Is this the end????? PLEASE HELP ME

Somebody, anybody, please help me!!!!!!!!!!

I honestly feel at this point that there is nothing else I can do for my husband.  Things between us were getting so much better, he wasn't on the computer as much, he wasn't making dumb decisions with money, he was actually spending time with me and our new baby.  But just a couple days ago, he completely flipped the switch.  When I mean things were getting so much better, I meant that he still had his ADD moments, but not as bad because we worked through it.  This time, its really bad.  I mean I feel like we are back to the very bottom, when this all first started.  Is this normal???? 

I am so sad right now.  He is spending so much more time on the computer, talking and chatting.  He is starting to make poor decisions again at home and with money.  We are in so much debt and he knows that.  But he tells me and has been telling me that he is an adult and that if he wants to buy something or do something then that is his decision to make.  He tells me constantly that I am trying to run his life and be his mom.  FYI---I don't want to be his mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When I want to talk, he pushes me away and he tells me to get out of his face and leave him alone.  He never answers his phone when I call him, and when he does that, he is usually up to no good.  The coworkers he works with are 5-6 years younger than him and are bad influences.  I have no idea what to do and I know I am not making any sense right now but I am just so frustrated. 

I have been trying so hard to be patient with him and talk to him and approach him nicely.  I haven't blew up in his face like I normally would do before I knew of his ADHD.  I mean, we both sat down together and made a schedule for computer time and some chores for him to do and now he just "doesn't feel like it".  He also promised me that he would get help and he hasn't gotten help yet.  I am starting to think that he doesn't want to be helped.  And he is now telling me that I don't understand his ADD and if I did, then I would just let him be in his "mode".  Well, how long is that mode supposed to last?????  I need help.  Even though I am really upset with him right now, I still cooked him breakfast without an attitude, and helped him cut his hair before he left for work.  He usually comes home for lunch, but this time he did not. 

We are in major debt, and he came to me with the plan of making a website for a server or something like that.  I supported him on that.  It costs about 50.00 a month.  So I made an agreement that if he wanted to spend his money on that, I support him, but then that means that he can no longer buy things (snacks, lunch, cigarettes) during work and that he'd have to bring snacks/drinks with him from home to save money.  He did pretty well till a couple days ago.  And today he bought something.  Ever since this new website thing, he has changed.  This is the worst he has ever been since 1 year now.  Is this a sign that he will never change?  Is there another influence that is setting off this behavior?  Is this a sign it is time to move on????  I don't know what to think or do right now.

I love him, and I want to help him, but how can I help him now?  I have seen him at his best, and when he is trying and he does so well.  But just seeing the way he is being right now brings back so many memories of when I was going to leave him because I didn't deserve this.  I am having all these flashbacks and its so depressing.  Now we have a baby together and I don't want divorce or for him to see us fighting all the time. 

When this first started a few days ago, the first argument, my husband had told me that it would be easier for me if I just left him.  That I didn't deserve this and that I am too mature for him.  He was telling me that we are not compatible.  This gave me anxiety.  I mean, easier said than done.  I love him.  I asked if this was his way of telling me that he didn't want to be with me anymore and he says to me that if he didn't want to be with me, he would've left a long time ago.  But at the same time, what does this mean?  What is ADD and what is not when it comes to poor decisions/behavior????  Someone please help me understand.

How much is enough?  Can I still save my marriage?  How do I know if he wants to work with me????  I ordered the book the ADHD effect in marriage.  It should be here soon.  When things were okay with us, he said yes to ordering it and that we would read it together.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I know that I can't do this alone.  Please help!!!!!!!!

I am sick to my stomach

I am sick to my stomach reading your post. With just a few minor changes here and there, you are living my life. Although our marriage has come a long way, we have had some recent 'relapses' (most likely medication related, but I can't be 100% sure) that have really done a number on my confidence and hope. I bounce back and forth between thinking I'm totally over-reacting (I'm famous for this) and feeling like the progress we made will never be my 'reality'. I'm doing a lot of praying.

I have seen the 'switch' flipped in my marriage a few times. I've heard the "you'd be better off without me" line too. PLEASE keep your eyes open. Don't let the pain and fear blind you. My husband was "up to no good" each and every time I saw this behavior. The most recent time, he was cheating. Don't misunderstand...I feel that the "you don't deserve this" line is born completely from shame and guilt..but they can feel shame and guilt for many things.

In many ways we are going through the same thing...although you don't say how long you've been married or how long the 'improvements' lasted..I could still relate to a lot of what you're feeling and saying. We had a horrible first couple of years, followed by a few decent years, followed by 6 MISERABLE years...and then I decided I was done crying, I was done hurting, I wanted peace in my life, and I most importantly was done fighting and being angry. DONE. I told him I was making changes and asked him to join me...he wanted me to forgive him for his affair and take him back so he said he'd join me...but it still took us both several months to get it right and get things back on track. He was loving, open, caring...and so was I. We got into counseling and she diagnosed him with ADHD. We're still in counseling and until about 5 weeks ago, things were going beautifully. Then he started medication, one that made him a complete grouch in the past, and WA-LA here we are fighting again...and I'm reduced to tears again. Worried that we'll never get back to where we were.

It does feel to me, again admitting that I had a flood of emotions come back to me reading your post, based on my own experience that his ADD is in high gear. You need to find a counselor that specializes in ADD and he needs to start treatment. You need to educate yourself on how this disorder can manifest itself and understand that communication is almost impossible..especially during times like these when he's 'pushing you away' (as I called it in my marriage). Again, this ALWAYS came when he was feeling especially guilt or asahmed of something. He either blamed me, hated me, or he pushed me completely away...telling me he just needed space/time. My gut tells me you need to find you guys some help and insist he go with you or you're in for a very long, unhappy road.

