Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

hello... my fiancee is a chronic procrastinator, so it seems.. ?

hello dear readers...

I am in desperate help ..

please excuse my writing english is not my mother tongue/language...

My boyfriend fiancee and future husband (we are getting married this May) has been driving his jeep/car, to and from the repair/garage station and to other places,

 without a valid insurance,

in a city that has 4.000.000 people with many cars,

(i.e. not in a village somewhere)

I dont know how the laws are there, but here if something would happen (accident or injury of someone else) with an uninsured  car, people go to jail straight on.

 I am so so sad, because his not acting, is putting his life in jeopardy, plus all others lives who love him.

today his mother decided to come and pick the keys up while he was sleeping, and i assisted her with that.  I am ashamed of doing that and that i had to lie about assisting her. But I told him I would have done the same , with my child. Only he is not a child, he is a fully developed, supersmart 42 year old man!

I cant tell you how much i am dissapointed that he put me in this position... who am i? am i his mother? am i his guardian? I am a woman 34 old, have my degree, my company, and I remember how it was years ago when I struggled also because of low selfasteem and many bad situations - i am sure I was a procrastinator too, for some time in my life.

but this, - it is horrible! it shows me that things arent just like that with him, ... and it is not only procrastination !? and if it is, it must be serious,

 isntit such a deceptive lie, to tell yourself, AH nothing will go wrong, (EVERY OTHER DAY when you drive these 5 - 15 km to where ever it is through a BUSY city  -Athens Greece ) 

 he has been telling me that he cant insure the car because he hasnt paid the final rates from the contract and it cant close. It has been months. more than 4 months and he is using the car, 3 times a week at least. Plus we have used this car to go on a weekend trip! He just hasnt paid the money, and he isnt stressed about it, and he lied to me about it that his family knew about it.

HE HAS money, he has NO financial problems, since his parents have left him with an income -(they own some houses they rent). He does not work anymore he is 42, (he has studied, and he is supersmart, and he had really good job opportunities in his life - stockmarket analyst and broker!!!)  he sleeps at 8 o clock in the morning - surfs through the internet during the night.

 His situation looks alot like the "relaxed procrastinator"which means he doeas all things but the things that are "required". He does things that he likes,  - cooking and organizing events for his 4x4 club (he is president there!).

But, the things that are "required".... there is no way for him to do them.

he hasnt paid his taxes which have just doubled because of that, he gets lawsuits to pay his bills... our electric bill hasnt been paid all year long (it was his responsibility)

he doesnt have an id because he didnt go to the army (its obligatory here, and if you dont go you cant travel outside Greece!) , he lost the one he had and now he cant issue a new one and so he cant do a million other things because he doesnt have an id. He could have made arrangements (legal ones) to avoid these issues but he hasnt, and hasnt even tried ways how to do it.

I am devostated because i dont know what to think or what to make of ALL this.

we are both mature people, we have also been to couples consultation which really worked for us, to understand eachother, and overcome all other issues people have,

but this wasnt a topic until now, since I think all the other things, might not be so important, they were his problem and if i can accept it and let it be his problem it s his thing to deal and work for. ?

but this has gone to far for my feelings toward him..

how can i respect him or trust him? he didnt care about my feelings if something would have happened and hed go to jail? what if ?.... (thousand thoughts?) I am aphaulled by this one thing,....It is irrisponsible, it is too big for me to keep inside me and just ...let it be! (like he asked me to and would love it to happen!)

 what can i do? what can i tell him? how can i show him that he is in trouble (cause thats how  i feel! what if something would happen?)

he doesnt seem to get that his actions were BIG trouble, and he was just SO lucky? 

????????? I just have a HUGE question mark inside of me, and I really cant figure out what todo,

do you think it would be agood idea to mention the therapist that we went to and say that I need to discuss some things with him and her? 

or do you beleive there is another way? who/how made you realize you were puting yourself in a deep hole, because of procrastination? ............

I dont want to feel pitty for him but i almost do, and it feels horrible!

 we are grown ups who are supposed to make a family soon! how on earth is this going to happen? please help. ...  to me, this situation he is in,... feels sick! what can I do? !?

there seems to be noone else but me, who is in immediate contact with this situation, -we live together for 3 years now.






Al-Anon in Greece

I agree with the other suggestions regarding Al-Anon.

Although Al-Anon was orginally founded for friends and family members of alcoholics, meetings can be helpful to friends or family members of anyone who has ANY addiction.

You can learn how to live your own life in a healthy way.  And how to healthfully interact with your loved one who has an addiction.

Here are a list of Al-Anon meetings in Greece: .

For your fiance, I would recommend Debtors Anonymous.  It completely changed my life.  I now pay bills on time, and have plenty of insurance..

