My partner is one of the poster child cases. He has never been diagnosed, though, and doesn't believe in ADHD.
When we were getting dressed yesterday, I had to tell him to put on a clean shirt. We had the same conversation the previous morning, but on that day he had already put on the dirty shirt and was too overwhelmed by the concept of changing. So yesterday I caught him in time and he finally abandoned the tee shirt he had been wearing for five days, including two of yardwork. Next!
Feeling good about how the tee shirt issue had been addressed, I asked him to pick up the pile of trash accumulating on the bathroom floor. I had moved the trash can to the other end of the bathroom a few days ago and I told him a few times, but he just kept throwing his q-tips and tissues on the floor where the trash can had been for the first couple of months in our new house. I couldn't bring myself to pick up the trash. We've had numerous struggles with this issue in the past four years. When I first moved in with him, he would leave any trash wherever he created it, even apple cores and orange peels, all over the house, including the bedroom, sometimes for days while I incredulously waited for him to deal with it. So at least I somehow mostly re-trained him on that. And yesterday I thought I would point out this new trash issue. He resisted and yelled at me for insulting him. I swear, I was so gentle, though.
But the previous night we had gone out and had to drive home on winding country homes after dark. He drove. And on this ride, I had to remind him to slow down no less than ten times as he repeatedly sped up to 45 mph while entering blind curves that have 25 mph signs posted. So he woke up feeling some sense of wounded pride.
In the four years we have been together, he has received two cell phones tickets, one hov violation, three speeding tickets, and a left turn on red ticket! I have been in the car when he has been pulled over at least three other times without getting a ticket. I know of about five other pull-overs that didn't result in tickets. I have a hard time getting the keys away from him, though, and have some vision issues that keep me from driving comfortably at night myself. He has taken some driving classes to keep his license before we got together. The last time I was with him when he was pulled over, the officer let him go b/c one more ticket would lead to a suspended license.
Since we've moved into our new house, he has not only forgotten how to out down the toilet seat, something his mother successfully reinforced when he was little, but he has also been forgetting to flush the toilet after he poos. So his pride is also wounded over the fact that I have to remind him to go back and flush. Honestly, I don't even bother if he just peed.
Following the weekend's yard work, I had to go through the yard with him to clean up, which I really didn't mind in theory, but he spent the whole time whining about how he would take care of picking up the yard waste on trash day and his tools later. Mind that the yard project started with him running to the store for replacement tools for the one he destroyed by leaving them outside all summer. But he didn't like having the neighbors hear me bossing him around.
Mind that this is not a macho guy. He was raised in a very progressive extended family by a single working mother who is a yoga teacher and organic chef. His step dad came into the picture when my guy was 10. The step dad is a musician and a teacher who wears a pony tail and identifies more as a wife! My guy was raised among the gay community that ran the AIDS patient clinic in his home town. He is usually better friends with women b/c he lacks the competitive edge so often present in male relationships. He doesn't follow sports. He's humiliated b/c he's a 30 year old person who still needs a mommy.
Last night, the camel's back was broken at dinner. I made his favorite lasagne. He ate two servings and wanted a third. Mind that these were huge servings and that he had already eaten more than a pound of cheese and meat and that he gets heartburn when he overeats and keeps me up all night weeping ang whining about his stomaheaches. And although he keeps fit in general, when I make a meal with leftovers, he just can't stop eating. So I have to make a fresh meal that is small enough for just the two of us to eat proper portions every single night. This lasagne was the first in months because I had some beautiful basil and tomatoes that were just so perfect and because he keeps asking when we can have his favorite meal again. I suppose this is more related to his addiction issues. I said, "please don't have another. Remember how we talked about your brain chemisty recently? You aren't really still hungry, your brain just wants more stimulation of the pleasure center. If you eat more, you are going to be sick." And we fought some more about how mean I am. But I swear I am not being mean! He calls me mean in exactly the same way I used to call my mother mean b/c she made me go to bed or do my homework or eat my vegetables or wouldn't let me take a cab to nyc to hang out in greenwich village with some boy who was four years older than me when I was 14.
Thing is, I have no where to go. I've been unemployed since we've been together. I have some health issues that keep me from working and I am not comfortable with public assistance programs. My guy makes enough money to support us and we've been living under the assumption that we are in this relationship for life, although neither of us in interested in the government's or any religious organization's approval. We don't have health insurance, though, and the government programs don't provide the proper care for my health issues. My guy has been paying out of pocket for my health care for just the past month and I am hoping that I get well enough in the next year to go back to work, economy allowing. And then maybe I can get enough money together for a deposit on my own apartment b/c I now realize that he is never going to get help and I can't be his mommy. But how the hell do I get through the upcoming months w/ some sanity and self-worth in tact? If he would drop the pride and just get help and stop treating me like the mother to his adolescent tendencies, I would stay forever. Whenever we aren't struggling over the adhd issues, he is the most affectionate, loving, loyal partner you can imagine. We agree on virtually all politics and social issues and have very similar tastes in everything from food to movies. We just enjoy each other's company and are happier spending time together than I ever even thought possible. But I also still hope to have a baby and I obviously can't do that with him. I can deal with a lifetime of unacknowledged birthdays and even uncertain finances, but I can't deal with the thought of leaving a child alone with this man or with the knowledge that I will be cast as the evil harpy mother.
Sorry for the vent. I have no place else in the world to let it out.