Engaged to an adhd man who is addicted to porn/anonymous

Well by the title alone you can tell I'm ready to run in the other direction!! I have been in a relationship with a man off and on for seven years and last year after talking to his mom I find out he was diagnosed with adhd as a child though he is not currently being treated. This set off a light bulb for me bc he has anxiety, depression and ocd (brushes his teeth ten times a day). And has a fetish for porn/porn stars. Ive addressed how this behaviour has bothered me (I have his passwords he gave me to his emails and thats how I found out) and he appologized but I think he just gets better at hiding it. In addition to that, he blames me whenever we fight, and then takes his actions a step further. For instance we had an argument recently and I hung up on him. He calls me back and we work things out. Things seemed fine until I found out recently that he started up a dating profile( through his emails) online on the date of our fight! I logged in and saw a bunch of women he wanted to meet and some saved as his favorites) I asked him is this how we handle fights now, and he responded that it was stupid and he did it without thinking but it was my fault for pushing him away! He knows Ive been on his tail now because I found him on another dating site and logged in and he has since emptied his inbox and outbox. We currently live in two different states (Im in Texas and he's in Florida) and and I havent talked to him about counselling yet but he wants to attend church with me, but Im getting serious cold feet. I told him I dont trust him at all but he wants to move out here, but when we bicker sometimes he'll tell me that he is giving up his family (his mom is depressed and probably has adhd) to move out here and marry me. I just dont know what to do anymore. Ive told him to just stay there, but he claims he is determined to make this work...but I don't believe anything he says.

Do not marry without trust

"I don't trust him at all."   That is all the reason you need to find someone ELSE who could make you happy.  A good marriage is based on TRUST.  He is not ready (or maybe not marriage material at all/ever). Do not get pregnant. Don't let his focus/sales pitch/ardor work on you to change your gut feelings.  It will be short lived promises.  I can tell.  I have been there. Be strong. Support yourself with friends/family.  If he loved you, you would know it and you would trust him in your gut. DON'T let him move in and DON'T let him have an extended "vacation" at your place.

thank you got the advice

Thank you so much for your advice...now all I'm thinking about are what are his motives, because the way I see it I have NOTHING to gain being with him. I told him I cant be chasing him all up and down the internet.

"he did it without thinking

"he did it without thinking but it was my fault"


"he is determined to make this work"


If he is determined to earn your trust (does he acknowledge he must do that?) then he will be willing to do it in Florida. It sounds like he may be hyperfocussed on the challenge of getting you to agree. If so he will lose interest when you've married him and things will not get better. Double underline that statement if his ADHD remains uncontrolled and he refuses to get appropriate (and consistent) treatment. The $64,000 question is: do you want to be married to him if he continues all the same behavior and blames you for it? Jennalemon said it, do not marry someone you don't trust.

yup he does hyperfocus on agreement

He hyperfocuses all the time on getting me to agree with him..even when we argue and he knows he is wrong. Its gotten to the point where when he messes up his excuses are "well I wasnt thinking" or I did something bad or of course, its all my fault why he messed up. Of course he hasnt acknowledged that he needs to earn my trust. I changed all his passwords and gave them back to him. He had nothing to say because he knows that this time he crossed the line. I havent told him yet thats its over but he has backed off a lot.

Don't weaken

Check my entries.  I know this guy.  He is my dh....  They like to WIN...close the deal...they are good at it.  Then, on to other pleasures while you take care of the kids.

jennalemon I'm so sorry you are going through this

I will read your entries..there is nothing worse then dealing with a selfish person...I couldn't imagine going thrugh this mess with him day in day out especially since Im in school now...I want to believe he can be better..but Im a realest and my heart aint in it like it used to be.
carathrace's picture

Red flags

AND, do you want to spend the rest of your life checking up on him?  because that's the pattern now, and you said it yourself, dear, "I don't believe anything he says."  Off and on for seven years.  He started up a dating profile on the date of your fight.  "I've been on his tail".  Big red flags.

