Competing for Sex

Having to ask for sex is demeaning.  Having to ask for sex, being told "yes", anticipating intimacy, and then nothing happening is cruel.   Having an ADD partner has it's challenges, but none is more difficult for me than the yo-yo of our sex life.  He and I deal with my life long depression and my medications greatly affect my ability to be aroused.  Consequently our sex life tends to be one sided.  That does not bother me, and I actually get pleasure from watching my husband's pleasure, but sometimes it needs to be my turn.

I realize that planning is not the strong suit of ADD.  I realize that I am fighting an uphill battle, but it is difficult to find yourself, and your needs, at the bottom of the list every time.  The tricks used at work to remember important information can also be used to remember personal preferences.  I know in our younger years that arousal came easily, but things are different now, my meds are stronger now and I need stimulus to cause my brain to do the work my body used to do so easily.

Sex for me is much more than physical pleasure.  It noticably eases my depression and gives me the feeling of being loved, which also seems to affect my depression.  I have explained that to my husband over and over, and still he does not initiate sex until I have requested it multiple times and then probably lost my temper, which is really just a response to hurt feelings.  Half of the pleasure is feeling desired, not needy.  Knowing that he finds me attractive and wants only me.  Repeatedly asking to be invited to the party, takes away much of the pleasure.  It makes me feel like I am too much work.

If anyone has dealt with this and has a suggestion for a frustrated 58 year old, I would greatly appreciate it.







Sex Issues

It sounds as if you have a scheduling issue compounded by the side effects of your medications.  I would suggest you start scheduling a regular set of sex sessions that are at times of the day that work for you and are not likely to get pre-empted.  So that might be in the morning, when you are both FULLY awake (trying to have sex with someone who is half asleep when it takes time to get aroused is a losing proposition!) but before other things get in the way...let's say Saturday mornings you schedule to make coffee and bring it back up to him in bed, then spend another hour together once you are both awake but not yet out of bed and able to be distracted by other stuff.  Schedule it for every Saturday morning...and any other time that might work for you so that golf games and other stuff can't get in the way, and agree that it will be a top, top priority for you both.  Breakable only by death, fire or true emergency!

It also sounds as if some new sex ideas might help spice things up a bit.  Since you aren't so worried about coming all the time, consider finding some toys and positions which are new to you.  Or movies, books...whatever works to bring some new things to him and you.  (This won't always help - sometimes you'll just end up laughing at the absurdity of it all, but at least you will share that together, too!)  People with ADD like newness.  But if he doesn't respond, that's okay, too.

Masturbation can also help you.  If you view this as a form of self-therapy and self-love, rather than as something you are forced to do because he won't pay attention, you may find it another good way to be satisfied.  Since you are in charge, you can take as long as you want.

Simple things may also help you, such as the use of lubricants, which many women dealing with either depression or menopause or both find helpful in terms of speeding things up a bit for them.

Also, you may wish to extend your description of foreplay.  For example, plan a night for the two of you in which sex is definitely a part (and both parties know about it) but that there are ways to flirt, first.  This might include a special dinner out (perhaps with some favorite lingerie or something underneath what you are wearing that he can think about) or going to a club to dance together, or simply a walk in the woods where you can hold hands and talk about your dreams.  These kinds of things can bring you close enough that the transition into sex seems easier.

Finally, you probably need to reassess whether requiring he initiate sex is the right thing for your relationship.  First, since you are reminding him, he's not really initiating in any event.  But it sounds as if your need to have him start your sex is making you more miserable than it's worth.  Are there ways you can initiate sex?  If you went to where he was in the evening, for example, and started masturbating in front of him, or kissing him all over, would he not respond?  That said, make sure there is a way that he can communicate to you that he is interested but it's not a good time that won't hurt your feelings if you do this.

sex and adhd


     Could you please provide some insight on the relationship of the ADHD person and their disinterest in sex?  I don't know how ADHD affects the persons sex drive.  Over the years, I used to think my husband was having an affair or that I was completely repulsive.  At one point we went almost a year without any contact and when I brought this to his attention, he told me "he doesn't keep track".  What man doesn't?  It was at that point that I told him that I couldn't cry myself to sleep anymore and that we needed to talk to a professional.  It was at that one and only session that the therapist zeroed in on his ADHD and that it is a form of depression.