Don't withhold attitude (when you're upset) for his it for you..and for your baby. You don't want to become the angry, bitter ball of resentment that so many of us eventually become...only to find we hate ourselves and are doing more harm to the marriage than the ADDer themselves. My hurt always manifested itself as anger. I never understood how toxic this was, until it was almost too late. Set some boundaries for yourself, demand from him what you need...but try and keep all communications to a minimum until you can get into counseling and get some help for you usually only ends up with you both feeling more confused and frustrated...and hurt. MANY fights are born because of conversation that should have never been started, at least for me anyway.

My heart goes out to you...honestly, it does. I'm keeping you in my prayers. Please keep us posted. You're not alone..and you've stumbled into a wonderful support group!

At times I hate this person I have become :(


Thank you so much for responding.  We are still in our mid 20s and have been married for only about a little over 2 years, together for 4.  I scheduled an appointment to talk to a pastor tomorrow morning.  But I am not sure if he could help me or not.  We are currently living in Germany, my husband is in the Army so its kind of difficult to talk to someone who specializes in ADD/ADHD.  I'm hoping that talking to the pastor will help in some way.  This site has helped me in so many ways and I'm happy to know that I am not alone on this.

I feel the same pain that you feel.  At times and much more lately, I hate the person that I have become.  Most of the time I am just so angry and stressed out.  The hurt that I feel cringes my stomach.  I know that I should tell him all the things that I need/feeling, but I am scared sometimes because of the reactions I get.  Its like a roller coaster, up and down, up and down.  And I do bottle so much anger inside that sometimes I just explode.  I know I shouldn't do that, but I don't know what else to do.  I don't want anyone around here to judge him or think bad of him, so I just keep my frustrations to myself and try to talk to him about it.  But majority of the time I get pushed aside or put on hold. 

I know I am not perfect in this relationship either, but I feel as if I am doing my part in trying and learning about ADHD and how his mind works, and what to expect etc.  I am fighting for our marriage to work through it for the both of us and for our son, but sometimes I feel like I am the only one fighting.  And I know that I can't do this alone.  I know that he will have these "episodes" and I want to know how we could work through them.  I guess I got so used to the "little episodes" , that this big one was like a nightmare to me.  It continues....

When he got home from work today, we argued some more.  He told me that since he is the only one working, that he should be able to buy whatever he wants and whenever he wants without question.  Ok, I get that to a certain degree.  But then I was also told by him that I should help him out and stop him from making poor decisions with money.  I guess that went out the door.  Whenever I try to help him or tell him "I am nagging, I'm trying to act like his mother".  His eyes get so hungry.  Like a child.  When he wants to buy something, he just has to have it, no questions asked.  My only argument was that when I need something, I always have to wait till next time or I get told we don't have money, but yet there happens to be money when he wants something.  And they are not needs, they are wants.  And he always ends up regretting it later.  I am just trying to look out for us and our future.  Also, him joining the military and providing so we could start a family was his way of showing me that he is serious about keeping me in his life. 

Before all of this, we were married and living together in the states.  To make a long story short, he got layed off from his job and for 8 months, I was supporting us.  I was the only one working, he was getting unemployment but stayed at home playing games and whatever else on the computer.  That is when we started to argue more and more.  Then he ignored me so I ignored him.  At the same time I was working and doing the grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning etc.  Finally I had enough and told him that I was going to leave if this kept happening.  I didn't want to be in a marriage like that.  So I guess he decided to join the military instead of going out and searching for a job.  Now we are here in Germany. 

The first 4-5 months here were complete HELL.  Then he told me that he has ADHD.  He took medication for it as a child but stopped in high school because he didn't want to be judged.  He left for the field and told me that while he was there he was going to think about what he can do for our marriage.  I told him I'd do the same and I found this site. 

I know that he has issues, I have issues as well.  I love him so much.  Sometimes I have no idea what I am doing in a marriage like this one.

Why do they get these episodes where they just don't give a crap and then episodes where they are just so sad and depressed?  When my husband has depressing episodes, he always vents to me that he feels like he is a loser and that he is always letting me down.  And I feel so bad for him.  When he tells me this I never use that against him, I always tell him that he is not a loser and that I love him and that we'll get through this.  But when he gets the selfish/bad episodes, its hard for me to be supportive then. 

How do u handle the angry episodes? 

When I was 'surviving' the

When I was 'surviving' the episodes, I had no clue what was going on...and to be honest you are the first person I have ever really 'met' that describes 'episodes' that have been a part of my marriage and no one else seems to relate. I haven't even really posted about them here because I wasn't even sure they are ADHD related. Maybe they aren't, I don't know for sure, but it sure is validating to some degree to have someone else see what I've seen and never could explain. "Episode 1" was 6 months into our marriage...I had found out I was pregnant about a month before. Still in hyperfocus/honeymoon phase things were great. One night his ex-wife called, just found out I was pregnant, and she sobbed to him on the phone for 20 minutes...going on and on about how she thought they'd end up together, all these plans they supposedly had, etc. HE LISTENED...and consoled her...but mostly out of my ear shot. I was furious and didn't hide it. We fought. Next day he disappeared (didn't show up to work, wouldn't answer his pager) and then comes home that evening telling me he didn't know if he wanted to be married anymore, didn't know if he wanted the baby, etc. I literally sat there in absolute disbelief as to what I was witnessing. I told him that day "this is the end of our innocent love..things will never be the same no matter what happens"...and it wasn't. Long story short, I made him move out (it was my apartment), he had a one night stand with his ex-wife during the week (didn't find out about this until years later) he was gone, another woman was calling the house, he did a lot of horrible things, pushed me away, said some very hurtful and discouraging things, but then came home and about 4 weeks later he was back to 'normal'. This was in 1998. In 2001 he flew out to CA on Sept 9th..first time he'd ever flown...and then 9/11 happened and he got stranded out there. When he got home..same thing...distant, telling me he needed space, pushing me away...and next thing I know the wife of the co-worker he stayed with in CA is calling him..and him her. I confronted him and her and never could get any kind of admission...she actually tried to become my friend, swore she was only trying to help him, nothing was going on, etc. 4-6 weeks later, he was 'normal' again. Fast forward to May 2009...we'd been fighting for 6 years (since we got custody of my step-daughter), he lost his job, his mother was dying....and again he pushes me away. His behavior got so bad that I, again, asked him to leave. Little did I know he had started an affair about 2 weeks prior to this. This time was a little more subtle and I didn't recognize it as quickly...maybe because I was in denial...and believed him when he SWORE he would never do that to me again. (flip the switch). But he did..we separated, his mom passed away, my daddy died a month later from complications of an ATV accident, I found out about the affair, and we hit rock bottom. You know the rest...this is when I decided I was done living my life in misery. I was so lonely. So depressed. I could never wrap my mind around why I could be so crazy as to believe him when he said he loved me, yet sit and watch him do things that seemed to PROVE him wrong. I always said "he battles demons"...I just never knew how right I was..or that the demons were HIMSELF.

