View Full Version : Flip Flopping on the issues

05-02-17, 10:42 AM
I've read a bunch, researched so many articles about ADHD. I was the person in my wife's life that first diagnosed the ADHD. Unfortunately it was after 15 years of madness. There's so much built up animosity and hurt that even on the best of days I have a hard time accepting any of it. I used to get off work Fridays at 11:00 am. I asked my wife to spend Friday afternoons with me. We could go for a movie, or to have a drink on a patio somewhere and spend time together before we had to pick up our kids from school. For two years straight, she never once came home. There was always an excuse. And as I pulled away into my own space it was apparent she was never going to do us.

We have been to counseling many times. None of the counselors picked up on the actual issue so going for conflict resolution without knowing what is actually going on is ********. We continue to see a counselor. And now I just can't any more. We split two times and are now going for a Divorce. I was hoping that this last go was going to make it work out. I knew the problem, we had a clinical diagnosis and my wife said in front of the counselor that she was willing to do whatever it took to allow me to be me in this relationship sexually and try to be there for me. we go. She tells me she doesn't need to see anyone else for this issue, even though everything she is doing completely misses the mark. She is not even looking at the root of the issues. Simply giving me sex does not make up for romance and intimacy. Sex is just sex. I need the emotional attachment.

I have voiced my concerns about our past to my wife many times, for many years. There is a lot of talk on this site about verbal abuse. But lets talk about passive aggressiveness. At least verbally we know the feelings, but passive aggressive behavior is undermining. You cant fix silent aggression. My wife is passive aggressive. I am verbal. And yes, I have let her have it verbally many times for putting up with her ********, lack of interest, piles of **** in the house and her disregard for priorities. I have shown my frustration, and displeasure. I continue to tell her what I am seeking in this relationship. Her response is always the same. Why should she even try when I talk down to her about the way things are? And my response is always the same, why should I try if she is unwilling to be my wife. And then when the smoke clears....she says yes initially and then begins to justify her own feelings once again so that she doesn't need to accept the issues.

One of the number one issues with intimacy and ADD is that there is none. We have been roommates living under the same roof for the past 7 years. She refuses to even try to understand that there is an intimacy issue here. She doesn't take sexual cues. I can't tell if she is just not interested or legitimately doesn't understand them. She hates it when I come up behind her when she is cooking dinner and I touch her. She hates it when I nibble on her ear. We have never been romantic even though she keeps telling me she isn't adverse to the situation, but then if I put my hand on her thigh in a private setting she pushes me away. We have never had a candle lit dinner, or a special night out. She simply wont try to be romantic. The anxiety of always pushing for that connection is overbearing. I'm sure everyone knows that men connect to their women through sex. And I know that I have no problems performing, but she on the other hand has problems being in the moment and letting go and enjoying sex. To be frank, the sex is horrible most of the time and she just allows me to have sex with her so I get off her back or I quit pursuing her. I have been in plenty of relationships prior to our marriage and I am just going to stop anyone who is going to ask if I know what she likes. My number one thing about sex is to give her pleasure first. I am not satisfied unless she also has an O moment. So this is not an issue, but bottom line is she doesn't allow herself to.

The issues that are presented to me daily are that she says she understands my desires, would like to get to a point where she can meet my needs as her husband and then says she is fine with herself, as is. She says she is fine with her sexuality and intimacy levels. I find it completely unacceptable. She refuses additional counseling to maybe understand her inability to connect at an intimate level. It's not just about sex, it's about the closeness and the sexual tension and playfulness and being lovers, not just partners. It's the liking to be in the same room. I am very much in tune with those feelings in myself and know how they link together. I know that I don't want to be without those feelings in a relationship.

And to deal with it, I sink all those frustrations into the many projects I do, whether it's building something, or music, or art. The many projects she enjoys and many that are just for me. I cant do it anymore. It's not working. I need this to be about intimacy and fun and laughing. What I don't understand is why she is so defiantly against learning about herself in that manner. Why would she refuse something that is specifically what I have been asking for since the beginning. It's the one thing she won't do. It's the one thing I desire. Therefore this is a stalemate. There is no way to change the outlook. My options are to live without those feelings or to leave the marriage and find what I am looking for.