Sex and ADHD

First of all, ADHD is NOT a form of depression.  Depression is a separate condition that often accompanies ADHD, and may well be something that your husband suffers from.  If he does, the best way to treat it is to treat the ADHD first (as it is likely the underlying cause of the depression) and the depression second.

People with ADHD don't exhibit consistency when it comes to frequency of sex - some love it all the time (high stimulation) some not (aversion to touch, or depression, or anger at their spouse).  I would actually turn your question around, and ask why would YOU allow your relationship to continue without sex for a year?  What about YOUR rights to be touched, held and appreciated?  I think you have a bigger issue than sex, and that's communication.  Please consider the following:  getting the ADHD and depression treated (both his depression and, possibly, yours) and find a therapist who can help you start talking to each other and connecting again.  Also, please consider what it is that you need that will make you happy and start to pursue those things.  A separate relationship with a therapist may help you start to stand up for your own needs more - and this will be a good thing for your sex life, as well as your life in general.


Competing for Sex

Dear Katherine:

I'm not sure about advice but I can tell you that you're not alone. I am 52, my wife 54, we have been married 20 years but only recently begun to acknowledge the role of ADD in her life. I am currently to the point of feeling like her (always overwhelmed!) when it comes to advice because now, in addition to the usual ADD issues (flirtation, promises, oops forgot and fell asleep), she is going through menopause. I'm feeling like i've wasted a lot of time and don't know how much i can work with this.  What I have done is taken more control of the things i can control (the way I dress, the relationships with my daughter and son and friends) and that does indeed help. But the uphill part is a past of disappointments (social, employment, communication, responsibilities) and I'm working a lot to keep pace with the NEED for hope.

   I've just joined so look forward to more posts and responding more fully.

thanks, Paul


I can totally relate to you. 

I can totally relate to you.  My boyfriend and I have this problem.  He tells me he likes it when women initiate sex, but when I do he turns me down or pushes me off of him.  He seems to have an aversion to intimacy and sex.  Even when we do have sex he doesn't remain aroused anyways.  On more than one occasion he's stopped mid way through without so much as an expliantion.  It's a weird situation and it's hard to not let yourself be affected by it.

I haven't had a talk with him about it; although, I'm at the point where I plan to.  So far what I've found to work is not initiating sex and then after a couple of days goes by he initiates it.  I'm guessing he's backed up by that point.  Regardless of what he says he would like me to do I just don't push for it.  We have sex on an average of once every four days.

sex is the barometer

In my case sex is his barometer. If we don't have sex for a day he wakes up in the morning angry and upset. He then says that "this is how it starts", he starts doubting my love for him, wonders if i'm cheating, etc.... I try to explain that it is perfectly normal for a couple to go a day without having sex.Especially since we only see each other at midnight when he comes home from work. By then I'm tired and ready to go to bed but still I wait up for him eventhough I get up at 6.30. Do the math, 4 or 5 hours sleep isn't much. He too comes home tired (he's a cook) so we sometimes fall asleep on the couch watching tv. Still he somehow thinks that I need to initiate and if I don't it means i lost interest in him.  I tried to make him see that quality is more important than quantity but he doesn't seem to get it.  I too am a very sexual person but sex everyday for me is a plus not a must. It's a thin line. He once said that "it's the only time he has me all to himself without distractions". There's a day and night difference between his logic and mine but I hope to meet him somewhere in the middle one day.
I would like to give advice but for now i'm in no place to do so, until I work out my own marriage i'd be happy to share though.