This is why we are in counseling. Just an added bonus that he was finally diagnosed in June. I KNEW something had to give..this roller coaster had to stop. Never knowing when the switch would flip..or the 'other shoe would drop' as I used to always say...was killing me. I couldn't/can't go back to that way of living. There are no guaruntees, but without at least TRYING to treat the ADHD, I'm not willing to stay in the marriage and wait knowing that it most likely WILL happen again.

As for the spending money...girl, are living my life. He gets obsessed over something and will not rest, even if it takes him 2 months, he will figure out a way to get it. I wish he were able to channel that kind of focus and attention on things around the house..unfinished projects. I've gotten the lines "I'm XXX years old, I should be able to buy what I want"...and I actually went as far as to go back to work after being at home for 11 years just to spite him because of comments like that. This is the 2nd most important thing we're focusing on in counseling. I'm hopeful that once the medication nightmare is behind us and he's on the right meds and the right dosage that his impulses will be somewhat better controlled. There is some debate on whether he GAVE me his debit card or I made him give it to me, but I have had it since March or April and his access to the checking account is very limited. His spending isn't anywhere near as big of an issue as it used to be...because of this. I begged, cried, pleaded, compromised, and b!tched about it until I was blue in the face and NOTHING ever got resolved. I cannot be 100% responsible for paying the bills and have him using his debit card like it is attached to a never ending supply of money. We are on a very tight budget these would destroy us. I am very thankful that he has seen this...and even if only to avoid fighting...he was willing to do what he needed to help resolve this issue. It is my understanding that the impulsivity and the compulsive spending are part of the "H" in ADHD in adults.

For years I mistook my husband's symptoms as depression...because he always was down on himself...never having a positive outlook about anything, always complaining about himself and his abilities. I actually insisted he take anti-depressants a couple of times...a third time he took them on his own...and they made him spiral completely out of control. The Concerta (stimulant specifically for ADD) seems to be doing the same thing. I'm very afraid we'll never find his 'wow this is a great medication' medication. :( He'll start Vyvanse as soon as he can get the insurance approved and get it paid for. more point I wanted to make..a LOT of guilt and shame (why can't I ever do anything right? Why do I consistently fail?) come with ADD and stem from the failure to strive in the 'real world' and never really understanding why. It can also come from people always telling them they're lazy and stupid..very common. It looked so much like depression to I think that might be what you're seeing...and the shame they feel for doing something hurtful just fuels the fire of the shame that is already there...and they give up. It is a vicious cycle. This is where counseling comes in.

Please don't spend the next 5 years spinning your wheels with him. You know what you're up against (ADD/ADHD) and your job is to make him see what its impact is on your marriage and both of your lives and then finding a therapist who can help you guys deal with the communication issues that plague these marriages...and maybe he would be willing to try meds again to help with his impulsivity?

Melissa has a book..I tried to find it at the library today without success...that seems to have a lot of good information in it for both partners and gives information on treatment as well.

Again...I wish you all the luck in the world.

Surviving by SherriW13

Again, you have broken the ice on even more issues that I believe you will find many of us "CAN" relate too.  I swear, if I didn't know any better, we are both married to the same guy, our husbands are SOOOOOO much alike, it blows my mind!!!!!  I won't go into much detail, since you already have but I have had to deal with the same issues regarding other women all of our married life.  Looking back, this would take place about every 7 or 8 years depending on what he was hyper-focused on at any given time.  He always managed to find a woman to become "friends" with, in all of his work situations and hobbies.   I thought it was rather strange and would voice my concerns but frankly most of the time I was just extremely busy trying to create some stability and routine in our daughter's and my life to even really care that much.  We were riding that roller coaster!  It was also many years before we discovered that my husband had ADHD.  While learning about ADHD did explain alot about why he is like this, it still doesn't sit with me very well and when it happened again several years ago but with the potential to become more than just "friends", I told him I refused to go through this again and that he would have to make a choice and that I didn't care one way or the other.  We hit rock bottom and are still close to the bottom. 

Hating the person you've become


I can relate to you on this issue and I'm sorry you're feeling it. Because of my partner's behavior, I have had major feelings of depression, hopelessness and poor self image. And I find myself majorly overreacting as well. I think it's because he doesn't react to me at all unless I'm desperate. He won't have a discussion when issues are still small so unless I freak out I don't get his attention. I don't usually do this on purpose, per se. I usually bottle things up (because of my expectations he won't talk) and then BOOM it all comes out in some dramatic way. Or because we never have a heart to heart rational discussion, issues have no closure so once it happens again I'm still raw from the last time. This leads to him thinking I'm "crazy" when really I'm a rationale person that wants to discuss issues as they arise.

I mentioned this in a previous thread, but I have been in a physically abusive relationship. That man did NOT make me feel depressed or hopeless or bad about myself. But my current partner with ADHD does.

