Online "cheating"

I recently found out that my ADD husband has not only been looking at rather a lot of porn online, he has posted on BDSM forums, saying things like that he might be looking for the right sub girl.

Now, I have always been sexual and have been an active participant in our sex life, including sexual BDSM games, so it's not like he couldn't get that at home. However, he would hardly ever touch me. Over the almost 10 years we've been together, if we had sex more than once every other month, it was a miracle! He would say he wanted to have more sex, but that he'd get distracted...

...apparently he got distracted by all the porn. ;-/

Anyway, when I confronted him about these posts, he freaked out and grabbed my computer (laptop) and held it "hostage," like a little kid. This machine is my life as I am in law school and it has all my work on it. Later he tried removing the wireless router, which I pointed out was silly since I would be on a fully wireless campus in 12 hours... point is, he was trying to keep me from finding more. He was trying to control the situation and my reaction.

Finally, he calmed down and over the next month I have gotten out of him that he did this porn forum stuff because he was "curious" but he swears he never hooked up with anyone. Then he said that he never felt worthy of me and so he was looking for someone at his "level."

And, of course, he wants me to stay. I think this is cheating, as surely as if he had actually had sex with someone. He was interacting online with strangers, talking about sexual things, and that post about maybe finding the right sub girl...

I know ADDers want stimulation, but this is BS. 

Thoughts?

 

Stay with You

Don't know if the "I'm not worthy" statement is true, but in any event you should insist that he start therapy to work through this issue as well as his attraction to online porn.

It's hard to give you specific advice on how to handle this one for you, though.  Each person has to decide what the boundaries are for "acceptable" behavior.  It may or may not be true that your husband hasn't followed up...for me this is a big issue - is he putting your health at risk by being involved sexually with others, or is he fantasizing because he has other issues?  If he is genuinely interested in keeping you around and if you have strong feelings for him and think you wish to try again, then you might take a policy of "trust but verify".  You already know where he went on the computer (at least somewhat).  You can also ask for his cell phone records and start looking up numbers you don't recognize or that are called multiple times.  If he's being honest you won't find anything.  If he isn't, the cell phone records will probably give him away.

If/when you find something then you have some decisions to make.  My husband and I both had affairs during our marriage...yet we are not only still married, we are very happily married.  It was hard work to get past the anger that the affairs brought out, but we were able to.  Part of that healing process for me was to make an agreement that we would both be completely honest in our answers to any questions that were asked.  For me I needed to review cell phone records with him, needed to verify his stories with his girlfriend (who happily and unwittingly supplied the necessary information in an attempt to make me divorce him), it meant that when I told him I was going to contact his "ex" girlfriend some time in the next year to make sure they weren't seeing each other and wasn't going to tell him when it would be that he would have to accept that.  Those were some of the stipulations.  I didn't lie to him about what I intended or that I would need a year or so to start trusting him again without reservation - he could take my stipulations or not.  Same in the other direction.  He has complete access to my computer and phone records, and expects that I will either remain monogomous, or declare my intention not to and leave of my own accord.  Our final agreement - any infidelity at this point equals uncontested and immediate divorce.

With these agreements in place as backstops (haven't used any except contacting the ex girlfriend, which I did do and she isn't involved at all with him - in fact now hates his guts, which I find reassuring because it assures she would do something stupid and self-defeating if he did ever contact her again) we were able to move on.  We gave each other power and reassurances, hashed out what we each thought we needed to be able to create an environment in which we feel safe, and got down to the business of falling back in love with each other rather than other people.

I tell you this not because your situation is exactly the same, but because I don't think you should make any fast judgements about what you should do next.  You need to feel your way through this and see what works specifically for you.  The only specific request I would have for you is that you think clearly and deeply about your own interests, make some promises to yourself that protect them, and then keep those promises.

For you, I expect having your husband complete some sort of therapy or addiction program would be a good start, and thinking hard about what you need to feel trust again, or at least that you can't be "taken in" by sweet talk.  Ask yourself if there are any agreements that you can make with yourself first, then him second, that will set you on the road to repair...if that's what you want.  You, too, may wish to seek counselling to deal with your grief and anger.

Or, you may decide you're finished, which is also a way to deal with it.  If so, I would again seek counselling for your grief and hurt so that you can move on in a healthy way.

online cheating

I too found out my husband (we are both medicated ADD) has been cruising porn sites and masterbating. He had been going to Sex Addicts Anonymous, but he tends to miss lots of meetings because of grad school. I realized after finding his searches that I needed to go to CoSA, which is for the partner of sexually addicted people. We have both been molested as kids. In my first two weeks of meetings, I have already gotten some strength and set some boundaries with him that I never could imagined just a month ago. Co Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous are 12 step programs that use the same principals as Alcoholics Anonymous. I hope this helps. D.

