I'm the Non-ADHD spouse

I thought I was working on my marriage.  I am starting to think I am totally co-dependent - or a total idiot.  Or a co-dependent idiot.  

I am just sitting on my pity-pot for a bit.

I've been in this marriage for 29 years.

I really want it to work.

I stopped the Mother/Child relationship.

I focused on me - being happy, going to school, enjoying my friends, scrapbooking, visiting my family.  

I quit mentioning anything - his chore that doesn't get done.  His lateness.  His junk.  

I worked to be my happy joyful self - with the far dreaming plan that he would want to focus on getting his negative ADHD behaviors under control so our relationship could be resurrected.

Then I found porn on the computer.  

And almost reamed out my son.  Glad I didn't.  It was my spouse.  

I am totally, and utterly confounded. I thought he would turn to me - rather than choose a clearly destructive route.  This is something I never, ever would have thought would happen.  Never.  Not in my wildest imagining.

Now I see him choosing to be in his sadness.  In a victim mode.  Woe is him.  Behavior he was driven to - . . . .

I just have no words.  None.  Other than I want to get in the car and start driving far, far away.  Arggghhhh........


I'm so sorry you are going

I'm so sorry you are going through this!  And I see myself in your post.  About 14 months ago my ex-boyfriend did something that I never thought he would do.  It's a really long story, and I'll spare the details, but I kept saying, "I never, ever thought he would do that to me."  I was shocked.  Then about 5 months ago he came back and wanted me again.  I sent him a letter setting boundaries in which I said, "The fact that I am even considering letting you back in my life is proof of how much I love you, or it's undeniable evidence I'm a complete idiot."

Trust me  - you are NOT an idiot.  Your coping mechanisms (scrapbooking, going to school, focusing on friends and family) show you have strength and smarts.  We just happen to love very challenging men.  

I wish I could fix things for you.  You have my thoughts and prayers for this difficult time, and please know you are not alone.  Do what you need to do to support and care for yourself.  Lean on friends, treat yourself to a massage, and take that long drive if it will help.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

I didn't want to give up too soon


I just kept hoping.  I joined this forum, took Melissa's course, searched counselors - - I didn't hear any of them say, "This IS who he IS.  You can hope for - -  nor get - - -nor expect anything different."

I saw hope out there.  But this last turn of events took me so far off guard.  It was not just ready-to-pull-my-hair-out-frustration.  It was hurtful.  It was betrayal.  It still stings.

What is your husband's

What is your husband's response?  That will be the key in how you proceed.  Is he defensive?  Does he insist that it's "normal," or even "healthy" for men to view porn?  Is he at all ashamed of himself?  There are many resources to deal with a porn addiction but he has to be willing to get help.  Looking at porn (and usually masturbating) is VERY destructive to a marriage.  Will he get counseling to deal with this?

This would be a deal-breaker for me.  I do consider it a type of cheating although it is a one-way relationship, not a two-way.  I know many people have fallen for  the "well it's not harming anyone" philosophy but it's a personal and societal evil, IMO. 

Sorry that you are going through this. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture


Well, Tornado, he is sorry.  From our Christian perspective, he knew he was stepping into sexual sin, but does not accept the effect on me; much the same with any of the negative ADHD behaviors that tend to lead to chaos in our home.  That is where I always have chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt.  

Yeah, this is a deal breaker.  

Pleasuring yourself, sessions with yourself, what ever you want to call it - as a release for sexual tension - if far, far different than searching for filth on site after site. 

It is especially perplexing as this sort of stuff - he has mercilessly judged others behaviors.  From nieces who were not married and had babies, to friends who chose to live together before marriage.  His disdain at their actions was well known.  

After so many routes of counseling, books,  seminars, I am really at a loss as to why he took such a dangerous path.  Last Sunday was our 29th wedding anniversary.  this year it was just another number on a calendar.  

I cannot allow myself to be sucked down into the depth of depression/self-pity/destructiveness he is spiraling down into - not that we and he and I haven't tried.

I am more stubborn than most.  After taking responsibility for all our marital troubles for many, many years... as in, "Why oh why can't I get this right?" . . I got my heels dug in. . . I think I enabled. . . .so I gotta go the tough love road. . . . either it is fixable or not.

I got nothing left to give to this relationship.  Not a speck.  We do not have to become that train-wreck.  There is another path.  I am on it-  hope he wants to change directions - - even if it is his own path to happiness. 


Glad you can see this is his problem

Since you took my course you know that there are a lot of different responses one can choose from for almost any situation.  In the case of porn, your husband could have chosen from any of these:

  • being sexual with you
  • getting (additional) counseling to work through the issues that might keep you from being sexual together
  • talking with a counselor about his urge to look at porn (or a church figure)
  • talking with you about his urge to look at porn

The fact that he chose to use the porn instead was only one of several choices he could have made.  The easiest one in the short-run, but the hardest in the long (as he is now finding out).  He may say he's sorry...make sure he tells you exactly what his plan is for getting himself out of this mess he got himself into.  That ought to include some counseling, clearing his computer of all porn site URLs (they get cached), possibly putting a limiter on his computer (the thing that blocks some sites), moving his computer to a public space, conversations with you where he apologizes...and more.

I'm glad to hear that you are no longer taking on his problems.  And I'm glad that you are 'on another path.'  Hopefully he will see the strong, kind you and want to get onto that train - I suspect that's the woman he fell in love with.  Remember - you can both be kind and be strong at the same time!