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?
You are not responsible for his emotions
Submitted by sickandtired on
Wow. This guy has you feeling guilty because "no one wants to live with him"??? And "everyone hates him? He is playing the victim and he controls you because you feel sorry for him. That is not love. It is co- dependence.
It is certainly NOT selfish to put your education and your future first. If he gets mad when you try to discuss him facing and working on his ADHD, that is a BIG problem. He says he will be miserable moving? How do you think realistically this would be if he actually does move in with you again? I think every fiber of your being is subconsciously telling you NO, you don't want to get back in a living situation with him.... if you can only stand him in a long distance relationship.... stop and think before you give up your freedom and your happiness for him. Please learn from the experiences of others on this forum who were in relationships like this. What you have seen before is ALL you will ever get from him.
Submitted by Theworrier on
Thank you for your comment! Yes I agree, some days I do feel annoyed that I am just trying to explain how I feel, and then I end up feeling sorry for him for my own feelings. It is hard - I have to try and explain how I feel without making him feel shameful but I don't really know how! In the meantime, you are right, I have to listen to my gut and say no.
There are some aspects of
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
There are some aspects of your post that worry me about your situation. It seems that you are happy and thriving, but being pressured into a situation that you know will rob your happiness and negatively affect your future. Your boyfriend seems to be unhappy now and has already admitted that he will be unhappy after the move. Please believe me when I say that relationships only get harder the more deeply involved you become. But I think you already know that. You’ve already been in a more involved situation with him and don’t want to go back.
You say you want to “chat” with him about it. I think you’re very kind hearted and don’t want hurt him so you want to find a way to let him down easy. This is a tough one. I would encourage him to look for a job for himself in his dream location. Tell him you don’t want to hold him back. That would give you both a chance to build your future without guilt or hinderence from the other.
I completely understand your dilemma. Living with a person with adhd can become a full time job. It can sap the joy out of living and drive you into depression. You’re very smart to think about your future. If I were you I would think even further into your future. If you move back in with him now, will he expect marriage after you finish school? Will you have children together? What if one or more of your children have adhd? Then the chaos is multiplied.
Submitted by Theworrier on
Thank you for your post! It is difficult isn't it - I am so worried about the further future, marriage, kids etc - I know it's only going to get harder. I guess I just hope by then we might be able to tackle the symptoms together so we can find a way of working it out so we are both happy.
And you are right - I am worried that going back to living with him will be like a stepping stone - I want to give him another chance but the variables don't seem to work in our favour - he is already depressed and only wants to move to where I am to be with me - it is a huge pressure on me. We have talked abut moving to his hometown when I finish, which I would then be a lot happier to give him another chance - he would have his family and friends around, so it would be much less of a pressure for me. However I don't know if he wants to wait around for another year and a half for that, and that's what I am most worried about - by me being selfish and moving away I have kind of expected him to come down and wait for me and maybe he just can't do that, and it will end us.
It is important to move forward and not go backwards, and I feel like I have massively moved forwards with my life, whereas he is still in the same place, doing the same things, still with the same symptoms. I guess I need to see him making some effort on the hindrances - I got rid of feeling depressed (which annoyed him) by doing something for me, so I guess I need to see the same from him.