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Old 10-28-16, 02:59 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: helping him stick to something

You're in a difficult position.

You're asking, it seems to be, very good questions about how to help your partner who seems stuck in a lot of ways. You also seem quite compassionate to me.

Here's a point that others seem to be getting at. Sometimes it's actually better to break up with someone than to stay with them while feeling like they're stuck and not functioning well and all of that. Seriously, I learned the hard way that it often has more integrity--a lot more integrity--to say "I don't want to be in this relationship" and leave ... than it does to stay in the relationship with deeply serious criticism of your partner and discomfort with your partner.

By staying, the person picks up horribly confusing mixed messages, and mixed messages can be more tormenting than straight-up clean rejection. And frankly, you can hurt another person even when you don't vocalize your criticisms ... as long as it's clear that you feel that way ... and body language usually speaks louder than words. People can figure out we're disappointed in them, even when we say the opposite.

As a recovering rescuer (someone who has spent way too much time trying to help other people become better when I myself needed help!) I would flip the question here and ask, "What do you want out of YOUR life? And how does being with this partner help or hinder you from reaching your own goals?"

If he were to drop off the planet tomorrow, what would YOU want? Another way to ask this would be to say, What did you want before he came in the picture? What are the things you want to do, try, accomplish before you leave this planet? ... and then you can ask, does he help you achieve these goals or not?

Here's another approach ... Imagine that you were to stay with him for five more years and then HE decides he doesn't want to be with you. Would you feel deeply betrayed? Would you feel like, "I put up with all your stuff and now YOU dump me?" If so, that's an indication that you really aren't happy with the relationship. And by the way, I have been dumped by people I thought I was helping! Wanna talk about pain ... and about feeling foolish ... oh man!

These are the kinds of questions I have to ask myself because I'm not only from a family of people with ADHD and depression, but I'm from a family of delusional rescuers, white knights and saviors. The people in my family have this tendency to think we can and should help and date and marry people with the maximum number of problems. We really think we can solve other people's problems, even when they don't want to solve the problems themselves--even when they don't see the particular behaviors as problems in the first place!

Good luck.

Tone
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