I'm non ADHD wife my husband is ADHD- our relationship has improved greatly...out of the bedroom... what to do?

Our relationship has improved greatly in the past few weeks.  I've learned (through reflection and visiting with my own therapist) to back off a little.  I was rather critical and "nagged" more then necessary.   A long story short things are going great.  We are both more relaxed, I feel happy again, with him and myself,  he's willing to hear me out now and is not as sensitive or tries to be more conscious of his responses and questions as do I.  

Everything has improved greatly expect in the bedroom.  He's had excuse after excuse for not desiring sex...  the meds, my nagging/mothering (no longer an issue), his social anxiety...with me?, not wanting to be touched.   I think now though that he just doesn't desire sex physically.  He'll watch porn... which I find selfish between months of waiting.  Why does he get find release while I lie alone for months.  

I realize it's not all him.  I shouldn't depend on him 100% to satisfy me.  Through therapy I've also learned to work on satisfying myself.  But to be honest that doesn't cut it anymore...in a way it makes me feel more alone afterward.

In that past I've tried wearing lingerie, suggesting toys in the bedroom, watching porn together, being coy....  but I don't do that anymore I feel rejected each time he says "I'm tired", "I don't feel like it", "later", or he just  gives me that sad or angry look.  He's tried to make it clear it's not me it's him, he tells me he love's me everyday, how beautiful I'am, and that he appreciates me.

But when he spends hours watching porn or playing his game at all hours of the night (the porn is an on again off again thing and is not ALL the time) I don't feel respected, appreciated or  beautiful.

I used to be really open and fun in bed but after our sex life drying out to once a month or less I've lost confidence in myself. to be continued...

I have had this ongoing

I have had this ongoing battle (minus the porn, to my knowledge) for a big part of our marriage. The only way he ever seems to want sex is when I am just in a place in my life with him that I really don't care of we do have sex or don't. I know that sounds horrible, but the more I chase him, discuss it, complain, and seek 'reasons', the worse and more infrequently we would have sex. There was a period of time when I was led to believe that he wanted me to back off and let him work out his 'bedroom issues' himself, but it ended up being something far more complicated than he let on (he was self-medicating and trying to hide it, and the side effects of it, from me). As it stands today, I haven't necessarily stopped caring, but I have stopped trying. I recently wanted sex, but refused to mention it or initiate it because I know where that always gets me. I have to sometimes question my motives for 'wanting' sex too, I have expected it to fill some void in my life in the past and it never filled the void. In fact, if I initiated it, it usually ended up leaving me feeling even more alone and lonely. After I gave up, stopped talking about it and quit even mentioning it we went from having sex about once every 2-3 months to about once a week now. It hasn't changed anything, even with the sex I still feel alone and lonely a lot of the time. I feel he is trying to work on that.

SherriW13, Thanks for your


Thanks for your response.  I have backed off...for months now.  For the same reasons I saw asking, talking, crying was doing no one any good.   It doesn't matter though... even though I haven't asked (maybe once a month I'll suggest it or bring it up - if that often)  but he won't initiate on his own either.  He just has no desire for sex period...with me.  I can't say he has no desire AT ALL otherwise...why watch porn and jerk off?   But yes even when we've had sex in the past recently and for awhile it's been ho-hum.  I've lost my confidence, I noticed he's not either because he thinks (as he say's) that I'll always complain about it and it's never good enough...well it's not and I don't complain.  I suggest, or tell him my fantasy's ask his, even tell him "harder" he doesn't like because he feel's like he's not good enough on his own or doing in right. 

When it comes to sex or lovemaking... it can be quick or slow or so many things.  I used to be open and fun in bed.  I was up for anything as long as it was talked about, agreed upon, and enjoyed and did not cross a line of health or safety.   I'm now walking on eggshells when it comes to sex.  It's not fun or passionate anymore.  It hurts more then it's enjoyable as I'm never "warmed" up enough...anyway you see what I mean

I don't want this issue to drive a wedge between us  which at some point I'm sure it will.   ADHD husbands/wife or non ADHDr's what have you done, do or tried that helped you?  Or how have you approached the issue of sex with offending a partner who is rather sensitive about sex?  Is anyone else going through this?  How did it end for you or how are you dealing?

