Trying vs. doing

I have been reading this forum, as well as books until my eyeballs literally spin!  Here's the nutshell history:

Married almost 20 years to ADHD husband and we have 4 kids ranging from 11 - 19 years.  Two kids have ADHD as well.  He was diagnosed 7 years ago and  he was on meds with moderate "buy in" to the diagnosis until last year when he had an emotional affair with a co-worker and wanted to leave me stating, "I've tried and tried and tried and I'm done trying."  I think at that point he went through a phase of feeling like if he was with someone else, he wouldn't have issues.

Before last year, our main problems focused around (the biggest) not enough sex for me and getting adequate help around the house.  What started out as an incredible love affair when we met turned into me feeling completely lonely, worthless and ugly because of his lack of desire in the bedroom. For years, he would literally take my hands off his body when I would try to be intimate with him.  I have developed such low sexual self esteem I can't even describe it.  Out of the bedroom, we were each others best friends, made each other laugh and had a great marriage.  He is sweet and kind and fun and I truly love and loved him with all my heart.  He's a great dad and we have an awesome family.

Ironically, I had worked really hard to get to a place of acceptance about our sex life and how much he could contribute to the household.  I worked on my own with a therapist to get clear about my own goals, boundaries and make sure I was taking care of myself.  Just about the time I felt like I got to this place, he was done.

Long story short, he decided to stay and work on things.  He went on Wellbutrin for depression and is working with a new doctor to get his ADD meds figured out and is diligent about taking them!  He also works with a therapist and that seems to be going well.

Here's the problem - He says he loves me and is committed to us.  He says I'm attractive.  He says he likes sex.  I don't nag him, I don't parent him. I haven't had anger issues in over a year.  We have talked about creating connection etc. but just this morning he literally turned away from me when I tried to cuddle him in bed.  I felt "the sail go up" and then he rolled away from me. 

I am trying my hardest not to read into it, take it personally and all that but at some point it just breaks my heart! I know people don't like to talk about sex but PLEASE is there anyone out there who feels like a lot of the problems in their marriage stem from not enough sexual connection?  I know the theory is that if you have problems in the bedroom that they started outside of it.  What about me who feels like if we just had a quality sex life, I wouldn't feel so bad outside the bedroom?

I called this "Trying vs. doing"  because this entire last year, I keep hearing that he's "trying"  Yes, he sees doctors and takes meds but so far that's it.  I called him to the mat by telling him if there is no measurable progress that isn't doing.  The month he decided to stay, that was progress.  Seeing doctors - progress.  Taking meds diligently - progress.  That's it...there has been nothing more beyond those things.  How about doing exercises in any of the books we have, or exercises his therapist gives him?  No.  So I am at a point of not knowing what to do.

I am a happy, optimistic person with a great life.  I have wonderful friends, hobbies, activities etc.  I enjoy my kids, exercise regularly and eat well.  Point being - I have a life!  My boundaries are good and I am not waiting around for him to complete me.  I just want an intimate life with my husband and it feels impossible right now.


You didn't say when the

You didn't say when the problem with sex started and I'm also curious as to what he says is the problem that he won't be intimate with his wife. I assume you've discussed this with him and am wondering how he could explain it away..or does he even offer any explaination?

I would feel like he was avoiding any kind of intimate, meaningful connection. You said "the sail went up" so I'm assuming he isn't suffering from erectile dysfunction. ??

We've been married for 13 years, had problems for about 6 years, and the last 10 months we've started to rebuild an almost completely destroyed marriage. Our sex life has been a roller coaster of me being more interested than him (to the point I wondered if he wasn't gay), him being more interested than me, or us being on the exact same page (man, those are good times). After our reconciliation, we went through a period of time where he was obviously avoiding kissing me. We have discussed it in counseling, I tried to talk to him about it outside of counseling and his 'solution' feels like he's just making himself do it so I won't be worried. He says it is an issue with a tooth he has that needs to be pulled, which he's getting pulled in November. Because of the affair, I'm not 100% convinced. Only time will tell, I suppose. I feel it is guilt. He behaved so badly that I asked him to leave (he had started the affair and I didn't know), he didn't let me be there for him like I wanted to after his mom died (because of the affair..fear I would find out if he spent too much time with me), my father had an accident and passed away a month later (he had a LOT of respect for my Daddy and my Daddy was more like a father to him than his own was) and he took my Daddy's death harder than his own mother's in a lot of ways...and then ultimately he told me about the affair and begged me to let him come home. All of this within 3 months. He still says he's reeling from the guilt and shame of what he's done and I do believe that is part of it.

