View Full Version : "She took care of everything"


jende2
07-01-14, 04:20 PM
My BF and I went to the psychiatrist for the one month follow up yesterday. The doctor was very pleased with the improvements made on Vyvanse, and he prescribed an Adderall booster. Next appointment - 6 weeks.

In the meantime, our relationship - as you can probably imagine - has been suffering. I just don't know how to "deal", so to speak. Looking for some insight, I asked my BF what worked in his former marriage. Apparently they got along fairly well, but he caught her cheating. (I know - that sentence probably didn't make much sense.......) Anyhow, he said, "She took care of everything, including me."

Now, knowing what I now know about ADHD, this statement makes perfect sense. I can just imagine how he LOVED this - he can barely cope with his own life, so to have someone "take care of everything" was probably pretty frickin' awesome!

Here's the rub - a few things actually: I'm not into being "Mommy". I am a teacher, have a successful career, I like to think that I manage my own life pretty well, was taught to be independent and do for myself, etc. And, from all the literature I've read, this "parent-child dynamic" with an ADDer is very much frowned upon. I've read Gina Pera's book where she says to guard against this type of thing in a relationship/marriage.

I hope I'm not sounding like a b**ch. I care about my BF and love him. I DO try to care for him and help him out when I can. But if a Mommy to "take care of everything" is what he wants, that's a real problem!

Thoughts? Thanks in advance! :)

kilted_scotsman
07-01-14, 04:53 PM
It might be what he wants, but its not what he needs.....

first point is that he needs to understand this....

second point is to work out a strategy to wean him off total support.... while understanding that relationships are about appropriate support.

You may find that varous subconscious strategies will come into play to get continued support. Getting good psychological support so that these are brought into his awareness may be important.

Maintaining open and authentic communication is also important....

jende2
07-01-14, 06:13 PM
I totally agree with you - it's what he wants, but not what he needs. Very well said!

The psychologist who diagnosed his ADHD offers couples counseling, and suggested that we take advantage of it. BF said he would go with me, so I DO need to set up an appointment.

It's frustrating though - I know more about his ADHD than he does. He just wants to take a pill and hope that everything goes away. ADHD is not like that - but he wouldn't know, because he doesn't read.........

It'sPeter
07-01-14, 06:25 PM
I think there are more ways to help someone than one. A simple example: if he doesn't do his part in keeping the house tidy, you helping him shouldn't be cleaning what he should be cleaning. You helping him out should look something like helping him build a construction that makes him do his part.

Maybe he doesn't realise it (or it just doesn't bother him), but chances are that having a 'mommy' relationship with a significant other can really make him feel like an incapable child. From my own experience I can say that having my girlfriend or mom keep track of my finances, because I was making a mess of it, made me feel like a re- eh... not so smart person. And that can be quite damaging to self confidence.

ToneTone
07-01-14, 07:06 PM
I think you're right to be a little troubled by the idea that you know more about his condition than he does. What seems strange, as you describe it, is that he isn't even all that curious about his condition.

Something doesn't sound right about that ... seems like his commitment to treatment is shallow. In my view, it's a huge red flag that you are learning more about his condition than he is and that he isn't even curious about it. Huge red flag.

Have you told him that you don't want to be his "Mommy"? Presumably you want to date another equal adult, even if that adult has some issues.

Tone

daveddd
07-01-14, 07:18 PM
people seeking out this dynamic will usually only settle for an enabler

if you aren't one, this will most likely work itself out

VeryTired
07-02-14, 01:20 AM
Jende2--

I just want to offer sympathy. I have been in a very similar situation and found it very disturbing. It was never my wish to end up taking care of everything but somehow the incessant pressure to do so piled up and I conceded a little here, a little there … and suddenly I looked around and found myself totally overburdened with being someone else's support person. It was confusing: I have a demanding career that I love! I am tough and resourceful! And very independent! But none of that stopped this from happening.

I spent some time in therapy, I read a lot, I thought about things. And I am now vigilant about boundaries, and very clear about emphasizing my own needs and helping my partner to handle more on his own than he initially wanted to do. This is all progress, but now it sometimes feels like my full time job is enforcing boundaries and taking care of myself … not quite how I ideally see partnership.

