Despite what I see as a change in my attitude, willingness, and desire to address my ADHD symptoms (purchasing and using books, listening to seminars, validating his feelings, anger, and frustrations, using a planner more frequently and ultimately being more self-aware of the impact my symptoms play in my life), my non-ADHD partner refuses to engage as part of a collaborative team. While I recognize that I have a lot of personal work to do on and for myself (get career ambition and resolve together, social life network, self-esteem, confidence, tactics to manage myself better, establish more control and self-discipline), I try to communicate that his response strategies to my ADHD symptoms don't help to foster the change. I've asked him to read texts with me to discuss key points and how WE will deal do/don't deal with them, foster understanding for each other's situation by reading another account and expression of emotion, or simply to have a text serve as an unbiased commentator on our own behavior traps. I ask him to sit down when tempers aren't flared, to dialogue about solutions, rather than assigning blame, or specific actions WE need to take to begin to repair OUR relationship. However, he says he "waited so long for me to come around, now it's my turn to wait", or "I'm not going to do anything (I've done enough for you) until you change" or "I've failed to realize or do anything for myself a year ago when our relationship started spiralling, or have failed to do that", essentially, that I am the one to blame and the only one responsible for correcting our relationship. I'll take the high road and recognize his general patience, continued investment in my well-being, and overall grace under fire despite feeling victimized by having my ADHD symptoms forced upon him when he fell in love with me (part of the package). However, from what I've read and heard in ADHD help sources, it has to be a collaborative effort, there has to me MORE communication and teamwork, NOT assigning responsibility. I'm trying to get my non-ADHD partner to come to couples counseling, as I recognize that he can learn techniques for communicating, working with me, bringing down the anxiety, stress level, depression that he now feels "dealing" with me. However, he is generally stubborn, doesn't say the "pleases" and "thank yous" and "good jobs" and other common etiquette and niceties for any good action, withholds all "I love you"s, refuses to recognize that everyone, even he, has personal problems that he could work on (even the small ones, which I think addressing would serve as a good role model for me to work on mine.) Ultimately, I want my partner to see me as two entities; "me" and then "my ADHD symptomatic behavior". Psychologically, it helps me as an individual to see my maladaptive ADHD behavior objectively, like an enemy or villain, which which I can wage war against, rather than beating myself up and continuing to lower my self-esteem when I frame ME and MY ADHD as a single entity. I know it's tough for him at this point in the relationship to separate his mental image of me from the behaviors he's witnessed. I'm asking him to join my fight against MY ADHD, and rekindle the love for ME in a kind, warm affectionate and supportive way, not the passive-aggressive "well, I'm still here dealing with this *&^^, so you must realize it, or do you just not get that too!"
Is he asking too much for me, and only me, to take full responsibility to deal with my ADHD, and then deal with the relationship, when I'm armed for another fight around the corner?
We are still in a relationship, so even though it's tough for ADDers to multitask (deal with personal AND relationship repair) the fact that we are still here, hanging on, means that the relationship is not DEAD, still plays a huge role in my life, and still needs simultaneous attention.
Thank you for reading and providing any commentary on my situation, things that have worked for you to wrangle collaboration from a partner who has "given up" the responsibility of "it takes two", or other reflections of similar situations, since I(we) are never quite sure if what we feel is truly unique or common.