Either way, you deserve answers...and if it meant going to counseling with him, I would demand to know why and get to the bottom of it so you guys can work through it.

Sex and Childhood Issues

I can't help but wonder if your husband didn't have a traumatic childhood that could've involved some sexual abuse. It might not have been direct molestation but sometimes abuse can come in other forms. In my husband's case, his parents who divorced when he was 17, were inappropriately open, graphic and sometimes verbally lieud with my husband when he was about 11 or 12+. They would tell really dirty jokes of a sexual nature around him or his mother would talk about men's genital sizes and just totally inappropriate JUNK for a young kid to hear from his parents. This had a huge impact on him and resulted in him feeling that sex was 'dirty.' It took a few years of a committed marriage to work that out. Even still, he doesn't have a very high sex drive. In reading through this site it seems like many ADHD patients are at one extreme or the other. ???

I've always had more

I've always had more initiative/drive in the sex department.  We've talked about it until we're blue in the face and I get anything from " I don't know" to I was tired, stressed, not in the mood, distracted, we had an argument recently blah blah blah.

Sorry for the "blah blah" but I feel snarkey right now.  I want him to take initiative on some things in our marriage and the most significant one would be our love life.  He's a follower in that he pretty much goes along with things.  That would be ok (to a certain extent) if my advances weren't getting refused but they are.

The other night he was working at the computer.  I wanted to go up to bed and instead of simply saying, "I'm going upstairs" I made the extra effort to go to him and put my arms around him and give a hug and  gentle kisses.  I didn't sneak up, shock him, tickle him or act silly.  All things that are not ok when he is working.  Well, he didn't respond beyond letting me hug and kiss him.  When I told him about how that made me feel, he suggested next time I give him a cue such as, "hey, can we talk a few minutes"  So... I said I didn't really want to talk :)  I told him my hug and kiss was the cue.  I also said that I live so deeply in fear of his rejection that I am afraid to say something like, "Hey, can I get a hug and kiss?"  Literally saying it and risking hearing NO is too much right now.  I did say that I am willing to work towards that but that I need him to make himself physically available to me. 

When I hear my girlfriends talk about their husbands sex drives, it just breaks my heart because I feel so incredibly lonely and starved for attention.  I have no problem with ADD and am doing everything I can to understand and accommodate it.  Is it wrong for me to expect him to (as my therapist calls it) make himself available to me? 

childhood issues

As far as childhood issues go, he has looked at his childhood ad nauseum and I'm just at the point where if there are issues, it's his responsibility to ferret them out and deal with them.  Our sex life has been a bonafide issue for about 13 years.  I went on Prozac for a short time because I tried to get  help from a Psychiatrist who basically decided I was "oversexed" and it was putting undue demand on my marriage and that Prozac would lessen my libido and therefore help.  This was 13 years ago and it didn't work because I am not oversexed - I just love my husband!  As far as how often (cause I know that question is coming) even if things are positively smooth sailing with us, the most it happens is maybe 3 - 5 times per month.  Believe me, the 5 is me being extremely generous because right now I can't even remember the last time... 4 or 5 weeks now maybe :(


If he's had to look that hard and hasn't come up with something, then there's either A) nothing there or B) nothing he wants to admit and deal with. If he is shut down and refuses to talk about it and mutually reach some sort of compromise to meet both of your needs better, then there are many people who would feel that's "a deal breaker." We don't get married so we can just have a chum or a roommate. Sex is an important part of the equation and one you both need to at least be okay and agreeable about, if not completely fulfilled, which of course is the ideal.  You may need to consider what you really want to do here as far as staying or not. Maybe you should go to a counselor (not psychiatrist) to talk about your future and where you'd like to be for yourself and start making some decisions. 13 years is a long time. Hang in there...

