Counselor says I should leave him

     We have been lucky enough to find a counselor who will see us on Saturdays (but she's not there every Saturday). We had a session yesterday where we talked about some of his ADHD characteristics  that drive me crazy. One of them is that I feel like he does not value my life because he chose not to work for nearly 3 years and I had to go without necessary medical care. Another is one everyone involved with someone with ADHD is familiar with-not keeping their word.

To me, keeping my word is my most important priority. I'd sooner cut off my right arm than break a promise. So to me, the fact that he promised to clean up some dog poop in my basement and didn't (for 2 months!)  made me crazy. It would have taken him 10 minutes but he couldn't be bothered. If I had promised to do something like that, I would never have been able to sleep until I'd done it.  But it didn't bother him.

I also can't stand the fact that his work does not meet our financial needs. We have no heat in our house because we can't pay the gas bill. I need surgery but can't afford the co-pay. To me, that's the signal that you need to find a better job or get a second one. (That's what I did when he stopped working.) I am a full-time student and have both day and night classes so I can't figure out when I could work-and anyway we agreed I would not work this semester.

So this counselor told me that if I can't accept that he feels no obligation to support me and doesn't care about keeping his word I should leave him and go live in a homeless shelter! I should not expect him to change. She also says she doesn't know of anyone who does the kind of counseling people talk about here-to teach him new habits like keeping his word and contributing to the upkeep of the house. She says I can't expect him to ever do that!

I'd just like input from other people here. Is it reasonable for me to expect him to learn to keep his word? Is it reasonable for me to expect him to do some work around the house since I'm physically handicapped? Should I buy into what so many ADHDers say-"that's just the way I am" and expect to never have my needs met?

Do YOU think he'll ever

Do YOU think he'll ever change? Do you think that if you found a counselor who specialized in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (teaching new behaviors, skills, tools) that he would throw himself into the therapy and reap every possible benefit from it? The answers to these questions lie within your husband and his WILL and DESIRE to change. The reality is that your counselor may be 100% correct in telling you that he will never be willing to make the changes that appear to be a requirment for your happiness in the marriage. One key element that has to be present in order for this constant battle of the wills is that the desire to change has to be there. Is your husband willing to do more chores in order to save the marriage?

The bottom line is that you simply have to set boundaries for yourself...what do you NEED from this man to be able to be with him and have the amount of respect and love for him that you need to feel in order to be happy? AND is HE willing to meet you in the middle?

I really think you're on the wrong path with this counselor. What, if anything, did she tell your husband? Was she approaching her 'suggestions' with the attitude that she'd already spoken to him and feels you're fighting a losing battle or was she saying that you've got too high standards? I'm not really sure from reading your post. Either way, if she isn't familiar with CBT, then I might not be willing to invest my time and money in anymore sessions with her. I know about this therapy and have had one INTRO course in Psychology...and after doing a research paper this summer for that class I know it is widely used to treat adults with ADD.

Happiness can be found in ADD marriages when the ADD spouse isn't asked to help around the house or isn't expected to do chores...but it has to be something you're willing to accept 100%. If he's willing to figure SOMETHING out..just meet you 25% of the show that he cares enough to try...maybe it would make a huge difference.

Sorry I'm not feeling like I'm much help. (((HUGS)))

Thanks for replying, SherriW

I asked my husband about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and he said "I've heard of it." I would have expected him to have heard of it as he has a degree in psychology. Our wonderful first marriage counselor recommended it (she didn't do it) but it's expensive and apparently not covered by insurance. We don't know anywhere to get it in this medium-sized city, if this counselor, who is part of a large group, doesn't know. Also, I get the impression that my husband feels like he's doing everything I can expect by taking meds and is not willing to change anything about himself. I printed out Melissa's post about the Three Legged Stool and he would not even read it.

It's not really about "chores." To me, chores are things a kid has to do, like mowing the lawn or feeding the dog. HE LIVES HERE AND I NEED HIM TO PARTICIPATE EQUALLY WITH ME IN MAINTAINING OUR HOME, especially since I have severe physical problems with walking, etc. and it hurts me to do almost any "chore." If he needed a woman who could cater to his every need while he sits on his throne, he should not have married me.

