View Full Version : an ADHD thing? a guy thing? an individual thing? not a thing?


VeryTired
04-26-15, 03:13 PM
Hi, All--

I could use some help. I am at the end of my rope right now, and think I may not be perceiving as clearly as I should because I am stressed. Maybe someone here can offer some perspectives on the issues.

Context: my partner has ADHD. He takes Vyvanse, he attends an adults-with-ADHD therapy group. He's made a lot of progress in the three or so years since getting diagnosed and starting treatment. He works very very hard at living his life in the best possible way, and meeting his own goals. He's made lots of extremely positive changes, some specifically for my benefit. We've been through a lot.

Issue: where we are now is that we can easily have horrible conflict around a particular issue. He simply can not, will not or does not accept that he should ever play any role other than leader. I don't like leader/follower dynamics at all, and prefer to work by consensus and discussion--which is pretty much impossible to do with him. I accept that. But I can't accept that he gets to dominate in all settings, all the time.

Sometimes he doesn't know much about a project or situation (and I do). Sometimes the decisions to be made involve spending money (mine, as he is unemployed and without income; I am working and supporting us both), and often they involve commitments of time which will affect us both. Sometimes decisions and projects require coordinating with complex scheduling issues in relation to other endeavors, which he finds it almost impossible to do (and which I am good at doing).

So, I feel that there are lots of times when he shouldn't make unilateral decisions about what will happen or how to proceed. But typically my attempts to ask questions, raise issues, remind him that my buy-in is required on shared projects result in his shouting and rage. He'll tell me I am bullying him if I ask about how much things cost, how long something will take, how we will actually do a step of the project, etc. It infuriates him when I ask for explanations.

Today he told me I was abusing him when I asked him to stay on topic while I attempted to gather info about the total cost of a home-repair project we were discussing. I needed to estimate costs to determine whether we can afford the project, and he wanted to talk about his woodworking skills. I couldn't get a list of supplies and prices, and he couldn't answer my questions.

Typically he will say "I want," "I will," "I've decided" in talking about something we are doing together, never "we." He won't say please or thank you when he tells me what he wants me to do, and he certainly won't accept my input about what to do. I find this very disturbing.

So--apologies for length!--my question is, do you think any of this has to do with his ADHD? Does it sound like a problem of gender roles/communication styles/leadership choices? Just one person's idiosyncrasy? All in my mind?

kilted_scotsman
04-26-15, 04:07 PM
It's not ADHD.... it's probably more about a lack of awareness, insecurity and a stress related flight into stubbornness.

The "leader" dynamic often comes from gender stereotyping and insecurity.... deep seated stuff. There's a fear that if the man is not "leader" he's not a man and then everything crumbles. Trouble is..... as you're finding out, a guy with ADHD can't do the full leader thing.... he needs support to cover his weak spots, so even though he's been programmed to try to be a leader, he operates best in partnership.

This takes trust.... he hasn't yet learned to trust you enough to listen closely enough to you and take on board what you say.

Shifting the dynamic is tough.... how tough depends on just how deep the 'man as leader" thing goes. For some guys... not to be in charge is to be emasculated.

kilted

Fuzzy12
04-26-15, 05:33 PM
Um..I don't know if it's ADHD but I can't relate it to the known symptoms really and I definitely can't relate it to me. Maybe it's a gender thing or maybe it's just the way it is.

I hate saying this and I'm terrible sorry and I might be terribly wrong. To me it sounds mainly like a case of disrespect. Or maybe it just makes things easier. It is sort of easier when you don't have to consider another person's ideas, desires or feelings. :(

VeryTired
04-26-15, 06:43 PM
Thanks, guys--very helpful responses. I am mystified by all this, so hearing kilted's thoughtful reply opens some news of thinking. And I often think the last thing you said, fuzzy, is exactly what's happening, so there's a kind of comfort in hearing someone else suggest it as well. Today I feel like I was trampled by a herd of horses as a result of this problem and I'd like to just curl up in a ball and whimper. I'm not sure how much of this I can take.

Lunamoth
04-26-15, 08:55 PM
Hi Verytired (totally relate to your username!)

