View Full Version : ADD Boyfriend Stares at Other Women


NYCKAT80
06-26-16, 05:33 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new here and I'm the partner of someone who has recently been diagnosed with ADD at 50. He has not started on any medications for it and, in fact, my therapist says the ones he's taking currently (for anxiety, sleep) are probably making it worse. Plus, he likes to drink on top of that.

We have recently moved in with one another and he's a great guy. Very attentive, kind, generous and we have a GREAT time together. He's very excited that he found his soulmate and although he has a very bad temper when he's mad (I can handle it, especially now that I know where it's coming from) he's a good guy. When we go out, he's looking all over the place, at signs, buildings, animals, everything. The only problem is that he'll look at other women, but not just a glance, he'll look and then look again and if we're in the same space for an extended time, keep looking over. He'll even fix himself so he can look better. He's COMPLETELY unaware that he's doing it because from the first time I mentioned it, he looked at me like I was from another planet. He has cried his eyes out in confusion, completely unaware when we get home from a place and I've told him that he was doing it again and I can't take it. It's one thing to glance (everyone looks at everyone here in NYC) but it's like he gets transfixed and has no idea what he is doing. Then, he will deny he's done it, "Who? Who was I looking at tonight? I don't remember one single person I stared at?" So, I'm in a bad spot. I can't mention it without a big fight (he just doesn't know he's doing it).

He gets super upset, confused and frustrated. His therapist is convinced he's not aware of it, my therapist is also convinced. He's not a liar at all) and by the way he gets SO hurt and upset, I know he's not lying. So, my question is this: Is this possible that it's connected to his ADD? When he gets medication will it help? My therapist thinks that this is part of his ADD. This poor guy is planning an entire future with me and I get a stomachache if I have to leave the house with him. I'm sick about this. We have a wedding for a family member coming up, vacations and all I can think about is how I'm going to leave him. I can't take it. It leaves me as an outsider because I have to wait there until he's finished looking. His therapist suggested I lightly pinch him when he's doing it, but I think that he will go crazy saying, "What? What was I doing? I wasn't!"

I'm not sure if it's just that it's a pretty thing or what, but I'm about to end this relationship (as I'm typing this he's texting me to tell me how much I mean the world to him). It's awful and I hope you can help me. Thank you in advance.

Fuzzy12
06-26-16, 06:19 PM
I'm not sure if it's an adhd thing..I. sometimes fix my gaze on something random as that helps me focus better. Often I don't even notice what I'm staring at. Sometimes it can be embarassingn when I realise that I've been staring at someone's face (or worse :rolleyes:).

Sometimes I might also look at someone andget most in some random thoughts about their face not because I find them attractive but just because something about them triggers a train of thought.

I don't know if it's like that with your partner. For me it's usually something random I stare at and it sounds like for him it's always women. Again it needn't be anything sexual. Maybe he finds women's faces soothing for some reason.

Pinching him sounds like a good idea though you should probably discuss it with him first so he knows what it means when you pinch him and you don't need to have a big conversation about it everytime. He says he's not aware that he's doing it so there's nothing wrong with making him aware. It doesn't have to be judgmental or accusatory and he needn't take it so personal.

Little Missy
06-26-16, 07:04 PM
I think I'd be more worried about his bad temper.

Socaljaxs
06-26-16, 07:25 PM
I do this I will stare with out actually staring or my eyes will shift but they actually aren't in terms of what I'm looking at. I don't know how to explain it but most likely similar to your boy friend. For,me it may look like I'm checking out another guy or not paying attention and looking elsewhere, but I actually am not looking elsewhere or checking anoth4r out. I have been accused of similar and yelled at for not DocuSign. But I actually am. No idea how or what is going on but I do know I'm not actually checking others out

Little Missy
06-26-16, 08:48 PM
I know a person who takes me while she runs all of her errands because I'm happy just sitting and staring out of the car. It's a Big World out there. :)

Greyhound1
06-26-16, 10:55 PM
I check out everyone, everywhere. I am a people watcher and eaves droper without even realizing it. I can get overwhelmed and anxious at airports and Walmart.