At this point, I feel stuck. I have no income and am about to run out of unemployment. I spent my student loan this semester mostly on him (car payment and car insurance) so I have no resources to provide a home for myself. The fact that we have no heat makes my damaged joints ache more, and we don't see any possibility of paying off the gas company until I can get a job. I feel like I'm "taking" him if I stay until I graduate in December and (hopefully) get a job and then leave him. He indicates no interest in changing anything so I really feel hopeless.

Sorry to hear of your

Sorry to hear of your situation.  I just wanted to comment that when I went to a marriage counselor trying to save my marriage, she told me I should leave my husband too.  I was pretty surprised.  I mean, I was there to try and save my marriage-- the last thing I expected was her opinion (I didn't think counselors did that?)  My situation was different though because my husband was cheating and that was the "reason" I was leaving him (truth be told, I had thought about leaving b/c of the impulsivity of ADHD in my husband, but cheating was the final straw--which I personally think was connected to his impulsivity).  She said the same thing to me: "He's never going to change."  And then she referred me to two books--one was called "Loving the Self-Absorbed" and the other was on co-dependency.  Co-dependent?  Me?  (As it turns out, that is what I'd become.  And the other book?  He was all over that thing.)  I was willing to forgive him of the cheating if he would agree to seek treatment for his ADHD.

He would not. 

I did the same thing you're doing; gave him articles, read aloud to him things on the internet (lists of things that described him WORD FOR WORD).  He would say, "Yah, those parts sound like me...... but that other part isn't me at all...." Like he expected it to match up exactly.

Anyway, I agree with the other poster.  ADHD or no ADHD--in order for a marriage to work there needs to be two people willing to work at it; two people who say, "I didn't know that bothered you.... I'm going to work on it because I love you."  And the other person who acknowledges that they're trying.  If my husband had shown some sign that he was going to make changes, I might not be in the process of a divorce.  Instead he said, "I'm willing to try and work it out if you don't bring up the ADHD or the finances (our two majors problems!)

I know the financial/medical aspect of your situation must be a big one.  That's hard.  I am lucky to have family support, or I might not have had the courage to leave.  For me, I tried to fight for my marriage, and when that kept failing, I had to fight for myself.  I wish you luck!  You have more strength than you realize.


Changing Self versus Changing Behavior

My husband will say he's doing his share of the housework. He did the dishes, even though I know I did them, etc. He'll deny promising me that he'll do certain things. I'm always reminding him, nicely. Like "tonight, I'd like to move the dryer" just so he can't say I never told him stuff.

I want specific behavioral changes. I want him to keep promises, I want him to do more housework. I looked at Melissa's chapter on the"Chore Wars," but, because I am handicapped, everything would be a 4 (most difficult) for me and he does not accept that. I want him to solve the problem of losing things like glasses (which are required for his work). I want him to make more of an effort to solve our financial problems and get our heat turned on.  I do not want him to change who he is. I love him. 

He wants me, by an effort of will, to somehow change who I am, and I can't figure out how to do it. He wants me not to be angry at him, ever, for anything. Having to hitchhike? I should just smile and do it, not expect him to drive me. No heat? I should just smile and wear a sweater. No meds for my hypertension? I should not worry about it. I don't know how not to be angry when someone (even him) wrongs me.  I do not know how to be abused and not be angry at the abuser, at the person who does not value my life enough to provide me with medicine I need. Anger is what makes me run, without it, I am just a passive blob. Anger is the thing that made me go back to school (hell, yes, I can make a living if he won't support us) , my anger is the reason he sought treatment for his depression and ADHD. Begging and pleading did not work; only when I got angry did he do that.  I can't, I CAN'T just sit there and go "yes, dear" when wrongs are being done, when things are not fair. I don't believe anger damages me, it is the fuel that makes me run. It's part of my personality. I don't hate him, I'm just angry at him because wrongs are being done.

So how do I make him understand that all I want is some behavioral changes (that I think would be easy) and he wants me to stop being me? He wants me to be someone I wouldn't even recognize. Or does he have a right to ask me to become a different person in order for him to wash the dishes?