I'm also living with a man recently diagnosed with ADHD and agree that your partner's behaviour isn't an ADHD thing. I also wouldn't rush to assume that it is a disrespect thing, although being on the end of such behaviour would certainly feel like it. I think living with an ADHDer can be confusing because so much of their behaviour can feel like disrespect at face value and it can be hard to see where to draw the line! I completely understand how insignificant and disrespected it can make you feel.

Looking at it from my perspective based on what you've written, I would say that there is an underlying power imbalance in your relationship whether or not you realise it. As you are the sole income earner, traditionally considered a "male" role in society, I would imagine it gives your husband an conscious or subconscious feeling of inadequacy and/or powerlessness.

To be diagnosed with a disorder later in life is hard because it's like you've been living a life that didn't exist in the way you thought it did. Coming to terms with it can be a very long and difficult process, as I'm sure you're well aware! Unfortunately a natural consequence can be to assert control in other areas to compensate for a lack of control over their own life.

You say that he is making a lot of positive changes in his life. One thing I find is that my husband and I can fall into patterns that we picked up whilst coping with undiagnosed ADHD. One of those is that I can have a lack of trust in his abilities to do certain things. ADHDers can be very inconsistent and to compensate we non-ADHDers can often lose trust in them and no longer rely on them. Especially undiagnosed, they can be horribly unreliable. We can tend to take over. I wonder though, if he is making such an effort, if you could try trusting him to do one of these projects on his own? Make it something small, give him a budget that you're comfortable with and let him go. Maybe if he can prove to you that he can do it, you can learn to trust him again bit by bit. Let him know that if he hits a speed bump that you'll be there to help him but not to point out any failings. Maybe he needs to prove himself to both you and himself.

However, if he is always taking a "leadership" role in everything in life and you are uncomfortable with it, you need to let him know how you feel. Bring up specific examples and concentrate on telling him how it makes you feel. If you want to be part of these projects, you need to let him know why. Maybe try a different tactic, tell him you want to be part of it because it's fun or exciting, that you want to be a team and do something together, rather than appearing as though you want to "supervise" him in preparation for him letting you down and mitigate the losses.

His journey of self discovery is unfortunately bit of a "selfish" one, and I think that given a bit of time and a lot of communication between you that he can learn to make you part of that journey too.

willow129
04-26-15, 09:02 PM
I can tell you my experience is ... me ADHD, him NT....I am definitely not the leader or even attempting to be. That is definitely his role.

I agree with the others that this may be more to do with sort of...subconsciously wanting to fulfill cultural expectations of a man's role in a relationship

The thing about not being able to explain details could be ADHD, details take focus, focus is frustrating, therefore people who ask for details are frustrating.

icarusinflames
04-26-15, 09:09 PM
Ok I have to point something out though! I think that his urge to do projects can definitely be an ADHD thing. It's possible this is how he is managing his feelings, by taking on new projects so that he can focus and have something positive to think about. I'm not saying you have to always take the 2nd place on ideas and projects, but I can tell by the way you are explaining this that he is sort of billing himself as the expert and these are essentially his projects that it appears he likes to hyperfocus on. Then you end up taking the unfortunate role of the person to question things because you don't feel you are on board with it.

Questions:

1- Has he had a tendency to not finish projects in the past, or was there one or more noteable failed projects which wasted money?

2- Does he tend to want to do projects that seem unnecessary to you?

3- Do you think this is a way for him to get extra cash for pocket money, because the supplies probably don't cost that much?

4- Or do you just hate the dynamic of how he doesn't listen to you, but he wants you to listen to him. That is totally an ADHD thing!!! Believe me, it really is. Especially if, when there is a bit of conflict feeling in the conversation and then he seems to come alive and go into a lot of stuff even more, like more talking "at you".

As a person with ADHD, I believe, I can relate to people sort of taking the negative impression of my attitude, even if my attitude actually does fit the mold of some flaw or bad trait. It's hard to not view someone who is slightly frustrated (or greatly frustrated) with being a jerk. I think my tone even gets kind of weird, as in I have a poor affect to the sound of my voice, when I am a little excited or stressed. I can sound a way that doesn't really reflect my intentions or attitude. A huge characteristic in the dynamic of my relationships is to fail to understand each other precisely at the moment of greatest need.

