View Full Version : Confused... definitely confused


Mittens
01-10-14, 10:48 PM
Huh.
So the last 3 days bf and I have barely talked.
We got into a bit of a row and the next morning left town for his work for 2 days.
When I got home after working 15 hours the day he left he was kind enough to leave me 2 sinks full of dishes and a mess.
*facepalm*
Texts were only needed / household conversations.
One of which was concerning a bill payment that came in (I cover everything, mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc etc) etc 'his' are supposed to be power, electricity, and paying down a debt he incurred.
The last few months he's been having issues with his business so hasn't been paying anything. In December he said he got everything caught up (which is why I 100% financially provided for Xmas, including for his 2 boys).
Well power bill comes in at $460.00.
!?!?!?!?
I ask him about it and he doesn't answer me and ignores me. Tells me next week or something things will be 'be caught up'.
He has made 1 credit card payment in 4 months.
*Everything* is in my name, and I have excellent credit - or I did, not sure after the last 6 months and all this missed / late payments from him.
Anyways.
He got home late last night. Today he's not really talking to me, which is fine because I don't even know what to say. However, he's trundling around the house almost 'trying to get caught up'. He rarely cooks or cleans so this is a strange behavior. Ie. He texted me earlier saying he had picked up bread, milk, eggs, etc and did I need anything from the grocery store? I told him no, I picked up all of those 2 days ago so his oldest had stuff to pack his lunch with.

I don't get it. I feel very helpless.

I'm not sure what i'm supposed to do? Or what he wants from me?

I just feel 'numb'...

Advice / outside perspective?

Ugh

Thanks for listening.

dvdnvwls
01-11-14, 02:23 AM
Oh god. This. I'm sorry... I've been there, as you can imagine. Major hugs. :grouphug:

Trundling around the house trying to get caught up can be a self-distraction strategy to get away from the elephant in his mind. (Was going to say "elephant in the room" but it's the one in his mind that counts.)

He's likely afraid of whatever it is, and to some extent paralyzed. What he wants from you (probably not what he needs, but what he desperately wants) is for you to be non-curious, non-concerned, do your own thing, and just let his thing happen. I'm sure it's not good, I'm sure it affects you, and I'm sure there's nothing constructive that can be done now anyway. At least not without major pain and suffering, which he's doing his clumsy backwards best to avoid.

I honestly think that as far as what to do, you just be internally aware that he's having some kind of a disaster, and that there was nothing you could have done. Asking him questions about it - not advised unless you've decided "that's it, it's over". It's guaranteed that the answers will all come out soon enough, and making a scene in order to get them a day or two early isn't worth it unless you're itching for a fight.

I wish I had something better/nicer to say. :grouphug:

On second thought, it would be time to have that long-overdue discussion about separate accounts and separate credit. Sorry. :grouphug:

Nicksgonefishin
01-11-14, 02:40 AM
Yeah. He is conflicted about something. As dvd said.

Give him room and time. Forcing it before he is ready is almost certain disaster.

It probably is guilt or shame but could be something you would perceive as trivial when he does let it out.

The mind is a tricky thing. Don't make assumptions in the mean time. Carry on and keep it weird. ;)

EmilyRay42
01-11-14, 02:46 AM
I'm sorry you are in this situation, it must be very upsetting. I can only recommend to explain to him how you understand that things got off track and your only concern is righting the ship and not placing blame on anyone. If the bills are in your name you have the right to know that they are being taken care of appropriately. I would ask him for the money each month and mail them yourself so you are sure it's done on time. Credit is important and shouldn't be in the hands of another with ADHD. The conversation has to happen, but a warning would maybe be helpful.

murmurme
01-11-14, 03:00 AM
Oh wow...so sorry to hear this. :( Obviously a HUGE concern especially since it is counting on your credit!! As for what you're 'supposed to do' or 'what he wants' from you... First things first you just *have* to take care of yourself... I hope that there is a way for you to keep your credit intact & formulate your own back-up/emergency plan to get things straightened out. I definitely agree with the thought of having the discussion of needing to keep things separate in regards to credit and accounts, just for your own well-being. You won't be able to support him (literally or figuratively) if you can't support yourself. :(

Since I'm a newbie around here & not up on people's situations, I'm not in much of a place to dole out advice or anything...I know such situations are never as simple and there are tons of different details & factors that you undoubtedly are dealing with. But I definitely send support & good thoughts your way!!

Mittens
01-11-14, 12:25 PM
In concerns with split finances -
Our bank accounts are totally separate (thank goodness, I could imagine the last year going very different if combined) but because him and his son moved in with me, everything was already in my name.

Last night he continued on, and I just stuck to myself.

He at one point texted me and said how him and his business partner were already making plans so things went back on track.

I didn't really comment on it other than to say that if it works out, great, but by the middle of February if things weren't caught up I was getting a second job.

Even when things were great with his business last year, it took me 4 months of begging and pleading just to get him to *actually* pay the power and heat. Every time I asked he'd enthusiastically agree (like before we moved in together and he agreed to pay of *all* the bills) but then the bill would come and go and he just wouldn't pay it....

When his business is normal, his salary is the same as mine.
The lack of paycheck the past few months has been an issue, but the real issue is the even when he had money it disappeared and he genuinely had no idea where it went. He lived 100% expense free for the first 6 months he lived with me (which part of that is my fault. The first 2 months I figured he just needed to get caught up financially from moving b/c moving can be expensive).
When we talked about it later he honestly had no idea how he had no money and 0 expenses. :(

Is there any way financially a relationship like this works?
Is there anything you guys know of that works?

I just feel defeated.

RedHairedWitch
01-11-14, 01:41 PM
If he is in charge of certain bills, they MUST be in his name. MUST MUST MUST MUST!!!! This is completely non-negotiable. Get them changed over asap, do not allow him to make excuses or complain. I don't care if it will cost extra to sign him up etc. Please for the love of little green dragons do this.
If you have to cancel the utilities and sit in darkness for a month while he whines about getting them in his name, then by all means sit in darkness and wear 13 layers to keep warm.
He WILL ruin your credit for life, it will only get worse from here. Do not allow it to continue. Allowing him to ruin your credit will affect you for life. What if he died? What if he leaves? What if some emergency happens and you desperately need a loan? How will you buy a house? Apply for a retirement home? What will you do when creditors start phoning at all hours of the day and night, when they start phoning your friends and family and workplace? -and they will. It's only a matter of time.
I speak as an ADHDer with ADHD parents and brother and who is in a relationship with an ADHD man and has been in relationships in the past with ADHD men. Do not continue this way it WILL ruin your future.

He needs real consequences for his actions. If the bills not getting paid mean the power being turned off or his credit history being affected, he will get off his spoiled rotten butt and do something. If you cover for him, and allow it to be your credit that is affected it will not be enough of a push to make him fix this.

He needs to hand over the money that is past due for the bills, get them paid off and then switch them. If he isn't willing to do this, show him the door. And show him this post.

Dude: man up, be responsible for your family and don't ruin this amazing woman's life. She shouldn't be getting a second job to cover for you. Shame on you. There are plenty of us who learned how to pay our bills. If you can't do this, you don't deserve to have such a loving, tolerant woman in you life and you need to let her go and stop mooching off of her.

RedHairedWitch
01-11-14, 02:00 PM
Helpful links:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/05/24/irregular-income-heres-how-to-budget/

http://moneyfor20s.about.com/od/moneyinyour20sbasics/a/When-Your-Spouse-Wo-Not-Participate-In-A-Financial-Plan-Or-Budget.htm

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/00/000626b.cfm

http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/adult-adhd-252906-5.html

http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/1443/108014/management-adults/

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/929.html

http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-overcome-common-financial-pitfalls-when-you-have-adhd/0008314
(http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-overcome-common-financial-pitfalls-when-you-have-adhd/0008314)

Recommended book:
ADD and Your Money: A Guide to Personal Finance for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, 2009, Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, New Harbinger Publications

There are also all kinds of awesome phone app that are useful for budgeting

ginniebean
01-11-14, 03:54 PM
Mittens, he has enough excuses of his own, don't make more for him.

He needs to open his books, show you what he's earning and his expenditures. It is NOT your job to take care of a free loader and that IS what this is.

dvdnvwls
01-11-14, 05:34 PM
The not-hidden "hidden" message, when you hear things will be on track soon, is "Things are badly off track right now".

Whatever that currently means to him.

The idea of things being on track in the future is mere speculation.

Mittens
01-11-14, 06:24 PM
The not-hidden "hidden" message, when you hear things will be on track soon, is "Things are badly off track right now".

Whatever that currently means to him.

The idea of things being on track in the future is mere speculation.

That's exactly what I struggle with.

I honestly, genuinely believe that he *does want* to help.

And I can see that it tears him up when he doesn't.

Unfortunately it's now getting to a point that I can't afford financially to just 'keep on hoping' and I need to find a viable solution.

He hates when I say this, but I really believe if you keep doing the same thing, you'll get the same results if nothing in the equation changes.
I'm just not sure how to find x so he can get his poop in a group :(

Today is still totally disengaging. He's running around trying to do stuff around the house and I think i'm just going to go for a drive. Maybe drive to town and have coffee by myself or bring a book.....

Speak of the devil - just got a voice mail from the heat company :(
Yup. Definitely going for a drive.

dvdnvwls
01-11-14, 06:34 PM
Living with an ADHDer has to remain tightly focused on mutually-acceptable real solutions. SolvING is an endless merry-go-round and not to be trusted. His good will is sincere, and he deserves your good will in return for that; but at the same time his solvING in this case isn't leading to solutions, and you can't continue to accept that lack of results.

Solve is a verb; solution is a noun. ADHD is basically a verb deficit. Verbs connect the subject to the object. Ignore his verbs, they often don't come out right - concentrate on getting to the object, in whatever way is successful and acceptable.

Mittens
01-11-14, 07:37 PM
Thank you very much for your posts, Red - and the awesome links. I'm going to copy and paste them in an email to him tomorrow.... also thanks for the proverbial slap,i needed it.

DVD - you are 100% correct.

Just called the power company. :(. He told me he would be paying it on Tuesday, so that's what I told them. Also asked what would be needed to get it transfered to him, and told him he had to call them and give them the transaction number of the payment. His response when I told him?
"Whatever, they don't shut power off that easily".
!!!!!!!
I told him no offense, but i'm taking the power company's word on this one. Otherwise, I wouldn't know - i've never been in this position before."
He made a snide remark back that ended in "well, what would you LIKE me to say", and I told him instead of being a total jerk, why not say Hey, i'm sorry you have to deal with this, that it's your credit, your name, and I am going to do what I need too to take this off you.

I'm assuming the attitude and anger from him is actually his guilt on screwing up the little obligations that he has. I can understand that, but I don't think that's an excuse to get choked at me for his own mistakes. That's not fair.
It's not fair. Right? Honestly. If that me having unrealistic expectations (Ie, expecting a cat to learn french) or being impatient with him? As soon as I typed it I felt bad because theoretically I think I should be more understanding.
Over the long term it's getting *so* damn hard.....
Not that I am going to stop trying to be understanding, and i'm not saying i'll try any less, I guess i'm just second guessing on what's okay boundaries or feelings and what's not.

Can someone please add me to the "How To Do This Relationship Thing" mailing list? I'll even pay extra for the t-shirt :P

Sorry, my humor gets dumb when I get upset.

Thank you to everyone that responded and read/ listened, has already offered advice and will.

dvdnvwls
01-11-14, 07:49 PM
This is definitely 100% not fair.

Even in a happy humming-along relationship, when one person has ADHD, it's never going to be fair. Fair is a fantasy.

But that's all right, because the goal is OK-ness and mutual respect.

Your boundaries are not the same as someone else's, even someone else in a very similar situation. A lot of your personality and previous experience goes into them. The key is not "what should they be", the key is (first) introspection on "what are my boundaries really", and (second) "how do I make those happen". I believe it's an ongoing process. Nobody knows where the desert border is at the interior southern edge of Saudi Arabia, because nobody cares much about that area anyway. :) Similarly, human boundaries are sometimes only found through experience and need.

Nicksgonefishin
01-11-14, 07:50 PM
[quote=Mittens;1597501]Can someone please add me to the "How To Do This Relationship Thing" mailing list? I'll even pay extra for the t-shirt :P

[quote]

http://www.************.com/ link doesn't work... google adhd marriage and orlov for her book.

I'm not sure if she has T-shirts but it can't hurt to ask!

http://adhdrollercoaster.org/

The NT version.

Both authors know their ADHD.

Side note though you might be dating an adult child. Even though he is old enough and has his own business and what not he is refusing to take on adult responsibilities.

I'm an ADHD adult child. Infantile adult? Failed to launch? I'm nick. That much i'm sure of.

VeryTired
01-11-14, 09:40 PM
Mittens--

I think you got some excellent advice here from RedHairdWitch, Ginniebean and dvdnvwls. These are very smart people, and they are trying to help you see the mess you're in for what it is. It's bad, but believe me, it could get WAY worse.

If I were you. I'd follow through on getting those bills changed, I wouldn't ask your boyfriend to do it. The whole problem is that he can't/doesn't handle this stuff! Take action here yourself, with confidence.

I ended up with my savings depleted, debts (for the first time in my life) and scary amounts of uncontrolled expenses looming because I kept thinking I was respecting my partner by treating him like a responsible adult, letting him make choices and do things his way, and believing him when he said he would/could/did handle various financial things.

He's a good guy--he wanted to do the right thing. He is bad with money, however. And he panics when in trouble and he goes into frantic avoidance/denial mode. He was horrified to find himself repeating old patterns (from previous phases of his life, with other people) of screwing up re money with me, and couldn't admit it or ask for help. He convinced himself that magical solutions would appear. They didn't, of course.

At the end of all this, he was still unemployed and I was paying all bills, working two jobs, doing most of the household chores, and getting yelled at by him whenever I tried to enforce necessary budgeting. At one point, he told me he would kill himself if I didn't expand our cable tv package. We were living with total craziness. In the middle of the summer when I took the second job, I was struck with what I now know were stress-induced migraines.

At first, I thought I'd had a stroke. There were extravagant visual hallucinations, agonizing pain, tunnel vision, numbness, nausea, and inability to speak. I had to leave a lecture I was giving to lie on the floor in my darkened office moaning, until I could walk again. I staggered in to my doctor's office, thinking I was dying and in fact hoping it would be quick because the pain was too much to live through. They told me it was "only" migraine, and that it wouldn't kill me. I had three of those within a week and then I finally got it. My body was brutally attacking me because it couldn't take the strain of the worries about money, the extra work, the care-taking of everyone but me.
I fear and hate the migraine pain, but those migraines were messengers insisting that I understand that my life was out of control, and forcibly hitting the reset button for me, since I wasn't doing it for myself.

I'm sorry to sound dramatic, but migraines aren't just headaches, they are gigantic, terrifying assaults on the self. This really happened to me, and I understand now it was because I was like the proverbial frog in the pot. The water would get hotter a little at a time until it was boiling, but too late to jump out, and voila! boiled froggie. The migraines were the worst thing I've ever experienced by an enormous margin, and it took a whole sequence of them to make me see what I should have known all along.

If you don't take care of you, you can't take care of anyone else. And, don't count on anyone else to take care of you. Take charge, set limits, protect yourself even a little more than you would protect your loved ones. Remember to value the precious resource that is you, and do what you have to in order to have enough you to go around when you need it.

dvdnvwls
01-11-14, 09:48 PM
In practical terms, I don't think it's possible for a person to sign someone else up for an electric bill. :)

But cancelling the service effective as of month-end, and informing him of that, is perhaps an option.

VeryTired
01-11-14, 11:57 PM
True enough ... imagine the potential for confusion and abuse if we could sign random strangers up to pay for our electricity!

I SHOULD have said, get the company on the phone and then hand it to the boyfriend, or if there's paperwork involved, get the form and fill it in and present it to him for signature, then send it in, or ... well, you get the idea. Or it might actually be possible to do it for someone else if one had all of that person's identifying information in hand ... which possibly mittens does ...

RedHairedWitch
01-12-14, 01:03 AM
It's guilt yes, but it's also just being defensive when you know you're wrong and you don't want to admit it.

It sucks to be in his position. To feel like you're drowning in the little things of life and screwing up and now you're being held accountable and you can't escape it. You want to run and hide and hope it goes away. Lash out at anyone and anything that demands you face it and figure out and do the work to fix it. It hurts, it's hard, it's scary, it ****** you off. The ADHD tricks you into thinking that's it's impossible and everyone else is being unreasonable.

But the fact of the matter is that many of us DO learn how to deal with this. It isn't easy. But it is something that must be done. For ourselves and our loved ones. The fact that he is not owning his part tells me that he isn't really in the head space to start tackling these things.

You have to protect you. YOU are the most important person in your life. You can't help anyone if you have been handicapped by allowing someone else mess up your finances, credit, good standing, self esteem etc.

This is not something that is going to get fixed any time soon. An ADHDer will take years learning how to handle money (because it's more than just managing money, but also managing the ADHD) ... you can't just allow things to get worse in the hopes that eventually things will get better.

Be strong. Be firm. Consequences, real consequences are the only thing that truly makes an ADHDer step up to change ... Or decide not to bother and give up. And then you know where YOU stand.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 01:34 AM
In my opinion, artificial "consequences" created by a spouse are extremely likely to backfire, and simple exposure to the true consequence of whatever it is is the way to go.

The only spouse-imposed "consequence" that I believe is worth making use of, if it becomes necessary, is marital separation - and never as a threat, only as an action.

Mittens
01-12-14, 02:03 AM
Reading all the responses make a LOT of sense - and thank you guys for giving me the opportunity of learning and seeing prospective.

VeryTired - interesting you brought up health. I was in the hospital this past summer with appendicitis and septicemia (a blood infection) which hooped me right up. Since then for the life of me I can't spring back - my doctor has told me time and time again I need to lower my stress level / not work so much / not be 'on' all the time because it's not doing me any favors. There's some auto-immune stuff going on which has nothing to do with stress, but having constant stress is only working against me. Which - is a big issue when it comes to a second job, and why he is so dead-set against it.
Which is unendingly frustrating because in one breathe he'll rip me a new one about how I need to slow down, relax, etc etc, and yet when I plead for help from him it gets lost.... I can't not work or stress as much when i'm supporting 2 households and don't get a break at home.
It's between a rock and a hard place.

Dvd- you are on the button with that one. History has shown time and time again as long as their is a safety net (me) he knows it, whether it's conscious or subconscious. I think you're 100% correct when both you and Red said he needs to be responsible for the consequences, 'real' consequences, not just consequences of me getting upset. I know he cares about me and loves me, but as long as it doesn't affect him he won't see it / it won't change.
That's a tough realization to come too.
I'm still really trying to wrap my head around that it's *not* because I don't matter, it's because it doesn't directly affect him.

Gah.

Nick - both of us have read Melissa Orlov's book, which is definitely worth it's weight in gold. I actually finished it recently but think i'm going to re-read it again in the near future because I think i'll pick up more.
It seems to me that there is an abundance of useful information and i'm not sure, for myself, I can really absorb it all from one reading.

I just wish it made more sense.

I know it will never make sense.
I know the only consistency will be in consistency.

He hasn't spoken to me since I responded to the text about what i'd rather him say.... so i'm not sure where that leaves us.

I left for a few hours to just spend some time alone, and also to give him some time alone. I ran into a good girlfriend and ending up having coffee with her which was good. Hopefully his time by himself was beneficial to him, too...

Guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.
Sometimes the best thing about tomorrow is that it isn't today :)
Sounds weird, but knowing / saying that makes things easier.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 02:19 AM
I just wish it made more sense.
It makes absolutely perfect sense, but in a very unconventional and "crazy" way. I'm not sure if, as a "normal" person, it's better for you to spend time figuring out how this really works, or if it's better to treat the process as a "black box" - i.e. you know he works in a certain way, you know that you don't know why, and being willing to leave it at that. Really, between those two, whatever improves your life and doesn't waste too much of your time & energy.

He hasn't spoken to me since I responded to the text about what i'd rather him say.... so i'm not sure where that leaves us.
I may just sound bats#t crazy now, but in my relationship, "where that leaves us" or "where we are" was something that I never had the faintest clue about until I looked in her eyes in the morning. She was the relationship, I was the ...

I don't know what I was. But she was the relationship. If anyone asked how our marriage was, I would either give a non-committal platitude answer, or look to her for guidance. Pitiful? Weird? Unconscious? Immature? I don't know. But there it is.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 02:35 AM
(In some thread or another, I recently mis-used the movie "Groundhog Day" in an analogy. To continue with vaguely-unsuitable movie analogies: With my ex, I never knew from day to day what movie I was going to wake up in the middle of. Some days I could handle the role I was thrown, other days I floundered completely. In the beginning, I had the privilege of playing myself a few times, or roles that suited me to some extent. In the end, it was some kind of foreign-language drama where the lead female character's soul was ripped out, and as a consequence every scene she was in was filled with her cold incomprehending disdain for all the other characters. I wish we had called off the shoot and sent the crew home, long before that.)

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 08:38 AM
Is there any way financially a relationship like this works?
Is there anything you guys know of that works?
There can be.
Some ideas:
1. Define "works". Your definition of "what works" and "what doesn't work" is probably nothing like his. Your assumptions necessarily went out the window when you got together with an ADHD guy, but those broken assumptions are no loss - as long as you can lay out specifically what your true needs are. You are finding out that you need a specific set of circumstances financially in order just to stay sane, another set added onto those in order to be not unhappy, and yet another set added onto the previous ones in order to be truly happy. So... sadly, throw away the entire "truly happy" category, demand and get all of the "sanity-level" category by the end of this month, and arrange the rest ASAP.

You may have some what I might call "reflex expectations", things that are embedded in your mind as "simply a must" in some way, but that in fact are not really serving your sanity or your satisfaction - you know, the proper expected ways of doing things that "everyone" understands. As far as possible, dump those "just because that's how it's done" type of expectations when you find them. Don't try to be normal, don't try to be right, just go for sane and not unhappy. I'm betting that in the household finance department, "sane and not unhappy" would be a major improvement.

2. If he's anything like me, there are financial tasks that for whatever reason he manages badly, or he manages them but with so much stress (and, frankly, incompetence) that it drives you crazy just to be on the same planet while he flounders through them. Recognizing the futility, and either you trading him those tasks for something he can do properly, or if that doesn't work then paying someone to handle those tasks, is sanity-saving. Sanity and stress-reduction are not worth mega bucks, but then again it doesn't cost mega bucks to hire an accountant or book-keeper for small stuff.


I just feel defeated.

:grouphug: :grouphug:

VeryTired
01-12-14, 09:32 AM
Wow, lots of heavy stuff here and many great truths.

RedHairedWitch, I am really moved by what you said:

It sucks to be in his position. To feel like you're drowning in the little things of life and screwing up and now you're being held accountable and you can't escape it. You want to run and hide and hope it goes away. Lash out at anyone and anything that demands you face it and figure out and do the work to fix it. It hurts, it's hard, it's scary, it ****** you off. The ADHD tricks you into thinking that's it's impossible and everyone else is being unreasonable.

But the fact of the matter is that many of us DO learn how to deal with this. It isn't easy. But it is something that must be done. For ourselves and our loved ones. The fact that he is not owning his part tells me that he isn't really in the head space to start tackling these things.

You have to protect you. YOU are the most important person in your life. You can't help anyone if you have been handicapped by allowing someone else mess up your finances, credit, good standing, self esteem etc.


dvdnwls: Your sad metaphor of the movie roles in your marriage tears at my heart. My partner and I have been there, maybe we still are there. It's so hard, but your effective analysis is the best tool I've come across yet for understanding what's going on.

mittens: be strong. And thanks for starting a thread that's so helpful to others.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 09:54 AM
dvdnwls: Your sad metaphor of the movie roles in your marriage tears at my heart. My partner and I have been there, maybe we still are there. It's so hard, but your effective analysis is the best tool I've come across yet for understanding what's going on.

Sorry for the ranting quality of what I said.
I'm also really turning over in my mind the sad truth that I had a major hand in making another person bitter and unhappy. Only time in my life that that's happened. I don't regret much, but I regret that.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 10:00 AM
You have to protect you. YOU are the most important person in your life.
Mittens: Really... you can almost skip reading the thread, and just have this tattooed backwards on your own forehead, so every time you look in the mirror...

:) :grouphug:

Nicksgonefishin
01-12-14, 11:49 AM
What about gaslighting him?(conjecture) I realize this is a terrible idea but I thought I would share anyways as its an inventive ADHD solution.

If you are home before he gets home go to the power box and flip the breaker so the power is out. Spend the evening in the dark and turn it on the next day when he mails the bill. This could be the reality. This could motivate him to pay the power bill and would be better than having to wait for the power company to turn it on when it does get shut off...

It's a physical solution vs nagging. (I'm not saying you're nagging but there is a very very high probability that you are being percieved as such). We ADHDers have a very hard time comprehending reality.

My idea may also be percieved as a breech in trust by him and cause ADHD rage....

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 01:02 PM
Gaslighting is cruel in the extreme. I wouldn't touch it. If I found out I had been treated that way, ... yes, I guess "ADHD rage" would be the way to put it.

I think there probably are some situations in which I condone lying; this isn't one of them.

And in this case the truth is so easily available; "I've cancelled the power as of the 25th; turn it back on in your own name if you want it" is the same thing without needing the lies.

VeryTired
01-12-14, 01:11 PM
dvd--

Don't mourn any more than you have to about what happened. Yes, it's sad and bad, but if it's the only time it ever happened to you, you can hold your head high with self respect as the good person we all know you to be. This is how marriages end, often--basically good people find to their horror that they are instrumental in making each other unhappy AND making each other be less than their best selves.

I'm not saying it's not a sad, painful thing, and I'm not saying you shouldn't feel what you feel. I'm just saying that you fall smack into the center of the fat part of the bell curve of statistical normalcy on this one--and that you show a lot more insight into your role in it than the majority of divorced (or soon to be divorced) people ever do.

ginniebean
01-12-14, 01:12 PM
Say no to the gas lighting. I may work but it's a bad bad idea.

Right now mittens not taking control and demanding he openly discuss finances and open his books, bank accounts etc.. is the problem.

He has no right to expect any privacy when she's footing more than her share of the bills for such an extended time.

This isn't about being supportive, it's not about being loving. Mittens is a good and decent person who is not taking care of herself. Granted, this is a level of confrontation that is very uncomfortable and how he responds might end the relationship but there is not a lot of choice here. Keep on as you have hoping things will get better with no evidence they will or tackle this as a problem.

