the two of you do not fight, the fact that he is not aggressive is a huge plus. Imagine all the accidents and deaths that occur following fights, the adrenaline, the Fight/Fight response… and so, there is danger in that. Safe with him in this regard, isn't it?
anitaMarch 1, 2018 at 8:20 am #195405
Thanks for your note! I really appreciate it!
1. I agree with this. When I first met him he would NOT stop talking. It made me so uncomfortable actually, and I didn't get a word in edgewise. Now I know, it's because he was nervous. Ironically, at the time, I told myself I would never date him because I was so shocked at the behavior, look at us now, ha! I think too now that he's employed, he's much calmer. Still goes on tangents, but I try to gently remind him when he's repeating himself and I was told by my counselor I appear very patient with him. I look back and laugh at it now, but when he blew up the grill, I simply plugged in my diffuser and had lavender spewing out at full-speed, ha!
2. He's a twin. Long story short on this, his brothers fiance is extremely jealous. I've seen it, experienced it, and have heard from others about the dysfunction there. It was a situation where he accidentally got her pregnant. When John and I started dating, he and I would hang out with them, only to experience them both getting into full-blown fights. I've sent thank you gifts with no thanks in response, and have had to deal with snide comments from the fiance about how John's nephew doesn't get to spend time with his uncle since I came into the picture. I was shocked, hurt, and frustrated, because at the time, we were both working full-time, he was going to school, and he was competing in a bodybuilding competition. It didn't take me long to figure out she was just mean and jealous. I'm very sensitive in that sense and am a people pleaser, but now that I'm getting older, I cut out the negative folks. I could go on, but it's not worth it. I removed both of them from social media because they would exclude me in family weekend events (tag everyone but me) and I've heard from other females close to the family that the brother has always treated John poorly and bailed.
John actually drove 2 hours to visit his brother's family one weekend while I was back home, and the brother left to go stay with his fiance in another town who was visiting her family. They all knew he was visiting, but, bailed. Left John to be a dog sitter for their new puppy. I lost a lot of respect. The brother and fiance are on again off again constantly, and I think it's because there is a child at play, which, they don't even know if it's his. She has kids with other men. I know, this is literally Jerry Springer. I'm noticing too the parents are spending most of their weekends with these guys and when I'm at family events the family comes up to me to say how much they appreciate me and how much I've changed John's life for the better. I've never once heard that from his parents. Although I do get kind feedback from his dad. One of his aunts warned me about the mom. I hate drama, so I just brushed it all off, but now, I see it and just do my best to only go to things once in awhile. When we do visit, they are very consumed with the young children (which I understand)…
3. The panic attacks were experienced by my toxic ex, I kind of jumped around there! But I have been more anxious and down lately just “trying to figure my life out overnight.”
4. Exactly! Yes, he used to cage fight (ironically) and his family has a history of Alzheimers, so sometimes I wonder if these small factors contribute to some of the symptoms he experiences with anxiety. He's been knocked out a few times. : / Trust me, I've thought about several scenarios, ha! I know he would never cheat on me or hurt me physically, and even though there are some issues with safety with leaving the oven on and such, I'm hoping overtime he gets better. I will say, I've asked him if anyone has brought up some of the things I have to him, i.e. how it's important to slow down, etc. he told me none of his exes took the time to tell him how they felt.
…….also, I truly don't believe I'll attend the brother's wedding. I have not been invited and I don't want to go. John is a groomsmen and said he's only doing it because it's for his brother. At this point in my life, I give several chances, but if you constantly show me you're just a rude person who takes and takes and takes, I cannot have those kind of folks in my life. I've heard from several family members they are just going to “get drunk” because they can't stand her. It's pretty sad. Sometimes I stop and actually think man, we could be friends if she was nicer, BUT she's just too rude! I don't tolerate rude behavior, I know some people are more accepting than others, but, it just drains me emotionally and physically.
Thanks again for your response, I appreciate it! : )
March 1, 2018 at 8:47 am #195415
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by pce42.
You are very welcome. From the further information you provided, I think it is important, for your well being as well as John's, that you do not encourage him to spend time with his family. I have a neighbor who encourages her husband to spend time and be nice to his mother while his mother continues to disrespect and mistreat him. She thinks she is doing the right thing, perhaps, but she is not. She is hurting her husband.
I believe that when you are in a relationship, the two people should help each other, promote each other's well being. A relationship is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
John reads like a good man, a keeper in my book.
anitaMarch 1, 2018 at 9:05 am #195423
I have encouraged it because in the past I was accused of “keeping my boyfriend away from family” well, that's because it was toxic. I knew jumping in it wasn't going to be roses. There was a whole slew of issues in that relationship. In this instance, with John, I've encouraged him to spend time with his family if he prefers, but that I may not join. I do agree that it may not be beneficial for his health and surely it's not for mine, hence, why I've communicated to him that I must limit my time around them. I think we have these images in our heads of the perfect relationship, perfect family, etc. I particularly tend to fall victim to that thinking because I have experienced so much loss and trauma in my early life, however, it also has taught me SO MUCH that I'm thankful for the life experiences and knowledge I have gained.
