I am totally shocked right now, because last night I discovered that my husband has been engaging in chat room sex with at least one man. He has apologized and says it hasn't happened that often, but I'm not sure I believe him. He also blames me for criticizing him so much that he no longer finds me sexually attractive. We've had a troubled sex life for years, with my husband unable to achieve or maintain an erection. I've always attributed it to our strained relationship and the fact that I assumed he masturbated frequently and had gotten used to a different type of stimulation. I never would have imagined he would have anonymous sex online.
I'm sure my husband has ADHD. He was diagnosed as a child and the doctor prescribed medication, but his mother felt wrong giving it to him. When he cried and begged her not to, she dumped the pills down the drain. What followed was years of trouble in school, including years of special ed. He went on to earn two degrees from good universities, but with very poor grades. At one point he did so poorly he lost his scholarship and had to join the military to afford to finish his undergraduate degree. He has had multiple conflicts with bosses and has been fired twice from his civilian jobs. He is under-achieving at best for his intelligence level. He loses things all the time. He seems like he isn't paying attention frequently. He can't budget time or money, and we're in deep credit card debt. He acts inappropriately in small, embarrassing ways, like taking huge bites of food then chewing loudly and talking with his mouthful at parties. He will not admit that he has ADHD, only sometimes admitting to what he calls his "challenges" or his "issues."
Our son was diagnosed with ADHD at around 9, and he made wonderful progress on the Dore program. He is now in high school earning good grades, doing well in sports, and maintaining friendships. I want the same help for my husband, but now that Dore is available in only a limited way, and with our debt we can't afford it anyway, I want him to commit to Learning Breakthrough.
I feel totally hopeless. I am so sick of living with him and dealing with all his problems--messiness, failure to follow through, lack of control in spending. And now this--homosexual cyber sex. If it weren't for our three beautiful children, I would leave him. At one time I loved him, but ADHD has killed those feelings. Does anyone have any advice?? Does this sound like impulsivity or sex addition, or do you think he's really gay??
Submitted by CANDYGAL on
I can't believe what I just read here what you discovered with your husband!
I have been feeling like I am the only wife who has a husband that is attracted to me as well as to men.
I have been blaming myself for this and it is a big relief to see that I am not alone.
Thank you for your blog
Candygal, thanks for
Submitted by abc_123 on
Candygal, thanks for writing. Your note makes me feel less alone. If you read Melissa's post below you'll get some good advice, and my response to her tells what steps I've taken. All we can do is pray and take the next right step.
Is He Gay?
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
From your description, your husband definitely has ADHD and your life is a wreck from it. Is he gay or bi? His behavior, since it has been repeated (hence the "it hasn't happened that often") doesn't seem "impulsive" or a one time thing. So bi-sexuality, or being flat out gay, might be something to investigate. Addiction is another possibility with ADHD (or addiction and being gay) - he would have a better idea about that if he found treatment for his ADHD. Medications sometimes inhibit addiction issues.
You can't necessarily figure it out based upon your own sex life - so many people in poor relationships affected by ADD have little or no sex...
It's wonderful that you've been able to work with your son and that he has learned how to manage his ADHD symptoms. That shows you that life with ADHD doesn't have to be bad. At this point it seems to me you have a couple of paths you could follow. First, you need to take care of yourself and your son - make sure that both of you continue to get the help you need to live happy and productive lives. Second, I would be tempted to request (strongly) that your husband learn more about ADHD and start to address his own needs. If he hasn't read Delivered from Distraction then that's a good place to start. If he doesn't like to read, there is an audiotape. He ought to get a full evaluation of his needs, and get under the care of a good doctor so that he can start to address his underperformance, his losing things, etc. Know that he would need both sides of treatment (physical and behavioral) to gain long-term success.
As for leaving him - you'll know if/when that seems necessary. Kids make a big difference, as does his willingness to address his issues - all of them - openly.
You might consider showing him the post I just did for men who don't think ADHD matters...several men have commented that having their wives show it to them has shifted how they were thinking. The other post with it, from a man who is going through a total life shift because he has started to treat it, might also be helpful.
Not treating ADHD is not a neutral act, as you've found out. He has suffered from it, and may have many self esteem issues as a result. Making the choice to start to address it will be hard for him. But it's your life (and your kids' lives), too. You all deserve the best of him. His mother was just plain wrong and did him a great hurt.
Shock is an awful thing, and when ADHD has killed your feelings it can be overwhelming. But sometimes good things can come out of shock and significant events. The improvements in my own marriage came on the heels of finding my husband was deeply (and emotionally) involved in an affair. Sometimes the difficult feelings (guilt, pain, desperation, etc) can spur both partners to try new things that they wouldn't have risked trying before. You may have an opportunity here - if not to "fix" everything, at least to get to a more livable place with your husband.
Best of luck - my heart goes out to you in your pain and shock.
Submitted by abc_123 on
Melissa, thank you so much for replying. You've definitely helped me by validating my feelings and beliefs. What you say makes a lot of sense. I don't feel there's anyone in my life that I can talk to about this; it's just so humiliating for me and my husband. I'm angry at him, but not vengeful enough to ruin his reputation. Since I last posted, my husband has agreed to do Learning Breakthrough and has had his first appointment with a therapist--someone with experience counseling those with sexual orientation issues as well as ADHD. The therapist also seems open to educating himself about Learning Breakthrough. My husband seems to have "hit bottom" the way an alcoholic sometimes has to, in order to seek treatment. I've told him that I don't want a divorce. I still have fantasies of his addressing his ADHD and bettering his life and of us being able to enjoy all the milestones of our children's lives together--college, weddings, grandkids. He's agreed to let me manage the finances. But I've also told him that this is his last chance. If he slips in his commitment to pursue real treatment for his ADHD, or if he falls back into old patterns, I will end our marriage. I told him we'd always be connected through our kids and that I would try to maintain a friendship with him for their sake and for what we've shared over 20 years. I'm not sure I trust him anymore, and I've been lied to and disappointed so many times in so many ways, but I'm willing to give it one last try to save our marriage. I guess I've hit bottom too. Again, thank you for your encouragement. I am going to show him the posts you recommend.