If the conversation that needs to be had is too difficult face to face, start it in e-mail. Get it out.

This conversation has to be initiated by mittens and yes it's a dreadful task. Your health, long term financial well being, credit, and more are all on the line. It's not a small problem it's big and big response is necessary.

Mittens, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. You're a bigger person than me maybe because I could not handle this kind of secrecy and lies.

RedHairedWitch
01-12-14, 01:16 PM
Some people believe that they won't turn the power off at all during the winter months. Because it's Canada and it can get cold enough to kill ya and all. They just let that bill keep racking up until it's insanely high. The old joke is that the trucks come rolling out 1st of March to shut down all the poor people's power.

In some provinces there is legislation and regulations in place that hydro can't be disconnected during the winter months. Others will cut you down to just enough power for a fridge, space heater and one light bulb (basically) using a load limiting device.

In Alberta, the industry has adopted a standard that hydro won't but cut off during the winter months. But it's not law, just an industry standard. They will shut you down and place one of those load limiting devices until the temperature stays above freezing for a while, then if you still owe, they shut you off completely.

And they still charge you for the hydro when using the load limiter. They are better than having the power off completely though. Which they can and will do, and sometimes will do. If you want a load limiter, you basically have to beg. "I have children and pets! We need something!"

Your man might be under the false (and very common) impression that you can get away with not paying your hydro bills all winter and they can't cut you off, then you can catch up before the disconnection trucks come rolling out in spring.

ginniebean
01-12-14, 01:21 PM
Oh! I didn't notice this was Alberta! No heat is deadly and unlivable. Thanks for pointing that out. Cutting off gas or power is not a possibility.

The bills must be brought up to date and then put in his name.

I have heard of a family that had no power or heat for an entire winter and they had kids because they got cut off one spring and never caught up on the bills. The following winter they went without.

Nicksgonefishin
01-12-14, 01:44 PM
Gaslighting is cruel in the extreme. I wouldn't touch it. If I found out I had been treated that way, ... yes, I guess "ADHD rage" would be the way to put it.

I think there probably are some situations in which I condone lying; this isn't one of them.

And in this case the truth is so easily available; "I've cancelled the power as of the 25th; turn it back on in your own name if you want it" is the same thing without needing the lies.

I like this idea much better than my own!

ADHDers are so addaptive though....
I could see him going somewhere else to shower or do other things that require power. That enginuity to find an alternate solution is unparalled. If only we could channel it for actual good instead of percieved good.

Red brings up a very valid point!
It makes sense that he would think "why pay it if they aren't going to shut it off till the spring anyways, I'll just pay it then"("this isn't my problem this is my future selfs problem")

The deadline is way too far out in the future!

RedHairedWitch
01-12-14, 03:08 PM
My Mom did that for nearly a year. She had a generator for the 5th wheel to get a little heat and power for her laptop and just went to the local truck stop for showering, laundry mat for laundering, ate at the local diner and took home leftovers.

This was partly due to not paying the bills and partly due to some silly dispute with the company. We ADHDers are a strange bunch. Willing to close up the house, move into the RV in the driveway and shower at the truck stop all because she hadn't been paying the bills on time and had some dispute over some charges. This is a woman in her early 60s.

Nicksgonefishin
01-12-14, 03:52 PM
My Mom did that for nearly a year. She had a generator for the 5th wheel to get a little heat and power for her laptop and just went to the local truck stop for showering, laundry mat for laundering, ate at the local diner and took home leftovers.


You just described how I have been living for the last 7 years.... Despite making enough money to afford a mortgage on a house or rent a comfortable appartment.

dvdnvwls
01-12-14, 07:14 PM
I know, in my heart of hearts, that we make sense.

But I have no idea how. :(

RedHairedWitch
01-13-14, 12:10 AM
In a hunter gatherer, or even agrarian, society having a portion of the population who are capable of adapting to rather odd, difficult and harsh living conditions is an evolutionary advantage. You're not thinking of 3 years down the road while following the herds, sleeping under the shrubbery and drinking out of puddles. You're focused on right now, and maybe tomorrow (when you have be to brave and stupid enough to stab at big angry animals with a pointy stick).

Neuro diversity was a very good thing for humanity as a whole for hundreds of thousands of years. Sadly, it's not such a great thing in our modern, consumerist, success driven, one size fits all, luxury motivated society.

dvdnvwls
01-13-14, 02:38 AM
Say no to the gas lighting. I may work but it's a bad bad idea.

Right now mittens not taking control and demanding he openly discuss finances and open his books, bank accounts etc.. is the problem.

He has no right to expect any privacy when she's footing more than her share of the bills for such an extended time.

This isn't about being supportive, it's not about being loving. Mittens is a good and decent person who is not taking care of herself. Granted, this is a level of confrontation that is very uncomfortable and how he responds might end the relationship but there is not a lot of choice here. Keep on as you have hoping things will get better with no evidence they will or tackle this as a problem.

If the conversation that needs to be had is too difficult face to face, start it in e-mail. Get it out.

This conversation has to be initiated by mittens and yes it's a dreadful task. Your health, long term financial well being, credit, and more are all on the line. It's not a small problem it's big and big response is necessary.

Mittens, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. You're a bigger person than me maybe because I could not handle this kind of secrecy and lies.
I don't think privacy is ever earned or deserved or forfeited. Letting someone see what you don't want them to see, needs (in my little mind anyway) to be a voluntary act. Exception, obviously, for suspected crime - no exception for relationships.

That doesn't mean "You can't ask"; it does mean "You can't assert rights that you never had".

If he doesn't want to show his finances, that's his choice. If that means you can't live with him, that's your choice. Framing it as "having a right to know" is counterproductive IMO. It introduces a whole new discussion... if you have the "right" to see his books, does that mean he also has the "right" to read all your text messages? On and on, slippery slope. I'm in favour of eliminating that slippery-slope problem by never starting.

dvdnvwls
01-13-14, 03:02 AM
Addendum to my last message: There's a very (extremely!) reasonable assumption built in to the past few messages of this thread, but it's still an assumption...

"His business has books, that are reasonably correct and reasonably up to date."

In "normal-people land", that can probably remain an unspoken assumption and can probably be relied upon.

But you see where I'm going with this. :(

RedHairedWitch
01-13-14, 01:22 PM
Finances should not be kept a secret in a relationship where you live together and rely on each other to make ends meet. Especially if you have children to raise and if one partner is very bad a budgeting.

dvdnvwls
01-13-14, 02:59 PM
Finances should not be kept a secret in a relationship where you live together and rely on each other to make ends meet. Especially if you have children to raise and if one partner is very bad a budgeting.
Agreed. This is correct. However, I think making it into an issue of rights and entitlement is politically counterproductive, making the relationship more difficult for no real benefit, and that's where I was "coming from".

someothertime
01-13-14, 03:03 PM
Hmmmm.... relationships and economics... now that is defo one area where there is no hard and fast rules.... more about limiting bad stuff + openness or some way of stopping maniplulation really...me thinks

dvdnvwls
01-13-14, 03:25 PM
someothertime: I like that. No hard and fast rules for everyone, but limiting bad stuff certainly has to be there, and manipulation is certainly bad stuff.

In a way it comes back to boundaries and personal needs vs wants; as far as money, any arrangement where both partners are satisfied with the outcome (and with the income) :) is good. I guess the only pitfall in that thought process is sometimes you can think a situation is satisfactory, but then a new "twist" gets introduced, and you discover that things should have been done differently all along.

I'm not in favour of keeping financial secrets from each other; personally, I think it's not a smart idea for anyone to be in a relationship where the other person is hiding financial information. I just think using the idea of "rights" as a method of getting that information is probably going to backfire, bringing your partner to demand "rights" over you that you probably don't want to have to argue about, because you'll lose the argument.

Maybe I have "privacy issues". I don't know. I think saying "For me to stay in this relationship, I need to be able to see the whole financial situation" is perfectly legitimate, and that saying "It's my right to open your financial books" is not.

Dreamer's Wife
01-16-14, 08:46 PM
Oh man, I empathize with you a great deal! My husband is NO help with the bills. I asked politely, asked rudely, flat out told him... nothing. In the moment he is SO apologetic and absolutely wants to take care of business. But inevitably, the due dates come and go and the bills he said he would take care of don't get paid.

The only thing that has worked for us is writing them all down on the white board. And yes, I have to say "have you looked at the white board recently?" all the time. This is just a fact of someone with ADD/ADHD. But, it does help. Instead of me saying, "did you pay the water? Did you pay the cell phone?" I can just remind him of the white board. Daily chores also go there. It makes me feel less naggy, and it leaves him less to have to remember.

Mittens
01-17-14, 07:24 AM
Oh man, I empathize with you a great deal! My husband is NO help with the bills. I asked politely, asked rudely, flat out told him... nothing. In the moment he is SO apologetic and absolutely wants to take care of business. But inevitably, the due dates come and go and the bills he said he would take care of don't get paid.

The only thing that has worked for us is writing them all down on the white board. And yes, I have to say "have you looked at the white board recently?" all the time. This is just a fact of someone with ADD/ADHD. But, it does help. Instead of me saying, "did you pay the water? Did you pay the cell phone?" I can just remind him of the white board. Daily chores also go there. It makes me feel less naggy, and it leaves him less to have to remember.

At this point I won't disregard anything that has the possibility of a constructive outcome :)
Thanks for the input - worst thing that can happen is he says no :)

ginniebean
01-17-14, 11:29 AM
I don't think privacy is ever earned or deserved or forfeited. Letting someone see what you don't want them to see, needs (in my little mind anyway) to be a voluntary act. Exception, obviously, for suspected crime - no exception for relationships.

That doesn't mean "You can't ask"; it does mean "You can't assert rights that you never had".

If he doesn't want to show his finances, that's his choice. If that means you can't live with him, that's your choice. Framing it as "having a right to know" is counterproductive IMO. It introduces a whole new discussion... if you have the "right" to see his books, does that mean he also has the "right" to read all your text messages? On and on, slippery slope. I'm in favour of eliminating that slippery-slope problem by never starting.

Here's how I see it, the moment someone asks me to not only support them fully (becomes my dependent but also brings their child in and they also become my dependent) they cannot say "well works not been good the past few months" , go on business trips while I take care of the child. This has been going on for months.. not just a missed month or a 'bad turn" months!!


No one has the right to use another without voluntarily showing it's needed. I'd consider it a breach of trust in fact if the person wasn't willing to Show me. so far, that has not happened. He's imposing his dependency, it's unwelcome.


Me? I might not kick the person out, but if I was told his finances are "private" that would be an absolute sign this person has no respect for me and out the hell he goes. He want's privacy, he can pay for it.

This man is an adult with dependent, he has NO right to not make EVERY effort to take care of his child. He has a responsibility and he's not meeting it. Privacy should be his LEAST concern.

But, that's just me.. users...

TLCisaQT
01-19-14, 02:55 PM
My husband uses an app on his iphone that he has all our credit cards and bills entered in that he pays online and it's linked to our account. This way it's all in one place and it shows when one is due and he can just press "pay." He even ends up paying my bills that are due for me that I might forget, and then he tells me he paid them! It's a real lifesaver for us. He found a way that really works for him (and for me too hehe).

Mittens - I can only imagine how stressful this is for you. Also since it's gotten so bad that you know you will most likely have to step in and "fix" it to a point where he and you can start over with a better plan. You said in a post on this thread something about how you can't change anything by doing the same thing over and over and not changing anything. You said about his behaviors, but it's true for you as well. You have to change how you do things. I know you are trying to give him a chance to make things right and to do his part, etc; however it's not working. To change how things are going, you need to do something different and many gave good ideas (although not comfortable ones) that you will most likely have to do to have a different outcome that protects YOU and your future, with or without him in it. You seem like a nice loving person; however, love yourself enough to know when you have to stand up for yourself here. HUGS

Mittens
01-21-14, 04:30 PM
My husband uses an app on his iphone that he has all our credit cards and bills entered in that he pays online and it's linked to our account. This way it's all in one place and it shows when one is due and he can just press "pay." He even ends up paying my bills that are due for me that I might forget, and then he tells me he paid them! It's a real lifesaver for us. He found a way that really works for him (and for me too hehe).

Mittens - I can only imagine how stressful this is for you. Also since it's gotten so bad that you know you will most likely have to step in and "fix" it to a point where he and you can start over with a better plan. You said in a post on this thread something about how you can't change anything by doing the same thing over and over and not changing anything. You said about his behaviors, but it's true for you as well. You have to change how you do things. I know you are trying to give him a chance to make things right and to do his part, etc; however it's not working. To change how things are going, you need to do something different and many gave good ideas (although not comfortable ones) that you will most likely have to do to have a different outcome that protects YOU and your future, with or without him in it. You seem like a nice loving person; however, love yourself enough to know when you have to stand up for yourself here. HUGS

You are 100% right there, and for the first time I actually did 'stand up'. A little bit.
Ish.
Or at least started too.
I have brought things up, but as soon as he brings up his feelings (immediately) I switch entirely to 'feely' mode and trying to understand / help / console / reassure / whatever him.

I'm not sure what changed. Something just sort of shifted my outlook as a coworker mentioned something to me that really stuck.
She said that if I make sure to get myself back on track, take care of myself, start actually doing things like making time to sleep or working less, everything else will decide itself for me.
Ie. If I get a second job to get caught up (which I absolutely will) and then once I no longer need too I make sure that I work a reasonable amount of hours - he will either step up and start contributing, or he will not. Because I will need to make sure *I* work a reasonable amount of hours, and if that means I am not supporting him then that decision is made for me.
If that makes any sense?

He is running around in circles because he needs to 'make money make money make money' and refuses to think of *anything* else other than that... including actually spending and using that money.
He says that he can't learn to budget if he has no money, and he can't think of anything but making money right now.
...........
He made money for the entire first year we were together, and never once had a penny to show for it, or took responsibility of even 1 of the bills.

Sigh

Man, it's tough.

I just really hope it works out for him.

On one hand he won't even entertain the idea of hearing anything I have to say because 'he's a grown man and knows himself better and what he's actually doing' (as opposed to me, who is not privy to that knowledge), but on the other hand he won't look into anything differently for him.

He found a book (I'm not sure the name of it, he won't / hasn't told me) specifically apparently pertaining to ADD and finances.

I hope it helps.

I apologise for the negativity in this - it honestly isn't meant as such.
I'm just more on the 'disconnected' side as opposed to positive or negative at the moment, if that makes any sense?

I *know* I need to start changing how *I* act.
That's all I have control over.

I can't be responsible for his actions.

I'm not sure how to do either of those yet, but I am still giving it a shot.

I know that me enabling isn't doing him any help, and in a way I'm stopping him from making any progress because he doesn't have too?

But I need to step back and also conversely just be very neutral. Too far on enabling is bad, but too far on nagging / demanding doesn't do any good either.

Here's hoping!

As always, thank you for reading and any advice or responses.

-Nanook Of the North

dvdnvwls
01-21-14, 06:37 PM
Mittens - a pet topic of mine lately has been the following:

Calling bad things bad isn't "being negative".

Calling good things bad is "being negative".

Calling bad things bad is always a right, and sometimes a responsibility. Remaining silent about bad things is sometimes compassionate, and other times a mistake.

But in any case, don't mis-label yourself with an accusation like that.

Mittens
01-22-14, 02:53 PM
Mittens - a pet topic of mine lately has been the following:

Calling bad things bad isn't "being negative".

Calling good things bad is "being negative".

Calling bad things bad is always a right, and sometimes a responsibility. Remaining silent about bad things is sometimes compassionate, and other times a mistake.

But in any case, don't mis-label yourself with an accusation like that.

That seems to be a very fine line....

Mistakes only turn into regrets if you don't learn from them.
Or at least that's what I try to believe.

willow129
01-24-14, 11:04 PM
I've been following along...any updates Mittens? How's it going? Have you been able to return to normal levels of communication with your boyfriend?

Mittens
01-25-14, 12:26 AM
I've been following along...any updates Mittens? How's it going? Have you been able to return to normal levels of communication with your boyfriend?

Thank you for the thought and reading :)

Unfortunately not a lot of positives... he told me he'd let me know about finances last week, then that got pushed till today.
He asked he how I was doing, I said really stressed, upset, and feeling a lot of pressure... he told me he didn't have time for 'this' and he needed to focus on 'making money'.

And tonight told me he didn't get whatever deal done and has no answer for me.....

I stayed with my Mom last night / tonight to take her for all her running around and whatnot. I could only afford to get her about half the groceries she wanted yesterday because I couldn't afford more. I was heart broken and it really just wasn't okay....I tried to tell him I felt like such a huge failure, and his response was I might as well just blame him for everything, he can't listen to me, etc etc.

I told him this has nothing to do with him, it's about me reaching to him for emotional support, and that puts me in a very difficult spot - I can't talk to him, but if I talked to any of my friends or family about it he would be very hurt and upset, so that leaves me with me, and I wish my feelings / being upset was better timing for me too but unfortunately I can't :(.

I just really don't know what to think right now.

I'm not sure what the right answer is.

I just feel very lost and defeated.

I apologize if this comes across as negative - it's not meant too. I'm just not sure where to go from here....

dvdnvwls
01-25-14, 01:12 AM
At some point, "no answer" becomes an answer in itself.

This process hurts him inside.

That fact doesn't mean you can continue accepting a lack of information.

ginniebean
01-25-14, 12:23 PM
You told him it has nothing to do with him? Mittens, why are you afraid to be heard? This can only get worse if you do nothing. He has retreated into some bubble where reality doesn't exist. At some point you have to stand up. You need help, not said in a bad way, but why are you shouldering all this responsibility and then saying, "nevermind, I'm to blame for not working round the clock". It can't make sense to you either. You're afraid of being alone? Afraid of hurting him so you hurt yourself? Big questions you need to be asking of you.

You are also retreating into some alter reality where you're justifying very real problems into philosophical niceties and they won't pay the bills.

You can't support 4 people on one income. That is reality. He needs to be confronted with reality and so do you. I hope my words don't sound harsh, I don't mean them that way. Either you confront reality or reality will confront you.

The easier route is confronting reality because you have more options.

willow129
01-25-14, 02:31 PM
Yes!! Listen to ginniebean!!

Don't apologize for "coming across as negative". From now on you are not allowed to apologize. Do what you need to do, say what is happening. No apologies.

someothertime
01-25-14, 04:20 PM
Ginnie is right Mittens... You have every right to speak of your needs.

Reading over this... I can't help but ponder how much of his behavior is undeliberate... I'm not trying to justify the situation in any way... In fact it may help you to speak up about this stuff mittens, by giving you some emotional distance.

In effect, your helping him to identify a weak point in his psyche... I would be capable of "burdening" myself on another... I just don't see life so financially... aka... I totally get the logic but am not really capable of being financially independant / clear like that at the ground level.

Anyway the point i'm making is that quite possibly there is very little "choice" involved in how he's behaved. In no way does that justify his actions... Just balancing the topic by saying these things are "instinctual" aka... habit / moral.... things we cement at a very young age....

On that... do you know what money was like when he was a kid? It might help him to become aware of his behaviors?

RedHairedWitch
01-25-14, 05:39 PM
Oh hun. Please look into codependency. You are textbook and it's going to kill your heart.

Mittens
01-26-14, 04:18 PM
Oh hun. Please look into codependency. You are textbook and it's going to kill your heart.

Thank you.
Phew.
I've never considered it....
I'm not afraid of being alone, actually i'm far more comfortable being single than in a relationship, but I am aware I have an unhealthy balance in my life of others needs VS my own. My Mom constantly tells me i'm real life Super Woman because I am determined and driven to fault.

I just Googled it, and this is one of the things that came up:
"Codependency by definition means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself "
......
Huh.

Where's the line between caring / doing your best and codependency? And how does that fit with add relationship dynamics?

I just wish I knew what to do to help him do what he needs too.
I want our relationship, I want him as a partner and life mate.

Mittens
01-26-14, 04:31 PM
You told him it has nothing to do with him? Mittens, why are you afraid to be heard? This can only get worse if you do nothing. He has retreated into some bubble where reality doesn't exist. At some point you have to stand up. You need help, not said in a bad way, but why are you shouldering all this responsibility and then saying, "nevermind, I'm to blame for not working round the clock". It can't make sense to you either. You're afraid of being alone? Afraid of hurting him so you hurt yourself? Big questions you need to be asking of you.

You are also retreating into some alter reality where you're justifying very real problems into philosophical niceties and they won't pay the bills.

You can't support 4 people on one income. That is reality. He needs to be confronted with reality and so do you. I hope my words don't sound harsh, I don't mean them that way. Either you confront reality or reality will confront you.

The easier route is confronting reality because you have more options.

The comment about not being about him wasn't too absolve him of his actions, it was meant that me going to him for support was for him to be all about -me-.
If I try to talk to him about any of my feelings it immediately gets turned into being about him and his feelings. Ie. Typical cycle would be something like:
If he asks how I am, I say stressed out today, and he says me constantly being stressed just makes him feel inadequate, discouraged, like I blame him for everything, and I don't believe in him.

I try to tell him that it's not about *him* and to stop, take a step back, and just listen and be there for me. Tell me it'll be okay and i'm not alone in it.

Not sure if that makes any sense?

I'm still at my Mom's... he hasn't said much since i've been here. Text here or there of the tone that everything is great.

Sigh.

Thank you for anyone that reads / responds again.
This forum has really been a pillar of insight, learning, and support to me.

dvdnvwls
01-26-14, 06:56 PM
Where's the line between caring / doing your best and codependency? And how does that fit with add relationship dynamics?

I just wish I knew what to do to help him do what he needs too.
I want our relationship, I want him as a partner and life mate.
The line between caring and codependency is a flexible one. Just not THAT flexible.

The rest of this post is purely opinionated and completely unresearched. I happen to think I'm right, but I could be extremely far off track.

Here's how I think you find the line:
Pick any action you've done. Analyze it - 1. Is that action good for him? 2. Is that action good for me?

The trick is that THERE IS NO #3. There's no such thing as "Us".

Something that's "good for us" is ONLY something that is BOTH "good for him" AND "good for me". Something that is good for only him, and not for you, can NEVER also be "good for us". Because there is no separate "us", for things to be good for.

Codependency is IMO nothing but the belief that there's another thing called "Us".

davesf
01-26-14, 07:09 PM
@Mittens - I am a recently diagnosed 39yo married, two-kids, high-function ADHD-PI. I don't know whether your bf is diagnosed with ADHD or not.

You obviously care about him, so I want to offer you practical suggestions to manage your relationship. However, you also should understand that ADHD relationships have *many* lopsided burdens for the non-ADHD partner. If he has ADHD, in the long term your feelings for him will not be enough. He will need to both have exceptional positives and get help, or one of you (maybe even him!) will exhaust of it and end the relationship, possibly after substantial financial investment on your part. (be careful!)

As for the advice, I have so many thoughts I found it very hard to keep this message concise enough to be useful. There is so much depth and complexity to your situation, that it's hard to know what information will help the most. I finally settled on these two points...

1. Take care of yourself. Consider the possibility that you are experiencing co-dependence.

Because you are saying you feel like a failure when you are shouldering the burden of your bf (and your mom), it sounds like you may be experiencing co-dependency, which is a very common problem for partners of those with ADHD (http://www.addresources.org/?q=node/267).

Why do I say this? If the facts you have posted here paint an accurate picture, you are *NOT* a failure but are shouldering an extra burden, and your b/f *IS* the reason you are sinking financially and emotionally. IMO, this is why your bf accused you of blaming him, because he can see the situation is obviously his fault. The fact that you don't see this says to me you are either mis-reporting facts (unlikely) or experiencing emotional co-dependence.

For a moment, shift your thinking about this from emotional to mathematical. How much money would you have in the bank if he was taking care of himself (like a *normal boyfriend* does)? That number is a fact, not a subjective emotional opinion.

Perhaps this personal experience will help illustrate the pattern. Before my ADHD diagnosis, while in therapy myself for anxiety, I encouraged my wife of 6 years (who is very mentally stable, thank goodness) to see a counselor, because her emotional swings and emotional dependence were creating fights that bothered me. It wasn't until after my ADHD diagnosis a couple months later that we could all see I my ADHD behaviors were a leading *cause* of her co-dependence. (she is normally a very strong and independent person) She was not only doing everything in the house (taking care of the kids, the laundry, the dishes, the schedule), but was also "managing" the way she interacted with me so as not to set off the ADHD powder-keg.

It's pretty impossible for you to help someone with ADHD while they are dragging you out of your stable safe place and into co-dependence. Put your oxygen mask on first, and then you can attend to your ADHD partner. If you can't see the patterns, and the relationship is that important to you, seek therapy yourself -- they will help you straighten it out. If possible, take a step back and get some distance and independence from the partner, so you can find your center again. If you don't, the ADHD partner may turn you into a needy co-dependent person and they can end up tiring and leaving you to get away from the very problem they created! (but don't worry, you'll be fine once you get a normal partner)

2. ADHD is *not rational*, it is a condition that causes anxiety and confusion when handling unknown stimulus and decisions.

You seem to have a rational explanation of his struggles and are maddened and confused by his patterns. As someone with ADHD, I want to impart that the struggles of ADHD are not rational, logical, or reasonable. Further, before we are diagnosed and find solutions, we have never experienced life in any other way, so it's very hard to see the struggle in our own experiences. It all seems "normal" to us.

You may not pay a bill because you don't have the money. I've usually had the money, but as someone with ADHD, I've had trouble paying bills because of the confusion, focus-trouble, and anxiety I experience during the process, every step of which is an effort that I am easily distracted from.... remembering where the bill is, how much is due, where it gets sent to, whether I already paid the bill, where I put the envelopes, where I put my checkbook, whether I have the money, whether I already paid the bill, how to record the amount so I don't forget and spend it again, where i put the stamps, where the envelope should go when it's ready to go out so i'll get it into the mail, remembering to get it in the mail, and again, whether I already paid the bill. --- When I was in my 20s, I built up many systems for trying to simplify and habitualize this process, but I still routinely received late-notices for unpaid bills until online auto-bill-pay came along. Today, I have seriously not opened more than a handful of incoming paper mail envelopes in more than a decade.

To continue this thought, I'd like to talk about another task I've struggled with my *whole*life*? Picking up the phone to call someone I've never talked to before. Today I am a financially independent self-managed and high-functional ADHD-PI, and yet at tough times in my life I've found it hard or impossible to even call to order a pizza! It's maddening!

