Where we're at now...

So, we've come to the point in our therapy sessions where it's all out on the table now!

I am Codependent.

He has ADHD.

I was told to stop controlling him, telling him how he should treat his symptoms, how he should behave towards me. Instead, I should just let him know how I feel and what I want and need (which I've done millions of times, therefore according to our therapist, need not mention anymore) and leave it up to him to make the changes and get the help. (accept responsibility and take initiative)

This is soo scary for me! My partner has already expressed to me that he doesn't want to do any more, or get any more help. He's content the way he is and just wants me to accept him the way he is. :(

I also know I am not happy with the way things are between us and that I NEED change and I NEED him to get a better handle on his symptoms in order for 'us' to ever work. He too is unhappy with the way things are between us but blames my anger. (which stems from his behaviours--but this is the part he's not connected quite yet)

At this point I am not to talk about my issues surrounding the relationship with him anymore (or until our next session) because talking doesn't help, and he already knows what I need from him. I'm just suppose to wait and (hopefully) see the changes...

He told the therapist he's making all these changes but I'm just not seeing them (?). The therapist said that in that case he needs to start showing me in different ways! (I'm not at all sure about these so called "changes", but anyhow...)

It's scary that I'm not going to be able to talk to him about the relationship over the next few weeks. It's scary to step out of the "control seat" and allow him to take the reins and show me he cares about getting "well". I feel like he's not going to do anything at all. I feel like he's going to forget about the session all together! :(

It's scary because I'm not sure he's going to do anything differently...

The therapist asked what my plan of action would be if he decides to do nothing at all? I replied that I would have no choice but to leave because this relationship simply doesn't make me feel healthy, happy or normal and that time is passing me by.

She said that was fair, now he knows and lets see how he applies effort with this knowledge about my feelings.

All I have to say is.... eek, big changes may be coming our way! I just hope he makes the right moves because it would suck to lose someone so spectacular over ADHD--something perfectly manageable! But, at the same time, I have to start taking care of me and I have to start living my life... not his life anymore!

Letting go of the Codependency is my work and it's REALLY REALLY hard!!!! It's hard to stop telling someone how you think they can live happier, especially when you love them. He's a grown man and I don't need to mother him or tell him how he should live/behave. If I'm not happy, I've expressed it. If it doesn't change due to his lack of desire to change it, I must move on. :'(

I really hope this works out for the two of us.... And if not, I really hope I have the strength to accept that it didn't work out and move on.

Husband will do things for therapist that he won't do for me!

The only progress we've ever made is because he did something our therapist told him to do.

When he was first diagnosed, he refused to work or even apply for jobs. Horrible for me, as I do not make very much money and even working 2 jobs or double shifts, I could not keep everything together.  We entered marriage counseling, and eventually our therapist told him, you are not being fair to SueAnn, you have to at least start applying for jobs. He did, although I'd been begging him to for YEARS. He said it was just to show that no one would hire him, but of course, they did. Now he has a job he loves. He wouldn't do it for me, but he did it for her.

In a session yesterday (with a different therapist) I brought up my frustration that, in the 3 years since we've lived in this house, he's never put the headboard on the bed (I can't--very bad knees). She told him to do it and we went and bought new bolts and he did it the same day. Good grief, ADDers never do anything the first day you ask them.

It's a double-edged sword. He won't do it because I ask but he will do it if a therapist asks. What does that say about my importance to him?

I think he's tuned you out, and mine tunes me out, but they may hear a fresh voice saying something reasonable. I wish you all the best with this. I know you are scared. 

Not sure how long you have

Not sure how long you have been in counseling but maybe with more time your DH will be willing to accept that he needs additional change/management in his ADHD to improve his life.

I too, am/was Co-dependent.  And your right, its hard to let go of the habits that have become part of our daily lives.  But I promise you, once you let go of the mothering, the nagging, the feelings of hopelessness because "he just won't do what it best for him" - YOUR life will improve!  Once I let go of those habits I began to breathe again -  for me. What I mean is that I was so busy trying to "fix him or the issues or whatever else I thought was the problem" that I had stopped living/breathing for me. I took on all of the problems and gave solutions but didn't see that I was living for fixing the problems of others rather than living my life. 

As you may have read some of my prior posts regarding my experience with NSDH and his ADD issues (I should mention that I personally believe that he is also battling other mood/mental disorders as well as abusing alchol) my NSDH decided that he no longer was attracted to me - he doesn't want a divorce, he just doesn't want to have a relationship with me.  At first, I was emotionally overwhelmed. I didn't know what to do and I cried quiet a bit.  But now 4 weeks have passed and I see that I have not been living my life.

So I finally have started to take control and responsibility for ME --- and I love it! I want my freedom more than ever.  I know longer let his moods affect me. He was unhappy that I stayed out with friends until 2 am (no drinking for me - I don't need it to have fun) - made a nasty comment and wouldn't speak to me for the next 2 days - OH WELL!  See, I finally understand what all of the co-dependent behaviors I had prevented me from living life and having fun because I was to busy trying to fix things (and of course, he let me do those things while he went off and had fun).  I have learned that I don't need or want to fix every thing and the not everything needs to be fixed - and that's OKAY!  I feel that all the weight that I have been carrying over the years is beginning to lift. I love going out with friends, I want to try new things (used to be scared to try new things before because what if I made a mistake or made him made or who would look after the kids,ect?), life has so many new opportunities for me. And you too!   

Im not saying that life will be a big bowl of fun all of the time. I know that's not true. But honestly, life without co-dependency is AMAZING!

I strongly recommend changing the codependent nature in your life - at the very least, check out the book "CoDependent No More".  It opened my eyes to behaviors that I had and how to rid myself of them to help me become healthier and happier in MY life.  I am in therapy to help move forward with my new life and when I am ready for a new relationship to not make the same mistakes of being codependent in my relationships.

No matter what happens with your spouse, please give yourself a gift and look into your issues with codependency. 

Best wishes in your journey.

ebb and flow's picture


I am reading the book but I've only just started it!

I'm so scared to let go because I worry he will do nothing and I will have to leave. (the definition of Co-dependent pretty much!)

As I read the first few pages of that book I cried soo hard. It was bang on! Soooooo 'me'! It's the first time in, I don't know how long, I was actually reading a self help book for ME! (Not some book about ADHD!)

I think I'm taking the first steps... I'm just scared of where its going to take me. (Meaning, I think we will ultimately end)

It would be so heartbreaking to see us end over ADHD!!! I can't even tell you... It's just something I see as soo "fixable".

I don't even know what it means to stop living his life and start living for me again!