You will notice this:
Sign #8 mentions "taking risks with car insurance coverage".

And see this:
"Some of us have chronically held back on paying our bills and debts, even when we had the money to pay them."

I haven't found Debtors Anonymous meetings in Greece, but there are meetings all over the world.

If your fiance is interested, he can do online meetings via email or via a live chatroom.  More information here:

It is IMPORTANT to remember that you cannot change him.  He can change only if he wishes to do so himself.  You cannot make him do anything.

Of course, he is welcome to join us here at Procrastinators Anonymous, if that is what he wants to do.  We would welcome him.
But it has to be HIS choice.

Right now, the only person you can help -- is yourself.  That is why I gave you the link to Al-Anon in Greece.


step 1


Thank you for sharing from your heart. I got a big wake-up call about the impact my chronic procrastination can have on people who love me. My spouse is an untreated dry alcoholic, untreated compulsive overeater and untreated compulsive procrastinator. So I use a lot of Alanon literature to help me stay sane. I have enough problems of my own and Alanon reminds me to work on myself. In that way it even supports my participation here. I am powerless over addictions and compulsions in me and everybody else, and my life is unmanageable when I deny, ignore or fight this fact.


wow, alanon is a great thot. i wish i'd thot of it. I dont know anything about Alanon, but i kno that it is to help people deal w/ addiction in their family and friends, and if it's as good as the AA program, i'm sure it's stupendous.

And Agnus like the insight that we're powerless over the addition in ourselves and others. how true.

the touch of the master's hand:

"fall down seven times, get up eight" - japanese proverb

another recommendation for Al-Anon


I see Al-Anon mentioned. It will be a very supportive program for anyone who needs help in dealing with another person/addict/procrastinator or whomever. Highly recommend! :)

I should say, we are here working on our own program (recovery from Procrastination). However, if someone needs help related to another's behavior/misbehavior, Al-Anon is great :)



Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

There's an old thought

There's an old thought about how one can't change other people, one can
only change oneself.

 I agree completely only to add that other people can help someone to change, if he/she really realizes she wants to,  or has to.

 our problem I think is that his family has treated him like how you discribe, his father who was the only one who didnt, passed away 5 years ago. So basically he was left with the rest who always blamed him as an irrisponsible person. But I know deep inside he is not, and I am glad tohave found the cause of all this...

I havent told him anything since yesterday (blame him or accuse him) and he seems to appreciate it.

ofcourse i dont want to or intend to be  the one who bullies or blames -i know it leads to nothing but hostility.

but its difficult to sit there and not beeing able to do nothing ...  I cant help him 

except discribe what I ve read here and tell him about this website maybe. .. or ask him to join me at a joint recap session at our counselor where we could discuss all these things? or do you think that would make him feel bad? He was actually ok with her back then, so maybe it wont be so bad?>? 

 I ll see what i ll do. 

Its so Paralyzing, how can you folks stand it ... its like living in a prison you have built on your own!  I have felt it and still feel it sometimes,.. but its only about non important stuff that are ok if left behind.  ..

thanks again for your oppinions and sorry if i sound bitter or angry. ...








Quick response

I sympathize with you maryblue..this is a tough situtation and I hope you figure it out. 

I definitely agree that you should bring this up in couple's counseling!

I don't think I'm qualified to give you advice for your particular situation, but here's my own experience, for what it's worth.

I've been dating my bf for a little over a year. I'm a procrastinator (though that's slowly improving); he's ridiculously responsible. When he nags me to do something (no matter how reasonable), it creates a lot of demand resistance for me. So now, he only asks once, rather than nagging. Then, we try to make sure the consequences of my procrastination affect only me and not him.

One example: I'm a pretty bad driver...I got very out of practice during college. My bf suggested I should take driving lessons or otherwise work to improve my driving. I keep putting this off. He doesn't nag--I'm an adult and can make my own (stupid) decisions. However,  I won't drive him or borrow his car until I take some lessons and improve my driving. 


From my own experience, I think that your fiance will only change when he decides to change, and that he'll probably always have some tendancy to procrastinate. You need to decide if you can deal with that procrastination. And, if you can, I'd recommend isolating yourself somewhat from the effects of his procrastination (making sure that *you* don't go to jail for driving without insurance, or get in trouble for not paying bills/taxes)

Best of luck to you! My thoughts are with you.  

thanks to you too! One

thanks to you too!

One example: I'm a pretty bad driver...I got very out of practice during college. My bf suggested I should take driving lessons or otherwise work to improve my driving. I keep putting this off. He doesn't nag--I'm an adult and can make my own (stupid) decisions. However,  I won't drive him or borrow his car until I take some lessons and improve my driving. 

