Con't - Accidentally hit Enter

Continuing on...

Once I saw my boyfriends extensive and pretty raunchy porn viewing it sent me into a fear-laced state of physical shock.  I immediately assumed that our sex life was waning after about five months because he had lost interest in what I would consider sex to be within my wheelhouse.  I was naive, no doubt about the extensive use of Internet porn in society today.  I made the mistake of bringing what i had seen to his attention.  He was so embarrassed, I was devastated that this gentleman i had already fallen for and had placed on such a pedestal had this type of desire that I knew I would never live up to.  There are a myriad of issues I know with what I just wrote that stem entirely from me - but I digress. He blamed what I had seen on his then 16 year old son.  he didn't realize how much I hated lying and knew he was and also didn't realize that back then I could easily find the cookies and the time/date stamps on the sites only to see/prove that he was viewing the porn when his son wasn't in the house.

The lying - then began lies about very inappropriate emails to a woman who he claimed was a crazy liar herself.  I found the emails, again by accident when he left his AOL email account open I just went in to "surf".  Even when faced with the evidence he tried to convince me I didn't understand that they were just joking around.  I know from joking around and I know that I would never write the kinds of emails with another man if i were in love or in a relationship with him.  For nearly three years issues of trust - because if his lying - have plagued and scarred out relationship which I now have a growing indifference for.  

We've lived togther for pretty much 2 1/2 years of our three year relationship.  His outbursts of irrational anger and the immature things he says as well as the near total lack of intimacy and even cuddling have worn me down and left me feeling alone and broken myself.  But I'm not - and now that I have found this site and all of these wonderful, strong people sharing their stories I hope to find me way.


DF's picture

Not sure on the approach here

I've never had correspondence with anyone involved in those sites, nor have I ever been to pay sites, but I can say those days are long behind me.  I did not discover religion or anything, I just know that it's something that my wife doesn't like and after previously failed attempts to do so, I have stopped for quite some time now.

With that said, I will try to shed some light on this for you as I reflect on things in my past I'm not happy about today ( and neither is my wife ).  I do not know your husband or your situation.  I do not know what motivates a man to email, chat, or use webcam's with another woman when he is married so take this for what it's worth.

My issues with ADD fall into a mixing bowl with low self-esteem and anxiety.  When I viewed adult material, I hate to admit it, but I found comfort in knowing I was not judged or would be rejected.  When I wanted to share intimacy with my wife I rarely approached her about it.  I just assumed that if she didn't come to me, she wasn't interested.  She constantly told me otherwise, but the few times she really wasn't interested are the times that stuck with me the most.  I took her rejection as though she was unhappy with me and that tomorrow she would be unhappy too.  It didn't matter that the day before she professed her love for me.

That doesn't really matter in hind sight.  What does matter is that I never took into account how it might have made her feel.  As I mentioned above, I do not look at adult material anymore.  A lot of it has to do with my level of remorse for not being better for my wife and causing the distance we now have between us.  I am recently diagnosed and the more I read about ADD(HD) the more grave my mood becomes over the hurt I've been responsible for and not known about. 

I don't know that your husband will openly talk about it with you.  I know I'd like to talk about it with my wife when she's ready.  Having lived my known life in the dark has given me pause to reflect.  Reading and learning about this disfunction explains so much and I wait for the day that my wife is interested in learning about it too.

I can't speak for your husband.  Perhaps if there really is nothing going on, your husbands quick response is his defenses coming up.  In an ADD(HD) mind, as I'm finding, we expect people to just know how we feel and what we mean.  The unfortunate flip side to all this is that  when your spouse does not accept his/her ADD(HD), it's likely they don't see/know your side and how it makes you feel.  I have an awareness of myself and my wife that I've never had before, but it's not doing a whole lot of good as long as she's not able to forgive.  I do worry that she thinks I still view adult material.  When I'm up late at night doing school work or visiting this site, I do worry that she thinks I'm doing things i used to do. 