So essentially there have

So essentially there have been 13 years of excuse making and no real hint or clue about what the deal is?

I am not sure why, it is nothing that any of my friends have ever dealt with (they deal with oversexed husbands), but for the first 4-5 years of my marriage I literally felt exactly like you..lonely, starved for his attention, etc. We had sex about once a month, if that. I am not sure what happened, but I just finally gave up. I stopped chasing him. I stopped any and all 'sexual' comments. I just gave up. I decided that this was just the way it was although I had NO clue why he just was not interested in sex. He even told me once "our relationship is about a lot more than just sex". We hadn't been married a year. I will never forget it. Him making ME feel like dirty or like I was 'degrading' the quality of our marriage because I wanted to have sex with my husband. I just gave up. I cannot say it was a week later, or a month later, but at some point he noticed and started chasing me. It just seems the less interested I am, the more interested he is. Not sure if that's ADD (would LOVE some insight if anyone has any) or not, but very rarely are we on the same page. Maybe 18 months total out of our 13 year marriage.

I could see my husband growing up in a leud environment, although I've never asked, but his parents partied a lot and he had a very chaotic, party style homelife. I also have often wondered if his 'avoidance' of sex wasn't somehow related to his lack of self confidence. There are definitely some psychological issues at play in our bedroom life and I'm hopeful that it can be dealt with in counseling. Recently, he was having some issues performing...not long after he stopped drinking. I chalked it up to 'the fog clearing' and him trying to function physically and deal with our messy separation and the loss of his mother and my father all last fall for the first time with a 'clean head'. I imagined the guilt was overwhelming, especially the guilt from his affair. He got so upset after one attempt that he almost cried. I felt horrible for him. What added insult to my injury was that when he came home things were amazing between us in that area. Two months later there we were struggling again. Never the less, I backed off and just gave him space. I stopped pressuring him, stopped mentioning sex, and gave him more control of things. Wouldn't you know it, just a few months later and he drops the bombshell in counseling that he wishes I would initiate sex more, and doesn't think I am interested in him sexually. I cried. I felt that I couldn't win for losing..and I told him and her that...and we worked through it. Only time will tell how it will change things in the bedroom.

It just seems if they're not over-sexed because of their ADD, then they're just the complete opposite. I'm not sure me 'backing off' increases his sex drive as much as it just increases his insecurities and having sex makes him feel more secure so he wants it more. I really don't know. Again, I feel you honestly deserve a happy medium. The amount you're having sex isn't all that unusual, but I assume that it's not the act that you're missing as much as the connection?

So...after a long talk today

So...after a long talk today he gave me the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" line I got a year ago when he wanted to leave. 

W edid a lot of talking about that and I told him it feels like he is waiting to feel in love before he starts acting like he's in love and he pretty much agreed.  His therapist told him that acting lovingly will help regrow those feelings and he feels like that would be lying or fake it til you malke it.  I'm of the opinion that you act lovingly and those feelings will grow and develop because you are creating a positive spiral instead of a negative one.  I also feel very disconnected without sexual intimacy so it's becoming a "which came first - the chicken or the egg" kind of thing. 

He did agree that he is not ready to be done and wants to try.

So, I guess my new question is - after adhd and the usual wear and tear of 20 + years and four kids together, does anyone have any helpful "man" tips for falling back in love?


I haven't been married as long...only 12 years, and no I'm sure there are differences between our situations, but in general, I find that respect precedes love. Since you can only change yourself, maybe you can start wracking your brain to identify all the things in him you respect and then focus your attention on those things every time he turns you off with his ADHD issues. Maybe if you are able to demonstrate more respect for his manliness, he will sense that and the love feelings will start to re-kindle. Just an idea. And by all means, find a way to stop fighting...even when you're dead right. Fighting just destroys any good feelings. I found some good stuff in "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura, too. Bottom line, you've got your rights to walk away if you want to, but because you've chosen to stay...which you have every right to's going to take as much work on your part as it is his to find a way to the other side. Good luck. You sound like a wise, thoughtful woman.

