I'm new to this forum and I've come here because my marriage and life are spinning out of control. I am Autistic (diagnosed as an adult) and my partner is suspected ADHD, on a waiting list for evaluation. It took us a long time to figure out our respective neurological differences, and over 13 years, a lot of damage has unfortunately been done to both of us. His struggles with executive function are always put above my own (more severe )ones; his tendency to create what I experience as chaos (no plans, no consistency, no sticking to commitments, disrupting my plans) directly confronts my need for order; and the alternation between cold distance and explosions of anger (which can trigger my PTSD) are really hard. Over more than a decade, I feel like I have had to live his life for him: earn the vast majority of the money, make all the strategic decisions, make sure he stays employed, finishes tasks, does personal hygiene, etc, with little or no support for my own disability or affection to nourish me. While I am working day and night to understand and accomodate my own disability (not least by trying to connect more effectively with him, exercising patience and non-judgement, educating myself about ADHD, doing tons of therapy to figure out how to support him) he seems to be refusing to take any steps to address his situation or to support me. Over the years, he has isolated me from friends and support networks by resisting my efforts to connect with others. He also blames me for the abuse and ableism, including (financial, emotional, psychological) exploitation and manipulation, that unfortunately many Autistic people face when we engage with others. The strain of this is hard on anyone, but for an Autistic person (for whom emotional and social labour is especially hard) it is almost impossible. He has not been able or apparently willing to implement even the most basic accessibility needs I require in order to be healthy (e.g. not moving my phone and computer, which can cost me an hour to find, not touching me unexpectedly or shining bright lights near me). My health is failing, and I have had to visit hospital a number of times for illnesses caused by stress and exhaustion.
I am a professional with training in trauma and I would normally advise anyone who told me this to consider all options, including leaving the relationship. However, I am struggling to differentiate what feels like almost constant abuse and gaslighting from what might be attributable to ADHD symptoms. My partner is a kind person at heart and does not fit other aspects of the profile of an abuser. I can't survive much longer this way, but I am faced with a seemingly impossible situation of continuing to live with someone who refuses to change (even to protect my health) and being completely alone as a disabled woman in her mid-30s who will most likely never be able to find another partner, let alone one who accepts her as an Autistic person (as a group, we face serious discrimination, ostracization and violence).
I would really appreciate any thoughts, even if just to know that I am not alone.
A note: please be aware that the internet is not in general a safe place for Autistic people, and we get attacked, belittled, undermined, abused and confronted with ableism often. I would really appreciate your replies, but please do not question my diagnosis (yes, many Autistic people do write! I am a professor who has published multiple books :)), blame me based on false but common stereotypes (e.g. that Autistic people 'lack empathy' - I have hyper-empathy); suggest 'cures' (Autism is not a disease) or anything else to do with my being Autistic. I don't mean to come across as hostile or defensive, but after years of abuse and ableism I need to be careful and to ask up front for your understanding.