It is amazing how much it hurt me when I found the porn.  I took it as a direct hit to me.  I literally felt it physically - as though an immediate family member had did suddenly.  it was my body's reaction that I couldn't control.  Looking back (it was 2 1/2 years ago now) I know that it hit me so hard and deep for a couple of reasons - 1) It was shocking material (I've never really been exposed to Internet Porn at all and had no idea how much free content there was out there) 2) I felt without a doubt and still do to this day that the kind of sex that's being had on those sites is what he wants ad aside from the type of Internet sex he tends toward the fact that there's no intimacy in those video, no caring touches just jack-rabbit kind of stuff.  As though the women is there and wants only to be pleased is dehumanizing.  I find it very difficult to understand how the man I thought I knew could watch all of that and still look at real women as kind, caring, loving humans with feelings who want to connect for the sake of real intimacy and not just to service/be serviced.  That's the damage it does.  You question everything you think you knew and you also immediately know that you can never look like those women - the women that your husband/boyfriend REALLY want.  After those revelations everything is tainted.  When there's lying on top of it the relationship and person you signed up for is forever a mystery - making it extremely difficult to open yourself back up to any kind of intimacy with him.

I've often wondered what it would take for me to move completely past these issues that have turned us away from each other and I have imagined that if he could talk to me, completely openly and with love in his voice about how he got into the viewing in the first place and how he never intended it to be a replacement for us but that it took over in some way and that he understands how and why it hurts me and even used empathy to go as far as to say how and why he thinks it might have then we can begin to move past this.

Of course now that I'm learning about ADD and have seen his other behaviors coinciding with the excessive computer use, lack of guilt or empathy, etc I would also see and guess that the lack of cuddling and non-sexual intimacy were going to plague us anyway.

I'm afraid to say it but if you want to overcome your past with your wife you are going to have to put yourself out there with her.  Be the one that keeps asking for hugs and giving little kisses when there's no need to.  If she rejects you keep at it and don't take it personally as she may be trying to hurt you the way she feels you hurt her.  If she wants to work through it she may feel as though it's your problem to fix but I suspect that once you persist (and this could take weeks and even months of consistently reaching out to her) then she will come to be at ease with your affection - which I'm certain she desires and will desire all while she's pushing you away or playing down the affection you show - she will come around and I suspect that you will give her the release from her thoughts about how she had or may always fail you in the bedroom.


For what its worth...

Hi Slippery Slope,

here's an ADHD woman's perspective:  I don't watch internet porn nor do I own any right now, but years ago I did ask my husband to pick up a video (I was too embarrassed!) out of curiosity.  I actually found it more interesting than he did, & we got some fun ideas from it, but some of it i found ridiculous...  That said, it was not a particularly hard-core video.  I think a lot of what porn is about is fantasy:  nothing is realistic and no one expects 'real' women to be like that or look like that or do any of the things that they do in the video.  It seems impossible to understand, but I doubt your husband really wants those other women more than you.  I think it's just the dopamine thing.  The lying I think is from the embarrassment of being caught.  The emails, I dunno...  Does he know the women he is sending email to or is it some kind of website?

Men tend to be more visual than women in terms of what turns them on.  I think this is probably magnified with ADHD.  (sorry for generalizing!)

I think medication would help and definitely couples counseling if you are both willing to do it.

DF's picture

I'll tread thin ice here -

My Dear SS - You have brought a smile my face and brightened my mood.  Don't know why, but I have found light in your take on my reply.  I have only 2 blog posts in these forums and you can find them by clicking on my alias.  You need not look further than my very first blog to know I've been struggling for quite some time.  There is no affection between my wife and I other than I tell her everyday that I love her before I or she goes to bed.  It's a very hard position to be in for sure, especially since I've never hit, cursed, or cheated on her.  I still don't know everything my symptoms have been accountable for so I'm here for insight and free therapy like most others.

On to your reply to mine......

"....You question everything you think you knew and you also immediately know that you can never look like those women - the women that your husband/boyfriend REALLY want......"  -> As I said above I don't know your husband, but I can say from my side it was never about someone else I "REALLY" wanted.  I wanted my wife.  When I got married I made my choice and I've never stopped wanting to be with her.  She told me it was strange that I did not have a wandering eye.  Most people that know me thing it's strange, but I don't because I'm married and I don't entertain such thoughts.