Tiny Buddha's website has helped SO MUCH by reading others articles and life experiences. I tend to try and figure it all out at once, which, isn't possible. I can relate to your neighbor, because I felt like by being present myself or encouraging my boyfriend to go spend time with them, I'm doing the right thing. The one thing I have trained myself to NOT do is be super vocal about my feelings on them. He knows how I feel, but I don't try and drill the negative information into his head. I just simply let him know I won't attend the event and stop stressing over it so much. I tend to get myself so worked up and wish I just didn't care as much, ha! Again, the idea of “picture perfect” right!? : )
March 1, 2018 at 9:10 am #195427
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by pce42.
I have had borderline ADHD and can relate about forgetting things and not having awareness of my environment though not as severe. Insofar as needing to rant, that is not what I have done. You may want to look up that behavior for ADHD. I am a INFJ so I'm more internal and am a listener.
I know that no matter how much I tried, I still forgot things, misplaced things, and not aware of situations that I “should” have been aware of (like seeing a car coming when I was stopped at a stop sign) if I did not have ADHD. Basically those of us with ADHD cannot help it. It is not a matter of more willpower, dedication, thinking, awareness in order to function “normally.”
I took Adderall for it for a short while and really thought it helped. I stopped when I was getting the side effects, especially the increase in blood pressure (I have a family history of high blood pressure). I went to a Body Talk practitioner (you can Google what that is) and got it cured in two sessions. I consider her my miracle worker for there is no cure of ADHD according to Western medicine.
Insofar as you not loving him as much, maybe you don't need to give him up but just have your separate spaces again. This will help with your physical safety issue. Or for him to get on medication or energy work treatments.
March 1, 2018 at 9:19 am #195435
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Mark.
Thank you for your advice! I've never heard of a body talk practitioner, so I'll look into this. I think it's important to mention too that he told me he is willing to seek help because in his words, “I think it'll help me become a better person since I've struggled with forgetfulness and misplacing things my entire life.” He was on medicine in high school VERY briefly, but his mom took him off of it because he was falling asleep in class. No other medication or treatment was then looked into. His brothers both have ADHD as well from my perspective.
I think you're right on the space issue. I also haven't been exercising as much because my brain energy has been powered by all of these questions, sounds ridiculous, but over analyzing everything has made me TIRED. That's part of my problem and by working out, I'm less irritable when we're together. I think I just need breaks from the constant talking/interactions with him, we've communicated how we each enjoy space away from each other. It's healthy in my opinion to have time away from your significant other to collect your own thoughts.
As far as what I got out of the two sessions with my counselor, she told me to just relax, that I won't be able to figure it out all over night and that I'm young. She told me based on my personality test that I'll fight to the end until we truly don't think we are compatible. She's right, ha!March 1, 2018 at 9:23 am #195439
You wrote: “I think we have these images in our heads of the perfect relationship, perfect family, etc. I particularly tend to fall victim to that thinking because I have experienced so much loss and trauma in my early life”-
in my experience, loss and trauma in childhood, within the family of origin, is the rule, not the exception. The loss can be of trust, as the child blindly trusts her parents, and often betrayed, hurt by the ones she/he loves the most.
I wish it wasn't so. But we indeed live in a world so far, far…. so far from perfection, it is mind boggling, really. That severe distance from perfection starts within families of origin.
anitaMarch 1, 2018 at 9:32 am #195441
Yes, indeed. When things would go wrong I would be told to “keep your mouth shut”. Looking back on all of that now, I truly believe my parents were not fit to be parents. I certainly don't want to be them. Although they “tried” when they were going through all of their struggles, I shouldn't have been in the picture. Although, I am inspired that my mom was able to overcome her demons, but, her mistakes over the years have put in her some situations where she doesn't feel very secure. I think that's why I am so afraid to change jobs at the moment and make any life changing decisions because I am young and own my own home. I have worked hard for everything I have and so I latch onto it. My childhood plays a role in all of that and I'm very much aware.
Perfectionism is an illusion, but I also believe that we need to do better for our children in society. That's a whole other topic though, ha!March 1, 2018 at 10:06 am #195447
In an earlier post you wrote: “I have encouraged it because in the past I was accused of ‘keeping my boyfriend away from family” accused by his twin brother's girlfriend, correct?
Better not automatically respond to an accusation as if it was true, better evaluate it first, considering who it is that is making the accusation, as well. After all, anyone can accuse anyone of anything, anytime.