You say "I just don't know what to do anymore", but you do.  You do.  In your heart you know what to do. 

very true

I do know...I just dont want to deal with the inevitable fighting thats gonna happen.

Seven years is a slice out of

Seven years is a slice out of anyone's life so you are bound to feel sad and have regrets, if not anger, over wasted time.  Forget wondering about his motives, hard as it is to believe he may not actually have any - if he has untreated ADHD he could be all over the place. I am not saying to run away in the future from anyone with ADHD (I am married to someone with it and it's been 'interesting') - but this man is not recognizing your (normal and reasonable) needs and shows no signs of knowing what a committed relationship is.

If & when you see him again you might think seriously about meeting only on neutral territory to keep his reactions from getting too intense and reduce the risk of arguments.  If he absolutely needs to visit your home to pick up things (eg too big to send) then have someone suitable present to assist in keeping things calm. Change the locks if you need to. You have school and no reason to doubt that your future will be better.  The sun always shows up after the rain (even if it takes a while). I do hope things go well for you.


From your comment, I hear that you just don't sound that happy. I agree with everyone here--I went into my marriage with my STBX after a mostly long distance relationship. I didn't know what ADHD was and it became so much harder after we married and settled in together. Almost everything you mention sounds like a red flag. It sounds like your heart and mind are telling you what to do. Listen to yourself:-) I know it is hard to be alone or to consider ending relationships, but you do not have to settle. And you absolutely should only marry someone you can trust. 

Sad and VERY unhappy

Everything was fine for a year until we started arguing. Now I just feel like he played me. Right now he has backed off of calling me. Our conversations are about BS and nothing more. I think he knows I'm unhappy so I'm sure as I'm typing this he is looking for the next woman to work over BC I'm not falling for his BS anymore. My mind and my heart aren't in this anymore...especially since he wont give me his other passwords (fb, twiter...he is obcessive with social media which he deems as harmless and it causes a lot of problems). I just dont want to deal with someone Im chasing around, and when he gets mad about messing up he tries to get revenge.

I'm getting seriously bad

I'm getting seriously bad vibes off of this situation. Any man who has been in what is basically a long term relationship who is signing up for dating sites needs to be kicked to the curb. The first time may have been a "one-off" but the fact that he did it again is entirely another.

About six months into my dating relationship with my hubby, I caught him corresponding with another girl on MySpace (this was back in the day..LOL). I confronted him about it and his excuses were similar to your boyfriend's "I wasn't thinking, etc." At least in my future hubby's case he had recently been caught up in the tragedy of a colleague being killed in the line of duty (he was a cop) and it was a bit easier to give him a second chance because as hard as he took it, I could genuinely see that he wasn't thinking. We took a week long break and he was appropriately sorry not only for instigating the situation but also sorry that he hurt me. Now on down the line, as I have found it difficult to forget (and not necessarily forgive), the subject's come up in the midst of fighting and he's claimed that he was preparing to break-up with me because I hadn't been supportive of him during that time. And that was true enough. I just couldn't fathom why he was so depressed and when I can't fathom something, then it doesn't get much attention from me. A bad trait, to be sure.

Since then, we've been married for five years, and I've never had any indication that he has done the same thing again. He's been in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot and it's caused some major trust issues. A month doesn't go by without me getting paranoid about whether or not he may be cheating (though I have no indications that such a thing is going on...I also have barely in check anxiety issues that need to be dealt with). I've explained to him on multiple occasions that ADHD predisposes him to such indiscretions but he claims that anyone without morality compass would be predisposed. It makes sense but I think with an ADHDer's inclination to be pulled in multiple directions thus being unable to focus can intensify a situation where trust is weak.

Also a word on his comments regarding having to move to be with you. To be honest, if he does move, he's going to resent you. If he's already throwing it in your face that he's giving up things to be with you, then you really don't want any of that. It will become a real bone of contention between you as time progresses.