I'm working through the decision to end our relationship, and it's a really hard decision for me (I'm 29, have a great job, we aren't married and I don't depend on him for anything at all money wise). I can't imagine what you're going through living abroad with probably little support nearby and a small child. I hope your discussion with your pastor really helps.

I am getting depressed

I am getting depressed reading some of the commentary on this posting. Does the diagnostic criteria for ADHD/ADD include lying and infidelity? No! If your man is betraying your trust sexually and lying to you about it, it's time to kick him to the curb.

No. Matter. What.

If you do research, it is

If you do research, it is common (or at least not unheard of) among ADDers...because it is part of impulse control/compulsivity. No, it isn't part of the technical criteria, but it can be a result of the symptoms. Even our counselor doesn't connect the two, but I did quite a bit of research for one of my classes and almost everything I read included it as possibly a part of the results of impulse control issues.

I don't know...

I'm not really sure if my husband is cheating on me or not.  If he is doing something sneaky, I'm sure its when I am not around.  He is more of a home body.  It seems as if his home is his comfort zone.  He is fixated on the computer constantly and can actually sit there for hours and hours without realizing how long he has been sitting there.  He tells me that he holds his ADD/ADHD in at work and tries to be as normal as he can.  He tells me that he starts getting anxious right when he is about to get off work because all he wants to do is rush home to the computer.  Sucks.  Sometimes I wish he would hold it in for me you know?  He is normal at work, and then once he gets home, he is where he feels comfortable.  I try to tell him that he can't always be on the computer and that there has to be a limit.  I tell him that he has priorities, me and now his son.  I mean I understand how hard it must be to have ADD/ADHD, but sometimes I wish he'd put himself in my shoes.  Its hard when your not appreciated for the things that you do.  I feel like I have to bend over backwards and have been just to get some kind of attention from him.  But this is only when he gets into his little moods or "episodes".  I feel like he has a split personality.  When its good, its really good and when its bad, it can get pretty ugly. 

I meant to say it can be part

I meant to say it can be part of ADHD...the H part being impulsivity and compulsive behaviors...and I saw mentioned several times that they can sometimes suffer from the ability to think past the next 5 how decisions will impact their lives. This can be anything from spending too much money to cheating to drinking to gambling..etc.

He does not use his ADHD as an 'excuse' for anything...he didn't even know he had it at the time he confessed and asked for my forgiveness. I know reading the story of our marriage sounds horrible. Believe me, living it has been horrible. I chalked the first affair up to him just needing to grow up..he was 24. His second episode, without going into detail, I do not feel he cheated...LONG story, but I am convinced he didn't. This time was the last straw...and I told him if he didn't get help and get right with God that there was no hope for us. I think everything happened the way it did for a reason, I feel that finding out about the ADHD after the fact was a God send, and that treating that is our best hope. If he cheats questions asked, I am so gone!

I am starting to forget..

I guess I've been soooooo caught up in "fixing" things, that I have completely forgot the way their minds work.  I guess I should read up on it again.  Is there such a thing as using ADD/ADHD as an excuse????  Now that my husband and I are aware, he sometimes tells me that its his ADD and I should understand the reason he is behaving this way.  I know not ALL of it is ADD/ADHD related.  I read somewhere that ADD/ADHD is not an excuse for poor behavior, its part of the reason.  My husband is at work right now, but just before he left, he told me he was irritated but didn't know why.  He said it had nothing to do with me or the baby. 

I missed the appointment this morning with the pastor.  I'm not sure if I should talk to him or not.  Like I said before, help is limited here in Germany.  It really sucks because I know he really needs help.  He is deploying next year at the beginning of March, and I had already told him that we need to at least improve before he leaves and that he should get help because things will get ugly when he is gone.  By that I mean he will be frustrated because he won't be able to play games or have as much computer time.  And since he forces himself to control his ADD at work, he will just call and take it out on me.  Its going to be hard for me as well because I will be left here playing the single mom role.  Its quite overwhelming.  Even though times are tough right now, I will still miss him.  I don't want to fight over the phone.  He was gone the whole month of October and we argued on the phone back and forth over stupid things and money.  Him wanting to buy this and that and telling me that I need to be this and that.  He tells me all the time "this is who I am, if you don't like it then don't be with me".  But yet constantly tells me what kind of person I need to be. 

You are right, there is no point in fighting and trying to convince him of anything.  I should just tell him what point I am trying to make and then walk away.  But you know how long they can stay in these moods, how long do I wait?  I ordered Melissa's book and I am hoping it arrives this week sometime.  I feel like I am hanging from a thread and I am running out of ideas. 

By "mood" do you mean the

By "mood" do you mean the fact that he stopped being what you were happy with? The 'flipped switch' episode? If so, I have no idea how long it will last, if it is more of who he is than the other person you saw so it might be predominant in your marriage, there really is no way of knowing.

My opinion...take it for what it is worth...and I would welcome any and all input/ that ADD/ADHD can contribute to some neurological issues that cause sufferers to behave in ways that are hurtful to those around them...that they may very well not be aware of. The first step in changing these behaviors starts with the ADDer ADMITTING that their ADD has an impact on the marriage that isn't always positive. Then they have to be willing to seek therapy. In Melissa's favorites section here (and in her book, I believe) she breaks down the treatment process. Once an ADDer recognizes their behaviors or compulsivity they can begin to work to control them better. Read about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a treatment for ADD/ADHD. Medications can help, but I'm still not 100% sure what the 'textbook' results are supposed to be with them..still learning about that one.

First and foremost, he needs to stop using it as an excuse. What I would want to say to him is "Ok, you recognize this (hurtful) behavior as part of your the next step is us sitting down and discussing how I can make you see how hurtful it is and finding out if you're willing to do some self-reflection and make some changes so that we can both be happy" or something to that effect. Great..he sees how he acts as a result of his do something about it.