Sounds Like Sex/Porn Addiction...

Hi, From one spouse to another, your husband's behavior has all the hallmarks of sex/porn addiction - cruising secretly, rarely having sex with their real live willing spouse/significant other, trying to hide the evidence on the computer, crusing dating/sex partner boards looking for new partners, escalation into other sexual activities to heighten the stimulation, etc. I'd totally suggest therapy and a 12-step group for him as well as for you - and there are many to choose from: SA, SAA, COSA to name a few. We discovered my husband's sex/porn addiction first, then 10 years later got the ADHD diagnosis (although I suspected it all along). I have since found out that sex/porn addiction is VERY common in people (especially men) with ADHD because of that whole need for stimulation/instant gratification thing. The important thing for you to realize is that his addiction has nothing to do with you in that there is nothing that you could do (make yourself more available, be willing to try new and adventurous things, etc.) that would stop this - it is a compusion of his that is completely independent of you. That was hard for me to wrap my head around at first. I'd also let you know that by my own experiences in dealing with this and talking with others dealing with this - it is a slippery slope. Just because he isn't doing something yet does not mean he may not do more later. If he is posting to meet other partners, chances are probably good that he has either done it before or is getting ready to start trying it soon. Like others have said, I would encourage you to get some help for yourself, encourage him to get help, figure out your boundaries and then enforce them. Sex/porn addiction is destructive and unsafe behavior that kills marital intimacy. Left unchecked, it only gets worse over time. Hang in there!

Sounds Like Sex/Porn Addiction

I do understand what your husband is going thru. His behaviour is not a reflection on you. I too have had similar problems as a man with ADD. I am constantly aware of the danger of addiction. I also know it can get more exterme with time. No person wants to be an addict and completly out of control.

However, all is not lost. He is not some weird, weak, immoral selfish man. He is just someone with ADD seeking stimulation. Most probably he feels ashamed of himself with you. Novelty can be a big issue too with ADD. Both of you need to find out more about ADD and get help from ADHD specialists.

ADD cannot be cured but can be managed. With a true and an open heart both of you have the potential for true intimacy that sex can never provide. An intimacy born out of shared problems, the struggle to overcome and the effort to help someone. What more can anyone ask in a relationship?

His behaviour is not a weakness but a disease. You are not to blame neither is he. Both of you need education, a lot of courage to ask for help, to truly share and accept one another

 

No way.

I call BS on him not being to blame. He does not get a pass for his internet/porn behavior because he has ADD. Does an alcoholic who drives drunk not have to pay the fine/go to jail?

His behavior is NOT a disease. His behavior is a result of a disorder/disease. 

ADDers do NOT get to have it both ways--either you are responsible adults with challenges or you are incompetent adults who are not capable of controlling yourselves. As I understand it, the first is a more accurate descriptor. If so, then you must be RESPONSIBLE for your behavior.

Is blame, punishment & will power the better way forward?

just want to make it clear I meant "He is not to blame for having ADD and neither are you". What anyone does is up to them, their families and the law of the land.

There is an opportunity here to use common behaviour patterns of ADD sufferers and  use that information to improve your lives.  Universal self control is a very appealing behaviour model but is not always helpful in adjusting ones behaviour. I am trying to provide you with an idea of why your spouse is doing what he is. I am also trying to explain that you should not feel responsible for his behaviour. I am not making excuse for him either.

I don't see punishment as the most effective way to teach better behaviours. Not saying you should let him waste his life looking at porn either. Both of you need to understand and help each other if you are to have a healthier relationship.

Angry and annoyed as you feel now (which is totally understandable) there is a hope that you both can learn to  manage better with professional help, medication and better understanding of ADD.

I cannot get past how

I cannot get past how judgmental you are Adder. You have no idea how much research, education, therapy, etc. I or anyone posting on these forums have. You don't know how many years of research and effort I (and others) have put into understand ADD, trying to learn how to best live with someone who has it. 

The reason we partners of ADDers post here is so that we don't have to be constantly barraged with your (ADD-ers) side of the story. We live with that every minute of every day. We KNOW it is not intentional when you ignore or abuse us, etc. Why do you think so many of us stay in relationships that, if there was not ADD involved, would be considered unquestionably abusive? Because we KNOW the why and accept that. Because we are compassionate where so many of you are not.