Anyway, you certainly don't sound like a *****, and you are right to have worries about the parent/child thing. Do you feel that things are going better with your boyfriend since he started treatment? This is all a huge transition for you both to weather--maybe it will just take a little while for things to settle down? Let us know how it goes.

Nicksgonefishin
07-02-14, 03:16 AM
I think it's awesome you are interested in it. So many threads about partners that don't believe in adhd.

An adhder that doesn't read? I bet he has seen a YouTube video in his time.

How to come off as not nagging though.... i would bring this up in one of your therapy sessions.

kilted_scotsman
07-02-14, 04:18 AM
There's a thing in psychotherapy called the drama triangle... people take up one of three positions... Persecutor, Rescuer and victim. People move between these positions though there's usually one they prefer in particular situations.

It sounds lke the OP's partner has adopted the victim position which fits with his disinterest with his diagnosis and making efforts to deal with it.

IT also sounds like the OP may be a rescuer type, though over time there's often a switch back and forth between persecutor and rescuer, with victim eventually entering the picture. Victims also often switch to persecutor behaviour....

Tonetone is right that attempting to interrupt the dynamc often results in the "victim" moving off to find a new rescuer.... and there are plenty of rescuers out there.

jende2
07-02-14, 08:55 AM
Thank you for all your replies - lots to think about!

My "plan" was to see what my BF would do during the days after he saw the psych. He was given the name of two books about Adult ADHD that the psych thought were excellent. The doctors office wrote the titles down for him. I was hoping that he would either order the books or go to the library. Nothing. And so, since a month has now gone by, I would like to ask him about this. Why the disinterest?

I know what he will say. "I have no time." He owns his own business, which is a 24/7 thing for him, and he can't quite seem to handle it all. Right now, he's working 12 hour days. I'm on Summer Break from teaching. So you can see the temptation of asking me to do stuff for him during the months of June, July, and August.

I DID tell him that I will not be his Mommy. His response was, "I don't see it as you being my Mom. I see it as helping out your significant other in times of need."

I don't see myself as a rescue/enabler type, although I will think about that a little more now that it was mentioned. When he tries to push things on me (for example, doing his laundry) I tell him, "you are perfectly capable of handling that." He gives me dirty and displeased looks, which I know are his way of making me feel guilty. But I'm not moved by them, and I don't respond. I know he thinks I'm evil, and that I SHOULD do the things he's requesting.

I try to make progress in our relationship. Case in point: we are having his family over for July 4. At my suggestion we sat down and hammered out what each of us could reasonably contribute to the party as far as cooking and cleaning are concerned. I have my "jobs" and he has his. We will see if he will follow through. And if he is running out of time, believe me, I will not pick up the slack for him, and I informed him of this already.

And yes, I can see how he might want to find a different GF who would do all things for him. Sad to say, but some days I feel that I would be okay with that......

spunkysmum
07-02-14, 08:41 PM
What about his own Mommy? Did she take care of him before the ex did? He sounds a lot like a guy whose mother waited on him hand and foot, although that could just be from the ex.

Nicksgonefishin
07-02-14, 08:51 PM
So he wants a traditional kind of marriage where women do the laundry and cooking and cleaning and he brings home the bacon?

Cool. Fine. Make a deal.

My brother and sister in law have a very beautiful dance that they do. They have defined roles in the house. I'm not saying be his mom but rather be his other half. Let him know you expect him to be your other half as well. Whatever his talents are or he does for you make those part of his roll. My brother runs his business and fixes things and what not. My sister in law does the laundry and dishes. The deal they struck was that he would buy her whatever washer/dryer she wanted if he never had to do any of it. She doesn't have to work on the cars or do a lot of the outside work.

It might not be as cut and dry and you might have to define your rolls in the relationship and it will take time. Hold him accountable to his half.

I repeat hold him accountable

ToneTone
07-02-14, 10:23 PM
Jende2,

Sounds to me like you're pretty well grounded and clear about what you want to do and not want to do in that relationship.

Seems like you are in a observation period when you are really looking at BF and how he does and does not operate, how does and does not follow through.

I feel like there is a lot of clarity and strength in your voice here. Keep trusting yourself and you'll be fine.

Good luck.

Tone

RedHairedWitch
07-03-14, 07:05 PM
Thank you for all your replies - lots to think about!

