Hello to this wonderful group,
I read Melissa's book and found this forum last summer. Have only now found the nerve to officially "join" and post. I was married for 14 years (no kids) and when it ended in 2011, I vowed that I would not make the same mistakes again. I haven't, yet I've made a whole slew of new, perhaps worse, mistakes.
I am 46 and my boyfriend is 57. We've been "shacking up" for two years. We met at a business conference and immediately hit it off. Although he told me that he'd been diagnosed with ADHD in the past, I really had no clue what that meant - for an adult to have it, that is. He seemed like a very well-accomplished entrepreneur, someone thought highly of in our industry. (I have the same type of business, of my own.) I had NO idea what "hyperfocus" was, but I've sure learned now. It was a whirlwind romance (long distance, no less) and we moved in together in a new part of the country 3.5 months after we met. Yep.
Hindsight may be 20/20 but it's also a b*tch. I should have asked more questions. I should have been very clear with my desires and expectations. He too had been married before and had been divorced 10+ years, but his was a messy situation with an ex that wished him dead (and still does), and two young-adult kids in the mix, who want nothing to do with him (ostensibly due to the ex-wife's brainwashing them to hate him, over the years.)
Fast-forward to now. We've been shacking up for two years. I bought the house that we live in. I bought every single appliance and piece of furniture. I pay all but two of the monthly bills/utilities/expenses and I pay all the "big" household stuff like insurance, home warranty, etc. Of the two "shared" household bills that are in his name, that he agreed to pay, both are habitually paid late and have been threatened to be shut off, or have been shut off. The worst being a year ago when he was so late paying our internet/tv/phone bill that our internet was shut off. Back then I still had my head in the sand and didn't realize how far behind he was (and that he seemed not to care) - until I tried to log onto my laptop that morning and had no connection. Because BOTH of our businesses depend 100% on internet access, that was a particularly horrible time. I'm still not sure why I didn't force him to move out, right then. On two occasions, his mother (who is in her 80's) bailed him out by giving him money. To pay off his car and later, to settle up some legal issues that were lingering with the ex-wife. Yes, this man is 57 and his MOTHER had to bail him out. Ugh. I certainly was not going to pay.
The reason he insists that (his, thus "our") finances will be better in the future is because he has a new "public" gig that has been in the works for ~2 years and is just now coming to fruition. In theory, yes, this "job" COULD bring a lot of money. But right now it seems to actually TAKE more time, that he could/should be spending "work-working" - and we've not seen an increase in his income. This new "project," which I admit IS very exciting, goes hand-in-hand with his regular business. But because this project is "public" in nature... to the outside world, he has the tiger by the tail. All of his friends online and most of them in real life see him as a leader, as a huge success. If they only knew. :-(
He spends huge amounts of time on social media. Yes, some of that time is "working" I admit, by promoting stuff, etc on Facebook or Twitter. But a LOT of that time is spent simply surfing the web, in the time-suck of Facebook, etc. He has his phone set up with notifications, so that he gets a "ding" or sound every single time he gets an email. Or a text. Or a Facebook message. On and on and on. His phone might as well be glued to his hands... it is maddening.
He does not take meds for his ADHD; he did so once in the distant past and said he didn't "like it" so he just let it go. He was Dx'd by an expert in the field, yet he is not interested or willing to get "treatment" now, in any form. I asked him to read Melissa's book and he downloaded it to his Kindle, but he's only read the first chapter or two. He says he is "too tired" to read... or has other excuses. Yet he has time to play stupid games and post humorous (crap) on FB, etc. Nice priorities.
I apologize for this long post, but I don't really know where to begin. I love this man and want to give him every chance. But my finances are suffering and I did NOT sign up for this. I moved across the country to start my life over. I signed up for a partnership... in every sense of the word. And while I am relatively successful in our field, I don't have the many years of experience - and the "leadership role" - that my boyfriend does. So why am I making so much more money? Why is he not trying? He should be running circles around me, in terms of income. And I honestly believe that he is capable of this. He promises to do x, y and z - that will help him make more money - but he does NOT follow through. I have tried speaking to him from my heart. I've cried. I've begged. Pleaded. Even yelled a little bit. I almost set an ultimatum... but for the most part I caved... I just couldn't do it. I think that at this point, he is comfortable with me towing the line. He knows that I *will* pay the bills, that he has a fabulous roof over his head, a beautiful house with a pool, etc. Yet it strikes me as so disrespectful and thoughtless that he doesn't make the effort to step up his income and chip in. His words say one thing - but his actions speak much louder.
Of course this imbalance in finances has nearly ruined my sex drive. At times it feels like I cannot even respect him, which feels awful, sad and frustrating. I know from reading here, and in the book, that my REACTIONS are key. And I feel like I've learned more about ADHD than he has... and yet I don't know what to try next.
Any suggestions would be wonderful. Again, so sorry for this long post. Thanks for reading.