And you can never underestimate the impact of unequal power dynamics in a relationship, which ironically is something that we as modern couples try so hard to avoid. But the fact remains that I am always aware, as a person who is unemployed, that I am completely at the mercy of my husband. I tend to feel very defensive when I make purchases, since I am keenly aware of my true dependency. I feel like nothing belongs to me and I'm disconnected from my environment as a result. In the sense that I consider everything to belong to my husband, and I own nothing. If I say that, i will be corrected by him that actually I share everything with him, but I feel unconsciously like I'm just here right now, but it's not really mine. I know that in court, if I were to get a divorce, it would all be viewed as common property though. THe way this plays out is that my husband shops freely both online and in stores, and he never asks me about anything he wishes to purchase. But I must ask him or alert him in advance if I spend even a dollar because he gets email alerts, and I basically need to give him a heads up about purchases. It makes me feel childish and it bothers me a little, but I do it as much as I can. But sometimes when I need to explain some need to him for a purchase, I feel like I have to over explain myself and he often does not see the need that I have for something. I spend so much time preparing in my mind the explanation for my need to buy something that when I am explaining to him, it's very frustrating when he interrupts me and asks questions. I believe it would be more helpful if he would listen and keep an open mind, then ask questions at the end. But we always end up arguing and I have to make my case emotionally sometimes.

VeryTired
04-26-15, 09:43 PM
More thanks!

Lunamoth, I really appreciate the kinds and thoughtfulness of all you say. Maybe I am, as my name indicates, just too darn tired to come up with as much goodwill as I should these days. What you wrote makes me want to be a better person …and not so sure I have what it takes to try.

Willow, I find what you say about details extremely valuable. It is hard for me to train myself to remember that something so normal and necessary to me is perhaps a very different, more problematic matter for my partner. Thanks!

Icarus, this is SO insightful, thanks. The projects really are at the heart of this situation. My partner gets so charged up about doing this stuff--amped, jazzed, raring to go. He wants to buy new tools (usually expensive and usually not needed), plunge in before planning the whole project or costing it out, let alone figuring out the consequences. Huge messes get made, things turn out very different than agreed, some things don't get finished, budgets get forgotten … and all this is calling to him very seductively while I am maddeningly interrupting by trying to get it all under control by asking questions.

Hyperfocus irresistible force meets desperate non-ADHD partner immovable object!

So, to answer your questions, yes, there are unfinished projects and wasted money--and unnecessary projects. You got it! Not so much re the money in this situation, though we have had that issue elsewhere. And yes, yes, yes! He wants me to listen to him and can't listen to me. And I hate that.

Thanks for sharing your perspective on the economic disparity. I think something like this afflicts us as well. But I don't know what to do about it--my partner (we aren't even married) is in debt from before we met, and he even managed to get more in debt since we were together despite my efforts to help him get out of debt. He over-spends on any budget we ever agree, he can't keep track of money, he can't help keep costs down by turning off lights, remembering to bring a lunch and a water bottle when he leaves the house instead of buying lunch and water every day, etc. I am sure it feels awful for him to be without disposable income … but at the same time he isn't trying very hard to get a paying job and he has had huge expenses which I've covered since we've been together … I simply can't continue to risk my own financial security for the sake of his wishes, and my finances have taken a huge hit since we have been together. So I feel I have to stand firm on this stuff, but maybe now I can do so more mindfully and be more understanding of how he may be feeling in these situations ...

icarusinflames
04-26-15, 10:21 PM
I wish you and your partner luck. Maybe you can find some other outlet that lets him get some of his energy flowing, but it doesn't cost a lot right now. I think it's nice that you are trying to understand how this fits in to his ADHD.

Lunamoth
04-26-15, 10:35 PM
Maybe I am, as my name indicates, just too darn tired to come up with as much goodwill as I should these days. What you wrote makes me want to be a better person …and not so sure I have what it takes to try.

Noooo I didn't mean to make you feel down on yourself! I think people underestimate exactly what we non-ADHD partners cope with day to day and how exhausting it can be. We all have our limits and some days it just feels like you're drowning. If you are already coming home to half completed projects that look like they will never be finished, stand your ground! He can finish those first before you consider sinking money and time into a new one.