You have to make the decision, but I would hesitant to continue on in this type of relationship. I know that fighting (especially with an ADHDer determined to win) is absolutely no fun, but it must be endured if you want to come out on the other side. I know that even though he makes you sad, you still will mourn after the good times and mourn because you've been forced to hurt him by calling things off, but when you get past that, you'll be better for it all.

Best of luck to you.

I know what to do it's just a matter of when

Well he has been pretty much kissing my butt all day today but I'm fed up already. he brought up the whole "Im giving up my family for you" about three times in an argument a few days ago and I told him that I'm not gonna sit around listening to him throwing it in my face everyday. His family is so messed up I'm pretty sure he'll get cold feet beforehand. As much as it would hurt me to let him go...I still worry about cutting off contact (he has MAJOR abandonment issues)

I am also engaged to someone

I am also engaged to someone who is diagnosed as ADHD. "Ive told him to just stay there, but he claims he is determined to make this work...but I don't believe anything he says." He is not determined at all. What has he proven other than he cannot be trusted? Before even thinking about getting married to him he needs to seek help for himself, blaming you is not that help. He needs to get therapy and or medicine. Then maybe, he will be ready for a serious relationship.


Whatever problems you are seeing now will probably be a recurring theme regardless of whether he is on medicine or even received therapy. Before deciding to marry him, think if this is something you can live with. What about when you have children, and have to juggle parenthood and a spouse's addiction to porn. The stress of both is not easy.


tough spot

The stress I'm dealing with my own life is hard enough. I told him if he really wants to be with me, he has to seek counseling and he has agreed, but he could be trying to pacify me. I told him I'm not going to Florida to help him move his stuff (which was the original plan). I'm not his enabling mother. He has to come on his own. The wedding is off until he can SHOW and Prove that he wants this relationship. If he changes his mind then I'm cutting all ties with him. There is less than two months before the move and if he is not willing to get the help he needs, he can find his way back.

Stop this!

My dh moved his stereo into my apartment...I didn't know he was going to, he just brought it and set it up in my living room....like a great guy....then started to sleep over...my not being able to wake him at night to go home.....then telling people we lived toether....never an agreement with me...... He never heard MY words or was not interested in my thoughts......  then I got pregnant..... 35 years ago......   


He is moving to be closer to

He is moving to be closer to you, does that mean he has a job offer, as well as enough money to rent an apartment? Moving to be closer to you is one thing, but maybe not now. After he starts seeing a psychiatrist and starts therapy etc. He has a lot of issues, and honestly the stress of moving will only make them worse. Baby steps; treatment first. Its weird, my FH was the one who first insisted that he had a problem. Let's just say when he first did, I told him to stop his crap. Then months later, I insisted that he go and seek help. But honestly, if he does not want the help or want to change, things will remain the same. On a positive note (if this really is a positive, ha!) You have experienced the relationship after he stops hyperfocussing on you. Do not back down

Very good points! My mom has

Very good points! My mom has pretty much said the same thing (even though she doesn't know about the adhd. He has a job transfer lined up) and he has money. I want him to move here, but baby steps is going to be the only way that I can consider this. Definitely no marriage at this point. I told him I'm not going out there, but he HAS to come on his own which he was mad about but I had to put my foot down. I'm on an emotional rollercoaster.


Why is he MAD about coming alone?  Was he expecting you to HELP him move?    That's crazy.  I am saying this out of care for you.  I can see the train wreck and I know that you are worth more than this.  Ask him EXACTLY about the job "transfer".  Something doesn't sound right.  Then, IF he gives you specifics, CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!  I will bet that something will snafu that "the transfer" will fall through and it was NOT HIS FAULT BUT he will want you to feel sorry for him and in the end blame you and make you responsible for him HAVING to leave his home.   DON'T LET HIM MOVE IN WITH YOU!!!!!!!.


I can't say this enough. RUN.  This is not going to be good for you.  He cheats, he  is addicted to porn, he manipulates you.  He sounds like he has some serious other mental issues other than ADHD, and I would be very worried for you.  