So, to be clear: YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMIND US it's not our spouse, it's the ADD. Ever.

 

 

A little civility, please!!

I implore all of you not to fight with each other.  We do enough of that at home, which is why we are here.  Hopefully, we come to this site to learn more and to help each other.  Sometime, when we provide advice, it may be taken out of context, or we may not be clear enough in our words.  But please, give people the benefit of the doubt, lest they become afraid of contributing their ideas.  Take their comments as being contructive, and if they don't apply to you, or if you feel you were misunderstood, let it pass.  Everyone posting here is doing so with their identities shielded, so there should be no feelings of personal attacks.

Remember, let's keep it positive and constructive.  We all have lot's of the other stuff already in our lives - we don't need it here.

George

Forum for Both ADD and Non-ADD Spouses and Lili

I want to make it clear that this site and its forum are for both ADD and non-ADD spouses.  We treasure all input and I find (and so do many others) that there is much to learn by hearing the opinions of “both sides”.

One of the big issues in marriages affected by ADD is that of communication.  Lots of times people without ADD and people with ADD have trouble communicating well with each other – often because they misunderstand each other.   I did not read that ADDer was trying to be judgmental here, in fact just the opposite - it seemed to me that she (I think ADDer is a she) was trying to be helpful.

In any event, the larger issue is your own anger (which is clearly significant) and problems with your marriage.  It sounds as if you have been trying to work on it for quite a while and are frustrated by your lack of progress...I have picked up posts from you in other places and now have a backlog...will try to respond to any post that you have put up about your specific situation in the near future.  In the meantime, it's important that this remain a "safe" place for people to post their questions and thoughts.  Other than the direct attack, your content was fine, but next time you wish to "push back" (which is A-OK with me), please try to find a better tone for doing so - one that doesn't overtly attack the person, only their ideas.

Thanks for your help with this.

Re: Forum for Both ADD & Non-ADD Spouses & Lili

Thank you Melissa for your explanation, you put it far better then I ever could have. It is true I am deeply discouraged from giving a perspective of somone with ADD now because of the hurt, anger & fear it generated and might generate. I felt deep emthy & pain for all the non-spouse ADDs as well as ADD spouses.

I could resist saying nothing and felt compelled to help by providing a different perspective (limited my own experience). I am well aware of my ADD aspect off upsetting people with my style of communication. I assumed it was a given that there has been a huge amount of effort and pain felt by all couples.

Please all of you guys I humbly apologies for hurtimg and offending you. I think you guys are fantastic for the concerns you show for your spouses and the effort you take to help this situation. I do not demean your hard work and effort in anyway however my words come across. Each person brings their own unique dynamics to a relationship. In my limited experience with ADD  sheer effort of will did not get me anyhwere no matter how hard I tried. Only a greater understanding of the various dynamics, a lot of effort & support has/is just keeping my head above the water. Thank you all for your communications painful as they were.

adder, you are terrific, keep posting please

I love reading your posts, and I hope you keep on posting and don't ever let anything stop you from doing it here. I SO wish my husband would be as open and honest as you've been here. It sure would have helped BOTH of us so much. His fear of facing our issues keeps him and US from moving forward, which is Such a shame, and has hurt me deeply. I give you massive kudos for sharing here, and wish MORE folks with ADHD would do so.

         Snaps to you adder.  Big hug.

Dede

Sounds familiar

Hello. I've never posted before, although I've gained a lot of insight reading through the posts. I agree. It's not a get out of jail free card. My husband takes the attitude that he has ADHD and depression so there.... he hasn't continued therapy. I am not surprised. He thinks he's getting better. He acts like I should give him credit for minimal improvement or "trying to try." I agree with the description of incompetent adult. I attached that word to him this week - INCOMPETENT. And the Ashley Madison account? His bad. Oh well. I'm doing my best to learn about this disorder but I am concluding that it is an incredibly SELFISH disease. He is unable to connect why he was on Ashley Madison with the hurt it caused.... (plus lies, financial chaos.... yadda yaddda) This past week, I finally stopped asking WHY that is the case. It just is. Sadly, by deciding that I no longer care WHY, I also had to conclude I DON'T CARE and HE FUNCTIONS LIKE A 15 YEAR OLD. A stupid 15 year old. He is responsible for his own behavior. He is responsible for understanding how his behavior affects and hurts other people.

similar but more involved

I know these other posts are very old and mine isn't. But I'm putting it out there anyway.