My "plan" was to see what my BF would do during the days after he saw the psych. He was given the name of two books about Adult ADHD that the psych thought were excellent. The doctors office wrote the titles down for him. I was hoping that he would either order the books or go to the library. Nothing. And so, since a month has now gone by, I would like to ask him about this. Why the disinterest?

I know what he will say. "I have no time." He owns his own business, which is a 24/7 thing for him, and he can't quite seem to handle it all. Right now, he's working 12 hour days. I'm on Summer Break from teaching. So you can see the temptation of asking me to do stuff for him during the months of June, July, and August.



<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wF1YRE8ff1g" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

Pentax
07-08-14, 08:50 PM
Wow, RHW. Well cf the video, I don't think my guy is lazy, but the rest, wow, especially the part about the more distant future not being real, and when it arrives,scrambling to organize. I'm right in the phase in which the relation is moving into settling into our ways, and what different posters have said, it's been hard to resist the tug to become the helper. He asks for a lot of help, or things blow up in ways that the professor in the video describes, and he turns to me to help him fix it, or gets very harried. Neither of us wants me to be the mommy. For me that would kill the relation.

At my end, being non ADHD, it has been one emergency after another in his life...the emergencies are wearing on him badly, I can see that, and they are very upsetting to me..that they don't stop, they never stop, there,s not just forgetting where the car keys are, but there are these sudden strenuous wrenchings of him, and the time we have togetHer, because of the things that the professor said on the video.

To everyone in the thread: it seems from what I've read so far on the site...I'm new... the partner of someone who has ADHD needs to lend ~some~ extra help, right? How much? Varies from ADHD person to person? I get boundaries, communicating well, not being an enabler, but still it's very clear that I can't have all of the expectations I can with non ADHD partners, and believe me drawing healthy boundaries isn't the same either. He has a heart of gold, but if it's off his horizon at the moment it's as if I hadn't said it or acted consistently with my boundary.

I'm floundering knowing how much is enough. When, to him does necessary to him reminding turn into nagging? If it were me, I'd say it once and be done with it, but regardless of his desire, once forgotten, to him it's gone.

It's obvious that he's as smart as they come, and very kind, very good will. No I don't want to slip into doing for him what he, as an adult ought to do for himself, and for me. How much is enough help? Think about his particular ADHD problems, and develop a repertoire with him in those spots? He's one who refuses to consider that he has ADHD and will be pushing up daisies before he sees the inside of a therapist's office. He's from a generation that believes that anything that begins with psych- means crazy. Three days reading on this site, especially what people with ADHD say about their lives has blown me away. It's a 100 % fit, and now I begin to see how hard he works to keep order, and why things are always getting chaotic for him. How much help is the right amount, and how shall I best help him? That video is a winner. Thanks, Red Haired Witch

jende2
07-09-14, 10:05 AM
Pentax - I'm on my way to work, so I will post more later. You seem to be living my life. Except my boyfriend has been diagnosed and takes Vyvanse. It has helped, but not totally.

I don't know what the answer is. I really don't. Sometimes it just seems easier to me to think of my boyfriend as a child, and do most things myself. I know that's NOT the answer, but........ I'm non ADHD, and things just come easier to me. He struggles so much with daily tasks of living that seem so simple to me to handle.

Big hugs. I'll post more later.

SirSchmidt
07-10-14, 03:07 PM
It has been almost a year since I was diagnosed and began treatment for my ADHD. Admittedly I still have a lot to learn and still have a long way to go, but I have made major strides in my ability to live well and take care of myself. I have seen several distinct stages in my life since I was diagnosed.

1. In order to change for the better one must acknowledge there's room for improvement.
2. After acknowledging this, one must actually want to improve.
3. After wanting it, one must find methods to improve.
4. After finding these methods, one must employ them in his/her life.

I emphasized these words because they are all verbs. None of these steps will happen unless the person with ADHD actively and consciously works on them daily.

The progression from diagnosis to step 1 was difficult for me. I originally looked into ADHD because someone related my struggles to the symptoms caused by ADHD. Even after I was diagnosed and started medication I didn't want to believe it deep down.

Over several months I started to pick up on a few things. I noticed how my medication helped me become motivated and to concentrate on tasks. I was completing chores, organizing and focusing on a much greater level. I loved the feeling of tackling a task and seeing it through to completion.