Masturbation only goes so far for me...as I've said I know feel more alone then satisfied doing this.  My therapist suggested keeping my mind open to new ideas, toys, ways to explore "myself" so I can find enjoyment with myself again and not rely in my husband. 

It sounds to me like he has

It sounds to me like he has lost HIS confidence too and finds it less harmful to his ego to just take care of himself. This COULD be solved with better communication and an attempt at a clean slate, if both of you are willing to try. I don't agree with your counselor telling you you need to take care of yourself and not depend on him, because taking care of yourself "physically" isn't the same as making love to your husband. Far from it. Generally (cannot speak for everyone) sex for women isn't so much about the climax as it is about intimacy on that level. It can be disappointing when needs aren't met, both physically and emotionally, and when one partner feels they aren't meeting the other's needs, it just makes things that much more complicated. Part of the 'side effects' of the self-medicating my husband was doing was inability to orgasm and sometimes he couldn't even maintain an erection. Talk about a huge blow to the ego...not only for him but for me too. I went into "let's talk about this and resolve it now" mode and he went into "stop talking about it, it just makes it worse" mode. It was bad.

You have to learn to let up on the emotional need to have sex just a little, for now,  (not be intimate...you can be intimate without having sex) and trust that it isn't personal. That is what worked for me. I had a lot of other 'worries' (is he cheating? is he not attracted to me because I am not 'dirty/kinky' enough for him? Is he not happy?) that I had to put aside too. I just pretty much took the issue off of the table and decided that it was simply up to him to work through whatever it was going on with him (since I knew he wasn't being completely honest with me and was NOT willing to discuss it either) and several months later, things have turned around. His self-medicating stint wasn't the only point in our marriage where this was an issue...and, without fail, the only way it resolved itself is when I simply just went completely silent about it. No 'comments' or innuendo...nothing. As a matter of fact, when I DON'T want sex with him, when things are really bad, it is like he has a radar and wants it all the time. I have given up on ever being completely on the same page as him. 

Good luck!

ADD guy here...

Maybe I'm a minority on this topic, but before diagnosis I always had major drive and after Adderall I feel just as driven.We had issues way before diagnosis. My DW is by nature a worrier, has a stressful job and after kids the mother radar added to the "We can't do anything, unless everything is done", so basically she never relaxed until she fell asleep the instant she went to bed. Anti-depressants lowered her drive, even though she could relax a little better it was and is still a wash. Anger has messed things up too, as Sherri has read many of my posts. It is like waiting for the planets to align for things to work out. I try the hand holding, sitting by, talking and listening to, all not expecting anything... I like physical contact, it makes a connection for me that is my emotional connection. I can't seem to do enough to counter all the things working against me. Job, family, kids, stress, exhaustion, mood, one drink too many, too heavy a meal, too late a movie. It's like we can have a good week, like really connect, then somehow as we get to the weekend, right on cue, something to screw it all up (No pun intended) The longer the drought goes, the more it gets in her head. She will tell me this...when we do connect, it is awesome for both of us, so it's incredibly frustrating going through the draughts...

But think about it,

But think about it, YYZ, could your drive be 'driven' by the simple fact that she has always made it a challenge to you? Since you've never known (from what you're saying) a time when she chased you like a dog in heat, then you don't know how much of your high drive is driven by her attitude versus just your body chemistry. There is really no way of knowing...but for me, when I am needing the emotional connection of sex the most from him (and letting him know), it is as if it just switches his flip completely off. I feel, looking back, there is sometimes a glorious period where he seems glad to have me respond to him...and then it is as if he says "oh shit, she's needing me too much, I can't handle this" and he pulls away.

Anyway, not at the exact place your wife is...where I feel like there is always something else that needs to be done or that I don't have the time or energy...but I just gave up and let the chips fall where they may. We stopped fighting, aside from the fight over SD a week or so before Christmas, so I was happy with that. And now he's interested...a lot more than before. Go figure. 

