Distracted during sex?

     Hi, Ned Hallowell here.  I am starting to post on this blog again.  I hope I can do it correctly.

     I noticed questions about being distracted during sex.  I saw some great suggestions, from Melissa and others.  Let me add one more thought.

     It is VERY COMMON for people who have ADD to get distracted during lovemaking.  They distracted doing everything else, why not during sex?  Don't take it personally!!!!  It is just ADD in action.  One of the simplest, most effective remedies is 5 or 10 mg of a stimulant like Ritalin an hour prior to making love.  One of my female patients calls Ritalin the female Viagra.  In any case, when it works, it works very well.  Of course, do this only under a doctor's supervision.

      Good luck!!



My husband is already medicated, and the sex is still all wrong.  I'm tired of telling him over and over and over what I like, my needs, blah, blah, blah.  I'm even sick of hearing myself speak.  I occasionally initiate sex, but it usually ends with him shutting down somewhere in the middle and going through the motions.  He never initiates because he doesn't feel confident anymore in his ability to please me, which is right on the mark.  I have pretty much given up.  I'm generally too tired to devote more than a couple of thoughts a month to sex anyway.  It's sad, but I am slowly but surely relegating sex to one of those things that I'm not going to be able to share with him. 

Exactly the same with my guy,

Exactly the same with my guy, Nerdmom. He never remembered what I liked etc, even though I told him every which way, and showed him, etc etc, many times. And often he would fall asleep in the middle of it all. Or do it as though by rote. I gave up too in the end. In our hyperfocus period of courtship he was always very attentive, but once that went, everything good went with it.

Distracted during sex

I can totaly relate and in my case it is even harder because he is a diabetic and with the damage that has done to his nerves and the fact that he can't consentrate for more than five minutes we have stopped having sex all together. it is sad and you want to feel the love with your spouse and you can't what do you do.

I must be one of the lucky

I must be one of the lucky ones because my husband who has ADD does not get distracted during sex. On the contrary he is very focused!!!! Do all people with ADD have the same symptoms??

Distracted during...

Thats one area that could use a little 'unfocusing' , if you ask me, lol. Particularly, if meds are in the picture...it vamps everything up several octaves. I've never known of anyone to loose 'focus' when it came to that. At least as far as ADD went. I think if you're finding yourself loosing focus during sex, its a desire issue and not one to do with ADD. ====================================================================== Even Agent Smith Gets the Blues - Eugene Donohoe, Dublin City

Distracted During Sex

I suffered for many many many years not staying focused in the bedroom.Blamed it on stress etc.My husband was NOT a happy camper and did not understand period. He has had more then one affair on me.Once on a trip,another when working away from home,and now recently with someone for over a year and now that I just had started Ritalin last six months it improved our sex life 100% but now the affair,he said its over but now has lied over and over again. I can not get unfrozen here overwhelmed as to what to do.My doctor said to divorce.But I cant deal with this...any suggestions

cheating husband

Why did you stay after the first time he cheated? And still he is cheating because there are no consequences for him. You deserve better than that. Throw the cheating *&%@%$# out!

