Dear nvbrooks: I hear you and I totally understand where you are at. It sounds as if you needed to let off some steam. First, you are not wrong or crazy. Second, you are not alone. I have experienced a lot of what you have related, and I’ve read a lot about ADD/ADHD. I have also been seeing a therapist for three years (not because of my relationship with an ADD man, but to learn more about myself, yet it has helped me greatly to understand things). What I have to say is that it will never change. Your guy is sweet, I’m sure, and means well. But he is not going to change. Ever. Never. The question you asked was what could you or he do to salvage the relationship? You’ve made it clear that he can’t/won’t do anything (and the word “can’t” is important here because he really may not be able to given his ADHD). So let’s take that out of the equation. It now becomes what can YOU do? You can’t change him or the relationship. The only thing you can do is change yourself. Accept what he is like, learn to live with, adjust and accommodate it. And right along with that, start putting yourself first (after your children, of course!). Every day … YOU matter. YOU don’t deserve to be yelled at.
If the things he does are presenting safety issues, you MUST do something. The well-being of your children and yourself is your first priority. That is an absolute. With regard to finances, it’s clear he cannot manage them, so it would be foolish to let yourself get sucked into the financial hole he has created (and that is where you will be if you marry). What is your point about a ring? What will that change? If he presents a ring, my first question would be: how did you pay for it?
Look, I can tell you don’t want to or are not ready to end this relationship. I think you should spend more time on yourself and your children … alone. Read more about ADD. But start to get to know yourself and ask why you are in this relationship? Are you afraid to leave it? Of being alone? Is there security in it? Do you feel sorry for him? Is it the sex? Do you think you’ll never find anyone else? I can’t answer those things, but I can tell you this: YOU matter and YOU don’t deserve to be yelled at, and you did NOT come with a set of instructions that reads “it is your responsibility to look after a grown man who won’t take responsibility for himself or his relationship.”
So … here is the thing. I say that, but I’m in the same pickle! But I’ve learned more about myself, and I put myself first. If he wants more, he has to make some changes. There will be no marriage and no living together, no shared financial responsibilities. Almost every day that I spend with him, at some point, I have to remind myself that I’m not wrong, I’m not the one who forgot something, who didn’t listen, or any of that. I just sort of zero-out on that stuff, and try to enjoy the good stuff. It’s tough.