Congratulations, by the way, for working for so long and owning your own home, and considering your age, it is a very impressive achievement, as far as I am concerned. I see why you wouldn't want it burned to the ground. Did you try to place notes, posters maybe, by the stove and the door, stating in red letter perhaps: make sure you turn off the stove, make sure you close the door?
And I agree, of course, we need to treat our children well. They are the hope for a better world.
anitaMarch 1, 2018 at 10:07 am #195449
I caution you being the one who is taking responsibility for his ADHD rather than him.
I believe if he truly wants to change/address it then he needs to go off and figure it out and take action for himself. If you are taking over in that then you will be acting as his mommy imposing “what is best for him.”
You can offer the information to him but it is up to him to take the initiative and responsibility to do something about it.
By the way, as long as you allow him to be at your place where you do not feel safe then he has less incentive to change especially considering his age. If he has not done anything about it by now then there is even less incentive to do anything.
MarkMarch 1, 2018 at 10:32 am #195461
It sounds like you have a LOT going through your mind. Anything and everything, from worrying about whether or not you'll attend the brother's wedding (which you haven't even been invited to!) to whether or not medication would help your boyfriend to whether or not he's “the one”. It sounds like you're holding onto a lot of anxiety about circumstances that are entirely outside of your control, so it's no wonder you're so tired!
The biggest recurring theme I see in your post is worrying about things that you have virtually no control over–unfortunately, your boyfriend's forgetfulness is a Hallmark symptom of ADHD (for myself included) and what it really boils down to is whether or not it's something you're willing to work together to address. Have you talked to your boyfriend about the things you said in your post? I'd HIGHLY encourage you to print it off and let him read it–there's nothing offensive in it, and it seems like you got a whole lot of stuff off of your chest that you needed to say. You might even find out he's thinking a lot of the same things!
I understand always wondering about “what if?” But remember that knowledge is knowing the truth, but wisdom is knowing how to apply it. You know he has ADHD and that it impacts his life drastically in a lot of ways. You know that it stresses you out. How are you going to apply this knowledge? What steps can you take from here, to move towards a solution that meets your needs? Maybe it's talking about medication for him, maybe it's him using a smartphone to set alarms/reminders for things that he needs to do, maybe it's not living together, so you have a safe space that you have total control over.
I'd encourage you to try to do something about it, even if it's an unsure step forward. Your brain seems to be spinning and spinning, pointing out problem after problem, but it causes this sort of analysis paralysis–you wind up analyzing the problems so hard that you forget to actually DO something! It's one I'm guilty of frequently. 🙂 So my advice? Take a step, any step, that seems to be in the right direction. Seems easier said than done, but literally any action will get you some momentum to start getting you towards where you want to be. I'd start with printing your post off and letting him read it so he has a clear understanding of how this is stressing you out, because chances are, it's stressing him out, too.March 1, 2018 at 12:12 pm #195497
I should have been a bit more clear on my post since I jumped around quite a bit. In my previous relationship I was with a guy who had a toxic family, and he was toxic himself, verbally abusive, would break my things. He’d go home every weekend. Not exaggerating. When he started dating me and moved in, we would spend time together on the weekends, and the family didn’t like that. This particular dynamic all lived very close to each other and would be upset if Dave didn’t go back home. Long story short with him, he was careless and reckless. Broke some of my things and wouldn’t repair them, damaged the back of my car, flooded part of my house and then somehow it turned out to be my fault because I would nag him so much. When I stopped “nagging” and reminding, hey look, a flooded house. LOL.
Let’s just say I abandoned ship after he cost me a lot of money in damage and a lot of damage emotionally. I would stand up for myself to his sister and sister in law who would make condescending comments in front of me about how he doesn’t ever get to go home, etc. (I could probably write a book)…his family was dysfunctional, I dated him because we had been friends for years, but he was not for me. I encouraged him to go to his family functions but I distanced myself because they were cruel. I tried VERY hard to be friends with the sister and sister in law. A great life lesson that came out of this is you literally can’t please everybody and I really needed that relationship to realize that some people just WONT like you no matter how much kindness you try to exude.
You are correct though, the fiancé of my current boyfriend’s brother DID make a comment about how John’s nephew doesn’t get to see him as much since I came into the picture. Even though, we’ve invited them to events/etc. but they turn into a dramatic mess and fight and act biopolar. It’s the strangest thing.
Thank you for the kind words! I think too I try to be more and do more and sometimes that can be exhausting. I have an attitude of never settle but be safe. I have not put notes/reminders up for him.