cheating add husband

My husband of 20 years had a 3 year affair with a borderline personality disorder woman.  Needless to say, my life has been hell.  I thought he was overwhelmed with work, but after 2 years I began to think it was something else.  The affair is over for 2 years now, but the damage is unbelievable. My children, family, friends,  hell... pure hell.  ADD can only be used for so ling as an excuse.  Fact is, he is an ass, selfish; self absorbed,  does everything to meet his needs.  To this day, he has not discussed what he did, said he apologized and that's enough. He wants to put this behind him - under the rug, actually.  As though that were possible.  This 'borderline' took him for over 300,000 dollars. AND, he knew he was not the first she did this to.  He simply thought he was the 'one'.  So, as the non ADD spouse, not only have I struggled to deal with his ADD behavior for 20 years, holding my family together, he decided to satisfy his midlife crisis and play while I picked up after his destructive, impulsive, thoughtless behavior.  It's been like this our whole marriage.  I always thought I could trust him. What a fool I have been.  Now I realize he is a habitual liar, (I think he actually enjoys lying, to see how much he can get away with and NEVER thinking of the consequences), a cheat and now that he realizes just how he was taken by a very manipulative borderline woman, he is furious.  His focus now is to get back at her, not fix our marriage, see a counselor or take some desperately needed meds. HE ACTUALLY THINKS i DON'T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING BEHIND MY BACK.  It'f funny in a way.  So many people are tired of his frenetic, impulsive behavior that they tell me 'he is crazy', 'do something with him'.. I just can't. I'm finished.  I am ready to leave.  My problem is financial.  He is in a profession that complements his ADD as long as I do all the work to maintain it (back office, finances, legalities, insurance......). I feel so used, so empty, so wasted. If I knew where his ADD would leave me, I would have left 20 years ago.  I foolishly thought I could handle his ADD.  My  sons have ADD as well. I will help them, but him.. he can fail.  I can't help him anymore.  I'm done. (In addition, his MARRIED borderline affair partner made it her mission to inform me of everything they did together over the 3 years, all the gifts, trips, the money, exposed all his lies even to her.  ADD is truly a difficult disorder, but character is still character.  Not everyone with ADD is selfish to the exclusion of all else.  I just wish I realized that sooner).  To anyone considering marrying someone with ADD, if you are having problems now and he won't address the issues, RUN.

cheating add husband

Hi Janinep,

You might have seen my previous comments about my cheating husband.  He's cheated off and on for 6 years with the same person.  He says he may be paid her $10,000 or $30,000 over the years - he says he doesn't really know.  My guess is we paid her equalization payment for her house when she go a divorce and we are probably in for around 100k.  He blames me for his lying.  I found one e-mail where she thanks him for giving her "financial stability".  He blames me for his lying.  He tells me that he is purposely vague because he doesn't really know and if he says anything specific then I will go digging and find discrepancies and then it's an even bigger problem etc... etc....  

The first time the affair came to light was 5 years ago.  At that time he said it was the biggest mistake in his life, that she was white trailer trash etc... etc... only to start up with her again within a year or so - not really sure because he has trouble telling me the truth.  From what I can ascertain he was still calling her white trailer trash to me when the affair started up again.   Who knows what he was saying to her.   He's still saying similar things now and for all I know the affair may be on going.  I try not to check up on him - I hate myself when I do as it is a complete waste of my life to spend it that way.  I definitely have better things to do.

I have always been honest with my husband and I've always tried to do the right thing.  I am so glad for this because at least, even though I often feel like a reject and a laughing stock (hard to have him have sex with his girlfriend at work on his desk in a public hospital without the whole town knowing) at least I have some measure of dignity and integrity left.  At this point however I wonder what dignity and integrity demand of me now?  Do they demand that I stand up for myself and if so what does that mean?  I believe the psychologist I recently started seeing is trying to steer me in this direction - he tells me I am too passive in this context.  So far I have been steadfast - 7 years until the kids are grown then I am out hoping that my husband will somehow make meaningful change in the interim.  I believe tearing the family apart will put my children, especially my son who is gifted/learning disabled/adhd at bigger risk then he already is.  I may not be happy now but I know that I would be so much more unhappy if my children were to start to fall apart.

I know what that feels like.  Less than a year ago my son's life was a train wreck.   I was so upset I had difficulty eating - only silver lining was that I lost 10 lbs.  In the last year we've turned my son's situation around - got all the diagnosis (gifted /ld/ adhd) , got him on medication, change of schools etc... He went from being essentially kicked out of school at grade 5 to model student, popular with his classmates and stellar report card.  I know I may not be overly happy now but I remember too clearly what really unhappy was like.