Thank you - whatmext

When he dropped the bomb that he wanted out last year, I did a lot of painful and hard introspection and made immediate and lasting changes.  I had become angry and bitter and resentful and when I looked at my own feelings, I wasn't feeling all that in love with him either - at that time.  When I turned off or re-channeled the anger, looked for the good and stopped focusing on the bad, taught myself to think about him at different points during the day, insisted on weekly dates and also just doing nice things, amazingly enough I started feeling loving again even though he still wasn't in love with me. 

The issue at this point seems to be on his side.  This is where the trying vs. doing comes into play.  When we originally fell in love, I was the persuer and he literally fell in it. I and the therapist both told him the second time around you have to work at it.  My long time therapist said the way back into love is by DOING the same things that caused you to fall out of it in the first place.  He's a wonderful guy but, honestly, other than not enough sex, he really doesn't do anything.  He is an amazing and stable provider for which I am eternally grateful.  At home and in our marriage, he really doesn't take the initiative on most anything.  I know that noticing things is a big one for ADDers but he isn't doing things like reminders, alarms etc. for us.  I really don't care if he sets up a reminder to call me, connect with me or have sex with me but I think he does.  His thought is that if he were in love with me, these things would happen naturally and reminders would just be faking it. 

I'm just so frustrated.  Also, I do need to say that I'm posting as an outlet.  I am very clear (one of my boundaries) that getting help for these issues is his responsibility.  I don't take it on but I am posting as a way to find other people's perspectives to see if someone can help me see things from his angle or see something in myself I haven't.

I am somewhat surprised that

I am somewhat surprised that he admits he isn't in love with you, yet you have gone above and beyond to be a better person/wife...and it seems he has followed the protocol for 'getting help' but hasn't done anything that requires emotion or gives you what you need most. I am not sure what to say. I couldn't stay with someone who didn't love me, but I'm not saying you shouldn't. I'm not sure I would bank my entire future and marriage on the chance that he'd love me again someday. He has no real motivation to 'fall' in love with you again, it isn't like he feels like he's in jeopardy of losing you if he doesn't get in touch with what he's feeling.

I think this would definitely explain why you feel no connection with him sexually. I am so sorry. I hope you can find some peace somehow with what you're dealing with. (((HUGS)))

Thank you and I do agree with

Thank you and I do agree with what you've said.  After  a long talk today he admitted to not being able to let go and forgive for the past years of pain and anger.  So many years of undiagnosed ADHD and while there was lotsa love, there was also complete chaos, inconsistency, broken promises....yada yada.  I have forgiven and ironically he hasn't.  So, I think that solves the mystery of why he doesn't feel in love with me.  You can't harbor that much anger and feel loving at the same time.  He says he is scared about the future because he feels things might be too broken to save.  It feels like he is wallowing in the negative.  I can't do anything to change him nor do I want to.  I want nothing more than to move forward with him and create a new, loving marriage but I can only hang in here for so long.  He doesn't want to break up his family but I don't know if he wants to save it.  He feels stuck and our marriage cannot move forward until he lets go of the past.

Any advice out there on letting go of the past?  He just downloaded Hallowell's book on forgiveness so that's good :)


Forgiveness is a decision, just like deciding you're GOING TO DO anything in life that's hard. Forgiveness does not mean someone automatically gets to be back in your life. One has to decide who's ultimately good for them and worthy of rebuilding trust with. It sounds like you've demonstrated that you are a person worth re-building with. Maybe your husband feels like that to forgive you means laying his soul out naked to be potentially trampled again. I don't think forgiveness, for the big things, is that blind. You "trust but verify" for a very long time and gradually start relaxing as you see that the other person really means business. If he stays stuck, that's his DECISION. If he really wants to be proactive about it and do his very best to get unstuck so your marriage can have a chance, a therapist should be able to help. If he refuses to get that help then that would tell me he is finding some sort of emotional benefit or leverage from staying "the victim." If he stayed there for a long time...making me continually pay for sins I've already dealt with and apologized for...I could not stay in that forever either. I hope he stops and thinks and DECIDES. Sometimes a separation is what it takes to wake them up to what they're about to lose. How old are your 4 kids, by the way? That does make a difference, I think. This isn't just about you two, unless they're grown and out the door.

