March 11, 2018 at 6:05 am #196717
I got to know your boyfriend in the context of this thread over time. At first, I believed that indeed, as you shared, he is a good, kind, loving man who happens to suffer from ADHD. Over time I learned that he is not a kind and loving man, but instead, he has been misusing your empathy and taking unfair advantage of your sense of over-responsibility and loyalty, so to keep himself living in your house, as your boyfriend.
You have been focused all along on his ADHD. But not all ADHD people are the same: some are honest, others are not; some are loving, others not so much.
In your recent post you wrote: “He feels like a failure because he knows I feel unsafe around him” –
His focus is not on you feeling unsafe (the second part of the sentence) but on him feeling like a failure. If he was honest and loving to you, he would be focusing on the second part and would say to you something like:
You have been distressed for so long because of me living in your house, ever since I moved in. I am so sorry. Sometimes I endanger your property, your home. I will be moving out by next week and will be seeking professional help for my ADHD once I am settled elsewhere.
He will be presenting you with his choice as stated above, not leaving it up to you, not suggesting he will be living out of his car (so to trigger your over-responsibility sense and misuse your empathy).
He appears kind and loving, sounds like it, looks like it… until you see more of him.
anitaMarch 12, 2018 at 7:21 am #196827
I wish there was a way to be a fly on the wall in essence to see the dynamic. He never pulls the ADHD card, ever. I simply have recognized it myself and brought it up to him. He really is a good person, there is not a mean bone in his body. I do agree that perhaps he should help me figure this out since I've been depressed since he moved in. I feel like I'm stuck which sounds ridiculous, I'm having a hard time explaining it really or understanding what direction to take. This last weekend we had a wonderful time, but then in my head there's this nagging that is questioning whether I should marry him someday. Please know, it's not like we are not having fun, we do have fun, and most of our days are enjoyable, I just feel like I'm depressed a lot lately and I'm not sure how to change it. I wish there was a switch for that.
I am extremely hard on myself in a lot of situations, and breaking up with someone who I love, seems like torture to me. I know he loves me too, we're just both confused as to what to do now. He clearly needs to consider getting help to avoid making careless mistakes. I know he's taking initiatives to do so, by writing things down more and I have seen him double-check things like the oven. He gets so hurried though that he does make careless mistakes non-intentionally. Again, I think that is why I'm having such a hard time with this all, because, he genuinely doesn't mean to do these things.
I do agree about my over-responsibility and my empathetic nature. We had lunch with his parents yesterday and his mom gave him the biggest hug and said a few times throughout our encounter that she hasn't seen him for 2 months. I encourage him to go visit whenever he wants, I really don't want to be wearing the “because of you, I don't get to see my son” jacket. I feel that's me jumping to conclusions though. If I practice Byron Katie, I don't know if that's true.
I've never been so frustrated or stressed out and I find myself constantly crying over it. I know some of you are reading this thinking well jeeze, shouldn't that be your answer then!? Emotions are quite complex and these things are not easy. I do love him, I'm just feeling off balance with some of the relationship. We get a long very well otherwise but then there are a few things and those “buts” that get me anxious. But…he has ADHD…but it's embarrassing to go out in social settings…but his brother and his fiance are rude which means I'll want to distant myself from family gatherings…but due to the ADHD he can sometimes forget some serious things.
THEN the other side of it all. He's kind, he's loyal, he communicates, he does try to make me smile and lift me up (even though I've been SO down on myself) I feel guilty telling some of my friends about what I'm going through and he has no clue, I feel like I'm leaving him in the dark on how conflicted I am (although I have told him I'm conflicted). If he was a toxic, angry, abusive person I would have easily left by now, but he is not.
I'm at work trying not to cry, I sound ridiculous. I'm just tired of feeling so conflicted and indecisive and as others have said, I need to take SOME action, something. I tried doing that on Friday and it just broke both of our hearts into shreds and it made me feel terrible because I know he loves me and I him. We're just both trying to stay up for air. This is consuming me though. I would be devastated losing him as a person in my life. I'm curious if he does seek help if this would really help him as a person or if I am wasting more time loving someone who I can't change. I don't want to change him, I don't want to say hey, you embarrass me in public when you don't get social cues and repeat your stories several times (actually have said that, just don't want to remind)…. I feel like I'm coming off insensitive and picking him a part, when I know I need to work on me because I've been SO DOWN. I feel like a failure myself for not being able to make this work.
I know it's simple. Either accept the situation as it is for now, wait until he gets help, or, tell him that we're both just stressing ourselves out and that we need to separate. The second option is scary as hell and makes me super sad thinking about it. Can you tell I'm a mess with this all? Ha!