"......I felt without a doubt and still do to this day that the kind of sex that's being had on those sites is what he wants ad aside from the type of Internet sex he tends toward the fact that there's no intimacy in those video, no caring touches just jack-rabbit kind of stuff......."   -> For me, going to adult sites was not about what I wanted from my wife.  It was an escape I think of sorts.  I can't ask you to imagine what it's like to have your mind constantly spinning at a high rate of movement.  It's exhausting and is the source of most of my grumpiness over the years.  Those sites are about not having to think. 

I have a high level of respect for my wife and my desire to make her happy has grown greater by my recent diagnosis.  I'd always wanted to make her happy, but like normal people I never talked about it with her and it just created more distance between us.  Intimacy with my wife is and always has been important to me.  We don't lie in each others arms because I radiate body heat - at least that's what she's told me over the years and it stuck with me.  I had always felt that I wasn't making her happy because I always felt afterwards that I wasn't enough.  My performance anxiety comes from knowing I'm not the same as I was when we met 12 years ago.  I know bodies and abilities change with time, but I could never let go of what I used to be like for her and what I currently am.

When my wife disconnected from me I knew I was a problem.  Trying to fix what you don't know is the cause of the problem makes it very hard.  I was diagnosed 2 months ago and it has made learning how to fix the problem easier.  I don't know why your husband lied other than maybe his defenses sensed you needed an answer right away.  I don't know that he can explain why he goes to those sites for fear of embarresing himself more and possibly bringing you grief.  But I think if you "know" he loves you, you can believe that those sites offer him nothing that he wants from you.  Those sites are mindless, careless, intimateless and require no feedback.  To a mind that just wants to take a break, it's an escape.  For me I know my wife was not always in the mood for intimacy just as I was not always in the mood.  It was never meant to be hurtful, but alas it was and I can't take it back.

"...if you want to overcome your past with your wife you are going to have to put yourself out there with her....."  -> About every day for almost a full year, with no slip-ups at all ( that I'm aware of ).

"...Be the one that keeps asking for hugs and giving little kisses when there's no need to....."  -> I'm still working on earning the honor to ask.

".....If she rejects you keep at it....." -> Everyday.  This is my daily existence.  Not until I started taking meds for ADD did the daily rejection stop causing so much pain.  Still stings, but she's worth ever drop of blood, sweat, and tears.  Some days are harder than others, but I fight for her because I love her.

"....If she wants to work through it she may feel as though it's your problem to fix....."  -> Don't know about her, but I do know it is my problem to fix.  I'll always be haunted by ADD(HD), but knowing about it and studying it makes it easier for me to see the symptoms before they make an ass of me again.

And last but not least -

"....once you persist (and this could take weeks and even months of consistently reaching out to her) then she will come to be at ease with your affection...."  -> 15 days from today is the last time she told me she loved me.  I don't count Christmas Eve because I could tell she felt obligated to say it in response to me saying it to her in church.  66 days from today is when her silence began.  We're further along, but she still has not let go of the past.  It takes a monumental effort to keep moving forward knowing I will fail again, but I would rather keep trying than shut down and wait for her unhappiness to consume her.  I want so bad to be normal and not have to always be on guard against my issues.

treading thin ice

Oh, DF, I can only imagine how frustrated you are.  If only our spouses would totally let go so we can all get on with our lives.  I really would like to know what the answer is to letting go and getting everything out in the open.  I have asked my husband numerous times to please be honest and open with me no matter what but he still won't be.  Thus, I still lack the trust and respect that I should have for him.  But who can blame me (Oh, forgot, he will).  Isn't that what a relationship should be about?  Personally, I feel worse not knowing what he is thinking or feeling than I would if he could be honest and open about things.  I don't like the feeling of not knowing where I stand, on any given day, since he refuses to be open and honest.  It is by no means healthy. 