I don't tend to stare except from a fair distance off. I may make several glances. I do make mental notes of who is around me and where.

Not sure if your BF only stares at attractive women. I tend to check everyone out equally.

ginniebean
06-27-16, 02:15 AM
if you believe him what is the problem? i stare often while seeing nothing. i'm lost in thought. he's clearly upset when accused and has no idea who you are referring to.

i think sometimes people expect subplot where there isn't any.

why do you wait until mich later to ask him if he's staring at someone? Why not gently point it out as it happens?

TheFitFatty
06-27-16, 05:50 AM
I stare at everything and everyone. Like many people with ADHD. What I don't do is "fix myself so I'm in a better position to stare" and I don't use my ADHD as an excuse for a "bad temper."

End of the day, you can't accept his staring and he isn't willing to change. So that's it really. You can't really move forward.

NYCKAT80
06-27-16, 09:58 AM
if you believe him what is the problem? i stare often while seeing nothing. i'm lost in thought. he's clearly upset when accused and has no idea who you are referring to.

i think sometimes people expect subplot where there isn't any.

why do you wait until mich later to ask him if he's staring at someone? Why not gently point it out as it happens?

What is the problem is that it's constant. Who wants to be with someone who gets distracted every time someone pretty walks into the room and then keeps looking at them out of the corner of their eye? I think that's a problem.

I wait until later because at the time (in the past) I have been sick to my stomach and unsure of what to say. This is difficult when you love someone.

acdc01
06-27-16, 09:58 AM
If he hasn't tried meds, this isn't really something you need to worry too much about until he does use them if he's willing (focus on he himself being willing and not forced) to use them.

What worries me more is the way he insists he doesn't do the thing he does even though you tell him he does. I wonder if fights with him, which will bound to happen occasionally, will just be an endless string of heartache for you as he will never admit to any wrongdoing ever. Add to that his temper which can raise your blood pressure even though you think you can handle it.

Will he really make you happy even if he did stop staring at women? When we're in love, we tend to justify things and blind ourselves and not listen to the little voice inside telling us it's a bad idea. Listen to that voice if it exists and if there isn't a whisper, have him try the meds before worrying too much. What's worrying you may instantly go away.

NYCKAT80
06-27-16, 09:59 AM
I check out everyone, everywhere. I am a people watcher and eaves droper without even realizing it. I can get overwhelmed and anxious at airports and Walmart.

I don't tend to stare except from a fair distance off. I may make several glances. I do make mental notes of who is around me and where.

Not sure if your BF only stares at attractive women. I tend to check everyone out equally.

Yes, he often is hearing conversations at every other table, too. I'll be focusing on us and our dinner and he'll be like, "Did you hear what this guy just said?" It's pretty unreal sometimes. Thanks for commenting.

NYCKAT80
06-27-16, 10:00 AM
I think I'd be more worried about his bad temper.

Yes, that's a big deal, trust me. I'm anxious to see what this temper looks like after he goes to someone for medication regarding his ADD or ADHD. It's all about his frustration. Thanks for commenting.

Unmanagable
06-27-16, 10:25 AM
I tend to stare a lot, and also talk to many strangers, but it isn't because I'm lusting after someone.

I become easily intrigued, easily lost in thought, and tend to scan my surroundings everywhere I go.

It sounds to me like it may be more of an issue of you dealing with whatever is inside of self that insists he's doing something wrong and longing to be with another.

If he were actively flirting, making comments, and directing purposeful energies, then I'd say he was being disrespectful.

But without seeing the actual scene go down myself, it's really difficult to accurately gauge what's happening.

Kindly and compassionately follow your gut is my best advice.

NYCKAT80
06-27-16, 05:54 PM
If he hasn't tried meds, this isn't really something you need to worry too much about until he does use them if he's willing (focus on he himself being willing and not forced) to use them.

What worries me more is the way he insists he doesn't do the thing he does even though you tell him he does. I wonder if fights with him, which will bound to happen occasionally, will just be an endless string of heartache for you as he will never admit to any wrongdoing ever. Add to that his temper which can raise your blood pressure even though you think you can handle it.

