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Old 10-24-17, 10:02 PM
JALondon JALondon is offline
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Can she stop the infidelity?

My add wife had an abortion to hide infidelity with my best friend. They were both drunk, she has always had v limited self control sexually when tipsy. But I can't get over it. If it was the add (before she was diagnosed) and if there's now a chance she can control the flirting and impulsive sex (gardeners, plumbers etc) then I want to stay for the kids sake and maybe for ours if we can rebuild the trust. But I just can't tell how much is add and now addressable / forgivable and how much was conscious choice. Any experience pls with infidelity and add?
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Old 10-24-17, 10:38 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

That action is a choice, regardless of the presence of ADHD.


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Old 10-24-17, 11:05 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

Thanks. I wish it weren't and when the add diagnosis came out of nowhere I guess I've been holding onto it as liferaft for the marriage, and a means to forgive and move on. But I have a horrible gut wrenching feeling that I'm being stupid.
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Old 10-24-17, 11:34 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

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Thanks. I wish it weren't and when the add diagnosis came out of nowhere I guess I've been holding onto it as liferaft for the marriage, and a means to forgive and move on. But I have a horrible gut wrenching feeling that I'm being stupid.
You can forgive, whatever you choose, but remember, forgiveness is something you do for yourself.

If you are honest with yourself about what you need, and how you truly feel, you'll be too smart to be stupid.

Be clear about which aspect(s) of her chosen behaviors are deal-breakers for you, if any, and only when those are clear to you should you think about a conversation with her.

It's entirely possible to not value the behavior whilst at the same time not judge, and love, the person. And no, that doesn't make it easier.


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Old 10-25-17, 04:57 AM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

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Originally Posted by JALondon View Post
But I just can't tell how much is add and now addressable / forgivable and how much was conscious choice. Any experience pls with infidelity and add?
I'd suggest you look up statistics regarding ADHD rates of drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, premature accidental death, etc. I don't have them with me right now, but they are shocking. In terms of "conscious choice," that might be more of a question for a philosopher to answer. Certainly, ADHD makes things harder.

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Thanks. I wish it weren't and when the add diagnosis came out of nowhere I guess I've been holding onto it as liferaft for the marriage, and a means to forgive and move on. But I have a horrible gut wrenching feeling that I'm being stupid.
The diagnosis might be a surprise, but the actual condition is there from early childhood and should be traceable without disruption throughout the entire lifespan. Do you notice any current ADHD symptoms? She should ideally be able to have family members or childhood teachers to provide confirmation of childhood-onset symptoms.

Your gut wrenching feeling might be correct, or incorrect. Some relationships can be repaired after infidelity, and some cannot. I don't think any of us on this forum can make this decision for you, nor do we have nearly enough information to base such a decision on. The only thing you can control is how YOU feel and how YOU decide to act. Professional couples or individual counseling might be helpful. I hope this helps!
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Old 10-25-17, 05:15 AM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

I'm sorry. I do think that adhd makes impulse control in every situation more difficult but as aeon said what matters more is can you live with this...irrrespective of what the cause is.

Treatment for adhd may or may not help with the infidility. It will probably help some but it's not fool proof, it takes a long time to get the choice of medication and dosing right and even then it takes a lot of work from tje patient to make the medication work for them effectively. Also you can't be medicated all the time. At least that was my experience.

I think it's great that you are trying not to judge your wife but just don't expect any miracles from adhd treatment.

(Also as an aside, what's up with your best friend??? I wonder if you might be too forgiving for your own good...)

Another point, divorce is hard on the kids but a dysfunctional relationship with mistrust, fighting and bitterness is difficult and damaging as well for them.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:08 AM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

I don't think your being stupid..... the ADD diagnosis can be the start of a positive process. If your partner uses the diagnosis as a signal that she needs to change and takes concrete steps to do so then you are standing by someone..... conversely, if they use ADD as a get out of jail card, then it's time to walk. It's tough for us to change, there's a LOT of heavy lifting involved and we often need a lot of nurturing & support to do so.....

