I don't understand this behavior and he can't seem to explain it
Submitted by Aspen on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 09:56
I keep reading that there don't seem to be many success stories here, and I tend to agree with everyone who posts that the happy ppl are usually out living their lives being happy. BUT I promise we are not like unicorns--happy couples where one person has ADD do exist and I am about to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary with my love!! I apologize for not posting more, but I tend to post on websites mainly when I have questions (like today--sorry) or really feel like something I can say might help a situation (which since I check the sites I read only about once a week or so usually the good stuff is all said by the time I get there).
My husband (he is the ADD one in our relationship--we are about 4 years post diagnosis and he takes meds and meets with a coach about once every 3 weeks) regularly does something that is baffling to me to understand. I do understand that he doesn't mean to upset me with it, but that is the reality and him just hearing "when you do that it hurts my feelings/ makes me feel like you think I am stupid/is disrespectful" doesn't seem to be enough to stop the behavior. I am hoping some ppl here who've dealt with the same thing may be able to help me.
His behavior manifests itself to me as having too fluid of a relationship with the truth--as in he isn't telling me the truth. He doesn't see it that way at all. This is question #1 for me.....How do you get asked a question and give a false answer and not consider that to be a lie? Now he almost never does this about anything important (though in our first few months of marriage he lied to me to try to cover a bill he forgot to pay and that happened again at the end of last year......each time that really rocks me backwards as it is NOT in any way ok). For me telling the truth is a boundary that I absolutely will not tolerate being crossed, whereas for him saying the first thing that comes to his mind and then thinking he has to *go with it* definitely seems to be a way his ADD manifests itself at times.
On one hand I understand this: I've read of other ADD ppl saying that sometimes even they are shocked when something comes out of their mouths. I can believe that I ask him a yes or no question (like I did last night) and when the answer is 'no' somehow 'yes' slips out. I can accept that is an ADD behavior. What I cannot understand is why doesn't he then say "You know what? I am so sorry, but I had an ADD moment and I really meant to say no right then." I would TOTALLY accept that with no argument, fight, nor recriminations. We'd probably laugh. Instead what happens is what happened below.
Firstly, PLEASE understand I don't consider this to be on pair with the heinous behavior I read here of some mates. I KNOW I have a great one, and I know some ppl will be thinking "If that is the worst problem she has with him....." I know all that & is part of why I hesitate to post when there is a lot of serious issues going on here because in comparison our problems truly are unimportant, BUT nevertheless they are problems that affect us and there is a wealth of knowledge here that I want to take advantage of too. Please don't judge me for being upset about something silly........it is being upset that he doesn't tell me the truth and then gets REALLY ridiculous with his story and I feel I NEED to understand why because of my truth boundary.
Ok last night he was supposed to have arranged something at church, but I knew for sure that it didn't happen. There was also a timing issue, so I was wondering if it didn't happen because he didn't arrange it or it just had to be cut for time. Nothing important--just conversation on the way home, so I asked him sorta absently if he arranged it. He said "yes"
Now my husband is the WORST liar ever (one of the reasons it offends me so much when he does it!), so immediately there was something about his "Yes" that sounded like it should have been no, so I asked "You did arrange it?" to give him a chance to get his tongue under control. When he said 'yes' again I was sure he wasn't telling me the truth. This makes NO SENSE to me, I mean for what reason on earth would you lie about that?!! So where a lot of times I roll my eyes to myself and let it go, I decided to press the issue.
I said "Who did you arrange it with?"
He said "I texted Leroy and asked him to do it, but since we ran out of time, we just had to cancel"
This all is perfectly reasonable, except it was just obvious to me that it wasn't at all true. So I asked again, "You texted Leroy?" He said "yes"
I said "Ok, this seems like one of those time you're talking out your butt. Are you sure you texted him?" Now he is sorta rolling his eyes at me and acting like it is ridiculous for me to press the issue and confirmed again that he texted him. Now as soon as I mentioned *talking out his butt* which is what we call his ADD conversation at times, we were just sort of laughing and bantering.....no one was angry, but I was obviously going to get to the bottom of the issue. And he seems to actively enjoy it...not like he didn't do something that he was supposed to do which causes him shame and he is just trying to avoid the conversation---I say that because of the conversation we had after this one.
I said "Ok I am going to need you to show me that text" This was the point where he knew for sure that I knew he was lying......and he was off to the races.
He gets some kind of *now I am screwed* crossed with *this is fun* look and says "I am sorry I said that I texted him, I misspoke. I talked to him on the phone"
Now is where I really started getting irritated.........this was a stupid thing to say since from the time he was asked to arrange it until we got to church last night we were together pretty much every moment. I said "You called him? Really? Then how is it that I never heard that call?"
"I didn't say I talked to him on the phone/ I just said I talked to him. I talked to him in person when I got there tonight"
I looked at him with my eyebrows up and said "Really? When you got there and were pulled directly into a meeting and then church started??"
And he kinda laughed and gave up that he didn't arrange it at all. I was angryish but staying calm and told him this casual view of lying to me is what frustrates me so much about him.
He immediately says "It isn't lying....it is like a game" I said "A game? Well you aren't playing a game with me because I am not playing. Are you playing alone?" He makes that face like *you aren't getting it and I can't gather the right words to explain it*. I said "How would you win this game? By convincing me that you did something you didn't do? By making me believe your lie?"
That immediately gets the "NONONO I am not lying to you" reaction. Then he said it was more of a battle of wits.......I said "Babe I am not battling you. I am asking you a question and you are telling me a lie and then telling me things that I would be an idiot to believe to support your story. I let this go a lot, but it hurts me when you do this and I hate it and I want to know why you do it." I asked him to think about it and then we'd talk about it so that he wasn't only spouting off whatever came to his head.
The best he could then come up with is that "It is like banter. We banter all the time. It is fun" I said "Yes we banter all the time and it is fun, but THIS is NOT it. I am not bantering with you. You are trying to *win* by lying to me and either getting me to believe it or at least be willing to drop it"
He admitted that was probably true, but that it was fun and not lying. I think I made him understand he is the only one having fun with it. Over the course of this he apologized several times, so no one was mad. It was just an honest discussion of some baffling behavior by this point.
We talked about how frequently this happens and we have WIDELY varying beliefs about that. He thinks it only happens occasionally. He said he has NO idea why the original YES slipped out but then he feels he has to come up with support for it and he get more and more convoluted with it. He said it feels like a way to release his creativity........like telling fairy tales. Literally I was like !??!?! This is a genuinely creative man. I told him since he HAS creativity and his stories when he is trying to cover SUCK, that he'd be better served answering a question correctly and saving creativity for art and music. He agrees...........I think he might *get it* this time.
But I still don't think I totally get it. It is crazy crazy crazy to me. And I told him the same thing I posted here........if something slips out wrong or backward just admit it was an ADD moment and move on.