I cant seem to separate myself from feeling guilty for wanting what I want, but she has asked me to leave and then backpeddles and wants me to stay but then again refuses to address the issue. It's maddening!!!! I have very good female friends. They look out for me, coach me. I have my mom and that's about it. So I'm an island of despair. My counselor has told me I am headed into a clinical depression and I need to get a handle on things. There is absolutely no way to get a handle on this relationship. We are a mismatch regardless if it's ADHD or not. I live with a constant lump in my chest about finding myself, my happiness. I have no more feelings. I am the walking dead. I have no excitement, nothing gives me excitement or pleasure. I have absolutely no feelings inside. This is what ADHD does to a non ADHD spouse. Defiant, disorganized, inattentive, stubborn and self absorbed is my spouse. She says she knows but it will probably never change. And I simply have no more time left. I'm 51, I've been doing this for 15 years. I am not about to spend even one more year on someone who defiantly resists change. My children deserve to see what a loving and caring relationship looks like. I'm fairly certain my son has the ADHD bug too and there is no way I am going to be able to help him from inside this place of heartbreak.

05-03-17, 03:10 AM
How many years ago was the diagnosis?

05-03-17, 03:44 AM
What was it about her that made you fall in love and get married?

05-03-17, 04:38 AM
For some people with adhd sex is hard work especially the kind of sex you are looking for (and the kind that I agree should be a part of every relationship). Being in the moment, letting go, focusing on another person, etc's all hard work and if you've got adhd you might be exhausted just from getting though the day.

And if you are arguing on top of that it will make it even more difficult to overcome your tiredness and just let go. Sex can be huge pressure (also if the partner expects you to orgasm it can add to the pressure as well).

Is your wife getting any treatment?

Is she ok with non sexual intimacy? Hugging, holding hands, etc?

05-03-17, 09:13 AM
Once you feel real contempt for your wife, real lack of respect for her, then why would she want you? (Not to mention why would you want her.) If there is contempt, knowing why it's there doesn't excuse its presence. It forms an insurmountable obstacle to reconciliation; the contempt must be erased first before any kind of progress can be made on anything. That can be a bitter pill for the person who feels contempt for the other, because they may feel that contempt is justified under the circumstances. But in all cases, regaining basic respect first is the only way to save the relationship.

It's not possible to legislate what another person's feelings will be.

It's possible for a relationship to be so broken that it can't be fixed. I hope that isn't describing your situation.

05-03-17, 09:49 AM
The reason that I asked how long ago your wife was diagnosed is that it took me a while to figure out the specific combination of treatment, nutrition and lifestyle tweaks needed to relieve me.
I was also diagnosed later in life and it cost me a few potentially great relationships along the way. It's both a blessing and a curse to realize the truth. Lots of water under the bridge, but new doors opening up at the same time. It changes her relationship with everyone. You, your son, her boss, her family. Mostly for the better I would think.
ADD is not a disability. It's just different than you and there is a work around for nearly every symptom. Have you exhausted all forms of treatment?
Your post is so angry. My heart goes out to both of you because I know how hard it is sometimes to get through a day even when things are seemingly great.
I was passive agressive in the past and I attribute it to a combination of frustration and indecision. Demands on her as a wife and mother might be overwhelming but the right treatment and understanding should be able to allow her to better filter her distractions and get down to business, so to speak.

Bless you both -- you may have stuck it out this long for a reason. <3

05-03-17, 02:55 PM
It feels to me like you and your wife are incompatible when it comes to intamacy needs. This is no ones fault or flaw. If she isn't that into sex, it's just as difficult for her to change that as it is for you to change your needs.

I can't really say if divorce is right for you guys or not since we only see your pov and only 2 paragraphs worth of that. But I can say, if you guys are just naturally incompatible, if you've lost respect and resent her or she feels that way about you, well I personally think you'll have an easier time finding someone else who can meet your needs than to repair something that never worked in the first place or is very much destroyed at the moment.

I do think you can find love again. Maybe with someone that fits better.

05-03-17, 03:22 PM
My number one thing about sex is to give her pleasure first. I am not satisfied unless she also has an O moment. So this is not an issue, but bottom line is she doesn't allow herself to.

That sounds so much like me. Something won't allow me to enjoy intimacy.
I'm perfectly willing to go with the flow, it's my brain that stops me.

Is it the adhd? The autism? The sensory issues? The past history of sexual
molestation? Having a painful back spasm really interrupt the joy ... broken
bone in my lower back that was also not diagnosed at the time so fear of that
pain happening when I relax. Just finding it impossible to relax? That's better
now that I'm on meds for anxiety.

Any or all of those things. I dunno. But's not because *I* didn't allow myself to.

05-03-17, 06:18 PM
After lunacies post wanted to say one other thing. If you guys do end up divorcing, make sure she understands that this is just a difference in intimacy/sex needs. Not that there is anything wrong with her needs or yours, you guys are just different.