If you don't want to do this project right now, just be honest with him and say you can't cope with it at this point in time. He has to understand that you are the other half of the partnership and your feelings and input are equally as important as his. If he can't do that, he needs to work on it. If you are struggling because you have no spare energy, that is something he should be helping you with. Relationships go both ways. I think you need to have some really honest discussions with each other (easier said than done, I know).

sarahsweets
04-27-15, 05:06 AM
Verytired: You always post things in such a kind way, thank you. Is there anyway to sort of steer from behind? Like letting him think he is in charge and then when the hard stuff has to be handled to steer things more in your direction, without him figuring this out? Not sure how easy that is to do, but IME it involved a lot of nice talk to calm the other person and then a subtle shift in the ultimate goal. Ive had to do this with my husband sometimes. We are both adhd but he sometimes can get really rigid and anticipate issues that are negative , without giving them a chance to come to fruition. Its sort of his attempt to control. Like if he is already able to worry about something before it happens he somehow has more say in the outcome. Its a hard spot to be in because you probably have a clearer view of the picture than he does. When all else fails sometimes we have to tolerate being called the bully and discomfort and stick to our guns if we know the end result will be better,

VeryTired
04-27-15, 08:03 AM
Thanks, Sarah!

You are almost certainly right that steering from behind is the way to go. It's just sometimes hard to do when the pressure is on, I'm exhausted and the stakes are high. Reading your thoughtful reply and other people's suggestions makes me think that maybe I did know the answer here all along, but had just gotten out of practice at applying it … or don't have the resources to do so right now, or wish I didn't have to operate this way. My partner feels that I have been horrible to him, and I feel as though he is being hugely impossible to deal with. Perhaps aspects of both are true. It all becomes so trivial.

After a big miserable argument yesterday, we finally tried again, and made to to the Home Depot--a pretty stressful place to be in itself. I got the flatbed cart for moving plywood around and he said "Great, let's put our stuff on it" and put down his things. I was about to set down my heavy bag on the cart when he suddenly pushed it away from me in the opposite direction to where we needed to go, while saying "Let's do such and such"--which was completely the opposite of the plan we had agreed upon at home as to how to proceed.

I SHOULD have followed him, caught up, put down my bag, and said quietly "At home, we decided to do this in a certain order, and I think the hardware which comes first is in that direction." But I was so frustrated that he had forgotten our plan, was disregarding me when I tried to put down my bag too, and was taking charge although he was going in the wrong direction, that I couldn't manage my impatience about all those things at once. So I stood still and said in a very frustrated voice "PLEASE bring the cart back here so I can set down my bag, too." He feels this is an instance of an unwarranted attack on him, and won't/can't see that it's the outcome of multiple layers of frustration on my part. I don't try to argue that I am right in that situation--just that it doesn't come out of the blue.

I am being totally self-pitying now, but it makes me very sad that everything has to be an elaborate system to help support and manage around his needs or we end up in crisis. When will it be the day when how I feel gets this much attention? Why can't he say "I'm confused--what did we say we'd do next?" or "Sorry, I didn't notice that you didn't get to put down that heavy bag yet" or "I don't remember where in this store the hinges are, do you?" If we could have some sense of shared enterprise, it would be way easier for me. If sometimes he could follow and I could lead, that would make it easier to accept that the majority of the time he needs to "lead".

Oops, I guess I am not putting things kindly at all anymore. Sorry to be so whiny, and thank you for your helpful comment.

Ganjin
04-27-15, 04:24 PM
After a big miserable argument yesterday, we finally tried again, and made to to the Home Depot--a pretty stressful place to be in itself. I got the flatbed cart for moving plywood around and he said "Great, let's put our stuff on it" and put down his things. I was about to set down my heavy bag on the cart when he suddenly pushed it away from me in the opposite direction to where we needed to go, while saying "Let's do such and such"--which was completely the opposite of the plan we had agreed upon at home as to how to proceed.