Seeing these small, positive changes put things in perspective. I was able to see and experience the way I was compared to how I could be. This increased my desire to continue working on my life as a whole. I began reading about ADHD and the methods other people use to treat it. Their experiences help me find my own methods as well as give comfort to know I'm not alone.

Each step is a process and takes time. It's not easy to admit you have shortcomings. It's even more difficult to accept that they come from a disorder. To make positive strides, you have to want it and go after it like it's the only thing that matters.

I hope your boyfriend can come to terms with his ADHD and see his diagnosis as something positive. He can use it to become something greater, if he truly wants it.

Pentax
07-10-14, 10:42 PM
Pentax - I'm on my way to work, so I will post more later. You seem to be living my life. Except my boyfriend has been diagnosed and takes Vyvanse. It has helped, but not totally.

I don't know what the answer is. I really don't. Sometimes it just seems easier to me to think of my boyfriend as a child, and do most things myself. I know that's NOT the answer, but........ I'm non ADHD, and things just come easier to me. He struggles so much with daily tasks of living that seem so simple to me to handle.

Big hugs. I'll post more later.

Great big hugs to you, Jende. I'm ~really~ motivated to find out about ADHD.

About thinking of him as a child. Wellll, that won't work for you longterm, will it? It wouldn't for me.

...it's like the needle of needing my attention, or wanting it, or needing my help, or wanting it, is constantly zooming up and down a scale, fast.

Jende, I don't know if this is part of what you're going through, but after about a year of this constant shifting up and down the scale of requests or not requests for my help, sometimes would I help, sometimes he said I was overdoing, it conditioned me to constantly be thinking of him, rearranging my time for him. I think they call it intermittent conditioning.

So I'm in the process of getting blocks of my own time back, that I can depend on and deliver what I need to do in my own life on. Boundaries, as they say. Communication and follow through one's intentions, as they say.

But please people with ADHD, what do you need help with, when you're in relation with other people? Yes, I ~really~ understand that people need to own their capabilties and challenges, and get active improving their own life.

But that begs the question of relationship, which usually has some reciprocity, some helping each other in it. Short of turning a friend or lover into a mommy, what can she or he do for you?

And what can you do for her, or him? Not everyone is alike, so I'll be happy to hear how I could help you, and then think about what you answer might fit or not with the man I'm with.

SirSchmidt
07-11-14, 12:35 PM
This is a tough one to answer. I'll just throw some ideas out there.

1. Encourage us. We need to know you're confident in us and believe in our ability to handle things.
2. If we do something well or go the extra mile with a chore or project, thank us. When someone thanks me for doing something for them, I get a huge boost.
3. When we fall short and forget a chore or other small item, be patient. Make sure to remind us in a kind way that we forgot something.
4. Be aware of how daily life affects us. If i'm incredibly stressed, my motivation and concentration goes out the window completely. Be understanding and flexible when this happens from time to time.
5. Don't micro-manage us. I see some threads where one partner lacks all trust for their ADHD partner and checks-in on them as if they were a small child. This will only cause anger and frustration to someone with ADHD.

I do like the idea of dividing chores if possible. If one partner hates doing laundry and the other loves it, then it's possible to make an arrangement where chores are divided. Try to work with what we love to do so that it helps us both.

kittyb21
07-11-14, 01:11 PM
Just seen this thread;
- My ex told me he needed a mother figure..
- He lives with a male house mate who mothers him, house mate has all financial control and keeps house. (he's 32)
- I think you have to be very, very clear on boundaries, and what you think you will need in the long term.
xx

Pentax
07-20-14, 09:05 PM
Thank you, Kitty

I've thought about your post a lot. I agree about boundaries. I had a real problem with losing my own life, through accommodating his needs, that cropped up by the end of the first year. I've learned though, that just verbalizing my needs or boundaries doesn't get the job done. They're my boundaries of course, so they're my job, not his, but it is a relationship, not parallel lives, after all, and he also tends not doesn't track on my needs, more than someone without an attention problem would, I think.

I'm definitely on the learning curve, here.

I've read what you've posted about your life. Hope the best for you.

Pentax

ToneTone
07-21-14, 06:16 PM
What to do? That is the question!