My kids are 11, 14, 17, 19 -

My kids are 11, 14, 17, 19 - all living at home.  They are the driving force behind everything.  Like Melissa said she and her husband felt they could do better, I feel the same.  At some point, he does need to make that rock solid decision and he hasn't yet.  He says he doesn't want to break up his family but my first thought when I woke up today was, "He may not want to break up the family but does he want to save the marriage?"  There is a difference because one is a feeling and the other is an action.

We just got into a fight about him forgiving or lack of it has a pay off.  I think that by not letting go, it is a control issue.  He adamantly refuted that and got really mad at me and stormed out. I've had to forgive a lot in my life (childhood abuse) and I know that forgiving definitely has to do with control.  He thinks it means that he is consciously trying to control things but I don't mean it that way and he got so pissed I just had to back off. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that if the walls came down, he let go of anger, got his add fully treated and we properly deal with our assorted issues that we could have a wonderful marriage.  I can't, however, make him "know that" and it breaks my heart that our marriage might fail because he won't "really" try.  We've been at this for over a year at this point and I don't know how much more I have in me.  I have an appointment with a new therapist for myself this week.  We'll see...

Kids at home

If you guys are able to be civil and polite with each other in the home and still create a peaceful, loving environment for the kids, maybe you'd be best off to just focus on parenting, let the marital pressure off your husband, and just function as an in-tact family to get your kids through the rough teen years until your youngest is 18. Then once your youngest kid is 18 and out of high school,  if your husband is still bent on living a disconnected life and not doing the work to fix that, then pull the plug. You can have it all quietly planned out by then and all the pieces in place to start your new life.  If you're fighting all the time and there's allot of misery and chaos in the home and your kids are seeing that,  then I think it's better for the kids to be "from" a broken home rather than "in" one, thus probably best to get out sooner than later. Just my opinion. It's not easy, that's for sure. I feel for you and I'm very sorry for your pain.

Thank you - that is pretty

Thank you - that is pretty much where I am at.  My kids have always seen 2 loving parents and that is one reason this is so hard.  They would be totally blind sided!  Most people cannot believe that are kids aren't aware but they aren't.  We don't have knock down fights and are very kind and friendly and playful in front of them.  Honestly, I think even in our worst moments we are better than most marriages in their best.  Again, that's what makes this so hard

I've read through all of this

I've read through all of this and feel that I wrote it all myself. What you have described is exactly what my husband has displayed with his adhd. Married 17 years, two kids, marriage going downhill for a number of years and then found out about his adhd. Dealt with it "minimally" and a year ago he too started a relationship at work, described in counseling as an emotional affair. He decided that he wanted out of marriage and that we never get along. Never took the time to actually deal with adhd. But also, he never really wanted to. Everything was my fault -  it seemed. We started counseling and uncovered a lot of anger. I also apologized for all the anger I had (obviously a lot built up over the years). I asked his forgiveness and acknowledged I didn't want to deal with his adhd before. And yes, I waited for him to apologize for his part as well, but really never got it. I just wanted to move forward. The relationship he started was just brushed off by him and I saw a lot of denial and resentment towards me - I guess the reason for his needing someone, as you described, no problem there.

We went to counseling and much came out about our anger etc.  We dealt with a lot of feelings and became closer than we have been in long time. SO . . ., haven't been intimate in a long long time. As we are becoming closer in our relationship, I am wanting to work on that area and I get shut down with a big "not interested". He wont talk about it, but just says he doesn't feel like that with me. He too has said in talks that, "I love you but not in love with you". All of this just puts me in a never ending frustration. I too love my husband and he is a good man. When we are going a long with no problems, it seems that we can have a great marriage.  Once something negative comes up we are back to him wanting out. Even when it seems we've covered something and are in agreement, later he just forgets anyhow. So it comes back up again. Then angry because he just doesn't get why it's a problem.

So, I see from your description first of all, I'm not alone. Second, so much with adhd is just plain hard and unworkable is seems. From all that I've read, patience is truly a virtue!!  But that doesn't seem to help either one of us. I would like to be intimate with my husband again. Comments from "whatnext" were helpful I thought in just trying to be understanding. As hard as we try it's still frustrating  and I do just feel like giving up sometimes.

