I just don't understand, I'm lost


I'm new to saying anything to anyone about what has been going on in my household. I met my partner at work, have been together now for two years.

First I find out that he has lied about his age, but I have not said that I know. I was told he is 7 yrs. younger and now I find out he is 11 yrs. younger. This lie was because on our first date, I told him I would not go out with anyone 8 or more years younger. I'm 56 and he is going to be 45. Has told me his D.L. is incorrect that he never went back to change it. I believed him for a long time. I noticed that he never opens his mail if it's from social security or his attorney. So I opened the SS and that is how I found out about his age. I've not said anything.

Then he said he had a son very late in age and when we met his son was 5, now 7 yrs old. His son one day when we were out and about said, my mommy and daddy are still married. I said, no, they are divorced and I would not go out with your daddy if he was still married to your daddy. He said his aunt told him. Well I know in the the beginning he gave her a check for, as he said child support. Then just this last Jan. he said he was taking her to court for this and that; little things. Well I thought that was odd that he kept his papers and his original divorce papers in his lap top bag at all times. He never left it in the house if he was going somewhere. I looked in his bag when we were on a trip and he was out fishing. Come to find out he was just divorced Jan. 2010 not June 2008. I dare not say anything, I've brought up the divorce date to see if he corrects me and he sticks with the 2008.

We can not talk about anything personal or discuss the future. It's gotten to where I just don't talk much.

I'm thinking that the age difference has to do with our arguing.

I've seen him put his son in the car to take him to his mom and having trouble hooking up the video player, take it and throw it out the backseat on the ground. His son look to me for what should I do. I just put my fingure to my mouth for him to not say anything. He was loud and saying things his son should not hear.

When we argue, his voice gets lower, then if I say to much, it's all about what type of bad person I am and we should not be together. Then he starts yelling. I just shut down and if I don't say anything, he just keeps on. I bought a home and put all the money up for the property. We have a lot set up for his son on the property. I think that he is staying because of his son.

We may have sex once a month or a little longer. I asked why we don't, he said he likes to wait till he really wants to have sex. When we were first together, we had sex more often, then it just stopped. Just all of a sudden. He takes pain pills, says he hurts all over. High dose and 4 or 5 times a day. Drinks his beer from the time he gets off until he goes to bed. So I'm sure this has something to do with our sex life also. Things change and it's all of a sudden, like staying up very late watching TV, then now he's in bed for 10 or 10:30. Never eats supper with his son and I. We eat around 7 - 8PM, he eats at 10 or 10:30PM. Says it makes him sleepy to eat that early.

He's great other than the no sex, not eatting together, no talking about us, fight sometimes too often.

I've been trying to figure out if I need to keep trying or leave. The age difference is worrying me, a lot.

I'd better stop and fix his son something to eat.

Thank you for listening.


sapphyre's picture

Don't sweat the age difference...

"He's great other than the no sex, not eatting together, no talking about us, fight sometimes too often"

Depends how important these things are. Read up on the site and decide what you want. Also, maybe try Melissa's Two-Day Experiment for your ADHD relationship - in the right hand sidebar.

As for the lying. ADHDers lie as a coping mechanism, because the truth hasn't helped them, maybe lies will. Actually, I read somewhere recently that we all lie regularly, and should stop kidding ourselves that we don't.

Age difference can be a problem

The original poster is 56, as I am. My ADD husband is 48. We never intended to have kids as I was 51 when we got married, but I do think about retirement. I'll be 76 when he's eligible for full Social Security. I struggle with the idea of working that long. But I was a stay-at-home mom for many years and won't have much on my own record to claim at a younger age. 76. And I lost the right to claim on my first husband's record when I remarried, but my second husbnad doesn't think he is obligated to support me. Also, what's the good of retiring when your spouse is still working?

So, if you intend to marry, age is a consideration. Otherwise, you need to look at the other problems in relationship. Undoubtedly, your guy thinks of himself as being divorced from when they split up, not when the divorce became final.

A lot of what you've described sounds like ADD. Does he have a diagnosis? Does he even want one?


So you understand how this age difference is starting to worry me. What if something happens to me later in age, will he be there for me. The big issue is there is not much phycial contact between the two of us. A wink once in a while, a pat on the rear in passing. Mostly A kiss good night and a kiss good morning is all there is. Sometimes he'll put his hand on my arm when he is about to go to sleep. If I go to him and give him a hug, I get a one armed hug, and I'll pull the other arm around me and tell him I need a real hug. He's always got a reply.  It's gotten to where I don't bother. All of this makes me feel really ugly in his eye's. Then at work, he's very friendly with certain women. I used to work near him. One lady, When he's at his desk for when she leave, he will say things like, that was a heart felt bye, so she'll have to come back and smile to say good night. If working, he's looking up for when the ladies come and go, to say something. When i pass by, nothing. I told him one day, I'd like it if he treated me as nice as he treated the other ladies in the office. He wasn't happy. I just think the age difference is to much and I'll grow even older being lonley.