I've been so preoccupied with how "wrong" his behaviours have been that I don't even know what my life looks like anymore! I was soo busy the last 3 years trying to figure it out and "fix" his problems, his life. Wow, I knew I was a caring person but had no idea it could lead to my detriment if not careful....

No wonder I have no energy!!! He has it all!!!!! I've been focusing and directing and GIVING my energy to him, his life and his ADHD.... He's had no reason to look at his symptoms because I've been doing that *for* him!

I never understood, nor was I taught, that there is a little dance going on between two people when in a relationship... It's a dance of energy. If you focus too much on the other person-- your energy will go there. That person can just sit back and enjoy the "boost", so to speak. You'd think they would appreciate your help, caring and understanding... but the opposite happens and they end up resenting you for your over concern (controlling) and they lose interest in you because you're not that strong, charismatic (energetic!) person they met---- All the while draining, sucking and accepting all the energy you direct their way! (subconsciously, of course!)

*I am aware neither of us are doing this on a conscious level... I would not be willfully giving my life and energy to someone nor do I think he is consciously sucking it from me... It's something we fell into sub-consciously, I believe*

It's making so much more sense to me now.

Still very scary and I think reading more of this book will help me understand even more how I'm suppose to get my life back.

I just had no idea what I was getting myself into when I let go of 'me' and took on his issues as my own.

I could definitely write the book on what not to do in a ADHD relationship... It would just be pages and pages of the opposite of what I've been doing! lol 

What exactly does it mean to be co-dependent?

I've read Co-Dependent No More and I think I understand the concepts. But I am not sure I understand its application to ADHD and spouses of ADHDers. In a marriage, don't the spouses depend on each other to some extent? For example, when we got married we moved into a bigger, more expensive house than I lived in before. We needed him to earn some money to contribute to that higher rent. (He lost his job in the second month of our marriage.)  I had signed the lease, and I had no other place to live so I worked 2 jobs or double shifts to pay that rent. Am I co-dependent because I needed him to pay rent? I am disabled. Am I co-dependent because I need him to do certain tasks that I can't do? Should we expect to do housework and cooking, etc. for 2 people, and if we need him to contribute we are co-dependent?

ebb and flow's picture


I think there is a difference between healthy 'give and take' in a relationship and co-dependency.

Co-dependency usually happens when one person in the relationship is focusing too much of themselves/their energy and attention towards wanting the behaviours of the other person to change; so much so that they've lost their own sense of caring for themselves.

The other person's life becomes their problem and something they need to "fix"-- ie- when you want to make an alcoholic stop drinking or make your ADDer seek help even if they don't want to, or aren't ready to.

It's different when there is someone who cannot change due to physical limitations and the other partner has agreed to help more so because of that. Ie- One partner has a broken leg so the other partner takes up all household chores until their partner heals. 

In my situation, I've made all my partners negative behaviours my problem and my project! I've read all the ADD books for him, watched seminars, watched documentaries, found counseling for us, joined this site, read articles, sent him articles, etc, etc, etc.

My partner hasn't done much of anything at all! He comes along to counseling after many fights in the beginning to get him there (I book the appointments). He may read articles I send him, but maybe not because he never replies. He reads a page here and there from a book about ADHD-- so he says. Though these little things are great and I appreciate them, they have not made his symptoms subside. Especially the ones that impact our relationship negatively!

It's tiring having to chase someone down all the time to change their negative behaviours! I don't want to have to EVER tell my partner AGAIN that I feel lonely in the relationship!!! I also don't want to think of solutions to his distraction and inattention when they are not my problem! They've become my problem because I've chosen to stay in this relationship knowing these are symptoms of ADHD... But, if he's never going to deal with them in response to my expressing how they negatively impact me, I need to make a decision as to whether or not I want to stay in a relationship where I feel my needs are being neglected--- even after being voiced MANY MANY times! I'm the unhappy one, therefore I should try my best to express my unhappiness with the hopes things will change... If they don't, I need to leave. NOT, if they don't I need to read more about ADHD, I need to try to convince him to see a coach, need to try to make him see how behaviour therapy might help him!

You see? I'm exerting too much effort in keeping this together and I feel he is doing the bare minimum to get by (so I don't blast him!). It's not fair and the energy in the relationship is not balanced because of it... therefore it is unhealthy.

That's what I understand co-dependency to be....

Sueann, Ebb & Flow, Lonelywife

I can tell you that the Codependent No More book could have been written FOR ME..100%. My spouse is ADHD. Not alcoholic. Not addicted to drugs. Just ADHD. It most DEFINITELY applies to anyone who focuses their entire life on trying/wanting/nagging to fix someone else's problems..seeing themselves as a VICTIM of (insert any variety of conditions here...alcoholism, ADHD, drugs, etc). Ebb...wait until you get to chapters 6 & 7 (I think it is...OMG..talk about having some major ah-ha moments..and the tears flowing)

I think your counselor is dead on with this advice, it is very similar to what my counselor told me 2 months ago when she suggested the book to me. When we reconciled I was running on pure adrenaline...and set boundaries for myself that I swore I would never let him cross again..without the risk of losing me, forever. I was so done that I couldn't have screame d it louder from the tops of the mountains. But I was also done being the (what I know now as codependent) person I was as well. I was as sick of me as I was of him.

In our last counseling session my husband said "I just want you to stop trying to fix everything, all the time". I realized that my every waking moment had become about 'fixing' things again. Since he started meds, and they changed him in some 'hard to swallow' ways (mean, irritable, disagreeable, hard to talk to) it really just stopped me dead on my tracks of my progress. I can go back and look over my posts from when I first found this site, to when he started meds, to rediscovering my codependency (didn't always have a name for it) and to now when I am dealing with it once again. It is a constant struggle to stay focused on ME and not him, especially when there are situations that present themselves that I want SOOO badly to 'fix' somehow.

If I could share one thing with you guys that has helped me so much it would be that the way things are going right now (especially for you ebb & flow and sueann) it ISN'T WORKING. I can tell you from my own experience too that the harder you try and focus on them as the main issue in the relationship, the more you will stay RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. Being able to see that, no matter how much we want to deny our issues and blame the ADHD spouse for everything, that we are equal parts of the problem is a HUGE step forward. It does not matter what they won't do, what they do that hurts, or what we feel they should or should not do...truth of the matter is, it most likely won't change during the midst of the vicious cycle of us controlling/them seeing us a controlling and therefore the behaviors are exacerbated

Ebb, it is 100% true that you are just going to have to let him stand on his own. I know it is scary, God knows I understand that, but if you ever want him to be able to stand on his own, then you have to stop doing it for him. The one thing you need to remind yourself of is that he is aware of most of the behaviors that are hurtful to you. They are not stupid, they have ears and they are capable of simple comprehension. If you put yourself inside of the ADHD mind you could see just how 'unhelpful' it is to try and fix them, to bombard them with info about 'their condition', and for him to see that his behavior is pretty much solely responsible for your misery. My husband can know he's done something to make me unhappy, but how I respond to that hurtful behavior makes all the difference in the world in how the situation resolves itself. If I unravel, he unravels...refuses to apologize, refuses to admit his responsibility, etc. I know this...yet I've been doing this over and over again since he started meds and can see where I have been making things worse...not just for my marriage, but for ME.