You also have to really really really think about what made you attracted to this guy in the first place.  I know why I was attracted to my DH with ADHD all those years ago, because I am attracted to chaos even though I hate chaos.  I grew up in a chaotic household with an alcoholic father, two bi-polar brothers both with addiction issues, one so severe he is now no longer on this planet.

I have soul searched to understand why I sought this relationship out.  Thank God my DH is all around a good guy with a big heart.  He wouldn't harm a fly and he is loyal to a fault.  But his ADHD drives me crazy and I have thought about ending it many times.

Please don't get involved any further with this man.  I can't say it enough.  RUN.

This is so hard for me

This is so hard for me because I'm going into this with my eyes open. I guess it's hard because of the history we have. I knew something was up a long time ago because of the way he deals with arguments. I know his mother has depression, stepdad was an abusive alcoholic. I come from a loving, stable background and he has always told me he craved normalcy.but knowing what I know now, I don't see HOW he could function in a normal environment. Well, I have a little bit of time...I just don't want to throw away who I am (a well adjusted adult) and throw my self love, dignity and self respect away.

I am on your side

I feel like I am in this with you.  You are ME way back when.  I felt sorry for my dh when we were young.  I had a better upbringing than he did. I had better confidence and networking than he did.  I thought I could help him and that he would love me for the help and love I would give him.  I liked his "dangerous" side....stupid I was.  Please find yourself some support.  Find some options.  A church, some family members, a group of beneficial friends....get yourself out of this without him. Surround yourself with GOOD people.  You have years and years to find a love that gives back to you what you are able and willing to give.  It sounds to me like you are giving and he is sweet-talking.  If you end up with him, one day, like me, you will say to yourself....What happened to ME?  Where did the good person that I was go?  TELL HIM YOU DON'T WANT HIM TO COME AT ALL. And be firm. If you are afraid of his respons....imagine how a lifetime of being afraid of his response might be like.  You will not change who he is.  He already is who he is going to be.  The person I was, was heading to a place where today I should be on boards and committees and non-profit groups.....instead I am going to al-anon and still working to support us at the age of 64.  I gave my life to him. He does not love me for it but is still the immature guy who would, just like your guy, want me to help HIM move.

Don't give your life away to someone who does not care for you.

Calling less and less

I love him so much and I want to help, but the pain of CHEATING I cannot take. All of his behavior with me is like that of a sociopath. Always saying he loves me like ten times in a phonecall. Always trying to bait me by deflecting me. Blaming me for why he wants to cheat. And NOW asking me to stand by in agony as he gets to do whatevr he wants, NOT acknowlwdging what I need him to do in order to work. on this. He got straight up BUSTED and he has nothing that he's gonna do to fix things. He is just in his own little world...it's like he doesn't have a conscious. I just get an empty apology. He would rather play on his Facebook and Twitter accounts and do whatever he wants. My friends have told me to GET OUT and I realize I have to cut ALL contact. I blocked his numbers and blocked him on FB and took his family off. Its over

Good for you.

You will not regret this.  Stay strong.  He will try to WIN you even if just for his ego.  Don't let him get you to feel sorry for him or tug at your heart strings. He will turn on the charm (remember that charmers are not all that truthful) When he does try, remember how you felt when you saw how quickly and easily he went to the internet to replace you.  If he did it already, he will do it again...you don't want a wedding band and a baby crib with you when he does. With some people, love is just a game to be won by the one who cares the least.  Keep busy with people you can trust.  Love will come.  Take the time to understand why you were attracted to this guy and what ARE the character traits you MUST have in a man for next time?  Include INTEGRITY in your list of must haves....(integrity cannot be promised. It must be PROVEN). They don't all have it and your guy proved to you that he does not have that. Integrity means that a promise is a promise and WILL be fulfilled.  When promises are empty or forgotten, a person who WANTS to love and trust can go crazy. Don't be gullible and too trusting like me.  Also, he will act broken and pitiful.  ACT is the operative word.  He is not hurting as much as he will try to tell you he is.  Likely he will curse you as he goes out the door or after he hangs up.  Let him curse away.  If he is like my dh, he is a good actor...and can turn it on and turn it off....he is really not FEELING it. Watch his face when he thinks you aren't looking..   Or while he is "crying" tell him you aren't buying it....watch how he can turn it off and become angry at you.  OR better yet, never see him again.  That would be the safest.

