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-   -   ADHD and Cheating -- Related? (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85403)

greenmonkey 06-29-10 03:26 PM

ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
My background: I'm 27. I was diagnosed "likely AD/HD" by my general doc last Friday and prescribed Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant also used for AD/HD. I have read a lot in the past week about AD/HD and the more I read the more I can relate to it. I am seeking a second opinion from a psychologist or psychiatrist.

While doing some personal analyzing of my past experiences, I came to a curiosity. I'm not sure if this is the correct place for it, but here goes...

As the title states, can AD/HD and cheating be related? When I was 18 I cheated on my girlfriend with my ex. It turned into an ongoing sexual relationship behind her back. Inevitably she eventually found out. We got together again, I cheated again. It was a pretty vicious cycle, but one that I have only ever experienced with her.

Now, perhaps a disclaimer before this discussion gets going too far, that I am not seeking to justify any of my past actions. This is simply a thought experiment to discuss whether or not the existence of AD/HD could have encouraged me to make the poor decisions I did.

So, the girlfriend I cheated on, I loved. I know there are plenty of people who might refute that, based on limited knowledge of my actions, but it is what it is. I was in a bit of a self-destructive spiral with my cheating, grasping for some newness and excitement, and finding it in the wrong place. With the first go-around there was a lot of guilt involved, at least later on, but that didn't stop me. We would get together, I would be enthralled by what was happening, and immediately afterward mentally skold myself for what I had done.

I don't have any serious opinions one way or the other, but just some curious questions. Does AD/HD ever result in self-destructive behavior? Can cheating be encouraged by AD/HD?

I hold a personal philosophy that I wouldn't change anything in my past if given the opportunity, because I have learned and developed into the person I am today based on everything I have ever done, right or wrong. It is thought-provoking, however, to wonder if I would have behaved differently if diagnosed as a child with AD/HD and medicated for it.

RedHairedWitch 06-29-10 04:04 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Plenty of people with ADHD don't cheat. ADHDers don't cheat, selfish a**holes do.

spaceyKP 06-29-10 04:11 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
I don't think there's much a correlation between ADHD and cheating. Generally if you are hyperactive-impulsive it is normal to say/do things without realizing or understanding what the consequences would be. However, as an adult who's mature enough to be in a relationship, you would be well aware of the consequences of cheating to the point that your ADHD would not cause you to choose to cheat.

scout86 06-29-10 04:13 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
I think you brought up an interesting point, and here's why.

Impulsiveness and ADHD go hand and hand, thus making the chances of cheating increase.

I can only speak from my experience, but I make many mistakes which, if i had just taken the time to think them through, would never have happened.

In the realm of relationships, it can be hard having ADHD and loving someone because its hard to concentrate on them when so many other things are going on in your head.

Knowing how impulsive I can be, that lack of rationality lends itself to a valid explanation as to why I've ended up going out with other girls and been confused as to how it led to an attraction.

I, too, must make myself very clear so that no one gets the wrong idea:

I AM NOT USING ADHD AS AN EXCUSE.

I just think there is a valid point in saying that ADHD may put the odds against you in this case.

Imnapl 06-29-10 04:24 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greenmonkey (Post 904459)
to wonder if I would have behaved differently if diagnosed as a child with AD/HD and medicated for it.

Most definitely yes. Many adult ADHDers are in therapy or being treated for comorbid issues /disorders because of a lifetime of undiagnosed and untreated ADHD.

sPacie~Gracie 06-29-10 04:26 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Read this book "Is it me or ADHD" such a great book for adders and non adders recomend!

salleh 06-29-10 06:03 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
are you speaking of the book, "Is it you, me, or Adult ADD ?" and it's about relationships ? I couldn't find any book by the title you mentioned......

greenmonkey 06-29-10 07:59 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch (Post 904487)
Plenty of people with ADHD don't cheat. ADHDers don't cheat, selfish a**holes do.

Nice. Way to add constructively to the conversation.

While I would like to respect your feelings, I would also like to point out that I wasn't implying "ADHDers are cheaters" or anything like that. I only wanted to discuss the possibility of increased likelihood of someone cheating (perhaps someone already prone to it) if they have AD/HD.

I AM NOT implying that any ol' person with AD/HD is more likely to cheat on their partner than someone else. I just wonder if I would have acted differently in the situations I was in as a teenager if I had been previously diagnosed and treated for my AD/HD.

mADD mike 06-29-10 09:52 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
While I could see an ADDer with impulse control issues cheating once if the situation just hit them just right, to do so over and over again with the same person or different person wouldn't really be impulsive, but moreso premeditated. That speaks more to character than an impulsive mistake. Also, what a person does after cheating might reveal even more about them. Are they a stand up person that will admit what they've done, accept the consequences, and work hard toward reconciliation? Or do they have to get caught in order to come clean?

In the end, ADD can give us problems with impulsivity, but lots of people cheat because they frankly just want to, are selfish, have a lack of morals, put themselves in bad situations without proper boundaries, etc.

