What planet are you on?

As I read more on this site, it is as if a lightbulb has gone off. I'm finding more hope. During Thanksgiving dinner my ADHD husband had us all hysterically laughing. His sense of humor  and timing is amazing and hilarious. I've learned over the years it is one of his coping mechanisms.

I'm willing to bet a lot of spouses of ADHDers have at least on one occasion asked "What planet are you on?" Or "It's not rocket science." referring to a task or concept. I realized as I was cleaning up after dinner and he was struggling to put stuff away in the fridge,some things feel like rocket science. Not because he's stupid, but because his mind doesn't work like mine.

I spoke to him about these two statements I had made over the years, and he said for him it sometimes feels like life on this planet is foreign to his way of thinking and some things are just very difficult to grasp or learn. I thought about that and recalled how it was when I had been oversees. Some of the rules, beliefs and habits were very hard to grasp and maintain. Sometimes it felt like we spoke different languages and I wanted him to learn mine, but very seldom did I try to learn HIS.

Trying to follow him or complete a thought, when in the middle of a conversation he would start singing a ditty from a commercial or start talking about a movie was aggravating. I think you know what I mean. I had to learn patience and redirect him.

I also learned through trial and error, his attention span was about 7 minutes and I had to keep things direct and to the point. It meant some conversations took days to complete, but that is just the way it was.

I  used to wish someone had written a book  Titled "ADHDers are from Jupiter ,Spouses are from Earth" or some such, (please no offense intended) and help us navigate the terrain that is their minds and help us learn their language. I think I've found it here.

It may not seem fair that the spouse seems to have to accommodate so much, but I look at it this way, if my ADHD spouse were deaf I would learn sign language.

I find as we talk more, in short conversations about this he is happy that I am trying to understand him and is willing to open up and share. I do not judge or criticize and try to avoid saying or even thinking," that just doesn't make sense." I often write what he tells me and review them and think about it.

As I learn more, I ask him what can I say or do that will help you understand what it is I need or want from you, or what can we implement to make this or that happen. I discovered it was the key to help us deal with our intimacy issues. I will go over that another time.

It is not an easy terrain for me to navigate, but I look at it as an interesting challenge and another aspect of my husband that  I can learn to appreciate given time.

Brain cramp

It occurred to me that part of the exhaustion and resentment stems from how hard I have to work on so many aspects of our life and our relationship. So much thinking that I get brain fog and brain cramps. It seems unfair that I have to be so proactive just to survive.

Communicating with others is pretty simple, communicating with my ADHD spouse can be mental gymnastics.

I have to think about how he will interpret, receive or react to what I say. for example: He doesn't do something and I get upset, I drag his attention away from his video game. He gets upset. I can say we can fight about this or you can take  care of it NOW. you got it. He will choose to fight about it. To him fighting means I will rant and rave and he will zone out. When I'm done and storm off and do it because he won't, he can go back to his game. He wins. (He told me this)

I've learned not to give him options like that. After he told me he actually had that thought process, I said to him, Do you not see how unfair, and manipulative that is? He does not. He said, you gave me a choice. I made a choice. How is that unfair or manipulative? I said, didn't it occur to you I did not want to fight, I wanted you to take care of the thing? He says. That is not what you said. WOW. It took some time for me to wrap my brain around that. That is what I mean about having to understand the way he thinks.

I feel fortunate that I can

I feel fortunate that I can have actual conversations with my husband that don't trail off into Neverland, but find it curious that when anything of substance arises, it seems I have had to learn a whole new approach. I'm not complaining..I love him, no big deal...I'll learn his way of thinking as long as he's learning mine as well. (we're doing this in counseling) However, the two things that have been critical for me...that have really helped remove some of the stress are..