Even more maddening, if you were around me at one of these times, I would subconsciously, habitually manipulate you to make sure you would do it for me.

I'd be hungry. We'd be together. We'd talk about ordering pizza. I'd say what a great idea it was. We'd talk about what ingredients to get on it. If you were not already on the phone ordering it, I'd go find the number, get it all ready to call, and then I'd hand you the phone and ask you if you could order it. You wouldn't even think twice, or question why I asked you, because it's so easy for you it's like breathing. However, if you for some reason refused, I'd get this rushing anxiety welling up through my body. I'd probably try to use friendly manipulation, like "ohh, i have to go to the bathroom", or I'd hang up the phone because I needed to reconsider the order. I'd try to go do something else. On a bad day, I'd just wait until you got hungry enough to finally call, and if after-the-fact you were at all frustrated I didn't do it (maybe you were actually busy with something), I'd treat you to some argumentative deflective rhetoric -- How if I knew it was so important I would have just done it; how I didn't know you wanted me to do it; how weird or bizarre it is for you to be getting so upset about something as silly as ordering pizza.

Now think about a power-bill. I could have a million bucks in the bank, and it would not eliminate the irrational anxiety I sometimes feel about making an unfamiliar phone call. If I wasn't confident I had enough money, or even if I just hadn't decided to pay the bill --- trying to do it would elicit a physiological reaction not entirely different than what you might experience if your car broke down on a street you knew you'd likely get mugged or killed on.

Being introspective, I think I get anxious in those times because *IF* i don't already have a good idea what someone will say in an audio conversation, I literally can't hear or understand them. I just get confused and frustrated and have to ask them to repeat themselves. This causes me either to exit the situation, or control the conversation (sometimes with aggressiveness) so their response is easier to predict, and thus easier for me to understand.

Here are some practical suggestions for attempting to deal with these difficult patterns:

Always provide requests in writing (email/sms), not verbally. Do not "ask softly" for promises of work. Give commands or ask for facts. If you want to remind him, tell him to do it ("please pay this bill today"). If he's stalling, offer to help at a later time ("can I help you take care of this tomorrow?"). If you want to know what is going on, ask a question with a clear answer and no judgement or implication of work, ("do you have enough money to pay for this today?")

...However, even these strategies may often elicit anger and frustration from someone with ADHD -- as my wife can testify. (unmedicated) I experience confusion and something between frustration and anxiety anytime I'm interrupted with information very different from what I'm thinking about at the time. I used to think it was her fault for interrupting me and get into fights with her making "rules" about how she should talk to me when I'm doing something. Thank goodness I figured out this whole thing, because now it's plain as day it was me all along.


----

I could go on, but I suspect that's more than you can take in right now. I hope it's helpful.

VeryTired
01-26-14, 08:12 PM
Davesf--

I think your explanation of what all this is like from the insight is very illuminating. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

all good wishes--

Mittens
01-27-14, 12:21 PM
Ginnie is right Mittens... You have every right to speak of your needs.

Reading over this... I can't help but ponder how much of his behavior is undeliberate... I'm not trying to justify the situation in any way... In fact it may help you to speak up about this stuff mittens, by giving you some emotional distance.

In effect, your helping him to identify a weak point in his psyche... I would be capable of "burdening" myself on another... I just don't see life so financially... aka... I totally get the logic but am not really capable of being financially independant / clear like that at the ground level.

Anyway the point i'm making is that quite possibly there is very little "choice" involved in how he's behaved. In no way does that justify his actions... Just balancing the topic by saying these things are "instinctual" aka... habit / moral.... things we cement at a very young age....

On that... do you know what money was like when he was a kid? It might help him to become aware of his behaviors?

Thank you for the post and I apologise for the late response - just catching up.

Can you elaborate on this?

Money was fine when he was a kid - his parents had a normal / middle class lifestyle with nothing extravagent but always dinner on the table.

If it is instinctual, what can I do to get the common goal accomplished?
What I'm doing isn't working, and I'm not really sure how specifically to go about it from here / have tried anything I know how.

I'm still staying at my Mom's. I don't even know what to say to him.

THank you for the reading and responses.
I appreciate it more than I can say.

someothertime
01-27-14, 12:42 PM
Mittens... it's a tough one for me to answer... there is a logical breakdown of the way he is... and there is what you can and cannot do.

The fact is the way he responds to your needs is also instinctual largely. The thing is... ( and I'm comforted to hear your at your mom's );

This is about assertion... your assertion... then a possibility of him cracking open his pride and getting help and setting HIS OWN prioriies because you are important to him.

-You will assert the line
-You will require ACTIVE change and ongoing efforts therein to take up what is reasonably equitable ( jees, i sound like a lawyer ) WITHOUT holding his hand every second of the way
-You will not yeild to emotional pressure to "overlook" life's necessities because now is easier for him

Take a stand, expect no more than what you deserve. Your worth it.

Mittens
01-27-14, 12:52 PM
Is being away from him doing harm or good?

Part of me is afraid it's the whole 'out of sight, out of mind' thing and with me being at my Mom's he'll continue on life as usual just without the presence of mind to worry about all the things I would normally bring up.

Or, is it a case that without me around he is able to focus better?

I know being at my Mom's is better for me at the moment mentally (other than being away from my own house, bed, etc etc), but I don't want to continue that if it's of a detriment to him, and it does really suck that my Mom doesn't mean it badly, but she does question why I'm the one that goes somewhere else... I don't really have an answer for that, other than telling her that it's just the right things to do right now.

Mittens
01-27-14, 03:15 PM
Alright. To avoid explaining something incorrectly, I'm basically going to just cut and paste the conversation this morning, in hopes to get some feedback.
Conversation this morning went like this.... (and this is being very honest, including the parts of the conversation I am not proud of)

Mittens "What book exactly is the specific one you tell me you are reading?"
"Organizing solutions for people with add"
M "Who is it by?"
"Susan C. Pinsky"
M "How does it tie specifically into money management?"
"Not now"
M "I'm not allowed to ask what you are doing?"
"I have a busy day and I need to focus. I will not let my day of work start like this with me getting depressed. End of story"
M "That is one of the most selfish things I have heard you say. If YOU get depressed when I ask a FACTUAL question directly relating to finances - that is NOT my fault. That is up to YOU. Your own interpretations are NOT an excuse to avoid reality and leave it all up to me"
"I will not be talking to you today."
M "That invalidates anything I think, feel, or are concerned about. You said you had no answers Friday, Saturday you said you would figure out exact numbers of how much money you have, how much you are putting on what, and Monday is today and you haven't said a word today to me today about any of it."
M "You need to have what money is going to what bills for this week to me by the end of the day. Like you said you would this weekend. Period."

Was I too harsh?
I know that I let my emotions get involved, and I don't feel good about that - that was inappropriate. It's tough to figure out how to be assertive and not a push-over without being a raging hosebeast.
Normally my response as soon as he said something about depression or any kind of feelings would be to reassure him, and tell him all the reasons that it was okay, blah blah blah.
And to be extremely honest, it felt dead wrong to not do that.
However, I also know that if I don't start making myself bluntly heard I will be no good to him, or to my Mom, or to anybody else.
I am good at bringing things up, but I need to be blunter, more factual, and not get all 'ms fix it' when he talks about his feelings.

Re-reading his text today was an eye opener because I can't remember how many times he's basically put his emotions on me. He rationalizes that anything he does wrong doesn't matter in the sense of it only matters what emotional response it illicits from him, and in that way he equates it to being my fault for making him feel like that by bringing up a difficult subject.

It definitely makes sense why nothing would get solved - how could it if I gave up so easily and allowed the conversation to go completely off the railing?

So I don't know... I don't know if he'll actually get me the numbers or not. When we were discussing them on Saturday he said that one of the bills was actually 3 months behind.
Sigh.

I'm not sure if I should stay at my Mom's the rest of the week.

I know I would feel better if I did.

But, like I said, I don't want to do it to the detriment of him. Or his son. He doesn't cook, so if I'm not home or working late (or when I worked a second job previously) 99% of the time dinner was either something frozen, take-away, or he's forget that his son hadn't eaten and realize it at 9pm. I don't even want to think about what the house is going to look like when I do go home :(

My ex-husband was BPD, and I know that if we spent time apart it was useless - he would detach and go along his merry way.
I have no idea how ADD works in that respect - if it's the 'out of sight, out of mind' or if space is a positive thing without the distraction of having me around?

Thank you again for reading and all the amazing advice / responses

-A Very Confused Mittens

ginniebean
01-27-14, 03:20 PM
Maybe you need to have a conversation about him moving out of your home. He is being a total ***. He clearly believes that it's ok to not talk to you and this will pass. It's passed many times before. There comes a time when you have to light a big enough fire under someone's butt to get them to take you seriously. Telling him he needs to get out of your house is a big enough fire.

Sorry, I see no other way.

It's not about what he needs anymore, he's checked out on that, and his son.

davesf
01-27-14, 03:50 PM
Mittens, before I answer your questions, I have some of my own...

Is this doing harm or good to you?

What outcome do you want out of this for yourself?

If you don't feel the emotional importance of these questions, then please answer them for me. I want to know.

You mother is right to question what is going on. She wants to know why you would leave your own apartment, which he's having trouble financially covering his share of, to give your boyfriend space because he's having trouble. Why are you?

Is this an "easy" and small gesture of caring for you? -- To vacate your apartment for a couple days, while the boyfriend who you are having financial and emotional trouble with enjoys it? ...or... Is it conflict avoidance? Do you think you don't deserve your apartment? Do you think it's more important to try to fix your bf than to take care of yourself?

As for your question ... I can't speak for other people or other ADHDs, only myself. If I was in your bf's situation, reduction in chaos and pressure is always selfishly better for me. It's hard to say if that is better with you there or gone (other than the fighting about bills). Either way, it wouldn't "fix" or "help" anything. It would not make me productive or make it easier to pay bills.

someothertime
01-27-14, 03:54 PM
Send him a letter with what he owe's ( EVERYTHING.... make it up $6923 sound ok? - I don't expect him to pay it... he needs to see this is real ) and get give him two weeks notice. No negotiations.

This relationship will only progress once he takes ownership. He will not do that from a position of comfort. Neither of you has the skill at the moment to overcome this... Continuing to cohabit will hamper change.

Your best bet is to take it back to the "dating" stage while he works on his methods and you work on your assertiveness boundaries... This issue has been going on for........ 6 months? Same reminders....... same distancing...... ignoring you...... promises...... You see if he sat at a table with you once a week and gave you a $1...

Any future ( financial ) systems you build must not rely on verbal policing ( or much else for that matter ).

RedHairedWitch
01-27-14, 06:26 PM
No you were NOT to harsh. You clearly set boundaries and expectations. You did not allow him to emotionally manipulate you into allowing him to deflect. I'm proud of you!

Clearly he is trying to escape the situation and avoid, avoid, avoid.

But why are you paying for a place that you are not staying in????? Why are you allowing him to push you out of your own home?

Now he has exactly the perfect free loader arrangement. A free place to live, and an easy way to avoid you.

I know you love this guy and he has some great qualities. But if I were you, I'd be looking at getting a place for myself and Mom and letting him know he has to be gone in two months time.

davesf
01-27-14, 07:20 PM
Mittens, I'm proud of you for being assertive. We all are.

I want to inject some levity into this tough situation, and so I'm going to show you an extreme version of how an ADHD brain might interpret your conversation. I assure you, this is not a joke, my brain does this to me very very often. I want you to pay close attention to how much more sensible his responses seem.

Mittens "What book exactly is the specific one you tell me you are reading?"
"Organizing solutions for people with add"
M "Who is it by?"
"Susan C. Pinsky"
M "How does it ------?"
"Not now"
M "I'm not allowed to ask what you are doing?"
"I have a busy day and I need to focus. I will not let my day of work start like this with me getting depressed. End of story"
M "That is ------. If YOU get depressed when I ----- NOT MY FAULT. ---- YOU. ----"
"I will not be talking to you today."
M "That -----!?!?!----."
M "You need to ----------- bills ---- by the end of the day. Like you said you would this weekend. Period."

Notice how, as I explained in my previous post, the factual questions worked, and how quickly asking him about the future ellicited no useful response.

The point of this exercise is to try to impress upon you how (from my ADHD) perspective, you seem to be getting frustrated at the wrong thing. You seem to be getting frustrated because you think he is hearing you and either doesn't care, or is defying you.

I want you to open your mind to the possibility that he may not even be hearing/understanding/processing/remembering half the things you are saying.

THAT is ADHD.

-----------

That said, don't get wrapped up in his issues. Have a follow-through plan for yourself as a result of his action or in-action.

If he doesn't follow through, the implied next step is that you are going to kick him out (first by asking him to leave, and then by getting the police involved if necessary). Have a plan for what you are going to say, and don't listen to his rhetoric and last-minute fixes. Even if there is a future for you, if you let him defy you, he will walk all over you forever, and nobody deserves that.

However, what if he does follow through? Is this the kind of relationship you want to have? Where you have to leave your own apartment to find the strength to demand that he behave? From what you have written, I think you are kidding yourself to think there is a real future here. Why do you think this is the best you can get?

Mittens
01-27-14, 07:29 PM
Mittens, I'm proud of you for being assertive. We all are.

I want to inject some levity into this tough situation, and so I'm going to show you an extreme version of how an ADHD brain might interpret your conversation. I assure you, this is not a joke, my brain does this to me very very often. I want you to pay close attention to how much more sensible his responses seem.

Mittens "What book exactly is the specific one you tell me you are reading?"
"Organizing solutions for people with add"
M "Who is it by?"
"Susan C. Pinsky"
M "How does it ------?"
"Not now"
M "I'm not allowed to ask what you are doing?"
"I have a busy day and I need to focus. I will not let my day of work start like this with me getting depressed. End of story"
M "That is ------. If YOU get depressed when I ----- NOT MY FAULT. ---- YOU. ----"
"I will not be talking to you today."
M "That -----!?!?!----."
M "You need to ----------- bills ---- by the end of the day. Like you said you would this weekend. Period."

Notice how, as I explained in my previous post, the factual questions worked, and how quickly asking him about the future ellicited no useful response.

The point of this exercise is to try to impress upon you how (from my ADHD) perspective, you seem to be getting frustrated at the wrong thing. You seem to be getting frustrated because you think he is hearing you and either doesn't care, or is defying you.

I want you to open your mind to the possibility that he may not even be hearing/understanding/processing/remembering half the things you are saying.

THAT is ADHD.

During the height some recent trouble, before I figured out what was going on, my wife resorted to talking to me about topics she knew I was interested in, because it was the only way she could get me to even hear her. She was desperate for social interaction with me and it was the only thing that worked. (I am very very lucky to have her!)

-----------

That said, don't get wrapped up in his issues. Have a follow-through plan for yourself as a result of his action or in-action.

If he doesn't follow through, the implied next step is that you are going to kick him out (first by asking him to leave, and then by getting the police involved if necessary). Have a plan for what you are going to say, and don't listen to his rhetoric and last-minute fixes. Even if there is a future for you, if you let him defy you, he will walk all over you forever, and nobody deserves that.

However, what if he does follow through? Is this the kind of relationship you want to have? Where you have to leave your own apartment to find the strength to demand that he behave? From what you have written, I think you are kidding yourself to think there is a real future here. Why do you think this is the best you can get?


Is there a way I could of said it differently to have made more sense?

AdventPix
01-27-14, 08:01 PM
Hi, I'm sorry but I didn't read the entire thread here, I'm sure there is a lot of good advice, and maybe what I'm going to suggest has already been mentioned. If it has, then sorry! disregard! lol

I'm an undiagnosed ADDer I've only recently discovered ADD, but everyhting I read here, and in other places, all I need is a doc's siggy to make it official...

Anyway, this thread began telling a story that was / is very similar to my own. I can't pay a bill to save my life. Its not that I don't have money, I'm very successful in business, so the money is always there, the problem is that "daily life" doesn't exist for me. Cooking, cleaning, paying bills... It never crosses my mind.

When I got married, My wife and I had a similar arrangement to what you said in your original post. I would pay some bills, other bills she would pay. Of course you know exactly how this turned out. My bills were always past due, and this would drive her absolutely mad.

This of course was before I discovered ADD, so I had no excuse, and you can only say "I forgot" so many times before its a useless statement. My marriage was strained to the breaking point. She and I were fighting every time we were in the same room, usually over stupid things because she was already mad about the big things. I say "she was mad" because honestly if she was ever to not talk to me for 20 minutes, come back and be nice and calm, i'd forget we were ever fighting.

Eventually it got to the point where I sat her down and asked her not to talk until I was finished. Up until that point, I didn't have any firm idea on what the heck her problem was, and it was time to find out. I told here that this was it. There was no tomorrow. If i wasn't satisfied that there could be a solution to her anger, then I was leaving her.

She finally told me that her big beef was the crazy state of our finances. She and I both have decent jobs, and we have separate accounts and make our own money. She was mad because she'd end up paying all the bills. (and rightly so i should say!)

Obviously my wife had a different reaction to the problem as you did. Instead of seeking advice / help, she just got mad and kept it all in until I couldn't handle it anymore.

I tried to explain to her that I didn't mean to not pay the bills, and that if she'd just remind me again and again, every month, for each bill then i'd probably forget less....

Well.... that sounds a lot like what we call a "nag" around here... and I'm sure thats how I'd eventually take it (even though its exactly what I need) and honestly, its pretty unrealistic to expect her to keep track of what I did pay, didn't pay, and what needs to be paid... so while that is one solution, its a pretty crappy one.

I DID come up with a working solution though, and I want to share it with you, because its been working flawlessly for the last 3 years, and my wife has never been a happier person, even today, and our bills are paid on time, every month.

The solution is a concept I called "Joe"

You see, I hate paying bills, and so does she. I dont like that I have to pay some bills, and she pays the others, there are always those incedental bills that dont fit in either box that we had to fight over to see who had to pay it. lots of grief.

The solution? get someone else to pay the bills for you!

haha, right...

Actually, in my house "Joe" pays our bills. My wife and I give joe a fixed amount every month. My wife only has to nag me ONCE to get the money for joe. The amount of money we each pay Joe is fixed at a higher number than is actually needed, so that when the incidental, or yearly bills come around, there is always enough money in "Joe's pocket"

This has completely removed the stress of paying bills in our house. Obviously "someone" has to pay the bills, and that someone is obviously my wife, since i can't be trusted to remember, but the fact that she feels she's paying the bills with "Joe's" money makes it pretty darn easy.

Its a great relief to only have one bill to pay. Its easy, you never have to watch your money slowly dwindle away as you pay your bills over the month, you never have surprise bills you can't afford becuase you just blew all your money at the movies the night before...

Joe pays our bills. Simple, unforgettable. No more stress for my wife.

I still forget to pay Joe on time. but my wife doesn't cut off the utilities, or charge us exorbitant amounts of interest when I'm late. All she has to do is remind me for that one thing, so its a lot less stress for her.

My wife and I have completely seperate bank accounts and we've been married 8 years. the last 3 years with "joe" have been the happiest and most stress free years of our marrage. "Finances" is the leading cause of stress and unhappiness in any relationship, so finding a solution to it should be on the top of everyones list of things to do.

If you have any questions about the system we set up, please ask, i'll be happy to go into it in more detail :)

ginniebean
01-27-14, 08:13 PM
No, he was so busy being avoidant he wasn't hearing anything you had to say. He quite clearly said he wouldn't be doing anymore listening to you

dvdnvwls
01-27-14, 10:10 PM
Is there a way I could of said it differently to have made more sense?
Yes and no.

It's not about if what you're saying makes sense, it's about can he process it through his combination of ADHD and fear. davesf's ADHD transcript of your conversation is absolutely brilliant - everything that davesf has blanked out is something that he is likely unable to process. davesf's comment about sticking to only questions about already-known facts is one very important way to go. If you have a question asking him to predict or to talk about plans, just don't bother asking it, there's no point right now. Only ask him questions where it's obvious that he already knows the answer and you don't yet.


But I'm not sure this is a problem you should be spending time solving. Deck chairs on the Titanic, etc.

RedHairedWitch
01-27-14, 10:43 PM
If you have a question asking him to predict or to talk about plans, just don't bother asking it, there's no point right now. Only ask him questions where it's obvious that he already knows the answer and you don't yet.



Unfortunately, this doesn't get bills paid. They have hydro calling. They are close to having power shut off in the middle of CANADIAN WINTER. People freeze to death inside their homes here guys. They have children in that house. They are struggling to buy food.

Dude must plan and talk about plans and get $$$ to her or GTFO. It's do or die time.



But I'm not sure this is a problem you should be spending time solving. Deck chairs on the Titanic, etc.

Yup, exactly.

Mittens
01-28-14, 02:48 AM
Man....

Well he didn't speak to me the rest of the day.
Finally tonight after half a dozen texts and ignoring one of my calls, he texts me back that the power bill is up to date.
Huh?
I asked him what he meant because he told me he had paid it 2 weeks ago...
He said yes, he did.
(.....? I'm still not sure why he said that?)
He then said he was just about to pay epcor. (it was 2 months behind)
I asked him about the credit card, and he hesitated and said the minimum payment, and asked how much I needed.
I told him I can't really say that because I have no idea what his financial are, and if it's less than I need i'll have to figure something out and pick up a few side jobs or try to get a quick waitressing gig.
He didn't respond.
I told him that ignoring me isn't going to make things go away.
His response was:
"I have nothing to say to you."
.......
I asked him what I did for him to feel the need to punish me.
I asked him why he was blaming me for his own feelings of guilt.
And my last text was "you're killing me. We're supposed to be on the same team".

Ugh.
Ugh ugh ugh.

I don't know if it's because I was so blunt earlier, or rude...

I don't know...

Mittens
01-28-14, 02:51 AM
Yes and no.

It's not about if what you're saying makes sense, it's about can he process it through his combination of ADHD and fear. davesf's ADHD transcript of your conversation is absolutely brilliant - everything that davesf has blanked out is something that he is likely unable to process. davesf's comment about sticking to only questions about already-known facts is one very important way to go. If you have a question asking him to predict or to talk about plans, just don't bother asking it, there's no point right now. Only ask him questions where it's obvious that he already knows the answer and you don't yet.


But I'm not sure this is a problem you should be spending time solving. Deck chairs on the Titanic, etc.

How do I ask questions I don't know the answer too?
Is there a way to phrase something that doesn't get lost in translation?

Thank you again.

someothertime
01-28-14, 03:57 AM
"how/what........you feel........xyz"

i.e. "describe why you feel it is not a priority for us to address our finances"

won't change much tho... :(... davesf asked some important questions mittens..... you continue to see this on the macro level... i'm very curious what else this guy brings to the table... has to be something..... it's your right to proceed as you wish... there is no absolute right or wrong... if i click my fingers and this finances thing goes away... are you saying this guy is fine after that?

i might have missed it... i think you wrote somewhere how long this relationship has existed? ... past relationships.... drawn to people who manipulate you?

DeBurgh
01-28-14, 09:00 AM
Mittens, this guys actions go way beyond ADD. My fear is that you have hooked up with a narcissist. He is sucking you dry financially, mentally & emotionally. Google 'narcissist' or 'financial abuse'. This is a bad situation now, don't let it get any worse. I really feel for you.

Mittens
01-28-14, 09:39 AM
"how/what........you feel........xyz"

i.e. "describe why you feel it is not a priority for us to address our finances"

won't change much tho... :(... davesf asked some important questions mittens..... you continue to see this on the macro level... i'm very curious what else this guy brings to the table... has to be something..... it's your right to proceed as you wish... there is no absolute right or wrong... if i click my fingers and this finances thing goes away... are you saying this guy is fine after that?

i might have missed it... i think you wrote somewhere how long this relationship has existed? ... past relationships.... drawn to people who manipulate you?

You're right - I didn't. I will answer them this afternoon.

We've been together just over a year and a half. Got together May before last, his oldest son and him moved in with me last October.

I honestly don't believe he deliberately manipulates me in a malicious sense
I could be wrong - I am involved emotionally and directly, but I do believe he has a very good heart. He can be a remarkably sweet, thoughtful, funny, and attractive man.

I think when we started living together I made some detrimental mistakes that set a horrible precedence. Not saying some things he's doing are right - they 100% aren't, but I also know I had a part to play as well.
Neither of us were aware of the ADD at that point, and knowing now about it I definitely went about things the all together wrong way.

If our financial problems went away tomorrow, I can honestly say that what would be left over would be manageable. Not perfect by any means,but I think then it would be on the scale of a 'regular' relationship with normal-ish range of relationship stuff.

someothertime
01-28-14, 10:07 AM
Thanks Mittens :) I thought I was a narcissist... sure probs got traits... but my psychologist seems to think this is all rooted in anxiety > avoidance... this guy is running, hey... to a large extent it's working for him ( from what I can gather )...

For your two though, in a synergistic living kinda way... it's creating massive friction / imblance... The fact your at your mom's ( sorry, earlier when I said it was good you were there it slipped my mind who's place it was :o - the distance is right but as mentioned above it's not telling him much if he's king of the castle ), like the others have said... means your either a real soft trusting person who's learn't / been able in the past to resolve things by negotiation, or you have some work to do yourself in boundaries... blah blah blah so soz... borken record playing now...

Point is....

It seems Mittens that there are a few positives here... This guy is capable of seeking out / initiating external activities. You are generally happy in the relationship otherwise... You have not mentioned too much about also taking on the "load" of a youngen... ( you don't have to either unless of course it's something your brushing over and catering to his needs totally on aswell )...

He still needs to leave the house... it's THE only way to create the necissary relevance.

I'm going to share something very personal with you... I have not seen my children in ... gee... 5 months... actually... I did see my daughter for 5 minutes a few weeks ago...

They are so infinitely precious to me... I could go on but I think you know what I mean...

Here is the kicker... I rarely think of them... no emotion... 99% of the time... denial....... avoidance..... what it equates to is ZERO progress. Full stop. I'm not sure if I feel ashamed... embaressed... deficient... What i'm getting at is I just spent almost 3 months without a single thought for my kids... ( barring one or two days of extreme emotion )... after your chats he leaves -> onwards and upwards... not another thought. ( i'm pretty shure anyway - hang on you mentioned the books... maybe there is deep efforts in that.... or it's a front )

Anyway this is not about me... there is more complexity to my situation... I'm simply using that as an example of in my/his/our minds.... How emotionally disconnected things can become... Again, not justifying or asking you to cater or yeild to him in terms of the advised resolutions... Maybe defo like you've asked in the way you communicate things can be adapted a little... Does he have family or friends you also interact with... if he fully pulls back... they may assist in helping him to see reality... oh! that time line by the way is fairly indicative of focus droppage... is that a factor here? Did that subconcoisly trigger all this finance action finally? ( there are a few good threads on this maybe Red or some other kind soul can point you to them if your interested )

Anyways... it seems i'm spammopaginating your thread so that's it from me... Feel free to PM me if you like... just work with action... work with boundaries... and work to create what is best for you...

