We won't be getting married, living together, or sharing finances, ever, so leave that out. I am almost 40, a professional, and I am not cut out for being a spouse. Decades of independence from a controlling father, decades of doing what I want and being happy, and a short marriage let me see that. Anyhow, I love my bf, he is my companion, but I only have one day off a week and I see making plans for me as controlling, whereas he sees it as romantic, spontaneous, loving, fun. Typical unmedicated ADHD. Acts before thinking. I am talking booking things that cost money. I might have worked late the night before and need sleep, or I have my period, or my schedule is changed and I won't really be off work, or I just made other plans for myself, like my hobbies or working out. I would NEVER EVER make plans for another person, ever, without asking.
I have in the past passive-aggresively said "No" to him. I am afraid if I tell him "No" then he will be crushed. But I cannot do this anymore to myself. It is making me want to put more time between us than there already is so he gets the hint. He does not listen to me. I already told him I cannot go to this event he planned for us and just this morning he texted me again and said "Let me know about Monday." WTF!!!!!!!!
I would not want to end an otherwise fun relationship because of this, but it is crossing my mind. Help.
Submitted by Lynnw on
I think you have to keep telling him 'no' if he makes plans that aren't convenient for you. Maybe some day he'll get the message. But I have to ask...if you will never live with or marry him, and you can only spend (maybe) one day a week with him (and it sounds like not even that sometimes), is it a real relationship? Does he think it's more than it is? Maybe you could suggest that he devote some of his energy to other people and take a little of the pressure off you?
Let me clarify...
Submitted by treesearcher on
I am in the medical field, have a very important job, and I work 60 hours a week by choice running a rehab unit (to learn and advance my career and salary). I have $70K in student loans I am still paying for undergrad and grad school and with an income of $70K a year, my daughter, who is now in college, gets no financial aid, so her tuition and my loans are a priority. The years I could have been paying on my loans and saving for her were spent ill and paying medical bills for a disease that was ultimately a serious misdiagnosis. I will not cut down to 40 hours a week for probably another 6 years, if ever, because I love to be busy and I love what I do. My career was derailed for nine years when I was sick, on chemo, and unable to work at all outside the home and made far less as a researcher/writer. So it's not that I am a workaholic, because I don't obsess about work outside of work, but I am making up for lost time/advancement/health and money. Exercising is also very important to me and that requires time every morning.
On the other hand, bf shares a house with his elderly mother, pays only $400/month for overhead, and has no student loans, as his college was paid for with financial aid. He is also very irresponsible with the money he does make, and that will likely never change, but it will also never become my problem. He has a load of consumer debt and nothing to show for it but a lot of photos from trips and a lot of clothes, CD's, video games (sound familiar?)
I don't think that a decision to never live with or marry anyone makes the relationship less of a bf/gf relationship. I was married to and lived with someone for 6 years. The first four were great except for me having to "answer to" and compromise with another adult. I was used to taking my daughter and my car keys and going where I wanted after work/on my day off with her, and when I married and she was 12, all of the sudden I had to consider him in everything I did. He would also invite family/friends over without asking. I resented that. He made more work for me and seemed to think it was ok for me to do his wash, his ironing, etc. because I was already doing mine. I also had long-term relationships where the SO spent time at my house on a regular and I just do not like having someone around me that much, period. I can think back to when I was in kindergarten and I was buried in a book while my sister was off playing. In high school, when everyone was partying, I was at the library researching my family tree and planning my college career. I have been bitten by the genealogy bug since was 5 years old and that is my passion.
My decision to keep ANY relationship to just dating and never living together/getting married again is based on 1) My need for balance of work, health, exercise, hobbies, and time for my daughter, pets and improving my home which is my retreat 2) My need to control everything my life (not others - I don't even tell my daughter what to do - I am here as a resource) and everything I do and not have to constantly compromise/inform/involve another person (which is exactly what living together and marriage brings) 3) I have an obsessive-compulsive personality, I am a neat-freak and schedule all of my priorities, and I have been this way since I was 4/5 years old. My workout, work time, even cutting my dogs' nails, everyhting goes into my PDA. The way I am has gotten me far and I do not care to change it, but I realize that this type of personality is not suited to living with others, and most certainly NOT a partner with ADHD who leaves shit everywhere, has no schedule, and does everything without a solid plan.
Having said that, I do have one day a week off, sometimes two, and on that/those days off is when I set aside time to see him. I let him know two weeks in advance what that day will be. My job, genealogy, kid, pets, exercise, housework, are all done on the other 6 days of the week so i am free to see him. I only sleep about 6 hours a day and that is all I need. We live 15 miles apart and work different schedules, and he is very busy and goes out with his guy friends the other nights a week that he doesn't see me. The nice thing is we both have a significant other and a life of our own. He's actually the perfect person for me, because he fills his time with things he loves and had to give none of it up to be with me. He already knows that I am available on that one day off, and I do clear my schedule, shower, get dressed, do my hair, etc, and put aside all other distractions. I am open to going out on that day, and in fact, I need to get out. Going to a game, movie, restaurant, whatever.
AS LONG AS I WAS ASKED and was part of the plan!!! The main problem here is that he KNOWS I have one day a week to see him, and he will make plans for that day and accept invitations for us without asking me if that is something I would like to do! He KNOWS how my father was and he knows that I will not let anyone else tell me what I am going to do, but he doesn't listen. I don't mind his friends, but to accept an invitation for us to drive two hours away to the sticks to go to a friends' kids birthday party (I don't even know, now I have to buy a gift) because it falls on my day off is a big No-No!!
The issue right now/this time is that I USUALLY (subject to change, and it does because of staffing shortage) have every other Monday off, but I work the six days before and four days after, and he booked a hotel room two hours away for us to stay over, the night before I have to be back on the unit at 2 pm! I don't mean to sound like a bitch, but that is just NOT ME. No way am I going to come home from work at 2 am, sleep, get up, pack, drive two hours away to stay in a hotel for one night and have to get up in the morning and rush to put on scrubs and get the hell back home so I can go to work! For him, he has lived like this for over 20 years, and he figures that if something happens and we are stuck two hours away, just call in to work (he's had more jobs than I can count.) I don't operate that way, never have, never will. I don't understand why he couldn't have LISTENED to me and booked it for when I have two days in a row off (we have made this trip before). No, because he doesn't listen. And if he lost his job, he still has his mother and they share his brother's house. I have a mortgage and rely on nobody but myself, by choice. he also told his friends I would be coming to another event in the middle of the month, again, the night before I have to work and a far drive.
Now the hotel room is booked, it's a week away, I told him "No" and the work schedule isn't even out yet and I may be working! There is a severe shortage of staff and keeping your job is the new raise in my opinion. Just yesterday he asked me again, even after I told him no. I told him to invite one of his friends, or his cousin. I just don't know how to get him to see that while my day off is put aside for him, please include me in decisions that involve me, don't just make plans.
I appreciate all advice. I love him and we have known each other for a long time. He never listened to his mother, so why would he listen to me. If I say no, I don't want him to think I don't want to spend any time with him, I just want to be a part of the planning, and don't accept an invitation for me. I see that as him trying to control me. Nobody controls me but me.