#1 - never try and 'talk' to him or 'reason' with him when he's 'in ADHD mode'. This mode is triggered by anger, frustration, hunger, being tired, hard day at work, etc. There is a right and a wrong time to ask for a conversation with/favor from him. I have learned to completely respect his 'unwind' time, not necessarily at the end of his work day, but just whenever I can tell that his mood just isn't conducive to a productive conversation. (he rarely plays video games, but asking while he was playing one would get me the same response...zero cooperation) THIS was extremely difficult for me because I am a discuss it/fix it NOW kind of person. Chaos, fighting, anger..it all cripples me. I've managed this, now I need to master the ability to not let HIS mood dictate mine. Going to an individual session this week to start work on this. He is very open to talking and discussing things...as long as my timing doesn't suck. On the flip side of this, he'll want to talk sometimes when I don't have a brain cell left to fire up at the end of the day...and no matter how hard I try to explain, he gets really easily offended and feels rejected. Thankfully he 'forgets' by the next morning and it's no big deal. His brain is going 100mph at 11 p.m...mine shut down 4 hours prior. LOL

#2 - Be very specific, short and to the point and nothing more. It is obvious (for the exact reason you stated above) that being clear and concise, leaving out the snarky comments and criticisms, helps TREMENDOUSLY. Asking in a way that says "it would really help me out and make me happy if you would...." is received so much better. I guess, if you think about it, that is the way we all want it.

As I was typing this he asked if there was any coffee. I took him a cup. He looks at it "isn't there any creamer?" I told him, sorry I forgot...came to get it. As I return to the bedroom with it he says "you should have brought something to stir it with". Had this conversation been reversed he would be furious and feel like I was calling him a failure or something. I just looked at him and jokingly said "you should have reminded me to bring something to stir it with..I can't remember everything" and walked off. I guess you have to laugh about it...

fortunate

I like what you shared, It is so right on. I  also agree I do have to laugh about it a lot. It often seems that it's okay for them to do or say things that in reverse would not be. I had to accept(or go Mad) that it is not worth even pointing out at times.

A case in point. He got paid yesterday. He is supposed to bring me the card(his pay is put on a debit card) and we go over the budget and "dole" out his money and make decisions on how to spend the money.

We had agreed he makes NO decisions without discussing it with me and I handle the finances period, end of story. So I'm asleep, our son wants to buy decorations for his Birthday party. So off he goes and buys them.

I ask my son where his Dad is, and he tells me. ok. Deep breath, I will not lose it here. When he gets home, I stood calmly in the kitchen and asked."What are you doing" (I wanted to say WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!") He puts down the bags and says, "We discussed this and you said we will get him some decorations." I reply. "I said AFTER we go over the budget we might be able to get him some" (I do believe they have selective hearing. ) " Not to mention, you are NOT allowed to use the CARD"

He says sorry. sigh. it wont happen again.  I knew his was not the time to get into all of it. He then says. " umm can I have the ten dollars go the concert tonight? Me, "Brain explody" "What concert, and what ten dollars? He says' I asked you the other day if you wanted to go with me and you said no.

I have absolutely no recollection of this so called conversation. I told him are you SURE or was it one of those you had the conversation in your head first and didn't actually talk to me times?

He said you were sitting at the computer and my friend and I was talking about it and I asked you. ok, so there was a lot going on, loud music, them talking and he must have said something in my direction. I did not hear and I might have shook my head and said No I can't hear you.

I said, "Sorry no, we haven't done the budget and we don't have time to, before you go. " His friend decided to pay so he could go. I won't feel guilty about that.

Brain Cramp

I know exactly what you are talking about.  My husband thinks the same way and the thought of unfairness and manipulation seemed to egg him on more.  We have now discussed the unfairness and manipulation and I now stand my ground as much as I can.  If I want to and can do whatever it is that needs to get done, I'll do it.  Otherwise, I will just leave whatever and eventually, perhaps when crisis sets in, he will get it done.  Takes alot of patience and alot of overlooking many, many things that drive me crazy.