I am writing to you as honest as I can and in order to get an answer from you to see how you think about all these things. I m not here to make you feel bad, but I cant feel but being angry, since reading these things makes me afraid that my spouse would say or think these things deep inside too. (but maybe isnt saying them yet)

sometimes in my answer i write "you" but in reality i mean every  "you" who agrees with that word (ridiculously responsible) and not you personally.

 ok so I guess I am the ridiculously responsible person in your story. :-).. its so dissapointing when all your life you ve tried and tried and really managed things to work, just because of your actions and then someone sees this attribute (cause this is how i see it and I am sure it IS an attribute) as something negative and even finds it ridiculous!   

 This is an oxymoron for someone to feel! its a lie you are telling yourself!  (that someone who is responsible, is ridiculous?!)  its an excuse for you to find your way attractive, and the other way unattractive and bad!  (maybe it helps with continuing to procrastinate?)

have you had that conversation with others  - I havent yet, .

EVERYthing a "responsible"person does is because of determination and finding that power in yourself that tells you - if you do this you will feel better- and it does feel better - and the outcome in the end, will be the best! .

so I cant just overlook this phrase, cause, ... there is no such thing as ridiculoisly responsible.. to my eyes, there is just

responsible, and someone who is not  - plus this makes him not trustworthy because whatever that is important and you trust him to do,

he wont do it.  you know what this is to me? it is someone who is not capable of holding the balance in a relationship. .. ! do you see how important this is?

you are giving me advice how I should procrastinate my feelings about my spouse (if I were your spouse for example) by just accepting him beeing a bad driver who puts his life and others life in danger?

this is also an oxymoron. WHY should a responsible person who KNOWS that procrastinating (if its about something important and important for his spouse,)  only leads to something really negative, be trained to this feeling?

do you know of ONE person who really wants to do this for themselves? Procrastinating is not a characteristic of a person, it is aproblem,  (when it involves important stuff and is chronic)

so, no  I cant take your advice and just sit there while another person,  in reality, deep inside, is torturing himself  and his smart and bright brain..

i am just writing it here because maybe you havent had that conversation either?maybe it will help you see that this advice you gave me,... it is not right..

and if your spouse is having this advice,.. you want him to change and not feel responsible about something really important... ? do you really?

the crazy thing is that  you have the responsible spouse from the one side, who is really hurting about the choices of the procrastinator, and the procrastinator, not seeing this hurting as something alarming and troublecausing in the relation ship but only as nagging?

the oxymoron is that, the procrastinator, has nothing to loose! its not that he will hurt or he will loose something...   he is only avoiding this anxiety I ve read about and know.

I KNOW how this anxiety feels. until I was like 22,  whenever I had a meeting with a teacher or an exam, in school or other activities, I had to spend the hours before on a toilet because of bowels emptying from just this feeling! I know! .. plus heart racing cold sweat and fear feelings.! I almost couldnt finish my school degree!

I went away from home and studied abroad, and so things started to push me in a different direction, somewhere  where if i didnt take action, I wouldnt survive since i was alone in a semiforeign city.

I stopped postponing things, and HAVE NEVER felt this way again! I can talk to my boss without needing to prepare the discussion in my mind 24 hours beforehand and/or feeling the cold sweat . (she is VERY tough! but now I am tough too!!!) 

later on, It helped that I opened up my own company. It wasnt easy, but now I am half my own boss and half  employer back there... 3 years later everything is different!

try it...   it feels so good.

I hope I havent offended you but I felt I had to write you the other side of what you mentioned...

hi maryblue! a quick answer

Thanks for your response! I've thought about it and you definitely make some good points. Here are just a few clarifications/thoughts.

First, I see responsibility as a very positive thing! I'm working hard to be more responsible. By "ridiculously responsible" I mean "unbelievably responsible", "way more responsible than most people I've seen". I didn't mean that too much responsibility was somehow bad or stupid.  Sorry for this misunderstanding!

I definitely agree that, as a procrastinator, I have a responsibility to change. That's why I'm here every day! (And I'm slowly making progress...for example, I finally signed up for driving lessons and am taking them in two weeks.) Procrastination can really mess up a relationship, and I see it as my responsibility to work on my procrastination so I can hold the balance in my relationship. 

But only I can change myself. No one else, no matter how much they care about me, can force me to change when I'm not ready. That's really all I was trying to say in my comment. 

I second Agnus's comment about looking at Alanon. 

thanks for posting this

thanks for posting this MaryBlue.

It's really helpful to me to read about your journey being responsible--I'll go back and ponder it. I think yours is a real story of recovery that I've wanted to read and it gives me hope.

I would never venture to give advice to someone about a relationship but I have had a very bitter experience with facing the impossibility of wanting other people to change: bullies at work.