I am a prayerful person, no saint however, but I do believe in prayer for help. Maybe my husband doesn't feel in love with me right now and that really hurts. Reading what you have said helps me to feel less like it's just me. I believe he does love me, just as your husband does, but in their mind it's just easier to latch on to the no love/intimacy  then to deal with it. My husband is really big on not dealing with something if it's easier to avoid talking about it.

I came to this site looking for answers and hearing what you had to say has already given me a different light. So thanks! Still frustrated but a little more food for thought.

I agree with this, somewhat...

In my situation, there was forgivness due from both of us...and when we had done just about all of the abusing of our marriage we could stand, we both decided it was time to forgive and move forward. Making the decision, based on the fact that we truly love each other and WANT to be together, was just the first step...forgivness comes in time, with each new day that passes that you see the changes and FEEL the changes. I have no doubt your husband feels the changes you've made....but if it has been a year and he hasn't made obvious changes himself then I agree that he is getting some benefit from not changing...or he just doesn't want to and is using "not being able to forgive" as an excuse. He has walls up. Period. He KNOWS what he is doing...and he either needs to tell you what it is that he NEEDS from YOU to be able to let those walls down...or he needs to admit that he doesn't want to let them down and why.

I am a bit untrusting of men who refuse to change...or women for that matter..when they KNOW that their behavior hurts their spouse. It sounds to me like he's stuck in the "it's all your fault" mode or he just simply does not have the courage to be honest about whether or not he really wants the marriage to survive. Saying he wants it is one thing, doing what it takes is another. Words vs. Actions. When the actions don't follow what they say, at all, then something is wrong.

Out of curiosity, when did he start the Wellbutrin? It made my husband very cold and uncaring. I hated him when he took it and BEGGED him to go off of it, even though I was the one who begged him to take it. (mistook his 'problems' as depression for so many years). He was so cold and unreachable that I was barely able to convince him what it was doing to him, how it changed him. Might be worth considering if his starting it somehow coincides with anything significant (his emotional affair, his refusing to be emotional with you).

Thinking a lot about this...

I am really wondering if maybe you're not trying too hard. Let me explain...

Do you discuss something 'relationship' related or express concerns, desires, feelings, etc on a regular basis with your husband? Are there periods of time, say weeks or even a month or two for example, that go by without any 'heavy' discussions of your problems? If you're keeping this discussion at the forefront, then maybe it is 'overloading' him and he doesn't have time to process anything worth while. It sometimes feels like a game..I actually used to feel my entire marriage was just a game of cat & mouse...but I think it HAS to have some element of us knowing when we are pushing them and need to back off. On a smaller scale, if my husband is in a foul mood the very best thing I can do is to just simply say nothing. Inevitably if I give him a chance, by having a conversation with him, he WILL find something to pick on me for or be mad at me about. If I just stay clear of him, go about my business, and make only small talk with him..if that...then he is much more likely to come to me wanting attention and in a better mood. Bottom line, the more I try and fix things, the more I push him away. The more I just go about life with my new attitude and discuss only situations that really warrant discussion, the more receptive to me he is.

It is the only thing I can think of that would explain his resistance to your changes. Since you aren't getting anywhere with him, after 13 years, with the sex issue..then just drop it for a while. Live your life as if your happiness does NOT depend on him being in the mood for sex. Carry on with your life, with your children, as if you're determined to be happy with or without his sex/attention/affection. I know you probably feel desperate for intimacy with him after everything you've done to be a better wife...and after the emotional affair...but you really are just going to have to back off and give him space and let him reach his conclusions on his own. I had to, for other reasons, back off in the sex department shortly after we reconciled last Dec and after his affair that was very hard. I needed to feel that connection with him...I needed the reassurance that I felt by him having sex with me, but I grew to accept that the more I forced something on him that he wasn't capable of dealing with at the time, the worse it would be.

You have made changes to be a more positive person, but you're still holding this 'fault' over his head...and he knows it. Remove the elephant from the room and leave him in the room alone to ponder why you did it.

