I said that he was trying to cope with his issues, not necessarily addressing them.
This is my point as well. I completely understand the psychology behind the BF's behavoir. I was addressing the OP's reaction to this behavior. If the BF refuses to actually address his behavior, the OP has a tough decision to make. She can accept it, and recognize that nothing SHE does will solve the problem, or she can move on.
And that describes the fundamental heartbreak of being in a close relationship (familial or romantic) with someone who has a mental illness or addiction.
Wow, this thread really hit home for me. I was engaged to a man with severe anxiety - it was an 8 year long relationship
. After he was diagnosed, some things changed for the better, but many others did not. After almost two years of him being on medication and in therapy, there were still some very fundamental things that did not change. He couldn't or wouldn't get a job, he couldn't or wouldn't move out of his parents' house, and other issues that meant I finally had to accept he simply couldn't or wouldn't marry me.
So, I left him. Never knowing if the issue was he couldn't do these things because of his anxiety and I was therefore leaving him because of an illness that was out of his control, or if the issue was he wouldn't do those things because it was easier to hide behind his illness. All I knew was that I couldn't handle the situation anymore - it was too difficult.
Believe it or not, I'm not trying to depress you
. My point here, OP, is that your situation is so much different, and to my eyes, so much more hopeful. I want to offer you encouragement - hang in there during the rough times. I think there is another option besides either accepting the behaviour or moving on - you can keep trying as long as it's not adversely affecting your own mental health.
One tactic that worked in my case (on a small scale, of course!) was a system of loving punishment. For example, if Boyfriend is smelly, you say something like: "Honey, I love you and I want to sleep next to you. But I can't stand the smell. I would be really happy if you went and showered - with soap - and we could sleep together tonight. But if you don't, I'm going to sleep on the couch." Or, "We're not going out to dinner." Say it with a firm but always loving tone, give him a smile or two so he knows you're not angry, and then follow through
. If or when he does give in and shower, show him and tell him how happy you are.
Also, I know they sell all-in-one liquid soaps for guys that works as both bodywash and shampoo. Try stocking some of that to cut down on the amount of steps a shower takes. And finally, let me add my voice to the others who have already suggested that you two do therapy together. My ex used to paint a rosier picture for his therapist than reality - he needed the positive feedback from her, so when he went to therapy he acted like things were better than they really were. Once I started attending sessions with him every so often, I could tell the therapist exactly what things looked like from an outside perspective.