He's also said he understand why I'm concerned and feeling the way I am and that he does need to slow down. However, he has also said he doesn't know how to help me on several occasions and it breaks his heart to see me the way I am (sad quite a bit) lately. The sadness had been going on for a few months now, and other factors like not liking my job have contributed to that as well and a lack of my ambition to workout 6X a week like I used to.March 12, 2018 at 7:44 am #196835
This relationship since he moved in with you- has it worked for you in any way, so far, increasing your mental health?
Or has it worked against you, decreasing your mental health, so far?
anitaMarch 12, 2018 at 8:37 am #196855
I think my mental health has deteriorated because of it slightly. Although we can have such a good time, I can't help but find myself getting down and wondering why this nagging comes back into my head. Part of me thinks its my undiagnosed anxiety, the other side of me thinks it's my intuition telling me perhaps this isn't the soulmate I thought I had.
I've never been in a relationship with someone who I've meshed so well with otherwise. I feel as though if the ADHD were removed, things would improve significantly. I'm just concerned about his ability to do certain things and would certainly not trust him to take over part of my business because I would be too worried he'd accidentally forget something. :/ I hate having to stress out about that kind of stuff. We are human. We make mistakes.
He did tell me if I thought he was making me feel the way I am that we should consider alternatives. He did also say that if he moved out, it would be the end of us. That hit pretty hard. I initially suggested on Friday that maybe he should move out, but I wasn't sure what else to do and asked him what to think. As you know, I included that all in previous posts.
This just sucks. I know there aren't perfect people out there, and I've dated in my life about 7-9 other guys aside from John. Some of those were just a couple of dates, others were much longer. My issue is I'm so loyal that I have problems with letting go of relationships.March 12, 2018 at 8:59 am #196863
You wrote: “we are humans. We make mistakes.”- I agree. ADHAD though, as you described it, means making more mistakes that endanger life (driving) and property (burning), and repeatedly so, with little or no ability (when not helped by therapy, as it is) to correct.
John told you that if he no longer lives with you, two things will happen: one, he will live out of his car, and two: the relationship with you will end. The first thing targets your guilt: you choose to have him out, he suffers. Your fault. The second thing targets your fear: you choose to have him out, he ends the relationship and you will be alone.
What do you think about what I just suggested?
anitaMarch 12, 2018 at 10:05 am #196887
You're right. He wouldn't live out of his car though. His family is very close and he most certainly has a room still back home. I imagine if he did move out he would go back home to save money, even though it would be quite the commute daily. I don't anticipate him getting an apartment, but I could be wrong. I recently found out he was living for free with his parents when he was going to his community college. He also did own a home, and when he decided to go back to school, sold the house to his parents, who now have one of his brothers (who burnt his house down) rent it…
I would feel awful being alone and without his companionship. I tend to make decisions and then question them and over analyze them to the point that I wonder if I broke up with him if that's even the best decision long term for me. Like my counselor had said when I met with her regarding John, she said to just chill out and there's no rush in ending it.
I think his parents should have gotten a handle on this when he was a child. He's now 30 and living with these issues, which aren't issues to them.
She's right. But here I am making another appointment with her a month later. Not so sure that's healthy, but, again, I'm constantly going back and forth, as you can tell.March 12, 2018 at 10:41 am #196891
You believe that he will be living back with his parents, then.. why do you think he said that he will be living out of his car, if not to target your sense of guilt?
I understand that you feel that you had poor relationships with men in the past and that you feel some hurry regarding getting married and all, and that you are afraid to “feel awful being alone and without his companionship”-
Your emotional attachment to this man and your fear of being alone, these need to be addressed, so you be calm enough to see clearly and proceed wisely.
March 12, 2018 at 10:53 am #196899
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by anita.
That's a good point. I wondered that too when he was crying and in a very poor state of behavior. I'm not in a hurry to get married, I'm hesitant in getting married until I know for sure the person is the one. I still am unsure whether or not I want children, so that's the only true reason I feel like I'm on a timer.
I agree. I am very emotionally attached to John and would fear being without him. I'd love to have some clarity and calmness in my head. Just lately hasn't been there. I've been so hyperfocused on the relationship. I probably need to learn to be alone as an adult. I grew up quick, raised myself, and met a kind man when I was 18, I was with him for 6 years, engaged, then called the wedding off. (NOTHING) in common other than that he was kind and sweet. Looking back over the years, the longest I've been single was only but a few months.
Being alone in my thoughts may be better for me, but making that call and having John move out, would be VERY hard. Just not sure.March 12, 2018 at 10:59 am #196905
I understand. Fear is very powerful, the most powerful motivator of your behavior. You fear being alone.