I talked to a good friend of

I talked to a good friend of mine and she told me pretty much EVERYTHING you said. I understand ADHD is something that must be worked through and cheating is a morality thing...not an ADHD thing. He's en blowing up my phone ALL DAY and sending me texts how needy he is and NEEDS to hear my voice. I chuckled lol. It really is a game to him. So sad.

Keep laughing

He doesn't need you because his heart aches for you.  He needs you because his ego feels better in the present moment when you are UNDER his spell/promises/act and he can be the winner in the (fun for him) game of the moment. If he HAD you (wedding band and your belief in his promises), he would take you for granted and go looking around again.  Have self respect and make your list of 4 qualities that are MUSTS of what you WANT in a man. Find someone who knows how to partner.  If they can play on a TEAM long term, it is a good sign.  My dh could only play golf. When he is laying it on thick with the "I love yous" think of him as a used car salesman...every trick in the book to have you see his side.  You know how when a good salesman is starting to get you to come around?  While you are with him, you kind of get stirred up and can really see his vision of you in the car....he sounds so sincere like he wants you to be happy in the shiny new expensive car because you are worth it,  he can tell.  Step away from the sales pitch for a while and then you are able to see his tactics and know he has ulterior motives...it is not YOU he is wanting to be happy...it is the sale he NEEDS.

I haven't responded to this

I haven't responded to this thread because it is obvious what needs to be done, but people are going to do what they want, regardless. 

I have countless friends who stay in relationships with liars, cheaters, and abusers. They complain and claim to want advice, but they never take the advice. If they leave, they always go back. Some of them are on psych meds to help them cope, when it's obvious that the "cure" is not a pill, but to rid themselves of a terrible partner. 

Good luck to the OP if you decide to stay and make it work. You'll likely be the only one putting in the work, but it's your choice. At least you know what you are getting into. 


I am one of those people who is still with the partner who won't/can't partner. I had such a romantic notion about my childhood sweetheart.  He just needs my love and support to become a better person....so I thought.....nope...he was who he was.   I am a little crazy from all the compromising and complaining I have been doing out loud and in my own mind all these years...hope against hope that things MUST get better if I work and pray for it. I am embarrassed of myself for putting up with it and not seeing clearly for such a long time...a lifetime.  Are you hearing this, fedupfiance?  Is there a ring?  Give it back quickly.

Most advice, counseling, and

Most advice, counseling, and even google will convince you that you should stick it out (almost) no matter what. Until I found this site, I wasn't convinced I had a right to be so unhappy. And still there are a few here that think I'm wrong for leaving my poor, afflicted husband.  People try to chalk it up to the differences between men & women, like the famous "Men are from Mars" book. However true that book may be, you have a right to be with a partner that makes you happy. If you stuck out a relationship with major problems, there is no need to beat yourself up. It is terrible that you can't get that time back, but you gave your all to that relationship. That is something to be proud of in its own way. 


jennalemon, I agree with lauren, it is something to be proud of that you were loyal, stuck it out, and worked so hard. I lost 12 years and it can be really painful. I have moments when I look back and think "Why in the [email protected] did I ever put up with being that miserable? What was I thinking?" This is the season that people are getting married. I am going to one this weekend. I am so happy for the lovely young couple that I see--they are a great fit, happy, best friends, he is a wonderful man, they have known each other for years. I didn't have that and kept hoping that if I worked hard enough I would. His hyper focus gave great promise in the beginning. And then that man went away and never, I mean, never, came back. 