:grouphug:

Mittens
01-28-14, 12:37 PM
Mittens, before I answer your questions, I have some of my own...

Is this doing harm or good to you?

What outcome do you want out of this for yourself?

If you don't feel the emotional importance of these questions, then please answer them for me. I want to know.

You mother is right to question what is going on. She wants to know why you would leave your own apartment, which he's having trouble financially covering his share of, to give your boyfriend space because he's having trouble. Why are you?

Is this an "easy" and small gesture of caring for you? -- To vacate your apartment for a couple days, while the boyfriend who you are having financial and emotional trouble with enjoys it? ...or... Is it conflict avoidance? Do you think you don't deserve your apartment? Do you think it's more important to try to fix your bf than to take care of yourself?

As for your question ... I can't speak for other people or other ADHDs, only myself. If I was in your bf's situation, reduction in chaos and pressure is always selfishly better for me. It's hard to say if that is better with you there or gone (other than the fighting about bills). Either way, it wouldn't "fix" or "help" anything. It would not make me productive or make it easier to pay bills.

Alright. To answer these:
Is this doing harm or good to you?
Currently the situation is doing me a LOT of harm. The thing with him is that when things are good, they are AWESOME. When things are bad - they are horrid.

What outcome do you want out of this for yourself?
The outcome for myself would be find a place that I feel safe, confident, secure and happy.
Ideally.
Realistically, to get to a place where I am not supporting 2 households on 1 income needlessly, and not stressing / working too much / desperately trying to run as fast as I can constantly trying to keep up and seeing everything I have spent so long working towards slip through my fingers.

I would absolutely love if my boyfriend could be my life-partner. Partner. Equal. When we first got together I was so unbelievably happy. Before we moved in together it was fantastic.

When we first moved in together, he moved to a rural area from downtown city area. I (wrongly) assumed that moving was expensive for him, especially with a teen along as well, so despite the fact previous to moving in together it was agreed he was going to pay half of everything, I didn't force it for the first month or 2 because I figured he may just be getting back on his feet. The months after that I would ask him to pay ___ or if he could help with ____ expense, and he would be 150% agreeable.
Except the bill would come and go and not get paid.
A couple months later I finally sat down with him and laid it out that I NEEDED his help. (this was the first of many of the same conversation) Covering everything, doing all the cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping, bills, and a very demanding job *all* on me isn't fair and is rubbish.
He very enthusiastically agreed and said no problem.

To his credit, cleaning wise he has made a lot of progress and put a lot of effort into. It still needs a lot of effort and work, but it has definitely made progress.

Other than cleaning/what I would call every day ADD stuff (cooking, his son's school stuff, etc etc) and finances - we don't really argue, he makes me smile, he makes me laugh, and we make a good team. If it was *just* the everyday 'normalish' stuff, I believe we would be fine and back onto 'normal' relationship ground.
I am smart enough to know that this is *not* normal.... i just don't know how to fix it.

to give your boyfriend space because he's having trouble. Why are you?
He has told me time and time again that he asking repeatedly about bills and whatnot stresses him out and is a hinderance rather than help.
Also, it was me that left to stay at my Mom's because his oldest (15) also lives at my place, so logistically it's a lot easier for me to take off for a few days than him.
His son is a really great kid. I absolutely love him and we've spent a lot of time together. It's funny how his son has learned over the years to 'work around' his dad. He is totally aware how scatter brained his dad is and has just learned ways to go about things in non-traditional type solutions.
Since living with me his son has actually had routine for the time time and consistency, and he comes to me for any 'logistical' stuff or things that he needs because he knows he'll have better luck with me rather than his dad - not because his dad won't want too, or is lazy, it's just in one ear and out the other, to resurface randomly in his memory 6 months after the fact. It's tough when both Christmas's, Easter's, etc etc we've been together have 100% been financially on me (including all the gifts for both his sons), as well as 'putting' on the holiday. Cooking, presents, entertaining, family, etc etc.

it conflict avoidance?
Most definitely not. Conflict has never been something that bothers me.To me conflict = growth and moving forward. Usually if there is a conflict that also means a resolution and something solved.
Do you think you don't deserve your apartment?
I am incredibly proud of my house - it's nothing special, but I am divorced, started over with nothing, and bought it entirely on my own. In Canada with real estate the way it is that's a pretty difficult feat.
Do you think it's more important to try to fix your bf than to take care of yourself?
I can't answer this one....


I'm still not sure what to think of last night when the last thing he said was how he had nothing to say to me....
I have no idea where it came from.
The only logical thing I can think of is he was feeling guilty and ashamed, which came out as anger towards me.

It makes my heart hurt.

It definitely feels like there is no right answer I could give that he would be okay with.
Sigh.

I guess we'll see what today brings, and fingers crossed it will be positive, good things.

Thank you again

Mittens
01-28-14, 01:19 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't get bills paid. They have hydro calling. They are close to having power shut off in the middle of CANADIAN WINTER. People freeze to death inside their homes here guys. They have children in that house. They are struggling to buy food.

Dude must plan and talk about plans and get $$$ to her or GTFO. It's do or die time.




Yup, exactly.

It kind of breaks my heart to read this.
I would give ANYTHING for my boyfriend to think this way.
Just got him to see things in this light.

It's like a little part of me wants to scream - How can all of these people that ALSO have ADD see and know and experience these things and he don't even care enough to try.
:(

Logically - I know that is wrong.
Well, I do fully believe that is wrong.

I swear he is trying. It breaks my heart sometime to look in his eyes and see so much hurt and shame.

ginniebean
01-28-14, 01:34 PM
Here's what I see, he's willing to pay 'some' bills now to get you to shut up, but your potentially setting yourself up for this to be a repetitive cycle. He needs to pay his HALF or 2/3's of the bills and his only paying his and his son's partial way and only when you put thumb screws on does not the ongoing problem of him being secretive about money. If he can't give you x amount of dollars at the beginning of each month to cover his share, open up about his financial situation, you've been given a short respite from the same problem which will continue.

The bills aren't the problem.

dvdnvwls
01-28-14, 01:51 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't get bills paid. They have hydro calling. They are close to having power shut off in the middle of CANADIAN WINTER. People freeze to death inside their homes here guys. They have children in that house. They are struggling to buy food.

Dude must plan and talk about plans and get $$$ to her or GTFO. It's do or die time.


1. It's possible to accomplish a surprising amount by asking facts-only questions and avoiding other types of questions, when you go in knowing that's your plan.

2. IMO, you're still right about the whole thing.

RedHairedWitch
01-28-14, 06:54 PM
I'm willing to be that when you get home, the house is going to be a mess,

Mittens
01-28-14, 07:04 PM
Well.
That was lovely.
A whole big convoluted conversation later, this is the general jist / Cole's note's version:

Him: "I love you babe. I'm not angry. I feel bad that my business hasnt produced the win that I've promised but I'm trying"
Me - For not being mad, you have been a really big jerk the past few days to me. Did you figure out the payments?
Him - I'm leaving tomorrow for 3 days for work out of town.
Me - Sweet. When were you planning on telling me?
Him - I don't need you taking care of my son. He's a survivor. Don't come here.
Me - Your son is 15 and has no phone. He does *NOT* deserve to suffer needlessly and be left alone. That is NOT fair. I will be there tomorrow. Please take the shepherd's pie out of the freezer and put in fridge so I can make it for dinner for him / don't have to cook when I first get back.
Him - I'm inferior / 'a renter that doesn't pay rent' so I have no say in anything, and have no choice but to obey you. Whatever you say, boss. I have no opinion.
Me - have you fixed your problem with paying the credit card?
Him - You either accept me for how I am, faults and all, or don't. It's your decision.
Him - This conversation is over.
Me - Have you fixed your problem with the credit card payment?
Him - I'm scum, yes boss, as you command. I guess we will talk again when finances are better. Then decide if im acceptable. Until then back off.
Me - You need to tell me when you can make payment.
Him - My son and I are second class, apparently we aren't family. He doesn't deserve you in this mood. Step off. Now.
Me - Hash whatever you'd like out afterwards, but there are 3 priorities right now. Your son, my health, and finances. That is it. This has nothing to do with emotions, just fact, and after those things are dealt with you can do or say whatever you like, however those 3 things are more important than you, me, us, and anything inbetween. It does not get more complicated than that. Please take the shephard's pie out of the freezer for your son to have tomorrow.
Him - I don't have to take this *****. You are saying I'm a bad father?!?! F__k you!
Me - There are 3 factual priorities to focus on right now. Your son, my health, and finances. After those are good and under control you can do or say whatever you like. Did you take the shepherd's pie out of the freezer for your son tomorrow?
Him - You will message a confirmation message.
(I can only assume he meant he will let me know when he does?)
........................

I don't even know.

The one advantage to kind of being a bit detached is being able to objectionally see his cycles of how he deals with things, and it helps to not let it get me going.
When he starts saying things about me not caring about his son, etc etc, it's so far fetched it's ridiculous, and not even feasible enough to get me upset. He knows I love his son and he is my number 1 priority.

I really don't even want to know what I am going to walk into tomorrow after work... :S

RedHairedWitch
01-28-14, 07:09 PM
So he is banning you from your home, that you own? Telling you to stay out of it???
OMG I am so mad on your behalf right now! And leaving the kid alone for 3 days??
That is completely unacceptable!!

Also good for you for standing up and not letting him try to manipulate you emotionally.

*a thousand hugs*

Mittens
01-28-14, 07:13 PM
So he is banning you from your home, that you own? Telling you to stay out of it???
OMG I am so mad on your behalf right now!
That is completely unacceptable!!

Also good for you for standing up and not letting him try to manipulate you emotionally.

*a thousand hugs*

To be fair, I really think he meant it more in a 'don't feel you *have* to come home' if I wanted to stay at my Mom's - however i would NEVER not be there for his son. I love the kid and could he technically survive for 3 days by himself? I'm sure he could sustain being alive, he's 15, but should he *have* too? Absolutely not. You are completely correct that there is nothing about that scenerio that is remotely appropriate. Not to mention if something one in a million happened, or etc etc etc. Just not a situation I am comfortable with. I can almost guarantee he hasn't had a home cooked meal since I left (last Thursday now I guess), so at the very least he needs something of nutritional value.

I don't think he would ever be silly / stupid enough to do something as ridiculous as try to tell me I couldn't actually come to my own house.
He can be a jerk, and a wanker, and not think before he speaks, and frustrating as hell - but he's not an idiot.

davesf
01-29-14, 02:49 AM
What outcome do you want out of this for yourself?
The outcome for myself would be find a place that I feel safe, confident, secure and happy.

Do you think there is a chance you will get this with your current bf?

1) I'm with DeBurgh, this guy's behavior goes way beyond ADD. His actions are closer to those of a narcissist. Ohh, and BTW, narcissists are really fun to be around when you make them feel good about themselves. When you don't, there is no longer a purpose for you. If you want help with this guy, you might need to read this great book "Loving the Self-Absorbed (http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Self-Absorbed-Satisfying-Relationship-Narcissistic/dp/1572243546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390976540&sr=8-1&keywords=loving+the+self+absorbed)".

2) I think you need to stop worrying about his problems, and think about your own. You write all these facts about how you let this guy walk all over you, not pay his fair share, not handle his own life, displace you from your own home, barely father his child, demand you stay away from your own home, talk rudely to you.... yet you are here to understand how to help him with HIS problems? It's time to start asking questions about your own behavior and how to fix it. Please accept that whatever problem he has, you can't fix it. The only person who can fix it is him. Have you asked him to?

3) I think you are kidding yourself if you think a relationship with this much disrespect has a worthwhile future.

We obviously only know what you tell us, so perhaps we're not seeing the whole story. Perhaps you are a horrible, emotionally abusive partner who is happy to have someone who hasn't run away from you. I don't suspect so, but we have no idea. However, if the story you paint is true, IMO there are only a few possible outcomes here:

A) Your BF seeks medical help. With medication and help he can see the problem patterns. You agree to stay with him as long as he's under professional care until you are both happy and positive with each other. You might also need to do the same yourself or as a couple. 15% chance you make it.

B) You get him out of your life, either before or after you recover from your co-dependency / enmeshment problems. You later see how imbalanced and destructive this whole thing was.

C) You keep playing this fighting game until it turns into A or B, or he finds a new and more fun escape for his issues and disappears.

I apologize for what may seem very harsh. However, all this talk of ADD is distracting from the reality of the situation.

If he has untreated ADHD, living with someone may make it worse. My ADHD behaviors and stressors only became debilitating after getting married and having kids. Time *alone* abated them a little. The things that truly helped them were therapy, tranquilizers to sleep, and much more effectively... stimulants. There is a very good possibility that without medication, I would have ended up divorced and semi-crazy ... like my late-father (who probably had ADHD).

ginniebean
01-29-14, 03:28 AM
Mittens, you stood your ground, you go girl. The problem is he's willing to do anything and everything, distract you, accusations, anything but admit what is going on. He's running hard and there's nothing that I can see that you can say or do to make him realise he's really hurting you and it's clear he does know he's not paying his share.

I'm so sorry for the hard decisions ahead of you.

VeryTired
01-29-14, 09:46 AM
Mittens--

Here's a suggestion. This thread is full of great advice from thoughtful people. (Look at davesf's thoughts from today, and all that ginniebean has said, for instance!) Why don't you go back to the beginning and read it all through again. Look at the patterns, look at the points being made to you that you haven't picked up on yet. I think if you do this, you may be able to see why everyone is saying you need to worry about you, not him--you need to take care of your own problems. Everyone wishes you well, but there's a consensus here that you need to take some action to protect yourself.

Mittens
01-29-14, 12:18 PM
Mittens--

Here's a suggestion. This thread is full of great advice from thoughtful people. (Look at davesf's thoughts from today, and all that ginniebean has said, for instance!) Why don't you go back to the beginning and read it all through again. Look at the patterns, look at the points being made to you that you haven't picked up on yet. I think if you do this, you may be able to see why everyone is saying you need to worry about you, not him--you need to take care of your own problems. Everyone wishes you well, but there's a consensus here that you need to take some action to protect yourself.

Very Tired;
*HUGE hug!*
Thank you.
I read the entire thread, start to now, and thank you very much for recommending it. It's far easier to see the outside after the fact and not right in the heat of the moment..

This morning went like this:

Him: I am sorry that I lashed out at you. I'm not myself. I love you very much... and I miss you a lot
Good night. Sleep well.
M: I can't be the only one in this that is being an adult. Things really need to change, and right now like I said before, nothing else matters but those 3 objectives. Please let me know when you have the credit card payment sorted out.

He didn't respond......
I'm smart enough to see the cycle.
Problem brought up -> Lash out, hurt, externalize / deflect -> comfort / reassure / distraction -> apologize -> rinse, repeat and start over.

I need to focus on what *I* can change to stop the cycle.

I do think that making a very dramatic effort to keep things very factual and on topic makes a difference. Or should I say, it hasn't really made a difference in terms of being successful yet, but it definitely does fizzle things out / stops them from escalating, which is worth it's weight in gold and nothing to sneeze at.

I'm probably going to do some thinking and come back and read it again / with a bit of a clearer head.

Thank you again.

dvdnvwls
01-29-14, 05:02 PM
...
The one advantage to kind of being a bit detached is...
For me, I think the fact that I'm not him, and not there, is the only thing that allows me to think even a little bit clearly about this situation.

I flatter myself to think that I would never do some of what he's doing, but if I was there in the middle of it, I just might. I've been, let's say, a miniature version of what you're describing - but I don't know what might or might not have pushed me further down the path. We never had kids, for starters.

dvdnvwls
01-29-14, 05:08 PM
I'm smart enough to see the cycle.
Problem brought up -> Lash out, hurt, externalize / deflect -> comfort / reassure / distraction -> apologize -> rinse, repeat and start over.

I need to focus on what *I* can change to stop the cycle.

I do think that making a very dramatic effort to keep things very factual and on topic makes a difference. Or should I say, it hasn't really made a difference in terms of being successful yet, but it definitely does fizzle things out / stops them from escalating, which is worth it's weight in gold and nothing to sneeze at.

I'm probably going to do some thinking and come back and read it again / with a bit of a clearer head.

Thank you again.
:grouphug: Mittens - I'm apparently a feelings kind of guy. But you have some feelings-appropriate responses already. Here's the other side.

At some point, "the cycle" takes over the relationship, so that a constant endless cycle is really all you have left together. And at that point, "breaking the cycle" means "permanent separation".

Sorry. I think you saw it coming though. :grouphug: :grouphug:

davesf
01-29-14, 07:37 PM
Mittens -

I just found and read your original post (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1480414#post1480414), trying to answer a very simple question...

Is your boyfriend medicated?

You said he he saw a doctor and was diagnosed, but you describe things like "lists" and "working on it". I didn't find anything about medication.

I consider myself an accidental professional at coping with ADHD-PI, as I made a very successful life while fighting it un-diagnosed until age 39. In that time, I was much more successful automating, delegating, and ignoring tasks than ever getting over my problems doing them. I have rules and systems for managing not only my behaviors, but my thoughts -- and I was still never able to get a handle on my emotions, my sleep, or my focus. The best I could do was ignore or repress my emotions, tire myself out, and adrenaline-seek to find focus. Take away those things, and I would either be a lump, fall apart, or both.

...Yet in just *hours*, stimulants controlled my emotions, my sleep, and my focus. It's like the lifelong war going on in my head just suddenly -- ended. I like people, i'm friendly, i'm funny, I enjoy playing with my kids. I'm effortlessly the version of myself I struggled to pretend to be on my best days. I notice stuff while I'm doing something else. I'm calm, relaxed, and *happy*. I remember my wife's birthday. I don't know how long they will work for me, but I'm glad for whatever time I get.

If he has not, I implore you and him to at least try some stimulant medication. Even if they only help him for a while, it's much easier to understand and get on-top of this with a clear head.

..ohh and please, just give up on this pattern of constantly nagging him to do things. He has ADHD. The more you nag him, the worse it gets. Just stop asking. Assume he'll never do it and act accordingly.

If you want to stay with him, IMO the best thing you can do is help him get medicated, elmiinate mental clutter (things to do and remember), get regular exercise, get SLEEP, and avoid over-stimulation. Offer to manage his finances for him. Get him out of the critical path on paying bills. Hire a housekeeper. Make his life easier. Help him spend his energy working on things he's good at, instead of making his head bloody banging against a brick wall.

Heck, seducing him into the bed at 9pm and having sex until he is so tired he actually gets a good night sleep would have more chance of getting the bills paid than all the words you've thrown at him. I say this in jest, but it's not far from the truth.

RedHairedWitch
01-29-14, 09:30 PM
..ohh and please, just give up on this pattern of constantly nagging him to do things. He has ADHD. The more you nag him, the worse it gets. Just stop asking. Assume he'll never do it and act accordingly.


Dude, did you completely miss the fact that all the bills and cards are in her name and he hasn't been paying them for months? That they have been this * * close to having power shut off in winter? That he is ruining her credit?

There's don't nag about the laundry and then there's pay the damned bills.

And sorry but this guy does not deserve sex OMG

willow129
01-29-14, 09:36 PM
GO YOU MITTENS!! I think it was excellent, that conversation, you stuck with the facts.

This guy really reminds me of my mom, oh my god, the unbelievable ability to be SO avoidant....and then nothing's wrong when it's staring you in the face just cuz you don't want to see it.
And then BLOWING UP emotionally and illogically when it's finally brought up...and then starting from the beginning again.

I do think this is fixable but...I don't know that you can fix it. It's a really horrible cycle.

Mittens
01-30-14, 11:00 PM
Hmmm.
I guess time will tell how things shake down.
He read this thread, and he did get upset, but I hope despite that he takes some good insight out of it.

BF comes back tomorrow - I'll be heading into my Mom's anyhow to take her for groceries and whatnot.

Hopefully it'll be a quiet weekend.

willow129
01-30-14, 11:38 PM
O.O howdid he find this thread? Yipe. Although, maybe he'll learn something from it...

davesf
01-31-14, 02:30 AM
Dude, did you completely miss the fact that all the bills and cards are in her name and he hasn't been paying them for months? That they have been this * * close to having power shut off in winter? That he is ruining her credit?

This is exactly why it's important to assume he will never pay them and act accordingly. What is the alternative? Nag him until she nags him again? Until her credit is ruined? Stop thinking that nagging will do anything.

And sorry but this guy does not deserve sex OMG

This statement both (a) missed my point, that nagging does nothing, and (b) represents some kind of sex-as-control perspective I can't subscribe to.

IMO, there is no "deserving" sex. If you don't think your partner "deserves" sex, then they should not be your partner. I can support avoiding 'make up sex' at the tail end of a fight, just to make sure there is never a fight-sex cycle. Anything more feels like withholding sex for control -- not a good pattern in my book. -- However, this is way way off topic.

Mittens
01-31-14, 03:33 PM
I just realized there were some things I didn't answer. Sorry about that, I'll try to cover it below.

Yes, he is medicated - he is on Ritalin and taking it twice a day.
He says it helps him give things that moment of 'pause' and thinking instead of just instantaneously reacting or doing, and I definitely notice that it really helps with the emotional regulation. When he forgets to take it he gets downright irrational and it's a very, very ugly situation. He went off of his medication right after my Mom had major back surgery and that was almost a deal breaker situation. Thankfully he realized that and started it again.

He does know I am on the forum, and before I have suggested the forum to him as it could be a very valuable resource for him. I gave him the address of the thread for him to read if he choose too, to see my feelings and the input of others. I told him if he did, to know that he would probably get upset, but to try to focus on the messages and things he could take from it / other's opinions that weren't 'inside' the situation.

He was upset as first when he read it, and it was probably a good thing I was sleeping when he texted me about it. He asked me not to share anything he had said on here, so I won't go into specifics other than he was upset. After I think it had time to sink in though he did respond that indeed, he DOES want to be able to fulfill all of those things (financial equality, responsibility, etc etc).

It's tough....

I'm not entirely sure what to say.

We haven't had much of talking other than day to day logistics and things.

davesf
02-01-14, 02:23 AM
It sounds like this entire situation is something he should talk to his doctor about. Maybe he has the wrong dose. Maybe he has honesty issues. Maybe there are inadequacy issues cropping up. Maybe he's putting too much pressure on himself.

In the end, you can't fix any of these things, or him. Your job is to be your own independent person, draw boundaries, and enforce them. If you draw proper boundaries, and he wants you and wants to fix himself, he will find a way and work with you. If not, then he won't and you'll need to enforce your boundaries to protect yourself from unfairly becoming a living breathing coping mechanism for him.

Mittens
02-03-14, 01:18 PM
I will say as a disclaimer right now - this is partly me typing this out, because if I don't I will express it in far less constructive ways, and I *really* need to get this off my chest.

I am almost shaking I am so angry, offended, appalled, and just plain livid right now.

I stayed at my Mom's over the weekend. Last night I left him a message saying I loved him, missed him, and hoped he had a good Monday morning.

This morning we start talking, and I say that I don't know what the right answer is, but I know that I am not going to give up without a fight and exhausting all options. Can we look into a few sessions of couple counseling?

He says that makes him feel defeated and he should just give up because he feels abandoned.

I tell him that I am NOT responsible for his emotions. I will *not* be pulled into that cycle.

He then starts on about how he needs physical intimacy in order to feel loved and to maintain faith in our relationship while we are working on things.

I told him that I need to lessen the immediate stress in my life, and that means removing myself from the immediate situation and having space. I understand that he needs physical intimacy, and I need space for my own mental well being, but I can come home tonight to discuss what kind of compromise we can work out in the mean time to make sure that we both have eachother's immediate needs addressed while we are working things through, and if that means coming up some kind of schedule or "rules" that at minimum we see eachother every x amount of days or what have you, we can talk and figure something out.

His response?

That I am "with holding sex" from him, and why am I doing it? Control? Cruelty? Punnishment?
............... :O
Really? I honestly think that my jaw physically hit the floor.

I told him I strongly suggest he reconsiders what he is saying, that he did the same thing after my Mom had surgery, and I will NOT be emotionally manipulated like that again.. I said that he needs to see that ME NEEDING SPACE IS NOT "WITHHOLDING INTIMACY" FROM HIM and him insinuating it is, is completely disregarding my own psychological needs / rights to remove myself from the situation to try to give me a bit of a break right now, and he is being ATROCIOUSLY selfish.

He then says: "What? And with holding intimacy isn't cruel to me?"

..............
WHAT?!?

I told him I will NOT listen to him try to blame me or make me feel bad or guilty because I am trying to do something that will LESSEN MY STRESS, and to take a step back and seriously look at the situation. My feelings are JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HIS.

I asked him if he was going to go down the road of self pity and despair, and give up, or actually try with me?

He says "good question"

I told him to stop trying to emotionally manipulate me. Right now.

He said "I'm not trying anything. I give up"

So, I said "If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

He says: "I meant I wasn't trying to manipulate you".

So I repeated: "If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

and he reponded that he had chicken thawing so please leave dinner to him.

REALLY!

I think if he hadn't been such a BLARINGLY IGNORANT jerk-off, the comment about dinner might not have been so incredibly offensive in the sense that he just *assumes* the one evening that I have had been home in over a week - that I would just make dinner.
You have GOT to be kidding me.

I responded with "Unless I tell you that I am cooking - assume that I'm not".

As IF him having his biggest concern about physical intimacy above MY own mental health wasn't appalling, insulting, offensive and just plain WRONG enough, his "graciousness" of cooking dinner FOR HIS OWN SON AND SELF like he was expecting me to fall down at his feet in sheer appreciation that HOLY CRAP - HE DID SOMETHING!.

I apologise. I realize not really any of this is constructive or positive.

I really don't lose my temper often, and normally can keep my emotions under control. Apparently today, with this conversation, that is clearly not the case.

He responds
"Great talk... Thank you... Is this how tonight's talk will trend?"

So I repeated:
"If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

I can't remember the last time I've felt so completely objectified, offended, downright disrespected, etc etc etc.......

Granted, I definitely didn't handle it ideally - and I do take responsibility for that. At the end I did try to get a grip and bring things back down to a factual level.