Infidelity is really tough to deal with..... on both sides. lots of toxic emotions flying about... guilt shame, resentment, jealousy....

Unsurprisingly it's a relational thing.... but not in the way one might think. It's sometimes driven by trying to get a need met in a way that's never going to work... and the need is often at a non-verbal level.... really deep and usually not in awareness.. so a good therapist is needed to help rummage around and find out what's going on. Likewise you need to go to a therapist to work out your part in the process.

Trying to suppress the behaviour often increases the level of self-loathing. I have found the way through is to look for the need that the toxic behaviour is trying to fulfil and then find ways of getting the need met in healthy ways. Remember that "healthy" ways doesn't mean non-sexual ways..... but ways that are well boundaried and done with awareness as to WHY the action is being taken and the integrity and honesty within which it occurs.... I couldn't have done this without a therapist's help.

This sort of stuff needs therapy (for both of you... possibly both separately and as a couple).... and more besides (meds and developing new ways of being together)..... it's almost impossible for you to do it alone.... only she can do the steps associated with getting to grips with her ADD, and it'll be tough for both of you because you'll both have to tear down any preconceptions about what relationships involve in order to build an ADD positive environment for your kids.... but if you want to model good behaviour for the kids, it's important it's done, as an ADD friendly environment is a human friendly environment.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:49 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

Thanks all. First time I've asked for advice and appreciate the replies. Update for you - the easy part - best mate is no longer godfather to my daughter. Hard part - attempted honest conversation and totally stuffed it up. I was hoping for friendship now, try for close marriage again over time, but asked meanwhile for help in understanding how hard it is for her to resist grabbing for attention / fun / the moment sometimes or just the yielding to emotional impulses sometimes, and if it might change. Lead balloon. After a medley of occasional explosions during the day of "divorce" down the phone to parents and to me in front of the kids and then tearful retractions and multiple random frantic ambush sex, I realised as much as I still love her more than anything else I now just want to get off the rollercoaster and so do the kids. Maybe one day we can try to rebuild but i think we all need to get out of the way of the grenades for now.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:53 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

My personal opinion is that you made the right choice to step off that roller coaster. I have heard that some people with high impulsivity from ADHD can struggle with infidelity, though I still can't really comprehend it. I have ADD, am highly impulsive and never even looked at another man during my marriage, even though it was a bad marriage. I believe my husband also has ADHD and I've also never had reason to believe he was ever unfaithful. I can see maybe one slipup out of impulsivity, but multiple occasions and with your best friend? I don't think that's just ADD. My own personal opinion.

Coming from someone who is pending divorce and also has kids, yes it is very painful, there's no getting around that. I used to think there was nothing worse than divorce, especially when there are kids. We stayed together much too long just because of the kids, and things only got worse. I now realize that if things are dysfunctional and you can't get it resolved, it's the best thing for everyone to create a healthy environment. If your wife really loves you and wants to make things work, she will get help and work on her issues so you can be together. I'm sorry you are going through this.
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Old 10-26-17, 07:39 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

You mention drinking and sex. Does she also have a drinking problem? Any change she has a sex addiction problem? Lots of people have a drinking and compulsive sex problem. They use compulsive sex to create chaos, to create a dopamine high, to engage in fantasy, to run from intimacy and escape from coping with the ups and downs on life.

I don't think this is about forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't mean you should stay in the relationship. Forgiveness means I will let go of past anger at you and won't keep bringing up your previous sins. I will allow you move into the present with me.

Whether to continue in the relationship is a separate question. And the question is whether or not this person is truly capable of being in a relationship? And are they really committed to changing their behavior in the future?

I'm curious: have you gotten angry at this behavior? ... There is a constructive role for anger. Anger helps us say "no" when we are exploited or mistreated or unfairly pushed around. You just have to be careful that the anger doesn't turn into aggression.