I did think about something last night that I wanted to mention..a common pattern in my marriage, when my husband was in one of his 'episodes' was that the more I tried to fix things, the less willing he was to even spend time with me. It was so devastating when the switch would flip that I couldn't manage a smile...and I have come to HATE that I have always, from day one, let his moods dictate my own. I think this has been almost as damaging to the marriage as my anger was. I'm not talking about normal everyday bad moods...but if he was/is upset with me or pushing me away, the rejection devastates me. I have anxiety to the point that I can barely manage to function...have a conversation with my kids, etc. It really just came to my attention (believe it or not) that this is something I really need to change. I'm sure it is based on some kind of self-esteem issues I must have..maybe that co-dependency thing as well. I just know that I'm going to focus hard on this issue because it is killing me. Sometimes I can rationalize that no matter what I do, I will always only be in control of if he goes off the deep end and cheats again there is nothing I can do to stop him...except be the wife I want to be...I've already let go of the now I just have to hope for the best and work on having more control over my own emotions and more Faith in the fact that no matter what, I will be OK. He told me the other day that after we fought (at around 2 p.m.) that he did nothing the rest of the day but sit in his office as his mind reeled. He couldn't think or focus on anything. He said "you know I don't function AT ALL when we fight..why do you do me that way" which I responded "well, if we're both so miserable when we fight...then why have we started fighting again after all of these months? let's just DON'T DO IT and it won't be an issue."

So, you might start by not trying to 'fix' him out of desperation for him to be what he was a week ago..2 weeks ago...and not let his crappy mood dictate your everyday life. During my husband's 2nd episode, I finally had enough after about 3 weeks or so...and said 'screw this' and went on with my life. I'll never forget his was 'shock' and within a matter of days he decided to stop the pity party and get on with life. I couldn't believe that was all it took..was for me to stop trying to fix everything every 10 minutes...and just move forward. Even today, if I just keep smiling he eventually gets out of his bad mood and joins me. It just isn't always easy.


Yes, this is what I did, too,

Yes, this is what I did, too, finally!  When I had had enough and with some of Melissa's advice, I said pretty much the same thing "screw this" and began living my life like I used too.  I stopped assuming that we would have to remain married and live in this hell and started planning for my future with or without my husband.  It was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders.  It has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. 

Getting help

In my small European country (way way smaller than Germany) there are still a few professionals that specialize in ADD.  I'm sure if you google ADD or ADHD and the name of your city you could find something.

This seems to be the official site for ADHD support in Germany (my German is very very limited, so I can't really navigate it, but you probably can, or can find someone to help you).  This also seems to allow a search by country and zip code (obviously I don't know yours, so I don't know if that will be successful). You can input by specialty, and near the top is ADHD.

I hope you can find some help through this or something else.

Repeat secretive sexual

Repeat secretive sexual promiscuity is not - I repeat - not listed in the diagnostic criteria to describe ADD/ADHD impulsivity. It is however one of the criteria for bipolarism and for certain personality disorders with impulsivity features. It also can be found under the definition of "total jerkwad."

Jokes aside, this is a very important distinction. 

Do a Google search for "ADHD

Do a Google search for "ADHD in adults infidelity"...there is a ton of information out there linking the two.

I'm not looking to defend my husband's behavior...nor make excuses..or pin it on his ADHD. Maybe it is his ADHD, maybe not. Either way, he is out of second chances and he knows it. That is really all that matters to me...and all that should matter to anyone else.

To me that's like saying

To me that's like saying morning sickness might be a symptom of diabetes but who care's right? 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists things like lying, repeat sexual infidelity and behaving without regard to the rights of others as traits in Cluster B personality disorders as well as bipolarism. It's not an ADD/ADHD thing. Making this distinction matters a lot. The more that non-ADD spouses and friends know, the better the potential for everybody's happiness.

But, haven't we read that

But, haven't we read that some of these other personality disorders can be co-morbid with ADD/ADHD?

Yes exactly! But  ADHD/ADD is

Yes exactly! But  ADHD/ADD is not a personality disorder - it is a development disorder or developmental disability.  A precise diagnosis is absolutely necessary because the psychosocial treatment of ADHD/ADD differs greatly from the treatment for people with personality disorders. 

my two cents

I spent a year of my life on trying to wrap my head around why my exhusband was a serial adulterer and I was so codependent.  Jon Marsh who created this site believes that the basis of sexual addiction is an underdeveloped, immature character issue.  He teaches on this website that if a sexual addict will develop character through learning delayed gratification, he can overcome the impulsiveness.  My ex husband refused to do what Jon suggested and we divorced.

I was told in counseling to believe nothing he said, but if I saw him start displaying mature, responsible behavior instead of the passive, childlike irresponsible actions, I would know he was in the process of developing character.  So if anyone here thinks they are dealing with a sex addict who is comforting his low self esteem with impulsive affairs take some time to go through the free website with everything a sexual addict or his partner needs to know and do to heal.  

I understand that there may be immature non adders who are sexual addicts.  there are also adders who have sexual addiction as a comorbidity.   I also realize that ADDers need many different avenues like drugs, exercise, psychotherapy as well as learning how to stop using unhealthy coping skills.  If you are ADD and want to be respected as a person of integrity, get someone to come alongside you.  Ask until you find someone who you can be accountable to.  If you are using sex to medicate yourself go to the website and just do what they tell you to do.  It is that simple.  If you are willing to do things different, you will have different results.  I am a testimony to making different choices and overcoming a life of no boundaries.

I also would be wrong not to mention that if you are a partner of a sexual addict, then run to and do the hard work of ending the codependence.  Start today.  Jon teaches that you are a person who has character but has not exercised it which means that you no longer feel safe, fundamentally you do not respect yourself.  Your deep seated fear that your life is out of control is an indication that you have little to no boundaries.  Boundaries are exercised by emotionally healthy people and they feel safe because they exercise healthy boundaries.