Never chased like that...

My DW told me in the beginning that she did not have a Big Drive. She has always felt guilty about the drive difference, so I have never wanted to push her on this. I always wanted it to be for both of us and not just about me. (I hate the idea of obligatory sex) I don't have crazy numbers in mind at all either, because I know how complicated life is, so if there was even a once a week average I would not feel bad about it. Her attitude, if you mean when she gets angry, surely does not get me to even ask for the rejection. When there is too much on her mind there is not a chance anyway. I try to get little responses from her and sometimes it works during the day, but by the time we get home the thoughts are long gone. 

We are not fighting right now either and now that is apparent that DD#1 has undiagnosed ADD, which my DW asked me if I thought she had it??? I never thought DD#1 had ADD, but when she asked me about it and I started working through all the behaviors, She IS a female Carbon Copy of me. So my DW seems to finally understand a little about ADD. She always starts with "I hate to think you are right about this...", but at least she has put DD#1's well being before her anger at ADD. Sorry for the side-track, but I thought it was relevant. After my emotional affair was discovered at the beginning of my ADD discovery, we went through an amazing period of reconnection. A roller coaster of Everything is better (at night especially) / Divorce Imminent... When things started settling down and my behaviors began being corrected we are back to almost nothing... 

Sex is not everything, but it is certainly an indicator of marital health, don't you think?

Once in counseling I admitted

Once in counseling I admitted that I ONLY had sex with my husband (during a period of about a year or so) because I knew if I didn't he would be angry and ugly to everyone. We were on vacation and I REALLY just did not want to have sex with him, but I did anyway because we were all in a small condo for the week and what a nightmare it would have been if I hadn't. The counselor asked him "how does that make you feel?" and I think it was probably one of the most profound and moving moments in my husband's life. He, too, hates the idea of obligatory sex...or "pity sex" as he called it. We had just gotten custody of my SD and our marriage was unraveling fast. Sex was the last thing I had on my mind when I was being treated like 'the other woman' in my own marriage/home.

Your situation is complex and complicated...just a stab in the dark here, so feel free to ignore of overlook whatever you feel doesn't fit or apply to your situation. I think your wife's issues with your weight loss and/or her issues with her own weight are more responsible for the disconnect in the bedroom. I think you are exactly right...she resents that you have ADD. "I hate to think you're right..." really?? I hope she meant that in the context of "I don't want our daughter to have ADD and therefore more struggles in life" and not "I hate to concede that you do in fact have a condition that is recognized by the medical community and that you do in fact need those pills you take everyday that let you cheat your way into a skinnier you" Would you say that your wife 'wears the pants' in the family or that you might have some, no matter how mild, type of 'parent/child' thing going on...even if only in her mind? I Know you're starting to get some hair on your chest and stand up for yourself...do you think maybe you might be onto something there? that dynamic is toxic to a sex life....and you bending over backwards and doing things 'just for her' and not doing things for yourself can contribute. Like picking the 'wrong' home improvement job and her disapproving...hell, if my DH mowed the yard I would have a damned heart attack! 

I am very familiar with the 'amazing period of reconnection'...that's what I was talking about earlier when I said that as soon as he senses that I NEED it...and I DID need the connection from him, especially after his affair...then WHAM he shuts down and then I get nothing. Things went all to hell (in the bedroom) about 2 months after he returned home...and stayed all screwed up until about 3 months ago...when I let go of my anger. Hrmm..just had that epiphany. LOL

I thought it was your DD#2 that you thought had ADD...but my memory isn't worth much these days. What behaviors, if you don't mind my asking, are you seeing? I am more convinced every day that our daughter has it...she is so irrational sometimes that I worry that she's out of her mind. I saw no signs of it until she was about 12...and got her period. Was I just not seeing it because we didn't know DH had it then or am I just looking for it in everything now? Not sure.