Hi Tired, a lot of your description of your man has not sounded very ADHD to me at all... Until now. That really sounds very ADHD. Actually sounds a bit like me at the home improvement store. This is the sort of task I usually take on by myself for this very reason. I understand your desire for collaboration with your partner, but you might find that it's not worth it in some areas. I can be a TERRIBLE collaborator, even when I'm trying really hard :(

Ganjin
04-27-15, 04:29 PM
I am being totally self-pitying now, but it makes me very sad that everything has to be an elaborate system to help support and manage around his needs or we end up in crisis. When will it be the day when how I feel gets this much attention? Why can't he say "I'm confused--what did we say we'd do next?" or "Sorry, I didn't notice that you didn't get to put down that heavy bag yet" or "I don't remember where in this store the hinges are, do you?" If we could have some sense of shared enterprise, it would be way easier for me. If sometimes he could follow and I could lead, that would make it easier to accept that the majority of the time he needs to "lead".

Oops, I guess I am not putting things kindly at all anymore. Sorry to be so whiny, and thank you for your helpful comment.

Hey, we're all entitled to a wee serving of self pity every now and then!

Do you think he cares about the pain he's spreading into your life? I know that most of us believe that our partner cares. But seriously, is he aware of it and does he care?

I'm one difficult ADHD S.O.B. to live with. But one thing that I think helps my partner is that she can see that her suffering causes me suffering. So we have a shared burden. And it's a major motivation for me, as I don't want to inflict pain (emotional, financial, etc.) on my family.

VeryTired
04-27-15, 06:11 PM
Ganjin,

Thanks so much! You could be right about the Home Depot episode--maybe it's just a place where One Must Go Alone … I have a feeling it could deb the graveyard of many a relationship, with or without ADHD in the mix! I guess collaboration is not for everyone.

I really like what you said about your relationship to your partner. I wish my partner and I could be more like that--I am always looking for where we can do things in a shared way, but he is adamant about separate spheres or else military-style leadership models. That's what wears me out.

I don't know how to answer your question about his awareness of my pain. I think he is, but as soon I say I am hurt, or refer to my needing something, he tends to get very upset and announce that I am abusing him. I translate this to mean that he actually does know how I feel and he hates it and has no idea what to do … but it is strange and still more painful for me that in effect I cannot talk about my feelings and needs.

He also tends to tell me that whatever bothers me is part of his ADHD that and I am not being accepting of his disability. Sometimes it's really true--like if I get frustrated that he can't follow an agreed-upon schedule--but sometimes I think we are just having regular, non-ADHD-related conflict and disagreement. So complicated!

Fuzzy12
04-27-15, 06:22 PM
Hm..separate spheres? Do you mean like particular ring fenced areas where one of you takes the lead and the other just follows? Do you not like that? I was actually going to suggest that.:scratch:

I don't do well with team work. I can manage at work for some strange reason but at home I either want to be fully in control of somethjng in particular or I fully follow my husband's lead. Anything else is too confusing for me and leads to arguments because I'm not sure what is expected of me and more than anything it's not fun. I either want to be able to switch off my brain and just take orders (which is easy and relaxing) or I want things to be done exactly my way (which is interesting and stimulating). Everything between that becomes confusing and and a chore.

Apologies if this is off topic. I haven't read all posts and maybe I misinterpreted separate spheres

Fuzzy12
04-27-15, 06:27 PM
Also, I think, it's a bit unfair of your partner to call you abusive for wanting to change behaviours that trouble you if they are related to ADHD.

I mean, ADHD or not, if they trouble you, they trouble you. Maybe he can't change them but unless you mention them at least once and unless he tries changing them at least once neither of you will know if they are changeable or not.

Also, just because something is an integral part of him or a disorder you don't have to necessarily like it. Even if he can't change it the least he can so it let you voice your complaints at least. (Having said that I get pretty upset with hubby too if he complains about stuff I can't change, don't want to change, or think are not worth the effort of changing...or him making a fuss about it)

icarusinflames
04-27-15, 06:47 PM
Thanks, Sarah!
It's just sometimes hard to do when the pressure is on, I'm exhausted and the stakes are high. [...]

My partner feels that I have been horrible to him, and I feel as though he is being hugely impossible to deal with. [...]

"At home, we decided to do this in a certain order, and I think the hardware which comes first is in that direction." But I was so frustrated that he had forgotten our plan, was disregarding me when I tried to put down my bag too, and was taking charge although he was going in the wrong direction, that I couldn't manage my impatience about all those things at once. [ccc]

it makes me very sad that everything has to be an elaborate system to help support and manage around his needs or we end up in crisis. When will it be the day when how I feel gets this much attention?