I don't think it's your job to figure out "why" she's compulsively cheating on you. Your job is to say no, to defend yourself and the integrity of the relationship. Saying no is what will help her, encourage her to get her act together. I fear that talk about forgiveness just sends the signal to her that you'll put up with anything.

This is written from a guy who has been in relationships where I put up with absolutely everything.

Tone
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Old 10-26-17, 09:03 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

I am sorry that you are going through this. You've received good advice and things to consider from the above posters.

I believe that anything is forgivable. You will be able to forgive them both and your wife will be able to forgive herself.

I've never been married but I know that it takes two people working hard towards the shared goal of having a strong, healthy marriage for one to exist. If only one person is committed it is nearly impossible.

I think it's safe to say that it would be helpful maybe even necessary for each of you to seek therapy as well as couples therapy to work on things.

You mention that your best friend was your daughter's godfather so I think that you and your family are/were active in a spiritual endeavor. Many people find great comfort in their spiritual endeavor when things get bad in life.

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Old 10-29-17, 10:31 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

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Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
You mention drinking and sex. Does she also have a drinking problem? Any change she has a sex addiction problem?

I don't think this is about forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't mean you should stay in the relationship. Forgiveness means I will let go of past anger at you and won't keep bringing up your previous sins. I will allow you move into the present with me.

I'm curious: have you gotten angry at this behavior? ... There is a constructive role for anger. Anger helps us say "no" when we are exploited or mistreated or unfairly pushed around. You just have to be careful that the anger doesn't turn into aggression.
Tone
Thanks. To answer your questions. No, there's no drinking problem or any addictive behaviour. The only odd habit is occasionally inventing / exaggerating illnesses for the kids, or labels for aspects her life and broadcasting I think to get moral and physical support from friends and family.
The flirting and promiscuity is after two drinks, max three. And it's almost always reactive. If a guy approaches and flirts and shows interest she seems to find it v v hard to say no. Even at dinner parties in front of friends she might let someone kiss her if they try. Her best friend told me that before we met when any of the guys came on strong esp if she was tipsy she would usually give oral sex as an easier way of saying no and dodging sex. Instead of saying flat no to anything. She always dated older men. I'm the closest in age (2yrs) by quite a bit. Im thinking it's more about self confidence than simply an impulsive / add inevitability. Maybe the add makes it harder to avoid the impulse, but I now think there has to be a different and better explanation.

Angry? Not with her no. I rarely ever get angry about something / anything. The overwhelming emotions have been sadness and confusion (about why and what to do). I've had brief flashes of anger at myself for not seeing the signs for making such a life shattering mistake.

Right now I'm worried how on earth to keep things amicable as possible for the kids and the future. Sorry for unloading and rambling a bit.

Re forgiveness etc. I think acceptance is the best word. I've found it way easier to get a grip on understanding and seeing it as not something done callously or hurtfully. It's just how she is and unplanned. Hurts way way less now I see it that way.

Last edited by Greyhound1; 10-31-17 at 03:42 PM.. Reason: Replaced sexual slang with oral sex only.
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Old 11-01-17, 01:38 AM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

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Thanks. To answer your questions. No, there's no drinking problem or any addictive behaviour. The only odd habit is occasionally inventing / exaggerating illnesses for the kids, or labels for aspects her life and broadcasting I think to get moral and physical support from friends and family.
The flirting and promiscuity is after two drinks, max three. And it's almost always reactive. If a guy approaches and flirts and shows interest she seems to find it v v hard to say no. Even at dinner parties in front of friends she might let someone kiss her if they try. Her best friend told me that before we met when any of the guys came on strong esp if she was tipsy she would usually give oral sex as an easier way of saying no and dodging sex. Instead of saying flat no to anything.
Are you famliar with those checklists that say "you might be an alcoholic if..." A few of those things you can check off are things like: doing things you would do sober that you do while drinking. Having regrets about stuff you did while drinking, consequences of doing things under the influence. Feeling unable to say no to otherwise risky situations. I am not saying she is an alcoholic but you can have a drinking problem and not necessarily be an alcoholic. If thats not the case then I wouldnt give her a pass just because she has had alcohol. There are plenty of people who get drunk and dont sleep with other people. And there is no such thing as being reactive. SO what if someone approaches her and flirts? She is married and having attention doesnt change that. Even if she claims it was unwanted attention its still no excuse.