I hope some of this rambling helps. (HUGS)



Have you considered the possibility that his medication is under performing?

When my husbands medication is under performing he doesn't see a lot of need for keeping up with all the behavioral stuff of treatment (alarms, reminders etc) and actually gets really bad at doing it. So it's like he's not getting any treatment at all. However when his medication is working he is a whole different person, so my first question is are you sure his medication is working for him?

It takes a lot of patient feedback for medication to be optimized and unfortunately AD/HD people are not very objective with that feedback and always want to think the meds are working even if they are not. It becomes a different kind of denial. It take a lot of building trust but my husband has learned to take my word for it when his meds are not working. I also keep a type of objective log of the AD/HD symptoms he's exhibiting on a daily basis (things like putting an empty egg carton on the freezer door instead of the trash or even the fridge which would have at least made some sense) so that he can see the difference when his meds are working vs when they need adjustment. This makes my opinion less subjective and something he can see for himself which as a scientist he appreciates. This way he can see when he doesn't have any control over himself that the medication isn't helping. Medication should help the denial and self control of symptoms.

In other words... work the AD/HD as the problem and help with his treatment (in a respectful and non parental way) and you might find that the sex takes care of itself as the AD/HD treatment becomes more successful.

I keep wondering about the

I keep wondering about the medications as well. Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant and they can have a negative effect on sex drive. I know everyone is different, but as I mentioned, my husband was so cold and uncaring on it that I was worried I'd never be able to even make him believe me that it was making him that way and stop. It was very scary. It was not like him at all to be that way, luckily he didn't question me and went back to the doctor and got off of it.

Not sure if I mentioned this, but after I asked my husband to leave last October, he went to the doctor and got on another anti-depressant. I think he hated himself for what he was doing (cheating) and felt if he could get control of his (what we thought for years was) depression then he would get better control of himself. It wasn't until after he went off of it, 2 months later, that we made ANY headway at all. The entire 2 months he was on it all he did was rant and rave and push me until I had enough and then beg me not to leave him.

Anti-depressants DO lessen my husband's ability to 'feel' and have any kind of sympathy for those around him. I know now that they don't work for him because his problem isn't/wasn't depression.

thank you...

In reply to the last couple of posts, thank you.

I am currently working on:

choosing my battles - only bring up for discussion which is absolutely urgent

Not "checking the temperature" all the time - Otherwise known as checking the pot, getting in his business, talking more, initiating discussions as a means of connection, etc.  Just trying to work on myself and leave him be

Being true to myself - Not altering who I am just to morph around his issues. 

As far as his meds go, his doctor keeps adding more to the mix and it makes me nervous.  He is on Concerta, Ritalin, Welbutrin, Straterra and he also gave him Guanfacin to help him go to sleep at night.  I feel like this is way too much but am not sure any more how to talk to him about it.  He just told me that he has had problems with urination for the past several weeks.  He never even mentioned it to me!  He did mention it last week to his therapist and she said that's a side effect of Straterra.  When he looked it up, he discovered massive sexual side effects with that drug and when he thought about it, he realized that he hadn't even thought about sex or had an erection in weeks!  When he told me that, I GENTLY asked him if he thought that might be contributing to his lack of feeling "in love" and he said it certainly wouldn't help.

This man always considered my opinions important in his life and now I feel so isolated and kept on the outside of his life.  I feel so unimportant to him.  This doctor doesn't discuss side effects with him, doesn't ask for him to have a check up, keeps prescribing more and more drugs and even though he knew sexual issues were on the table, prescribed the Straterra anyway!  I just feel frustrated and don't know how to convey my concerns without him getting pissed at me!


I don't think Wellbutrin has the sexual side effects of most anti-depressants. When my husband was taking it, he never had any problems.

When I had my last gynecological exam last week I was surprised to be offered Wellbutrin as a possible treatment for my menopausal lack of sex drive. I took it a few years ago for a little while to try to deal with the situational depression of dealing with my husband's ADD, and I didn't like it, so I declined that offer. What I found was in line with what you've said, it made me feel less. I missed my emotions, even the negative ones. But the doctor said it can actually treat low libido (at least in women).