And why wouldn't I have tried so hard? Lauren is right, many sources tell you that if you identify problems in your relationship and approach it with x, y, and z, you can make it better. Fix it. Some people on these boards seem to be able to. But mine didn't have the tools. At all. You can only control what happens after this moment. Everything else is water under the bridge. 

Peace to you, Jenna. Lauren, thinking of you in your new place. Every day I wake up in my apartment I smile. (OK, except when rent is due, because I am broke). 


grain of salt

fedup, take this for what you will, which is advice from someone who was you fifteen years ago. I was young, attractive, energetic, had a great job, friends, lived in a fun city, and was in a long distance relationship with someone with many of the same issues. My boyfriend had confidence issues, functioning issues, family issues, and repeatedly needed me to "show" how much I loved him. He was emotional, difficult, and my gut told me, not a truly comfortable fit. He was charming and popular, a little "dangerous" as well, and I agreed to move to be with him (no way he would have moved to be with me). I moved to a city far from home, where I knew no one else, raised a family with him, and now am almost finalizing my divorce with two young children. I had a moment when I gave in. I was swept away by hope and some pity and trust and love and loyalty and my desire to be with someone, even when a little voice inside said, "but wait..." Like Jennalemon, I see where I could have been. Many of my friends are comfortable in their forties, traveling, enjoying life, and I am broke in an apartment with my kids, trying to find a second job this summer because my almost ex can't possibly pay child support (and actually floated the idea of me paying HIM support). I had health issues from stress and it will be a long, long time before I am financially on my feet again.  

You say that you don't see HOW he can function in a normal environment. Then listen to yourself! Why would you be with someone who can't function if you have a choice? You would be taking on a lot to pair up with someone with such significant issues and family background who has not been able to deal with them in seven years. There ae so many red flags there--the way he deals with arguments? Imagine having about three or four of those a day. The possibility that you may have to sacrifice even a tiny bit of your respect and self love away is too much. I am the third adult woman on here telling you to RUN, not walk. It would hurt in the beginning. But you deserve the best, most positive life possible. Not one the starts with compromise and loss. I just believe that you may be carrying this guy on your back your whole life. It is admirable you love him. Seven years is a long time. But you don't have to stay with him and you are more of a responsibility to yourself than he is. Would you tell your best friend to marry someone like this? You are not happy. Listen to your heart. 

Of course there are success stories and none of us can live your life. But a wise person once told me to think about a decision. To think about how I would feel ten minutes from now, ten weeks from now, and ten years from now if I had made it. The ten minutes after I decided to leave my spouse sucked. Ten months? Coming up right now and I know it was the right thing. Ten years? I will wonder why I stayed so long. If your heart tells you that this is not a person who is going to make you happy, then please listen. You choose whom you will marry. You choose the parent of your children. Best to you, my dear.

Seeing clearly

"I'm going into this with my eyes open"

If so then you are clearly seeing him pursuing a bright, shiny object. Yes? 

So maybe 1 week after he has his object, maybe 6 months, maybe 3 years, he will set it on the shelf and go looking for the next bauble. Right now you are in the lighthouse beam but it will move on and you will be left in the dark wondering what the heck just happened.  And you will see the beam continuing to sweep the sky, hope it will come back to you, but it may never.

Make no mistake, he has a brain disorder which will never go away and may need to be managed with meds and/or therapy for the rest of his life in order for you to remain sane.  His children may/may not have ADHD.  Growing up in a difficult home means that on top of the ADHD he probably has a lot of learned behaviors and responses to be untangled and a great deal of relearning, and you will be faced with sorting out which issues are ADHD and which are 'just' social maladjustments.  Since he is insistent on moving (a red flag if there ever was one), then how about you do not see him until he has started his job (it does come with health benefits?), got himself a psychiatrist and a counsellor/therapist to help him deal with the porn/oppositionality etc and has been consistently receiving treatment for a few months.  If he loves you he will do it. If he doesn't or isn't capable of loving you then he won't. Simple.  Listen to the people here, set your boundaries and don't let him wear you down.