Hyper-sexuality with an ADHD Spouse

I am fairly new to this site.   I have read numerous posts from Non-ADHD spouses commenting on the lack of sex or interest in sex from their ADHD spouse.  I have the opposite situation. My ADHD Husband craves what he calls "over the top sex".  Which to me, means that he's always expecting me to perform.  To me, it means that I'm just a tool for him to get off...like alcohol or a drug.  It means that I can't just be me and express my love for him in a "normal" sexual way.  For him, "over the top sex" means me in lingerie 3-4 times per week, me coming on to him...telling him how great he is, me talking dirty and asking him to do things to me, me demonstrating to him how desired he is. 


This has become a major issue in our marriage.  He feels that the marriage isn't worth it if I can't deliver on this.  It doesn't matter all of the other great things that I bring to the marriage.  For him, this makes or breaks the marriage. 


A little background info.  My husband is 40 yrs old and was just diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year.  He is taking medication and is working with a coach.  We have been married for 6 years, have 2 children (4 and 1).  I am the bread winner.  My husband has been looking for a job for 2 yrs. 


Like many ADHD spouses, mine struggles to help around the house.  I feel like my plate is so full.  I'm worn to the bone.  His asking for "over the top sex" feels like the final insult!  We fight about this all of the time.  I feel as though my husband doesn't see me. I could put any woman in our bed and he wouldn't even notice that i was absent.  I approach him and initiate sex but he feels that it's "boring" because I'm not being "over the top". 


I work all day at a very stressful job.  I stress about making enough money to support us all.  I come home (usually to a very messy house which only adds to my stress) have to cook dinner and clean, because my spouse doesn't cook and can't clean consistenly.  I give everyone my attention...everyone one wants a piece of mom.  So, by the end of the day I am completely beat, bitter and resentful.  How can I offer "over the top" sex when all I want to do is wring his neck! 


I don't know what else to do or how to get through to him.  I am seriously considering divorce.  I would love to hear from anyone that has experience with this.  I'm open for suggestions.



my perspective


I'm a 42 year old man with ADHD, my thread is here:  http://www.adhdmarriage.com/content/find-volunteer-slapper-your-husband-and-reason 

1.  Have someone you and your husband mutually trust talk to him about his ADHD and tell him how you currently feel.  Perhaps a family member. He may acknowledge his ADHD by taking meds, but I don't think he "REALLY" get's it.  He needs a virtual slap upside-the-head, to really get it.   If he's unemployeed and not pulling his weight around the house still... he doesn't get it.   Believe me, he doesn't.  He may be smart, but smart men sometimes don't do smart things.   Sounds like his ADHD coach isn't much better.   If you want to wring your husbands neck, that's a sign he is not really working much on his ADHD.   Nothing has changed except a diagnoses... big deal.   The ADHD is still controlling everything.

2.  If that virtual slap doesn't work, ask for a separation and do it.  Just find a place that you and your kids can safely live for a few months, perhaps the kids can jointly stay with him too.   That will be a huge wake up call, the virtual slap he really needs.   If he truly loves you and wants to get better and really control his ADHD, the house will be cleaner and sex requests will stop.  He'll just be happy and respectful to you by only giving you a hug over the next few months.   This separation will be very tough for you to do, but if you give in... it won't work.    He has to believe that you are really going to leave him if he doesn't do something about his ADHD, he has to think the separation is step away from divorce.  

Remember, no pain, no gain.   He currently has no pain... actually it sounds like he has it pretty darn good.   What pain does he currently have?   If he's smart, when he finally get's the pain, he'll make the necessary changes and really address his ADHD.   If he's been unemployeed for the last 2 years, while you are working and taking care of the house/family.. perhaps all he's been really doing is fantasizing on the Internet about all the things he's not getting from you.   Just keep giving, he'll keep taking... this is common nature.   He won't change, until you change.   This new change is hard for you to do and implement, but what are you waiting for... him to finally start changing all by himself?  He's got it too good now, why should he change?... how has what you're doing been working for you?   I wish you two the best.  Thx.

Thank you.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for  your comment.  It was really appreciated.  I fear that it may be too late for my marriage.  I'm giving it until January 1st.  I discussed separation with my husband and he said that if it came to that, he'd just rather we divorce.  He doesn't get it.  I've tried to get him on this website, but he's so focused on being right and me being wrong that he won't open his mind to anything.  He feels that everyone around him feels that I'm wrong.  I can't get through to him.  Frankly, I'm tired of trying.  I can't help but think how free I would feel without him.  If he were really willing to work on his ADHD I might stay.  But even as I type this to you, he's texting me telling me that the issues that we have in the marriage are my fault.  He has no idea how unreasonable and selfish he is.  I've read many of the other posts on this site.  I see people who have suffered in 20 year marriages with spouses who refuse to truly treat their ADHD.  I just can't see myself going on with this for that long.

We know what you're going through . . .

Hi, Laurie1213 -

I'm dealing with the same thing--misplaced blame. He blames me for everything wrong with the marriage, and even told his friends and family that I'm an abuser--in essence, pinning everything *he* did to the marriage on *me*. It hurts terribly. Know that we're here for you and thinking of you, and that there are those of us here who understand what you're dealing with. It's horrible and needless and unfair, but you will get through it and be happy again.