My husband's parents are currently miserable alcoholics at a time when they should be enjoying life.  They otherwise have their health, they raised 4 successful children - all post graduate degrees; they have a number of beautiful grand children and they're wealthy.  I don't think either of them have adhd but I think that's where my husband is headed if he doesn't figure things out for himself.  As angry as I am sometimes at him I don't wish this on him for his own sake but also for the children's sake - who wants to have parents like his.  There is enough bad in the world.  I don't want to add to it.

I wish I had some pearls of wisdom to offer you - I don't as I am too much in the thick of things myself but perhaps you will find something useful in my story if only comfort in knowing you are not the only one.





You know, if you really do love him and you work well together in other areas, you owe it to each other to try and build that trust again. He was completely wrong to have an affair, and completely wrong to lie, and completely wrong to have so little faith in the strength of your marriage that he would purposely do something to violate the tenants of that marriage. From the perspective of someone who is married to the person with ADD, you feel so small and terribly unimportant, and also misled yourself that I can understand the temptation to stray. I'm the kind of person that would be straight up, end the relationship and move on, but that's me. Also, I know my husband has ADD, and have known since before our issues with sex. If your husband didn't know you have ADD, and didn't know anything about ADD, he probably really thought you didn't desire him anymore. I have to wrestle with those thoughts all the time even though I know it's not a desire issue, it's a frontal lobe issue. My husband can reach climax every time. He just can't always be a giving lover and reach climax at the same time.

Thank you for your comments

Thank you for your comments it really made me think . I did explain to my husband that when I get overwhelmed and stressed it is hard for me to get into a sexual mood.I did not really know that I had ADD.He thought it was a excuse.When my daughter was very ill(mentally) borderline and had tried to end her life a few times and also my mother almost died all around the same time with a kidney illness......a very difficult time for our family.I was pulled in many directions and did not have the support I needed from my husband.He seemed distant....at the time I did not know he was having his affair.I thought he was just being really understanding. I keep getting overwhelmed with all issues in my life and find it so hard to focus on what is the most important my daughter,.my mother,my husband......I was torn and sick on top of all that. He took his mistress to our local restaurant and bar that my kids and I visit and I walked in on him there and he did not come after me when I left he stayed with her with all of our friends sitting there. I dont work,I have no money,I am in debt,behind in taxes,ill daughter,and STUCK. No idea how to get unstuck....but he has not ended with her. I know not really ADD related but how does a ADD do all this when there is just too much!!!!

Totally Related

I think that is totally related to the ADD. Sometimes my husband gets in this shame spiral that I suspect is related to feeling guilty about ADD.  Like, he will put up with anything because he is such a "screw-up".  This always leads to anxiety because he allows himself to get into situations that are miserable, again because he deserves it because he has ADD.  It just keeps getting worse and worse until something gives.  I don't know how effective ultimatums are in the long term, generally not very, but he has got to stop seeing that woman or it will end your marriage.  You are making an attempt to get better, and if he values your relationship and your family he will quit.  Otherwise, getting a job will do wonders for your self-esteem.  I don't know what the vocational rehab services are like in your area, but if you are diagnosed with ADHD, you may be able to get some assistance finding employment through them. Just google search Vocational Rehabilitation and whatever state you live in.  Call them up and see if they serve people with ADHD.  Once you get on that path you will start to feel a whole lot better about yourself, and you will be in a more secure position.   This is a lot of work for someone who has difficulty focusing.  What my husband does when he has a project is take a small note pad, and one page at a time writes down what he needs to do.  Page one: Search Google for Vocational Rehabilitation offices in my area. Get a phone number.  Page Two: Call them, explain your diagnosis, and ask if they can help.  Set up and appointment.  Page Three:  Write the appointment date on a piece of paper and put it someplace that you look at everyday, etc . . . . .  One foot in front of the other, no more, no less.

