I think my ADD is ruining my sexlife.

I am a woman that has been diagnosed with ADD for about 6 years now. I have come a long way and I am being treated with a ritalin like medication that has changed my life. I have been taking the medication for about 2 months now and do not suffer any side effects.

I found this forum while googling sex and ADD and I just can't find any answer to my problem anywhere.

I am married to the love of my life. I truly love my husband. He is fantastic. But I don't want to have sex with him. Not because I don't feel that way about him anymore, not because I am stressed or tired, not because after marriage and daily life we've become more like friends, NOTHING of the normal. I don't want to have sex with him because it's boring. It's boring the same way as school was boring, work was boring, waiting in line is boring, doing anything for more than 2-3 mins (which is my measured attention span) is so boring. And this is breaking my heart. Because I love him, I want to have him close. He's handsome and manly and I feel attracted to him but just the thought of going through a whole sex act sounds as appealing as watching a movie or waiting in line at the bank. 

It has to be the ADD or is this something else? I just have this very same feeling that I have with every interest that I have ever had, that sex is so over, sex was fun but I'm into laundry shelves now and am googling every night to find the perfect one for the laundry room.

I can't really discuss this with friends and family, because to most people this is insane. How can sex with someone you love be equal to a laundry shelf? And I seriously want to know the same thing. I miss my husband so much.

Thank you for your time.
 

Wow..a topic that has

Wow..a topic that has actually left me speechless. To be honest, I have felt that my husband has this exact same issue ever since reading about ADHDers having this issue. It would explain so much...and is a depressing thought for me. I hope someone has some helpful advice because, although I couldn't express it well until reading this, learning this happens is frightening. Can you imagine anything that he could do that would help stimulate you mentally? Do you have any possible ways to help him be more interesting and you're just afraid to ask him? Man, what a difficult subject..I hope we get some input.

Have you two ever talked

Have you two ever talked about it (your husband is the one diagnosed if I understood you correctly?) I am very open with my husband and I have already told him this. He doesn't seem to take it personally which I am very thankful for.

There is absolutely nothing he could do. Well I guess he could talk to me however I doubt that would help with the sexual act, that would just distract me even more. We are not a shy couple and we do what we feel like in bed. I felt for a bit that we were going through it all a little too fast, trying too many new things at once, that just resulted in us having absolutely nothing new to try now. I am not interested in having any sex with him at all, period. I don't long for orgasms, not because I'm not a sexual person but because I go through different phases with different areas of interest. I am the same with food. As sex is such an important part of a relationship and I want only the best for my marriage and for my husband I am willing and have been willing to try everything.

I do hope so too, most information available is about men diagnosed with ADHD and are oversexual. While I am a woman with ADD (I have absolutely no signs of hyperactivity) who is under.. sexual.

Yes, and no. I have discussed

Yes, and no. I have discussed it with him and pretty much we always end up at the same point, him telling me "don't talk about it, just do it". We have gone through phases where I was chasing him (and he seemed more interested in watching paint dry), to him chasing me (and I wasn't interested because our marriage was horrible by that point), and back to me feeling like I am the only one who cares...and now he seems interested, but only if it is 'spiced up'. 

As I posted in another thread a while back, I am not a prude...I enjoy making things interesting and having some spice in the bedroom...but for some reason I feel overwhelmed at the thoughts of him NEEDING that just to be able to have interest in sex. I am not against it for any other reason than that. Maybe he is right, I should just stop thinking about it...but after reading that ADHDers can get BORED with sex...Gah...that's really depressing. Whether I should take it personally or not, no one wants to feel like something that is so vital to a happy marriage is boring to their partner. Also, he will talk about it and has opened up about ways to spice things up, but he insists that he doesn't want to be the only one to initiate...and I have sensed that this means that he wants me to initiate ALWAYS. Another reason to stress about it...does he not enjoy it if I don't initiate??

Yes, I know how to make it not boring for him....he occasionally seems to gather the courage to talk about it...so why does it feel like a huge blow to the ego, all the same?

He is always complimentary and makes me feel like I am beautiful and sexy to him. He isn't addicted to porn, but he does enjoy watching it occasionally. (rarely, actually..but still it is mentioned) Up until recently when he finally started talking about how he wanted us to try new things in the bedroom, we may have had sex once a month..if that.  I don't think he had a clue how infrequently it was happening. Ok..officially on over load...need to step back and evaluate the situation and hope for some helpful responses. LOL

Hypr1's picture

What she said - but a he saying it

I'm the guy side of an ADD'r who has done something similar. I know I've read a ton of Sheri's posts and she has helped me a lot. So I thought I'd add ;-) a comment.