Fly on the Wall

newfdogswife - It's as though you read my mind.  In fact I've said as much in specific language several times to my significant other.  I can handle any measure of truth that comes from his mouth or mind - it's the lies and distance he creates by not being able to trust and share with me who he really is that, if there are no changes, will eventually lead to our love having been a mirage from the past.  It's the most difficult thing - to "give up" on someone you love(d) so much but I fear that regardless of my intentions to keep trying my drive for happiness and intimacy on more/some levels will win in the end - emotional survival of the fittest. 

I can relate to both of you

I can relate to both of you so well...the lies and deceit, for seemingly no good reason, are destroying our marriage. I will find proof of something, be looking right at it, and he'll swear he has no idea what it is or how it got in his stuff. I know he's lying. He knows he's lying. I beg for honesty. I tell him I don't want to know so I can fuss or make him feel bad about himself, I just want him to be honest so that we can deal with issues and not live with lies. It makes me feel like he has a whole other 'secret' life that I am literally terrified I'm going to find out about someday. It also makes me feel like I'm constantly living with the fear that the other shoe will there will NEVER be consistent peace in my marriage/ long as I am with him. It's so heartbreaking because it is so senseless. He's convinced I won't accept him or that I will reject him...but he rarely gives me a chance to prove myself.

I found out something devastating and terrifying recently. He was honest with me about it. Just told me flat out. One could argue that he had no choice, I would have known something was wrong eventually...but he did at least come clean. Initially I was shocked and so hurt that I just walked out of the room. Once I digested the info and had time to gather my thoughts, I supported him 100%. Now I think he is lying to me about it AGAIN (due to the 'evidence' I found that he just simply acts like he has no idea what it is, where it came from) and I have tried everyway in the world to make him feel secure and safe enough to be honest with me...but he won't.

The lying is going to end our marriage if it doesn't stop. I have no idea how to even start to address it or deal with it.

I relate to feeling worse not

I relate to feeling worse not knowing where they stand. He's never been one to not be able to express his love for me or his desire to have me in his life, until now. Now it seems he's willing to do less and less. Not sure if this is a trust issue he has with me and my struggles to move forward after the horrible 6 months we've had (afraid to reach out to me because I've told him that I feel more hopeless now than I ever have) or if he's just NOT feeling it anymore. Not knowing will ultimately always lead me to draw the worst conclusion..the later...that he just isn't feeling it.

A week ago we had a fight and he took off his wedding band. I took off mine too. In the past this would have really bothered him...that we haven't had them on in a week. I don't think he gives a damn. He is so overwhelmed at work that I am certain 'thinking' about 'our' problems is just not possible for him right now. I'm trying to just be supportive and praying that once things resolve at work, they'll resolve at home too.

When is Enough, Enough?

Dear DF,

You seem to have such a firm grasp on your love for your wife and while I don't know anything more than what you've written I feel that you are carrying perhaps too much guilt.  Your last comments above about how long it's been since your wife said she loved you - and the fact that you're keeping such close track got me to thinking; Our situations are reversed in some ways and yet the same in others.  We both want the love and intimacy or all kinds back in our relationships.  You have made me see however that I have been "punishing" him in the same way.  I rarely tell him I love him and can't even recall the last time I said it first - but i always say it in response to his "I love you".  

Because of his - as yet undiagnosed ADD however in the past when I have told him it always felt like he pulled away.  I painfully learned that to keep his affections warm and proactive I had to maintain a distance emotionally - this was all after his hyper-focus phase left me feeling confused, alone and taken for granted way to early on.  Through his intimacy issues I learned the same regarding hugs and little kisses, etc. My initiating it brought on his rejection.  after a heated conversation a few weeks ago brought on by the issues in our relationship he opened up long enough to ask me why I never initiated anything with him.  Much to my own surprise I was suddenly able to articulate that I didn't simply because when he did - at least I knew it was what HE wanted rather than felt obligated to reciprocate which is how it always seem to feel.  He said nothing in response and I don't know if he took it in or if because of the ADD if he is incapable of truly understanding.