Quote:
Angry? Not with her no. I rarely ever get angry about something / anything. The overwhelming emotions have been sadness and confusion (about why and what to do). I've had brief flashes of anger at myself for not seeing the signs for making such a life shattering mistake.
I say get angry and allow the feelings to flow and pass through. Aside from hurt, its good to be angry as long as you let it pass.

Quote:
Right now I'm worried how on earth to keep things amicable as possible for the kids and the future. Sorry for unloading and rambling a bit.

Re forgiveness etc. I think acceptance is the best word. I've found it way easier to get a grip on understanding and seeing it as not something done callously or hurtfully. It's just how she is and unplanned. Hurts way way less now I see it that way.
How do you know it wasnt done callously? Does someone need to say "Yes, I did it to hurt you" in order for that to be true?
I am not saying she wanted to hurt you but her lack of regard for how you would feel is something I believe she had to have considered. If this had been you instead of her, how would she react? Would she be as understanding as you are being? I suspect not. It might hurt less to think of it as something thats "just how she is" but you are selling yourself short.
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Old 11-01-17, 07:48 AM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

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The only odd habit is occasionally inventing / exaggerating illnesses for the kids, or labels for aspects her life and broadcasting I think to get moral and physical support from friends and family.
This is an important observation and could be a significant clue to the underlying issues that are driving behaviour.

It could be indicative of a process of trying to get seen by others, and using unhealthy behaviours to do so. This would tie in with the sexual stuff and the inability to say no to harmful approaches.

It sounds to me as if she is very vulnerable, with very weak boundary self-nurturing proceses. Validation is through attracting the attention of others. Unfortunately this vulnerability and the behaviours associated with it will attract people who have issues themselves..... either predatory or rescuing. They can't help themselves, and neither can she... all parties are locked into a psychological "Game" process, and a "3rd degree" one at that.

Breaking the process requires her to do some pretty tough work on herself. Meds might give breathing space, but this isn't a purely ADHD issue.

Quote:
Im thinking it's more about self confidence than simply an impulsive / add inevitability.
You are dead on here..... though it's a bit more complex than "self-confidence"..... what's happening is driven by deep brain stuff, patterns set by relational issues in childhood, and/or complex trauma.

ADD/ADHD behaviours are not "inevitable", they can be changed, it's tough without meds and even tougher without a healthy relational support system.

This is why you would need to look at your own subconscious motivations for getting into the relationship and having children with this person. All the markers for her behaviours would have been present before and during the early stages of your relationship. The question is why you didn't pick up on them. If you can get to grips with that, you can grow and model good boundaries to your children. Whether she decides to follow your example is up to her.
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Old 11-04-17, 04:42 PM
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Re: Can she stop the infidelity?

Why don't you think you have a right to be angry? People lose respect for others who don't stand up for themselves.

If someone is picking on your kids, don't you want them to be able to get angry and stand up for themselves? If a girlfriend or boyfriend is betraying them, wouldn't you want them to get angry? Wouldn't you get angry at someone abusing them?

How do you expect the kids to stay out of abusive and unhealthy relationships if they can't get angry and say no?

The cruel reality of life is that bullies have a fine-tuned homing mechanism to zero in on people who don't stand up for themselves. Growing up in a household where one partner puts up with abuse from the other--well that's exactly what the children learn ... that they have no voice and no right to stick up for themselves.

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