You mentioned being bored by the act, and that you've become more like friends. If you leave out the laundry shelves and replace them with a big screen and DishTV -- well in the same way I've been the same non-partner to my wife.

So -- if this crosses the gender gap it must be something that can be related to a facet of ADHD. I can only discuss this with my wife - but she is pretty distant right now and is gaurded to say the least. Some of my other posts would get you into those details if needed.

I hope that a guy responding to this doesn't offend you -- I just see where I could replace the she/her/me with he/him/me and get pretty much the same results!

I do not mind at all that you

I do not mind at all that you are a male answering! As long as we have the same problem I don't really think gender matters :=)

I didn't say we've become more like friends, I was saying the opposite, that we are still boyfriend/girlfriend/lovers which makes this so weird. I think it would have been easier for both of us if that had been a factor in this but instead I am always so happy to see him, I love talking to him, being with him, I light up when I see him, I depend on him, we're a team and I feel like half is missing when he is away.

I'm sad to hear that your wife is misunderstanding and taking a step back instead of forward because of your ADHD. I fully understand that though as that is a very normal reaction for "normal" people as I do think we can be really special at times, hehe ;-) 

Hypr1's picture

Normal people thinking normally...

Gender doesn't matter as much as our common malady ADHD, that's right on. Sorry I misunderstood your "more like friends" angle. I guess I was blinded by my life and my relationship being more like friends... just me. With my relationship, it was me that abandoned affection and intimacy. It just didn't interest me. I was always polite, gracious, thankful, but when she wanted to become intimate I'd shirk the responsibility (strange word but bear with me).

So, once I became FULLY aware of the severity of the problem -- then I became aware of my true diagnosis of ADHD -- THEN I became willing to rebuild this train wreck. So - my hyper-ness just wants to launch back into intimacy, say cold turkey ;-). I feel attracted to her (again), I feel love for her like I haven't (I realize) in a long time. I can look and see the goodness we (used to) have. And I am really kicking my ass over it (which doesn't help us).

Because of my ADHD behavior - she is hurt, confused, has lost trust, and I can't blame her - feelings are just that, not right or wrong. When  she started to re-talk about her hurts in the matter, and I got angry and told her I didn't want to talk about it, so lets not.

In effect - a relapse of sorts, back into the push her away behavior. And when she left the room crying I didn't rush after her. I was frozen in my tracks at the realization that I'd repeated behavior of the sort she was talking about. Wild mood swings, demanding an argument, and when I found out she wasn't ready for what I was wanting (selfish), I pushed back.

A normal reaction for her. She isn't over the hurt, and it will take time. We eventually talked it out and both decided we love each other too much to give up. I said I panicked and was hurt also, and that it felt like I had a relapse, of the type I am trying hard to avoid. The only thing I was sad about is this. She said, "I can't believe that you don't know it is happening, that you can't feel it!" I said AHA - that is exactly what I am talking about. The buzz, or awareness that I've "done it", mostly only comes after the fact, not before it. A closed time like loop (sci fi fans, clap your hands). That is my ADHD, and the effect.

I just got Mellisa's book, the ADHD Marriage effect, and will start reading it ASAP. I WISH, I PRAY that my DW would read it. But she'll have to decide that for herself. Right now it can't all be about me. I am practicing consistency. Doing everything I can to act and be a better person in spite of my ADHD. I need to care for myself enough, so I can care for her the way I should always have.

I hope we can all share this lifeboat going forward ;-)

My feelings are that as long

My feelings are that as long as you 'recognize' the behavior, even if it is still sometimes 'after the fact', that eventually you will learn to recognize it in time..OR at least stop being frozen in your tracks and be able to just say 'screw it' and GO AFTER HER and express what you're feeling. THIS would make so much difference. Even when my husband screws up, it is 'better' now because he almost immediately recognizes it and takes responsibility for it and admits it was a mistake to 'say' or 'do' whatever it was. In the past there was zero accountability.

