Firstly, hi there everyone! I'm happy to have found this forum and hope that it'll be a great source of support for both myself and my partner. I'll start off by saying I love him so incredibly much and have stuck by him through thick and thin. He's wonderful, intelligent, joyful, enthusiastic, and loving when we're good. I want to continue doing this, but recently, our relationship has spiralled into something awful. He genuinely sees me as the enemy, and treats me pretty badly as a result. He was undiagnosed for our entire relationship up until this month. For this time, I thought forward to a diagnosis and medication as a tool which could help significantly in resolving the root issues of many of our conflicts, however, he's now decided he doesn't want to treat his ADHD, and I don't know how much longer I can deal with his behaviours - which breaks my heart.
A little background - we've been together for 6 years and are now in our early twenties. I work 50+ hours a week in a very demanding exec job, and DH working very hard to finish the last year of his BA degree. DH had a rough childhood in which his symptoms weren't necessarily picked up on, but we both feel his symptoms have elevated significantly throughout the time we've been together, coinciding with his teen years. After being rejected by a doctor (UK) who refused to refer to a specialist on the grounds that he did not believe DH had significant evidence of childhood ADHD, DH felt incredibly defeated and did not seek a diagnosis or treatment for years, despite many discussions as to how a diagnosis and medication could improve his daily life. Upon recommendation from a uni tutor, he was referred to an educational psychologist this year, and finally diagnosed. However, in order to be evaluated for medication, he must still go through the NHS - his educational diagnosis will simply help this process.
I was talking to him recently about arranging an appointment with his doctor in order to request a referral, and he suddenly revealed that he no longer wanted to go on medication (or seek therapy), for fear that it would change him, dull him down, or simply stop working after a period of time. He had never brought up these concerns before - and I'm really taken aback by this sudden announcement. Honestly (and I know this is incredibly selfish), I'm struggling to cope with the idea of DH not seeking any traditional form of treatment for his ADHD, as his symptoms (in my mind) are severe, and to tell the truth, for the latter half of our relationship, I've almost relied on the idea of him getting medicated or seeking help, believing that it would improve some aspects of our relationship. I understand that many of our issues derive from me being less than perfect, and the clear parent-child dynamic we've developed over time - so aren't blaming all of our issues on his symptoms, but deep down, feel like having a tool like medication to improve the mental obstacles that would be so hard for him to overcome naturally would help both of us significantly. I tried to talk to him about this, but he ended up just dismissing me and giving me the silent treatment :(
A taste of the way in which his symptoms (outside of his issues with focusing, reading, etc) affect our relationship:
- He's become an incredibly angry person with a hairpin temper - anything I do or say could set off a tirade of insults and shouting (this often results in days long silent treatment). I feel like I can't win in these situations - I always approach them in a non-confrontational manner and never shout, always suggest conflict resolution etc - this seems to 'wind him up' more, leading him to accusing me of being cold and holding back my feelings. Equally, if I play his game and argue, it elevates the situation further. Speaking to his childhood and current friends - they also feel he has, and has always had significant issues controlling his emotions - but particularly anger. He generally won't hold back from hitting below the belt, and his mind seems to process things in a completely different manner - leading to him perceiving me as the enemy without fail. Obviously, this fighting makes him incredibly unhappy too.
- He has significant issues with staying organsied, clean, and tidy. All of the assignments he's submitted for uni this year have been late, and no matter the size, he has left them until the last day out of months to complete. (When I tried to talk to him about how he should mention this consistent lateness to his educational psychologist during the diagnosis process, he said he didn't feel it was a symptom because even if he submitted his work late, it wasn't technically late as he submitted it to his tutors via email after the fact and received no repercussions.) His living space is a mess, and not in a 'clothes and items everywhere' kind of way - it's leaving rotting food, old plates, and ash everywhere to the point that he had a fly infestation in the bedroom of the last flat he lived in. In order to avoid this, I'm stuck cleaning up after him for most of the hours I'm not working or sleeping. He of course says he'll do it, but will leave mess for days regardless - which I personally can't deal with. Since we moved in together, he's become more aware of my standards and got marginally better, but still really struggles with this. He struggles to keep up with the cleaning routines of washing his hair and brushing his teeth especially.
- He struggles with time blindness and possibly addictive behaviour. He spends hours per day playing video games with friends, and priorities them because it's more fun than hanging around with me when I act like a nagging mother (which I understand). The prioritisation issue has worsened as of late due to the fact that we've been fighting more and he doesn't want to see me. Though he spends probably more than four hours a day playing games - he says that he doesn't have time to get a part-time job because of uni. In addition to this, he pretty much smokes a significant amount of weed on a daily basis. I have no issue with smoking in a controlled, chilled way (though it's not for me), but believe this is too much for his health, and too much for him financially. He argues that he's not addicted or reliant despite the fact that he'll ask people for money to spend on it if he has none. I believe this is his form of self-medication, which may explain why he's become so reliant on it - which poses the argument - why wouldn't he want to go on a prescribed medication designed specifically for his condition?
- He has significant issues with impulsivity - particularly with spending. He'll spend his student loan - his only income - (which is given in chunks of thousands) about two or three months into the four-month window it needs to last for, leaving him with no money for about a month. Much of this goes on weed.
- Obviously, he's sick of me nagging him about everything listed above, and I understand where he's coming from. It must be awful. I always try to approach it in a rational manner and accommodate him well, but he's fed up with being controlled, and I can't be his mother anymore - though, I think the organisation side of things would spiral further if I simply didn't interfere with his life.
TL;DR, our relationship is in trouble, and I believe much of this could be aided by medication, but DH has stated he no longer wants to seek treatment. Do you guys have any suggestions as to how I could talk to him about how medication may be able to benefit him? Or any tips for how to improve our current parent-child dynamic - or even my behaviour? I love him so much (even through it seems like I've just ranted about him for paragraphs) and want nothing more than to be able to have a functional relationship with him. Sorry for the long post, and thank you to anyone who has read - it helps to get this out. Much love to you all.