I posted this in the Hope forum, because I guess that's what I want to hear about...hope.
Very briefly, I am a 30 yo woman with some mild anxiety issues and four years clean and sober through 12 step work (I guess I'm trying to say "Hey, I've got my issues, too"). He's 35, and I'm going to talk mostly about him in the following paragraphs... We've both been in some bad relationships, and I feel like we're equally relieved to have met each other. We have a wonderful time together, we talk about everything, and we have very similar goals and aspirations. He's adorable and fun and smart and kind....but....
Let me begin by saying I am rapidly falling in love with my new boyfriend, but recently I've been more aware of his ADD-qualities, and I'm worried about the future. I've been dating him for two months now. To say it was (is) a whirlwind courtship is putting it lightly. I feel like we've said and done so much that we are about where a couple of one year might be. This is, in no small part, due to what I consider his ADD/ADHD. He jokes that he is ADD, but he's never been diagnosed or treated. I don't think he comprehends the impact of ADD on his work, relationships, and life in general.
He is sweet, caring, and desires so much to have a family. He's industrious and hard working but it's like watching a hamster spin in the wheel sometimes. I watch him rush about, building to-do lists a mile long, and nothing gets accomplished.
He's self-employed and works from his home, but he's not successful, and his house is chaotic with two dogs, stacks of inventory, piles of paperwork, and never enough time to mind it all.
He berates himself for not having more money/being more successful/having more material things. His stress is palpable at times, and I feel sorry for him. The level of disorganization in which he lives really holds him back from being to relax at all, because there's always something that needs tending, and his environment is like an ADD playground of potential distractions and activities on which to hyperfocus.
Granted, it's messy, but it's far from being the worst I've seen. Considering his ADD issues and his home business, it's really not that bad. The other day he told me he hates it there, it's too much, he's too overwhelmed. He tells me I'm too accepting, that I need to expect more from him and not be so okay with his house. It was pitiful. He said if we want to live together one day, he's going to have to get it all together and I'm going to have to be tougher on him. That's just not my style. I'm there to spend time with him, not come down on him for dirty laundry on the floor.
Yet, when I do start tidying up, he tells me I shouldn't pick up after him, and I feel like my shows of empathy or assistance are blows to his ego. It's really no bother right now. Why not pick up stuff as you find it? Right now, in the dating phase, it is acceptable, it is okay, and I'm not resentful.
But I can definitely see a time down the road when in living together it becomes unacceptable and I become as victimized and resentful as the other posters I've read here. Neither this man nor I are spring chickens in relationships, we can see the potential pitfalls and issues that may arise if we choose to bring our lives together. We're not blind in love.
I can also see the hyperfocus on me wearing off, and at first I thought he was losing interest in me until I started reading these posts. Now I know what it means...it doesn't mean anything, it's just how his mind works. Still, in the moment, I find it hard not to get a little jealous of the attention he pays his loser friend or his PDA or his laptop. Everything is treated with equal importance, so it's hard for me to feel important at times.
I know that cleaning his home and helping him get organized isn't going to solve any problems. This is how he is. I could get him straightened out tonight, and by the weekend it'll be a wreck again. Tonight, I did tell him that we're going to clean his bedroom closet and get rid of some stuff.
Add to the above some equal parts immigration issues, constant tardiness, and a strong people-pleasing streak, and my boyfriend has some problems that I can now see contribute to him being single and 35. Yet, he's so sweet, committed, courteous, funny, spontaneous, generous, and giving that it's hard not to fall for him.
Our courtship has been rushed, and already I feel like major decisions about being together and where we live are coming down the pike sooner than I'd like. I feel like I get a bit caught up in his tornado, and I'm unsure about where I'll land. Yet it's thrilling to be in it sometimes...