I truly believe that the most effective way to get through to someone who has ADHD is two fold...A) there have to be tangible boundaries that just simply cannot be crossed...make these goals if you need to, but see yourself 6 months from now and what you expect your relationship to be like. Accept nothing less. It does seem senseless, but in the end if they choose to let the ADHD control them, we have to choose not to let it control us. He needs to know what you need and he needs to meet you at least in the middle somewhere. It really, to be quite blunt, pisses me off that they want to blame the ADHD for the lack of attention they give and for all of this other stuff, when bottom line is, they CAN get off of their butts, make plans, spend an evening with the person who loves them, and have a meaningful interaction with their partners...it isn't brain surgery and it isn't causing them physical pain..but they don't do it because #1 they get away with not doing it and #2 because the partner is so hung up on fixing everything that most of the time you truly cannot have an enjoyable evening out because the issues always come back to the surface. They know this, so they avoid it. B) you have to work on YOU. You have to just.let.go. You have to sit back and bite your tongue, worry silently, and just listen when sometimes things unravel in ways that we feel we could have avoided if they'd have just listened...but that isn't our job. You (not you specifically, but for someone whose main complaint is inattentiveness) have to stop sitting on the couch being lonely every night while they are on the computer, playing video games, or engaging in whatever activity they choose. Find things to do that fulfill you and quit depending on them for 100% of your fulfillment. I feel that on some level they just simply do NOT like being depended on that way and the more they feel we need them for this the harder it is for them to provide it.

I imagine it (forgive me ADHDers, just my own opinion and experience here) as them sitting at the computer...we beg them to come watch a movie, go to dinner, etc..and they refuse. So we put in a movie, make some nice snacks, invite some friends over, and laugh and have a good time and enjoy our movie anyway. It peaks their interest enough to take a break from the computer..and eventually to join in the 'party'. This is a metaphor for our lives. Stop waiting on them to host, or even co-host, the party and just start throwing your own party...they'll eventually join. If not, then the hard decisions must be made. Insisting they come to the party, act a certain way, wear a certain outfit, eat a certain snack, drink a certain drink, and stay a certain amount of time will ensure they won't enjoy the party so they won't join.

I realized at one point that I was trying so hard to control my husband, had my idea of exactly how things should be, that I was setting him up for certain failure. They do NOT have to conform to our molds and do everything we feel they should do just because it is the way we feel they should do it. We get so hung up on our dislike for them/their behaviors, that we try and change every.tiny.aspect.of them...just so we can feel like we have control over SOMETHING.

KNOCK WOOD...my husband TRULY has changed many of his hurtful behaviors and I can honestly say that as terrifying as it was, I think he did it because I set him free to be him. I believe Melissa's idea/theory that the more we accept and love them....and stop trying to control them...the more positive the reaction is. It is a risk, but when you finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired you will try anything.

Sorry if this is rambly...you are definitely not alone. I am getting myself up and dusting myself off again from the codependent role...my audiobook is my best friend right now. I listen to at least 5-6 chapters a week..over and over. My next plan of action is to do the activities in the ends of the chapters. Now that I know what it is, I have to rid myself of it once and for all. His response has been amazing so far...and I haven't even discussed it with him AT ALL. You truly do have the power to turn your life around lady...please don't let the fear of it backfiring on you keep you from shoving him in the water and letting him sink or swim. The fear of things never changing was far more scary to me. ((HUGS))



Sueann, I have always been

Sueann, I have always been upfront with you...so I just wanted to say that I do feel you are stuck in a codependent role in your marriage because you are depending on him to change something that is probably 99.9% likely to NOT change and you're letting your life be negatively affected by it in several ways. There is a chapter in the book about the lady who is married to an alcoholic. She goes out and gets a job because he tells her that he drinks because of the stress of having to earn all of the money. She thrives in her job, but it doesn't stop his drinking. She then decides she has to quit work and stay at home and never let him have one moment alone or otherwise he'll drink. She dictates HER life around what he does or doesn't do. As much of a reality as it seems to you, there are many people who believe that where there is a will, there is a way, and that you waiting for your husband to get another job and raise the money for your surgery is not only expecting a miracle that deep down you probably know isn't going to happen yet you continue to be very angry at him about this...but I also wonder if you aren't using this as a crutch to avoid something else.

I won't go into details, and admit I had no physical limitations myself, but I pulled myself up from a purely hellish situation when I left my first husband (alcoholic) and was raising a son who has some very special needs...and I did it for five years completely.by.myself. I just simply do not believe that anything is impossible if we want it badly enough and I would NEVER, EVER depend on someone else (especially someone who was NOT dependable) to provide me with what I needed to get on with my life. It seems insane to me that you are letting $1500 stand in the way of your life...your career...your ability to heat your home. I realize it may seem insurmountable to you, but you just earned a degree lady...and you've got so much out there waiting for you...yet you're letting your husband's ADD keep you from doing anything. Maybe it isn't codependent, but it sure is something very unhealthy for you...and him.

So you should never depend on your husband to do ANYTHING?

Isn't the reason people get married because they expect that their life will be better with a partner? If you can't depend on your spouse (ADHD or not) to keep his/her end of the "bargain" why be married? Why be married if you are going to shop for/cook/eat your own food and he's going to shop for/cook/eat his own? Why be married if he's going to do his laundry and you are going to do yours? What in the world do you get out of a relationship where you can't depend on your spouse for anything? Everyone in this society depends on others. You depend on your husband to provide for you and your kids, since you are a SAHM.  You depend on your kids' doctors to take care of them. You depend on farmers to grow your food.

My husband depended on me to pay the rent when he lost 7 jobs! If I hadn't done so, I'd have hurt myself as much as him because my name was on the lease and I lived there too. I'd have been homeless.

Now I depend on him to meet needs I can not meet. Why is that wrong??? I'm not sitting around waiting. I'm applying for jobs and I'm going back to my seasonal job in April.

And it isn't $1500, it's $3500 because the doctor decided my surgery is "not medically necessary" so the hospital is not going to write off any of the patient cost at all. ! Do you think I can raise that by collecting aluminum cans?