Will he really make you happy even if he did stop staring at women? When we're in love, we tend to justify things and blind ourselves and not listen to the little voice inside telling us it's a bad idea. Listen to that voice if it exists and if there isn't a whisper, have him try the meds before worrying too much. What's worrying you may instantly go away. Thank you so much, you make a ton of sense. We had a breakthrough last night where he finally said to me, "Okay, maybe I will start looking at this differently and instead of insisting I'm not doing it (because it's unintentional) I'll start looking into the whole, 'Perhaps I'm not aware, but maybe I am doing it and how can I stop.' He also said he was embarrassed to hear that he does it (a big step since before this I was just told it was in my head). This is great advice and I thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You really helped me out.

NYCKAT80
06-27-16, 05:56 PM
I check out everyone, everywhere. I am a people watcher and eaves droper without even realizing it. I can get overwhelmed and anxious at airports and Walmart.

I don't tend to stare except from a fair distance off. I may make several glances. I do make mental notes of who is around me and where.

Not sure if your BF only stares at attractive women. I tend to check everyone out equally.

Thank you. He's mentioned that he needs to know what's happening in his surroundings. This is all really new to me. Is there any particular reason why you need to see and know about everything that is happening?

Greyhound1
06-27-16, 06:49 PM
Thank you. He's mentioned that he needs to know what's happening in his surroundings. This is all really new to me. Is there any particular reason why you need to see and know about everything that is happening?

I can totally relate. I have a beautiful wonderful wife and I can't focus on her when we go out to dinner even though I want to. I try my hardest to have a conversation with my wife but get distracted by so much it's difficult on a good day and impossible on a bad day.

I may get interested in a conversation at a nearby table and it's almost impossible to ignore and have a conversation. Sometimes, I want to just say shhh! So, I can hear better. I feel terrible and rude and make a poor dining partner.:(

Interestingly, I have gotten her into people watching so now she understands better. She can do it at will when she wants and I seem out of control with it at times.

BellaVita
06-27-16, 08:30 PM
I'm sorry this is so painful for you.

But I have some things to say, that I feel are the truth.

I don't know a better way to word it, but: If you can't accept him how he is, then perhaps the relationship should end.

No one should have to change for someone else.

It's who he is.

Now, if this is super important to you, in your next relationship you should make that clear.

But here's the thing: find someone who is already like that, don't try to change anyone.

If he's an all-around good guy and doesn't know he's doing it, maybe he's zoning out on those people? Which could be an ADHD thing.

Also, the accusing him will just keep hurting him until he can't take it anymore.

He sounds like a good guy and I hope you two do what's best for each other, but please don't cause you or him extra pain by being with someone who isn't who you want him to be.

BellaVita
06-27-16, 08:37 PM
I have a beautiful wonderful wife...

This is weird but it makes me totally feel "awwwwwwww so sweet" when I see genuine comments like this. :o:o Makes me happy to hear husbands talk about their wives like this.

Greyhound1
06-27-16, 08:47 PM
Thank you. He's mentioned that he needs to know what's happening in his surroundings. This is all really new to me. Is there any particular reason why you need to see and know about everything that is happening?

I just realized, I never tried to answer your question.

The reason IMO is all about mental stimulation. We are constantly seeking stimulation unintentionally and certain things trigger it. When we find something really stimulating we can usually focus or hyper focus.

I can pick out a conversation in a crowd and follow it better than one I may be having.

I know it sounds stupid but for some reason listening to some strangers have a dumb conversation triggers me.

It's kinda like seeing a train wreck or car crash and you really want to look away but you can't. That's the best analogy, I can think off.

Greyhound1
06-27-16, 09:06 PM
This is weird but it makes me totally feel "awwwwwwww so sweet" when I see genuine comments like this. :o:o Makes me happy to hear husbands talk about their wives like this.

It was genuine. Glad to make CoolBella happy:)

BellaVita
06-27-16, 09:10 PM
It was genuine. Glad to make CoolBella happy:)

I know - that's why it made my heart happy. (LOL autocorrect replaced word "happy" with "hairy" :lol:)


Anyway, Greyhound speaks good words OP that I think might be quite enlightening.

aeon
06-27-16, 09:21 PM
Thank you. He's mentioned that he needs to know what's happening in his surroundings. This is all really new to me. Is there any particular reason why you need to see and know about everything that is happening?