Yes, sex is only important in a marriage when you feel like you're not getting what you need in that area. I know that even with all of his gross behaviors, odd mood swings, inattention, withdrawing, and all of the other crazy behaviors my husband has displayed in the past year I do still have feelings of attraction for him and want him, I just do not EVER initiate sex and I leave it completely up to him. History dictates that at some point he will start to complain again that I don't initiate enough...but for now, we're good. When we derailed after the brief 'honeymoon' period after our reconciliation, we might have had sex once every 2 months, if that. 

I don't have any advice to give you...other than continue to support her working on her own issues because that is where I think your problem lies. It might even be worth it to let her know that you are sensing a lack of interest and that you want very much to be intimate with her and ask if there is anything you can do to help bridge the gap. My 'drive' comes and goes depending on the state of my marriage. I'm not saying hers couldn't be biological, but something just doesn't seem right about that. When I am with someone, I want to be WITH them...if you know what I mean. Hrmm..sorry, I hope some of this helps.

Complex and complicated, for sure...

Thanks Sherri for more food for thought :)

As far as "I hate to think you're right...":  I know she hates to give any credit to my "Easy Excuse for Bad Behavior and Free Skinny Upgrade", but she wants our DD#1 to feel better, so if this does she is all for it. She is a good mom for sure, first and foremost. I took DD#1 back to the psych today because the Anti-D's are not working and this was my first meeting to add my thoughts regarding the ADD and family tree. Two of my half sister's diagnosed by me first, then by a Real doctor... My dad, for sure, but he won't go to the doctor about it. We got Abilify instead, which at least works to Dopamine side so maybe this will help. We go back in a week, with our take home simple ADD Q/A sheet. DD#1 was not happy, but I told her we were moving in the right direction. Now I'm the "Bad Guy" for bringing up ADD treatment and not getting immediate diagnosis, even though it was my DW's "I hate to think you are right", but do you think she could have ADD question that got my gears turning in the first place. My DW told me that Emily wants to believe in the ADD, because she knows she will get skinny like me (I'm NOT Skinny! 5'-11'' 185 is technically over-weight) and I "Don't Understand"... I immediately replied that I "DO" understand, then she stopped and we said we would se each other later. Avoided a fight, at least, right?

I'll start with DD#2... She was the first one I suspected ADD in. She is VERY hyper and is the total Day-Dreamer ADD girl, but Very mechanically minded, very creative and very nurturing and sensitive. She still makes straight A's and I believe Scary Smart. Really a clone of my half sister I grew up with... 

DD#1 was off my ADD radar until this year when she started high school. She was never hyper, rarely in trouble, always straight A's, doing great in band (Like me :), balanced and seemingly on top of things. This year she went to all Pre-AP or GT classes, marching band, honors band and choir. This extreme load has been tough for her. My "Oranges Theory" comes into play here. She was Under the Radar, had the controllable load, but this year threw A Lot more Oranges at her Real Fast. Lost track of project dates, lethargic, exhausted, depressed, pulled away from her friends (She was ALWAYS going places with friends), shut down mode when confronted by my DW or me... It hit me like a ton of bricks just this week... The addiction to food, Need to get out of the house, wanting more electronic toys (Like ME?!?), over-whelmed and almost incapable of starting a big project on her own, I can help get her started, then it starts making sense and she finishes strong, but it's the "Chaos Phase" that because of the gravity and scale of a big unknown that makes it SO hard to start, like My Shower ;) Was she so similar to me that I could not see it?

Parent / Child Thing... Maybe a little, just because I shut-down during conflict and could not speak my mind without having it pulled out by her. I've always tried to do my fair share with chores and the kids. Me wanting toys was always an issue, even when I throttled back to mainly Christmas and my birthday. Seems reasonable to me? My DW Never had or has any real hobby and so a bit of Martyr is always present. When She buys something expensive it's for the house/family when I do it's for Me... Like a blanket statement, black/white, right Wrong, you know...

Back to the bedroom... It's like any of my attempts to flirt are dismissed as if she responds she says yes... That deflates my playful mood quickly. I only doing it for me, not for us... Anger is a great tool, especially now that I hear the message loud and clear. I just don't see her shields coming down much, except when worries over our DD's come into play.