We've had this discussion

We've had this discussion before. There is nothing wrong with wanting and needing things from your husband. I completely understand what you're asking and why you're asking. But the very detail that I don't ever think is getting through in my posts is that you simply aren't married to a man who has the gene or feeling or whatever it is that makes a man FEEL responsible for his wife. I wish for you, from the bottom of my heart, that he was...that he'd go out and work his fingers to the bone, take a second job, to get you heat in your home. I have very little respect for any man who sees so much 'need' around him, yet seemingly does nothing about it. But just like your resentment, my frustration changes nothing.

I am glad you're taking steps to raise the money to get your surgery...although I'm sorry you have to go it alone. If I were you, my #1 goal in life would be to make myself financially independent from this man, ASAP.

I agree my husband hasn't got much work ethic

My mother inadvertently gave me a good example of co-dependence. When she fell last fall, she moved into a senior citizen complex near my daughter. My daughter loves her grandma of course, but doesn't always have time to talk to her. My mother started calling me "why doesn't "Jane" call me back? We should not have moved here because she doesn't call us back." So she thinks her actions should be dictated by someone else. I think that's what co-dependence means, not expecting your spouse to meet legitimate needs.

When I met my husband, we were working together part-time at night. I had a seasonal day job, plus alimony. He was living with his mother. I was shocked when I was doing a resume for him (I type much better than he does) and found he had been working only part-time for seven years! I guess I should have seen "the handwriting on the wall" then. I did make him having a full-time job with insurance a condition for marrying him, but, since of course I didn't work at his new job, I didn't realize how badly he was screwing up because of his then-undiagnosed ADHD.

My model for husbands (work-wise at least) is my father, who continued to support my mother and my intellectually-disabled siblings long after he should have left her (He didn't love her.) because he felt responsible. He worked up until a few days before his death, even though he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Obviously, I don't expect my husband to work while dying, but he could do more than he does.

Basically, I'm just looking for fundamental fairness, a tit-for-tat. I supported him when he needed it, he should support me. I don't know if this problem is caused by ADHD or if he's just lazy. But I do believe it's the responsibility of each spouse to support the other. I had no problem with providing him with the doctors and medicines he needs to treat his ADHD. I do agree he's not going to do it for me, and I'm not sure I can (it is so much money) so I don't know what the answer is.

Maybe this will help explain..

In my situation, I am completely co-dependent because I spend much of my time thinking I can 'fix' my husband. Whether it is by loving him or trying to control him, one way or the other I am convinced that he'll step up and change if I just do X, Y, and Z.  I am co-dependent because if he is in a bad mood, then REGARDLESS of great things were going for me, I am automatically brought down to his level. I am co-dependent because almost every waking minute of every day is focused on "my husband has ADHD". I am co-dependent because I struggle to let go of the over-whelming..and I mean OVERWHELMING fear that he'll cheat again...and I find myself analyzing his every move to either convince myself he ISN'T cheating or to convince myself he will eventually cheat again and I just need to let him go.  I've only admitted this to our counselor (and now you guys), not him. I am having so hormone/peri-menopause issues right now too...so until I get over this hump, I will continue counseling for myself. I pray a lot, as well. I feel my health suffering and I've always been young looking and young acting. I'm not blaming him, I love him tremendously...I am just saying that my co-dependency is MY issue and I plan on working through it alone. I wish I could lean on him, but I accept that my reality is that I just can't. If I tell him I'm afraid he'll cheat again, it causes him to unravel and behave in ways that just make things worse. With God's help, I will find the strength to just 'accept' that it isn't in my control and that no matter what happens, I will be OK. I will be OK.

After giving it some thought, maybe you aren't necessarily co-dependent, but you are not accepting what is right in front of you. It is a thorn in your side. You keep hoping it will change. You hold resentment towards him constantly and consistently because it doesn't. Do I think his behavior..his inaction..warrants you to feel upset, hurt, let down, betrayed, and various other emotions? Absolutely. But nothing changes and it is YOU who is stuck with all of the negativity. Acceptance. You need acceptance. You said you didn't know what the answer was...but your answer is simply acceptance. Accept him for who he is, where he is, today. Hope for a better tomorrow. Pray for a better tomorrow, but for today, for your own sake, you need to just accept him as he is. I don't suggest it for his sake so much as for your own...you need to start taking care of YOU...let him take care of himself. It isn't ideal...I would be hurt too...but it is either that, divorce, or you just remaining resentful for the rest of your marriage. ((HUGS))


Acceptance to me means giving him permission, like "it's OK that my needs never get met." How in the world can a person do that? I simply can't face the idea of living with this physical problem for the rest of my life and having him not be concerned or try to meet the need. That's not a spouse to me, not even a good roommate. I am trying to find a solution through various channels but at this point I know nothing. I can't just walk away from my marriage since I'm unemployed and likely to remain so until this is fixed.

My daughter (divorce lawyer) does not think I can ever let this go. She has clients like that, some are able to accept that their spouse cheated (or whatever) and continue the marriage like you have (or at least be friends). Some just can't get over it. She thinks I'm in the second group.

I do know that I'm up against a wall. I struggle to solve the problem and nothing seems to work. I can't face the rest of my life like this.

Then your only other option

Then your only other option is to divorce him or stay married and resent him the rest of your life. :-(

Divorce him and live in my car?

No job, no way to get one. Do you think I deserve to live in my car after working 2 jobs to support him for 3 years?

I don't think you deserve

I don't think you deserve anything...I just think you will come to a point in your life where it'll either be enough and you'll crawl through fire to stand on your own again OR you'll remain where you are and keep hoping for him to be something he very well may never be. I just wish you peace in your life, however you choose to find it. ((HUGS))

That's the difference between us...

I do think I deserve something. I deserve the love and attention he offered when he courted me. I deserve financial contribution because I gave up alimony to marry him. I deserve financial contribution because I supported him for 3 years.

All of us deserve what we thought we were getting--a person who really loves us. Then the hyperfocus stops and we find out that that person does not exist any more. It is devastating to find the person who loves us replaced by a person who thinks of us, if at all, as an afterthought, while we make them the center of our world.

That is all true...and there

That is all true...and there is a time and a place to mourn these losses...and a time and a place for acceptance that they are not our realities anymore and move on. 

There are certainly things about my husband...my marriage...that I would give anything to change. I wish to God he had never cheated. Oh how I wish..wish..wish. I cry. I mourn the loss of being able to say "he has never cheated on me. I mourn the loss of never having the image of him physically sharing his body with another woman running through my head. I mourn the loss of the sense of security I once felt, but may never feel again. I mourn. I wish. If only...