Yet, if you value knowing “for sure the person is the one”- then you will need to manage and deal with this fear. This fear is like a heavy fog blocking your view. Need to see who John is so that you can evaluate him as the one… or not the one.
anitaMarch 12, 2018 at 11:22 am #196907
True, I do agree. As with my anxious thoughts though I wonder if I'm being way too critical and whether there really truly is a “one”. Will definitely need to sit down and try and calmly figure everything out without being so emotional about it all. I think one of these days it'll just hit me in the face to decide to stay or go. I think we take so much and then eventually have a breaking point.March 12, 2018 at 11:35 am #196909
Regarding being the one, I don't believe in fate and soulmates predetermined and such. For me, “the one” is an honest man, one who does not dishonestly manipulate a supposed “loved one”. It is important for me to trust a person I live with, to know that he is for me and not against me. If John is for you just as long as his self interest is served, even though yours is not, then he is not really loving you, is he.
March 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm #196939
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by anita.
You've got a good point. Also, when he graduated, he told me he wasn't sure where he was going to end up and applied for several jobs out of state initially. I was heartbroken, but told him we could figure out what happened, if he had to move. Then, we agreed to live with one another. He is applying for other jobs currently since he doesn't like the one he just started a month ago. We'll see where this goes. I'm on the verge of thinking I just need to be alone for some time and not worry/stress about anothers family, job, and ADHD. :/March 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm #196949
I take exception with anita's characterizing John as a dishonest manipulator because I am someone who has had ADHD, have a brother who has Aspergers, and someone who has struggled to change and find a way to make a living, I can understand the emotional internal conflict you are having and what he is struggling with.
He MAY be that but I invite you looking at his behavior as him doing the best he can. I get when people say “if he really loves you then he would do/change/behave … fill-in-the-blank.” I believe that we all operate from our internal belief system and for the most part that means we unconsciously behave for our self interest, e.g. holding onto someone who cares for me. You can call that dishonest and manipulative. I see it as behaving from an unconscious place of wanting to keep the relationship.
With that said, I see addressing his behavior in a honest, direct and loving manner with him helps bring that to the surface for him. I do agree with anita on needing to trust whoever you are with.
Regardless, you are being stressed and are in physical danger with the current living situation.
I agree with your therapist that just because you two are not living together does not mean you have to break up.
MarkMarch 13, 2018 at 9:18 am #197057
And you too have a good point: “I'm on the verge of thinking I just need to be alone for some time and not worry/stress about another's family, job, and ADHD.”
Better not sacrifice your well-being. After all, you did not create his family- it existed way before you met him. You have nothing to do with his job history, with his work life difficulties, these started .. way before you met him. Same with his ADHD, you had nothing to do with bringing this about.
Extricate yourself from this mess you are in and don't lose yourself this way again. For what do you have that is worthwhile, when you are lost?
anitaMarch 13, 2018 at 9:36 am #197061
Mark – Thanks for your note. Yes, that's why I made the comment about wishing you guys could be a “fly on the wall” to see the dynamic. I don't consider him a dishonest manipulator, I look at it as though he's wired differently than I am and is trying the best that he can as a person. I find myself occasionally pointing to well he “should” be doing this, but I know that's not fair because my perspective is different from perhaps another persons.
We chatted a bit last night and all I asked him was what his action plan was and if he was going to seek help. He says he requested an appointment through the online portal yesterday and is hoping to hear back soon. At this point, I'll let him follow-up with me on the matter since he's an adult. If I don't hear anything within the next two weeks, we'll have to revisit this, again. I should also note that when we had lunch with his parents, he repeated himself multiple times when discussing a favorite restaurant. Literally just went on and on and I was standing there like OMG. His parents just stand there quietly and listen and don't interject. Interestingly, if it was my mom, she'd say okay, we are headed out John! They said this once, but then stayed as he rattled on for another 20 minutes. Since they know he how is, and have clearly accepted the behavior over the years, I didn't pipe up and say okay, come on. I was feeling out how they were going to handle the situation. They have accepted it fully and have not tried to help him.
Anita – I agree and I appreciate your perspective. I know I keep going back and forth on my emotions. “Extricate yourself from this mess you are in and don't lose yourself this way again. For what do you have that is worthwhile, when you are lost?” I will say it's very embarrassing to admit I cried at work yesterday. My co-worker, who I've confided in because she's like a mom to me, asked me how things were going and saw on FaceBook I looked like I had a great weekend (which we did!) but I told her how concerned I was about the ADHD and she too was concerned about the oven being left on.
She was concerned it wasn't an isolated event and that these dangerous things happen every once and awhile with him. I normally don't get emotional in front of others, but I started to cry and had to pull myself together. She told me she could tell I greatly cared about him and wished that he would get help soon because it's stressful. I do genuinely care about him but not sure I can handle this for life. We had a great day yesterday so that's a positive and I'm trying to train my brain to be more focused on the good instead of letting myself nag on the bad. I'll still keep my appointment with my counselor Friday and follow-up on my progress. You guys are awesome. I can't thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to respond to me! This website is excellent!