I have been reading a lot of your posts.  It occurs to me (and remember, I know nothing) that you ARE maybe expecting too much from your husband (WAIT, WAIT! Let me finish!).  You are obviously very upset about his past and current treatment of you.  It occurs to me that your anger may be both a reaction to his behavior and your own dependency.  I hear that you have a physical disability.  Naturally, you need a partner you can depend on to do the things that you cannot physically do.  If you had a stable, caring, insightful and sensitive partner, you'd be all set.  But you don't.  In fact, (from what you have said) your partner doesn't even approach this ideal.  It sounds like you have a degenerative joint disease, which if true, will only progress as you age.  It occurs to me that you may need to make some decisions about your life in the long term.  Because we are all only getting older and more debilitated.  Its the human condition.  This is not a right or wrong.  This is maybe about two people whose needs and abilities just don't match up.  If your husband was cognitively normal, but a quadriplegic- he still wouldn't be able to physically participate in your household upkeep.  What then?  Your needs would still be the same, and still be unmet.  Perhaps you would be less angry because you could SEE his disability, but you would likely still be overwhelmed because of your own needs.   What would work for you then?  How would you problem-solve the issue or taking care of TWO people, with your physical and financial limitations?  Just curious...but remember, I know nothing.

You know quite a lot, actually

You've got our situation pretty well right. I have major knee problems and have staples in one knee. (I'd love to have knee replacements, that's one of the issues I am angry about-he won't/can't pay the co-pay), He knew that when he married me. I have severe hypertension and am a stroke survivor. I was also in a car accident before we started dating that really ruined one of my legs. I am in constant pain. The dependency I have is because I am a full-time student. I have no problems with working. I expect to work until I am 76 in order to get full Social Security (my husband is younger than me).  I did not know about his ADHD and he knew about my problems.

He is fully capable of loading the dishwasher. (I am too but it's harder for me.) He is fully capable of walking the dog, etc. He knew he was marrying a person with limited mobility and will not take responsibility for getting things done. He also did not work regularly for the first 2 1/2 years of our marriage and I had 2 jobs or worked 2 shifts a day but barely kept our heads above water. My medicine was one of the things that went by the wayside. My car, too. (I have one now.)

Eventually, I decided that if I had to support him indefinitely, I need a better job so I went back to school. I lost a long-term job a year ago so we decided I'd go full-time to finish faster so I could be in my career longer. That was when he was diagnosed and he went back to work when I was only a few months into my school program. I will graduate next month but I don't know how long it will take me to find a job.  I keep reading on the internet how it's hard to find a job when you are over 50 or when you are currently unemployed, and I'm both.

I'd just be satisfied if he did more housework and tried to meet our needs. I think that may mean a second job for him (I did it for years) or getting a better job. I don't want him to be a different person and he wants me to change who I am. That's what hurts me.

I truly think that you need

I truly think that you need to think long and hard before you convince yourself that you NEED anger in your life...or that it isn't poison to you. Anger gave me courage to do things I wouldn't have had the courage to do before, but it was killing me in the process. I HATED being angry. I wanted to laugh again. My God, some of the best times my husband and I share are simply laughing over some of the silliest, stupidest stuff! We didn't laugh for 6 years. I wanted to be silly do my Bullwinkle imitation (poorly, admittedly) and have him and my daughter make fun of me. I wanted to get excited about life again. I craved these things far more than anything else. I wanted to be happy again. I can't imagine selling myself short and accepting 'anger' as my main motiavtor in life. I decided to seek happiness instead. Please don't accept anger as something 'good' for you. It takes a huge leap of faith to just say 'forget it, this isn't working for me, and I'm going to try something else' but I can promise you that LOVE and ACCEPTANCE are HUGE motivators for my husband and I do get a lot further and am validated a whole lot more by him now that I have put my anger behind me than I ever did before. Yes, I bitched enough until he'd do something...and I'd think I had 'won' but in the end it just drove the wedge deeper and deeper and that ultimately hurt me...because I love him and don't want a wedge between us.

I, too, feel your solution will not start with making your husband do more chores. I also feel that whatever sense of responsibility he does or does not feel towards you as his family/wife financially, may very well not be something that will ever change. I have been married to both that feels zero sense of responsibility when it came to being a provider and one that feels absolutely the opposite, to a fault. If anyone's needs aren't met, regardless of the cause, he feels like a failure. (my current husband). This isn't ADD related...this is just a part of character (I feel) and you may have to accept that you'll always have to provide for yourself if you want to be happy in your marriage..and let go of the expectation that he'll provide for you.

As always, I wish you the best!