So many hurt feelings beyond the porn issues such as feeling like I had no support system in him while he would ask me everything and talk incessantly about his issues and life stories.  I can count the number of times on one finger when he's ever taken an emotional interest in my life or past - yet I see him glued to the seat while he listens and seems to empathize with strangers and acquaintances about there past and stories.

I'm forty and have very little family - no children or siblings left (my big brother died when he was 23).  he has two college age children and two brothers as well as a both of his parents - still married.  I think of his ADD symptoms, the fact that we're not married and also what I will need in my life in terms or an support system and family and I feel, but still can't accept that staying with him is the smart decision.  Everything will ALWAYS be about him.

I just don't know...

DF's picture

I have to agree some

 It takes two to want to make this dance work.  I'm here today hovering as I usually do when times are very hard on me.  I find it odd that I find comfort in sadness, resentment and frustration here.  I'm not depressive by nature, but since my wife had hardened her heart against me I'm amazed I can even crawl out of the basement of my mind most of the time.  It almost sounds like you're on your way to the same train station my wife is at.  I'm sorry for that, but for me I know that's what I needed to happen or I'd be in denial like most others with ADD(HD).  I didn't see it until I chose to open my eyes and since I've done so I do have a ton of anger and guilt.  It took almost 2 months to tell my mother about it because I was so angry that she should have known better and that she had it too.  I realized that because she was successful in work and college, she thought that it just went away.  I thought the same way now that I think of my issues with school.

I have a very heavy heart and it does bring me down a lot.  I read up on symptoms and I come here and I learn about peoples experiences and I know my wife has suffered from my symptoms.  All of us here have had great times we can reflect on, but I don't have that luxury.  I have to focus on the PoopHead I had been in all kinds of memories in order to focus on changing my lifestyle and behavior.  I know my wife has to see progress and I know it will be a while longer, but that doesn't make it easier. 

I know my wife has strong morals and I've not given her reason ( that I'm aware of ) to hate me in a long time, but it's hard for me sometimes to believe that she isn't with someone else sometimes.  That's why I don't drink anymore, because that's when those thoughts come to the surface and I don't want them or need them.  I love her and i need to keep my mind on the grindstone.  I find that when I "take care" of my needs for intimacy with her, I'm imagining what our lives could be like.  I'm confused a lot and I don't know what to do so I do nothing all the time.  There's so much distance between us that on some days she's fine and on others she won't even look at me and all I would be doing at that time is sitting in a chair reading my school books.

Someone mentioned in another blog about not getting recognition and I saw two sides to that.  1 - the nonADD(HD) spouse doesn't get anything from us.  2 - We expect to get recognition when we do something trivial.  It's very frustrating to know that that's true.  I have chosen another path, a new path, but the lack of response from my wife still hurts very much.  I made dinner the other night, one that she would eat.  I finished off my grocery budget for a while in order to try something different for me.  I was upset with her for cleaning up the kitchen after me because that's what I do, what I feel I need to be doing every gosh dang day, but I did not show that to her.  I thanked her for doing it and beating me too it.  I got nothing about dinner.  I don't feel I should get anything from her since I think that's a bit selfish considering I didn't thank her every time over the years and I surely didn't clean up in the kitchen.  Then she left.  Gone out to be with friends.  She came home whenever and in the middle of the night a rare thing happened.  She rested her foot against mine ( touching is taboo anymore between us ), moved around some and then left her foot there on mine.  This is such a rare thing anymore that I did nothing.  I fear if I react, she will be pushed away and turn her back to me so I sit there unmoving and try to enjoy it vs. stressing over doing something wrong.

I understand that some nonADD(HD) spouses can be made to feel worthless or unwanted, because I struggle with that anxiety every day and have done so since our anniversary last August.  As I said I'm confused and I don't know what to do.  This is a weekend and as weekends go she's never home unless she needs to be because I'm here.  She loves her children deeply so I feel more hurt that she feels the need to get away from me.  The weekends are when I suffer the most from her absence, because I'm relearning how to be an adult and trying to do things with the kids that we used to do as a family instead of mopeing around the house.  I want to do these things and all she seems to be thinking is "Why now?".