On recovery nation, they recommend you take a year to work through the free lessons, but I did it in 4 months and it changed my life.  I discovered that I was an enabler. I was so full of fear because my life was not in my control.  I could not control him, I could not be safe as long as I put my destiny in this man who was unstable.  I had to peel away years of denial and uncover my true self.  I had to learn how to stand alone, build strong boundaries and enforce them.  

Since my divorce in 2007, my greatest tests involve keeping my boundaries in tact.  I have a tendency to caretake at my own expense.  When I get fearful in a relationship and I find myself overdoing for the other person, I have to stop and start taking care of myself.  I tended to see myself as more virtuous because I was not selfish.  But reality is that there is no virtue  in being a doormat or having a superior attitude.  People must take care of themselves and allow others to take care of themselves.  Nothing wrong in allowing each person to exercise their strengths in the partnership, but overdoing it with resentment is very unhealthy.  I know from experience


brendab & re: Editor's note

I have set my own boundaries...made a promise to my father on his death bed...that I would turn things around in my life and I will NOT go back on my promise to him. I forgave the first affair for whatever reason...just did. Can't really remember a lot about it, to be honest, it was 13 years ago and I just felt he was doing what I needed. Figured he just needed to grow up, it was a huge transitional period for him, etc.

The second affair (and I have never been anything but completely up front that it WILL be his last!!!) came after 6 long years of misery. We had a good marriage...we had grown together, were at a very good place, and then our world was turned upside down when my step-daughter told me her mother was using drugs in front of her..and frequently getting drunk...oh..and had drug dealers living in the apartment with them. We got custody in less than 4 weeks and were NOT prepared for what came with that. She's got a lot of issues of her own and it ripped my husband and I apart. We were polar opposites when it came to how to raise her...discipline her. I put up walls...his behavior progressively got worse and walls got higher and higher..and there you have it.

I will do my part to be the wife I know he needs. He is doing his part to be the husband I need. SD has moved out and moved on (she'll be 19 soon) and life is getting back to normal, peaceful..finally. He isn't addicted to sex. He isn't addicted to porn. He is addicted to attention and has a very low self esteem. We just started concentrating on this issue in counseling our most recent session. She feels he simply 'gave up' on the marriage...and feels the 'fix' is to just simply learn to control his impulses and not get our marriage over the cliff again. If I felt he was destined to be a 'serial adulterer' I wouldn't be here. I'm co-dependant in ways, I'm working on that, but there isn't an iota of doubt in my mind (or his, hopefully) that he is out of chances with me. I'm giving 100%, he's giving 100%, and if it happens again, then I am gone. I won't give this issue anymore thought because there is simply no way anyone can know enough about my marriage to know what went into the decision to forgive him, and people tend to hear 'infidelity' and think 'one size fits all' and it just doesn't work that way. I DO love myself enough that I won't let him get away with it again...and I know he regretted every second of what he did last fall enough to know that if he does it again, he is a fool. He'll be a fool in my rear-view mirror too.

Not sure which admin (Editor's note) commented...but thank you. I almost cried when I saw that. This topic has taken a very big emotional toll on me and sadly put me back in a place I hadn't been for a very long a place of doubt and self-questioning. It took me a few days to 'shake it off' and get my wits about me again...I'm really surprised at how mean and lacking in compassion some people can be, and I suppose the emotions of what I went through are still very raw. I lost my father a year ago too..and it was just a horrible time in my life. I made my decisions, I am happy with my decisions, I am happier in my marriage than I ever imagined I could be. Whatever the future holds is in God's hands....and I am fine with that. :-)

you are right

I won't give this issue anymore thought because there is simply no way anyone can know enough about my marriage to know what went into the decision to forgive him, and people tend to hear 'infidelity' and think 'one size fits all' and it just doesn't work that way


If there is anything I learned through the process of healing from my divorce was that no one can tell another person to go or stay after adultery If my exhusband had done the work of character development, I might still be with him.  But he would not, so he made my decision for me.  Individuals as well as marriage are very complicated, and I respect the choice of anyone here in the hard decisions they make.  It is okay to stay and it is okay to leave but do so as you transition into a healthy relationship with yourself.  make it your goal to examine and change what you acknowledge is not working for you.  I can tell through your posts you have done tremendous work on yourself.  You sound strong and confident that you are moving in the direction that is good for you and I applaud you for that. 

One thing I experienced was total forgiveness 4 months after disclosure and nobody believed me.  No one understood that you can forgive but that does not require you stay with the person.  Forgiveness also didn't require that I believe what he did was okay.  Everyone assumed that if I forgave then naturally I would remain married.  they just don't get it and like you said "it just doesn't work that way".  Forgiveness is letting go of your desire to change and control  another's behavior and get some compensation for the damage they have done to you.  I just let it all go in one evening, but the desire to forgive had been stirring in me for a couple of months.  It is best to forgive because it is good for YOU

But if a person wants to leave and believes it is good for them, then I want to let them know that is okay too.  you are not a bad person for wanting to feel good again about yourself. If that means separation/divorce for you, then do it.  But be very certain that you are not making this huge emotional decision in an irrational emotional state without good counsel.  Make sure you have worked through all the potential consequences.  But never stay just for someone else at the expense of your own mental health. 


