Many thanks to the three of you who replied recently.
Not a narcissist, he really is a kind and gentle person. He has learned to deal with some things a bit better since I’ve known him, especially since I stopped taking up the slack in some areas. Meanwhile, he finds his own behaviors and mental processes perplexing at times.
He is slowly coming around to the idea that he has ADHD. A friend of his is considering his own possible ADHD and maybe they can explore this together.
I left him again this month, mostly because of festering resentment around the incident I related in this thread (and similar things). I’m camping locally, enjoying solitude and nature, and having interesting conversations with many people–basically rediscovering myself.
I was more or less prepared to move on. However, I’m horrified by the rents I’m seeing. A small apartment in our area would cost about two thirds of my small income (if you can even find a place), whereas with him I was paying less than a quarter of it.
I’m thinking of moving back in with him and applying some principles I learned in Al-Anon, such as getting on with my own life and not expecting him to be something he’s not.
I think it would also be a good idea to have weekly check-ins so the misunderstandings between us don’t get out of hand. Also maybe a whiteboard and a few other suggestions I’ve seen for ADHD couples. And I need to learn to speak up instead of assuming that my needs and wants are obvious.
At the same time, I need to resist the temptation to try to fix him. And I told him that I don’t want to plan any dates with him because it’s just too heartbreaking when he forgets or whatever. However I do intend to pursue activities on my own and with my own friends. Not the ideal perhaps, but I think lots of couples live like this. And at my age, believe me,there aren’t a lot of men to choose from.
This time we had a couple of good talks (not just I love you). He says he’s been crying for 2 weeks. Such an intense but ineffectual love! He seemed wishful rather than hopeful. I broached the idea of my moving back in, and suggested that we both think about it for a while.