I am reflecting on my 3.5 year relationship with I believe undiagnosed adhd man, I'm 53 and he's 49.
When we met I still had teens at home, and a couple of sweet grandbabies from kids who had left home, that I help with. He was a bachelor and owner of an investment property in the form of a liquor store in a bad part of town that the city is redeveloping. The liquor store figures largely into our issues, but I recognize it's the underlying decision making that really did us in. There are many area where we clashed, you've all listed them in your posts. But I am seriously dismayed by how everything evolved and ended. I was on a dead end one way road and didn't realize it. That's on me, I sacrificed wayyyyy too much not knowing it would never pay off for a better future with him. The long term plan was to sell that store to developers for the land, and move on to something else. CoVID slowed that down, as did the economy. He lived above the store, and had the means to find another abode that was suitable for his woman and the grandbabies he came to adore, but he refused, and I don't get it. He never was willing to make the adjustments that a couple makes to joins lives. I Was expected to get the passenger seat and live life on his terms.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I see clearly now that I made a lot of compromises, swept things under the rug, minimized and denied his reality, and thought I could help, or change things, or wait it out, so I could eventually have the relationship I wanted with him. I never just accepted reality. Again, it's on me. I'm not beating myself up, just acknowledging the fact.
From the beginning, our time was dictated by the long hours he worked at the store. We never had a relaxing full day together unless on vacation, that I can remember. He did not prioritize the relariltonship with his time from day one. I guess I thought we would grow into that. I attributed it to the demands of the store rather than it being his CHOICE. He had an employee, he had the ability to do things differently, but is a miser and would never add an employee or pay the one he had for one single day to spend with me as a couple. It was always his agenda. So I can see a conflict in values. I am a person who prioritizes the relarionships and responsibilities of a family, as a single mother I've had to be and it's natural. As you well know, he is not that person if he has adhd, but I did NOT understand that. I do now.
There was a period of time that he didn't have an employee and rather than hire one, he was working 10am-1am, 7 days a week, for 5 months. I moved in to his apartment above the store so we (I) could maintain the relationship. I did it to myself. I don't have to explain how miserable it was, you know. I should have given him the relationship he made himself available for... none. I should have left. I wasn't ready. And also, I know he loved me, the best he could. Always affectionate, he seemed to adore me in many ways. As long as I fit into the slot he made for me and didn't complain.
Once he hired an employee, we tried to get back on track, but here 6 months later I've broken up. In one week, 3 crimes on the property, one after I broke up. An armed robbery that forced us to come home from a date to handle it with police, then two nights later at 10pm he sees a cracked out thief steal something on his security screen in the bedroom, jumps out of bed to go accosted him, as I watch the struggle with a dead cell phone fearing what will happen, who will get hurt, when will this end.
I think maybe he got dopamine from living in that environment maybe, encountering the danger and rushing in full force to handle it. It simply traumatized me. I am shocked that I entered into that, but it was because there was also a lot of good, he brought a lot of good things to my life too. But the fact that he thought that lifestyle was appropriate for his relationship, in spite of my protests which really are common sense for most people, blows my mind. I told him over the last year how depressing, negative, and frightening it was to conduct our relationship in that environment. I had moved back to my apartment, which isn't a very good accommodation for the both of us. His place was the primary place, again because everything is HIS WORLD and I was supposed to just go along. And I did, loudly and hoping for the eventual sale of the property, until I couldn't take it anymore and the relationship died.
The day after I broke up (he was stonewalling me after an argument about the deteriorating conditions, and why wouldn't he consider another living arrangement for our partnership and family? I broke up over text during the stonewall, just can't do thst anymore..) anyway the day after I broke up, a tweaked out guy came in the store, broad daylight, started yelling at the clerk, and went outside and threw a huge rock at my biyfriends car, causing damage. How fitting. Such chaos. I felt vindicated for leaving, but also stunned at what it all had become in spite of him claiming he wanted a future with me, and was an amazing grandpa, a family oriented man, very involved with them, very supportive of me in many ways but not in the critical area of LIFESTYLE.
I didn't realize that even with deteriorating conditions, he would never deviate from his original plan. 3.5 years in, most couples are able to make accommodations for the relationship, build a cohabiting plan that works for both, build a future together. That seems nowhere in his consciousness. I wonder, narcissist or adhd, or both? It doesn't matter really, because the thing I have to look at is what was going on in ME to sign up for that chaotic ride. I'm figuring that out.
The gift of this relationship was, he opened my world to lots of positive adventures, it wasn't all like living in an episode of COPS. We enjoyed our favorite hobby together, that was a big part of the initial bond. I learned to communicate well! In order to try to navigate what looks like the RSD described in this forum, I worked hard on that, to no avail but I developed skill whether he appreciates it or not. And I learned, finally, to let go in order to honor myself and acknowledge my own delusions about the relationship and what it was, what it could be. I decline to be neglected and verbally, emotionally, psychologically abused because I am able to voice my needs. I stopped excusing his behavior and overfunctioning to mitigate it. I am owning my own toxic pattern of lowering the bar in relationship. I'm going to grow. Right now its just mind boggling to see it all and not understand how he was two people . One sweet, caring, loving guy ... and one cold, selfish, domineering bully. Shaking my head. It was confusing.