...and then I realize that I don't want to spend the rest of my life wishing for something that just isn't. ADHD doesn't play out in my marriage the same as others. He does work. He does provide. He would sell his kidney to give me a chocolate bar if it was what I wanted. He is never stingy with compliments or "I love you's". He has, more or less, hyperfocused on me since the day we met...so I have rarely endured the feeling of being an afterthought. But then there is the rest....

I get what you're saying..I just don't get why you would choose to stay in the holding pattern of hoping things will change when nothing is being done to perpetuate the change..and it may very well just be who he inherently is and not his ADHD. No one can make you accept things..today...as they are...today...but still have hope for a better tomorrow. You're just not ready. You're just not there. I get that. It would be so much healthier for you if you could.

I stay because I can't leave

I get $108 a week in unemployment. Do you think I can pay $500 a month rent with that? I lost a long-term job and I have disabilities which prevent me from working at jobs such as retail which require standing for any period of time, delivering pizza (can't walk up steps), etc. I can't use my new degree because of a correctable physical problem, but the family breadwinner won't pay for the correction.

I guess I joined this site hoping to find a way to make him love me enough to want to go back to work. He did that, now I just want him to love me enough to provide what I need to go back to work myself because I can't do it for myself.

I am struggling to survive when it is so hard for me to even keep my house up (and he won't help), and I can't find a job I can even apply for. ADHD isn't the worse thing that can happen to someone, being unable to work and having a spouse who doesn't care about you might be. I have to accept what he is willing to give or I'll be homeless.

Not paying attention

I went and got my hair cut, just a few inches (because I have an interview later in the week). He didn't even notice! I guess he really isn't paying attention. Ladies, what do you think?

sullygrl's picture

I think a few inches is in the realm of "noticable"

But a lot of guys, ADHD or not, don't notice right away. Every once in a while it's good to bring it up "so, what do you think of my haircut?" so he actually has to stop and look. With the ADHD I wonder sometimes if we just appear as a blur, like they say the thoughts in their head are like multiple radio stations being tuned in at once. The last time my dh noticed without me telling him I went to the hairdresser was when I went from shoulder length to 2-inch spiky hair. Yea, that was pretty obvious :)

I finally worked out a solution

This is so weird. Maybe I will be a good paralegal because I can figure out how to game a bureaucracy.

When I first found out how much my husband's insurance wouldn't pay, I approached Vocational Rehabilitation about paying the co-pay. They said state law prohibits them paying co-pays but if I had no insurance, they'd pay the whole thing. On March 1, my husband's company insurance comes up for renewal (I know, weird time) and we took me off his insurance. Now they are going to pay for the whole thing, instead of a $3500 co-pay. As a taxpayer, I'm offended, but as a person with few options, I'm over the moon.

I did everything I could to prepare, got new prescriptions, etc. The scary thing is, no insurance for me for a year unless I get a job myself that offers it. I hate having to do that. I still feel that my husband should have been willing to pay for what I need. I still feel like he feels that I have little value.

So, I'm scheduled to start the process next week.


That's great!  You came up with a solution to take care of YOU.  Yes, it would be nice if your husband had stepped up to the plate.  Yes, a good husband would have done that, and YOU DESERVE THAT.  But, you looked at the situation in the face, evaluated your options and, rather than waiting for him to solve the problem, took the action you needed to make sure you are OK in the end.  You should be very proud of empowering yourself in the face of what you are dealing with.

I hope you will remember that while you very much want your husband to prioritize you -- and he should be -- the fact that he doesn't does not say anything about you or your value.  IT SAYS EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM.  My feeling, from reading your posts, is that maybe a lot of your anger and frustration comes from feeling angry at YOURSELF, for trusting and choosing a person that you thought would be there for you.  That is understandable, but it makes no sense to bang your head against a wall with someone who won't change.

I hope this doesn't come off as preachy.  I empathize with a lot of your emotions because I, too, was left to deal with a lot of my problems -- namely, childcare while working full-time at a demanding job while being pregnant.  I, too, made myself miserable, thinking nonstop that I should be worth the effort and sacrifice on my husband's part to be there for me.  At some point, though, I got up off my a--, rebudgeted, got an au pair, and found not only help but time to focus on myself.  It still hurts and stings that I basically had to "replace" my husband with an outsider, but it also gave me a feeling that I can do it on my own.  I have since been freer to work through my anger and my own habit of displacing responsibility (me taking on his problems, expecting him to take on mine...regardless of how it "should" work in a good marriage)...and I have started to achieve greater clarity on whether or not to stay in my marriage, on my terms.

Anyway, congrats, and good luck with the surgery.  I know there are other areas that make you nervous, but you made something happen for yourself, and you should be proud.


One of the most heart breaking things about the ADHD is the "potential"-factor. It is so horrible to see the "potential" your partner possesses, but then to witness the repeated, chronic, inability to achieve the mark. It starts to wear you down and sadden you (the non-adhd partner). All i want is for him to hit his mark--see that he CAN do it, maybe that would give him more reason to try. After years of this, however, i am left feeling alone, sad, angry, scared, frustrated, and trapped. We have kids so it's not a pack your bags scenario....whatever happens will take time and careful planning, in order to shield the kids from as much sadness and pain as possible.

Our day to day life is utter chaos. From the tiniest little things all the way up to the large life changing things...utter chaos. I keep trying and trying to help him make changes that will allow him to improve and finish things and be there for our family--and time and again its excuses why he couldn't or didn't.

"I thought about doing x, but i just never got around to it."  And so it goes....from chores, to Valentine's Day, to buying the kids Christmas gifts, to improving his work habits.....and endless list of "i was gonna".  And then comes my favorite part-- the part where he gets angry with me, where he says he's no longer attracted to me because i'm always mad at him. Oh yes..well, my mistake, please feel free to let me down everyday, keep a mess in the house, forget your clients needs at work, dump ALL financial responsibilities on me and walk away and then let me lavish you with praise and adoration for the benefits of it all. No thanks.

"And then comes my favorite

"And then comes my favorite part-- the part where he gets angry with me, where he says he's no longer attracted to me because i'm always mad at him. Oh yes..well, my mistake, please feel free to let me down everyday, keep a mess in the house, forget your clients needs at work, dump ALL financial responsibilities on me and walk away and then let me lavish you with praise and adoration for the benefits of it all. No thanks."


I am new here- but you said exactly what I am going through.  This happened to me last night. I am not married - he is my boyfriend of 3 years.  We went out to dinner and I ruined things by "bringing things up"...but how can I not?  I feel compelled to say something.  So as I see it, my choices are to:

1.  live with things as they are and accept them -or- 2. ask him to do x,y, or z to work on himself, -or- 3. break up with him. 