nomorebadhead's picture

i understand your frustration

it still brings tears to my eyes when i read other peoples posts who are dealing with the same thing i am. I am a 36 year old father of two and my wife was just recently diagnosed with adhd after seven years of our nine years of marriage were spent in a downward spiral. I can't count the number of times i had to unplug our wireless Internet just to get her off of Facebook. I personally think social networking is a very bad idea for people with adhd unfortunately they don't realize how much it affects everyone around them. I am sorry you are feeling so hopeless. the bottom line is if your husband wants to take responsibility for his adhd than you need to sit down and set limits you both can live with. for us my wife has agreed not to use Facebook anymore. i guess I am lucky for that. the most horrible thing about this disorder is the suffering and pain it causes us ( the non-ADHDers). before i made my wife read this Website she was in denial about how serious this disorder was and refused to take her medicine despite me begging her to do so. She would lash out at me and tell me "I am not your science project" this was very discouraging to me because i knew there was something we were missing. I can say things have been better since she has accepted that most of the problems we were having were directly related to her adhd. I can only hope your husband could realize the same thing. One thing you have to keep in mind is things wont get fixed overnight, but as long as your ship is pointed in the right direction there should be hope. I'll close with a statement our marriage counselor left us with yesterday. "respond in a kind manner to a hostile comment" with this strategy it wont take long to come to a mutual respect. good luck

i'm angry at his

I'm angry at his parents.  My husband had ADD as a child.  He was on ritalin until high school where he decided to stop on his own.  Once he stopped, that's when he started getting into trouble.  So what did his parents do???  They pawned him off to his Aunt where he sheltered himself in his room all day and all night majority of the time.  His parent's seem to think, unless they are in denial that ADD/ADHD goes away and that it was only a "phase".  They have no idea what I'm going through or what he is going through.  Right now I am praying and hoping that our new baby boy doesn't have it.  

I'm not ready to give up, sometimes I think I am, but when it comes down to it, I just love my husband so much.  You're right Sherri, I need to be me again.  I want to be me again so badly.  I hate the person that I have become.  Most of the time now I am this angry, bitter, insecure person.  And I absolutely HATE it.  I just want to be happy again.  Before I got pregnant with my son, I decided to take medication for anxiety and depression.  When this first started and sometimes now, I get severe anxiety attacks.  The medication helped me, but it didn't change anything for him.  Back then he was still in denial about it.  I stopped taking those meds because I was pregnant.  I am nursing now so I am not on anything.  I have noticed though that I have been alot more patient since my son came into the picture.  

It makes me feel good to know that I am not alone.  Each and every one of you have similar stories to mine.  Thank you so much for responding.  Right now this is my only outlet to reach out to someone.  Still waiting on the book to get here.  Should be here this week. 

It has been suggested to be

It has been suggested to be (for example by him) that I try anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.  I absolutely refuse - I don't think I should have to take medication that has side effects because He causes problems.  And he sees my point.

I think, as some others have pointed out here, that self-care is a huge issue.  If I'm diligent about taking long baths, exercising and doing other things that make me feel good, then I'm happier (and as a nice side effect, his behavior bothers me less).  Unfortunately, when some blowout happens, it can get me off track in that area for days, causing a downward spiral that can be hard to claw myself out of.



I started taking Wellbutrin a little less than a month ago (I personally feel best on the 150 milligram dosage and not the 300 dosage). Never thought I would be on meds for depression but honestly they have helped. They've taken the edge off and I don't dwell on issues that make me feel sad (because of his behavior) like I did before. It's not for everyone but it's not as awful as it may seem.

I took anti-depressants for a

I took anti-depressants for a few years...and was much less angry on them, but they make me gain about 30 lbs each time I take them (losing this weight within 3-4 months when I stop taking them) so I quit taking them for that reason. My husband (ADHD) also loved it when I took medication...even his friends commented when I stopped taking it (I assume he'd told them that I had stopped my meds and that we were fighting more...automatically assuming it was all my fault). I don't care, unless I am desperate, I will never take them again just so I can be more accepting of my husband's hurtful behaviors. I've given up the anger on my own, with a LOT of hard work, dedication and giving up on the idea that I HAD to be right and had to be heard 100% of the time. He is giving just as much....and I won't settle for anything less, ever again. I love him, but I need to feel loved BY him from here on out. Period.

My reasons exactly

I took anti-depressants when I was truly depressed (literally spent almost all day crying) several years ago (before I met my ADDer).  I don't want to take them just so that I can tolerate his behavior better, when there is nothing wrong with me (meaning, if it weren't for him I wouldn't need the meds, not that I am perfect).  It's not that I have anything against antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication per se, I just don't think it should be used to take the edge off someone else's hurtful behavior.

i agree

I agree completely.  I had no idea my husband had ADHD when I was taking these meds.  Back then this whole thing made me feel like I was the problem.  I really felt like I was the crazy one in the relationship.  Not that my husband is crazy, I love him to death, but I just did not feel sane at the time.  Now that I know and it has been confirmed, I feel better knowing that I am not crazy. 

i was taking

I was taking Lexapro for a while and had xanax as well for anxiety.  It seemed to help me a little.  At least it took the edge off and I was able to focus more on myself and career.  Now that I am nursing I am not taking any medications, only supplements. 

My (ADD) guy has asked me a

My (ADD) guy has asked me a few times "should I join Facebook?" when he sees me interacting there.  I always say, "no it's probably not for you".  He can stay on the computer for hours as it is, just reading up on a Linux issue or something, so I certainly don't need him social networking :)

its hard

I know what you mean.  Its an ongoing battle.  Its really tough to not let his "moods" bother me.  The little ones from time to time, I can manage to get by, but the blow ups are the real challenges to me.  I mean my normal reaction to someone calling me names or yelling at me is to yell back.  I've been trying to keep my cool, but I end up bottling all the anger inside and it ends up just hurting me in the end.  I need to figure out a way to just let it go and I think that is the hardest part.  Its hard for me to accept sometimes.

My husband is also into the whole linux thing and setting up servers with other people online.  He spends more time on the computer than a regular work day.  Its really ridiculous.  We even tried to set limits of computer time which tends to work for a while, but then when he gets into his "modes" he just tells me "I'm an adult and I can do whatever I want, for as long as I want"  and "Your not  my mother, stop trying to control me".  When in reality, we both came up with this together.  And when he is not in his moods, he admits to it and says he is sorry when he is like that.  Its just so hard sometimes.  According to what I've read online, my reaction is a "normal" reaction.  Its really hard to stay calm and not be angry when he gets into his modes.  I mean sometimes after it happens, he acts as if nothing happened and he is perfectly fine and I am the one that is still upset!!  He could be mean one minute and then ask me to make something for him to eat.  In my mind I am thinking " were just mean to me and now you want me to cook something for you??" 