Ok bear with me! I'm going to try to help, but I may be not helpful. I hope to be!

When you say that you both has a plan agreed upon in advance for how to shop in home depot, what does that entail in your mind? What were your reasons for needing to shop in a particular sequence?

Lunamoth
04-27-15, 07:10 PM
Having a partner with ADHD doesn't mean you shouldn't feel loved or special. It's part of his role to take your feelings seriously and make you feel cherished. He might not be able to do that in a conventional way like you might expect from someone without the condition, but he can do it in his own way.

Claiming you are abusing him when you try to tell him how you feel is possibly the most effective way he's found to shut you down. To me, *that* sounds abusive. I personally couldn't put up with that.

I think he needs to put effort into you. You are clearly going out of your way to understand his perspective, the least he can do is try to understand yours. Relationships have to go both ways. Have you seen a counsellor together?

acdc01
04-27-15, 08:43 PM
Personally, if you don't have kids and are independent enough to end the relationship, I'd do so cause it will get harder to leave him with time. He sounds like he has too many issues.

People rarely get better with age - it's nearly always worse. The only exception is when you've truly accepted your weaknesses - then you can get somewhat better. But your partner doesn't sound like he's accepted this weakness (which isn't ADHD) PLUS it seems so extreme I can't see it improving to a decent amount.

Power struggle relationships are the worst and rarely ever work out (or if they last, they last in misery).

RobboW
04-27-15, 09:38 PM
I think that us fellas with ADHD get the cranky pants because we realise we are doing wrong but can't seem to stop doing it. Our wiring is screwed and logic corrupted.

Time sequencing is difficult and impulsiveness pervasive. Anything that distracts our train of thought squashes the ability to move forward so feels like interference, creating indecision and chaos, then resentment. Habits form because we recognise triggers and that will instantly arc us up.
Yes, I see a lot of this in me. I can be an unreasonable idiot! I think my wife also develops habits because of it, which are learned by reaction to situations and sequences, but put the two habits together at once and it turns poisonous. How to unlearn those reactions and be more receptive? It's easy to start analysing but damn well impossible to stop at that moment. Emotion gets in the way. Self awareness is oh so important.

Stevuke79
04-28-15, 08:52 AM
To me this just sounds like insecurity. Someone who truly wants to lead is able to get you to follow him of your own initiative. Someone who tells you: "I'm in charge" is most definitely lying to you.

I think you're actually trying to portray him in a favorable light, but even with all that there is still a lot wrong with this. To insists on calling the shots and making the decisions for things you BOTH have to live with .. that's not basic respect for you as a person. And if it's your money.. it's even less respect.

You've told me in the past that I'm diplomatic, and this may make you reconsider: The only way (that I'm aware of) to get someone to respect you, your right to make decisions, and your money, is to tell them to respect you, your decisions and your money, and to make clear that you are willing to walk away if they don't comply. Otherwise, respecting you is optional.

You seem to do an awful lot to accommodate him and his disorders, and though that is not your responsibility, if you're willing and happy to do that, that's fine. that's great. But realize that it's not your responsibility. Realize the fact that he makes an effort to deal with his own issues does not then make them your responsibility. They're his issues, .. of course he has to deal with them, and while you're right to acknowledge his efforts and to try and meet him half way and support him, .. please realize that when in addition to everything else you do, he further demands that you allow him to play indian chief with your money because his fragile ego requires it, that's also not your responsibility.

(and when your injured and compromised from how he has treated you, YOU will be responsible for managing that aftermath. That will be your mess to clean up. You may not be as lucky as he was to find your own "Mr. VeryTired" to save you.)

Little Missy
04-28-15, 09:18 AM
What Steve said only add just say "No." It never stops until you lay down the uncrossable line.

demfabbones
04-28-15, 05:46 PM
I haven't read all these posts, so I don't know what the group consensus is. I just want to say that whether or not a behavior is the result of ADD, or anything - that doesn't give people a license to treat you poorly. I dated a guy who was schizophrenic. He had a lot of issue that were beyond his control. These issues, combined with an unhappy childhood, made him an unhappy person. He took his unhappiness out on me because I was a "safe" person. He treated me very, very poorly and I finally left, after 2 years of wasting my life.