My ADHD-er has been with me a long time and has usually kept his problems to a limit, as far as my knowledge was. But a time came when things in his life got pretty hairy and tense and caused him all sorts of anxiety & stress. And right along with it came out an abundance of his ADHD. Which was only recently made known to us that he had it. Most of which I could not handle very well. But I came across the "cheating" aspect the first time, which was only that he went to a paid service. (once) I was very hurt, but forgave him, believe it or not. Then about a year later I caught him obviously making text messages etc. with someone who wound up being a person I know he works with sometimes. Only this time it went a little bit further. Not sure if penetration happened or not, But I know kissing and dirty pics went on. I told him he had to stop it immediately and asked that he show me when he did that. Well, he said he told her "no more texting. It wasn't right." But I saw none of that. I did see that he stopped doing it from our bed at night though. So I guess I have to say that I am living in Limbo about this because he refuses to talk to me about it.There are so many other ways and times he can still be doing it and with her. I know he said he watches porn but it does not turn him on ? I think I believe him ? I see that he can be watching it one minute. Then turn it off and go straight to bed. I also know that doing new things with him in bed doesn't mean much to him either. We haven't had sex in a long time. Tho he has accepted things from me without reciprocation. Which hurts me a lot.  He also has some male sexual problems and tells me that even if he wanted to screw these other women, he can't. He can't hold his erection long enough. I know this to be true too. But the fact that he did this with a woman from his job scares me some. They both could lose their jobs and other things. How stupid can they be ? Not to mention I want to destroy her friggen life !! So far, I haven't done anything to her, or him. But I can't promise you I won't. I know it's a bit childish and probably won't get me anywhere except for a little revenge. (or worse bad feelings from him )  I'm trying to be mature about it all. It's not easy I tell you that !! I want to rip her hair out and throw her ugly butt to the wall. But I know it's coming from his sickness. I just don't know how to get him to open up with me and talk more. I feel it's necessary for any trust to be rebuilt between us. I don't know if he understands or even cares ? I just know I love him. But I don't want to be crying every day either. I don't have a long time to live my life at this point. I have disabilities now, and he usually takes care of me some. He also is starting to have some problems though he denies them mostly. But I see them in him every day. He fights it more than I can. He's seen a lot of pain and problems already thru-ought?(sp) his own life. And now there is more. I think maybe he feels that he has to go out and have some fun before he can't move anymore. Or he gets knocked down himself. He's 60. I don't know what to do. He's getting weekly therapy. But I don't know how well it's helping him. It isn't helping me at all. But I'm not there. Like I said, before all this horrible tension was going on in his life, there wasn't too many bad things from the ADHD to deal with as there are now. It was easy to love him. And I certainly wasn't feeling hurt like I am now.
But these sexual problems are the worst for me to deal with. I wish there was a way to make this part disappear ? I can handle the other symptoms. But reading how this doesn't usually go away  is scaring me bigtime !!

I wonder about the justification process

I often wonder about the justification process that goes on with people who choose to cheat (adhd or not) keep on doing it, and even blame their spouses. I do know that people who cheat are often not looking for someone ELSE per se, they are looking for a new or different THEM. But, the devastation to those involved is quite often irreparable, and terribly damaging to self esteem, hearts, minds and souls. 

        With my husband, I was so hurt and then angry when he announced to me this past Christmas that he was never "in love" with me. He said he loved me but never has been "in" love with me. And that he never "got over" the girl he was in love with in college. Then why the HECK did he ask me to marry him and pretend that he WAS in love with me and go through all these years living a LIE? I have now told him repeatedly, "Why didnt you TELL me the truth and be honest with me?" He said he couldn't just walk out on me and that he wanted to do the right thing by fulfilling his duties to "take care" of me. I was livid after that.

       I didn't want a husband.....ANY husband who felt he was just doing a duty instead of choosing to love me and WANT to be with me to be my love, my partner in life, my confidant, my HUSBAND.

        He's been a person who was so critical of other people's marriages where one was cheating on the other, and the pain and hurt showed openly, but he turned around and did this himself.  But, HE didn't want any consequences or even want to look at how much hurt he had caused me As well as himself. He even said, " I just want this to go away", and wouldn't discuss anything about it at all. Either what led up to it, or if I did something that added to it, or even what we could do to keep it from happening again.......nothing. Then, when he announced he was still in lI've with his ex girlfriend from college. He said she was the first girl he ever fell in love with and was really hurt when she left him. So, he just shut that part of himself down.  That makes no sense as to why he told ME he loved me and then asked ME to marry him. Then why tell me after ALL these years?  I feel like a consolation prize, and that he figured he better marry someone who is "in love" with him and not give me too much Of himself or I might leave him too. WRONG. That tells me he came into this marriage falsely and didn't mean any of his vows when he took them.  That's deception. Who DOES this? He's hurt That I am now gone but what did he THINK would happen?  How did he justify this in his mind that this was okay? Just because HE got hurt it was alright to do that to someone ELSE?  