I hear your hurt in every post.  I imagine (and remember, I don't know anything) that part of the "fuel" for your anger is the chronic pain from your leg injury.  Have you ever known/worked with someone in chronic pain?  I have.  It changes a person, and many times not for the better (keep in mind, I am not making any judgments about YOU, just musing about general observations).  It has been my experience that people who have chronic, debilitating pain are- for want of a better word- crankier.  They seem to be more helpless and needy.  They experience anger and despair, sometimes everyday.  Particularly with conditions like degenerative joint diseases, there is a level of unpredictability to their lives;  it is difficult to plan if you don't know how you will feel (pain-wise) that day.  You have TWO factors in your life that can BOTH cause these feelings.  I am not surprised that you seem to be angry.  I would expect you to be a volcano.  It occurs to me that you may need to address this chronic pain issue head on;  I would think it would be more difficult to sort out the issues/feelings  about/with your husband with constant pain as the background music.  But I don't really know; just guessing.

You are probably right

I regard myself as "a tough cookie." I don't take pain meds (any that are strong enough to work make me fuzzy-headed), I don't have a handicapped placard for my car. I walked to work (3/4 of a mile) for several months. I say I can do anything you can do, I just do it slower. It does not really change from day to day, but I think sometimes it bothers me more. The physical problem won't affect my ability to be a paralegal. That's brainwork and my brain works fine. I just worry that no one will hire someone with a fairly obvious handicap. They might think of me as a walking insurance claim.

I stepped up when my husband lost his job (the first of 7 losses). I started working double shifts, sold my beloved loom to pay rent, etc. (I have a long history of this. My first husband was seriously injured when I was 8 months pregnant with my second daughter. I went back to work when she was 3 days old.) I did a couple of jobs that involved going door to door (Census, etc.). I just did it and then came home and cried.

But I want him to step up too. If I can do those things, why can't he put out a little effort?

worried about being hired?

Sueann, if you are smart, capable, efficient and pleasant, no one will notice your "handicap."  I say this as someone who put my SON'S LIFE in the hands of a neurosurgeon with a VERY obvious physical disability, but who was the most commanding and confidence inspiring surgeon that I vetted for the job.  And any employer who counts you out as a walking insurance claim?  Consider that they are weeding themselves out of the potential to hire you.  You wouldn't want to work for such an employer, anyway;  those kind of people can really make you miserable.  "Why can't he ...?" You know why.  The IMPORTANT word here is not "why" but "can't".    In the scheme of things, WHY doesn't matter.   Just curious- I am sure you have said before, but why have you not had your knee replacements done?  Would your legs be a lot better if you had your knees done, or only somewhat better?  Is it more than just a knee issue?

Knees, etc.

Knees are bad because of a birth defect higher up. Basically, my legs are at the wrong angle and my feet toe in-puts extra pressure on the knees. My engineer father used to say if I'd been a car, I'd have been recalled for a "design defect." My whole lower leg was damaged by a car-lots of pain and not a condition that can be treated-just "managed". What I get from doctors is that no one would want to do a knee replacement there because of all the other damage.

My husband's insurance sucks-the co-pay for a major surgery would be $6000. He does not want to get a second job to save that up. I can't really blame him for not wanting to, just for not caring enough about me to do it. When I get a job, I'll have enough insurance but then I would not want to take that much time off.

The whole topic of ADDers who are married to people with physical disabilities is interesting. I worked with an ADD guy who reminded me a lot of my husband- rather scattered and disorganized but a lot of fun to be around. He was married to a blind woman. I asked him once how he managed the ADDer's tendency to make messes, and he said he just did because he had to, and they set aside some areas of the house that she didn't go into. I wish my husband could have the same attitude and step up for me.

Confused about a counseling issue

In my largely unsuccessful search for someone who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD adults, one person (who only works with children) recommended another counselor in the office of my husband's psychiatrist.  He had an appointment yesterday and I asked him to ask his psychiatrist for a referral to that therapist. When he came home last night, I asked him if he had done so and he refused to tell me. I assume that means he did not do it (and, of course, I can neither make him nor do it for him). What does this mean, do you think? I honestly feel that if some of his behavior does not change, I can not continue to live with him. Is the first counselor who said I should leave him right? Should I give up?