No, it's all my fault. I'm

No, it's all my fault. I'm the overly sensitive ice queen. I'm vengeful, negative and irritating. Everybody says that I'm not a happy person and everyone knows that he has nothing to do with it... 



That's pretty much how my husband describes me, too. He practically makes it sound like I kick puppies for fun.

Me too and the problem is,

Me too and the problem is, I'm starting to believe it with both side of the family chiming in.

no pain, no gain (no change)

Laurie... he is saying and doing things just how I did once.  I've said many stupid things, all ADHD'ers do... we often say what should never leave our minds...  I've said... "well, why don't we just get divorced?"  ... knowing full well I wouldn't do it... but guess what?   ...my wife called me on it... she filed and I'm getting divorced.  Our problems went on for too long and even now when I'm seeing a therapist, accepting my ADHD, fully aware of it.... she's still not coming back.   Your husband has some pain, but not enough pain to change, he actually has it pretty good from what you've described...  He needs what I needed long ago... the shocking pain of a good virtual slap-up-side-the head, a reality of a divorce.  

Separating or filing for divorce will be the toughest thing YOU can do.    He's likely a nice, likeable guy, most of us are... but you have no idea how powerfully blinding that ADHD is to a man.... we'll never change until the pain of losing a loving wife is real.   After you leave or file, if he still doesn't change... then you made the right call.   If he does change... great... then you still made the right call.   BUT, don't fall for short-term promises or fixes on his end.... he must prove he is really changing... seeing a therapist/psychologist, reading ADHD books, admitting/talking to his friends/family about ADHD,  respecting you, your time, your feelings, etc... Must like an alcoholic must take action steps to recovery, so must an ADHD'er.  Will take months of proof of progress... be prepared to be separated at least several months.   In the end, you can't lose because you'll have your answer either way... he will accept/acknowledge the problem is his ADHD and he was man enough and SMART enough to fix it.... or he won't fix it.  You already have little to lose and so much to gain.  Don't wait much longer, as the longer you let him hurt you, you may not want him back.... that is where I'm at today.  I didn't have anyone to slap-me-upside-the-head to make me finally see it was my ADHD destroying the marriage.  I hope the best for you and your husband.   The both of you do NOT deserve to get divorced, especially with kids... but sometimes it takes the greatest pain to beat the greatest obstacles in life.   The both of you will be stronger and wiser, regardless how you come thru it.  I hope you stay together after going thru it, but be prepared not to be.  Take care...

Thank you

Laurie, I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me to read your entry. I just joined this site and have been feeling so so so alone. I have been with my ADHD boyfriend for 3 years and have been feeling the same way...especially in regards to his sexuality. I am the breadwinner, i feel like i will NEVER even GET a ring or marriage proposal because he is so disorganized, i have a stressfull full time job PLUS I work EVERY weekend to make ends meet, i do all the cooking, all the cleaning, and then at the end of the day...EVERY DAY... have to put in at least 45 minutes of sex! Then he gets upset because it seems like i am not enjoying it, or becuase it seems like a chore to me. In truth though, its one more thing that I have to schedule into my day to keep him from fighting with me. I can never win. Then, as if having sex with him EVERY DAY isnt enough... he is consistantly asking me for more...just like you described! He wants it to be more exciting, hooting and hollering and all that stuff! When I try to talk to him about it, he feels like IM the one being selfish! I totally, 100% understand why sexual stimulation is so relaxing to him and I try to do the best he can... unfortunately he cant seem to understand why I feel like this is the only thing that I can do that is stimulating to him... like its the only thing i can do to make him feel good... it makes me feel like its all im good for. I dont know if I can do this for the rest of my life...



I am stuck in a marriage with four beautiful children and a husband who has adhd who won't get help for it and has blamed me for everything.  He verbally abuses me, controls me, I have no partner, I do everything on my own and no one to communicate with.  If I could go back in time I would and I wouldn't be with him.  I wish I knew about this more clearly when we were dating.  This may not be the advice that you wanted to hear but I would leave while I still had the chance.  Take it from someone who has been with someone for almost twelve years and outside of my children they have been very hard years- not what a marriage should be at all.  I feel like a single mom even though I am married.  You need to have a partner in life who will cherish you and love and support you the way you deserve.  No matter how much you love him, with adhd he will not be able to meet your needs.  I would leave before you make more of a commitment to him and or have children.  Once you find someone who isn't suffering from adhd you will then know what a "real" relationship is supposed to be like.  I wish I could leave my marriage- don't get stuck like me.


I am in the same situation.

I am in the same situation. My husband of nearly 20 years says the sexual spark isn't there between us because I don't grab him, wrestle with him or dress in a sexy way. He is now talking about separating so he can see if there is soemthing else out there in the world for him.

He was diagnosed as an adult and needs constant stimulation.

I love him and feel that, despite the ADHD, there are good aspects of our marriage and want to save it. He says he has lost the desire to try.