      He did tell me I was the nicest and best person he ever  knew, and was the kindest person he had ever been in a relationship with.   I felt so USED and so betrayed, that he would marry me and keep a charade going because he couldn't or wouldn't bring himself to be fricking HONEST with me. So, he wasn't in love with me, but he didn't want to lose me, because I was good to him unlike his other relationships had been. HOW SELFISH CAN A PERSON BE?

       Didn't I have the right to also have someone BE IN LOVE with me? And have someone be good to me like HE wanted.......and GOT?   That is deliberate deception, and something I would NEVER deliberately set out to do.

 I worked very hard to understand and learn about his ADHD, even when he hasn't, and have changed many things about myself in this entire thing. This whole thing has hurt me so bad, and made me question everything about myself, other people, and people's motives in general. But mostly WHY.......it seems so cowardly to me now. But he sees it as him doing the "right thing", by staying in it. Crazy making.

   In addition, there was a couple times I actually thought he wanted to work things out and have a good married life, but shortly after he does something or says something that generates hope in me, he will do just the opposite and destroy that hope. I don't want to be in any more emotional limbo. Either he loves me and WANTS to work on him and US, or he doesn't. And with his continued bizarre behaviors back and forth,and non commitment "commitments" I decided enough is enough.  He can't jerk me around any more. Am I angry about this? yes.

         

 

 

Dede....Something That Might Help

In thinking about what you said....the straight forward answer you're asking I think can be summed up as "rationalizing."  That is, telling yourself a story that some how makes what you did alright in doing something you know isn't right.  You know it's not right to steal, but if you choose to do it...you will tell yourself you have a good reason for it and that's the reason you give to other people if confronted with asking "why?".  It's a lie we tell ourselves to make it feel better knowing what you're doing is wrong and it comes out as a rationalization as you speak it.

"He said he loved me but never has been "in" love with me. And that he never "got over" the girl he was in love with in college."

This is a complete rationalization on your H's part.  He excusing himself from taking responsibility for the fact....that he did Love you when you walked down the isle and when he asked you to marry him (if that's how it happened?).  At that time and probably for years after...he loved you and never regretted marrying you on some level.  Maybe somewhere in there he...he still had some kind of idealized fantasy about the "one who got away"...that never was realized that he wished would have been.....but who doesn't have one of those somewhere in the back of your mind along with those feelings associated with this fantasy?   My first "Love" or infatuation with my first real serious relationship as a teenager....ended like most do and we broke up and moved on but she still holds that special place as the  first Love of my life.  It was literally...Love at first sight which if you think about it....how ridiculous is that?  There is "lust" at first sight in an idealistic way....but teenage romantic Love is far from what real Love is all about?  Far, far from what real Love and connection with another person is really all about.  Teenage "crush" Love is just looking at that person with googley eyes and saying....."he's/she's perfect...I'm in Love!!!.Great Googley Moogley!!"  And that's where the fairly tail ends right there.  That is....unless you don't realize this is just a fantasy that we've made up about that person in our heads based on nothing more than this ideal image.

Thinking backwards myself and really looking at that first "Love" of my life.  In many ways....she was a complete nightmare and so was I all things considered.  If I had to project her into the future now.....I could see some major problems with her all things considered.  That is...all things considered aside from sex which as I recall...was the best sex I had ever had to date.  The problem is....she was only the 2nd person I had ever had sex with and the only one I where we had any regular sex with.  If I stop long enough to think about it....of course it was the best sex I had ever had....give me a break!!! LOL  At 18 years old....most girls/woman at that age are pretty much at the top of their game when it comes to looks and sexual attraction compared to only a few years earlier when they looks more like "girls" than "women" in an average comparison.  Teen age boys are usually overwhelmed by a woman with a teenage mind in that respect I can tell you.  Attracting this girlfriend for me was like I had died and gone to heaven when looking at it from that perspective.  I think if guys don't separate this kind of fixation with that kind of ideal fantasy as being more in terms of "fiction" rather than the "reality at the time"....then no one will ever live up to that perfection for them again if this memory is not put into it proper perspective.  I said this to you before but.....there really is no time machine or going back to that time again.  It will never be what it was now in the future and this is all just part of a memory of that idealized time and wishing it would be like that now....not what it is.  This is living in the past...and not accepting what is now in the future from that time or not advancing any further emotionally on that level I think?