I was recently accused of

I was recently accused of trying to manipulate him because he was denying something he'd admitted to MANY times in the past few months (as part of his becoming aware of his ADHD impulses) and I was saying things like "how can you deny something to me that you've admitted many times in the past few months?" reminding him that he'd even admitted it in counseling. He flat out said he would NOT admit to admitting it simply because I wanted him to. Later, he brought it up in counseling and told her the exact same thing "she wants me to agree with her and tell her what she wants to hear" and I sat there wondering 'what planet is this turd from?' !! Thankfully our counselor said "well, I do remember you admitting that...isn't that part of your impulsive spending?" and he answered "yeah, I do have a problem resisting the temptation to spend money". ARGH

When he's in that 'mode' (defensive/convinced I'm just trying to control him) there is no sense in arguing with him. Our entire session was him being defensive...we walked out the door and the switch was off and he was kind and cooperative again.

In his defense, I think most of this was medication induced...and we're working on resolving that. Hopefully he'll not slip back into that 'mode' again...I can't go down that road with him again.

accused

I so hear you. The defensiveness is one of the hardest issues I've had to deal with. I know now part of it is the years of him having to deal with criticism from everyone, including me. When that wall goes up there is no breaking through. Someone on the forum asked if there was a sledgehammer laying around. I get that.

EVEN if I tell him I am not accusing, he will see it that way. Oh if someone were around to hear the conversations. I'm learning more and more I CANNOT change him, change only happens if is is small, he is willing and we cooperate. We want immediate results but that is unrealistic. I am a let's do it now and get it over with type of person.

I have had to change how I respond, how I speak and how I think. That works better than trying to force him to HEAR me. I have to look for cues as to what "mode" he is in and be patient and bring up things when he is calm and receptive.

I try very hard to be positive, and break through the defensiveness by saying okay, you don't recall that. So lets's start from here or start over. So it may take a few false starts but I find that backing off usually helps and he comes around.

I sat in counseling the other

I sat in counseling the other day and said "Please, have some blind faith in me...believe that I love you and only want what is best for you, me, and our family.." and asked him to believe that the medication had changed him. Nevermind the fact that he resisted for SOOO long taking any medication because it made him a jerk the first time he took it and that he told me several times he did not want to do that to me again...he still insisted I was just trying to control him. "Ok, fine I will just do what you want me to do!" attitude. I tried every way I knew to say "I love you, I care about you, I only want what is best...I have no ugly motivations" he was NOT hearing it. BUT..we left the session and he was all lovey dovey and fine...24-36 hours later he brings up how horrible he feels from stopping the meds cold turkey and I carefully said to him "I'm worried about you, wish you would just take it until you can get in to see your doctor". He started taking it again, promised to be very aware of any signs of the snapping and short fuse he had developed on it, and made himself an appt for Monday. So..I KNOW he knew what it was doing, so why does he have to make a HUGE ordeal of it, accuse me of being something I'm not (manipulative, controlling), and THEN take the walls down and admit (through actions) that he knows I was right? I just don't get it. Even when I suggested he give the meds 2-3 more weeks (maybe it was where he was sick? Maybe it was just the sudden decrease in dosage??) and then see how things were going he insisted he needed to go ahead and go to the doctor and seek alternatives. He REFUSED to even consider alternatives in counseling...was even ugly and rude to our counselor insisting he wasn't taking anything, ever! I am beginning to feel he just gets so defensive because of what you said..they're so used to people thinking they're stupid and incompetent that he cannot just trust my motives...trust that I love and care about him..he has to jump to his 'comfy place' of defensiveness and accusations. It's sad, really.

Most of our progress is made this way...only I've managed to get these 'blow ups' down to a minimum to just simply telling him how I feel about something and letting him have his 30 seconds to debunk and dispute me and then I just leave him alone. A day or two later he'll, somehow, someway, prove to me that he heard me by doing what I asked...or apologizing for what it was I told him was hurtful. I don't understand this either...but I guess that is just part life.

counseling.

I just want to to hug you. Having been on the receiving end of "You only want to control me, etc." It's hard getting your love and concern thrown back at you in that manner.

My spouse told me this " He said, it's hard not to think it's about you trying to control and change me because after all, I am the one who has to take the meds, change my behavior, go to the Dr., adapt to life with a "normal" wife. If I were single, I think I'd muddle along somehow and not have to change or take meds or at least not to the degree I do in a marriage."