It wasn't his fault that he had a mental illness or that he had a bad childhood, but it wasn't my fault, either.

This may or may not apply to your situation so I'm not trying to be a jerk about it. It's just what came to mind when I thought about your post.

VeryTired
04-28-15, 06:01 PM
Hi, Icarus--

The plan for how to shop was because in the past we have had problems with his impulsively buying a ton of expensive un-needed stuff, losing momentum and wanting to leave before we've gotten everything we need, forgetting important things we need, necessitating long trips back to the store on another day--that kind of thing. So I try to make an advance plan of what we need, what we'll spend, how we'll efficiently route ourselves through the store to get it all done ... sometimes in the past, this has been helpful but other times, we no sooner agree on the plan then he starts doing exactly the opposite ...

VeryTired
04-28-15, 06:03 PM
Robbo--

Wow, super valuable. I like the clarity with which you say this. I think what you say applies to my partner and to me also. Thanks.

acdc01
04-28-15, 06:06 PM
The only way (that I'm aware of) to get someone to respect you, your right to make decisions, and your money, is to tell them to respect you, your decisions and your money, and to make clear that you are willing to walk away if they don't comply. Otherwise, respecting you is optional

Although I agree with Stevuke79 for the most part, just want to say I don't recommend the "my money" part. I've noticed that one of the things that seem to be consistent in the few actually happy long-term relationships I've seen is that there isn't a "me" or "my money" or "mine" attitude. Plus this will only make your partner feel even more inferior which is probably part of the reason he's having the difficulties he's having.

The couples that last respect each others opinions just cause they respect and love each other. It doesn't matter who makes more money. There is no power struggle, the decision making power is shared out of respect for the other.

People don't change in the long term because someone else demands them to. If you're partner isn't truly seeing the problem himself, well I think he might improve short-term cause he's afraid you'll leave him but ultimately revert back to his old ways. Thereby prolonging your suffering.

VeryTired
04-28-15, 06:08 PM
Hi, Stevuke!

Thanks so much for this smart and bracing advice. You are very right about what you say. I totally agree with you and even (sort of) do know this myself. My problem isn't with the concept, it's with the execution. I don't seem to be good at making it clear when I am making a stand in the way you suggest. I really value what you are saying, and I am going to use it to start a new initiative toward getting as well as giving respect. Of course I don't know to make it happen, but I do have the intention, and am saying so publicly here, which is a start. Thanks!

VeryTired
04-28-15, 06:10 PM
demfabbones--

Thanks for your post! I think some of what you say may apply to my situation. I'm sorry that happened to you, but it sounds like you learned important things from the experience. Thanks for sharing.

icarusinflames
04-28-15, 06:54 PM
I was wanting to say something regarding verytired being a very nice person, and also that I think her boyfriend is incredibly lucky. I wonder what will happen to these two people who appear to be starting out in life, and I honestly wish the best for both of them. I am led to wonder about the boyfriend, because I honestly think he must be a very nice person deep down to like a woman who is so nice and conscientious as she is.

Look, I know the world is rough and sometimes there are people who are exploitive, but I think we have to take all this into context. Here is a man who has some skills, although perhaps he overestimates his capacity as a general contractor, but he wants to do DIY improvements to a home he doesn't even own.

His girlfriend is seeking to understand him more which tells me that she absolutely must have some part of herself that is thinking long term relationship.

I wonder if many people have had the experience to love someone who evokes something out of you that somehow brings you a sense of accomplishment, even in connecting and relating to this person.

It takes a special kind of person to be able to handle a difficult person. But there are loveable difficult people in the world. Verytired could very well be the best thing going in this guy's life! I don't mean to sound so earnest and urgent about this. I'm just making the point that there must be something about this guy we don't know that makes her willing to cleave to him, despite the fact she is not married to him. She is so intelligent, so well thought, so cautiously appropriate in her approach to the situation.

I know it is true that some women only want to take on the role of a rescuer in order to feel validated, like they are truly needed. Nobody else would deal with this man, right. So this one woman becomes so very special.

