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.

i'm desperate: i need help on how to live with a procrastinator

i'm new to all this and i need help. my partner is a sort of procrastinator, he's one stroke off being a genius, a wonderful person but he has this damn task aversion and me, on the other hand i suffer from OCD that everything (including people and relationships) has to perfect, making me impossible to live with me as well.
i'm not sure what and how i should act, what i could do to help. staying out of his way will make him realise more that he's neglecting me as well. but staying here means that i have to see him go through this hell and in the meantime just act normal as if nothing's happening.
if there's anyone with practical advise, please help me!

Thanks everyone

It's been a joy reading all your comments and i appreciate the back up. It's been a good week and i also found that (thanks to your comments) asking nicely and giving a reason increased a positive response and hey, that's without having my patience tested. In the meantime, I have learnt to let go and overlook some messiness around the place, realising that if i go half way, he'd be there waiting. It's a balance, a yin-yang kind of thing, we lack what the other has.
Thanks again, you were all a great help. I'm even thinking of buying the book (might even help my so called perfectionism and control issue!)


Bocca, I'm really glad to

Bocca, I'm really glad to hear that :)

 (and you're welcome!)

Welcome Bocca

We need a group for people who love Procrastinators . . .something like Alanon lol!  Procrastinon!

I agree with what others say here - much procrastination is rooted in low self-esteem so nagging only makes it worse.  I'd try to focus on just one thing that you want him to do and ask him nicely to do it then praise him a LOT when/if he does it.



"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."  - Kurt Vonnegut 

fudoshin Co-PA (1:15pm)

Co-PA perhaps...A program for people with relationships with Procrastinators, Avoidance addicts and late-comers. It would be parallel to Co-SLAA, a program for people who have relationships with sex and love addicts.

Pro-Non Anon



I liked your idea... wouldn't mind pioneering that. I know where I can get the best help ;)



Thanks for sharing. Everyone is different but I found with both men/and children, being "safe" is crucial. Also, for every 1 negative, try to give 3 positives.

Bottom line: "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".

We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended, we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.' BB, pages 66-67.

RE: perfectionist living with procrastinator

Hi there, "B".


I suggest that you read about "Demand Resistance" and "Demand Sensitivity".  That might help you understand him better.

Demand Resistance is explained here:

and discussed here:

The concepts are described in the book "Too Perfect" which is reviewed here:

I think that book would be helpful for both of you.

-- movingalong

Ouch, that's difficult. You

Ouch, that's difficult. You obviously care a lot and that's way the most important thing.

Ask your partner how you can help him - I personally wouldn't advocate staying out of his way - he may be very different from me but I procrastinate far worse when alone, and just having the physical presence of someone else with me makes a huge difference.

Equally, though, try to avoid nagging (unless he's asked for it - we will ask for it sometimes!) I'm sure, with the OCD, that you REALLY feel like nagging him from time to time, and I couldn't blame you. But it's really worth avoiding because we procrastinators can be a bit too ready to cast our loved ones as the 'Scary Parent' and turn things into a battle with them.

My best friend and housemate of 3 years has been really helpful just by insisting that I am a perfectly normal, capable human being and I am *not* to think of myself as crap/useless and I *can do things*. She doesn't allow me to get away with failing/not trying 'because I'm me.' She's very willing to give me the weird forms of help that I sometimes need in order to do things, like checking on me to see if I'm getting on with something, but she refuses to 'baby' me. And she tells me often how well I'm doing and how competent I'm becoming.

Finally, try to make sure he has some people to turn to other than you, so you're not his only help. And that you have other people to turn to as well, especially since you're feeling neglected... argh, I'm really sorry you're having such a difficult time. Good luck... I hope this helps and makes some sense!


thanks, lucky. i really appreciated the message.

you see for years i've been helping students on how to 'not procrastinate'. it comes easy you know as a non procrastinator to say these things. i could give advise, i could help but living with it is hard.

i'll try and use your tips although it will be days before he talks to me again. he doesn't have much friends, or at least people who understand him since his procrastination led him to that. he 'neglected' people and it's a normal reaction that people move away. i am the only one he talks to and to make it worse i'm qualified as someone to be talked to. it makes me feel such a loser that i can't help my own man when he really needs it.

thanks again - i managed to calm down.

You're welcome!  Days

You're welcome!

 Days before he talks to you again? Ack. :/

 Yeah, this is exactly the problem, you can give advice as a non-procrastinator but it often doesn't work, and that's got to be incredibly frustrating for you to live with. (And by the same token, I can't explain why we 'can't just get on with it', and I'm sure he can't either!)

I've lost friends by neglecting them as well. Though I'm actually surprised by how much staying power friends tend to have. You may find that some of his *are* still his friends and still willing to help even after he's not talked to them for a year and decided they must hate him.

It sounds like the two of you are trapped in a really nasty little pressure cooker there. You are SO NOT a loser for being unable to fix his problems. You can provide support, listening, company and a voice of sanity but he has to help himself.

I wonder if he might be interested in joining this site at some point... :)