Would You Have Gotten Married IF....?

Hi, I am new to the site, it's my first time posting. I am 31 years old, female, and have been with my 28-year-old boyfriend for about a year now. Though he hasn't been diagnosed officially with ADD or ADHD, since childhood he has been told he has it, and it was simply never addressed; his mother is hyper-sensitive to diagnoses of mental disorders, refuses to acknowledge their presence in her family. I suppose she chose to deny that he had these issues, and so here we are- my wonderful, loving, caring boyfriend is a 28-year-old man with no ability to take care of himself whatsoever.

In the early days of our relationship, I noticed behaviours that I chalked up to flakiness. He was incommunicative, unreliable with plans, and inconsiderate of my time. At the time, we had only been dating a few months, so naturally, I decided to end the relationship. My thinking was, if someone puts in zero effort in the beginning when everything is new and exciting, lets be serious- what will they be like in a year? In ten years?

The break-up didn't exactly go as planned, however- he immediately came to my house, he was extremely upset and crying, and we had a very emotional, sincere conversation about how our relationship had been going, and why I was going to remove myself from it. He convinced me that he would change these things, and to give him another chance. So I did. And he did turn those initial issues around. He became attentive and reliable with our plans and dates. Shortly after, we moved in together, in a haze of new love and hopefulness.

It has been since October that we began living together, and as the months pass, my desire to escape the situation grows. I am struggling so much because I feel torn in half between two values; my desire for financial stability, a balanced, healthy relationship, and romance- and my desire to stay with this person who I love so much. Basically it's like this. My boyfriend works (sometimes full time, often he leaves early, takes days off, whatever. I'm not sure if he's worked a full pay period ever). He has no phone plan, no expenses that come out of his account at all, except $300 towards his car, which isn't on the road, because he can't afford insurance. All of our bills come out of my account. In the time that we have lived together, I don't think he's ever actually paid for his full share of our rent, bills, food, etc. I often feel like he thinks I am his personal credit card, financing everything for us and he can just pay me back at his leisure- as if he doesn't respect or appreciate that it's not easy for me to always have enough money to do that. NOR is it something I WANT to do with my money.

We struggle with the housework situation; I am a very tidy, neat person and general messiness and clutter in my home make me feel distressed- so I pull my weight and then some doing the cleaning. I have never once asked him to do the big weekly clean, as I know that being such a meticulous person, no one will ever do it to my liking and it's best I just do it. All I need is for him to tidy up after himself, and do some chores to contribute. I feel like, when I am home alone, I am constantly busy getting things done about the house- things that benefit both of us. But all he ever does is go to work, come home, and watch TV. So, all along, I've been doing pretty much everything for both of us.

To add pressure to our relatively new and already imbalanced relationship, he became ill with some kidney dysfunctions over Christmas. I spent the next four months taking COMPLETE care of him, as he wasn't even ABLE to contribute if he had wanted to. This did not help. I already felt burdened and burnt out by my able-bodied boyfriend, and then he became not-so-able bodied. His surgery and following recovery has been since February, and he hasn't been 100% really since December. Although this isn't his fault, it has chipped away at me. We hadn't even been together for a year when suddenly I became nursemaid to a man I was already having to mother against my will. Our sex life, of course, was the next aspect of my needs that went up on the chopping block.

Now, it's May.... and in the past few weeks, because he doesn't take proper care of himself, and his recovery was going poorly, he began missing work again, etc. etc. I had to take control over his dietary situation just to get his digestive system and body back on track after these months of trauma and immobility.

This month, he also failed to pay his rent or any of our bills- but I didn't know that would be happening until AFTER our rent came out of my account. So for the last two weeks, my account has been negative $600+. In spite of the fact that I manage my finances very meticulously (though I don't usually have much left over, I do usually have enough to save several hundred dollars a month- however, I had just used my entire savings to pay my taxes, which my SO was fully aware of) I am now in a financially very unstable and frightening situation because of HIM failing to pay his own share of our rent and bills. He has owed me over $1000 for a month now. I suddenly went from being someone who has more than enough to cover everything on her budget, and has enough to save up for her future plans (paying for rehearsal spaces with my band, enrolling in a real estate course) to being completely unable to even pay for my bus tokens, let alone tend to my personal goals- the REASONS I find motivation to work and save.

I am honest with him about my frustration, my doubts for our future, and my feelings of being taken for granted. His apologies and regret always seem very sincere, but he only really tries to change anything for like a day. There will be like one-three days of wonderful effort, of feeling like "this is a normal relationship, this is a true partnership," and then it goes back to how it is now. I've tried making him lists of small household tasks, it is on the fridge- we made a deal that he could just do 1-3 things off that list every day and it would make a big difference. It really would. But he doesn't stick with it.

I feel like if I don't pack him lunch every day to take to work, he'll either just have no lunch, or he'll buy junky fast food- and then his tummy gets all messed up, and I'm stuck taking care of a sick person. It's like there is no way for me to get out of doing everything for him.

I don't want our relationship to end. I really love my boyfriend so much. Aside from his irresponsible behaviours, he is funny, sweet, goofy, loving, open, and kind hearted. He is a truly great person, but he is putting so much weight on me that I am starting to feel depressed. I just can't handle all this; I really was looking for a partnership. I really don't want to spend my entire life this way, and I don't think I can. I am a plan person- I have always set goals for myself and then done what needs to be done to execute them. The part of this all that is really hurting me is that I can't make plans with him in my life. We haven't been able to plan any kind of vacations together, even just to cottage country for the weekend, because his financial situation is always a mess. My family lives in a different province, and the only times we've been able to go see them, my parents bought our plane tickets. I NEED to be able to move forward, to move toward goals and dreams- and when I feel unable to do that, I begin to feel extremely depressed and hopeless.

I'm getting so down as I feel like all the things we want and dream about for the future just aren't possible. A house? I have money saved for a significant down payment, but what- I'm just supposed to want to trust him with that when he can't even pay rent or his half of our internet bill? Kids? Yeah right. Even a dog is scary for me to consider, because I know it will mean I now have a dog and a man to take care of- not a dog that we take care of together.

I'm scared, downhearted, and sad. I don't know what to do anymore. I guess I'm wondering, if you were me, knowing what you know now after having been through maybe many more years of these kinds of situations, would you stay in this relationship? Would you continue down a path that would lead to this type of marriage, or would you cut your losses? Is there any hope for this to change? I have considered us staying together but no longer living together, until he can figure out his own life. Has this worked for anyone else?
Thank you for listening.
Sincerely, Elizabeth