If you think about it Dede....if this is where he is...he's still using that teenage ideal Love and doing what we all did back at that time. " I Love you more than I can bear or stand it......until next week when I fall in Love again with someone else in the same way." LOL

What ever you say "Zha Zha"? lol  "Darling, you have to understand....you were my Love de Jour and I was in Love with....but I don't love you anymore and that's the way Love works."  

That...would also be a complete and total rationalization from a person who never grew up and still thinks like a teenager in respect to idealized Love...all things considered?

J

PS  Do you recall...seeing those old Doris Day...Rock Hudson movies?  They always ended....with them getting married and driving away in a car on their wedding day and everyone was happy.  Yeah..right;)

Zsa Zsa lol

I hadn't thought about Zsa Zsa Gabor for an eternity so I looked her up just to see if she was still alive.  Too funny, that's all I can say.  Talk about drama?  Her last a current husband was the step son from her previos husband.  Jeese Louise!!

"Gabor's divorces inspired her to make numerous quotable puns and innuendos about her marital (and extramarital) history. She commented: "I am a marvelous housekeeper: Every time I leave a man I keep his house." When asked, "How many husbands have you had?", she was quoted as responding, "You mean other than my own?" Gabor later claimed to have had a sexual encounter with her stepson, Nicky (# 2 )."  ( OMG ? lol )

Living in the past and refusing to age or grow up?  I think so.  As well as being a gold digger. Unashamedly so as it appears?  There are male counterparts to this of course...the ones she divorced I'm sure.  It takes two to Tango as they say.  Tango on Zsa Zsa!! LOL  (she's 99 going on 16 lol )

J

J, you make a good point

Thanks for responding, J. I did use the wrong word In justification. The better word is rationalization, thanks for the clarification.. I believe there's quite a bit of insight into what you suggested about him idealizing that time in his life, and he's never grown past it.  Something did happen to him sexually to where he WAS functional (and even exceptional  according to him.....lol) in his first year of college, but then something happened to where he then developed ED and never recovered. When I met him several years later, he had ED, and was sexually very inhibited. I tried very hard when we were married to ease this for him, but it's something he would NOT work with me on. Another thing he just wanted to ignore and maybe it would just go away. Immature way of handling it for sure.  I learned as much as I could about sexuality/men's sexuality and couples therapy with ED, etc. But, he wouldn't talk about that, or even try things for enjoyment or excitement to help relieve some of the stress.

       As far as this other girl goes, ....I don't think it's as much about her as it is about how he felt about HIMSELF during that time. He obviously felt better about HIMSELF during that time, and then something happened to change that. But since he wouldn't face himself, he couldn't get past it. (I'm pretty sure, imo)

       When we had our premarital counseling, all our testing and counseling sessions were very positive. In fact the two priests,who did our testing said they hadn't encountered two people more suited for each other. Our personality tests complimented each other almost perfectly, and we're alike in many ways. Our weaknesses were each other's strengths, and vice versa. We went tthrough several weeks of counseling and training. (Of course  it was before adhd came on the scene as openly a  it is now.....this was 1983.

      I can totally understand this, and BE understanding of this. But, I can't let myself stay in this marriage when HE won't grow past an illusion he's created in his mind, with also holding whatever hurt in his heart, to where he's locked himself in a teenage fantasy that he won't let go of. It makes sense to why he wouldn't talk to me about it because he was afraid of my reaction.

       I know he knew that ONE day it was going to come out. He just kept hoping it wouldn't, so he kept pretending and wouldn't be honest with me due to fear.  But, we are talking about not only MY life, but the lives of two very little girls that were looking at him to be their Daddy. 

    I'm sorry J, I'm just very hurt and crushed in my heart that the person I gave my whole heart to, and loved with everything in me decided that I wasn't worth his honesty, faithfulness and trust and dedication. What does that also say about ME? I have felt like less than nothing at times from this betrayal and dishonesty, and zero communication. It hurts.

