I just discovered this forum and I'm so glad I did. Thank you.
I feel completely stuck right now - stuck between the deep love I have for my boyfriend of 13 years and stuck with the frustration, stress, and feeling of hopelessness - of living with someone who has diagnosed ADD and who (from my POV) is not dealing with it incurring fall-out for me and our lives, and relationship and possibly sending us into living below the poverty line.
I've read enough of ADD forums, to know, that i have fallen into the classic trap of mothering/enabling my boyfriend for the last few years while I have been basically the sole breadwinner.
Our story is that he is has a brilliant business mind, describes himself as a serial 'entrepreneur'. He's been capable of having 6 figure contracting jobs too. He is highly intelligent and capable of great things. We ran some start-up businesses overseas which we remain proud of but didn't work out financially. We came back to Australia over five years ago, to rebuild our lives, especially financially. A key challenge for me is that he has massive hang-ups about looking for any kind of work citing 'the thousand of job rejections' he received. Note his CV is a little unusual as he has run mainly businesses. I understand that about him. He see himself as a 'hunter' not a 'farmer'.ie. an entrepreneur not an employee. I think it actually the entrepreneurial energy is linked to the ADD also - it all makes sense. He is been on government unemployment benefits for five years.
Our problem is that while I have been working over the last few years, his projects have not got off the ground yet. He often says, part of it is because "you don't help me with them!, you are part of the problem". This makes me very angry. I feel that I have been - by allowing him to focus 100% on the business building, not even getting a part-time job etc at least and taking on the stress of full-time work. I have talked to him about that in depth and I think despite his great skills, he actually suffers from a lack of confidence and fears job-hunting rejection. He seems to take it personally, although he denies it! He has actually said out loud, 'No-one wants me". So, I can see the pain there. I think counseling for the latter would really help him, but he refuses to get help and get over this!
We are now in dire straits financially as I lost my high paying job in April and have been contracting off and on since then. On the day I got sacked, I was pretty upset and said it wasn't working anymore (me being the 'grown-up', paying all the bills etc), and I needed him to bring in income also so we can both get ahead.
It's been six months and not a lot has changed. I found a great site for freelance businesses consulting work (perfect for him), he said it was great, yet he still is not on it! - five months later. He said he 'wasn't ready'. I feel like screaming at him!!! When we have an empty fridge and can't pay our rent will you be READY then!!. What distresses me is not only the lack of urgency, the obliviousness to my anxiety, but also the blame game. When I try to talk to about reality of our situation, he shifts it to me - 'You didn't help me (with the business building etc') over the last few years", the fact is I was pretty preoccupied with keeping our heads above water and either looking for and having high pressure jobs at the time. He is finally looking into the consulting site this week, but only because I've had to really push him.
This morning when I talked about only having enough money to pay the bills for more month - he said 'Just sell the car', I'll go and live in a tent in a park, you can live with your father...". Great, so he now threatening to leave me saddled with debt (as it's all in my name), and poor and alone! Instead, what I need to hear is ' I know you are under pressure, I'll do anything to turn this around, I'm here for you, you are not alone". He has talked along similar lines in the past when i have been stressed and they gave me glimmers of hope. I did feel he was genuine at the time. He has so much talent, we could make so much money and be secure - and have a really great life!
A major touch-point for me is that we have (due to our business failing and not being able to pay rent) lived just in those types of poverty circumstance six years ago. I never want to return to that that brush with poverty. I'm still traumatized from that.
When I talk about having more security, he jokes that I should find a "boring and safe" boyfriend to live with instead! e.g "Go find an accountant". I also get that classic ADD response, 'Stop NAGGING me!'. At what point will he get, that I feel he doesn't listen to me, and I'm feeling desperate and pretty depressed. I am also lonely, as our sex life is completely non-existent. He is very affectionate etc in other ways, but I really miss him in that sense. I feel like we are both missing out on a great part of life. Again, I know this is ADD related.
The other problem, is that while he has the avenues to get help with his ADD, he avoids doing anything about his ADD which was finally diagnosed a few years ago. He was even taking his medicine (Dexamphetaimine) incorrectly, but again refused to get help to sort it out leading to months of wasted energy. Frankly, it's a bit of a blur.
A prime example - he has a great ADD specialist, he was meant to have an appointment in October to catch up with her and also get access to a free ADD Coach and free psychologist. I think the latter would have been amazing for him (He has done mindfulness sessions in the past which seemed to make a real difference, he was calm and happy). He decided to cancel this appointment the day before, claiming he "didn't want to do the blood test". Now, the next appointment is not until Dec 21! This means he is unlikely to get any ADD coaching until 2016. He missed a great opportunity to get help. I can't talk to him about ADD issues e.g making medical appointments without being called a 'nag'.
So, another year has gone by and we are now in a very financially risky position. I now know I've been in denial. When I was earning six figures and we had cash flow, I could pretend that everything was going to be OK and he would improve. Now, that the safety net has gone, a whole new world of stress is here.
I'm sorry for such a long note, I don't know what to do anymore. We have the potential of a great, big life with happiness. I still love him and I believe he loves me. We still laugh, have fun. We have been through hell and back and are great friends. He is brilliant and the world should be seeing that. But, I'm completely beside myself as I write this also. He says he is not emotionally blackmailing me with comments like the one from this morning, 'I don't care, I'll go live in a tent'.
Today was the first time, I thought, "Should I call him on his bluff and kick him out?".
He says I don't care about his 'business' which he is still developing. In in a way this is true, its' hard to be 100% positive about it (it is a great concept), but it's been so long in fruition and he doesn't get that I need him to look after me, instead of it always being the other way around all the time. All I want is for him to get a freelance project of some kind, anything to take the pressure off me (for a change). I really need him to step up and be a true partner to me again, like it used to be. I know that I can't control him, I can only control myself etc.. but I feel stuck today
Thanks for reading.