ADHD and OCD

Just found this site and I am horrified at the stories of lying, cheating and infidelity.  I have dated a man for over a year but recently found some activity on his computer like you all - hookup sites, texting, etc. Of course denying it was nothing or "just looking."  Still don't believe that. Upon the recent discovery, he agreed to go to counseling for his ADHD.  He is early 40's, never married, no real long term relationships and wants to find out why he can't seem to stay in a relationship, why he loses focus so easily.  He is very organized, takes care of things, not lazy, works out, good job, (probably his ocd) has a good heart, is good to me, but has a hard time opening up emotionally (might be adhd might be childhood stuff) and expressing his feelings.  I can handle the not opening up part but it's the seeking out other women part that frightens me.  He says he loves me and wants to make this to work  and have a lot in common, so it doesn't appear he's looking to find another woman for long term.  I do want to give him a chance but after reading this site, I am so scared.   Is getting counseling and possibly on meds early on in a relationship a sign of hope or willingness - we are not married - or are these people just doomed.  If it was just the lack of opening up that would be one thing but the hookup sites???  Can the ADHD/OCD guy ever kick the need for stimulation in this area and really be faithful?  He says he doesn't want to be alone the rest of his life and wants to figure out how to prevent that.  He does seem like the type of person to better himself but his "just looking" went on for a while before I found out.  and the texting after about 10 months into our relationship.  he did check out other women frequently but has sense stopped doing that while with me.  Are these guys just not able to control themselves in this area?  I don't want to move forward get married and discover I'm living with a cheating lying monster.

Welcome Kstar

Welcome to the site.  I'm sorry you are going through this.  Better to learn now than after the ceremony, but it is still very traumatic.  ADHD doesn't necessarily mean cheating.  It is a bad sign that he is seeking stimulation online.  ADHD problems largely surround the need to be stimulated or when lack of stimulation keeps them from completing tasks or paying attention to the needs of others.  Also issues of impulse control (seeking/accepting temptation) can be a problem and interfere with fidelity.  Most of the horror stories on the site are really when the ADHDer refuses to admit that there is a problem, or that their wiring is contributing to the severity of the problem.  Change can not happen unless he wants to change.  It is great that your guy is willing to get treatment. 

From a realistic viewpoint, true long-lasting change is hard.  Your guy will have to be willing to stick with it even when life is stressful, especially then.  And of course, no relationship is one sided.  You will have to support his efforts to change this behavior, and be accepting of the other limitations ADHD and OCD can bring.  I highly recommend reading ADHD Roller Coaster by Gina Pera, and The ADHD Effect on Marriage.  Both offer excellent insight to how ADHD effects relationships.

People with ADHD and OCD are not monsters.  They are people who struggle every day to succeed in a world built for those with neuro-typical brains.  He most likely did not do these things because of you, it is not personal, although it can feel really deeply personal.  Try to remember that the behavior is his symptoms taking control.  He needs to learn new ways to manage the symptoms.

Good luck.

QD-PRN's picture

I can empathise Ktar

I have ADHD and possibly a touch of OCD as well. I like to fold my towels a certain way but can't stand matching up socks. I am very attentive to my girlfriend who lives with me; we have five girls between us. Some patients are subject to hyper focus, a fixation on one particular thing. I have never visited the sites which you have mentioned. My girlfriend and I communicate openly and honestly. As a doctor, I am aware of how ADHD can affect a relationship. In my first marriage we never communicated, just drifted apart. I am very giving by nature but if a woman ignores me, I just give up. My first wife told me that all she ever wanted was a husband not a doctor, it broke my heart but there was a lot of resentment between us. She made fun of my British accent my slang, and called me the dumbest genius she has ever met. I never told her how hurtful all that was to me. I spent more and more time at work and one evening, I just felt happier sleeping in the guest room. I live with a very loving woman and I do most of the house work and cook most of the meals. I make her lunch every night to have at work and leave messages telling her how much I love her