Driver 06-29-10 11:33 PM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch (Post 904487)
Plenty of people with ADHD don't cheat. ADHDers don't cheat, selfish a**holes do.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

I'm not sure of any studies, but I'd bet my left nut that there's a strong correlation between people who cheat in relationships suffering from ADHD.

It's well-known that ADD'ers can have relationship problems, and ADD'ers are well-known for being impulsive and having strong desires for stimulating activities. What more ingredients do you need to seed cheating?

Imnapl 06-30-10 12:29 AM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Driver (Post 904649)
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

I'm not sure of any studies, but I'd bet my left nut that there's a strong correlation between people who cheat in relationships suffering from ADHD.

Wow, risking gonads to prove a point; must be a guy thing. :p

ADHDTigger 06-30-10 12:35 AM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
No value judgment.

I was diagnosed with Minimal Brain Dysfunction (aka ADHD) as a child. I am primarily hyper/impulsive. I was medicated off and on until puberty. After that time, ADHD no longer existed. Or at least according to the brightest minds.

I have been married twice. I did not find it necessary to cheat on my husbands, I am currently in a monogamous relationship of six years or so with my partner. I have not, nor could conceive of, sleeping with another man.

My partner has terminal cancer. I cannot conceive of being with anyone else ever.

I still have ADHD.

If one cheats, that is on his/her own. ADHD doesn't cause infidelity. It causes disruption to executive function.

Why you cheated on that relationship is deeper than ADHD and truthfully, has little to do with ADHD.

Just my two cents.

ginniebean 06-30-10 03:14 AM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
The statistics on cheating aren't good. Something like upwards of 70% of people cheat on their partner. Clearly it's not an adhd thing.


People can have adhd and be ********.

The problem with questions of this nature is that these are issues of morality not biology (although I have heard the stuff about men must spread their seed around tripe I don't find it particularly compelling.. unless you want to accept that women will see you as a wallet .. it's just part of our biology mind you if you see relationships in this way you got bigger problems)


People associate the symptoms of adhd with moral questionability and that is really unfortunate.

I too have a lot of hyperactivity and impulsivity (along with the inattentive symptoms too) I too am a loyal and faithful partner and I couldn't see myself being able to cheat without getting caught. Not that I would want to.

Far too often people take an observation, add a little of this and look for a bit more evidence here and cobble together some idea or other that they think makes sense and more often than not it just doesn't equate to the reality.

Do people with adhd cheat more? Not likely tho I admit that the 'seeds' are there. Would they get caught more often? oh probably not being good at covering your tracks isn't all that unlikely.


Impulsivity isn't a good explanation for cheating..that's stretching it. (unless it's one of those.. "it just happened and what on earth did I just do!!!" one off sorta deals.


What is more likely is being seen as attractive is highly rewarding, highly stimulating, for men often the 'chase' is such an ego reward that some will even become addicted to that phase and set themselves on repeat.

Low self esteem may be more of a factor than impulsivity. Getting a quick ego boost could be pretty seductive.. tho destructive in the long run.

Sirrah 06-30-10 03:30 AM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mADD mike (Post 904622)
While I could see an ADDer with impulse control issues cheating once if the situation just hit them just right, to do so over and over again with the same person or different person wouldn't really be impulsive, but moreso premeditated. That speaks more to character than an impulsive mistake. Also, what a person does after cheating might reveal even more about them. Are they a stand up person that will admit what they've done, accept the consequences, and work hard toward reconciliation? Or do they have to get caught in order to come clean?

In the end, ADD can give us problems with impulsivity, but lots of people cheat because they frankly just want to, are selfish, have a lack of morals, put themselves in bad situations without proper boundaries, etc.

Coming from someone that has done the same thing - cheated on a partner multiple times. I very much lean towards this reasoning.

Impulsivity in combination with personality problems would cause one to act this way. But then, so would personality problems alone. Impulsivity alone, however - I just can't see it.

A factor, maybe. The fundamental cause? No.

There's things with ADD we can move out of the realm of moral judgement. I don't believe cheating is one of them.

Although I haven't cheated on my current partner of 9 years. I still consider myself "weak" in this respect. I don't trust myself completely. But everything in my mind points to my low self esteem. Negative beliefs. Yeah, I have a "thrill seeking" mentality, but cheating probably wouldn't be such a thrill in the first place, if my weak ego didn't need such gratification. (Or something like that.)

emma13 06-30-10 04:38 AM

Re: ADHD and Cheating -- Related?
 
i would rather look at a different connection between adhd and cheating.

you can't blame that much on impulsivity unless you really jump on the first attractive person you see that day. and you are also smashed and the person fully agrees with everything. kinda hard circumstance to find. otherwise you have time to realize what's going on, and it becomes premeditate.

how about this theory:
add gives you this ability to see the big picture, regardless if you accept it or not. so your brain registers that your partner is not so attractive anymore, and is looking for someone else more stimulating. the cheating is still premeditate but you already know deep inside that the current relationship is not working. but being such a chronic procrastinator and hating to deal with "crying" consequences and hating to hurt people, you can't just stand straight and admit it. voila, the vicious circle is here.

this makes a lot more sense for me than "it was an impulse and it led to x no. of hours with that person...oh 3 times a week also".


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