But I'm not sure I get that sense from verytired. I think her name alone is some kind of hint of something that I can't put a finger on.

Keep in mine, I often misunderstand situations. But I don't think it's misunderstanding to say that I definitely need a lot more information before I could say what I absolutely think, which would be a guess anyhow. But it may be helpful to the situation too. to get some objective feedback

I just know that I have loved like this. I love like this. No matter how horribly difficult my man is, I would never want to leave because he makes me more alive when I am his and he is mine. We both hurt each other because of our respective disorders, which I am not totally sure but I think he's just severely ADHD even more so than me, plus hyperactive to boot.

I have experienced times of absolute self-doubt and even a sense of personal horror that I could not leave him. In the end, I am so glad I did not cut it off because I would not have been able to share with him my recovery.

verytired, if you get exhausted from trying to maintain some routines, and you feel like you are often playing catch-up on your household things too, and you are doubly frustrated because your man will not help and he's kind of resistant and jerky in unpredictable or predicatable ways at times (not all the time)... then you probably are a hidden, undiagnosed ADHD female who is in love with a very severely ADHD male.

If you can help him by getting more in touch with your own feelings and strengthening yourself, you can help him more. Perhaps at some point, it will be a little tough love. But I don't see the need for that if he is basically honorable to you, but he has this *******-ish side pertaining mostly to home improvement. You may want to suggest that he just takes up a hobby like building small items. I mean honestly he could make some awesome small stuff that is useful even to the size of a bench or chair.

sarahsweets
04-30-15, 05:00 AM
VT- This thread kept popping into my head. You know I am pro-commitment and have a good marriage myself, but I am starting to wonder if you are in a healthy relationship. Seriously, your level of support for your husband is what many of us can only dream about. It just seems like over and over you do your personal work on the relationship only to be shot down and told its never enough. How long do you go on being accused, invalidated,looked down upon, usurped,ignored, or uncared for? I dont know. What I do know is that your husband isnt meeting you half way. Yes the NT partner needs to make some concessions to understanding the partner with adhd but I really dont think it needs to be at the expense of who you are as a person and your personal happiness.
You are NOT" worthless, unworthy, unlovable, or insignificant. You are just as deserving as he is of an equal, loving partner.

Stevuke79
04-30-15, 09:33 AM
Thanks Acdc. About the 'my money' part, I just want to throw something out there.

Although I agree with Stevuke79 for the most part, just want to say I don't recommend the "my money" part. I've noticed that one of the things that seem to be consistent in the few actually happy long-term relationships I've seen is that there isn't a "me" or "my money" or "mine" attitude. Plus this will only make your partner feel even more inferior which is probably part of the reason he's having the difficulties he's having.

As to whether or not VT should ask her partner to respect her money, .. I only suggest that VT tell her partner the truth about how she feels.

If it does bother her, she should tell him.
But if she feels that it's not truly 'her money' but 'their money', then she and her partner are already on the same page and you are right, she shouldn't mention that part.

The couples that last respect each others opinions just cause they respect and love each other. It doesn't matter who makes more money. There is no power struggle, the decision making power is shared out of respect for the other.

I agree, and I would point out: the power struggle does not start when VT asks for respect for herself, her opinions or her money. The power struggle starts when her partner disrespects any of those things.

I'm not sure if that's what you meant or not.

demfabbones
04-30-15, 01:07 PM
demfabbones--

Thanks for your post! I think some of what you say may apply to my situation. I'm sorry that happened to you, but it sounds like you learned important things from the experience. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome! I am surprised that I allowed myself to be in that sort of relationship for so long. I was guilty of not leaving when I should have (I knew he was bad news like 2-3 months in) and then after 2 years, it was really hard to leave. I felt responsible for him, like he was going to fall apart with me, and that made me feel too guilty to leave. But of course he's fine. (eye roll.)

VeryTired
04-30-15, 08:56 PM
Hi, All--

Wow, this turned out to be a busy thread. Many thanks to everyone for the insights and the support. I am so appreciative.

Sarah, you are definitely making important points here, and indeed I have thought some of these things myself. I'm not sure what I am going to do, or how this will play out, but I value your input highly. Stevuke--you are such a beacon of clarity, always. Icarus, thanks!