Yeah I can relate to all of

Yeah I can relate to all of those feelings.Today I was hired to work in a Retail sales position which will be grooming me to do corporate sales.I am nervous because of how long it takes me to pick up things quickly.I do learn with time and clear instructions.I just cant be given instructions and do them.I need to write down....try it at my own pace and ask alot of questions.I get information over load when to much coming in when I am trying to focus on one thing at a time.I am a hard worker but how do I tell someone ....go slow and give me more time then the normal person to get this and I wont let them down once I connect. It is strange after not working for 9 nine years I am back to work full time at 53 years old.Looking forward to it........but terrified!

Yeah I can relate by reelgal

First of all, Good Luck on your new job.  My ADHD husband will soon be facing a similar situation.  He is 52 and has worked as a manager for 20 years.  He has been more or less the boss for all of this time.  Nobody standing over his shoulder making sure he was working, etc.  Now. he is facing a layoff in a couple of months and will have to find something else to do.  I know he is terrified, too.   

Totally Related by Nerdmom920

I believe my ADHD husband is in the shame spiral also.  He has many bouts with anxiety as he also allows himself to get into situations that after awhile make him miserable and he also is a "yes" man, doesn't fully think things through and before you know it he has so much on his plate that he can't follow through on any of it.  Lists help somewhat but many many times they don't.  He's drowning!!!!!!  

I could cry when I read

I could cry when I read this.I truly know how that feels.The worse part about that you know you have to fix it but just cant and that is what makes it seem so overwhelming. I have lots of reasons to be overwhelmed and my doctor even says I dont know how the normal person would deal with all this never mind someone that is having problems withADD.The best part of all this is the kind of understanding and trying to under this you all have done with your spouses.That speaks volumes.As sick as this sounds even with that kind of support I would feel guilty and bad and it would make me depressed that I get this and I can not change....meds and all.I try so hard. Thanks again for all your comments.I wish I had that kind of support from my husband not just by saying he understands but really showing he understands.

Him, him him

I find that during sex its all about him. He does as he pleases, take it or leave it. He can also be forceful and insist that we try things. Ill try most, but some things i would be very uncomfortable with, these can be extreme. I am unsure as how to help change this. He will be giving durng sex, but I find that when it comes to the actua intercourse he is focused on only himself. This makes me feel terrible! Sometimes, he wont even look at me during and turns his head away. Is this normal? It has an effect on my self confidence. I dont know how to tell him in away that he wont be offended, and also I dont want to create animosity in the bedroom or make him feel like there is a 'law' in there as I do play a large part in 'deciding' on what he should do outside of the bedroom, whether it be with his health or whatever. Any ideas?

Lauren, again

He's abusing you in the bedroom too Lauren....run!

Same here

My husband was the same (when we still had sex together, now I have refused). He wants oral sex, so he has to have it, weather I like it or not. As younger he used to be nice and kind, but last years I only felt like used. He was using me to feel good. Sex is his med. He wanted to have it all the time, where ever we were. It was not about being close and loving each other, it was all about his needs. He is also constantly playing with himself, in our bed, even if kids would be there sleeping. He says it makes him relax.

Needless to say that now that he doesn't get sex from me, he has decided to leave me and the kinds as I make him feel so unhappy. Everything is my fault, if I just would have taken care of him as he says, he would have stayed. First I was crying for 2 days, but now I have little by little come to the conclusion that after dedicating myself to him for 14 years, I have done my share and somebody else can give a try. I continue to live with my lovely daughters and he can seek his happines somewhere else.

What do you think, am I wrong? He admits that he has ADD (our older daughter has as well, but she is on meds and fine), but doesn`t addmit that causes our problems. Neither he is willing to see a therapist nor take medication.

Distracted during sex

I am ij a new relationship, when we started things were fine I will get erection. Now i am nervous  and that makes me not have erection. So how do i avoid being nervous  and focus on making love to her. When i start kissing her. I sometimes get erection.  sometimes not. But when am all alone am always horny. Always erected.