I can't accept things the way they are.  I am not ready to break up with up with him.  So I ask him to address things.  What other choice do I have?


ebb and flow's picture

Soo... I guess we're talking about breaking up now... :'(

My ADD partner and I had a huge 'cry fest' over the weekend and are both stuck and do not know what to do anymore!!! :'(

He came home on Sunday with beer! Our rule when we moved in together Jan 2010 was to not drink at home, and to not drink alone. I no longer drink so have ok'ed him drinking without me on occasion (weddings, new years, bdays, etc) NOT drinking at home alone in front of the tv! (the original decision came out of his and his addictions counselors sessions together!) Drinking a couple of beers would not normally be an issue but with us it is a huge issue (past alcohol and coke abuse on my ADDers end!).

When I saw the beer on Sunday I said to him that I needed to ask him something... (my heart was just racing!!!)

I asked him if at any point, while he was on the way to the beer store, did he think about how uncomfortable bringing beer home would make me feel? Did he think of me?

His response was no, he didn't think it would make me feel uncomfortable.  :'(  REALLY!?!?!?!?!?

I cannot believe it!!! After ALL we've been through the first year and a half of our relationship and what HE went through alone before our relationship, he ACTUALLY thinks this would be OK NOW! What the hell?!?!?!?!?

He followed me upstairs and we ended up having a "serious talk" where I tried not to completely BLOW. I stayed calm and asked him if, after our therapy session, this was one of the ways he was "actively" showing he "cares" as he was suppose to be? (because he told the therapist I couldn't see his actions of caring-- I was "blind" to them).

I'm so hurt!!!!! We ended up coming to the conclusion that we're not happy, he said he doesn't want to do anything else to make a difference in the relationship (take care of ADD, etc) This is my answer! He keeps repeating it to me and I just can't accept it into my heart!!!!!! :'(

I just cant believe after everything he's just giving up! He says he's trying 100%, he says he shows me love and caring and I just don't see it, he says he's doing EVERYTHING to take care of ADD and I don't see it (like what?!)--- he also will not do anymore! I can't believe he's letting go!!!!!!!

Our problems are still there. I'm still LONELY, he's still moody, we still fight, the "whiteboard of chores" has been updated TWICE since Oct/Nov when we started it (suppose to be updated weekly), the tub still hasn't been cleaned since then <<<< YEAH :(  And I'm not suppose to do it because then I'm "picking up the pieces for him"... A *box* of dishes downstairs he's colorfully 'collected' with the intention of bringing them up to the kitchen, yet NEVER DOES, is just sitting there... rotting dishes and all.... Not sure how long? I'm not mad... I just avoid the basement. I've been adjusting and trying to live like a pig because he can't bring himself to do these things. He says he remembers to clean the tub EVERYDAY but just doesn't actually follow through. Fine. I said but don't you want help for THAT... when you think of things you can't follow through? He said no! ACCEPT IT or don't be with him!!!!! I've asked him - to address my loneliness- why he can't separate his day on Sat and, say, spend the morning and afternoon working on "his project" and then at dinner we could eat together, maybe watch/go to a movie and then once I've gone to bed he can go work on the project again till his bedtime? He says that wont work, either! He can only do ONE thing at a time/per day. If he commits to the project he can't switch his mind to other things. If he's spending time with me, he can't switch over to the project! I asked if he wanted to get help for that because our relationship is dying because of it... he said no! WTF!?!?!??!?!?! :'(

There is a lot of work that needs to be done but he doesn't want to do ANYMORE! I'm suppose to accept him for who he is and love him the way he is. I told him that I do love HIM! I wouldn't have spent hundreds on counseling to try to fix what we have, I wouldn't STILL BE HERE trying to make what we have work if I didn't LOVE HIM. I just can't accept that he won't get more help! I can't. If things were bearable I would, but there not! I'm so down and depressed because we live like roommates! BAD ROOMMATES! He's the roommate who never cleans up after himself and doesn't want to do anything about it! :/

I LOVE HIM DAMMIT!!!!!!!! I just cannot live the way we've been living. The solutions to some of the issues we've been given he cannot seem to keep up with and he's overwhelmed to the point he doesn't want to seek out any other help. I CANT BELIEVE ADHD IS RUINING US, AND HE'S LETTING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :'( I'm so heartbroken I can't even wrap my brain around this... I'm so sad. 

I just went for coffee with a friend of ours who told me back in August he told her he was depressed. She gave him an herbal supplement that was suppose to help him with it. HE NEVER TOLD ME THIS! :( I thought he was looking depressed... but when I said anything he would kind of get upset that I was trying to "FIX" him again... :(

He's sleeping on the couch the last couple of nights. It seems we're breaking up and I don't want it to go that way!!!!! He just seems fed up with it all. We cried through 2 rolls of TP together just soo upset that this just isn't working! I'm not happy and he knows it... he's taking all the blame saying nothing he does ever makes me happy! I told him that I'm not happy with the way things are, and that I think we could keep working on it but he doesn't want to! :((

I just don't know how he can let this go... We used to do stuff together. He used to cook and love cooking. We would go out to restaurants so often people thought we were eating out everyday! We went for picnics and hikes and to movies... We'd go out to friends, to dinner invites...

Now, he sits isolated in his office working on his project and working his regular 10 hour shift. We don't eat together. We don't go out together. I go out alone.... He has "no energy" for cooking because EVERYTHING is going into this effing "project" and work shift! He can't manage his day/time to create some sort of balance. He's overwhelmed and can't do anything but work and his project. He has no social life. He just sits there staring at the computer... working. If I were to even gently remind him of anything... whoa, look out! I'd be overloading him by asking him to do anything!

Oh man, I can't believe this... I'm so scared to let *him* go! I can't believe we're actually at this point. I mean, obviously we weren't exactly healthy or I wouldn't be on this site but I just never thought Id see the day where he was ACTUALLY giving up. Wow. I can't believe I'm losing the man I love over THIS CRAP!

Im so sad.... :'(

I love him with all my heart I just hate the situation we're in.

Thanks ADHD! :'(  You've taken my happiness and peace of mind... and the man I love, too! awesome. :(

Let him go lady. You've done

Let him go lady. You've done all you can. It is so hard to accept, but you have ZERO control over him and he has made his decision. Not trying should be a dealbreaker for ALL people in ANY relationship. And the realization I've come to lately is that if they feel they are trying (or that we aren't) , and that is truly their reality, and things STILL aren't working, then I just see no reason to continue.