There's an old thought about how one can't change other people, one can only change oneself.           Well, for a long time I thought it was just wrong, unfair, inappropriate and so on to apply that here because bullies were so clearly morally wrong. I felt: 'the bullies must be made to change' 'the manager must do something.' No progress there. I found it morally unacceptable when others suggested that I should just laugh at them, be tough and so on. Why should I change, I asked, they're wicked, I like to be the way I am. That was then.

Now a long time later,  that's what I ended up doing, just thinking my life is too precious to let these *&@^s make me be a victim. I still struggle with that issue--learning not to see myself in a victim's role because it had become my habit. It is true that changing how I reacted altered the dynamics of the situation. But it didn't change those people inside.The way they act is the kind of fault of character we pray to be removed from ourselves in the 12 steps. They have to live with the consequences, which sometimes cause them pain (not enough in my view).

For me giving up on changing them freed up my energy to get on with my life charted according to my path instead of thinking they could write a script. As for where my changes came from? Somewhere inside... not from anyone else pushing me even though people had plenty of advice and directions. (Because there's a strong tendency to blame the victim and tell them how to change--I have witnessed this directed at me--and now sometime have to prevent myself from doling out directions to victims.)

This is only my experience. It might not even be relevant to your situation, which I can see is very difficult. When I read your story I wonder whether either one, or actually even both  of you feels like a victim (perhaps you of his procrastination, or perhaps him of someone wanting one to make him change?). It could be that that question is something that you might be able to raise in a useful way if you are both feeling it. 

Very quick answer...

If you're in couples counseling by all means you should bring this to that forum. It's clearly an important difference in your styles and in the way you look at your responsibilities and at life.

The psychologist Sam Hamburg in his book "Will Our Love Last" describes 3 fundamental dimensions of the relationship between members of a couple:

1) The practical.

2) The "wavelength" -- your basic philsophical outlook on life, your hopes and dreams for the future

3) Sexuality.

Successfull relationships optimize compatibility across all 3 dimensions, he says.

This one seems to fit strongly into the "Practical" dimension. It's a big thing, and you'll need to figure out whether you can make the relationship work through this difference.

One thing? Do NOT expect him or count on him to change.

best wishes




The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.

hello,thanks for your

hello,thanks for your answer... 

what do you think about this article?

we arent in the counseling anymore since we finished it  - we learned (so I thought) how to communicate and argue effectively, and not talk by eachother,... since then when we disagree, it maybe ends only once in 2 months to a fight - we manage to talk about things without being angry at each other for no reason. (it was amazing to see how easy it was to get angry about eachother, just because of our actions reminded us of other previous hurtful relationships) . me , I had my own share of counseling years a go before i met him. 

so now I would have to mention me wanting to go for a "refresh" appointment with him ,... something like that, and ofcourse explain what i want to discuss there, to him.

... I ll let you know if i try.

(there is  no way of doing that without taking a risk I guess..) 

Welcome Mary Blue

I don't think I'm qualified to give relationship advice, but we can certainly sympathize!  Have you talked to him about this issue?  Is he interested in changing?


Show up.  Do your work.  Go home. 

why arent you

why arent you qualified....? everyone is.

I never thought it was a big issue untill today, where this thing happened with the car keys. ... and i remembered our counselor mentioning it once, the word procrastinating in greek ( anavlitikotita - to postpone things)..

and today I read all these things about it. Up untill now I didnt think much of it, since I myself was definately procrastinating  a lot, years ago.

but since i overcome it, (outside influence = I almost got kicked out of university for not showing up or not doing anything even though I loved it there ).

I am so angry that i have been put in that place, to be the one who "dictates"what is to happen , ... I had to... and couldnt just leave it to luck, him driving around with a car that is not insured/has insurance. why did he put me in that place?

why hasnt he thought about how I am feeling, and how it did not only involve HIS life, but also mine because i love him and care for him?

have you ever thought like this about something that is REALLY important?

(to procrastinate something even though its effects could develop REALLy badly?)


I mean, what the heck if it just involves  rotten pancakes that you forgot to take to the trash...

or is it the whole point that, in the end,

everything matters and even if it is about rotten pancakes you still  feel the same bad way/anxiety??????

me I was somehow forced, by my own will and situations, to really turn things 100% round - and i am telling you it works SO good,... but I had help I wasnt on my own, i did counseling. (mixture of behavioural therapy)..  I feel a different person now and am so happy...  but my spouse isnt! plus,

I feel anger and dissapointment because  I am beeing kept in the dark about ALL his feelings that are probably there,.. and very lonely because of that!  And he is just in the next room pretending everything is just fine!...  for the love of GOD talk to your spouses if you have one...  its such a waste of time not to share things.. its just empty time...  !!  :-(