It made me sad to hear that because he doesn't play out the whole script. He doesn't think about how horrid his life was even before I came along or what I have to do being in this marriage.

I do understand all his life everyone he knew was trying to "fix" him. Even the ones who loved him. His mother on the other hand finally took some training in assertiveness, and tough love. His life fell apart then. So no matter which track we take, it seems to be about "control"

I think about how he feels and even though it is concern and love on my part, yes, I do have an agenda, and he knows it. I want things to get better for me as well as for him. He sees it as more for me than him, because he can live in his mind world alone most of the time just fine.

I find in the area of meds' counseling etc. I really have to allow him to make the final choice and keep my input mostly to either reinforcing how well it is working or not.

The hardest part for him is coming to terms with having a disorder. It took a long time to accept the diagnosis, longer to take meds, and find one that worked. The other part was ok I'll take meds, things would get better so he decided he didn't need them. I told him it's not like you have an infection and taking meds for a bit will fix it. It's  more like having diabetes and taking insulin.

 He also took the tack, "If I don't take meds, or see a doctor I don't have to admit there is something wrong with me." I told him there is nothing "wrong' with you, you have a disorder. That doesn't make you bad, or crazy. Still hard for him.

Then he would start taking meds, lose his job or insurance and not be able to take them, and things would spiral out of control. The more I let him take responsibility for having a disorder and taking steps to help himself and encouraging him and doing my part to make sure he gets them, he is more willing. Understand this was not overnight or months, but years to get to this point.

You are right about "him" having to let off steam. I'm feeling more compassionate towards my hubby, it must be difficult  for him, and I am the only one at times he can blow off his frustrations to, even if he is wrong  I think it helps them to vent like that. I've learned to let most of it roll off my back, simply because I know he will be contrite soon and apologize and do what he needs to.

Recently we found an ADD site where he can buy a t-shirt that says ADHD and it looks like the ACDC logo. He loves it. It makes him feel special and empowered. It is part of his acceptance of his disorder and coming to terms with it. It says to him, I have ADHD and it's okay, deal with it, cuz I'm cool with it.

I do look at the bright side,

I do look at the bright side, even if he has to throw a fit first, in the end he does do what is best for our marriage and for that I'm very thankful and feel very blessed. I KNOW he spent the majority of his life being told he was stupid and lazy and good for nothing. (his father, his first wife) Although this may have been due to their lack of understanding and him going undiagnosed, it is still something I have never EVER said to him...and never would. I have called him selfish MANY times...but that is just what it seemed and felt like at the time...but never stupid. He ACCUSES me to calling him stupid, but I never have and have never really had the thought run through my mind. I KNOW he's intelligent and has a very giving spirit...but sometimes the ADHD gets the best of him and he does stupid things...and seems selfish..but hopefully these things will continue to be minimal as we seek help.

You're so right...I too have motives that involve myself...wanting to be happy...and not wanting his ADHD to destroy our marriage, but the way I see it, it is as much for his benefit as mine. He would be devastated if our marriage didn't work out...just as much as I would...so if I have to 'save him from himself' sometimes, then so be it.

it's not rocket science

omg, I have said that so many times.  English is not even our language, but still I say it in English.  I usually feel a bit bad afterwards, like I'm being patronizing or something (especially if I use a snarky tone), but some of the things he's not "getting" just seem so glaringly obvious and common sense, that I can't help it.

Snarkinator

Who am I and what have you done with "me"? I am the Snarkinator now.  I was inspired by this site to actually take the time to put on makeup, and nice clothes for Thanksgiving. I applied so much concealer to cover the dark circles, alas my mascara had petrified from non-use. Hubby took some photos of me. One is a haunting pic, I look almost emotionless, leaning towards sad. In that photo I saw someone I recognized barely, a lingering beauty I thought I had lost. Not being vain, I hope you understand.