First of all, it's important to imagine that there is a job out there that your partner could perform at a high level that wouldn't totally overwhelm him. That's a struggle many of us have: we are in jobs that wear us out and we struggle to keep up and meet deadlines and follow through. Many ADHDers are thus constantly on the verge of feeling like a failure.

Unfortunately, ADHDers are often surprisingly inept in imagining this possibility ourselves. I once had an exchange with an ADHDer whose boss was threatening to fire him. The guy was a successful salesman who spent a lot of time on the road (great fit for some ADHDers--out of the office and interacting with people), but he never completed his expense forms. And of course, the more behind the guy got, the more he procrastinated.

My suggestion to the guy was to quit trying to do this. Instead, go to a secretary on the job (someone highly organized) and offer to pay them to do it. Heck, pay them $20 a week or whatever. Drop receipts off to this person after a trip and then sign the forms when they are done. The guy loved the idea--had never thought of it. That's where partners can help: point out practical (easy!) solution--pay the secretary a little extra to do this.

Sometimes a job can be tweaked to build on the ADHDer's strengths, but the ADHDer has to be able to see this. You trade with the boss: what if I focus more on Task X, which I do well and make money for the company, rather than Task Y, where I don't help the company make money. Many bosses would love that. But if you're walking around fearing you're inadequate because you lose your keys, then you're not going to have the confidence to propose it.

Helping us see and value our strengths is what a partner can do. Because otherwise, we are likely to think that the "normal" way of taking on a task is the only way--and we'll become defensive because we can't do the task well the normal way.

So we need friends, partners, coworkers to help us accept that tweaking our jobs or even housework to make things EASIER is a good thing! Right now, I have a friend who insists that I get a certain type of rug for my living space. But I hate cleaning rugs. I know that. So I'm refusing to get the rug. I'm there now--I can think this way, but it would have been nice to have had someone encourage me to think like this earlier.

Of course, there is no guarantee that such encouragement would have worked.


Tone

JewelD
10-16-14, 10:42 PM
Agreed - the problems with the parent-child dynamic are pretty significant. The "child" just delegates all the "boring" stuff to the "parent" to deal with, and then floats around doing whatever they want. This is a kind of time-debting, where they
borrow" time from things they should be doing (like bills, laundry, the dishes, a day job, sleep, etc) and squeeze in things they'd rather be doing: hobbies, creative stuff, video games, surfing the web, whatever.

Meanwhile, the "parent" starts to resent having all their free time taken up with the boring sh*t that the "child" skated on, or maybe even manipulated the "parent" into doing.

Obviously, this is unfair & erodes the relationship.

This happened in my relationship - I just stopped doing chores & left his piles for him to do. The trick is to avoid nagging, or you get blamed for that too. I just calmly say: "hey on your next (TV/commercials/ whatever) break, will you please do your dishes?" If they get left for days, I still don't do them. Having fewer dishes also helps - that way they MUST be washed.

Getting cleaning help, pre-made foods, etc also helps. Be creative, and remember to put yourself first too - take your exercise (whatever) classes, do your own thing. B/c I can assure you - they will. Otherwise, you're going to feel neglected when they're hyperfocused on their fun stuff.

Maurice
10-16-14, 11:00 PM
My BF and I went to the psychiatrist for the one month follow up yesterday. The doctor was very pleased with the improvements made on Vyvanse, and he prescribed an Adderall booster. Next appointment - 6 weeks.

In the meantime, our relationship - as you can probably imagine - has been suffering. I just don't know how to "deal", so to speak. Looking for some insight, I asked my BF what worked in his former marriage. Apparently they got along fairly well, but he caught her cheating. (I know - that sentence probably didn't make much sense.......) Anyhow, he said, "She took care of everything, including me."

Now, knowing what I now know about ADHD, this statement makes perfect sense. I can just imagine how he LOVED this - he can barely cope with his own life, so to have someone "take care of everything" was probably pretty frickin' awesome!

Here's the rub - a few things actually: I'm not into being "Mommy". I am a teacher, have a successful career, I like to think that I manage my own life pretty well, was taught to be independent and do for myself, etc. And, from all the literature I've read, this "parent-child dynamic" with an ADDer is very much frowned upon. I've read Gina Pera's book where she says to guard against this type of thing in a relationship/marriage.