Whatever you do, don't make her feel like there is something wrong with her sexually and her wrongness is the reason for your divorce. She may even be asexual and I think some asexuals have a hell of a time accepting themselves and end up having very low self esteem.

It's not wrong for you either to leave her over this. You clearly aren't getting your needs met either and everyone needs what they need.

05-03-17, 11:25 PM
I think it's common for these kinds of topics to make the other person sound way more horrible than they actually are, but you make yourself sound really horrible instead.

Assuming you are not anywhere near that bad, your relationship sounds a lot like my experience with my dear sweet-hearted ex-fiancÚ. (You didn't mention many ADHD-specific problems, but you specified she has ADHD, so I'm extrapolating a bit.) Even though I was sad to break up with him, it was such a weight off my shoulders when it happened. I still have trouble managing adult responsibilities, but at least I could remove from my to-do list any stuff I was doing just to try to keep him satisfied. I think he has ultimately gotten less intimacy/romance/sex since we broke up compared to when we were together, but at least he no longer has me as an obstacle in the way of that goal. We're still friends. We lived apart for a while but we got back together as actual platonic roommates.

05-04-17, 01:40 PM
I reread my post....and you are all correct. I am angry about it. The diagnosis was last year and she forgot. And then January 1 this year I watch a PBS special about ADHD and how it affects relationships. I got her a doctors appointment and in February she was clinically diagnosed. She started meds 7 weeks ago, lots of adjustments. We have been to counseling off and on over the years, but counselors cant help if they don't know what's broken. I agree with ACDC01 that we are more sexually incompatible than not. Our current counselor has told us to understand that we are a mis-matched pair. That the ADHD just makes it much more apparent. The issues with intimacy have been there from the very beginning and because she had never been with someone who is that way she was interested. She tells me she has never seen me try to be romantic...which is very concerning to me. I guess it's difficult for someone who doesn't take cues to see when there is a spark. I have to force her to hold my hand most of the time. I have to initiate a hug most of the time. So a couple nights ago we had another chat about all of it and for the first time she took on the initiative to do her own research. It answered a bunch of questions but still there are no answers. I know know that many people with ADHD have an issue with being touched. And that alone destroys sexuality. She has always been uncomfortable with it. We have done so much damage to this relationship over the years it only takes one small interaction to shut it down. I have animosity yes, but my biggest issue is that I don't think anyone should tell their spouse that they aren't interested in addressing their needs. That is not what marriage is about. It's about understanding and giving. I'm taking a break. I'm vocalizing my discomfort and negative feelings. I'm moving on with my life because we are different people with different love languages. That is what the last 15 years have said to me. The diagnosis is just another answer to the madness. I have told her that I am not angry at her and am angry that there was an answer the whole time and we missed it. I am moving on for now. I will be attached to this woman forever because of our kids. But she has her own path to take right now and my needs are not in line with hers. I see where it adds additional stress to her path. She also needs to accept it and we need to let each other off the hook . It's tragic, it's inconvenient. It sucks.

05-04-17, 02:11 PM
ADHD and autism are both automatic guarantees of high sensitivity. That doesn't directly dictate anything about the person's sexual behaviour, but quite often it means the person is not very adaptable to different frequency or amount of sex. I have ADHD and ended up in the "frequent sex required" category. Others have ADHD and end up in the "not really my idea of a good time" category. I just think there are not many of us ADHDers in the "whatever my partner likes is fine with me" category - the sensitivity and the highly active brain and the stress it costs us to get through each day seem to combine in polarizing ways.

06-02-17, 09:05 PM
So contempt is a very disturbing word. I'm realizing after all of this it's more contempt than anything. We stopped listening. I stopped a long time ago. I'm a mess.

I know why I was angry in the moment, but now it doesn't make any sense. Our problems are about 10% ADHD and 90% my own insecurity which I was presented to me a few weeks ago.

Since I've been moved out I was told I was self centered and that I maybe caused more of the problem than I was willing to admit. It really ****** me off at first. I'm still dong my projects. Consuming myself with them but I spent the next 3 days alone thinking about that. I'm doing these projects trying to keep from thinking about hurting inside, trying not to think about my wife. And before I left I did them to try and not think about how distant my wife and I had become. That was an epiphany. I saw my counselor twice that week. And then I spent the next 5 days in tears as I started to realize that I spent every weekend doing my own thing. There was no way she and I could have become closer if I didn't spend time with her. She let me be and let me do what I wanted....and maybe she should have stopped me. We were supposed to be connecting and even when my wife tried her hardest the last time we separated I found myself doing the exact same thing. For some reason I just didn't see that she was throwing herself at me. Trying to show me she was all on board. I ended up pushing her away because she was fine with who she was even with the ADHD. And how could she be fine with it if I felt so unloved all those years. And now I realize that she is not broken. She just has her own way. Why should I expect her to fix something when all that is really the issue is life.