Only you

can say when it's time to go.  I believe that there are "rules" about a counselor recommending departure; someone can correct me if I'm wrong.  Either way, even if there aren't written rules, it's still up to you.  You have decide how long and how hard you want to fight for your marriage, how seriously/not you treat your vows, when you are too damaged to fight the fight, and so forth.  Not easy to give advice in that column, as we all weigh each of those things so differently.  Do remember though, as you ponder these things, that today is one thing--for an ADDer especially--but tomorrow may be completely different.  He might make his own appointment and go to it joyfully.  It is important, I think, to be careful how we measure progress, as the up and down thing can swing so wildly.  Stay focussed on the big picture before taking the broad brush to it.  :) 

Good luck.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

I kept trying, like Thomas Edison, thinking I'd find an answer

I kept thinking that maybe we would hit upon the answer. 

26 years of marriage, and at least a dozen different approaches - even the full-fledged ADD assessment from the Cleveland Clinic. 

I just do not want to admit my husband won't follow through - but the honest to goodness truth is he does not. 

We are stuck - if we make a calendar/diary and list his broken promises, then we are wrong-making.  If we don't have a list, he says we are blowing things out of proportion.  He'll pick one day that he remembered to do things - and only want to focus on that day - because that's the day that counts.

I watch him sit in desperation.  I know he is miserable.  But HE WILL NOT let anyone help.  Things need to be done perfectly, in his time frame, and in only HIS perfect way.  That leaves no room for me (his wife,) no room for our son, and no room for our daughter.  They are 21 and 19 - and are just becoming aware of how mind boggling it is to want to help a man who won't let anyone help him. 

Just a thought...when my

Just a thought...when my husband wants to discuss things the LEAST it means he did it...but does not want to admit it because he feels like it is giving in to my 'control'. It is his way of avoiding admitting that maybe what I had to say, or the advice or opinion I had (that led him to make the decision to do something) was valid. This is usually after he fights me on it tooth and nail...refusing to listen to reason or trust my motives aren't 'to control' him. May not be the case for you. I hope so, though.

It sounds like your anger is

It sounds like your anger is the only thing that seems to make him understand the kinds of changes you require of him. It's a Catch-22.

Sueann I really feel for you!

You situation is so very difficult and I am convinced it would also be difficult even without your husband's poor attitude & ADD on top of it, but with that added I understand why you feel so overwhelmed.

You are very angry because you gave up significant help ($ from ex, right?) when you married, and you did this with the understanding that he was going to be more of a help in your household than he is.  I understand the anger and I understand the frustration and feeling boxed in with very few options.  I sympathize wholeheartedly!!

Going forward, however, you really have to play the hand you are holding today with the hope that he will step up and help more in the future.  Going to school, and CONGRATS on being so close to graduation, will no doubt help your financial situation immensely and will no doubt help you feel less trapped by circumstances.

With regard to your surgery, you aren't expecting to have to pay that $6000 up front are you? I don't know of any hospital that won't work with you on making payments for your part of the surgery.  If you could get it, and then it will no doubt take a month or so for all the bills to come in and for you to get your statements from insurance.  Then if you can do the $10-20 a month until you are settled into a job, it could be really doable and relieve some of your pain and stress.  I apologize if I am missing something.

I have read before where you have expressed your anger at your husband for choosing not to work over your health since you couldn't get your meds because he wasn't working, and he says he made no such decision.  I honestly believe you both.  You see the result of his not working as you couldn't get what you needed, and he never thought of that result at all so he didn't connect his working or not with your health in any way.  In his mind, he was not able to work and it had nothing whatsoever to do with how he feels about you.  That really is a hallmark of ADD.  He DOES NOT GET that what he does and doesn't do has real life (and sometimes life-threatening consequences).   I believe events unfolded the way you say, but I do also believe that he can have no real-time awareness of consequences.

You do what I have done in saying, "If I love a person, and X situation exists, then the only option is to do Y".  For many many ppl that is reasonable and you do Y because there is no other option.  In the ADD brain the thinking doesn't work this way, and it's honestly unfair to hold them to the standard of doing what "any normal person" would do.  Quite franky his brain doesn't work normally, and may in fact work more abnormally than any person I have dealt with personally, so you may have to accept what he is telling you as far as his abilities until a doctor can help him change his situation/attitude/understanding of what he can do.

