ADD & Infidelity

I really have no statistical bases for the question I am going to pose.  I am not sure how many out of how many meet the criteria of behavior.  Yet, I am still interested in the dynamics between ADD and cheating on your partner.

I have read many stories of infidelity in relationships between ADD / Non ADD individuals.

Well first let me start with some context; I don't understand infidelity and have a hard time relating to it happening.  As long as I can remember my philosphy has been if I am at the point in a relationship that I am considering cheating (seriously) then I need to be upfront about those feelings.  If things are "at that point" then why cheat and compromise my character in the process.  Personally, I would rather have someone tell me they need to move on and deal with that pain than be cheated on and lied to.  I am way over simplifying the dynamics but I try to keep it simple when it comes to committed relationships and compromising what that committment means.  My point is not to judge those that cheat (unless its on me) but rather to understand what drives it.

With that said I have a few questions for everyone and hope everyone find benefits in the answers (my answers will be in parenthesis):

  1. Define "cheating"? (when an individual crosses a line either emotionally or physically that compromises the integrity of their current relationship)
  2. Have you ever thought about cheating? (yes at a conceptual level in trying to understand it)
  3. Have you ever been cheated on? (no that I am aware of and really haven't had any hints or signs)
  4. Should someone with ADD be given more "grace" or second chances than someone who is Non-ADD; after cheating? (I have ADD and I can say that it should never be a valid excuses for me to cheat.  Do I require more stimulation sure does that mean my actions get a free pass?  I think not cheating emotionally/physically requires decisioning on my behalf that is run through my moral compass.  If I cheat it means I chose someone else over my ethics and my commitment to my partner and thus should have no further rights in keeping that relationship.  I've studied a lot about ADD and I just don't think it would be reasonable to say, "Well babe I was weak, I was emotionally compromised and you have been physically distant for years and given my ADD you know I require additional stimulation."
  5. What benefits are there in cheating? (other than temporary stimulation of mind and body which result in false feelings of inclusion and relief I can't find anything reasonable.)
  6. Why would you give a second chances? (the only reason I can think of would be because of my own fears with being alone or starting over or losing my kids half the time)

I realize many of these questions are sensative in nature and I hope no one is offended by my responses or anyone elses.  My only hope is to learn more than I know now so that I can make better choices or at least evaluate my choices from a more informed perspective.  I could and admit my perspective today could be wrong :).

Of all of the issues ADHD has

Of all of the issues ADHD has brought to my life, this is the most painful and most likely to be the cause for my marriage ending...if it does. I am the non-wife, my husband has ADHD. Currently untreated and uncontrolled. We are not fighting, there isn't much chaos in the marriage or home because I detached and started focusing 100% on ME about 6 weeks ago. Long time coming, but finally 'got it' and let go. I will answer as best as I can. I admit I waited a few days before answering so I could try and do so without a lot of 'emotion'.

1. Cheating to me is any contact or relationship with someone outside of the marriage that is in any way disrespectful to the marriage vows themselves. I believe that you simply do not put yourself in a position for even so much as rumors to start because rumors can destroy relationships, especially when infidelity has already been an issue. Talking to someone online, over the phone, texting, meeting for lunch or dinner (other than STRICTLY business), or otherwise engaging in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex...turning to them for advice or sympathy..or, in my book cheating. Not much gray area for me. I've endured infidelity twice...I have zero tolerance at this point.

2. I have considered the option of cheating for two reasons. One, to 'show him' how it feels. Two, because there have been times that I honestly didn't think he would care and I was so alone and lonely that I just longed for a set of arms to wrap around me and tell me everything would be OK. I know my reasons for the later are simply that I was far too dependent on him for my own happiness and when he wasn't giving me that, I felt I had to find someone else to give it to me. (the exact reason HE cheated...attention..or so he says) But, I realize now that happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy and for now I am being patient and praying that our marriage works out. I know 'revenge' cheating is just simply idiotic. First and foremost, I could never ever do that to him, I could never hurt him that way and I could never live with myself. I am not a cheater, never have been, never will be. I love God too much to desecrate my vows. We all have moments of weakness, but mine were never anything more than mere thoughts. No other 'man' was ever involved or considered.

3. Yes. Six months into our marriage he had a short fling with his ex-wife. (one night stand, to my knowledge...she told me, so I assume if it were more, she would have been more than happy to tell me) 12 years into our marriage, he started an affair that lasted 2 months. Also, there have been other women and situations where questions have arose, accusations have been made, and suspicion still lingers. None of it fell into place until after the second affair and a 'pattern' started to develop.

4. No. We didn't know about his ADHD until appx 6 months after his 2nd infidelity. Lots of extenuating circumstances that I've posted about here before, so I won't repeat them, but I do believe marriage can survive infidelity, but I am equally as convinced that if ADHD is a factor in the cheating (especially untreated ADHDer with poor impulse control) then if the ADHD isn't treated and managed then the odds that they will 'repeat' the behaviors are far greater than for someone who isn't ADHD and cheats. To me, what I have concluded, is that no matter how badly my DH might have felt about what he did 2 years ago, eventually (because he lives in the 'now' and 'not now') that will fade and all it will take is for him to start feeling sorry for himself (or maybe even just someone to pay attention to him on the 'right' day) and you have the makings of a disaster. So, as you can imagine, his being untreated and doing nothing to manage his ADHD, essentially leaves me feeling quite certain that no matter what he swears he won't do, I have seen his ADHD take the wheel enough to know that it WILL happen again. His treatment, though, is 100% up to him. ADHD or not, he is out of chances. There are SOOO many ways to get the needed stimulation in ways that do NOT hurt the marriage. Also, if 'attention' is what you crave, then try giving a little.

5. According to my DH, the benefits were simply "attention". That is all I can ever get. Attention and acceptance. He had my attention and acceptance 100%...before ADHD took over.

6. First time, I gave a second chance because he was young and I thought that it was just a matter of him needing to grow up. I thought once he came through the 'spell' and got his head on straight, that he had surely learned from his mistake. After his second affair, we had just been through a very, very emotional 3-4 months (he lost his job, his mom died, my Daddy had an accident and died) and we were on the heels of 6 years of fighting after getting custody of my SD. I found out about his affair less than a month after losing my Daddy. As I said, there was a lot of reasons to feel he was deeply and sincerely remorseful for what he had done and that he would never do it again. (again, Pre-ADHD diagnosis). I also feel I had already lost so much, I just simply couldn't bare to lose him as well. I have no regrets, but getting the ADHD diagnosis and understanding now what drives him to cheat, I am not sure I could ever feel confident enough to stay in the marriage if he continues to refuse treatment or the need for treatment.

It is one of the worst things I have ever been put through in my life. I'm not willing to stick around and be put through it again. If he doesn't take his ADHD seriously, this issue will probably be the end for us.




Thank you

First want to say thank you for your open candid response.  I can see the path you described in how you have moved through several infidelities.  I thought through your response on "revenge cheating" and I can somewhat relate to that response.  I've never been cheated on (that I know of) but could see my loyality to my partner that did cheat going away.  I wouldn't cheat  out of revenge but rather I wouldn't feel any loyality to not cheat if the circumstance presented itself.

Your husband is lucky to have someone who is loyal despite his actions.

I hope he get's treatment and get's better.  More than that I hope you find the answers you deserve.