As my ADHD partner and I have been sort of haltingly preparing to have a common future, it seems to happen increasingly that I have brought up topics that should be of mutual discussion and he doesn't seem to be hearing me (there's no response indicating "I agree", or "I disagree", "I need more information", or "I don't really care" etc. and he persists in whatever course of action or inaction was ongoing with regard to the topic) or very often he asks a question that makes it clear he doesn't recall information or an opinion I gave when we discussed the topic before.
Or maybe he just doesn't like my opinions or trust the credibility of my information, and he's trying to be nice not to say so; he often feels a need to seek out and wait for independent opinions and it doesn't work out well when he doesn't get them--for example it took ages to choose a color of paint that was at least agreeable to both of us, and then I heard him say recently that he doesn't like it, and perhaps he should have gotten the opinion of a designer. He may have been trying to be nice about that but it's become very clear he feels that other things about the house are his to decide; his ex apparently seldom bought anything on her own and always left the decisions to him.
So in the overall dialogue, when I don't seem to be heard, I'm just never really sure what is due to his forgetting/inattentiveness due to ADHD, vs. what is due to things he feels he should be the one to decide and maybe we don't have a common understanding about that.
The problem is that when I think it's the former, I try different ways to talk about the topic so that it's more likely he'll understand why I think it needs his/our attention, and then I get complaints about repeating myself or hear that I'm overwhelming him. He quoted his therapist as agreeing that when I do this, I may be bringing up undesirable memories of his childhood, when anxious and unloving parents were often dumping on him.
I'm trying to be really choosy about what I bring up, only things that I feel are really important (just giving in without discussion on things he feels strongly about, such as the lengths of our respective commutes) and trying to be increasingly careful about when and how I say anything so I am less likely to raise his defenses, but we do actually need to have some discussion about big and little things, aspects of the place we will be living together and how we will pay bills and the need to have some savings for emergencies. I am trying hard to avoid parent-child dynamics and I don't want to shoulder all the decisions, but I also have bad experiences from the past that result in my not wanting to be left hanging by the effects of decisions he makes without me, and I can't read his mind as to whether he's even thinking about things I consider important.
I understand that there are past anxieties playing in and I have them too. I have to admit that I feel unloved when I'm not being heard, and maybe that further weakens my communication skills. Our premarital counselor basically noted that I already talk too much, being a person who thinks about things by talking them through (which he said is common for women) and he added that repeating myself means that I'm dominating the conversation. So as the pressure increases to make important decisions together, while I feel honestly confused and fearful of the consequences if important balls drop and my savings are the only contingency plan, I feel even more pigeonholed as to what I can bring up.
I am truly beginning to wonder whether there will be any further commitment in our relationship, any future fun in our lives that would be worth the risk of NOT bringing up things about our finances etc. for discussion. I have experienced living independently and while it can be lonely, I'm not actually sure I want a future in which I'm constantly asking myself whether I should or shouldn't try another way to bring up something that may have been forgotten or that he considers to be out of my domain, but on which discussion seems legitimately important to me. I said that I wanted to maybe drop the pressure by further delaying the co-mingling of our finances until we have more common ground, but that seemed to be unwelcome. Are the areas in which communication is such a big gap more likely to get bigger, or smaller? Any useful advice for me?