Adhd spouse had a year long affair

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    • #70228

      My husband of 15 years just found out he has adhd and has been having an affair for over a year. I’m i crazy because I don’t believe this has anything to do with adhd. Now he is saying it’s because of adhd and his impulses. Not sure what to believe.

    • #70236
      Penny Williams

      Impulsivity is one of the hallmarks of ADHD. Cheating is painful whether it’s related to ADHD or not. ADHD and Marriage expert, Melissa Orlov, offers some guidance:

      Is ADHD Making My Wife Cheat on Me?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #70358

      I had an affair after being married for nearly 28 years.I KNOW it was due to impulsivity as well as a desire to be seen as a smart, sexy woman (something my husband had long forgotten.) My ADD soared as my hormones dropped at age 55.
      Failure to appreciate the impact is also part of the ADD legacy in my case; my relationship has been destroyed with 27 and 29-year old children.
      Your spouse needs therapy with a doctor who understands ADD. Good luck!

    • #73373

      He is using his ADHD as a scapegoat. While ADHD may contribute to someone’s wish to cheat, it’s not an excuse. He still ultimately made the decision to cheat… again and again and again. “Impulsivity” is one thing, but doing it for a year is no longer impulsivity. He made that choice.

      I’m really sorry this happened to you.

    • #73647

      Hi, Paige,

      My husband has struggled over the years with one addiction after another, and that included sex addiction. It was thrilling to him to have a secret life that included cheating on me. Those women did not criticize him. Those women mostly did not complain if he failed to keep promises. He was big and strong and handsome. Translation: He was generous, and what they wanted was money and gifts.

      An ‘affair’ may not be the same thing. However, I first found out my husband was having an ‘affair’, and it was actually one after another after another… I believe there is a connection between ADD and addiction. What you are seeing now may not be the whole story.

      I agree your husband should not blame the ‘affair’ on impulses. He made a choice, and he can choose differently. For me, the critical thing was to get support to ‘stay in reality’, not be fooled by his stories, promises, lies. We both changed. We stayed together. It is taking years to restore trust, and I still have trust issues with him.

      All the best,

    • #73648

      Hello, Paige.

      I want to start out by saying that I’m very sorry that this has happened to you. I’ve been through similar circumstances — my ex-husband, whom we discovered has ADHD after the divorce, cheated on me after we’d been together for five years. My marriage didn’t last as long as yours, so I can’t imagine how much more painful it must be for you because the experience was excruciating for me. To sum up, I sympathize.

      I don’t think you’re completely wrong in your assessment. While ADHD and lack of impulse control could have greatly contributed to his poor choices, I don’t think it would have everything to do with it. Is he willing to go to marriage counseling? Are you? I can remember how easy it was to get caught up in “the heat of the moment” during our fiery separation and to let my anger poison my heart, but I hope that there is enough willingness in both of you to attempt to work through this difficult time.

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