I hope I'm not sounding like a b**ch. I care about my BF and love him. I DO try to care for him and help him out when I can. But if a Mommy to "take care of everything" is what he wants, that's a real problem!

Thoughts? Thanks in advance! :)


NO you are not sounding like a b**tch. Run don't walk.

You've already said you are not into being his mother, so get while the getting is good.

He needs to grow the f*** up!

Sorry but that's the best advice I could give anyone in your position.

Pentax
10-17-14, 07:53 AM
Agreed - the problems with the parent-child dynamic are pretty significant. it's definitely a challenge not to get sucked into it by things not getting done, messes increasing, appeals that I am 'better' at the care taking, and short term memory and executive function lacks.

And not a child but like a child with a parent, the reciprocity is out of balance. "Parent" is seen by one or both as the one to be on call to give help, abandon her own work, fix what broke, but the "child" for whatever internal motive, does not in more than an occasional symbolic way help the "parent" in life lived on the ground. We, and I, are hard at work on this latter. One thing that had to start happening, was that I had to start asking for help, in the crappy boring part of life, and expecting him to deliver, and like you say farther down, holding firm that he had to do it, that no I wouldn't do it all. As Very Tired said in a post about what she went through, the crappy, boring, time sopping shared work shifted to her shoulders bit by bit, as she picked up the slack when things failed, until she discovered she was doing it all. That's not only a transfer of work from one person to another, it's also conditioning the second person to accept the work. Only the conditioned can uncondition herself.

The "child" just delegates all the "boring" stuff to the "parent" to deal with, yeah, Jewel, it's all the crappy stuff, never the interesting stuff that just "doesn't get done, ". and defaults to someone else. The argument that it's boring and one doesn't know how to do it, in real life doesn't wash. It's a bogus, condescending argument if it's used to justify having someone else do what bores one or puzzles one.

I'm lucky that my SO takes moral responsibility for his own professional workload , executes it, and takes some personal care of himself. But those are two of his ongoing special interests.

I'm very lucky that he has some past in which he voluntarily picked up some of the slack for other people and put his shoulder into labor ing for their good, not his, in a significant, extended period on a couple occasions. It means that he knows from it's impact on him what it takes to take time out of your own needs and interests to work for someone else. That specific prior experience of his means that he's willing to work with me on the distribution of labor in the relation. ADHD simply must be accounted for and accepted as part of t he relation. He has to do it his way. But thank the skies, mine has some eyes to see what workload does to me. Nothing's worked out yet, but we're working on it.

and then floats around doing whatever they want. This is a kind of time-debting, where they
borrow" time from things they should be doing (like bills, laundry, the dishes, a day job, sleep, etc) and squeeze in things they'd rather be doing: hobbies, creative stuff, video games, surfing the web, whatever. . This was interesting. Time debting. It's time-debting oneself, which eventually requires time debting other people around you. When this happen, you've gotten some breaks and play, they've lost the chance to play and take breaks

I'm not sure what's going on with so much "play" being inserted in what for other people would be a workday where you work straight through, with no play breaks. I do think mine tackles his work (not our shared living labor) and either accomplishes it or takes the consequences of not accomplishing it. For mine, the simultaneous fiddling around with non work things often looks like he's managing his distractability, which I don't have, in part because I have a different neurology and do better doing things one at a time in a focused way. I'd be interested in people with ADHD weighing in on whether to them they're frittering time and avoiding work, or sometimes are using the "play" to manage distractability and in fact keep themselves going forward with work.

Time-debting sure happens, though

Meanwhile, the "parent" starts to resent having all their free time taken up with the boring sh*t that the "child" skated on, or maybe even manipulated the "parent" into doing.

Obviously, this is unfair & erodes the relationship. true

This happened in my relationship - I just stopped doing chores & left his piles for him to do. The trick is to avoid nagging, or you get blamed for that too. I just calmly say: "hey on your next (TV/commercials/ whatever) break, will you please do your dishes?" If they get left for days, I still don't do them. Having fewer dishes also helps - that way they MUST be washed. we're doing a modified version of this. And I will say, it is really, crashingly boring to be dealing with another adult using this technique, of letting the dirt and chaos increase until it's an uncomfortable consequence for him.