Same here...he can go from

Same here...he can go from being a jerk to acting as if everything is fine all within a 5 mintue time frame. Although it is very hard, and takes a lot of patience and 'talking myself down', I do get over it as quickly as he does anymore. 9 times out of 10 he'll come and apologize for being a jerk a few hours later. It isn't perfect, but most of the time there really is nothing to 'resolve'..he was just in a foul mood and took it out on me. I might ask him "are you upset with me? Have I done something to make you angry? You seem angry with me" and it seems to help him focus on what he's doing, realize it, and get over it quicker. For years I reacted with hurt (that manifested itself as anger) and I can honestly say it solved nothing. The less I react...the less he gets in 'jerk' mode. I'm not a huge Dr. Phil fan, but I do remember him saying "do you want to get along, or do you want to be 'right'?" So, I just decide to let his 'jerk' mode slide most of the time. (this is completely different from his ADHD episodes/moods that involve the "stop trying to control me" comments you mentioned...I'm just talking everyday, run of the mill bad mood..taking it out on me kind of thing)

Your condesending and just plain annoying comments..

Not sure what you're asking...or if you're familiar with my story...but he hasn't been in 'jerk' mode for MONTHS. A recent trial with Concerta made him extremely irritable and after less than 2 months he stopped taking it. It has been a week and thankfully things are much better. We worked our way through hell and back since last December and we are in counseling and getting help for his ADHD and any other issues we may have.  When I refer to this I am mostly speaking of a different time in my life and a different time in my marriage..not now. Also, if you have taken the time to read my history you'll know that I was quite a 'jerk' myself for many response to his untreated ADHD. He wasn't diagnosed until June of this year.

If you have nothing to offer me but snide, sarcastic comments I would like to ask you to stop replying to my comments. 

Chris39- re: defensive

I don't think she is.  I am not a defensive person at all. You're not even talking to me, but your comment did come across as snide and sarcastic.  I'm sure you didn't mean to sound that way; so much of the "context" of communication is lost in this format.  But let's try to speak kindly to each other. "Knock it off."  Love, MOM  : )

If that was truly your

If that was truly your motive, although I appreciate the thought, I am protecting that right with my life. I have many reasons, that would take me far too long to go into, for giving my marriage another chance. The last chance. If you will go back and read my posts from the time I first came here, you would see that I am not defensive in general...but I went through pure hell trying to decide what I was going to do, how would I handle the knowledge of a second affair in 13 years? I feel my intelligence is being a little bit insulted, and since you cannot possibly know what all went into my decision, I feel it is inconsiderate of you to say what you do.

Also, it is disrespectful to my husband to assume anything about him either, without knowing. Read my our story. You're entitled to your opinion, but WE are moving forward as a family and have made immeasurable changes. I'm not in the least defensive of my decision to forgive and try again...I am however defensive of your sarcasm and negativity. Don't insult my intelligence further by denying your point was to be condesending.

For a person who claims to be

For a person who claims to be "not in the least defensive," the sum total of your bitter reactive paragraphs tells a different story. And please don't put motives to my words. The DSM does not list cheating as a diagnostic criteria for ADD/ADHD. That is the truth.  Do what you want with it. 

Editor's note:  The DSM does not list cheating as a diagnostic criteria for ADD/ADHD, however  research suggests there is a higher incidence of affairs for those with the hyperactive variety of ADHD (Barkley et al).  The reasons that people have affairs are varied - the research mentioned may indicate that impulsivity has an impact for some, while in my own marriage the pure misery we were suffering through led us both to have affairs.  Recovering from this is a huge project and I commend Sherri for her decision to work through it, as well as her success in her efforts.

The book..

The book came in a couple days ago.  I've been reading it and my husband managed to read the first 4 pages.  I hope he continues to read with me.  So far so good with the book.  I highly recommend it to those who haven't read it yet.  The book so far talks about both sides the non ADHD spouse and the ADHD spouse.  It also talks about what ADHD is etc.. I am beginning to understand it more as I read.  Will keep posting on how things go.

Yesterday was a good day, I hope for more good days to come.  I know this is going to be a major challenge because my husband is not on any medications.  I just don't see him going on medications unless the ADHD starts affecting his work.  I researched about ADHD in the military and it doesn't really look good as far as him being able to stay in.  And I really honestly think that it is getting worse because he has gone without treatment for a very long time.  I also read that 80% of people diagnosed with ADHD also have other mental issues along with it. 

I'm ready to take on this challenge, but I just don't see any MAJOR changes unless he gets treated for it.  That is the part that saddens me.  He gets deployed for a year next year.  I have no idea how he will be down range without me and his "comfort zone".  I'm scared for him.  After that we are here in Germany until 2013, he will be getting out after that and going back to the states.  This also makes me nervous and think about how it was before he joined the military and actually got a real job that he couldn't back out of.  I don't want things to go back to the way they were before when I was the only income after he got laid off.  I know I am thinking too far ahead.  I just really really hope this works.

I have a FB acct...and I

I have a FB acct...and I refuse to give it up because A) I am VERY selective about who I friend..less than 100 friends after 2-3 years of being there, B) I have never given him any reason to not trust me..I would never cheat on him not on FB or anywhere else, C) he forced me to give up a PRIVATE forum I shared with just SIX FEMALE friends...I have to set boundaries for myself somewhere. Now we keep in touch through FB..which is FAR less private..but it'll have to do.

My husband's affair was sparked by them 'friending' each other on FB..they were friends in high school. I am thankful that he deactivated his account over a year ago. I wouldn't deny him the right to have a FB account if he wanted one, but I would want his PW and full access to it. He has mine. Our counselor said that she'd seen several marriages destroyed by FB.