Dede...I Really Do Know How You Feel

After my divorce (my ex-wife decided to cal it quits) after I had patiently, hopefully, faithfully waited for her to come around and change.  This was before I was diagnosed and didn't really understand the ramifications of the effect that I had on her.  None the less, I had that promise...and I was going to honor it come Hell or high water to my own detriment and own expense but I had no other information coming from my ex since she was clammed up tight and not talking.  What that turned out being was she was done long before...but was waiting for an opportunity to leave and was just biding time until that happened.  The relationship was over but I didn't know that and she wasn't telling me.  This was what she was not saying and I wasn't savvy enough and pretty naive in not seeing the hand writing on the wall as it was. But all of this is in hind sight.  What was true was I wasn't giving up and she already had,  but she was still there in physical form and just riding along since I was paying the bills.  In essence....she was using me and I just didn't have the where for all to see it or better....I was just simply in denial and didn't want to see it more than anything.  As soon as she got a good job for the first time in our marriage....she left right after that with a debt on top of it that I had to pay.  It still stings to think about it but at the same time.....who wants that for a partner?  It said more about her...than it did about me regardless of my ADHD and all that goes with it.  The part that I just described had nothing to do with me.  If it had been turned around....I never would have done her like that for any reason based on what I believed in and based on staying true to myself. 

At the end of the day....I can regret only so much as far as my responsibility (which I had my part for sure)....but I don't regret the part where I followed in what I believe in for myself and didn't betray myself in just that much at the very least.  It may not feel that way now for you Dede since betrayal is a tough pill to swallow....but on your behalf and from everything I've read about you....what I don't see is betrayal on your part and you have nothing to be sorry for aside from not having a crystal ball to see everything he was not telling you.  You will ( and can ) take solace in that much when the time comes. 

You have a legitimate right to feel angry and hurt...and you don't need to apologize to me or anyone for following the golden rule yourself and feeling betrayed and angry.  You gave from your heart in the same way you believed in for yourself.  There is something to be said for investing in your character that you will never regret and you will  be able to take away from this in a way that will pay off later even if it doesn't feel that way now.  Be angry and let it all out and get rid of it now instead of harboring it forever and carrying it with you.  You have my permission at the very least!! (for what it's worth lol )  I think you'll feel better once you do.  I think you also don't want that to carry over into your relationship with your daughters either.  You owe it to them not to allow what your H did to you to affect them at the very least.  Get it out and get rid of it and don't blame yourself for what you didn't do or know ahead of time without that crystal ball I was talking about.  You'll be Okay, I know you will as long as you can process this through and not allow this to stay with you any longer than you need to.  I hope you have someone to help you get through this in the mean time if needed.  I know right where you are...and just what you're going through and it sucks...but it will be better I promise....you only thing you don;t get to choose is how long this process takes.  These things have a tendency to have their own time table and there's just not much you can do about it until that happens. 

The only caveat I might warn you against...is not allowing him to decide when that starts.  Either he's in or he's out....but he doesn't get to decide when you're done. That time table won't start until you make that decision yourself.  Don't allow him to drag it out or string you along out of that fear you were talking about or thinking he's not sure or just can't shit or get off the pot like my ex-wife did with me. (sorry...but that was apropos I think :)  Know what I mean Jelly Bean?

J

J, yes I know what you mean....:):):)

Thank you for the tender, kind reply. I'm sorry your ex treated you the same. It's puzzling to me as to how folks can get so closed minded about their actions when they can see it negatively affecting those around them. I guess it's that rationalization again.  

     My husband just told me he will never forgive himself for what he's done. HuH? He didn't apologize to me or mention anything about MY feelings. He once again put the focus on himself. 

     Bizarre. I am going to file for divorce soon, as soon as I find an attorney. I just never saw myself going through this so late in life. I'm also moving to a new apartment this week, and it as hard to move once again, But I'm very thankful my daughter and son in law want me with them. 

   Life has to get better after this.....:)

Returning Husband's Birthday Gift

I often wonder about the justification process that goes on with people who choose to cheat (adhd or not) keep on doing it, and even blame their spouses. I do know that people who cheat are often not looking for someone ELSE per se, they are looking for a new or different THEM. But, the devastation to those involved is quite often irreparable, and terribly damaging to self esteem, hearts, minds and souls

ADHD can take prisoners.  ADHD acceptance and seeking help is the parole.  Without it, it's a life sentence.  Sadly, innocents also end up in jail. 

It is my husband's birthday today.  The lying and compulsive behavior is the gift that just keeps on giving.  

I'm returning his gift today.

You see, after the Ashley Madison and Plenty of Fish incident (right after finding out we were in mortgage default and  healthy 5 figure debt I didn't know about), he said he filled his time with "stupid" games on his phone.  His phone has been "dinging" a lot lately.  I've noticed.  It's a thing that makes you go "hmmmm." 