I really need to go for a quick walk and just calm down.

I'm sorry for all the anger behind this, and if it doesn't really make sense.

After that little pleasant exchange I don't even want to go there tonight.... or that he sabotaged it specifically.

That is entirely just my emotions talking - I can't fairly make that assumption when realistically I truly have no idea, and more than likely it was just him letting his emotions take over and I got hit with collateral damage.

Phew.

I am honestly debating getting "breathe" tattoo'd on my wrist.

I am going to go for a walk through the snow to clear my head.

As always, thank you very much for just listening / reading.
Days like today makes me so appreciate for this forum.

-Mittens

Dopes1
02-03-14, 01:35 PM
I will say as a disclaimer right now - this is partly me typing this out, because if I don't I will express it in far less constructive ways, and I *really* need to get this off my chest.

I am almost shaking I am so angry, offended, appalled, and just plain livid right now.

I stayed at my Mom's over the weekend. Last night I left him a message saying I loved him, missed him, and hoped he had a good Monday morning.

This morning we start talking, and I say that I don't know what the right answer is, but I know that I am not going to give up without a fight and exhausting all options. Can we look into a few sessions of couple counseling?

He says that makes him feel defeated and he should just give up because he feels abandoned.

I tell him that I am NOT responsible for his emotions. I will *not* be pulled into that cycle.

He then starts on about how he needs physical intimacy in order to feel loved and to maintain faith in our relationship while we are working on things.

I told him that I need to lessen the immediate stress in my life, and that means removing myself from the immediate situation and having space. I understand that he needs physical intimacy, and I need space for my own mental well being, but I can come home tonight to discuss what kind of compromise we can work out in the mean time to make sure that we both have eachother's immediate needs addressed while we are working things through, and if that means coming up some kind of schedule or "rules" that at minimum we see eachother every x amount of days or what have you, we can talk and figure something out.

His response?

That I am "with holding sex" from him, and why am I doing it? Control? Cruelty? Punnishment?
............... :O
Really? I honestly think that my jaw physically hit the floor.

I told him I strongly suggest he reconsiders what he is saying, that he did the same thing after my Mom had surgery, and I will NOT be emotionally manipulated like that again.. I said that he needs to see that ME NEEDING SPACE IS NOT "WITHHOLDING INTIMACY" FROM HIM and him insinuating it is, is completely disregarding my own psychological needs / rights to remove myself from the situation to try to give me a bit of a break right now, and he is being ATROCIOUSLY selfish.

He then says: "What? And with holding intimacy isn't cruel to me?"

..............
WHAT?!?

I told him I will NOT listen to him try to blame me or make me feel bad or guilty because I am trying to do something that will LESSEN MY STRESS, and to take a step back and seriously look at the situation. My feelings are JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HIS.

I asked him if he was going to go down the road of self pity and despair, and give up, or actually try with me?

He says "good question"

I told him to stop trying to emotionally manipulate me. Right now.

He said "I'm not trying anything. I give up"

So, I said "If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

He says: "I meant I wasn't trying to manipulate you".

So I repeated: "If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

and he reponded that he had chicken thawing so please leave dinner to him.

REALLY!

I think if he hadn't been such a BLARINGLY IGNORANT jerk-off, the comment about dinner might not have been so incredibly offensive in the sense that he just *assumes* the one evening that I have had been home in over a week - that I would just make dinner.
You have GOT to be kidding me.

I responded with "Unless I tell you that I am cooking - assume that I'm not".

As IF him having his biggest concern about physical intimacy above MY own mental health wasn't appalling, insulting, offensive and just plain WRONG enough, his "graciousness" of cooking dinner FOR HIS OWN SON AND SELF like he was expecting me to fall down at his feet in sheer appreciation that HOLY CRAP - HE DID SOMETHING!.

I apologise. I realize not really any of this is constructive or positive.

I really don't lose my temper often, and normally can keep my emotions under control. Apparently today, with this conversation, that is clearly not the case.

He responds
"Great talk... Thank you... Is this how tonight's talk will trend?"

So I repeated:
"If you have something constructive to say or talk about, then by all means. If it isn't constructive, then don't say it".

I can't remember the last time I've felt so completely objectified, offended, downright disrespected, etc etc etc.......

Granted, I definitely didn't handle it ideally - and I do take responsibility for that. At the end I did try to get a grip and bring things back down to a factual level.

I really need to go for a quick walk and just calm down.

I'm sorry for all the anger behind this, and if it doesn't really make sense.

After that little pleasant exchange I don't even want to go there tonight.... or that he sabotaged it specifically.

That is entirely just my emotions talking - I can't fairly make that assumption when realistically I truly have no idea, and more than likely it was just him letting his emotions take over and I got hit with collateral damage.

Phew.

I am honestly debating getting "breathe" tattoo'd on my wrist.

I am going to go for a walk through the snow to clear my head.

As always, thank you very much for just listening / reading.
Days like today makes me so appreciate for this forum.

-Mittens

Wow. Quite a read. I sympathize greatly with your predicament.

I must say though, when you say, "I apologise. I realize not really any of this is constructive or positive."

It is. While I certainly have never behaved the way your partner has, I am only 21, so that could be what's in store... hopefully not... I HAVE used the same "tactics"... (mental manipulation - although you don't KNOW you're doing it. in your eyes everything you're saying is entirely valid.)

This to me is kind of a jarring glimpse at how impossible ADHD makes you to deal with in a relationship. Very... scary.

I think every person with ADHD should view the "Non-ADD Partner Support" threads. We need to be reminded how taxing we are. (not berated incessantly. reminded)

sarahsweets
02-03-14, 01:43 PM
RLVHJEIOUDHGWO!!!!!!! I cant even find enough**** to put in to cover all of the cuss word bases! F**K HIM! You dont owe him sh*t. You owe one person-YOU.

daveddd
02-03-14, 01:50 PM
Wow. Quite a read. I sympathize greatly with your predicament.

I must say though, when you say, "I apologise. I realize not really any of this is constructive or positive."

It is. While I certainly have never behaved the way your partner has, I am only 21, so that could be what's in store... hopefully not... I HAVE used the same "tactics"...

This to me is kind of a jarring glimpse at how impossible ADHD makes you to deal with in a relationship. Very... scary.

I think every person with ADHD should view the "Non-ADD Partner Support" threads. We need to be reminded how taxing we are. (not berated incessantly. reminded)

i check them a lot to gain insight


it also bothers me that adhd has become a catch all for all undesirable adult behavior

yes, i understand that adhd can lead to emotional problems

but emotional manipulative communication is not "adhd ", its a personality trait

pills dont fix it

a lot of work and effort need to go into it

Dopes1
02-03-14, 01:55 PM
While I admit, the picture painted of him doesn't seem the greatest. There is clearly a side to him that DOESN'T drive her to the point of exasperation. Otherwise, why is she in the relationship?

daveddd
02-03-14, 02:02 PM
im not saying he is bad

i just think by attempting to form our own models of adhd will lead to disappointment

these behaviors are very real and very recognized concepts in the world of psychology , and incredibly hard traits to treat

but they are treatable

i just think the women in these common relationships may be slightly fooling themselves by calling it ADHD

in the end that won't help a bit

ginniebean
02-03-14, 02:14 PM
We don't think he's bad either. We think if he wants intimacy try getting financially intimate first.

Last think he wants because he's got a big ego and finds it too humbling to show just how much he screws up and blows foolishly.

This is a very nice woman, I think she's an awesome catch for any man but specifically for someone with adhd. He's going to blow this relationship because he's too proud and being a horndog and playing emotionally manipulative distraction games rather than address the problem. HIS FINANCES.

Here's the thing, she could help him stay on track with them and she could likely forgive him, but he can't bend his pride enough to show his screwups. (which are likely ongoing)

That's intimacy.

daveddd
02-03-14, 02:18 PM
We don't think he's bad either. We think if he wants intimacy try getting financially intimate first.

Last think he wants because he's got a big ego and finds it too humbling to show just how much he screws up and blows foolishly.

This is a very nice woman, I think she's an awesome catch for any man but specifically for someone with adhd. He's going to blow this relationship because he's too proud and being a horndog and playing emotionally manipulative distraction games rather than address the problem. HIS FINANCES.

Here's the thing, she could help him stay on track with them and she could likely forgive him, but he can't bend his pride enough to show his screwups. (which are likely ongoing)

That's intimacy.

she seems like a great catch

im not judging him either way actually

emotional manipulation is generally not a game , its a stable trait (that can increase with distress) that can be addressed therapeutically

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 02:19 PM
Mittens... I'm sorry to say that I've been through nearly every detail of your conversation before. I've said nearly all of the things you've quoted him as saying, some of them pretty much word for word. I know from experience that both of you are in incomprehending confusion and excruciating pain. When my ex and I had this conversation, it polarized us so badly that we never recovered, and what remained of our relationship was nasty, brutal, and short. The polarization, the inability to find any common ground at all, was one of the main things that made it so bad.

When your "jaw hit the floor", yes, I was there, I said exactly that. It was the most painful and shameful discussion I ever had with my ex, it ripped me in half to say it, I was screaming with pain inside, lost confused abandoned and feeling dehumanized and degraded.

I read what Sarah (who I trust) says in her post, and I re-read your post (and I trust you), and then I read my post here, and I recognize that there's something that looks like a fundamental misunderstanding.

When I was there in that jaw-dropping scene (and following few lines) that you described, I felt like I was being murdered without a weapon. I don't know how we try to discuss that (or if we even want to), but I guarantee that it was for him the "centre of gravity" of the conversation.

ginniebean
02-03-14, 02:23 PM
she seems like a great catch

im not judging him either way actually

emotional manipulation is generally not a game , its a stable trait (that can increase with distress) that can be addressed therapeutically
Thank you for telling me this, I have wondered as I read this thread does this guy even notice he's doing this? maybe he doesn't know.

He's definitely under a great deal of stress, mostly to avoid sharing his financial information, but I think he must have some wonderful traits and genuinely be a good guy otherwise mittens wouldn't put up with his crap.

I withdraw my judgemental moralizing and apologise. I can be hard on parents of children and judgemental about it. My baggage.

Mittens
02-03-14, 02:24 PM
While I admit, the picture painted of him doesn't seem the greatest. There is clearly a side to him that DOESN'T drive her to the point of exasperation. Otherwise, why is she in the relationship?

There definitely is - he can be very thoughtful, sweet, charismatic, intelligent, handy around the house, and has a good heart.

There is no middle ground with him. It's like he's "all in" and the world's most incredible person, or he's "out" and completely vacant / can be such a total jerk.

That conversation went from the above, to him getting angry, blaming me and going on about how he doesn't have to take my s__t, etc etc, to being hurt / despair, and saying that he might as well end it now because there is no hope, he wishes he didn't love me so much because he wouldn't be so heart broken, etc etc, to self pity and just giving up without even trying, telling me it's hopeless and it's over and he's finished, to that he loves me so much and he needs to get his own life back for me and his son, etc etc.
I have no idea what to believe.
It's the exact same thing (almost verbatim) as when my Mom had surgery.

My heart hurts.

It almost feels like being in a relationship with Superman and Clark Kent - but Clark Kent has just as much capacity to be as venomous as Superman has the capacity to be so much more than amazing.

If that makes any sense?

Dopes1
02-03-14, 02:26 PM
We don't think he's bad either. We think if he wants intimacy try getting financially intimate first.

Last think he wants because he's got a big ego and finds it too humbling to show just how much he screws up and blows foolishly.

This is a very nice woman, I think she's an awesome catch for any man but specifically for someone with adhd. He's going to blow this relationship because he's too proud and being a horndog and playing emotionally manipulative distraction games rather than address the problem. HIS FINANCES.

Here's the thing, she could help him stay on track with them and she could likely forgive him, but he can't bend his pride enough to show his screwups. (which are likely ongoing)

That's intimacy.

You know what really hit me where it hurts? She's playing the role of mother to his son.

Mittens
02-03-14, 02:27 PM
Mittens... I'm sorry to say that I've been through nearly every detail of your conversation before. I've said nearly all of the things you've quoted him as saying, some of them pretty much word for word. I know from experience that both of you are in incomprehending confusion and excruciating pain. When my ex and I had this conversation, it polarized us so badly that we never recovered, and what remained of our relationship was nasty, brutal, and short. The polarization, the inability to find any common ground at all, was one of the main things that made it so bad.

When your "jaw hit the floor", yes, I was there, I said exactly that. It was the most painful and shameful discussion I ever had with my ex, it ripped me in half to say it, I was screaming with pain inside, lost confused abandoned and feeling dehumanized and degraded.

I read what Sarah (who I trust) says in her post, and I re-read your post (and I trust you), and then I read my post here, and I recognize that there's something that looks like a fundamental misunderstanding.

When I was there in that jaw-dropping scene (and following few lines) that you described, I felt like I was being murdered without a weapon. I don't know how we try to discuss that (or if we even want to), but I guarantee that it was for him the "centre of gravity" of the conversation.

What can I say or do to change the script?

Or what does he need to do to change the outcome?

Or what do *we* have to do to try to fix it?

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 02:28 PM
You know what really hit me where it hurts? She's playing the role of mother to his son.
That is incredibly common with ADHDers, especially ADHD man and non-ADHD woman. I'd say almost the rule, in fact.

ginniebean
02-03-14, 02:29 PM
DVD what is the fundamental misunderstanding?

ginniebean
02-03-14, 02:31 PM
You know what really hit me where it hurts? She's playing the role of mother to his son.

Well that's a good thing, kids need love and nurturing.

daveddd
02-03-14, 02:31 PM
he needs to own it

projective identification is an early developmental method of expressing emotion

without moving on from that throughout development to verbalizing emotional states it would be all or most of what he knows how

its a subconscious process , they don't know how damaging to relationships it is

because its the only way they know how to communicate emotion

ginniebean
02-03-14, 02:34 PM
Maybe this thread will help him see it, if he's still reading. I think he's caught in some trap about "how much he owes" rather than seeing that's not the issue at all. The issue is, what's happening financially isn't working, his secrecy causes such immense stress in mittens she's falling to pieces before his eyes. He has to decide if he wants the relationship badly enough to let her in. All problems can be looked at and resolved from there.

Dopes1
02-03-14, 02:37 PM
There definitely is - he can be very thoughtful, sweet, charismatic, intelligent, handy around the house, and has a good heart.

There is no middle ground with him. It's like he's "all in" and the world's most incredible person, or he's "out" and completely vacant / can be such a total jerk.

That conversation went from the above, to him getting angry, blaming me and going on about how he doesn't have to take my s__t, etc etc, to being hurt / despair, and saying that he might as well end it now because there is no hope, he wishes he didn't love me so much because he wouldn't be so heart broken, etc etc, to self pity and just giving up without even trying, telling me it's hopeless and it's over and he's finished, to that he loves me so much and he needs to get his own life back for me and his son, etc etc.
I have no idea what to believe.
It's the exact same thing (almost verbatim) as when my Mom had surgery.

My heart hurts.

It almost feels like being in a relationship with Superman and Clark Kent - but Clark Kent has just as much capacity to be as venomous as Superman has the capacity to be so much more than amazing.

If that makes any sense?

I know you think what you're describing sounds alien, but it makes perfect sense.

I honestly do not know how to explain. I can fully understand yet at the same time I can't make you understand...

I can go from point A to point Z in half a second and I don't know how I got there. The emotional intensity is so overwhelming, you're really not yourself. In times where you feel like your core is exposed and vulnerable, your only conceivable improvised defense is to swing blindly. (figuratively speaking)

Typically you're going to hit someone near and dear to you.

I'm not trying to make excuses for your boyfriend, I'm just saying, I've been in his situation and I've put people in your situation...

Just... sad. I don't know. :(

I'm so sorry though... you are such a good person, the things you're putting up with for somebody else, the obstacles you're being faced with and the perseverance with which you're pursuing your task... It's truly admirable.

daveddd
02-03-14, 02:57 PM
Maybe this thread will help him see it, if he's still reading. I think he's caught in some trap about "how much he owes" rather than seeing that's not the issue at all. The issue is, what's happening financially isn't working, his secrecy causes such immense stress in mittens she's falling to pieces before his eyes. He has to decide if he wants the relationship badly enough to let her in. All problems can be looked at and resolved from there.

awareness that your behaviors aren't healthy is the most important step

letting people in is extremely difficult

a lot of times with emotional problems (that i had at an extremely self destructive level, not to mention the people in my life) you aren't really sure what "in" is

but willingness is definitely the most important first step

daveddd
02-03-14, 03:01 PM
There definitely is - he can be very thoughtful, sweet, charismatic, intelligent, handy around the house, and has a good heart.

There is no middle ground with him. It's like he's "all in" and the world's most incredible person, or he's "out" and completely vacant / can be such a total jerk.

That conversation went from the above, to him getting angry, blaming me and going on about how he doesn't have to take my s__t, etc etc, to being hurt / despair, and saying that he might as well end it now because there is no hope, he wishes he didn't love me so much because he wouldn't be so heart broken, etc etc, to self pity and just giving up without even trying, telling me it's hopeless and it's over and he's finished, to that he loves me so much and he needs to get his own life back for me and his son, etc etc.
I have no idea what to believe.
It's the exact same thing (almost verbatim) as when my Mom had surgery.

My heart hurts.

It almost feels like being in a relationship with Superman and Clark Kent - but Clark Kent has just as much capacity to be as venomous as Superman has the capacity to be so much more than amazing.

If that makes any sense?

it makes a lot of sense

i used to refer to myself as jekle and hyde

i hated hyde (he was the bad one right?) , hated him (even though it was me)

Dopes1
02-03-14, 03:15 PM
I'm not going to tell you what you should do to change the script. I wish I had the answer to that question. I haven't even experienced a relationship at a level of having to share finances or worry about children and I can't hold **** together.

All I would say is, whatever compromise is or isn't met, you shouldn't have to relinquish sex. Sex is not a form currency, so you can't "withhold," it, or negotiate with it.

At the same time he seems to take your not being able to satisfy his urges whenever he deems necessary as a personal slight.

Maybe that needs to be addressed. But the bigger picture? As in the venomous Clark Kent you describe? You've got me stumped. I wish I could pause myself on Superman too.

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 03:19 PM
What can I say or do to change the script?

Or what does he need to do to change the outcome?

Or what do *we* have to do to try to fix it?
I don't have known right answers to count on, because we never recovered. My perspective on this is still pretty skewed, I'm sure.

The following is essentially made up as I go along. A combination of intuition and guessing. Not good, but the best I've got. Working from the centre outwards... From his/my point of view, somehow, your expectation of verbal interaction (especially of this difficult stressful kind), plus your expectation of intentionally-chosen complete physical separation (i.e. you're saying "I don't touch you anymore"), equals a hostage-taking, with the verbal interaction as the ransom, and "I don't touch you anymore" as the gun. Your unwillingness for physical contact is not intelligible to him; having mutual comfort and reassurance "we're in this together" kind of physical contact available as an option, and to reject that option, means to him either that (a) you've already decided you're leaving and there's nothing he could do about it anyway, or (b) maybe you intellectually want this relationship to continue but he is so disgusting to you that you can't bear to come near him. The idea that friendly companionship touch between the two of you might feel bad to you at this moment, indicates to him that there's no hope for anything.

Whoa, that was bad stuff. That was kind of like me going back in time and channelling "old me" - BUT I did so in a quick lazy way because I wanted to skip over some of the hurt and finish this post, so it might be significantly inaccurate.

Now "new me" has come back to continue the conversation. (whew!) I know that physical contact is not all there is to a relationship - I'm a guy but I'm not stupid :) - but in context, maybe the way our two relationships turned out, maybe a problem of ADHD, maybe this maybe that, it has come to a crisis in this way.

I admit that when I read the posts from you and Sarah and other trusted women all saying the same thing, "new me" is confused too, because "why should he expect you to touch him under these circumstances" sounds to my ears like socially-accepted politically-correct manipulation or blackmail or whatever, and I need to learn why it isn't.

The difference is that I have the luxury and the leisure of learning about it while I don't feel like my heart has been ripped out and thrown across the room.

I really do feel for both of you, and I hope you can find a way through, if that's still what you want.

Mittens
02-03-14, 03:22 PM
I'm not going to tell you what you should do to change the script. I wish I had the answer to that question. I haven't even experienced a relationship at a level of having to share finances or worry about children and I can't hold **** together.

All I would say is, whatever compromise is or isn't met, you shouldn't have to relinquish sex. Sex is not a form currency, so you can't "withhold," it, or negotiate with it.

At the same time he seems to take your not being able to satisfy his urges whenever he deems necessary as a personal slight.

Maybe that needs to be addressed. But the bigger picture? As in the venomous Clark Kent you describe? You've got me stumped. I wish I could pause myself on Superman too.

The bizarre part of the entire situation?
The only part of our relationship that has ABSOLUTELY zero issues, is incredibly *AMAZING*, and is almost *surreal* because it is that flawless - is physical intimacy.

So in a wierd way - if this makes sense, it has nothing to do with it.

I went to stay with my Mom's... so I am physically not there in order to be intimate with him. That's 150% not withholding or anything like that - I never have. I have always been super enthusiastic about our intimacy in that sense because it's seriously ridiculously awesome. However, if I'm physically not there to do it with - that's not withholding anything, if that makes any sense? That's me taking a bit to try to get my heart and head in a better place...... a biproduct of that is that I am not physically in the same house at this time as he is.

Man. I suck at trying to explain myself today. Sorry.

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 03:25 PM
hyde (he was the bad one right?)
I always used to forget the names too... but Hyde was the bad one, because he was bad and had to Hyde - get it? :)

daveddd
02-03-14, 03:31 PM
to be clear i don't think it matters calling this stuff ADHD just because of the name

this IS one of the few typical outcomes poor emotional regulation leads to


just keeping it under the ADHD umbrella , i feel can put up serious roadblocks

I'm speaking from experience , and i know most of us aren't that much different

daveddd
02-03-14, 03:31 PM
The bizarre part of the entire situation?
The only part of our relationship that has ABSOLUTELY zero issues, is incredibly *AMAZING*, and is almost *surreal* because it is that flawless - is physical intimacy.

So in a wierd way - if this makes sense, it has nothing to do with it.

I went to stay with my Mom's... so I am physically not there in order to be intimate with him. That's 150% not withholding or anything like that - I never have. I have always been super enthusiastic about our intimacy in that sense because it's seriously ridiculously awesome. However, if I'm physically not there to do it with - that's not withholding anything, if that makes any sense? That's me taking a bit to try to get my heart and head in a better place...... a biproduct of that is that I am not physically in the same house at this time as he is.

Man. I suck at trying to explain myself today. Sorry.

I'm certain being amazing in bed is definitely a part of male ADHD

Dopes1
02-03-14, 03:37 PM
The bizarre part of the entire situation?
The only part of our relationship that has ABSOLUTELY zero issues, is incredibly *AMAZING*, and is almost *surreal* because it is that flawless - is physical intimacy.


Man. I suck at trying to explain myself today. Sorry.
As I said, I understand perfectly. You've essentially described every relationship I've ever been in.

No, I mean, there's no such thing as "withholding". Sex is a mutual thing, not something you earn the right to exercise whenever you want because you're in a relationship with that person.

He can't rationalize that there are instances when you might not want to have sex and those instances might have nothing to do with him. This concept is utterly inconceivable.

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 03:40 PM
The bizarre part of the entire situation?
The only part of our relationship that has ABSOLUTELY zero issues, is incredibly *AMAZING*, and is almost *surreal* because it is that flawless - is physical intimacy.

So in a wierd way - if this makes sense, it has nothing to do with it.

I went to stay with my Mom's... so I am physically not there in order to be intimate with him. That's 150% not withholding or anything like that - I never have. I have always been super enthusiastic about our intimacy in that sense because it's seriously ridiculously awesome. However, if I'm physically not there to do it with - that's not withholding anything, if that makes any sense? That's me taking a bit to try to get my heart and head in a better place...... a biproduct of that is that I am not physically in the same house at this time as he is.

So... I completely misunderstood? Perhaps I was more "projecting backwards" and less "reading what you wrote". But my painful recent post was assuming you were (as we were) in the same house, with one person intentionally excluding physical contact.

And my screaming pain was "Please just hold my hand, please just look at me, would a hug be OK", not "please go to bed with me".

Well, OK, it was both, but you get the point.

Mittens
02-03-14, 03:53 PM
So... I completely misunderstood? Perhaps I was more "projecting backwards" and less "reading what you wrote". But my painful recent post was assuming you were (as we were) in the same house, with one person intentionally excluding physical contact.

And my screaming pain was "Please just hold my hand, please just look at me, would a hug be OK", not "please go to bed with me".

Well, OK, it was both, but you get the point.

Sorry, I should of been more clear.
I've been staying at my Mom's for the last weekish, and because I have not been home is why he feels I am 'withholding' from him.
From my understand (which could be TOTALLY off) it's almost like he thinks I went to stay at my Mom's for the inclusive reason of not being intimate with him - which is SO completely wrong, but he can get really egocentric like that when he gets in one of his moods.

So on one hand, you had it right, that he *feels* like I am, despite the fact in reality it's anything but.

To clarify, we do live together, I just recently went to stay at my Mom's house about 2 hours away to get some space.

I am hoping maybe once he calms down and gets his head together he can see that I needed to remove myself so *I* can keep my sanity and remove myself from the 24 hour constant high-stress and emotional rollercoaster / pressure that is our house at the moment.

If any of that makes any sense?

Dopes1
02-03-14, 04:16 PM
I am hoping maybe once he calms down and gets his head together he can see that I needed to remove myself so *I* can keep my sanity and remove myself from the 24 hour constant high-stress and emotional rollercoaster / pressure that is our house at the moment.

Every single word you say is painful to me. I've heard all of this before multiple times, but been too ******* pigheaded to just listen at the time.

Let me tell you a little anecdote. (if you'll allow me)

My ex-girlfriend and I had had a brilliant evening. Whenever we went out it was something, usually me, but I guess on this occasion I was feeling pretty good because we got home, we were talking, laughing, kissing, and just out of fun, she says to me, "Now if only I could keep you like this."

I can't, even in hindsight, tell you how that made me feel. It was just... I don't know. I saw nothing but red. I knew what I was doing was counter-productive, absurd, embarrassing, childish... and the words, "but I couldn't stop myself from doing it," don't seem to be sufficient justification.

That was it. Night ruined. Both parties now angry.

Now, what should have happened, was I should have heard what she said, recognized this was in no way whatsoever scathing or inflammatory and forget about it.