To some degree, I need to know because my brain canít assess and filter things out on its own.

And for sure, before I was medicated, I was a people-watcher like no other...but it was women, men, children, dogs, birds in nature, and...

Because I was trying to stimulate my brain any way I could.

Now, with meds, usually I canít be bothered unless there is something special being presented, like someone singing or suchlike.


Cheers,
Ian

Frustrated One
06-28-16, 01:14 AM
I am a guy with ADHD and I don't do that, but if he is kind to you and you don't think he will cheat, maybe it is worth sticking it out if you really care about him. Since he is only looking, but going home with only you, maybe you can think of it like this: "Of all the other choices on the menu, he chooses me". Maybe instead of a pinch like someone else suggested, you can gently put your hand on his leg, neck or shoulder. If his attention is not directed toward you, that should do the trick (at least it would for me). I hope this helps.

TheFitFatty
06-28-16, 02:40 AM
I can totally relate. I have a beautiful wonderful wife and I can't focus on her when we go out to dinner even though I want to. I try my hardest to have a conversation with my wife but get distracted by so much it's difficult on a good day and impossible on a bad day.

I may get interested in a conversation at a nearby table and it's almost impossible to ignore and have a conversation. Sometimes, I want to just say shhh! So, I can hear better. I feel terrible and rude and make a poor dining partner.:(

Interestingly, I have gotten her into people watching so now she understands better. She can do it at will when she wants and I seem out of control with it at times.

I know exactly what you mean! I love my husband to bits, but it's soooo hard to focus on what he says (what anyone says really). It's actually what led to my being diagnosed, he was getting frustrated with me acknowledging what he said, but not actually listening.

NYCKAT80
06-28-16, 10:17 AM
I am a guy with ADHD and I don't do that, but if he is kind to you and you don't think he will cheat, maybe it is worth sticking it out if you really care about him. Since he is only looking, but going home with only you, maybe you can think of it like this: "Of all the other choices on the menu, he chooses me". Maybe instead of a pinch like someone else suggested, you can gently put your hand on his leg, neck or shoulder. If his attention is not directed toward you, that should do the trick (at least it would for me). I hope this helps.

Thank you so much. This helped a lot. Yeah, not a fan of the pinch or anything that might make him feel uncomfortable. I care a ton for him and he's a very good man, honest and kind. That's exactly why I came here because I want to understand how he's feeling and how I can work with this. Perhaps with medication (another poster said he was like this before meds) he might not be so distracted all of the time. I appreciate you helping me out.

NYCKAT80
06-28-16, 10:20 AM
I know exactly what you mean! I love my husband to bits, but it's soooo hard to focus on what he says (what anyone says really). It's actually what led to my being diagnosed, he was getting frustrated with me acknowledging what he said, but not actually listening.


Thank you so much for this insight. It's incredibly helpful.

NYCKAT80
06-28-16, 10:31 AM
I'm sorry this is so painful for you.

But I have some things to say, that I feel are the truth.

I don't know a better way to word it, but: If you can't accept him how he is, then perhaps the relationship should end.

No one should have to change for someone else.

It's who he is.

Now, if this is super important to you, in your next relationship you should make that clear.

But here's the thing: find someone who is already like that, don't try to change anyone.

If he's an all-around good guy and doesn't know he's doing it, maybe he's zoning out on those people? Which could be an ADHD thing.

Also, the accusing him will just keep hurting him until he can't take it anymore.

He sounds like a good guy and I hope you two do what's best for each other, but please don't cause you or him extra pain by being with someone who isn't who you want him to be.

That was the first thing I told my therapist, "I want everyone to be who they are. If that is what he likes to do, I need to bow out gracefully." My therapist is not of the opinion that he needs to be changed, so much as he needs to see a doctor about his ADD and start taking the correct meds for him. He has not seen anyone about this yet (we just realized this) and she feels as though this might be because he's on the wrong medications and it's making him more distracted, frustrated, unaware and anxious in public. I thank you for comment, everyone on here has been so helpful.