It tore me up. Somewhere along the line I had given up, never took the time to take care of me. Running around hollow-eyed, hair pinned up or tied back sloppily, putting on whatever was clean and easy to wash, while my beautiful clothes hung limply ignored. Until I married my hubby, I never swore. I was well groomed and organized. I reared 6 children and was the model of efficiency. I spoke quietly, politely.

Who was that screaming sailor mouthed harridan with the Einstein hair and stained shirt, pawing through the laundry baskets? Yep it was me.

I'm a talented artist, amongst other things. That too got lost along the way. I know it sounds like I'm blaming my ADHD spouse for this, but not all of it. I didn't have the info, understanding or tools to deal with the man I had married. Life was swimming against the current, trying to survive. Something had to go, and as in the case with even normal marriages it's the caretaker's own time, health,and appearance.

I would get glimpses of the person I had been, in my interactions with friends whom I see rarely or in the outside world, which I also see rarely. I weep.

This photo strangely enough made me think about our communication, or lack therof. I've learned more about how it works for him.

Tonight he went to a concert with his friend, leaving me the tasks of cleaning up the Thanksgiving dishes left over, and making the buffet for my son's birthday party and decorating and picking up the house etc. My son helped me, fuming the whole time about how inconsiderate it was of his Dad.

When he came home very late, I gave him a list of things I still needed and told him to go get them. I was distant and cool.  He balked at first, "It's Black Friday!"

In my head I said, "Well, you knew about this party and what it all entails and the dishes were staring you in the face, and if you hadn't gone on a "date" with your effing boyfriend showing your son and I how much you cared about us... you get the gist... " Snarky, snarky mean and angry. If I had said those things I know this is what he would hear " Well...."date" effing boyfriend" that's it, those words would negate everything else I said.

He came to me and said "ok what's wrong?" I said I'll talk about it later. He said, I need you to tell me now, I can see you are upset. I said, I feel like I'm the Snarkinator, always trying to hurt you with meanness, and I'm upset that I lost who I am because of this sort of thing. I don't like making you feel bad for having a good time, but this was another impulsive, poor choice. I am a bit resentful you go out all the time and I get stuck at home doing the work. I'm really trying to curb the snide nasty comments and foul language. I paused and said, could you tell me what you just heard me say?

He said, "You are hurt, resentful and angry and it was unfair what I did. It WAS a poor choice, in spite of the fact I did it to help my friend who is having a hard emotional time." You are working hard to communicate better with me. I appreciate that, and I'm sorry. What can I do, it's late and I have to get to bed.

I said, just get me what I need please. You can help me clean up after the party. He hugged me and thanked me and said "We can do this, we can make things better, using the forum, and books and stuff we learn, I hate this as much as you."

Not a perfect solution, but we are having a real honest discussion, we have come a long ways since the ugly screaming fights.

He said as he left the room, "By the way Snarkinator, I find the word snarky coming from you kind of cute. "Gotta love him.

I'm going to digress here for a sec. One of my daughters was validating me, telling me what she liked about me. How I treated her like an adult,even as a teen, never judged her, let her own her own choices. She also said I was supermom once again, counseling her online while baking and cooking.  I thought about it, thinking I don't want to be a super anything. Tired of juggling everything. I needed that validation, something I rarely get at home, other than from my son. I realized the irony that I could be that  way with my kids,non-judgmental, allowing them to deal with the consequences of their choices, but not with my ADHD husband.

Hubby came back and said to me" I like the clever way you managed to be snarky without being snarky. "I had also told him what I was thinking about saying him, choosing instead to say what I did to show him I was trying. He laughed, thought it was funny. In the future I won't tell him what I would have said. Could it have been a bit of passive -aggressiveness on my part?

At any rate he asked if I like the mixer he chose for me(I needed a new mixer) and proudly handed me an extended warranty slip. He said I didn't buy a stand mixer, like you like, I chose a less expensive hand mixer, I hope you don't mind, because our budget is tight, but it's nice and I know you use a mixer a lot and the last one broke..sooo the warranty.