Mark – I agree completely! This is where I failed in previous relationships. That is why when he was unemployed, I was able to connect him with someone I knew who offered him a manager position when he didn’t have any management experience! It would have been a great role for him, but he turned it down. I was shocked. Between that and setting up my other contacts to work with him on volunteer opportunities/job opportunities I had to remind myself this was HIS responsibility and HIS life, not mine. I stepped back and let him take more control of his own decisions. I definitely don’t enjoy being a “parent” figure to a significant other. I certainly have my own set of responsibilities and taking on someone else’s is exhausting.
I do agree with your comment about him moving in. Although it’s great to live with people and see how they do, it can be frustrating. He must be the one to change, I do not want to nag, remind, control. I’ve been patient and I give him gentle reminders, he has improved with some things, but the smoke alarms in the middle of the night last night, I literally just rolled my eyes because I’m so used to it, ha! We all have quirks so part of me worries I’m being too hard on him. However, others have been very shocked by his careless (non-malicious) actions that I would be way more cognizant about. I also very much care about his feelings and how I approach situations because I don’t want him to feel like he’s walking on eggshells with me. He did say he’s afraid that he can’t ever make mistakes because he said he’s made a lot of mistakes throughout his life on simple things. I interpret that as though the ADHD has had quite a significant impact on his life.
You. Are. So. Right! I find myself to be worrying about a lot of things I don’t have control over, and it’s frustrating. We have had long deep discussions about everything I’ve posted above, so the good news is, that communication IS there between us, but kind of just feel like we are both in limbo at the moment. “Your brain seems to be spinning and spinning, pointing out problem after problem, but it causes this sort of analysis paralysis–you wind up analyzing the problems so hard that you forget to actually DO something!” YES. I totally agree with what you said here, it is spinning quite a bit and I find it hard to focus on other things because I’m just TRYING to figure it all out. Silly huh? The only way to figure it out is like you said, take a step of some sort. I do know he is stressed as well, when I had a conversation with him about a month ago about whether or not we were compatible, we both got extremely emotional and he told me I was the best thing to ever happen to him in life. Of course, that sent me into tears and the concern that I was attempting to give up way too easy on a very caring human. So at this point, since we don’t fight and we can communicate, that’s what’s holding us together.
I will admit that my mom can be a bad mix in this. I don’t tell her things anymore except the GOOD things, because she gets very anxious and upset. She would do a lot of blaming such as, well, he should have a job by now, he shouldn’t be so forgetful, etc. I get the concern, obviously, but would remind her he has ADHD. He NEVER uses the ADHD card, but since I know he has symptoms of it, I try to be more understanding. My mom, not so much, ha! She freaks out because she’s concerned for my safety. Even going on motorcycle rides she gets anxiety and freaks out, which in essence, frustrates me, because now I don’t even want to bring him over when I visit her (she lives close by) another lesson learned, don’t tell your mom things to make her worried, ha!March 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm #195513
It sounds like the two of you have a really good thing going, and if you're able to communicate with each other, you've got a really good shot at being able to work all of these issues out. My brain fixates on the issue of ‘compatibility' in my own personal relationships too, and I've realized it's almost always my anxiety talking. Any time my brain starts to feel like an echo chamber, or chatterbox of thoughts whizzing by at 100 miles per hour, it's my signal to stop identifying with my emotions, and instead, just listen to them without empowering them or believing them to be true. What this does is allow me to view my emotions through the logical portion of my brain, the part that KNOWS my boyfriend, and knows he cares about me and I him, even if he's forgetful and it's frustrating. It doesn't make us incompatible, it makes him a human with flaws that we need to address so we can amicably live together. Incompatibility is what happens when we've both tried desperately to address the issues any way we know how to, and still can't find something that works for the both of us; it doesn't sound like you're at that point yet. If he's willing to work with you (and NOT just have you do all the work for him!), I think you guys have a lot of potential. On the other hand, if he's unwilling (or, worse yet, says he's willing to but makes no genuine effort) to get better, he's made your decision for you.
Handling fear and anxiety without identifying it has been an integral part of my mindfulness practice because fear is inevitable–it's literally an evolutionary trait to keep us alive–but that doesn't mean I can let it paralyze me into a state of inaction. Analysis paralysis is a very real psychological phenomena, and once you start realizing when you're trapped in one of those cycles, you start being able to dig your way out faster and faster. 🙂 So take a step, do something to get the ball rolling, and be proud of yourself for taking action!
Here's a Tiny Buddha article I found about a year ago when I started on my own self-healing journey, and it helped me a LOT with my anxiety and learning to view it in a different light. Hope it helps!March 1, 2018 at 12:45 pm #195515
Here are a few thoughts:
1. He sounds like a twelve year old in a thirty year old body. Him cooking and operating any motor vehicle frankly scares me. Why is he cooking?? Driving? He is a hazard! Stop it!
2. You should not live with him. He is coasting off you.
3. You are not married, so you should not have to deal with his dysfunctional family. Even then.
I think you know what to do.