What did all of this boil down to? Childishness, pigheadedness and selfishness.

Seriously, I know you're thinking, "WHAT? That can't be it."

That's all I got. Sorry. I wish I had someone as patient as you however.

It's like, you guys need a "business room" or something, and rule is, "leave your ego at the door. Your ego not a security blanket, you don't need to bring it everywhere."

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 04:38 PM
Sorry, I should of been more clear.
I've been staying at my Mom's for the last weekish, and because I have not been home is why he feels I am 'withholding' from him.
From my understand (which could be TOTALLY off) it's almost like he thinks I went to stay at my Mom's for the inclusive reason of not being intimate with him - which is SO completely wrong, but he can get really egocentric like that when he gets in one of his moods.

So on one hand, you had it right, that he *feels* like I am, despite the fact in reality it's anything but.

To clarify, we do live together, I just recently went to stay at my Mom's house about 2 hours away to get some space.

I am hoping maybe once he calms down and gets his head together he can see that I needed to remove myself so *I* can keep my sanity and remove myself from the 24 hour constant high-stress and emotional rollercoaster / pressure that is our house at the moment.

If any of that makes any sense?
Yes it does make sense, very much. I need to take care that I don't assume every detail is the same as I experienced, because obviously it wouldn't be.

I didn't have that particular egocentric thing of thinking that her going somewhere else for a while was all about me. I was glad for the chance to breathe and try to figure things out, and I'm sure she was too. My concern was that at the times when we were together that we not be intentionally cold & unfriendly, because I don't and won't and maybe can't operate that way.

We ended up in a situation of hurting each other so much & so often that to keep her sanity when she was around me, my ex eventually removed herself from herself. Blank stare, expressionless face, unrecognizable being. I went into a panic that I'm not sure I've come out of yet.

Dopes1
02-03-14, 04:45 PM
I didn't have that particular egocentric thing of thinking that her going somewhere else for a while was all about me. I was glad for the chance to breathe and try to figure things out, and I'm sure she was too.

If the parallel's I'm drawing between myself and this guy are any kind of developing trend, I'm sure he fluctuated between a maddening contrast of needing her company and needing his own space

Mittens
02-03-14, 06:27 PM
If the parallel's I'm drawing between myself and this guy are any kind of developing trend, I'm sure he fluctuated between a maddening contrast of needing her company and needing his own space

Yes, it's very much "I hate you, don't leave me" kind of thing.
He can go from *right* there, to hiding for days in his bedroom away from the world.

The part I really struggle with is tonight I'll go home, and he'll be in a pleasant, everything-is-normal mood, and my head is spinning so freakin' fast from today.
In the span of a few hours, he hated me, loved me, left me, spited me, broke up with me, demonized me, loved me, and then was okay with me.....
I feel emotionally exhausted and just .... raw.

He constantly tells me that he wishes he could compartimentalize things and carry on like I do - but I don't. I just internalize it because I have no other choice. I have to be 'the sane one' when those discussions happen otherwise all hell breaks loose.

I asked him to please, please, please just try to go easy tonight......

Anyways.

Thank you so much for listening / reading / the advice.

I really can't express my appreciation for that, and for breathing voice of reason into a whirlwind of a situation, as well as giving me a perspective and way of thinking that I would never have had the opportunity to see otherwise.

Mittens
02-03-14, 06:40 PM
Yes it does make sense, very much. I need to take care that I don't assume every detail is the same as I experienced, because obviously it wouldn't be.

I didn't have that particular egocentric thing of thinking that her going somewhere else for a while was all about me. I was glad for the chance to breathe and try to figure things out, and I'm sure she was too. My concern was that at the times when we were together that we not be intentionally cold & unfriendly, because I don't and won't and maybe can't operate that way.

We ended up in a situation of hurting each other so much & so often that to keep her sanity when she was around me, my ex eventually removed herself from herself. Blank stare, expressionless face, unrecognizable being. I went into a panic that I'm not sure I've come out of yet.

Unfortunately he very much takes me needing space, or even me doing something just to get out of the house, or basically anything that doesn't involve him as abandoning him. Not because he means any harm from it, he is just really, really loving.

He *wants* to be the person I go to for a 'breather' from life, and he *wants* to be the person that I go too to just make things all better.

I can't hold that against him when his heart really is in the right place in that sense, and it's only because he is such a caring person.

Unfortunately, I sometimes just really need to be by myself, or just have coffee with one of my girlfriends and talk about anything but 'real life problems', or just go for a drive by myself to let my mind unwind, and all the left-over emotions that I didn't express because it would of been wrong or unfair, out in a safe environment that doesn't hurt anybody.

Kind of like if you put 6 cups of something into a container that is only 5 cups size. That extra has to come out somehow - with bf, it comes out as soon as it's there.. with me, it hangs out teetering on the top until there is a time and place it can spill over without making a mess (hurting anyones feelings or being directed at anyone). For everything that over-spill has to come out somehow, it's just a matter of everyone is different on where they direct it too.

The unfortunate side of that is things tend to happen like when my Mom had surgery, and despite the fact I was in the same house, literally she couldn't even sit up by herself so I was attached to her hip for the first 10 days that she was recovering.. and bf got extremely upset because I was in the house, but he felt I 'wasn't there' because I ended up having to 150% focus on her and basically be her nurse and her legs. That's a no-win situation because he puts his head in the sand and hides out because he's hurt and feels neglected and abandoned, and I get stupid exhausted because I do what I need too to cover that specific situation, as well as still make sure to cover the day to day like make dinner for everyone, clean up after everyone, etc etc.

Again - not something he realizes he's even doing, and I honestly don't believe he does on purpose.. I could be wrong, but I think that might be part of the emotional regulation part of ADD?
That time he had also temporarily went off his ritalin, and thankfully after he really realized that compounded with the situation it was a deadly mix.

So anyways. At this point I think I am just babbling.

Dopes1
02-03-14, 07:24 PM
The part I really struggle with is tonight I'll go home, and he'll be in a pleasant, everything-is-normal mood, and my head is spinning so freakin' fast from today.
In the span of a few hours, he hated me, loved me, left me, spited me, broke up with me, demonized me, loved me, and then was okay with me.....
I feel emotionally exhausted and just .... raw.



Look, this works both ways for me. What you say evokes different feelings in different ways for me. As I said, I've been in the role of your boyfriend. But when I read this, while I'm single, I'm able to actually hear the words without the emotional noise drowning them out.

I've done the same thing. My ex and I could be in a heated argument where I'm worked up, my behaviour is getting HER worked up because I'm not helping matters, it just intensifies, intensifies, intensifies until one party can no longer take it (I guess this is your 6 cups into a 5 cup container analogy).

But afterwards, it typically resulted in me pretending this had never happened, with her displaying a combination of, "What? How can he act like he this?" and "**** it. Let's see how long it lasts tonight."

Please, don't mistake when I say, "I've done the same thing." for, "Oh, that's normal."

This happens, even though you know it's absurd, you try to put that out of your mind...

Honestly I wish I had a resolution for you.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here: he definitely loves you. He WANTS to be with you. Of that, you can be sure.

I think he's scared. The ambiguous language that he uses, when you say, "are you going to go down the road of self pity and despair, and give up, or actually try with me?" and he says, "good question".

It's almost like he's waiting for the inevitable point in time where you finally crack and say, "You know what? I've had enough."

So that he can say, "See? I knew you were going to give up on me."

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 07:31 PM
Yes, it's very much "I hate you, don't leave me" kind of thing.
He can go from *right* there, to hiding for days in his bedroom away from the world.
Me hiding away from the world was a major source of conflict for us.

There is a legitimate non-negotiable core need of people with ADHD to be able to be away by ourselves, but somehow it gets twisted and blown out of proportion in this kind of situation. Like, really bad, so that it becomes a disease in its own right.

Part of it is, I think, that many thoughtful non-ADHDers are instinctively going to look at the time away as having a purpose, like what do you accomplish by being off by yourself for so long, what good does this do, what's the plan for your time away, what positive results will I observe when you come back. And the truth is partly (maybe... I'm struggling here to understand myself and I'm probably getting it all wrong...) that I'm here to escape from plans and accomplishing and results, here to lick my wounds and maybe come back a little bit less injured... almost like here to revert to unconscious animal, because right now I can't do "being human", let alone the other stuff.

And for me this might tie into the other thing... sort of a feeling like "If we're not even able to co-exist comfortably and safely on the purely animal level - not that we're supposed to be jumping into bed, but that we're grounded and safe and feeling secure in each other's physical presence, not wary and suspicious and standoffish like cats about to fight - if we don't even have that, then what's the point of bringing in language and opposable thumbs, let alone hydro bills and what are we going to do about our relationship."

When I feel that physical insecurity with each other, I go straight to fight/flight/freeze. Good? no. True? yes.

Mittens
02-03-14, 07:38 PM
Look, this works both ways for me. What you say evokes different feelings in different ways for me. As I said, I've been in the role of your boyfriend. But when I read this, while I'm single, I'm able to actually hear the words without the emotional noise drowning them out.

I've done the same thing. My ex and I could be in a heated argument where I'm worked up, my behaviour is getting HER worked up because I'm not helping matters, it just intensifies, intensifies, intensifies until one party can no longer take it (I guess this is your 6 cups into a 5 cup container).

Please, don't mistake when I say, "I've done the same thing." for, "Oh, that's normal."

This happens, even though you know it's absurd, you try to put that out of your mind...

Honestly I wish I had a resolution for you.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here: he definitely loves you. He WANTS to be with you. Of that, you can be sure.

I think he's scared. The ambiguous language that he uses, when you say, "are you going to go down the road of self pity and despair, and give up, or actually try with me?" and he says, "good question".

It's almost like he's waiting for the inevitable point in time where you finally crack and say, "You know what? I've had enough."

So that he can say, "See? I knew you were going to give up on me."

*EXACTLY!*

Part is his 'cycle is getting into this funk where he goes on and on about how "fill in the blank whoever male friend of mine" would treat me better, about how he's not good enough for me, about how I should end it because he'll never be what I deserve, including getting spiteful towards some of my male friends and doing the whole "WELL - why don't you just go be with _____, then!".

He waffles between breaking up with me, to trying to make ME break up with him, to getting angry and saying that I will never be good enough for him, and then self-pitying that he will never be good enough for me, etc etc, rinse and repeat.

I know he loves me... Despite everything, I honestly believe that.

I just don't know how to get to where we need to be in order for this whole situation to not detrimentally be at the cost of me physically and mentally. He can get over something in the snap of a fingers and it's kind of like 'out of sight, out of mind'. I envy that quality SO, SO SO much.
He explodes and anything on his mind comes out - so it never has a chance to really 'sink in' with him. I'm the polar opposite - neither is a good / healthy way of being.

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 07:48 PM
Another potential interpretation of "good question" is "intellectually-interesting question, but I think it's the wrong question to be asking, because this isn't self-pity and despair, it's fear, and when I'm by myself, I'm not wallowing in self-pity and despair, I'm cowering in terror, and I think you're accidentally doing something innocent that triggers my terror over and over but I'm not sure what that is."

Mittens
02-03-14, 07:48 PM
Me hiding away from the world was a major source of conflict for us.

There is a legitimate non-negotiable core need of people with ADHD to be able to be away by ourselves, but somehow it gets twisted and blown out of proportion in this kind of situation. Like, really bad, so that it becomes a disease in its own right.

Part of it is, I think, that many thoughtful non-ADHDers are instinctively going to look at the time away as having a purpose, like what do you accomplish by being off by yourself for so long, what good does this do, what's the plan for your time away, what positive results will I observe when you come back. And the truth is partly (maybe... I'm struggling here to understand myself and I'm probably getting it all wrong...) that I'm here to escape from plans and accomplishing and results, here to lick my wounds and maybe come back a little bit less injured... almost like here to revert to unconscious animal, because right now I can't do "being human", let alone the other stuff.

And for me this might tie into the other thing... sort of a feeling like "If we're not even able to co-exist comfortably and safely on the purely animal level - not that we're supposed to be jumping into bed, but that we're grounded and safe and feeling secure in each other's physical presence, not wary and suspicious and standoffish like cats about to fight - if we don't even have that, then what's the point of bringing in language and opposable thumbs, let alone hydro bills and what are we going to do about our relationship."

When I feel that physical insecurity with each other, I go straight to fight/flight/freeze. Good? no. True? yes.

Thank you for taking the time to explain that. It must of been very difficult, but I can't tell you how valuable that is to someone like me who would never be able to connect the dots and figure that out by myself.

Is there any way to come to some kind of workable type something?

Ie, If you need a night to be by yourself, lick your wounds, ignore the world, that's cool - but in the morning there is still 'being an adult / father / spouse' type thing? When it's days at a time it just crescendo's into a big spiral of bad, bad, bad unbalanced bad - in both people's world's that is involved.

There has to be some kind of middle ground...

Right?

willow129
02-03-14, 07:51 PM
god...yeah...him freaking about about you getting absorbed in things like work and potentially abandoning him, I've totally done that to my boyfriend - while also at the same time getting totally distracted and not present by like...this forum for example...

And also being worried about you spending time with other people - wanting to be the person you go to for a "breather", that's a really good way to describe what I went through with my boyfriend last year, that was a HUGE phase we had to get through. I mean horrible terrible definitely almost ripped us apart also. Lots of tears, oh my god, so much stress.

If I really do have these things in common with your boyfriend, then I think he's really insecure. He's probably painfully aware of the things he doesn't accomplish and this has eroded at his self esteem. He might not feel worthy of you somewhere deep inside.

But he really really does have his head in the sand doesn't he?!?! He is immature I think, emotionally.

Yeah, I can see now that you both love each other. And I think I can picture the things that do work in your relationship. I bet it's lovely when it's working :)

Here's what I think: there might still be some major emotional up and downs in this phase left for both of you. I think learning how to communicate clearly with each other, (Not just you but him also!!) is really key, and communicating about how to help each other get through problems or overcome obstacles (like his not paying the bills).

If he is what I'm imagining, and maybe he is a much worse person than I'm imagining, I don't know, but if he is what I'm imagining I think you both can get through this. (I think this is mostly going to take him making steps in the right direction though.) And if you do get through this I think your relationship will be very strong, and I think he will mature from it also.

I guess that's not really advice, just that I have hope for you.

Dopes1
02-03-14, 07:53 PM
Honestly, this is the last time I'm going to subject you to some of my tortuous parallels.

By my ex-girlfriends, they've described living with me as, "like pulling teeth", "like night and day" and my mother told me, "You'll need a special woman to cope with you." - something which apparently a lot of other men on these forums have heard from their mother, I'm sure they've heard similar things from girlfriends they're with / been with. Basically, all of these mean the same thing, "You are difficult. You are a challenge to live with."

Now, imagine the profundity of that statement, when it takes a special person like you to cope with your boyfriend.

I have a special affinity towards your situation though because it allows me to put real human emotions, a living example of how people feel as a result of what I'm doing... something which was like a faceless victim to me really. Actually, more like you think you're the one being victimized.

Like, the way you have to go for a drive to have a coffee on your own to get away and clear your head.

When you love someone, you shouldn't be driving them to have to do something like this.

Really upsets me... :( I honestly wish there was some secret coded language we all use to understand one another, so we could just tell you the magic words and you could have that Superman all the time.

For what you've put up with, you definitely deserve like... 6 months of Superman.

You're kind of like, the precise equal and opposite force this man needs to make him WHOLE rather than a fragment.

Think of that cliche where you're dying and you see a white light. The white light is where you want to be. Rebirth. Bliss. To become whole.

The only problem is, he's fighting. He knows there's something better on the other side, but he's so terrified of something he doesn't know that he tries to cling to that which he does know.

Mittens
02-03-14, 07:58 PM
god...yeah...him freaking about about you getting absorbed in things like work and potentially abandoning him, I've totally done that to my boyfriend - while also at the same time getting totally distracted and not present by like...this forum for example...

And also being worried about you spending time with other people - wanting to be the person you go to for a "breather", that's a really good way to describe what I went through with my boyfriend last year, that was a HUGE phase we had to get through. I mean horrible terrible definitely almost ripped us apart also. Lots of tears, oh my god, so much stress.

If I really do have these things in common with your boyfriend, then I think he's really insecure. He's probably painfully aware of the things he doesn't accomplish and this has eroded at his self esteem. He might not feel worthy of you somewhere deep inside.

But he really really does have his head in the sand doesn't he?!?! He is immature I think, emotionally.

Yeah, I can see now that you both love each other. And I think I can picture the things that do work in your relationship. I bet it's lovely when it's working :)

Here's what I think: there might still be some major emotional up and downs in this phase left for both of you. I think learning how to communicate clearly with each other, (Not just you but him also!!) is really key, and communicating about how to help each other get through problems or overcome obstacles (like his not paying the bills).

If he is what I'm imagining, and maybe he is a much worse person than I'm imagining, I don't know, but if he is what I'm imagining I think you both can get through this. (I think this is mostly going to take him making steps in the right direction though.) And if you do get through this I think your relationship will be very strong, and I think he will mature from it also.

I guess that's not really advice, just that I have hope for you.

Reading that almost brought me to tears.

If I could give you the world's biggest hug right now, I would.

World wars and epic historical battles weren't won with simply 'who had the bigger gun'.. they were won with hope, and belief, and faith.

That's what keeps the people going that accomplish the impossible, fight through the inconcievable, and come out bigger and better people because of it.

I guess that's just a long winded, super emotional / mushy way of saying Thank You. :)

willow129
02-03-14, 07:59 PM
There is a legitimate non-negotiable core need of people with ADHD to be able to be away by ourselves, but somehow it gets twisted and blown out of proportion in this kind of situation. Like, really bad, so that it becomes a disease in its own right.

Part of it is, I think, that many thoughtful non-ADHDers are instinctively going to look at the time away as having a purpose, like what do you accomplish by being off by yourself for so long, what good does this do, what's the plan for your time away, what positive results will I observe when you come back. And the truth is partly (maybe... I'm struggling here to understand myself and I'm probably getting it all wrong...) that I'm here to escape from plans and accomplishing and results, here to lick my wounds and maybe come back a little bit less injured... almost like here to revert to unconscious animal, because right now I can't do "being human", let alone the other stuff.

Whoa dvd. I sooo relate. Could not have explained this to anyone though. **mind blown** That whole paragraph is so true. I feel like I need to show that to my boyfriend.

So, Mittens you asked how to make this happen less, or be more manageable

Personally, I find this kind of needing to disappear mentally for a while phenomenon happens to me more when I'm stressed. Usually from work. I don't know if that's helpful to you or applicable to your boyfriend but, yeah.

willow129
02-03-14, 08:02 PM
Reading that almost brought me to tears.

If I could give you the world's biggest hug right now, I would.

World wars and epic historical battles weren't won with simply 'who had the bigger gun'.. they were won with hope, and belief, and faith.

That's what keeps the people going that accomplish the impossible, fight through the inconcievable, and come out bigger and better people because of it.

I guess that's just a long winded, super emotional / mushy way of saying Thank You. :)

Oh. ok. sheesh. I AM crying now. **SNIFFLEBLUBBERHUUUUUUUUUUUGG**

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 08:06 PM
Thank you for taking the time to explain that. It must of been very difficult, but I can't tell you how valuable that is to someone like me who would never be able to connect the dots and figure that out by myself.

Is there any way to come to some kind of workable type something?

Ie, If you need a night to be by yourself, lick your wounds, ignore the world, that's cool - but in the morning there is still 'being an adult / father / spouse' type thing? When it's days at a time it just crescendo's into a big spiral of bad, bad, bad unbalanced bad - in both people's world's that is involved.

There has to be some kind of middle ground...

Right?
I sure hope so.

The moment of re-connecting has a lot of baggage. A LOT of baggage. Fifty misunderstandings every hundredth of a second, because everyone's sensitivity is turned to maximum and everyone is hoping it will be different this time.

I would love to be able to "compassionately explode" that moment of coming back, to take it all apart step by tiny step, find out what surprises are in it, what we're each looking for, what we're finding, what we're not finding, and so on.

I have to leave now and I'll come back later. But that's where I would begin - unravelling the myriad expectations in that tiny moment, a moment where for a long time I would panic and run back to my hiding place. Even when I stayed in the room with her, I was back in my hiding place, because I was so scared. SO scared and confused, like a beaten puppy. And trying to have an adult human discussion when you're a puppy who's just been beaten again, is not an easy trick. And to be perfectly clear, you haven't been beating anyone, neither literally nor metaphorically. The stick is not in anyone's hand, the stick is built into the situation.

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 09:45 PM
Whoa dvd. I sooo relate. Could not have explained this to anyone though. **mind blown** That whole paragraph is so true. I feel like I need to show that to my boyfriend.

So, Mittens you asked how to make this happen less, or be more manageable

Personally, I find this kind of needing to disappear mentally for a while phenomenon happens to me more when I'm stressed. Usually from work. I don't know if that's helpful to you or applicable to your boyfriend but, yeah.
willow129, hello, I'm very glad you & I speak (some of..) the same language. :) It feels so good to be with people who identify and understand.

NOTE: The following is a light-hearted non-serious look at what we're going through. I don't mean this as a realistic analysis.

My disease might be simple math, with stress levels 1 through 10.

I had a bad day: stress level, 5 out of 10; estimated hiding time, an hour.

I got fired: stress level, 9 out of 10; estimated hiding time, a week.

She might leave me: stress level, 17 out of 10; estimated hiding time, maybe I'll never come back; I'll pop up groundhog-like every couple of days to check if she's safe for me to approach, and if I see my shadow then it's another 6 weeks of hell.

Maybe it's not that simple. Maybe it is. I think not so simple.

daveddd
02-03-14, 09:46 PM
mittens
some personal anecdote i was able to put words to

ADHD emotional regulation issues can really snowball into a mess by adulthood

for some, not being able to down regulate the physiological arousal of negative affect, we can become overwhelmed by it


at that point we make attempts to avoid it at all costs (experiential avoidance, suppression)

avoiding it doesn't properly regulate the emotion , so we are left with a constant underlayment of vague anxious or bad feelings , constantly distressed

you should also keep a close eye on your emotions, being his partner, some of that anxious/irritability /tension can transfer to you, through emotional manipulation leaving you confused as to why your feeling that way, I've seen it happen

some of us also go as far as to subconsciously leave any emotional context out of their writing (like me, i was fairly extreme though)


this avoidance also goes to emotional relationship talk

i think I'm paraphrasing willow in another thread

"with adhds the honeymoon period is great, but the emotional stuff just never comes"

that is probably not on purpose, its a lack of emotional/social intelligence (rooted in emotional regulation)

its possible we might not know what the emotional intimacy is supposed to look like



when i realized that i was really able to start getting some insight and work on emotional regulation skills

it may not ever come naturally (thats why i like to talk about it, keeps me working on it)

but it gave me a large amount of self awareness and i made strides to the point where this no longer has any negative effect on relationships

daveddd
02-03-14, 09:53 PM
thats pretty bad

makes no sense

daveddd
02-03-14, 10:15 PM
real time example

it took chain-smoking 2 straight cigarettes and pacing in circles for ten minutes for me to realize i was attempting to avoid the anxiety from writing that post

as soon as i figured it out it was fine (with certain strategies )

Mittens
02-03-14, 10:19 PM
thats pretty bad

makes no sense

Know what?
It does make sense.
In the famous words of Dvd, we're all a little wierd and by you putting the time and effort into writing things like that, it allows others to understand and a peak into something we would never otherwise have the opportunity. My wierd is hard to understand, and it's absolutely invaluable to be able to try to understand other's.
Thank you so much.

Mittens
02-03-14, 10:22 PM
I sure hope so.

The moment of re-connecting has a lot of baggage. A LOT of baggage. Fifty misunderstandings every hundredth of a second, because everyone's sensitivity is turned to maximum and everyone is hoping it will be different this time.

I would love to be able to "compassionately explode" that moment of coming back, to take it all apart step by tiny step, find out what surprises are in it, what we're each looking for, what we're finding, what we're not finding, and so on.

I have to leave now and I'll come back later. But that's where I would begin - unravelling the myriad expectations in that tiny moment, a moment where for a long time I would panic and run back to my hiding place. Even when I stayed in the room with her, I was back in my hiding place, because I was so scared. SO scared and confused, like a beaten puppy. And trying to have an adult human discussion when you're a puppy who's just been beaten again, is not an easy trick. And to be perfectly clear, you haven't been beating anyone, neither literally nor metaphorically. The stick is not in anyone's hand, the stick is built into the situation.

What helps you feel safe?
Are there things that make unexpected or unpleasant situations easier for you?

ginniebean
02-03-14, 10:25 PM
No, it makes sense dave.

daveddd
02-03-14, 10:44 PM
i forgot another point i wanted to add about what mitten and dopes were talking about with getting caught up in the moment emotionally

if someone gets mad it comes with physical changes as well , fight mode

with good emotional regulation, it quickly becomes a cognitive matter

bad emotional regulation, we have a much longer return to physical baseline

so yes, you, we are controlled by emotion at that time,,,then comes the guilt when we come down

emotional regulation strategies can prevent this a majority of the time

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 10:49 PM
What helps you feel safe?
Are there things that make unexpected or unpleasant situations easier for you?
I know that it's different for different people. It's probably also different in different situations. And there are probably things that I don't think of because I always had them, or never had them.

The following is very personal and may not apply. But it's all I've got.

At the most basic safety level, well, this is embarrassing for a big strong man like me to say (if you knew me you would be laughing pretty hard at this point) ;) , but the truth is, I'm looking for the physical things that make a dog or a little child feel better when they're scared. Because that's the kind of scared I am, in this type of situation. I'm sure you can see the kind of difficulty I'm in, wanting to ask for that, and I can see the kind of difficulty it puts you in, hearing that and likely not knowing what to do next. But that's the honest truth. When I'm in that base-level animal fear mode, I can't be brought out of it by convincing or persuading or encouraging or any other alternative methods, as far as I know. I can get soothed and comforted, or I can run and hide, and that's about it. Intellectually learning that it's "my responsibility" to manage this for myself is irrelevant in that moment. And I end up with a disordered sick binary interpretation of you - she comforts me and therefore loves me, or she doesn't comfort me and therefore doesn't love me.

Well, now that that's out of the way, shall we go for a beer?

Ugh. Sorry.

Dopes1
02-03-14, 10:53 PM
If, when you say, "unexpected and unpleasant situations" do you mean, "situations that cause him to reach a point of emotional hysteria?"

