Confused!! Insight/opinions welcome, please

Hello, everybody!

 Long story short: I finally had enough and made extensive plans to break up with and kick out my beloved boyfriend, eta in one week. 

Last night he comes home, ON TIME, takes me out to dinner [ never happens! ] and tells me he is juuuust at the top of the hump with crazy work schedule, and later leaves me a note saying how close he is and lists the things he wants us to do together. 

fyi the big issues w/me have been his near constant all-nighters, total lack of attention to the relationship, lack of self care, and broken promises. He IS taking meds, though no other cognitive therapy. 

 I am completely confused. Is this for real? Or is he telepathic? I don't know what to believe. I am so afraid of kicking him out, wrecking his life and making a huuuuge mistake, because we do love each other. Or, is he telling me what I need to hear, and finally keeping a promise here and there? I feel like if I end this, I'm a monster, if I stay, I'm stupid. Of course I am also completely emotionally exhausted. 

 I realize nobody here is telepathic either, but any insight or opinions would be awesome. Thank you! 

rara avis


it does happen

I'm assuming you haven't told him your plans?  First, I will confirm that my guy can tell when I'm near what I call "the edge" and focuses really hard on trying to show me he's trying.  So maybe your boyfriend can, too.  Has this happened before?  Second, I assume my guy picks up on things because such feelings on my part cannot be entirely hidden by me, though I'm not sure what form they take that he sees them and they have meaning for him.  Perhaps your behavior, mood, etc., post-decision is sending signals to your boyfriend, too.  Next, you then ask:  Is this for real? Or is he telepathic?  Is this for real, as in is he really making an effort to "do better"?  Well, yes, it's real.  You've seen it.  (Interesting the way he explains his recent behavior to you....that's as close to an apology as I usually get.)  A better question for both of you is, can it be lasting, for at least enough of the time?  Is he telepathic?  See above, even ADDers can see things that are right them before if it's BIG enough to get their attention.  My guy pays attention when it's really interesting to him, exciting to him, stimulating to him, or he could lose something he really, really doesn't want to lose, for example, me.  Finally, your guy really could be reaching the end of a time-consuming project.  My guy tends to sign up for a lot of those.  And he does become more attentive (for him) when they're over, for a short period.  I suck those times up like circus peanuts!   I've read about so many struggles about when is it time to give up, and when is it okay (and not stupid) to keep on hanging in.  For me, it is the balance between good and bad.  I'm sure I have a tipping point where I would say, nope, there's too much bad against this much good, and I can't go on.  LOL, then my guy will probably take me out to dinner!  As someone who suffers from a disease that causes chronic sleep deprivation, which leads to exhaustion, which makes me less capable of thinking clearly, which makes me more sensitive to ADD behaviors, which makes me more emotional... let me point out that making good decisions when you are any kind of exhausted is difficult.  Can you go away for a weekend?  Can you take a break of any kind that would help clear your mind and restore your energies?  Not using that time to decide, but to heal a little bit, so you are in better shape to decide?  I'm not explaining this well.  A close family member has told me that I sometimes "obsess" about my guy and his ADD, constantly searching for answers, and sometimes I benefit from resting the topic and focusing on rebuilding my own resources.  When I find myself doing that, by reading more fiction, yoga, meditating, trying to sleep, walking, whatever restores you, I can come back to the marriage with more commitment.  Surprisingly, reading and writing on this forum helps me obsess less, rather than more, so long as I focus on the positive.  Sorry, Rara, most of what I wanted to suggest is contained in the first couple of sentences.  Maybe it's like love.  How do you know you're in love?  When you are, you know, you don't need to ask.  If you don't know, you're not.  If you are sure you are done, you will go.  If you're not sure, you'll stay.  best wishes.

Keep your equilibrium

It sounds like you're going back and forth between despair and glee, and my experience tells me that's a warning sign. I know this may sound odd, but that kind of see-sawing happens to me when I get too emotionally attached to my partner's behaviors. What you want in the long run is for the two of you to behave in ways that are good for the relationship and sustainable. Does he know concretely what the problems are from your perspective? Do you know what the problems are from his perspective? Can you tackle them one by one? Sometimes resentment builds so much in an ADD/non-ADD relationship it's hard to untangle what's going on. "Not paying attention to the relationship" is maybe too vague for an ADD person to know what to do with. Staying out all night, on the other hand, is pretty concrete! Why does he do that and does he know why that's something you feel is destructive to the relationship? Is he willing to change if given support with that change? For example does he lose track of time, get sucked into addictive-type behaviors that because of his ADD he can't easily break away from? My partner stays up all night fairly often (though at least it's at home) because of ADD tendencies. I don't know if this will help, but you might check out my blog: for ideas about practical strategies my partner and I have worked on. But to get back to your question, I'd thank him profusely for getting home on time and for the dinner, and tape the list of things to do together to the fridge. But you'll probably have to be the one to organize those things. That's just what happens with ADD.

Talked and wrote down specifics

Oh yes, I've talked - nicely! - brought in his best pal to talk to him, and have written down, several times, what was needed. I tried to be very specific. For example, asking for one evening a week and one weekend day, and suggested making them the same evening/s of the week to keep it simple.  Writing down a brief weekend schedule. Writing down and mentioning a specific adhd therapist. Writing down tools for adhd, which he has mentioned himself. Finally, after months of this,  I made a loose ultimatum, saying and writing that the relationship cannot continue unless he does self care and makes a small amount of time for me and the dog. 

 No dice until the 12th hour, of course. Honestly I don't know what to believe. That ultimatum was no joke. This whole time I've been very calm and logical, but inside I've been....ARRRRRRR! I want off this roller coaster, at the same time, I don't want to destroy us if he really is last minute doing the healthy thing. 



Regular nights

What happened with the getting-together schedule? My partner and I have that, and it's worked well. I had to be firm about it, though. In my case, my partner wanted to see me more often, and I had to turn him away at the door. He would get pretty angry, and it was hard for me, but eventually he realized I wasn't going to give in. After awhile he admitted he liked it because that left him free to make other plans on the other nights.

At one point, when I was feeling fed up, I identified three things I needed to stay in the relationship, and I worked toward those. It was a bumpy ride, but I got what I needed and we're still together after 10 years. All in all, it sounds like you're really trying. Question: If your ultimatum was no joke, why was it loose? Maybe it's time to stay calm but also express the depth of your feelings in very plain terms.

The getting-together schedule

The getting-together schedule got steamrolled in the name of work. Now he says he's at the top of the hill, but I'm not sure what to believe?

It was a 'loose' ulitmatum in that I didn't say I would leave, I said we couldn't continue. It was a step before saying, hey, I WILL leave by x time if x doesn't happen. 

It is confusing. Last night and early this morning I got all these cheerful text messages - from his work, because he stayed there all night. 

Great responses, guys, I really appreciate this!