I was absolutely floored. So he can make rational thoughtful choices. I thanked him for making good choices and told him I was proud of him. He just beamed. He needs validation too.

Time out

One of the tools my hubby and I will be using are hand signals and "safe" words in our communication. Often in our exchanges, I get started and it gets redundant for him or he goes into ADHD mode. I know his attention span is very short, but I feel like I just need to say that one , five, ten more things to him. He tends to get a deer in the headlights look which should warn me I've lost him, but I don't always catch that.

So I've asked him to figure out an easy memorable hand signal to alert me that I've lost him and we need to pick it up another time.

Why can't he just tell me that, you ask. I can't even begin to explain, something gets lost there when he tries. I know for us, when I'm really furious, putting my hand up in the air to let him know it is a VERY bad time to talk or continue a discussion works really well. One of the ways we've been a able to stop the screaming nasty fights.

For us a safe word is to alert the other  that whatever is happening at that moment has to stop IMMEDIATELY. We then retreat to separate areas to cool off, assess or just figure out "what just happened" this is important to us because when things get really heated, things can get dangerous. He has never intentionally hurt me, but I've been hurt physically in the fallout of an argument more than once.

For example we were arguing while we were in bed one night and I sat up and pushed his legs out of the way as I was getting out of bed. He was enraged at that point and thought I was deliberately trying to provoke him, so he pushed me with his back really hard to get my feet off him. Unfortunately I was in an awkward position half up and it threw me off balance and I went feet over my head and smashed into the armoire breaking a rib.

He was horrified beyond belief at what he had done. I'm tiny and he is three times my size. So we knew we had to find ways to stop things from getting to that point.

Two important factors that

Two important factors that have helped our marriage are me asking myself "do I really need to make this point..again...right now?" and me keeping any points that I do feel I NEED to make short and concise. It is really frustrating for me to carry around an issue that I want to discuss with him, but know that I can't...or I have to pick the absolute perfect time...and I have to do a 'hit and run' with making my point or it will ALWAYS end up in an argument. Yesterday was a perfect example.

He has a female co-worker (she's head of HR). They're both newer employees (barely there a year) and they worked together on a few things when he was first hired and I suppose this caused them to form a bond. I also am well aware of how 'needy' my husband is and if he can find anyone to 'be in his corner' in ANY given situation, this is something he needs and seeks out. This woman has (as he describes it) taken him under her wing, so to speak. Well, as much as I want to be understanding...a huge part of me feels that he's a 38 year old man who does not need to be 'taken under' anyone's wing. She's only in her late 40's...not like she's old enough to be his mother. They went to lunch together with a group of other people once...and then once he asked if I minded if they went alone. I am not OK with it, and I told him to go ahead and go that time, but please not do this anymore. It isn't appropriate for a married man to have lunch with a woman. (just how I feel, don't need any bashing about it) Our marriage couldn't survive even a RUMOR that something was happening right now...my heart is still recovering from his affair last fall.

This past weekend her name came up in conversation, and before he thought about what he was saying, he said that he had talked to her and was telling me that her daughter had a procedure done (she was out of work all last week because her daughter had a blood clot in her brain). I KNOW the conversation had to have happened Thanksgiving or the day after or at the very least AFTER work hours when he shouldn't have been talking to her. He later changed his story and said he had e-mailed her (they get e-mail on their work phones). This conversation took place Friday. I didn't say anything at the time, our daughter was in the car with us and we'd just gone and gotten our Christmas Tree. I didn't want to spoil the day. He immediately withdrew his comments, asked if something was wrong, and the mood somewhat soured. I did make a point to let him know that I feel it is wrong of him to be talking to her if it isn't work related. (again...I can't even begin to imagine how this would play out were the roles reversed) I let it fester...trying to talk to him a couple of times but never gathering the courage...until yesterday.

