Losing Myself

I moved in with my ADHD partner about 9 months into our relationship after a whirlwind courtship. Since then, I've started law school and am absolutely losing my mind trying to keep track of everything going on in his life while simultaneously trying to balance schoolwork and my own time commitments. I find myself encouraging him to go out with his friends, do ANYTHING besides be at the house when I am. I use this time to clean up and organize everything that he's laid around the apartment, including half-eaten apples on the living room floor that I reminded him to throw away before getting into bed the night before, a half-eaten container of yogurt that he said he would finish eating a week ago, garbage bags full of stuff that was in his car which have been in the dining room for 3 weeks (that was his way of "cleaning"). If he is at home when I'm cleaning, he goes into defensive mode and says things like "I was JUST going to do that!" or he gets really overly-emotional and says things like 'baby baby baby I feel soooo bad.' And he cries and cries.

I am at the end of my rope trying to keep MY head above water while also having to minimize and anticipate any chaos that might arise in his life which, naturally, affects mine. I find myself avoiding my friends and turning down offers to go out and unwind on the weekends or evenings because I want extra time to maintain my house and surroundings, and of course to get a few minutes to myself. My ADHD partner has a very hard time with boundaries and doesn't understand that we can be at home at the same time and not have to be TOUCHING each other or even interacting. Sometimes I just need to relax and write in my journal or watch my favorite TV show after a long day at school. He cannot seem to ignore me and tend to other responsibilities while I'm home with him (like laundry, bills, etc.).

I do not think I can be in this relationship anymore, I am not at a good place in my life to be taking care of a child masquerading as a man. I know that seems so selfish, but I feel like I have completely lost myself in this relationship. Our lease is up in June, but until then, how can I protect my sanity and not completely destroy the fragile self-esteem of this man that I love but can't possibly be with?

Have you tried explaining to

Have you tried explaining to him that you just need time to do certain things...like "I really need just an hour to XXX" ? The most important thing you have to learn, to maintain your sanity, is how to react and not react to the ADHD. Either reaction (overly upset, defensive) can be met with the same reaction by you "No need to be upset, I just want to tidy things up a bit. I makes me feel better when things are neat and clean" Don't let it become about him...that he didn't get around to it, so you're doing it OR that you are angry with him because he didn't do it..just let it be about you doing something that makes you feel better. Don't meet him at his level of anger or over emotion..just do what you need to do.

I know it isn't always as easy as letting them know what you need, but you certainly need to be letting him know that you're feeling spread thin and that you need X amount of time for studying and cleaning and such.

My husband tends to feel 'neglected' (although he doesn't say it in so many words) when I have things I need to do and he's wanting me to watch TV with him or something, so I can sort of relate. My worry is that he'll feel neglected, but not tell me, and it'll cause issues for us because I am (unbeknownst to me) not meeting some need of his. I didn't get the domestic goddess gene, so when I am in the mood to clean, I really need to do it THEN..or laundry..or whatever chore is calling my name. I get on a roll and that is what I need to do at the time...sorta like hyperfocus.

It sounds like he is still in the hyperfocus stage and it is just smothering for you. Is his ADHD being treated? Have you tried discussing any of this with him? Is counseling an option? So many non-ADHDers have the opposite problem, they feel completely ignored and invisible to their ADHDer. This could potentially happen once the hyperfocus wears off. It doesn't always go that way, my marriage is proof of it...he has always, to some degree, hyperfocused on me as long as there isn't an overwhelming amount of stress making his ADHD go into overdrive. This is why it is so important that he be treating his ADHD with counseling and meds..if necessary.

I have tried explaining this

I have tried explaining this to him, but the problem is that it ends up dominating our relationship. I feel like I am constantly explaining my actions to him, and the limited time we DO have together is sucked up by that. Luckily though, I have finally been able to convince him to see a doctor, and he's getting tested tomorrow. But I will have to remind him, and text him several times throughout the day to make sure that he doesn't forget to go. I am SO excited for him to hear a professional's perspective, but as someone who has personally been on and off anxiety medication, I do understand that diagnosis and 'treatment' is not always the magic potion that we hope it will be. But it will hopefully help him just to admit that he has a problem. Up until recently, he was convinced that we had the world's greatest relationship and everything was perfect (of course! since i bust my butt to take care of him!). 

I do agree with you about the hyperfocus. Another concern of mine is that I'm going to get too far in, the hyperfocus is going to be gone, and I will be left shattered and alone. But the truth is, at this moment, I would be thankful for a break from the hyperfocus! He is like a little puppy trying to get my attention all the time! I appreciate your advice and response. This website has been a life saver for me, and it's so nice to have dialogue with someone who understands!