Laura, yes, you’re correct that he does want help. I do believe that. But I agree with AnneHW that he’s not taking responsibility for his part, even though he is convinced he does, which is why I think plain denial and/or some shame are the underlying problems. He doesn’t forget to do his homework (quite the opposite when it comes to school/work), he claims to not understand it and therefore cannot do it from his perspective. He doesn’t see how the homework will help. For example, a lack of routine/ consistency/follow-through can be addressed with a calendar and structured routine that works for both of us, plus some protected alone time. He is super intelligent, but can’t create or follow a calendar so he dismisses the suggestion entirely. Or, he will try once, fail, give up completely, make excuses for why the suggestion would never work, or blame me (he doesn’t need a routine so why do I, I shouldn’t be bothered by a lack of routine, I just don’t like his personality, etc.).
He definitely feels criticized and controlled as you say, but he’s also incredibly sensitive so nearly everything I say is misinterpreted or heard negatively and he responds defensively, if he doesn’t cut me off to talk about something totally unrelated.
We just started couples therapy (for the third time), but he’s already not doing the homework and says he doesn’t understand it, and that my behavior is keeping him from doing anything… I’m considering my options carefully.