I felt bad that he was playing these "innocent" games (I like to play soduko on my phone when I'm waiting in line, etc.) on his little bitty phone so I bought him a very nice tablet.  

Yesterday, at 5:01, my daughter contacted me as I left work.  She told me H has an instagram account.  Okay.  He commented on one of her pictures.  His settings were off so she could see everything he was following and who was following him.  She was pretty mortified.  I wonder if there is a porn star he ISN'T following?  I'm not a tech person, no tweet or instagrams... but I understand that it is WORSE when you are following someone?  IDK.  Someone here at work walked me through it and said, oh he's following BUT is anyone FOLLOWING HIM?  Oh yes, I see that's the case. I'll have to research it. I am upset with myself that after the fact, I realized the person I asked was a newlywed.  Ooops. 

A year ago I would have yelled and screamed and cried and slammed a door or two.  Not last night.  I spoke a few calm and deliberate sentences.  I asked to see his phone.  He stood over my shoulder while I scrolled through.  I never thought someone actually beaded sweat on their brow.... thought that was only in the movies.... not so.  He finally, non-violently, but DEFINITELY took the phone from my hands after about 4 minutes.  I asked to see what he texted his best friend communicated on my birthday (the birthday he bailed on). He said "Well, you can see THAT." I saw enough to notice that he told his friend that he told me that they had a couple of beers together... please cover... AND that he asked for an old girlfriend's contact information.  I didn't put up a fight for access to the phone.  If he is so afraid that it was in my hands, I already have the answer and don't need specifics etched in my brain forever. 

His answer?  She's an old friend, hasn't talked to her in a long, long time....

The instagram stuff was "just bullshit" - "I didn't post anything or contact anyone so it's innocent and doesn't matter." 

I assume this activity was going on while I was in the same or an adjacent room of the house.  Nice.  Here's a nice steak dinner to go along with your porn habit. Need a cold beer with that? 

I am not supposed to be offended because it's "just bullshit."  

If I can gauge progress over the last year, it is this:

In the past, I would have gone crazy.  I would have lost my shit. H would have bent over backwards and done somersaults to justify and minimize the behavior and tell me how it is wrong for me to feel the way I did.  I must have had some steely eyed composure last night, because that behavior lasted all of 3 minutes before he stopped.  I wasn't having it. 

H is the one who asked for an additional year to try to work things out.  Nope. He doesn't seem to understand when I say I don't want to be "that woman" (betrayed, put upon, lied to) or that each lie he has told me over the years has removed a piece of love from my heart.  I think my sense of calm during this is my clue.  It's not that I can't forgive him, it's that I don't care anymore. (that' is a direct quote from my current book club selection.  I read BOOKS to pass the time rather than engage in behavior that is hurtful to the marriage. 

I guess neglect and complete and utter financial irresponsibility just isn't enough.  

On an intellectual basis, I have to wonder where the hell the disconnect is - that someone can't see how actions affect another person or can't focus and retain information and make adjustments to behavior.  On a personal basis, I don't have any more "f's" to give.  Somewhere in here Melissa posted about porn addiction.  She made a point that the time is better spent enriching the marriage, not on outside activities.  Bingo.  He doesn't seem very concerned about how this might affect his relationship with my daughter.  For the first time ever, she made a concrete suggestion and it wasn't love him more. 

He said he is tired of me focusing on "every little thing" (okay, some truth to that.  Betrayed trust = I've been micro-managing, a non typical role for me since I'm a big picture gal) and he doesn't want to "be yelled at for everything he's done in the past for the rest of his life" (so stop making the same mistakes?  If you say you're going to talk about putting purchases on a credit card before doing so, then do it.  If you say you're not going to engage in this behavior anymore, then don't do it).  I am unwilling to live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Repairing trust issues means not betraying trust any longer. 

The behavior, be it financial, porn or other, and the corresponding justifications.... it's not going to change.  

Just last week, he asked to refi the house to pay off some of his credit card bills.  The refi he suggested would have taken the balance down to the point where we'd barely pay realtor fees to sell it, let alone any additional purchase concessions.  He was shocked when I said no.  In hindsight, I told him it was a mistake to put ourselves in a position where we are trapped in the house. LMAO. 

I said that ADHD and Depression are difficult things that require help.  He responded by saying "that's right, I'm fucked in the head."  Any other day I'd argue the point that no, it's simply that guidance and professional help is a good thing.  Today.... sigh... today.... I'll just go with what he says. 

Anyway, thanks for "listening."