Must be the joke teller or won't participate

Have you every noticed that your ADHD spouse will only laugh in social situations if they are the joke teller?  My DH actually glares at others when a joke is told and the group laughs.

And his jokes never make sense in the situation and just unsettle everyone.  He can't tell the difference between real laughter and fake uncomfortable laughter.  

This only happens around groups that are not in the core circle.  With family he is fine, people we have known for years he is fine, but new groups he just tries to upset everyone.

Does the ADHD mind not want to make new friends?  I have been told he does this when I am not in the group-so it is not a competition with me.


I have concluded that my own STBX with ADHD is just wired differently when it comes to humor and to sort of dominating the conversation in a group. I think it is a combination of not picking up on social or emotional cues, and impulsivity/lack of filter, and nervousness in new situations which results in overcompensating. I still struggle with my STBX's humor when we are communicating. It seems mean, and I can't tell if he is joking or serious. (He'll think it's really funny to text me that my children just got chicken pox. Or if the kids have plans to go to a game, to tell them that he lost the tickets and they can't go. We react, and then, the big ha ha moment. Just kidding! What in the world is funny about that? I know better now--I just ask, "Is this a joke or are you serious?")

In groups, he would often hijack conversations or make jokes about the most taboo things (I'll never forget the dinner he peppered with f-bombs with my friend from work and her spouse, the YOUTH MINISTER), the one where he talked so much I think everyone else got in about 10 words all night. I think he was trying too hard, was flying on adrenaline, and it didn't enter his mind that most folks, particularly ministers, don't swear like that in every day conversation or tell jokes about hookers to people they just met to their spouse's colleagues from work. 

Poor guy. I think he feels bad afterward and then gets defensive. "Everybody loves me! Everyone was laughing!" (yeah, uncomfortably!)  I tried to head it off sometimes ("OK, this person you are meeting is an evangelical Christian--please don't swear or tell off-color jokes..." and the response would be, "Of course I won't!" Like I was crazy to say anything). 

Mine never seemed upset at other people's humor but often remarked that he didn't find anyone else funny. When he was in a group or social situation, he frequently talked so  much that other people didn't have a chance to say much, anyway. I got to the point that I would excuse myself and leave them to be his audience. I felt terrible, but it was so uncomfortable. 

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Social behavior

I am sure the ADHD mind does want to make new friends.  What gets in the way is the negative impact that happens  when they cannot take behavioral direction from social cues of others.  

My ADHD does not 'get it' when  his inappropriate comment cause an awkward silence in a group conversation.

Nor can he seem to respect when other's say they do not appreciate what he says.  I have told him often that I do not appreciate being referred to as "my first wife"  To him it means 'first and  only,"  However, the usual definition of "ex-wife or soon-to-be-ex-wife" causes me to feel uncomfortable.   

That works its way into "if I didn't mean for it to hurt you, you cannot be hurt."

 I get the poopy end of the stick, because he denies the existence of the poop.

what he said was

The other day we were on a job.  One of the female workers was talking a lot about her husband. He says to another female worker, "Doesn't she talk a lot about  her husband?  Why don't you talk about your husband as much, don't you love him?"

Then I get pulled aside later by her and asked if he likes being sarcastic.  She tells me what he said and I am mortified that he talked to a female worker this way. I tell her, "Just blow it off, he has no filter and likes to get a rise our of people."  BUT if this was a fortune 500 company?  After awhile he would be in the HR office explaining himself.  He is lucky we own our own business.