I see your ability to verbalize your feelings ( I said I panicked and was hurt also, and that it felt like I had a relapse, of the type I am trying hard to avoid. ) as HUGE!!! I encourage more of this! I truly feel you are on the right track! Keep stepping outside of that comfort zone of yours in order to help her understand what you're thinking and why you do some of the things you do that you know hurt her and eventually her compassion and understanding will grow and your desire to LIVE outside of this 'comfort zone' will grow as well.

I can only make a quick reply

I can only make a quick reply right now but I really just want to back Sherri up. Just recognizing your problems is 80%. It's so important. And we're women, women are forgiving and loving. Show her, tell her that you will find a way.

Have you guys tried a code word? If you could decide a word that your wife can use when you cross the line, when you are turning into "that" and you don't realize it so that when you hear it you know. My husband and I have used it during a time when I was a real B due to lack of sleep and stress. He just said "You're not being nice". This was a code sentence for us as he normally doesn't say that. When I heard it I stopped and could see myself from a third person's perspective and each time I could remedy the situation before I hurt his feelings.
 

Hypr1's picture

Tools, Tools, like Craftsman -- some better than others!

When we first started this, we had a hand signal. Now wait -- don't assume. But, a very abrupt raising of the hand like "Stop". That sat with me like ripe cheese. So it didn't work. Then we started reading the newspaper, or online news together. Some affection returned until Sunday... ack.

But - you've definetley dropped a nice tool at my feet. I am writing it down in my little memory book and will attempt to introduce it at our session tomorrow... I like it, will she (and the therapist).

I really am getting a lot out of you all's comments to me. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm pulling for us!

(Did the Craftsman reference work?)

Hypr1's picture

Run don't walk -- after her!

HUGE! Thanks again Shriw13! Do you have a practice somewhere ;-). The great thing about your comment to me was that the bold italicized statement above I made, I also told her. And that helped her, and ME. The more I tune into my condition, the more I hear her say things that make it plain that the non-adhd person has a different grasp on reality. Like the rapid fire thoughts we have that can escalate our mood. My DW said just put them in the garage for later! ;-) I said I didn't have a garage, just a huge abandoned warehouse that has echos and is dimly lit (an analogy). I didn't get what she said, and she me. But we both maybe understand a little more.

Tomorrow is another counseling session. I am very anxious. I really want a session that can start to turn the corner, but I'll try to prepare myself for the long road ahead -- I just wish the car was faster --- zoom zoom.

I am so happy for you! And

I am so happy for you! And proud! You are doing a great job and this is why your wife is still there. I think she can tell that you are going somewhere. Communication is the key. Talk, talk, talk. Say how you feel, when you come up with a metaphor, write them down in your memo (you mentioned a memo, notepad, maybe it was more of an expression but I carry a notepad at all times where I write down everything about everything, it's a life saver) and tell her when you get a chance. We are a different species. After I viewed myself that way, positive of course, I took another big step in my marriage. When I see blue he sees red, end of the story. If I just tell him that I see blue then he understands and I understand.

There are still always down periods though. Some call it relapsing (like you mentioned as well). I don't want to call it relapse as we're not drug abusers or alcoholics. Even non-ADD people have a bad day. Even non-ADD people say mean things when they are mean. We still need to be able to feel "negative" feelings such as sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration, irritation. What we can do is express to our spouse that it's just an emotional state, don't listen to it so much. And then try to use different tools (craftsman metaphor definitely works ;D) just like any other marriage (such as a hand gesture, key word, etc) and then work a little bit cause all relationships take work. If you know that you get hurtful when you lose it, learn to leave the room. Tell your spouse, one of us have to leave. If you are really hard to contact and get through to then maybe it's better your spouse takes the responsibility and perhaps leaves the house or just the room. That she mutes and doesn't respond to you. Or whatever tactic you find useful. If she can also learn that, he's just throwing a fit, he loves me and doesn't mean what he is saying, my husband does have a kind of handicap then she can take her own distance from the fight and perhaps not get as hurt by it. It's not just you that have to fight, fight together when you share a life together. Fighting/helping is not when she just silently takes all the shit and then swallows it down.

The road ahead actually isn't very long cause since you two are driving, not your dad, not your mom, not a teacher, you decide yourselves how many restroom breaks you want to take. It can easily become a very enjoyable road trip with sure a few flat tires and rainy weather but fun times singing along in the car and eating junk food at cheap rest stops with the person you love the most :)