Because I think once all forms of communication break down, you're going to find it very tough to get through to him. For every rational deduction you present to him, he will construct 10 fatuous ones that he believes are far more valid.

If you try to appeal to his ego, he'll say you're just playing him like a trombone.

If you try to touch his heart, he'll self-deprecate.

I think you have to chisel away in times when he is calm, level-headed, enjoying himself etc.

When you recognize he is becoming upset or angry or whatever you're familiar with, try to emphasize short, literal, deliberate speech. As soon as you see the pattern emerging, you immediately keep it short and sweet.

I know these situations really are imposing when you're in the midst of them. It's so intense it kind of renders you helpless. You have to remember you hold the leverage, not your boyfriend's ADHD, or any of his negative qualities.

I know you can reach the level of understanding you want with him.

Mittens
02-03-14, 11:03 PM
I know that it's different for different people. It's probably also different in different situations. And there are probably things that I don't think of because I always had them, or never had them.

The following is very personal and may not apply. But it's all I've got.

At the most basic safety level, well, this is embarrassing for a big strong man like me to say (if you knew me you would be laughing pretty hard at this point) ;) , but the truth is, I'm looking for the physical things that make a dog or a little child feel better when they're scared. Because that's the kind of scared I am, in this type of situation. I'm sure you can see the kind of difficulty I'm in, wanting to ask for that, and I can see the kind of difficulty it puts you in, hearing that and likely not knowing what to do next. But that's the honest truth. When I'm in that base-level animal fear mode, I can't be brought out of it by convincing or persuading or encouraging or any other alternative methods, as far as I know. I can get soothed and comforted, or I can run and hide, and that's about it. Intellectually learning that it's "my responsibility" to manage this for myself is irrelevant in that moment. And I end up with a disordered sick binary interpretation of you - she comforts me and therefore loves me, or she doesn't comfort me and therefore doesn't love me.

Well, now that that's out of the way, shall we go for a beer?

Ugh. Sorry.

That actually kind of makes perfect sense.

There's been times after him and I have gotten into an argument or bad situation, and he will literally text me that he really needed a hug, or to be held, and I know that for him, admitting that is really huge.. i'd imagine it would be incredibly difficult for any man. Any person, but more so man.

He's extremely physical, so even something like if I know he's upset or we are in a huge fight, and we're back to back in bed just resting a leg or some other body part against him makes a really big difference.. if that made any sense?

I always knew it made a difference, but reading your post I think gave me a much better actual understanding and connected a lot of dots that before just didn't make sense to me.
(Is that an alpaca with a fedora? What about Texas? OH! - It's a butterfly).

dvdnvwls
02-04-14, 01:12 AM
He's extremely physical, so even something like if I know he's upset or we are in a huge fight, and we're back to back in bed just resting a leg or some other body part against him makes a really big difference.. if that made any sense?

(potential TMI) I'm crying as I read that because I remember when even that was very purposefully taken away.

Yes, we're talking about the same stuff.

someothertime
02-04-14, 02:01 AM
What helps you feel safe?

acceptance


( p.s. i have huge physical boundaries... in bed 95% of the time i don't like being touched ( closeness ) ... i can hug for a while... but to swtich off i need the space - it's nothing to do with any feelings toward my partner.... 5% of the time i need to be hugged / hug like a child - total embrace - i can see how this would confise the bejeez out of a significant other

ditta to what dvd and dave poured out... i'll add that i can't really embrace / open if i feel there is not total acceptance - am suspicious of anothers feelings... but there are times out of desperation i have used physical contact as a manipulative/fallback vehicle... partly to feel that closeness... when it's not there... it's part avoidance, part desperation, part lack of clarity, part love... it's hard... we work from the emotional level up to the logic not the other way round...

this need to be totally interwoven with another yet also be totally autonomous is the source of so much... oversimplified... people might use words like babied... dependant... user... it is not that simple... ultimately though... as witht he group communication thread... he needs to see this and actively try work at coping / behaviour modification of self...

)

RedHairedWitch
02-04-14, 01:06 PM
There have been studies done that show that in order for a man to feel loved and connected he needs sex and physical intimacy.

In order for a woman to want sex and physical intimacy she needs to feel connected and loved.

This results in either positive or negative cycles as you can imagine.

Mittens
02-04-14, 01:58 PM
There have been studies done that show that in order for a man to feel loved and connected he needs sex and physical intimacy.

In order for a woman to want sex and physical intimacy she needs to feel connected and loved.

This results in either positive or negative cycles as you can imagine.

So, so, so, SO true.
............
Did I mention this was true?

dvdnvwls
02-04-14, 01:58 PM
There have been studies done that show that in order for a man to feel loved and connected he needs sex and physical intimacy.

In order for a woman to want sex and physical intimacy she needs to feel connected and loved.

This results in either positive or negative cycles as you can imagine.
I hope that in some cases being aware of this fact might lead both men and women to find better ways to get back together when things aren't going right.

Otherwise, it's pretty discouraging to know.

It seems to me that the negative version of this cycle is one of the primary reasons my ex and I are no longer together.

Mittens
02-04-14, 02:49 PM
I hope that in some cases being aware of this fact might lead both men and women to find better ways to get back together when things aren't going right.

Otherwise, it's pretty discouraging to know.

It seems to me that the negative version of this cycle is one of the primary reasons my ex and I are no longer together.

Dvd - *HUGE hug!*

The tough part of this totally seems to be that 'first' reach. After that - it's all gravy.. but if one partner can just make that very first, most often times minor gesture - things will almost always go far smoother.

If that can't happen, it seems usually things just don't go at all.

It's a tough situation all the way around. :(

TLCisaQT
02-04-14, 08:31 PM
Making the decision to leave, especially when you know you should, when you completely love and care about someone, and they aren't a "bad person" but struggle from a disability is heart-breaking and heart-aching.

My husband needed more than just adhd meds. If he hadn't had gone on the mood stabilizer when he did, I would have had to take my children and leave.

Reading this thread has been painful and all too familiar.

You can't make him change Mittens, and LOVE will not be enough. It's not about willingness, it's about ability.

Save yourself. Too many times you asked "what could I have done different." Maybe a lot, but not enough to deserve this treatment. If it wasn't you - it would be somebody else. The stress is high and he is spiraling down. I've seen it... it's devastating. Don't go down with the ship.

TLCisaQT
02-04-14, 08:33 PM
If you are concerned about his son... have his son make a self-report to CPS and get the right for room and board with you and live with you (how it works depends on where you live - he can ask them when he calls). He is not a "bad" father but he can't see past his own struggles right now and his son deserves more..... very sad :(

davesf
02-04-14, 08:59 PM
Mittens -

It's sad to see you still out of your apartment.

You are talking so much about your boyfriend, but how are YOU?

How does it feel to be displaced from your own home, while you are still paying for it?

Is your credit still at risk? Are there still unpaid bills in your name? If so... How does it make you feel? Do you want it to end?

I'm sorry for what may be some overly direct language. Perhaps there is a better way to state this.... You can not control your boyfriend. You can not fix him. The only person in this world we can control is ourself. The only person we can fix is ourself. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can focus on yourself and figure out how to get your life back on track. Whether that life involves your bf or not is a secondary issue.

I encourage you Mittens, take care of yourself first. The rest will follow.

Mittens
02-05-14, 12:00 AM
If you are concerned about his son... have his son make a self-report to CPS and get the right for room and board with you and live with you (how it works depends on where you live - he can ask them when he calls). He is not a "bad" father but he can't see past his own struggles right now and his son deserves more..... very sad :(

I would never, ever, ever in this life time dream of doing something like that.
He is absent minded and as a result if we split tomorrow his son would lose the continuity, routine, etc etc that he's had since we've been a family unit, however, bf is a very good father. Especially when he's "present" he is an amazing dad - it's one of his most attractive qualities.
When BF got divorced from his ex-wife she put that boy through things no child should *ever* ever go through... I mean, it's not my story to tell, but to give you an idea things like telling the boys their father was dead, tried to kill them, didn't want them, etc etc and denied access to him... To the point the son actually had his own court appointed lawyer and had to fight so hard to be with his Dad. It took years for him and his mom to get to even the strained relationship they have now.
Their relationship is just something that to me is one of those lines that I would never dream of even going near.
His son is and will always be welcome wherever I am - whether that's for dinner, or a 'vacation', or as little or as much as he'd like. He's an amazing kid.

I do understand where you are coming from / the point you are making.
I would hope that if that ever did happen that his son would still always know I was there as support and a resource.

Mittens
02-05-14, 12:14 AM
Mittens -

It's sad to see you still out of your apartment.

You are talking so much about your boyfriend, but how are YOU?

How does it feel to be displaced from your own home, while you are still paying for it?

Is your credit still at risk? Are there still unpaid bills in your name? If so... How does it make you feel? Do you want it to end?

I'm sorry for what may be some overly direct language. Perhaps there is a better way to state this.... You can not control your boyfriend. You can not fix him. The only person in this world we can control is ourself. The only person we can fix is ourself. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can focus on yourself and figure out how to get your life back on track. Whether that life involves your bf or not is a secondary issue.

I encourage you Mittens, take care of yourself first. The rest will follow.

Phew.

I'll be completely honest - this was very difficult to read.

I can't / am not really ready to answer those right now - but I will definitely think about them and post when I am in a place to be able too.

It does make my heart hurt to think of it in a way that yes, I don't like thinking of it but I can't help but wish he was doing more on his end to be proactive.. I've suggested counseling (of the couple sort, as well as even financial counseling) but he has always dismissed the idea and avoided it.
It definitely really hurts to think of the possibility that he is waiting for me to 'fix' the situation, and I do realize that (I believe it is subconscious) a lot of what he does (or doesn't do) is because I'm a safety net. He doesn't "have" too because he knows that I will come through if I have too by whatever means necessary.
I'm just not sure how to get him to realize that without 'making' him realize that?

I want it to work. When he's good he's incredible and absolutely an amazing man... it's just the ways he's not is so conversely detrimental....
I don't know how to fix it and that's a very helpless feeling...

And even as I type that I feel guilty because as helpless as I feel, I couldn't even begin to imagine how helpless and frustrated and scared he feels every single day, and the challenges he faces that I never will have too.

Thank you very much for posting that. Sometimes the things we need to hear the most are the ones that are the hardest to hear.

dvdnvwls
02-05-14, 01:57 AM
Mittens, it's not about proactive, it's about results. A proactive ADHDer is a hoax. Results or lack of results is the only gauge. ... and don't forget who's saying this. :) I'm the one with the missing results.

It's not about being a hard-nosed nasty spouse. It's about being truly happily OK with the way things are. I don't want you to turn into any monster. I don't want you to demand everything be fixed to perfection by tomorrow afternoon. I do want you to insist on what you really need, and to not budge on that.

While I was undiagnosed (first 19 years) my ex let my problems overtake her. She allowed things that were not OK with her, because she didn't know what else she could do. To get them fixed, she tried nagging - didn't work. She tried threats (I'll leave you unless you get therapy) - didn't work - I got the therapy, it didn't help.

What she never ever ever tried was "I need the following list of results. How can we really truly get all of them to happen within the next month?"

NOTE carefully that it is not "I need you to do the following" - it's "These are the required results". How those happen is up for grabs, it's just that they need to happen.

davesf
02-05-14, 03:11 AM
Mittens -

The only person you can control is you. The only way to help him, is to fix yourself.

You don't need his agreement, approval, or participation to take yourself to counseling. You can not "make" him realize anything. You can not change him. You can not fix him. The only person who can control him is him, so the only person who can do any of these things is *him*.

If you want to help him, ask your self why you are not fixing yourself and your life. Then correct it. If he wants to be fixed, he will follow your example. If he doesn't, then there is nothing you can do either way.

someothertime
02-05-14, 03:31 AM
I'm the one with the missing results.
Ditto

It's about being truly happily OK with the way things are.

Few shakes of this... something's...

Honestly I think Mittens is navigating the line pretty well right now... to stick and try, whilst confronted with personal needs and limits...

Keep your head up Mitten's... there is no right or wrong... Just comfortable and targeted ... Knowing there is pain either way... I kind of get the original responses regarding distance a bit more now...

You know what you can accept and what you can't... you feel the conflict... you feel the sincerity ... you are on the ground...

Stay strong... be patient... nothing now... Your still driving this tho' and some point it will be time to let go... and allow nature to take it's course.

Dopes1
02-05-14, 04:37 AM
Yes. Her number one priority is her own health and well-being.

She's a survivor. I would say she knows the limitations of what she can mentally and physically endure. I believe when she really is at the threshold of her capabilities she will do the right thing and throw in the towel.

I think until that point is reached, she's going to do everything in her power to make this relationship work.

dvdnvwls
02-05-14, 05:38 AM
Honestly I think Mittens is navigating the line pretty well right now... to stick and try, whilst confronted with personal needs and limits...
In terms of financial risk, I think this is a pretty debatable point. I'm not sure that set of issues can reasonably be postponed much longer. Not in terms of everything has to be perfectly laid out, just that the financial risk to Mittens has to be cancelled right away.

daveddd
02-05-14, 10:12 AM
mittens

seems like you like the guy

maybe this is all ADHD

if it is , part of the problem there isn't enough about emotional regulation in ADHD literature, its been limited to BPD, labels don't matter

and i seriously believe an understanding is the most important thing

i thought these few pages here do a very good job of explaining emotional regulation in compassionate terms

its by marsha linehan, she invented DBT, the first therapy that made huge life changing improvements in emotional dysregulation

several members here have had success with DBT for emotion regulation

not saying anyone needs therapy or anything , I'm just saying a solid understanding means a lot

and again,labels do not matter

http://books.google.com/books?id=UZim3OAPwe8C&pg=PA149&dq=borderline+personality+emotion+regulation&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6EPyUravIIKsyAHtuIGoAQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=borderline%20personality%20emotion%20regulation&f=false

davesf
02-05-14, 12:01 PM
Mittens - Forgive me for talking about you in the third person. I know you are here reading about something which is very serious and emotional for you.

She's a survivor. I would say she knows the limitations of what she can mentally and physically endure. I believe when she really is at the threshold of her capabilities she will do the right thing and throw in the towel.

I think until that point is reached, she's going to do everything in her power to make this relationship work.

Dopes - The reason I'm so convinced it's time for Mittens to focus inward and on herself, is not because of the events, or because of a judgement about the threshold of her capabilities. It would not matter if it was going on for five minutes or five decades. These statements show the problem...

"I'm just not sure how to get him to realize that without 'making' him realize that? I don't know how to fix it and that's a very helpless feeling..."

Mittens - You don't feel helpless because of him. You feel helpless because you mistakenly think your goal is to fix him. We are all helpless when we make the mistake of trying to fix someone else. You can't scoop their thoughts out with a melon baller and replace them with your own. They have to change themselves.

I'll provide an analogy. Trying to fix yourself is like trying to loosen a bolt that is rusted in place. It's hard. Trying to fix someone else is like trying to get them to loosen a bolt that is rusted in place -- over the phone, when they don't want to, and won't pick up the screwdriver. It is literally impossible. Believing you can do it is a form of temporary insanity. Continuing to try will drive you irrationally crazy, because no matter what you do, the bolt will not turn. Only he can pick up the screwdriver. Only he can turn it. Literally the only control you have how you take care of yourself while he makes his choices.

I have firsthand knowledge of this at many levels. Most recently, my undiagnosed ADHD made my very very strong independent wife slightly co-dependent. I'm not a substance abuser. I have no financial troubles. Neither of us have to work. She has my checkbook and credit cards. We have nanny and housekeeper. The biggest thing she nagged me about was the dishes. Yet ADHD patterns create irrational emotions, responses, and deficiencies. It's a subtle form of emotional abuse. When a healthy person cares about someone who has a problem like this, they can't help but fill in the gaps, try to make up for the problems, and soon it turns into emotional confusion and co-dependency.

http://mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency

Mittens, take care of yourself!

dvdnvwls
02-05-14, 06:03 PM
Mittens...

If anybody hadn't noticed, I'm in the extreme zone for being a touchy-feely kind of guy. When I try to be "practical and matter-of-fact", I often misjudge and make wild incorrect pronouncements. I hope I'm not doing that here...

There are many emotionally-laden issues in your situation, and certainly they need attention. Compassion is always the key; you and I both know that. You are being compassionate to the best of your ability and beyond, except for one glaring defect. You forgot to include yourself.

I remember, more than once long ago, my mother setting the table for a large group of people, and setting it one place short because she forgot to include herself. That's cute, and funny.

The situation you're in is not so funny anymore. :grouphug:

If you begin from "For my own safety, today I'm taking away the possibility for my spouse to rely on me financially", what would you really need to do to get that done? How much participation from him is even required, to get you off the hook for this stuff?


When my ex did this, it was under the circumstances of an ugly bitter vendetta. The vendetta hurt me. The financial change didn't hurt a bit. If we had got there sooner, not been in such angry circumstances, and she had said "Look, I'm doing this, I'm sorry but I have to", it really would have been all right with me. I'm sure I would have felt hurt to some extent, but I wasn't clueless. I knew as well as she did that it wasn't right for her to be exposed to unreasonable risks. And in our situation - already officially married for 20 years - it was if anything harder for her to justify not supporting me financially anymore. Your financial change is if anything a more obvious and natural conclusion than ours was.

tester
02-06-14, 04:50 AM
I wanted to thank everybody participating in this thread for sharing their experiences, stories, anecdotes and opinions... it truly has been enlightening to me... initially very scary, quite hurtful, (not gonna lie) parts made me angry, parts were extremely heart wrenching, and even a little vilifying... but overall, probably the most real thing I've ever read... thank you

Let me introduce myself... My name is Tester... I have ADD... I was officially diagnosed maybe 6-8 months ago (give or take)... us ADD'ers, I've come to learn, are not great with time... something that in my earlier years, I thought was simply a cute quirk...

Anyways, I'm in my early 40's... married once... divorced the same number of times... and am really struggling in my current relationship... I have hurt, and continue to hurt someone most dear to me... not intentionally, I assure you... but more accurately because I never realize that I'm doing it at the time... and then after the fact, after processing what I said, or how I've acted, etc...I freeze in fear because of an overwhelming guilt that completely envelops me. Then I try to justify my actions... or more commonly, my inactions.

I am medicated, and have definitely found the medication to be an amazing tool... how do I know? because I went off the medication just to see if it was working... not the best analogy but... I also never thought I had bad eyesight until I got glasses for the first time. The medication definitely gives me that "moment of pause" and helps me clear "the fuzzy brain"... I've been off my meds a couple of times for short, yet traumatic, periods of time (why? because I ran out of them, and never had the forth thought to make sure that I wouldn't have run out)... I truly am a textbook ADD'er... I'm probably rambling now... it's almost 1am, and my meds would have petered out around 4pm... that and this typing window is so small that I can't more than the previous three sentences that I wrote.

Where was I... Ok...

my GF is non-ADD... she is an amazing woman... biggest heart I've ever met... I love her more than she can imagine... and I have let her down... many, many times... I'm horrible with bills... which has caused her credit to be affected... You could not hope to understand how bad I feel with the pain I've caused her... so I hide... why? I don't know... Or rather I just thought that was "my thing"... I did not mean the trouble I caused... I felt, and feel like a freeloader... a loser... not worthy... a deadbeat... did I miss anything? these are genuine feelings... ones that make me run for the hills... feelings that hit to the core of my masculinity... I was always the bread winner in my marriage... I've never relied on anyone to support me financially... I had a successful business... I made my own schedule... I worked ALOT... I never noticed that I was "different"... at least I never saw it as a weakness... then the accusations... I think you have ADD... you should talk to a doctor... you need medication...

I did this... and she was right... but wow, that term "ADD"... the stigma... I'm not superman... I have chinks in my armour... I have to go to a pharmacy and pickup "RITALIN"? I hope nobody heard them say it... everybody is looking at me now I know it... damn... why is it taking sooo long to get the prescription?... sorry but we only have a month supply instock... it will take another week to get in the rest of your RITALIN! seriously, did the clerk actually speak louder when he said RITALIN!

And for the record, I took ALL the tests... so, no, I'm not paranoid, pd, delusional, narcicystic, manic, etc etc... I'm just trying to express the feelings of shame that I'm still trying to come to terms with.

I have broken the person that I love... someone that trusted her heart and soul with me... I let her down... I broke her...

I'm working on fixing me... and it isn't easy... over 40 years... one failed marriage (that I, knowing what I know now, should accept a lot of the blame for its failing)... OUCH... hurts to hear that!!! numerous failed relationships... a lot of introspection in a very short period of time... and slow, steady climb to re-build the trust...

I have caught up on the utility bills... next step is to move them into my name...

Yes, I am Mittens man-boy... sorry for the blathering... maybe after the morning meds kick in... i'll have something coherent to type... please know, that I know that I need to fix me... and I'm trying sooo hard... ADD really sucks ! ...and I'm not using it as a crutch... it is just... as i said before... i didn't know that my eye were bad until i tried glasses for the first time... ADD can quite honestly make you oblivious... I've read a good book on ADD and relationships,an how my social responses are so different than the NORM... sorry that's derogatory... than the non-ADD person ... but of course, the name escapes me now.

thank you everyone
I love you Mittens <3
I just suck at saying it <3
did I mention that I cry watching Nickelodeon Family Movies? might as well put that out there too

dvdnvwls
02-06-14, 05:27 AM
Hi tester - welcome to the forum. I'm really glad to see you here. I'm kind of your twin. :) ADD, early 40s, divorce and conflict in the recent past, feeling like a man-boy in a lot of ways, ... on and on. The painful feelings - same ones. Hiding in my room... endless. That crying at the movies? Yup - probably in all the same scenes. :) And so on.


I have been following and responding to this topic for a while, and I have a lot of respect for you two because you're doing a better job of working this stuff out than I did.

This place has helped me a lot. I hope it does for you too. I look forward to discussions with you in the future (though we might not need to discuss much, since we're pretty much the same person anyway.) ;)

Peace to you. And thanks for showing up.

dvdnvwls
02-06-14, 03:58 PM
"I know that I need to fix me"

tester, I lived in that trap for a long long time. (I was heavily criticized by my ex for seeing traps in too many situations, and maybe she was right, but this one is a real trap.)

It means "I'm defective". You can't live that way. When you believe you're defective, then fixing anything becomes nearly impossible, because how could anybody trust the work of a defective person?

A small change that makes a huge difference: "I have a lot of things to fix." (And knowing, while you say it, that you are a good person who really can fix the things you need to fix.)

I think I'm also realizing that I had a fantasy something like "When I finally fix me, I'll do things better automatically". I don't think there are any automatic functions anymore. Reversing my fantasy - "when I do things better, I'll appear to be a better person, while in fact I was a good person all along" - makes a lot more sense.

tester
02-06-14, 07:10 PM
"I know that I need to fix me"
It means "I'm defective". You can't live that way. When you believe you're defective, then fixing anything becomes nearly impossible, because how could anybody trust the work of a defective person?

A small change that makes a huge difference: "I have a lot of things to fix." (And knowing, while you say it, that you are a good person who really can fix the things you need to fix.)

I think I'm also realizing that I had a fantasy something like "When I finally fix me, I'll do things better automatically". I don't think there are any automatic functions anymore. Reversing my fantasy - "when I do things better, I'll appear to be a better person, while in fact I was a good person all along" - makes a lot more sense.

dvdnvwis... thanks for that :)

I'm not going to lie... I do cycle between "I got this" to "My world is spiraling out of control"... I bounce back and forth multiple times throughout the day... it's scary to not be in control of one's feelings at any given moment...

It is a fine line between accepting "I screwed up..." then posturing (or believing) "but I can fix this" versus... knowing "I screwed up..." and then thinking "well, maybe if I close my eyes tight enough the problems will go away"... again, I'm not delusional... but that it IS MY DEFAULT GO TO PLACE... why? I don't know... I don't think its easier... never solves the problem... doesnt even bury it for very long... it only ends up exasurbating the situation... and yet... there I go...

And I can't blame anybody but myself for my self-pity... I feel guilty for the pain I cause, and the "failings I accomplish"... a weird reverse statement, but accurate in my head.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not a bad person... and most of the time, I know that... it's just when you spin your wheels without feeling little successes, it is very disheartening...
If it was just me, no spouse, no child... then no problem I guess? Meaning there wouldn't be anyone to let down... the fear of letting someone down is absolutely paralysing...
And unfortunately, being paralysed doesn't help comfort one to "suck it up" and try to fail again... yes, I said try to fail again... glass half empty wollowing? perhaps...

I am trying to improve finances, learn about myself... to better hear and understand Mitten's needs. This is by no means a justification for things... but perhaps a view into my mind...

When I do something that only effects me... I can brush it off emotionally, intellectually... and carry on with the day.... but when my mistakes hurt others, I literately take on their hurt... I don't take it away from them, but rather I get buried the dizzy spinning of the worry of what did I do?... what will she say?... what will then I say?... how can I fix this?... what I the fix doesn't fix?... then things will get worse... then she'll... so I will... so she won't... so... on and on, until the entire day has passed I'm emotionally exhausted... and personally defeated... I only imagine how disheartening, frustrating and hurtful it comes across outside my head.

ADD'ers have the trait of hyperfocus... which in a creative alone, or business mode, can be great... so many ideas, so many solutions... so many options... fast brain, is how the experts describe it if I recall correctly...

But when it is relationship related... and the hyperfocus takes over during a worry session or a damn I F*&K'd up scenerio... I get to the point where the situation becomes surreal... I only hear fractional words... static, busy noisy... jibberish... hard to explain unless your in my head... which makes me literally feel like I'm drowning... I block out the other person in the conversation... I get into a fight/conversation with myself... to better explain...

If I hit that trigger point of... I'm having a panic attack during a conversation... I can only compare the feeling to me playing chess against myself... I construct both sides of the conversation... I'm three steps ahead of Mittens in the discussion or argument... although she's not even at the same chess table... I hear her answer in my head, and assume that it must have been what she was going to say, or said... so I then react to that... all the while, the poor girl is getting berated by me for a thought or position that she never had...

I do catch myself sometimes when this is happening, or about to, and then I try to stepback... but it's tough because the brain runs fast... and many times, I've already spit enough venom that Mittens is rightfully mad.

Again, I'm not sure if this sounds simply like more rambling... but I'm trying to figure myself out... distance myself from the situation to see clearer... and more rationally...
Funny how people can see actions/reactions/reactions in others outside their personal situations... but are blind to their own sitations, when they live it... is that just ADD'ers or people in general?...