Is your marriage salvageable?  I have no idea.  It clearly doesn't work well as it is, but if you are in love with each other & both honestly are willing to do things to make it work, I believe most relationships are salvageable. 

Regardless of whether your marriage works out or not, I am in the consensus that says you HAVE to let go of the anger, if only for yourself.  It doesn't make what he did or didn't do ok, but going over the same ground over and over just keeps you in the same place.

And I do think it is a good question to mull what would you do if your mate were physically disabled also.   I think his AD/HD may be so severe as to be more debilitating as far as getting things done than anything I've dealt with, but in a relationship with 2 ppl who are disabled, there are accomodations that could be made.  And divorce isn't cheap.  Once you have a bit more money to work with, you might consider paying for some help at home or even since you are in a medium sized city, there maybe programs for those with limited mobility that could help you with some of the things you can't do & which you can only approach at this moment as your husband *can't* do them either.  With help I would think he can learn to do much more than he does, but I don't know his situation.

Really rooting for you!!

Thanks for the kind words

I graduate in a week!!! Now I have to find a job. Eeek! I keep reading that people currently unemployed (I lost my job a year ago) or over 50 have a particularly hard time finding a job in this economy and I'm both.

Divorce would just cost filing fees. My daughter is a divorce attorney and she has offered to provide her professional services for free. I even think she'd throw in the filing fees. But she was pretty civilized to him over Thanksgiving and last weekend, which was my birthday weekend.

I did talk the hospital down to $1500 but yes, I do have to pay that up front. I just want him to try to save it up, but he doesn't want to.

I also want him to heat our house. Even though we live in the South, it's pretty cold now.

I don't know what to do. Together, if we can survive, we can live a pretty decent life (if I can get a job). I don't go around screaming at him, but I can't pretend everything that went on is all right. My daughter says some of her clients can survive something like infidelity (like SherriW) and some can't. She doesn't think of either as right or wrong, just different. Infidelity is not a problem for us. I just want to feel important, like he cares about my well-being, and right now I don't feel it. I know it's his ADHD but he shows no interest in doing any more to learn to work around that. I cried when I read where Melissa doesn't think about George's ADD any more. I can't even imagine that.

Thanks for writing. I appreciate the kind thoughts.

Anger or passion?

A marriage counselor I went to with my first husband many years ago called me a "hyperreactor," which I think means that I feel things more than most people do. If I'm hungry, I'm starving, if I'm sad I cry, etc.  I was like "tell me something I don't know."

So I marry an ADD guy who is not in touch with his own or anyone else's feelings??? Dumb, huh? He does not understand why broken promises bother me. (I actually almost didn't go to Thanksgiving dinner because I could not find an eBay item I had to mail-I just could not stand the idea that the person would not get their item on time.) I remember when I was little my father promised to take me swimming and when I tried on my swimsuit it was too small. He didn't want to take me to buy a new one because it would have been outgrown before the next summer. I sobbed the whole time he was gone swimming "But he promised!!!" I must have been 8 or 9. I still feel that pain vividly, and that part of my personality doesn't bother me. It is part of who I am.

But it bothers him. He was raised to expect nothing. They didn't have dessert, wore hand-me-downs, etc. So he doesn't understand why I expect my needs to be met-why I expect to eat when I'm hungry, have him keep his promises, have medical care when I need it. He can't get why it bothers me that it's going to be 16 degrees tonight and we have no heat. He can't feel what that feels like to me, and I tend to just metaphorically jump and down screaming, you have to hear me, this hurts! My needs aren't being met! You promised! And he tunes out. It feels like he's inert, like he's not there, like he has no feelings.

But if he's sick, the world comes to a screeching halt. If he lived with what I live with physically, he'd collapse in a pile of goo. He thinks he's a great guy for taking ADD meds, even though there have been no behavioral changes except for going back to work [admittedly, a huge change]. He's not interested in learning the consequences of his actions to others. He's not interested in changing anything.

So how to I get my needs met? If I do everything myself-cook, clean and do laundry for 2, not one, if I support us while he chooses not to work, or go without heat and medical care so he can afford a car and a whole lot of gas required by a job he loves but pays very little, who cares for me? Or is that what I get for marrying someone with ADD? Is there a way to get him to care about my needs? Or should I take my new degree and just run?