He called when I got out of class. I was having a stressful, bad day...big test at school, more coming up, finals coming up, and I lost my father a year ago this past Sunday...I'm struggling to keep my head up at this point. I didn't notice that he was apparently having a bad day too. He'd gone to the doctor and gotten a prescription for a different medication. His insurance company gave us a fit over filling his Concerta, it took forever, and it was a big ordeal (especially for him). He says he is taking his new prescription to HR to make sure the insurance is going to pay for it...carefully not mentioning who "HR" is. Being in my already messed up state of mind, I just let it all out. I told him that he should have NEVER thought it was OK to go to lunch with her...never should have asked..never should have provoked these feelings of insecurity in me knowing what I am struggling with...and it turned into a 'he said, she said' blame game for about 3 hours. (texting off and on). I knew better...and I tried to clean up the mess but it was too late. He was in ADHD mode and there was no reaching him. "you're just trying to lay all of this on me" "You're trying to make me think I'm crazy" "you're blaming me for everything" "you're not trying to tell me how you feel, you're just barking at me!"

I messed up...I let my emotions get the best of me and I handled a situation in a very unproductive and quite damaging way. Now I'm living with the fallout. Cold shoulder. Refusing to kiss me goodbye this morning. Back to the same old "anything I can do to hurt you because you hurt me" BS. Please Lord, let him get off of this medication...

So..the point to all of this...I should have said to him (or maybe even just written it in our journal) "I am really uncomfortable with you e-mailing or calling (HR lady) or any other woman. I really don't like worrying like this. I hope you can understand and won't do it anymore out of respect for our marriage" and left it at that. I lost him 2 seconds into the conversation and am not sure he even got the point I was trying to make...and we fought. He is NOT open to communication right now...the meds have really done a number on him...I just knew better...and could kick myself.

Sorry..didn't mean to ramble...just needed to get it off of my chest. No one understands like you guys do.

re:Two important factors

Sherri, please don't feel like you are rambling. I am captivated by your posts because I can really relate to what you are saying. I get so much out of what you share. Although my husband has never cheated, he has said some grossly inappropriate things, the whole ADHD blurt out something stupid cuz he thinks it's funny at that second in the world's rotation. Then he doesn't get why I am so po'd at him even after I explain countless times.

One of the things I told him early in our relationship is that I had TWO ex husbands who cheated on me and cheating was a deal  breaker, no second chances, no excuses, period.

One example. We had only been married for a short time and he was in school. I was enlisted to cook a buffet for the film crew (film school).  That was a LOT of work, I had an infant and worked part-time. The second time I couldn't and of course he had asked me at the last minute, so I suggested we go to a pizza place and talk to the manager about donating some for the school project.

So he went in and did what I suggested. I sat in the car and I could see him talk to the girl. It all was very businesslike and she acted very professional and the whole conversation lasted about 3 or 4 minutes. He came out to tell me the manager(the girl) had agreed to help. When the food was ready, he went back in and collected it all and we took it to the school. I set up the buffet while they worked on their project.

Then the group came and feasted happily. They asked him how he managed to get the manager to donate all that food and drinks. He blurted out " I asked her out on a date."

You could have heard a pin drop. There was a long awkward silence and everyone including me looked at him as if he had grown another head. They all knew both of us,  and I helped him with many of his projects by doing things like feeding the crew. He knew he was toast and tried to salvage the situation by saying weakly, I'm just joking. I turned on my heels and ran out.

He ran after me, I told him, find your own way home, I cannot believe what you just said! Are you out of your *&^% mind!!  He said you know I didn't mean it, it just came out. Of course when we fought later about it, I accused him of actually wanting to date the girl and all kinds of things, he denied it all and over the course of years I realized he had zero interest in cheating for reasons I won't divulge yet.  Once we got past the accusing, denying stage,I tried to get across  how hurtful and how disrespectful that comment was,and how it eroded my trust in him. It took him years to control that, he still blurts out inappropriate things from time to time, but rarely in that context now.

This was before his diagnosis and one of the reasons I started looking for answers to his behavior. He paid dearly for that comment for years before I understood the mechanics behind it.

So each story I read like yours, helps me understand and make the choices I need. Thanks.