I would love some advice on how to chat to my ADD partner about not living together, as I seem to keep doing it wrong, but I am desperate to try and come up with a solution!
My partner of 4 years and I are at a crossroads at the moment. We used to live together which drove me mad - constant mess, and a constant battle to get him to do anything/get him out of the house. I ended up feeling very depressed yet in love, despite the constant arguments and nagging. I then moved away to go back to university, so at least I could feel more fulfilled in one area, as we'd often argue about how stressed out I would get at my previous jobs. I am currently at the beginning of second year out of three, living with other people and being long distance with my boyfriend, which has actually brought us closer thanks to the disappearance of the constant arguments.
I really wanted to live with him again, but now we've spent enough time apart to make me second think whether I am ready to live with him again, which is very very difficult to chat about, as he is obviously taking it to heart. He wants to move to where I am in January, however he is feeling massively depressed about it as he will have no money, nowhere to live, and keeps suggesting that "no-one wants to live with him". It is difficult as I am in a lease until August, so I could technically move in with him next September - however it will be my final year, and the only year that counts towards my degree grade, so it's going to be high pressure and I really want to do my best. I am worried for me as I want to spend my time focusing on my degree, not trying to look after another person, or being dragged down to the lack of focus he has, thanks to the ADD. The difficulty is that he is not interested in doing anything to help his ADD after having a traumatic time of it as a child (forced on medication, turned into a zombie, lost his friends, stopped taking it and got kicked out of the house).
How do you even go about talking to your partner about it? I can't go back to how it was before as it felt like it was all on me, and then I was the one constantly creating the arguments, why couldn't I just "relax"? I have tried to tell him how I feel - how I felt like I lost myself - which really upset him. I've tried talking to him about the ADD specifically, which he says is him, "take it or leave it". I can see where he is coming from - all throughout his life he's lost jobs, relationships, got kicked out of his family's home, for the same reasons, and I can see how he desperately wants to just be accepted for how he is. However, when I tried to do that it took a huge toll on me, and my self esteem was shot - the forgetfulness comes across like he doesn't care about my feelings, which I am now trying to read up about to avoid going into that trap. The problem is, I can't jump back into living with him unless we can work out how we're going to do it, how we're going to delegate chores, etc, but when I tell him this he gets really upset, and says if we try and find a middle ground it'll only be on my grounds. We've discussed trying to have separate rooms, however this is very expensive as a student. He tells me I am pushing him away and I know how much I have upset him - he's not excited to move to where I am at all now, and feels like everyone hates him. What do I do?! I've made my boyfriend depressed and question himself by putting my own selfish needs first, and going down the route everyone has done in the past. However my degree is also important, and if I do badly I don't want to end up blaming or resenting him for it, which I fear could happen if we go back to our chaotic living style as before.
I really appreciate any advice you may have or personal anecdotes of how you set boundaries successfully. Have your SO's with ADHD overcome depression? How do you support this?! How have you made an ADD relationship work?