My husband said I wasn't making any effort in our last counseling session...when I truly was busting my hump to meet him where he was...so since that was how he obviously felt, I just told him 'then I'm done'...because my efforts obviously weren't enough and I had nothing more to give without giving up myself. When I made that decision, to accept that his reality..regardless of how unreal it felt to me..wasn't the same as mine, and just let him go, he came around and stopped taking the meds that were making him so unreasonable in the first place.

You cannot change his reality. You cannot change what he has convinced himself of. If he's not willing to try, then you have to be willing to let him go. If you don't, especially now that he's told you he's not trying, then things will only go downhill from here.

From a non-ADHDers perspective, his 'reasoning' for not spending some time with you on Saturdays is absolute BU!!SH!T. I don't think even HE probably believes that. I truly feel he is pushing you over the edge to see how far he can get...because he KNOWS that the time is coming where he's either going to have to change or he'll end up getting left. I get a gut feeling that bringing home the beer was absolutely intentional..don't buy for one second that he didn't think of how you'd feel about it...as a matter of fact, how you would feel about it is probably why he did it. My husband would 'rebel' and act the most horrific when we were at a crossroads. Honestly, when I think about your situation, I truly feel that if my husband didn't stop his meds this would be us in 6 months. I think of you often and really see a lot of my husband in your BF. The behaviors you describe (aside from the inattentiveness..but it was slowly heading that way, I feel) are much like my husband....and it was 90% meds. I wish there were some way to get him off of them and see if you didn't see a different person. It was almost like they shut down my husband's ability to feel (or at least SHOW) emotion. He's so loving and kind that when that happened, it was just heartbreaking to me. I am still shocked (but ever so grateful...Praise the Lord) that he stopped his meds...I was 100% convinced I had lost him forever to them.

Regardless, if it is due to meds or due to his ADHD or whatever the cause, if he isn't willing to throw himself into your relationship and honestly get off of his indignant high horse then you really have no choice. If you stay, you've lost yourself forever. Be strong lady. Don't make any hasty decisions. Take some time to put together a plan for yourself. Take some deep breaths, decide what is best for YOU, and then, when you're ready, start moving forward...with or without him. We are here for you...(((HUGS)))

What meds make a person so mean?

Hi -

I am very curious - are the meds you are referring to ADHD drugs or something else?  I'm new and learning!

Yes, ADHD meds. Concerta and

Yes, ADHD meds. Concerta and Vyvanse to be exact. He has also taken Wellbutrin and Effexor (anti-depressant/anti-anxiety) and they both made him irritable and hostile just the same as the ADHD meds. I am not sure why they made him that way. He did not have a huge temper problem before meds, but after 3 months on them he would snap at me and say the most horrible, hurtful things ever...and refuse to apologize for anything he did or said...AND refused to admit the meds were the problem. They changed him almost overnight.


My husband got really angry and violent (and he is NOT a violent person) on Celexa and then on Paxil. I was terrified because it was so unlike him; I contacted the prescribing doctor, and he told me that antidepressants COULDN'T cause such behavioral changes. Yeah, right; I saw it happen. I finally had to threaten/force him to stop taking it. He told me that being on those meds was the best he'd ever felt, and blamed me for making him feel awful again. Maybe letting all that anger out felt good for him, but it didn't for me!

That is absolutely

That is absolutely infuriating...to have some 'professional' tell you that what you're seeing can't happen. These medications work in a way that no one really knows how they work so how in God's name can they say that they cannot affect different people in ways that aren't 'typical'? Lucky me, they made my husband hostile and also made him deny they were doing so! Thank the Lord he finally listened...I was truly afraid my marriage was about over...and all because of a medication. THAt would have been tragic.

ADHDer here

Hey, one thing that we adhd people have in common is a neurological anomaly. Doesn't it stand to reason then that brains wont necessarily react to meds the way its expected to? Doc told me that because I could never figure out why I was the only person I know who HATED pot. It would paralyze my body and trap my racing mind inside.  The first time I took amphetamines , I went to sleep at 11pm for the first time in my life( its usually 3 or 4 am) I always have a good laugh when I tell friends "look how relaxed I am on speed" That is the sign of true ADHD. I had been self medicating for years with coffee before diagnoses and only person I know, besides spouse, to have a nice caffeinated black java before bed to relax.

If something starts right after meds, trust your instincts. Make sure its not food additives though.

Hi Sherri, your DHs

Hi Sherri, your DHs experience w the meds are similar to mine. How has it been since he stopped taking them? Mine has cut down but still takes them in a very inconsistent way tho it seems to have scaled the anger down big time. Has no meds w something else (eg CoupleCounseling) made this more manageable? Anything else you have found helpful?

simora & lululove

simora...my husband did sleep much better, was barely able to stay awake past 11 p.m. when he was taking the Concerta and then the Vyvanse. It is true for him too, it worked to slow him down...which is what he needs, but not with the horrible side effects. I did trust my gut, although he insisted I was wrong, and KNEW the meds were the problem (causing him to be hostile and MEAN)

lululove...he has returned to his sweet self again, thank God. I have seen some fall out of this, seeing now the areas that they WERE helping (impulsivness, time managment, self-esteem) but I'm hopeful he'll either find another medication (he refuses at this point) or he'll work through these issues in counseling.

Breaking Up

Hi, I don't claim to know much about anything with ADHD but I do know I've done a lot of soul searching on why I hung onto my own relationship so long.  I can only offer my own thought process.

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the "making it work role" we forget to step back and analyse what it is exactly that we're making work.  Why do we strive to remain in a relationship that doesn't fulfill our needs and expectations.  We claim to love them but do we really or are we afraid of not being with them or someone.

There is no mistaking my guy is a wonderful, kind, caring and loving person who is a kindred spirit in terms of the things we like to do in life.  There is also no mistaking he makes choices that make my life stressful, insecure and hurtful...over and over again.

I have been investing in potential instead of what is there.  Why would we want to be with someone who doesn't wholeheartedly want be with us?  When I go back over the last three years I can't find a time of more than a month where there was no drama on some level.  Is that what I want???? Logically I know it will never change.  He is never going to get hit with a magic wand and be ADHD free. It is who he is.   My heart aches for him; that he has been dealt this card in life but it is as it is.  I am no longer willing to make excuses for his behaviour.    

So why did I hang in there?  I don't actually think it is has much to do with them as it is about ourselves.  Am I afraid I will never find someone who is as much fun?  Am I afraid to be alone?  Am I afraid I won't find anyone else?  Is my self-esteem, which has not been enhanced by this relationship, too low to think anyone else will truly love me?  Is he so larger that life with all the drama I'm afraid everyone else will seem boring?  Am I, on some level, living that battered wife syndrome always coming back?  What was I as a person prior to him?  What am I now?  Do I like that image?  Is it who I want to be?