This that you described is a bottom line that happens in our life at times, but we're trying to build and maintain something that I think will make us both happier, which is regions in the shared life tasks and in the house that are his, mine and ours. His and mine we do what w want with, and get the work done in the way that we do best. Our shared work and shared space I am insisting have to be clean enough and orderly enough that we can actually use them. He's trying, from his end, to keep order in the common areas, and I love him for it.

But we haven't licked the time debting ending up debting my time too. Nor my workload. Nor do we have worked out the fact that he does zero cleaning, repairing, house managing, or a lot of problem solving. Because he sometimes seriously procrastinates in starting professional projects and has extra time demands on him produced by his attention deficits, it's obvious that he doesn't have more time to give. He's as tired as I am by the end of the day. Ther's a lot that we still need to work out so that I don't collapse under extra work that the realities of ADHD add, don't sell out to the mommy thing, which repels both of us, but doesn't take him past exhaustion, either.

Getting cleaning help, pre-made foods, etc also helps. Be creative, and remember to put yourself first too - take your exercise (whatever) classes, do your own thing. B/c I can assure you - they will. Otherwise, you're going to feel neglected when they're hyperfocused on their fun stuff. very good and realistic.

Jewel, does your SO have short term memory issues? How have you two dealt with that?

VeryTired
10-17-14, 09:34 AM
Time-debt--what an important concept.

My issue here in all this is when I work really hard to shift responsibilities back to something more equal, it works for a while, but then the attrition starts. Little by little, he forgets what we've agreed, decides "just this once" to skip a chore and then keeps skipping it, cuts corners on how he does his tasks, and so on.

I can--just barely--manage to do the work of addressing this stuff once, but the constant follow up to insure that the agreements we make are kept is what's killing me. I hate it. It seems unfair that I have to do all the work upfront to address the problem, and then keep doing all the work to enforce the solutions we agree upon. This may be the issue that finally breaks me.

Pentax
10-17-14, 03:31 PM
Time-debt--what an important concept.

My issue here in all this is when I work really hard to shift responsibilities back to something more equal, it works for a while, but then the attrition starts. Little by little, he forgets what we've agreed, decides "just this once" to skip a chore and then keeps skipping it, cuts corners on how he does his tasks, and so on.

I can--just barely--manage to do the work of addressing this stuff once, but the constant follow up to insure that the agreements we make are kept is what's killing me. I hate it. It seems unfair that I have to do all the work upfront to address the problem, and then keep doing all the work to enforce the solutions we agree upon. This may be the issue that finally breaks me.

Well said.

Regardless of the problems and challenges, talking the talk but not walking the walk about giving as well as receiving help is not admirable. It's not grown up.

I wasn't born to be a policeman or a maid. I don't have the orientation of personality to be either. There's a tension over that in my present life. I know myself well enough that I know that ultimately I won't be a policeman and a maid, no matter what mine and I come up with.

Neither is "just dump him and run" an option, something that you've never suggested but has been suggested in other threads to other people, from time to time.

I do worry whether my SO and I can continue our brave beginning, or whether we'll both be condemned by ADHD and its collaterals to what you've just written, Very Tired. We're making a sincere try. Thank you for your well wishes, as we began.

VeryTired
10-17-14, 11:08 PM
Pentax--

It's always good to hear your reports, and it sounds as though both you and your husband are doing all the right things to build happiness and a productive life together. I think it is extremely important that you share this; for reasons we can all understand, the non-ADHD artier who post here typically have worries, complaints, problems to report. You are a great voice for hope, success and collaboration. Hooray for you!

Pentax
10-18-14, 07:43 AM
Thanks, Very Tired

We're at the beginning. It will take sustained effort from us both.

I'm really worried about the workload on me that comes with the relation. For good reason, i see from what you and other non ADHD spouses have posted. It was the issue that got me to the board in the first place.

Thanks for the supporting words. Wishing you very well.

P

Phrazzled
10-18-14, 11:26 AM
He's not accepting his responsibility for managing his disease every day.

This is hard to accept when you've been diagnosed as an adult. At first it's very exciting to see all the things you can do with some help from the meds but addressing the legacy of failure is painful and you have to do that in order to understand how your own habits have been built around avoiding the pain of it.