My wife wrote a letter to our therapist about how she felt about me the last time I moved out. She finally shared it with me and I never knew how much hurt and anger was inside of her for what I did this last time. And she was right. I had become an *******. I failed her. And in addition I made her feel insecure because I was more than willing to accept the flirtation of other women and even though I did not act on it, I eroded her trust. I finally feel like I am to blame for our intimacy issues and the distance between us. Had I been there, supporting her instead of insisting she spend more time with me it would have probably been fine.

I struggled with my insecurity before I met her. My first wife was a lesbian, my second a meth addict. And then I met my wife. And I fell in love with her in the first two days. She was my soul mate. I needed her. And when you don't pay attention, life will keep you from remembering what is important and what you took for granted will begin to fall apart.

So I have an issue. I am super insecure to the point of panic and withdrawal. I'm just now getting in touch with that. I'm doing counseling two more times next week. It sucks to admit I have a problem too.

I'd like you to understand that she is still my world. Even if she won't talk to me. Even when I was angry all I wanted was to connect to her. I just didn't know how. I wanted her to do all the work. I don't want a divorce but even if she divorces me. I will continue to make amends for what I have done. I don't want my kids to have two homes. She has been the only person I have wanted for the past 15 years. She is a go getter and a rock star. I should have been a better person. I will be a better person. I need her in my life and it's my intent to fix it.

06-03-17, 04:31 PM
Make very very sure, before you begin what you're describing, that the things you aim to fix are ( a ) realistically fixable, and ( b ) allowing and promoting that your own needs will be met.

If you set out on a change project that would sacrifice your own needs, that project will inevitably fail.

(Knowing yourself, knowing what's a need for you vs what's a want, is important - and always evolving. If there's something you simply won't be willing to do without, then whether you approve or not, that one is a need.)

06-03-17, 05:19 PM
You're both hurting.

06-19-17, 12:22 AM
This is very familiar to me, as I am in your position, but I am a woman. My husband has told me that I make him feel pressured when it comes to sex - and that makes him uncomfortable. I'll admit that there is sometimes a "desperation" from my part, to feel needed/desired, but also to be connected and intimate. When I told my therapist how often we were having sex, she was like wow, that's amazing. Lol - I thought well, great, yea, the quantity sounds right, but the quality ... He is always giving - but when sex is on the couch so he can have sex AND watch tv? Or when sex is in bed AND he's listening to a podcast? Am I crazy?! And look - I know I'm an attractive woman, he tells me as much - and I still get compliments and glances. It's that he's distracted and has no desire to be intimate. It's weird to me and I'll admit being guilty of questioning how he can say no. There are husbands out there who are flat out turned down, and here I am offering up any fantasy. He'd rather go fix something around the house.
I totally understand how you feel about asking her to spend time with you when you would get off work early. He gets off work early, he spends whatever time he can sitting on the internet, on his phone, or fixing something. Even asking him to lunch, he'd rather just take lunch spent on his phone or computer.
I'm sorry your going through this. I can commiserate. I have nothing helpful to offer other than letting you know you are not alone in your feelings or circumstance. I hope that you can work through things, in a way that you both find security and happiness. I always like to think, marriage is for the long haul. A small blip now, doesn't mean there aren't happy times down the road. I keep trying to change my mental state and appreciate what he is capable of giving me.

11-01-17, 12:44 PM
its such a viscious cirlce but the more you push her the more she will pull away. and the more you mention sex the less she will want it. My adhd partner has a really high sex drive - minium twice a day and not quickies either - if he is stressed or weve had an argument or ive been a ***** - no sex if he is extremely stressed he can go weeks without it and because ts not important in his mnd. hes too disracted by whats going on in his head. You seem to be really disconnected and its so hard if she refuses help, if you want to save your marriage perhaps change your own behaviour. Your wife has a condition that she cannot control and being a non adhd partner can be a lonely life. But if you provide her a positive enviornment - compliment her on little things - a nice meal, cleaning thats been done, her hairs nice just little things like that - kill her with kindness. You are constantly waiting for her to dissapoint you, to let you down, to push you away. She is constantly waiting to be critsized, to be told shes not good enough, that shes doing things wrong. If you change she naturally will aswell