He has not been tested, but tells me that he is ADD and his brain is all over the place.

My sister gave me a book to read: The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage.

I can't marry this man. My Family really likes him. He's not close to any of his family. Doesn't call his mother ever. Said he grew up with her telling him and his sister that she didn't like children.

Lack of physical contact

My husband loves to hug me and touch me. (Unfortunately, I hit menopause the month after we got married and haven't cared much about sex since.) My age doesn't bother him. He can't think long term, so the idea that I'll have to work until I'm as old as his mother is now (and she's been retired 20 years) does not enter is consciousness. If I mention it, he looks at me like I'm speaking Greek.

I doubt very much if his problem with physical affection and sex has anything to do with your age. A lot of ADDers are like that. My husband doesn't like certain kinds of touches. If I accidentally bump into him in bed, he cries out as if I hurt him, and denies it in the morning.

It sounds like he's got a pretty sweet deal, with you providing a home for him and his son. Would he be willing to be tested and maybe go the counseling and meds route to deal with his ADD, if indeed he is diagnosed with it?

Your right about the certain

Your right about the certain types of touch. I asked about the counseling and he said no

He's on enough pain medicine as it is, on top of drinking beer until bedtime. Doesn't act drunk. I can tell when he takes to much pain medicine, this glazed happy look appears.

Then there's the " wanting to break it off with me if we fight". He agreed that I stop working and take care of his son during the summer, he really needed help with school subjects. His mother is too busy to take a lot of time . He's a wonderful, loving child of 7.

Now is not a good time to fight, since I'm not working. Two weeks ago we argued and he told me, he fought with his ex for years and was not going to do this again. Told me put the house up for sale, to leave and he'd pay the bills until the house sold. I had to keep going back to him saying, I'm sorry. I think my life is going to be full of saying, I'm Sorry.  Last night he walked in on my checking his son's gland on his neck. Wanted to know what we were doing. I told him and said I thought he needed to go to the doctor. He needed to think about it. His son said something and I said something. He was bent out of shape, said he just walked in, wet, hadn't sat down, give me a break. I said sorry bad timing. He turned around and slamed out the door. Came back later and we both acted like nothing was wrong.

He's told me a number of time that my approach is all wrong when I talk to him. No matter what I say, if he doesn't like it, it boiles down to my approach. 

I'm just having a hard time, feel beat down.

Wow, you are in a bad situation

I hate situations where one person holds all the cards, which is where it sounds like you are. (Me too, I got fired in November and switched from part-time to full-time school, so I could finish faster.).  I am convinced that ADD, especially untreated, makes people unreasonable. It really sounds like he is.

Quitting your job in this economy is a risky move requiring a lot of trust on the part of the dependent partner. It does not sound like he is being reasonable. You gave up a lot and seem not to have gotten anything for it. Of course you feel beat down.

It's hard to get power back once you've given it up. Can you get some counseling yourself, even if he won't go? You need to discuss your options with someone who can give you more advice than we can on this website.

sapphyre's picture

"It's not what you say, it's how you say it"

I get that a lot. So do other spouses/partners. The ADHDer has heard so much criticism over the years, that they assume whenever a problem is being discussed that we are attacking them. I have moved to listening more and trying being non-confrontational and matter of fact, and no raised tones in my voice. He progresses at his own pace, and this approach works better. I plan to email him if we have something serious to discuss, because he can respond in his own time.

I think you should go back to work. I've always worked, and I shudder at the thought of being reliant on an ADHD husband's whims and finances.

If you are still deciding whether or not to marry him, I think you've already made the decision and are still getting used to it. { Hugs }

Strongly disagree

with the comment that everyone lies and should stop fooling themselves that they don't.  Many many people value honestly and for some lying is really a deal breaker....it has been the closest thing to a dealbreaker we've dealt with in dealing with ADD.  He has been so focused on covering his butt at times that honesty goes straight out the window.   I will say that tact involves sometimes not saying every thought you have esp when someone asks an opinion of a hairstyle, or a dress that isn't a great style, or a truly unattractive baby :).  But the type of lies that my ADDer used to tell/sometimes still does are more in the realm of a young child trying to get out of trouble.


For example a child standing next to the plant they just turned over might try to tell his mother that he didn't do it, but you do expect him to grow out of that eventually....many ADDers will still try to sell you a similar steaming pile.  Both fortunately and unfortunately for me, my ADDer is probably the worst liar that has ever lived.  The only thing he used to get away with was lying about having done something because it would never even OCCUR to me to think that he'd lie about it.  But after a few times of being told that he mailed something, or called someone, or accomplished something he promised to do; and then finding it still undone several weeks later, I stopped believing him without proof that it was done.  I understand his thinking........he forgot, he's embarrassed that he forgot, he thinks now that it has been brought to mind again that he'll get right on it and I'll never be the wiser.  His *covering his butt* behavior doesn't do anything but get him out of admitting at first that he didn't do it, but it causes 10x more trouble when I eventually discover that it's still not done later.  I am now exponentially more angry than I'd have been if he owned up at first because not only didn't he do it, he LIED about not doing it........which is HUGE to me. 