Hyper-sexuality with ADD Spouse

Thank you all for your comments.  My husband and I ended up having a big blow up about this issue.  I had been telling him about this site and asking him to take a look at it.  He really didn't want to.  He kept saying that he's working with a coach (who I don't believe has a background in working with ADHD Individuals) and a men's support group.  I explained that I thought it was great that he was working with a coach and a men's support group.  But unfortunately, none of these addressed how ADHD affects the non-ADHD spouse.  As far as my husband was concerned, ADHD didn't have anything to do with me.  He has been completely blind to its affect on me. 

I finally got him to the computer to read a couple of Melissa's posts: "For Men with ADHD Who Aren't Convinced it Matters" and "The Care of Feeding of the Non-ADHD Spouse".  He listened and seemed to be geniunely surprised that I could be affected in such ways.  He had been trying to make me sign some sort of contract basically stating that he was doing everything in the marriage that he was supposed to do and that I had nothing to complain about.  It was ridiculous!  I refused to sign because it wasn't realistic.  After reading these posts he tore up the contract and we began to talk.  He seemed to see things that he hadn't seen before...all of the things that I'd been complaining about for years. 

He has taken the information to heart.  We'll see what happens.  I do my very best to live in the moment, but after so many years of disappointment it's really hard not to be wary.  In the past, his "making changes" has never been consistent or sustained.  I am hopeful that "true" change does begin to occur, but I'm not giving up my deadline for the marriage.


Laurie...I'm another male

Laurie...I'm another male with ADD who has been through what Dan has been through.  He's right.  Your husband has it too good.  He doesn't have to work, he doesn't have to do anything around the house, he doesn't have to engage with your kids.  Without sounding too harsh...what exactly is he expected (by expected I mean actually held accountable for) to do within your family unit? 

He needs to suffer some consequences for his behaviors.  You have to hold him accountable for some things.  If he won't, then you need to follow through on the separation.  Anything less and you're right back here emotionally within 60-90 days.

Laurie, I know the feeling of not being appreciated.

My husband is unemployed and does what he wants while I support him, same as you. I come back home and immediately start cooking supper, while he has been home all day but didn't bother to call to ask if he can start or buy something for dinner. And he also blames me for our marriage problems, saying that "regardless" of his ADHD he resents my "constant criticism" and is not attracted to me anymore. But amazingly, he still wants to live here and be taken care of by me! So, I have all of the negatives of being married, and none of the positives.

I would never move out with my son, as my son loves his home. Besides, I think it is clear that the person who states the marriage is over and not salvagable when they have a child and their spouse does everything for them is the one who needs to leave. Clear to everyone but them, that is!

This is SOOO much like my

This is SOOO much like my marriage!  I completely understand and have many of the same feelings.  It's hard to knwo what is to be expected from someone with these problems and what is just pure irresponsibility and lack of understanding in their part.  I hope that I don't end up divorced but it seems like theres not much more that I can do.  I have a life and deserve to enjoy it too!  So do you!  Maybe couseling is the best answer to try and mediate your feelings and needs along with his.

Your husband's problem is more than ADHD

I hope this is not too late for you and your marriage. I just discovered this website today, read your post about what your husband expected of you sexually. Your husband may have ADHD, but what he has done to you is not caused by ADHD, it is sexual addiction (and alcohol addiction---addictions sometimes come in a bunch). My husband does not have ADHD, and he had been doing that to me for our entire married life, and I did't think it was abnormal. Last summer, he disclosed to me that he had had a compulsion since he was a teenager, so I am acutely aware of this problem. What you describe is classic Sexual Addiction. There IS help available for this. My husband has been in recovery for several months. We have a long way to go. You can find therapists who are knowledgable in the field of sexual addiction. You will both need individual therapy....your husband for his addictions, and you, for the compensating skills you've unfortunately had to develop in order to live with him. We have been participating in a program for addicts and their spouses through S. T. A. R. (Sexual Trauma and Recovery) in Wynnewood, PA (Google the full title and you can find their website. They may be able to refer you to therapists in your area who are familiar with sexual addiction. Even if you and your husband are no longer together, you will benefit from seeing someone to help you heal from the trauma you have experienced. And if you google: Patrick Carnes, you will find some books that you can read to help you understand what you have been going through. As to whether ADHD caused the problem, ADHD may have just made your husband's problem worse, that's all. 

Same situation

I am in a very similar situation except a few differences.  My husband does work but spends almost all of his free time on his computer.  He also desires sex almost every night.  If I am too tired he gets mad, blames me and sulks.  He does nothing around the house or yard and blames me for everything.  There is no communication with him at all.  Whenever I tried to talk to him in the past he was so mean and hurtful towards me- name calling, saying I was crazy, needed medication, etc.  He never apologizes for anything that he says that hurts me- blames me for pushing him to say those things.  He has even gone as far as calling me evil and saying I was a horrible wife.  I am so tired of his verbal abuse and blaming me for everything.  I can't even talk to him anymore- I have resorted to emailing him.  Even that doesn't work.  We have four children together and I worry about them.  I can honestly say, if I did not have children I would have been long gone.  I am tired of the blame and being a single mother.  I too don't know what to do.  I feel so stuck!