His ex for instance. She cheated so it's all on her. He doesn't have to think about how his own failures resulted in her finding him unsexy and now he'd like to let the disease repeat those failures with you. It's up to you to get him to knock that off if you think it's worth the effort.

Now, a couple things for you. Are you expecting to not be doing anything extra when you have time off? I get that teachers work harder when they're working but you are a a partner in a relationship. Setting the boundaries that you aren't his full-time lady-servant is absolutely reasonable and required for a healthy partnership, but so is picking up a little bit of extra slack when you have time to do so whether your partner has ADD or not.

And the thing about waiting a month for him to get that book... you should probably know better by now and that's not the real problem. The real problem is that he hasn't come up with a plan for how to remember to do stuff like that for himself in the first place. Also to be honest, the popular books haven't really done much for me. They tend to be more about people having ADD than people dealing with ADD. At this point though, he should probably buy 'em and at least look at them as a sign of good faith.

Unfortunately, if you love this man and want to stay with him, you're likely going to need to give him a few swift kicks in the ***. Kick #1 might be to point out how unsexy it is to be a man who wants everything done for him. Kick #2 needs to be that he's not being honest with himself about the grip the disease has on his life and that it's going to take daily work to overcome that and that work will never be done. Kicks #3-30 may be reiterations of kick #2. To avoid them he needs to find a way to keep himself accountable. I set goals and journal about successes/failures in a google doc and give my wife access so she can call me on BS or understand what's going on with me a little bit better.

TLCisaQT
11-02-14, 11:48 PM
I forget how awesome Dr. Barkley's videos are and HOW TRUE they are. Thanks for posting Red. I guess the question is - if treatment must be at the "point of performance" as Dr. Barkley states that usually no amount of treatment done outside of that place usually helps (or it is a slim chance) - I guess it just feels a little hopeless! Most therapy is going to be done in an office setting and mostly when somebody is more calm and not experiencing the struggles.... also... some people are resistance or sometimes it seems even can't accept help/support from significant others in those moments of struggle. My husband is VERY stubborn .... He is in counseling right now and maybe I see like a 1 percent change, but he just complains that going to therapy is just another task he doesn't have time for. I admire you Jende for having really good boundaries -I wish I could say the same - however I am getting better at it :) Also, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders, and you have time to really decide if this a relationship you want prior to a lifelong commitment and ESPEC kids....that alone makes it all that much harder..
I'm sorry but being one who feels like she takes care of close to everything ..... it sucks.. I'm exhausted and tired

jende2
11-03-14, 10:00 PM
TLC,

At 46 my child-bearing years are behind me, so no worries there. And I've been divorced once, so I have no interest in getting married again. I guess what I try to figure out is if I want to spend my time/life with this man.

Admittedly, things ARE better. He has just recently begun taking an Adderall booster at 4:00 P.M. which has helped TREMENDOUSLY!!

jende2
11-03-14, 10:03 PM
Also, I have been to an ADHD therapist twice, we have gone once as a couple, and this week the therapist wants to see him alone. We'll see if he keeps his appointment - like your Husband, my boyfriend claims that he "has no time".
So, I tell him that he has time to watch football and "Sons of Anarchy", etc. - then he has time to see a therapist. LOL! He doesn't have much to say in rebuttal to that!

anonymouslyadd
11-03-14, 10:06 PM
TLC,

At 46 my child-bearing years are behind me, so no worries there. And I've been divorced once, so I have no interest in getting married again. I guess what I try to figure out is if I want to spend my time/life with this man.

Admittedly, things ARE better. He has just recently begun taking an Adderall booster at 4:00 P.M. which has helped TREMENDOUSLY!!
Look for ways you can fill in the gaps his disorder creates and see if that frees him up to be more responsible for himself and his life.

For instance, ADDers have a poor concept of time so don't try to get him to do too many things at one time or if you have things he needs to do, map out a time frame for him.

We can do many things but there are stumbling blocks that continue to trip us up. You might find yourself in a better position with him if you could remove some of those stumbling blocks.

TLCisaQT
11-11-14, 11:21 PM
Yes, an afternoon booster can help ALOT, so I'm glad that is working :) I used to say I didn't have "time" for things, but I started to become more real with myself and admitted that with the precious time I did have, I didn't want to spend it doing certain things hehe. I believe that feeling is just that more intensified for my husband! Good luck in figuring everything out :)