Just because we may be in our minds, "perfect for them" with our efforts to understand, accomodate and make them happy are they the best thing thing for us?

Why, why, why do we hang onto someone who makes us crazy?  I think it's easy to say because, "we love them" and not examine our own true motivations.  I have managed to get to a spot where I am able to walk away.  Am I sorry to be here?  Absolutely.  Do I feel more peaceful?  Absolutely.  Do I think someone will cross my path one day that is able to give me more of what I need?  Absolutely.   Will he be as much fun?  Maybe not but I would rather that than the constant angst. 

I was able to sort through on my own but have you considered going to see someone to get to the bottom of the real reasons you are hanging onto a relationship that is not working for you?

Two old sayings to think about: "if nothing changes - nothing changes",  and "if you're not holding the door open how is the right one supposed to walk through" (or something like that).

Be well.


P.S.  Rejection is a powerful tool and he's figured out how to use it.




sullygrl's picture

Oh Ebb and Flow, it's sad but it's enough

It doesn't sound like you have anything resembling a partnership anymore...he doesn't do things with you, even have a meal?

And there is a difference between not chasing after him for every little thing that he should be tracking himself, and having to live with a dirty tub and tripping over boxes. Yes, you may have to lower your expectations some when it comes to the state of your place, but he needs to up his as well. I know I leave dishes in the sink past when I used to be able to take it. When my DH (or Not-so DH)  leaves something in the microwave I leave it there. Even if I have to take it out to make my popcorn and put it back in when I am done, so he HAS to see it and deal with it.  Yes, I still will eventually deal with the dishes in the sink but sometimes I just put them on the counter, dirty, so he can see them better :)

And bringing alcohol into the house when you already had an agreement? That is a doozy of an agreement to mess with.  Alcohol is not helpful to someone who has had addiction issues, may have depression (alcohol is a depressant, so it is a bad choice for people who are already depressed). 

Has the counselor called him on the fact that you can't *see* the improvements and efforts that he is making? Did they ask him to be specific as to what he's been doing to improve his end? Is he even able to say what he has done to improve? To show you love? Attention? Affection? You said you go to counseling together, do either of you go by yourself? It sounds like he needs help coping with the ADHD. If all he can focus on is work and has little or no energy left for anything else it may very well be depression in addition to ADHD. It's not unusual to have other issues along with ADHD, like depression, anxiety, OCD.  And you should go by yourself, it sounds like you are dealing with so much right now, and you need to take care of yourself!

ebb and flow's picture


"It doesn't sound like you have anything resembling a partnership anymore...he doesn't do things with you, even have a meal?"

No, he doesn't do things with me. Once and a while he will try but it's not often. We do not have meals together on weekdays because he works 4-2am... but we do not have dinners together on weekends either.

"Has the counselor called him on the fact that you can't *see* the improvements and efforts that he is making? Did they ask him to be specific as to what he's been doing to improve his end? Is he even able to say what he has done to improve? To show you love? Attention? Affection? You said you go to counseling together, do either of you go by yourself? It sounds like he needs help coping with the ADHD."

Yes the counselor called him on that... She asked what specific changes he was making and he said just because I couldn't see them doesn't mean he's not doing things... He reads about ADD (never see that!), he's coming to couples counseling, taking meds and he's looked into coaching (recommended by therapist) but it's too expensive. So... he says he's doing/done EVERYTHING. Oh, he also bought some vitamins. These things are great and I appreciate them but there hasn't really been any visible or tangible evidence of him making changes. Here and there I see him asking how my day went or coming to say hello while he's working, but they're such little changes that it's not doing much. I don't even think it's doing much for him either... but he says "she's never happy with it!"... implying I'm the only one who's unhappy with the so called "changes" that have been made or he is making.

About the attention and affection he says to me that he just can't do anything else. Like I said above, he can't seem to "schedule me in".

I told him he needs some sort of behaviour therapy-- on his own-- but that's me being "codependent" because I'm telling him what he needs and how to fix his life. He refuses this suggestion. He says he's installed a program onto his computer to let him know if he's being productive at work, and he says he is! Great for him and his work!


sullygrl's picture

well, wow

I guess I hope he likes his work, cause as you said, great for him and his work!  Does not make him part of a 2-way street, the way a relationship is supposed to work.  Reading is great, but does he take any tips on how to apply it socially? That's where it seems his disconnect is. My DH can function at work quite well, gets good reviews, raises, awards, etc., but cannot pick up on social cues and deal with relationship-type stuff either.

Have you tried telling him what YOU NEED and not necessarily how to get there? As in "I need you to spend time with me that involves give-and-take conversation and fun. I know you are capable of it because we used to do things. How do you think we can do that again? How can YOU put it in your schedule?" and leave it up to him. If he simply says he can't, or want, or is incapable of it, then I think you have your answer because then it is up to you to decide what you can and cannot live with.

It should be easier....

That was my

That was my question...regarding all he SAYS he's doing...reading, taking meds, and considering coaching doesn't sound like a whole helluva lot to me. Surely the counselor didn't let him get away with this short list as 'I'm doing everything I am supposed to'.

Spend time with your GF. Do the chores you promised to do. Get control over your anger. Stop blaming her for everything that is wrong. Those are some good places to start...then and only then, when you've done all of these, can you say you're actually doing something..ya know?

I'm so frustrated and sad for you. Being stuck where you are is the worst feeling in the world. I lived it for many years. Feeling like things would just be so much better, like the answer to everything, the happiness you so desperately want with this person is just a few inches away...but you never.ever.get.there. It's literally unbearable sometimes. The pain of it will eventually outweigh the pain of leaving. Eventually. (((HUGS)))

ebb and flow's picture

He says he can't. Cant follow

He says he can't. Cant follow through on chores he knows needs to be done. Cant make more time in a day to be with me because his project is well over its 2nd or 3rd deadline. Doesn't want to start up with a coach because it's a waste of time and money which he cannot risk spending it right now. Cant cant wont wont.

That's all.

He says he cares and loves me very much. He has all the best and most pure intentions in the world... but he cannot translate them into action. This is the problem and he says it always has been and always will be. Done.

So, I guess it's done. I can deal with mental limitations but I cant deal with not trying. I cant deal with giving up. I cant deal with negative "that's not going to work" before he's even tried it. Why? Because then I start pushing him to do it. Then I scream and yell that he must or else... Then the codependency comes in! I just want him to want this so badly that he will try and try and try more and differently and find solutions and implement them! I need to see effective change at this point. There was a time where I would've accepted his excuse to not want to try it because it may not work... but not anymore. I think we're more important than that... why doesn't he?