Still in love... still hurting the one I love... but really wanting to improve...

Thankyou Everybody,
Tester

ginniebean
02-07-14, 12:03 AM
Tester, I'm pretty sure I'm one of the people that really ****** you off. I apologise for my ill chosen words.

I can't tell you how you having the guts to write here and come forward makes me so proud of you. One thing people with adhd do well is to step forward and be accountable, even for things they aren't accountable for sometimes.
It's clear to all of us that you and mittens love each other and we'd like to see this work. Mittens is a truly lovely person and if a relationship can be made to work she's one who's showing up willing and able to do so.

She cares for you deeply and she cares for your son. That alone is magic because so often steps are filled with resentment and unconsciously take it out on the child.

Security is important to mittens, she doesn't expect a level playing field tho I'm sure you're willing to give that to her when able. Not knowing is a very insecure place to be, as you yourself have pointed out over your emotional needs.

I know it may be hard to show her what's going on with you, but sincerely, she is worth every effort.

I'm truly impressed with you. I'm rooting for you.

someothertime
02-07-14, 12:25 AM
tester! true test of commitment you came! very happy that you came here to put forth some perspective... show commitment... etc.

good on you! and i'm rooting for you too! despite this whole thread, the emotional strains on your guys... i've seen some amazing qualities in both of you and truly hope things find some momentum... that you both learn about each other... do the work to compromise and modify some behaviors to get back to some nice times!

RedHairedWitch
02-07-14, 01:08 PM
I strongly suggest that you see your doctor about a different medication or a higher dose. It sounds like what you are taking right now is not quite doing the trick.

Also cognitive behavioural therapy is very helpful.

davesf
02-07-14, 03:33 PM
Tester - This is a message from a fellow ADHD. You may have to read it a few times, as it's hard for information to sink through our thick ADHD skulls. Try to be patient.

Please accept yourself. If you were deaf, you wouldn't keep trying to hear. If you were blind, you wouldn't keep trying to see. In both cases you would find another way. Stop trying to pretend you don't have ADHD, or that if you work hard enough you can bulldoze through it.

Give yourself the permission to do things that come easy, and offload things that don't. It doesn't make you a lesser person or a lesser man, it makes you a bigger and better one. Trust me. Your life can be so much richer and better if you stop forcing yourself to fail.

I am incredibly successful. I started and sold my own business. I financially provide for my household. --- Yet I often feel anxiety and dread at picking up the phone to make an unfamiliar call, or set myself to do an unfamiliar task. --- because I have ADHD. I do experience moments where these tasks are calm and enjoyable, sometimes on medication. You know what works the rest of the time? Asking someone else to do them

Let me demonstrate what I mean with an example... You said:

I have caught up on the utility bills... next step is to move them into my name...

Is that next-step easy? Is it done?

If you are anything like me, the answer is "hell no." If you did get that done, translate the example to something else you are struggling with. Or think about the process it took to get there.

There are times in my life where my ADHD makes me dread tasks like this. I can feel angry and anxious. I might delay it for weeks. Hopefully I would forget about it, and it would forget about me. If not, I'd punish myself for not doing it. I'd try to make deals and tricks with myself to get it done. They might fail.

There is an easier way.

Ask for help.

Accept that you don't have to do everything in life alone. Do the parts that come easier for those of us with ADHD. Things that have big impact and value. Get things started. Be the catalyst. Be a leader. Be a motivator. Care about important things. Make the right choices. Mittens loves you for *these* qualities. -- then -- Partner with others who finish. Partner with others who follow-through. Let yourself off the hook.

It sounds like you already discussed which bills should be in your name, and came to some form of agreement. If those bills are still not in your name, asking for help is an easier way to do it than fighting your ADHD. It may feel weird. There may be emotions -- fear, anger, confusion. Your brain will try to tell you what they mean. It's lying. This is how you can be a man. Choose honesty.

You are smart enough to know how your choices affect you and the people around you. You know what the right thing to do is. If you want to leave Mittens, be honest with her, move out and set her free. If you want to stay with her, be honest with yourself, and ask for help. Say the words below. Print them and read them if you have to. It can change your life.

"Mittens - will you call and put them in my name? What do you need to do that?"

ADHD creates lots of problems which are really hard for non-ADHD partners to deal with -- this is not one of them.

Mittens will have zero stress and zero trouble calling on your behalf to switch the bills over. They'll need a few details from you. They might even want to talk to you for a few seconds. It'll be a heck of alot easier than the torture we ADHDers put ourselves through.

There is no way that weeks of fighting, Mittens sleeping elsewhere, eleven pages for forums, and who knows what stress your child is going through -- is better than asking Mittens to help with some clerical tasks. Understand that we ADHDers often create this anger and stress because it helps us focus, but it's not fair. Mittens doesn't deserve to be used like that. Your child doesn't deserved to be used like that. Nobody does.

You probably want to prove that you can do it -- which I'm sure you *can*. This is not failure, it is strategy. This is not neediness, it is togetherness. ADHD creates so many bigger and more important problems we all need to work on (many having to do with emotions), that it's important not to make mountains out of the little things.

I know this message can be tough to hear. It might make you mad. Before I knew I had ADHD, suggestions of incapability (sometimes by myself) made me so mad (and afraid) the stress would often break through my block. I'd finish my task with excellence. I'd pretend there was no struggle at all, attempting to demonize the messenger. I've done it before. Often times it worked. The thing is, I can't be fooled anymore. Not by myself, and not by you. It's one of the most simultaneously freeing and painful lessons in my life. If only seeing our faults was enough for them to be fixed. Until then, we have is honesty, self-control, and medication when it helps.

Stop making your life harder than it already is. Don't try to be superman. Just be a better man.

dvdnvwls
02-07-14, 03:57 PM
davesf: You've certainly helped me with that post, by crystallizing some things that I already sort-of knew into a much more coherent/cohesive form. Thanks.

tester
02-08-14, 12:21 AM
My first gut response to reading RedHairedWitch's comment was "what do that witch know about me? you does she think she is?" ...that said, I stepped back to keep ADD gut responses from taking over... especially after seeing Mittens thanking Red for her comment... maybe it wasn't meant as a personal attack... I love Mitten's with all my heart <3 ...ladies and gentleman... ADD sucks !!

I can't stand how my first reaction to things is always wrong... or negative... or feeling attacked... is that common with ADD'ers, or just me?

Anyways, I know that my meds have definitely helped me... because I've seen me off them... my emotions aren't in check... and the term "scatter brained" is the under statement of the year...

So here is my dose situation... i'm on Ritalin twice a day 10mg(8am) and 10mg(noon)... i started at 5mg and 5mg... and bumped up the doses over time... my doc gave me the flexibility (and responsibility) to ramp up doses as I felt comfortable... the idea being try 2x5mg(8am) and 1x5mg(noon)... etc... until we started me on 10mg pills twice a day...

I guess my question is how do I know (truly KNOW) if when I bump up again that it's helping...? again, I'm not against trying another drug... I just know at what point I should stop bumping up my Ritalin, and try something else...

is it when I can't sleep, or get fidgety? neither is a problem yet... but my biggest fear is switching to something else, and losing everything I've accomplished so far...

And also, a big question... is what else is out there other than Ritalin? do others on here have better luck with different meds?

Davesf, I do want Mittens... forever... I just want to be a better partner to her... a fairer partner... she deserves that from me... to answer your question, I have not yet switched over the utilities... and yes, the act of do that is weirdly hard for me... I never actually realized that before... I'm a marketing guy, a salesguy... I excel in cold calling... I don't understand the why this is so difference... but it is... thank you for the nudge... I will ask Mittens for help making this happen...

"Mittens - I love you. please help walk me through completing the utility transfers into my name"

Sidenote everybody, I went to the post office today and realized that it was tax time again... and I got a lump in my throat... every year I procrastinate doing them, getting more and more stressed... until I finally do them, and feel immense relieve and pride... I what you will say, get someone to do them for you... but the funny thing is... i don't mind doing them... the emotionally painful part is getting the information to together before had... and that is only me that can do that... did i meant ADD sucks?

thanks Red, Davesf, dvdnvwis... and the young guy that sent me the private message... and most of all Mittens, for living though my issues <3

-Tester

davesf
02-08-14, 01:34 AM
tester - I really liked your most recent post. Very very honest.

The answers to your ADD questions, are YES YES and YES! These feelings are very common for ADDers. It's not just you. You are describing exactly how I've felt my entire life. (I only recently found out it was because of ADHD)

Here are some more answers... I'll lead with the most important one..

The language we choose to use DEFINES ourselves, and tells our brain who to become. Consider your phrase, "I can't stand how my first reaction to things is always wrong." Writing, or even *thinking* this statement is actually telling some part of your subconcious that you "always" have a "wrong first reaction". Don't ever let anyone talk to you that way, especially yourself. It's factually-incorrect, mean, rude, and self-defeating.

Say the same thing using empowered language, like "My first reaction to things is often wrong. I'd like to know how to fix that."

Using empowered language is part of both Neuro Linguistic Programming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy). To get more help with this, I highly recommend buying one of Tony Robbins (http://www.tonyrobbins.com/) audio sets. I think the disc I like best is called "The Edge". It is available on itunes and the android google play store. I've never seen his claims of "instant change" be true, but using empowered language has been a huge and lasting change in my life.

I have not yet switched over the utilities... and yes, the act of do that is weirdly hard for me... I never actually realized that before...

That resistance you feel is because of ADD. I describe it as my brain trying to avoid the ADD-inspired confusion that occurs in an unfamiliar situation or conversation.

Even before I knew I had ADD, I knew I spent my life "casually" running plans and predictions through my head to try to decide how to handle every imaginable situation coming up. It doesn't stress me out, it's just what I do so I'm not confused in the moment. Trouble is, unfamiliar situations are hard to predict, so they stress me out. Solution? Avoid them. Not a great solution.

I guess my question is how do I know (truly KNOW) if when I bump up again that it's helping...?

I didn't know what the target was until I felt it, so I'll explain what it felt like to me. The first time I took a 27mg Concerta (time release Ritalin), my mind felt "blank". At first it felt wrong and unusual. I looked out the window and felt like I could just stare and sit there spaced out. I started to do things, and found myself calm and patient -- almost too much so. I talked to my wife, and found it kind of "magical" the way her words filled my mind without my own ideas fighting for attention. It made me spontaneously smile. Same thing interacting with my kids.

It took a couple hours like this for me to get used to it and realize *this* was the goal. To be calm, and control my focus. I want to do something, do it. I want to listen to someone, listen. I'm not quite there anymore, but I want to get closer to back there.

at what point I should stop bumping up my Ritalin, and try something else?

Ask your doctor this question. My opinion is you bump it until you either reach a calm focused state, the side-effects become too intolerable to accept, or the doc says that's it. Also, if increased doses are making you more agitated, instead of calm -- I'd stop and talk to your doctor.

And also, a big question... is what else is out there other than Ritalin? do others on here have better luck with different meds?

AFAIK Ritalin/Concerta is the most common and first line of defense. It tries to stimulate the brain dopamine cycle with less systemic effects, such as racing heart-rate. If it doesn't work, the next line of defense is amphetamines like Adderall, Dexamphetamine, Vyvanse. After that, the much-less-aggressive non-stimulant Strattera, and sometimes Wellbutrin. The non-stimulants are slow acting and work 24/7, but they are much milder.

I can't stand how my first reaction to things is always wrong... or negative... or feeling attacked... is that common with ADD'ers, or just me?

Yes, we feel this way. It is -not- just you!

I very often have the wrong emotional reaction to things at first. My self-reflection says that when I'm half-distracted, I'm "hearing" most everything, but only "processing" small bits and pieces. I might even be able to repeat the conversation back, but my brain wasn't calm enough to effortlessly understand what it means. My brain "processes" a jumble, gets confused, and triggers a fight-or-flight emotion.

This happens less to me on Concerta/Ritalin, I think because since my brain "processes" everything it can jump to a useful conclusion -- often happiness or understanding. Before diagnosis and meds, I basically trained myself to ignore emotions and hold my tongue. Trouble is, this also ends up shutting down lots of good emotions, and opening the flood-gate for me is a bit all-or-nothing.

davesf
02-08-14, 01:50 AM
Ohh, and on this taxes thing..

... the funny thing is... i don't mind doing (taxes)... the emotionally painful part is getting the information to together before hand... and that is only me that can do that... did i (say) ADD sucks?

I've been there. Go digital. Buy a sheet-fed scanner. Install cheap internet backup software. Scan every piece of paper that comes across your desk and shred it. Minimally file the digital stuff into folders. I found this very easy to do, since there is no decision involved. It took a while to clear the backlog, but then I just do it almost every-time I get a piece of paper. If I have even a moment of resistance about throwing the paper away, I just scan it, and the resistance is gone. I assume you are already using turbo tax online, but if you are not, do that too.

I still keep my physical tax documents, but because I shred everything *ELSE*, I never have any trouble finding them. I have a big file cabinet which is completely empty except for 3 different file folders, one of which has tax documents.

dvdnvwls
02-08-14, 02:04 AM
My first gut response to reading RedHairedWitch's comment was "what do that witch know about me? you does she think she is?" ...that said, I stepped back to keep ADD gut responses from taking over... especially after seeing Mittens thanking Red for her comment... maybe it wasn't meant as a personal attack... I love Mitten's with all my heart <3 ...ladies and gentleman... ADD sucks !!

I can't stand how my first reaction to things is always wrong... or negative... or feeling attacked... is that common with ADD'ers, or just me?
I suspect it's extremely common. I know for sure there are at least two of us. :lol:

I react strongly because I'm used to being blamed for things I don't control. I tend to feel attacked every time I'm told I did something wrong, even if I really did do wrong - because I'm so tired and worn out with a life filled with blame that I don't want to hear another word of it.

Learning more of the stories behind a name on the forum can really change perspectives. Example: RedHairedWitch has ADHD. So does her spouse. They have worked out a lot of these problems first-hand, and therefore RHW speaks both from "our" point of view and from knowing what it took for the two of them to succeed. Of course we're all different, but clearly there's a lot that can be learned from someone who's really in the situation and successful at it.

Every discussion board, of every kind, is going to have some people participating who really don't know what they're talking about, and of course this board is no exception. But RHW in particular, with her potentially-euphemistic name ;) , and her sometimes strong-sounding posts, is someone who I've learned it really pays to listen to - because of her success, and her experience... and most of all her kindness and honesty.

I wouldn't view it as a personal attack on you, so much as a personal defence of Mittens, and asking Mittens to have the guts to stop protecting you from your own life. Which is something she must do, or she'll burn out pretty quickly. When the spouse of an ADHDer burns out from trying to fix the un-fixable, then too often it's a sad ending. Preventing the sad ending is hopefully what we're here for.

RedHairedWitch
02-12-14, 05:51 PM
Heh. I should take some pictures of what our house looks like. Our Yule tree is still up, thank the gods it's fake. Maybe I'll take it down this weekend. Of course, the nice thing about both of us being ADHD (and living in the country where we never have friends randomly dropping by) is that no one cares that the tree is still up. Besides, the cats haven't finished destorying all the dollar store and home-made decorations yet ;) If one of us wasn't ADHD, I'm sure there would be all kinds of drama over the tree.


CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) saved my life. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed as a teen and again in my early twenties and got help at the start of adulthood. I can't imagine what would have happened if I wasn't diagnosed until now. Would LAST year's tree still be up?

Yes, the knee jerk reaction of defensiveness and taking everything as an attack is pretty normal for ADHDers, especially those of us who also deal with anxiety. One of the things that CBT and learning everything I could about ADHD did to help me, was to learn that this immediate reaction is normal ... but when you have ADHD and/or anxiety it's not properly regulated, so you act on it instead of quash it and think things through more carefully.

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FroGpants
02-12-14, 09:24 PM
Ok I haven't read all the comments but he sounds exactly like my bf. I'm adhd, my bf is add.

My bf has never been financially responsible and I'm not sure he's even capable. But what I do know is that it is one of his biggest humiliations. He feels like he isn't a man because he isn't able to take care of us by himself.

I believe that if you take this issue off the table you will see him and your relationship blossom in a whole new way.

Don't hold him to society's definition of responsible.

Don't demand that he become something he isn't.

If you can't live with him the way he is, find someone else. If you don't want to find someone else, learn to love him and live with him the way he is.

In 10 years together my bf has never once paid our rent. He works, he has money, but he doesn't keep up with bills. We have had fight after fight after fight over the issue. I've told him for years how stressful it made things for me. He loves me. But he just can't do it.

We fought so bad that if it started while we were out, he'd get out of the car and start walking home. No matter how far from home we were. He wasn't going to talk about money. Period.

And that's what made me think... wtheck is going on? NOBODY refuses this adamantly to talk about something as simple as finances!

I finally cornered him one night. Just a few months ago, we had driven to the store. We were still in the car when somehow the subject of bills came up. We sat talking and he started his usual, well then let's just break up, thing. It was cold out and freezing rain had just started to fall. He couldn't get out and walk home.

He finally broke down and admitted that he just couldn't handle it. He just didn't understand the concept and the importance of keeping up with bills. I had never understood what the big deal was and in that moment I realized that all those years and even right there in the car, I had been emasculating him. And he loved me anyway.

All those years I had been insisting that he fit society's definition of responsible and do what he, as a man, was 'supposed to do.'

I finally realized that we needed help and decided to hire an accountant. Because then I realized how stressful it had been for me too.

There are some incredible perks with my bf. I don't know if they have anything to do with his add but he's unbelievably loyal to me, he loves his mother and sisters in a way I've personally never seen. He's absolutely devoted. He tells me I'm beautiful and smell good and all that every single day. Literally. He has never once put me down or made me feel less than. And he has never flirted with or even looked twice at another woman in public.

If your bf has incredible qualities that you're in love with, please consider alternatives to how everyone says things are supposed to be done. With my adhd, I just think society is stupid and doesn't get it. We don't focus on what's important. We don't look out for each other. My bf feels the same way. And asking us to conform is just not going to happen. It would be sucking our souls right out of us.

I know how to pay bills. I know how important credit is. But I also know that when I'm on my deathbed I'm not gonna give two ****s about my credit score. What I'm going to care about is my bf holding my hand and making me laugh. Hopefully by then he'll be my husband ;)

But since credit *is* important and God knows the world won't freakin spin without it, I'll let someone professional handle all that stuff for us. I might even bring in someone to do the housework.

Greengrasshoppe
02-12-14, 10:41 PM
The lack of paycheck the past few months has been an issue, but the real issue is the even when he had money it disappeared and he genuinely had no idea where it went. He lived 100% expense free for the first 6 months he lived with me (which part of that is my fault. The first 2 months I figured he just needed to get caught up financially from moving b/c moving can be expensive).
When we talked about it later he honestly had no idea how he had no money and 0 expenses.

Ack! I do the same thing...

Mittens
02-13-14, 03:41 AM
Ok I haven't read all the comments but he sounds exactly like my bf. I'm adhd, my bf is add.

My bf has never been financially responsible and I'm not sure he's even capable. But what I do know is that it is one of his biggest humiliations. He feels like he isn't a man because he isn't able to take care of us by himself.

I believe that if you take this issue off the table you will see him and your relationship blossom in a whole new way.

Don't hold him to society's definition of responsible.

Don't demand that he become something he isn't.

If you can't live with him the way he is, find someone else. If you don't want to find someone else, learn to love him and live with him the way he is.

In 10 years together my bf has never once paid our rent. He works, he has money, but he doesn't keep up with bills. We have had fight after fight after fight over the issue. I've told him for years how stressful it made things for me. He loves me. But he just can't do it.

We fought so bad that if it started while we were out, he'd get out of the car and start walking home. No matter how far from home we were. He wasn't going to talk about money. Period.

And that's what made me think... wtheck is going on? NOBODY refuses this adamantly to talk about something as simple as finances!

I finally cornered him one night. Just a few months ago, we had driven to the store. We were still in the car when somehow the subject of bills came up. We sat talking and he started his usual, well then let's just break up, thing. It was cold out and freezing rain had just started to fall. He couldn't get out and walk home.

He finally broke down and admitted that he just couldn't handle it. He just didn't understand the concept and the importance of keeping up with bills. I had never understood what the big deal was and in that moment I realized that all those years and even right there in the car, I had been emasculating him. And he loved me anyway.

All those years I had been insisting that he fit society's definition of responsible and do what he, as a man, was 'supposed to do.'

I finally realized that we needed help and decided to hire an accountant. Because then I realized how stressful it had been for me too.

There are some incredible perks with my bf. I don't know if they have anything to do with his add but he's unbelievably loyal to me, he loves his mother and sisters in a way I've personally never seen. He's absolutely devoted. He tells me I'm beautiful and smell good and all that every single day. Literally. He has never once put me down or made me feel less than. And he has never flirted with or even looked twice at another woman in public.

If your bf has incredible qualities that you're in love with, please consider alternatives to how everyone says things are supposed to be done. With my adhd, I just think society is stupid and doesn't get it. We don't focus on what's important. We don't look out for each other. My bf feels the same way. And asking us to conform is just not going to happen. It would be sucking our souls right out of us.

I know how to pay bills. I know how important credit is. But I also know that when I'm on my deathbed I'm not gonna give two ****s about my credit score. What I'm going to care about is my bf holding my hand and making me laugh. Hopefully by then he'll be my husband ;)

But since credit *is* important and God knows the world won't freakin spin without it, I'll let someone professional handle all that stuff for us. I might even bring in someone to do the housework.

I really appreciate you taking the time to post and share that.
Thank you.
I do understand appreciating the amazing things, but I also am learning there needs to be a line.
Unfortunately it's gotten to a point that is.. just a bad place.
That's really awesome an accountant was able to help you guys.
Gives me hope :)
I hope he can figure something out like that soon. I am really not looking forward to picking up a second job, and I miss my house :(
He doesn't like my suggestions of a couples counselor and/or financial counselor, so I guess all I can do at this point is hang by the side lines and hope.

davesf
02-13-14, 07:42 PM
I hope he can figure something out like that soon. I am really not looking forward to picking up a second job, and I miss my house

Mittens! What is the latest update? You are still out of your house? How many days have you been out of your house? What is the state of things with him? Are the right bills in his name? Are they current? When are you going to resolve this?

...even when he had money it disappeared and he genuinely had no idea where it went.

As an important side-note, it is possible to get some kind of clarity about what is going on by looking at bank and credit card statements.

If I was in this situation, I think I would ask to see such statements and go over them. If they refused, I would wonder if they were lying about the whole thing -- another reason to stop compromising myself to support them.

dvdnvwls
02-13-14, 09:22 PM
I almost posted a carbon-copy of davesf's post a couple of hours ago. And I sort of thought, no, it's too much to just ask questions like that. But now I have the flimsy excuse that he started it, so I'm joining in. :( But I'm almost afraid to hear the answers. :(

RedHairedWitch
02-14-14, 10:16 PM
ADHDers are very good at spending money on little, silly things that add up without us realizing it.

For myself it's food. Snacks at the gas station, drive through while commuting, a pop or hot chocolate, order pizza, go over board on the grocery shopping, decide to buy a prime rib roast when a cheaper cut is perfectly acceptable. Also random dollar store purchases: a new scented candle, treats for the dogs, new balls for the cats, more socks, a new key chain.

For my man it's energy drinks, video games, DVDs. Buying toothpaste when we already have 3 boxes in cupboard. He's really bad for buying things like shampoo or deodorant because it's on sale and because he forgets how much we have. when we first moved in together and I cleaned the bathroom I found enough shampoo, hair gel, axe body spray etc to last months. It was tucked in random places around the bathroom and under other stuff, so he had no idea how much he had hoarded.

We both love books and flea markets. So many nick knacks and used books that we don't need, but hey they were only $5, $25, $12 etc

Eventually it really adds up.

Switching to cash only helps (you physically SEE the money go bye bye). So does printing out your bank usage for a month and looking at it, realizing how much you actually spend at the coffee shop or dollar store can be an eye opener.

TLCisaQT
02-14-14, 11:03 PM
Tester:
I read some of your posts on here. As for the meds.... it may not even mean that you have to give up the current medication that you are on - the Ritalyn. Maybe you just need to add another med to the mix. However, if you are responding well to that classification of meds, you may want to stick with it. Focalin is basically similar in that they took the good parts of Ritalyn and kept it and then reduced some of the side effects. You can get it in instant release or extended release. You can also get Ritalyn in an extended release called Concerta - it releases the medication gradually over the day (I think in 3 different dosages). You can also get Ritalyn (I believe) in its own extended release (2 releases).
My husband did ALOT better once he went on his ADHD medication but he still struggled with his mood and emotional regulation and insomnia until the doctor added a medication that stabilized his moods - abilify. It really made a big difference for him.

I know it is scary to think about messing with something that is working; however remember that any changes you make can be switched back if it doesn't work.

If you say you love Mittens and want it to work, and you feel something holds you back from being able to do what you need to do, then you need to get your butt into the doctor and keep working on a cocktail of meds that help you get to a place where you can feel able to put some skills into action. especially if you are not going to be open to going to therapy, etc. Good luck. I'm sure it's exhausting.

someothertime
02-15-14, 06:05 AM
this is mittens thread... and based on her needs yes... all of this stuff seems pretty accurate...

i can't help but look up to tester... from what i read... he has some really really workable traits... on the money side... i don't know what to say... because i'm not sure if i could address it either... ( yes, yes... i said some stuff a few pages ago... honestly i think the only way is to hand the paycheck/s to mittens and let her handle the money and an allowance... can your pride handle that? )

the distancing, opposition and pride is workable imo... and i'm sorry to keep flogging this horse... i know you guys have all the advise you'll ever need... more than that... and inviting all these strangers into your personal interactions has made things distant...

Mittens
02-21-14, 11:07 PM
This isn't necessarily pertaining specifically to this thread, but I guess it is to myself.

I just had a 'lightbulb' moment and posted on another thread about different ways of thinking and handling things that help. And realizing that made me cry.

Sounds dumb, but it actually clued into me that *i* have learned things that help!

I guess what i'm messily trying to say is that sometimes all it takes is to realize that no matter how small, if you pay attention, you can always find positives and things that give you up.
Make you realize you *are* moving forward.
Maybe it's baby steps, maybe it's minor, but things get really bad and really rough even the simple, obvious, or minute is a hell of a lot better than nothing.

When you feel like absolutely everything is out of control, the slightest thing that makes you feel like you know which direction up is can help. I also realize how thankful I am to everyone on here that has given me the advice and knowledge that allowed me to do so.

Thank you so much.