I think the saddest thing about being married to an ADDer is that you have to be so suspicious of the things that they tell you.........didn't start out that way but only a fool wouldn't start checking up after a couple experiences of not being told the truth.


I think it is the singularly most damaging thing about having an ADD mate.  You can't fully rely on them to do what they say they will do or to tell you the truth if you ask them if the DID do it. Plus it is REALLY insulting when the try to lie to you and they are so stinking bad at it.  My ADD husband frustratedly asked me one time why every time I got mad at him I asked if HE thought I was an idiot.  The simple reason being that his statements were so obviousloy just the first thing off the top of his head with no POSSIBILITY of truth that I can't imagine the fool he'd think might swallow that and not get angry at him.

sapphyre's picture

Oops, I didn't mean lying was okay....

I may have jotted off my response too quickly.

I just meant that we need to understand why ADHDers lie. Not because they are evil, manipulative, scheming monsters, but because they haven't developed good strategies for coping with life's ups and downs, and often, just like a child or teenager, they are caught with their pants down... because the ADHD makes it difficult to follow through on their promises.

Suspecting myself of having ADHD on a milder scale, I have stopped making promises unless I am 110% sure I can fulfill them. (Because then I feel like a liar or promise breaker, despite the fact that sometimes it's not really my fault) So, I say things like, I will try..., if we have any money left..., I'll have to see....

The information I have about how most people lie, yes is probably mostly about white lies told to not hurt people's feelings (and perhaps this is what children, teenagers and ADHDers *think* they are doing when they lie). It is from the book Brain Rules by John Medina which summarises scientific research into human behaviour.

We almost had a deal breaking lie about 7 years ago. My ADHD spouse wanted to buy a dog he found at the RSPCA. My sister found out about it and told me and confronted him. He lied to both of our faces, then brought the dog home to see my reaction. What surprised me most was he was willing to gamble our marriage over an animal he'd just met. I understand him better now... he was using the teenager's approach of don't ask permission, just do it, and they'll forgive you later... because they might say No.

My husband is fortunate he has a loving, compassionate, forgiving, intelligent wife. He is most of those things too (except for the wife!) but there's usually at least one day a week why I wonder why I still love him. He wonders every day... he's able to see all the mistakes he makes and failings he has (doesn't help he also has chronic pain and anxiety), and wonders how I can still love him. I love him because he's the same guy I married... he just has all this other stuff I didn't know about ;)

arwen's picture


I agree it's a sad thing to be constantly distrustful of your mate.  But I have to admit, just like marriage to  my ADHD spouse caused me to learn patience I didn't really wish to learn, it also motivated me to learn how to detect a lie when interacting face to face.

This skill was something that I actually deliberately set out to learn, once I realized how much my husband was lying to me (pre-diagnosis and early in his treatment).  I had read  a science fiction novel by Frank Herbert -- "Dune" -- where every powerful group employed trained "truthsayers".  To quote Wikipedia, truthsayers "are able to detect whether someone is lying by detecting inflection and change in a subject's voice, observing and interpreting their body language and analyzing physical signs like pulse and heart rate. Such perception of someone else's veracity is an ability that all humans have, in principle, but that requires extensive training to develop to the point of usefulness."  The idea intrigued me, and I was further motivated by the statement of one of the Truthsayers in a sequel novel, "Anyone can be a Truthsayer, even you. It's a matter of self-honesty about the nature of your own feelings. It requires that you have an inner agreement with truth which allows ready recognition."  That made sense to me, it seemed to me that this was something I could do.  From my experiences in achieving it, I would say that it also requires an ability to be objectively observational.

At this point, it's very very difficult for anybody to lie to me in person about anything because I have become adept at reading the subtle signals that even the most accomplished liar betrays.  There have been times when I have literally shocked my ADHDers speechless despite their concerted efforts to deceive, by telling them not only what they are lying about, but what the truth of the situation actually is, because of what they "give away" without knowing it.  (Obviously, with a stranger, I have less past history data to work with, so it's harder, but not impossible.)

It took a while, but once my husband realized it was pointless to lie to me, because I always knew it and he just got into even more trouble, he pretty much gave it up.  And once he started telling the truth all the time, and found out the consequences weren't so bad after all, he pretty much lost interest in lying.  He tries once or twice a year (I suspect mostly just to see if I have lost any of my ability from disuse, because it's never about anything important or serious), but my "truthsaying" definitely put our relationship on a sounder footing. 


"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore