My partner and I have been together for 19 months. He has ADHD and I knew this before we got involved. We didn't have the whirlwind romance, with wildly romantic gestures and hyperfocus so often described. We just clicked.
From my reading of how some ADHD people behave, he does not have the most severe behaviours, but he definitely has the whole range. He is terrible with money. He can't find a job in his profession as "he can't be left alone to finish anything" according to his bosses. His driving is dangerous. His memory is horrendous (when he's tired he can't remember what happened 5 minutes ago, let alone that morning or last week). He can't plan things. He doesn't follow through on promises. His social skills are bad (he says he doesn't understand what is going on, can't keep track of conversations). He doesn't communicate well. He probably has dyslexia (according to a psychologist) but has never been formally diagnosed with it. He processes very slowly, so may need days before he can respond to something that has happened.
However, he is incredibly hard-working and shows up to work every day. He put himself through tertiary study even with the dyslexia, because he wanted to better himself. He never denied he had ADHD and never denied the need for things to be done differently in the relationship to adjust for his ADHD-ness. He is kind and thoughtful and affectionate (at least I thought he was). He is understanding when I'm upset (again he was, not so much now). He is funny and cheeky and we have a lot of fun together. He can do household chores if he decides to and is really good at shopping (rarely misses anything on the list and never gets stuff that isn't).
He is bisexual and was upfront about that at the beginning, and also admitted to having a somewhat adventurous sex life prior to us getting together. However he said he had only ever cheated once during a relationship, and that was with an ex-partner at a very emotional time. He said he had learned his lesson. He promised me that if he ever felt like he wanted to be with anyone else, he would leave our relationship, that he would never cheat because he knew it would devastate me. When we have sex its great, but he is inconsistent with that and "forgets" to have sex with me (his words, not mine). I feel rejected a lot because he will say "oh sorry, I forgot tonight, we can have sex tomorrow night, I promise". Then repeat the next day etc.
So skip forward to June this year. He's out shopping for a birthday card and finds a card that has the poem "I promise" by Emily Matthews, the one that starts..."I promise you a love that's true forever and a day". He randomly gives me the card and a teddy bear just because he thought it was everything about how he felt. It's on my desk at work and I look at it every day.
Then in July, he proposes to me. He gets down on one knee and says I am the only person for him, he doesn't want anyone else. He wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
We buy a ring (which he has to pay off) and we spend the next two months planning the wedding. I got my ring last Friday and finally announced to people that we're engaged.
On Monday night, I find a cellphone in the car. Not his proper cellphone, a different one. Which has 81 texts from June (before he bought the promise card) to September arranging meetings with women to have sex. The day before he proposed to me, he texted two different women trying to arrange "hooking up" for sex. He admits he went to meet that woman the day before he proposed but that he "chickened out" and left before she got there because he felt "guilty". He denies having sexual contact with anyone, just the texting and arranging meetings but never going ahead. He says he stopped in September because he didn't want to hurt me and realised what he was doing.
I cannot believe he would propose to me and promise I was the only one he wanted, knowing he was cheating on me (or at least planning to). He let me plan our entire wedding and make all these plans for the future knowing he was cheating on me. For me that is just the cruelest part. He didn't have to propose to me, I didn't ask him to. I understand having doubts etc, but going out of his way to propose (I can only assume it was part of the cover up, if I thought things were going well I wouldn't suspect him) is just evil.
The week before my birthday was particularly bad for us. He rejected me the entire week. And I find all these texts that same week. He wasn't interested in me because he was sending sexual texts to some random women.
I had actually suspected something was going on. He was late home too many times and I would ask why and he'd make up excuses about the traffic being bad. I asked him so many times was he cheating and he always denied it.
And his excuse? His ADHD leads to "thrill-seeking behaviour". For him it was the thrill of not getting caught.
And why he didn't tell me? He "forgot" to tell me.
And his defence when I'm crying and yelling and my soul is breaking? "It's not like I had sex with anyone".
So Mr "I can't plan anything and I can't remember what I say" managed to plan how to meet women, how to hide the texts, cover up the money needs to keep sending texts, remember all the lies and follow through with a plan to cheat on me for four months.
He says he proposed to me because he wants to marry me and that it wasn't a lie. But both things can't be true. You can't promise "you're the only one I want" while cheating with other women.
My heart and soul feel broken :( :( :(