Being with an ADD partner and not being intimate anymore

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    • #189734

      I would like to ask if it is okay not to be intimate anymore after living together for 1 year. As I moved with my boyfriend, we were having sex twice a week, and after 6 months of being together in the same house, we only have sex once a month or sometimes none at all. He has ADD, a strong one and he takes Adderal every day. I am the non ADD partner.

      A brief history of our relationship.
      We were in a long-distance relationship for almost 2 years. He was sending messages every day and most of them are long messages and photos about his day. He doesn’t like to call, he prefers just to message. His family and friends know that we are officially in a relationship and he said that they are excited to meet me in person. So after 2 years of a long-distance relationship, I decided that it’s time to move together. I am from another country and I moved with him to finally see each other every day and he seems like a nice guy, very convincing, and generous.

      Then, finally, I lived with him. After 5 months of being together, he bought a new phone and gave his old phone to me. As the new phone owner, I wanted to empty all his files there to replace with mine. While deleting his files, I saw text messages from different girls he hooked up with while we were in a long-distance relationship. I even called one of the girls there and as she answered she told me he met my boyfriend on Tinder and he said he was single. She told me they hooked up 2x and it was in a span of 2 weeks before my boyfriend disappeared and did not reply to her anymore. It was not the girl’s fault. It was my boyfriend so I confronted him. He denied in the beginning then I finally showed him the evidence he forgot to delete in his phone. Then, he said yes he did that only because he was lonely and totally not looking for a relationship.So basically, he was sexually active with different girls while on a long-distance relationship with me.

      Okay, then I gave him the benefit of the doubt and forgave him. He hyperfocused on me, doing everything I did and even asked me to marry him. He proposed and we are planning to marry in 3 months.

      I sometimes check his phone to see if he is still on online dating apps and trying to hide something but I do not see anything. But a person who wants to hide something would try to be good at it. Since we barely have sex, and when we were on a long distance relationship he was sticking his dick in everything that moves every week, how can he be not that sexual to me anymore when he actually can do it?

      Is it possible that he is cheating again or it is just a loss of sex drive? Most of the time after work, we just eat together for 30 minutes and then he would play on his computer for 4 hours until he feels tired and wants to sleep. That’s just the routine we have in since the past months.

    • #189740
      Le Petite Morte

      Oh hun this is so crap! I’m so sorry for you having to experience this.
      I’m kinda having a similar thing but I haven’t discovered cheating yet, it may happen.

      Ok two things.
      Firstly just because he has ADD does not give him an excuse to cheat, in what was a committed relationship.
      Any guy who does this isn’t being truthful with himself and it’s a choice. It really is.

      The other thing is it’s that’s dopamine hit, that they are chasing and to an extent I imagine it’s maybe what couples feel when they cheat it’s the thrill.

      The biggest question you must ask yourself is how is your relationship in other areas other than the bedroom. It it a codependent relationship at all? Is one of you the avoidant and the other anxious attachment type?

      There are lots of reason why people do this. Unless there is going to be a transparency with the pair of you, it won’t be fixed.
      I would maybe suggest that you get you & your partner to speak to therapy. I think your BF needs to maybe go by himself first. So that he can understand his relationship with cheating and why.

      He probably prefer to That by himself than go together at first.

      If it’s just a case of he’s bored in sex, start to have proper conversations about what really turns each other on and experiment.

      Really at the end of the day he’s cheated, and you’ve got to ask yourself if his is someone that you could commit the rest of your life too?

      We often want to fix men as women, but actually the real job is getting them to the support. Ask yourself though if he doesn’t want help, do you want to live a life that isn’t making you happy?

      It’s his behaviour he’s got to take ownership for it not you! Seriously if he’s doing this now before you get married it’s only going to worse.

      I have a friend who is now getting divorced from her husband for this scenario you are describing whilst living with him. Your just exhausting together. I really would re consider marriage or hold it off till all this pandemic over.

      The world is in a chaos so it’s thought to make decisions like this and if your already doubting listen to your gutt.

    • #189774

      I’m sorry you’re experiencing issues. But folk with ADHD tend to lie less than the norm for several reasons. We’re very impulsive so we often overshare and struggle to keep secrets, so even if we do try and lie we’re not good at it. If he is still cheating whilst living with you, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to find out. Not trying to make excuses, but now you’re living together and a physical relationships is possible, maybe he sees it as a very different situation ? Also he did give you his phone – which is very trusting.

      The sex thing may not be to do with ADHD unless his hyper-focus is on something (rather someone) else. There are many reasons for a lull in sex, if someone becomes stressed or depressed or various medications can all effect libido. Maybe try spicing things up, maybe just tell him how you feel ? Certainly research the side effects of any medication. It might be prudent to put marriage on hold until you’ve resolve this, in essence you need to talk it out with him. If that fails maybe go to couples guidance as a way of getting the conversation going. Don’t forget you did mention many positive things about your relationship. But try not to pin it all on ADHD/ADD or any one thing, it will be down to a mix, a little bit you and a little be him (You’ve just had a male perspective) Best of luck.

    • #189854

      Thanks for your response, I really appreciate it. As a person with ADD/ADHD, is it normal for you to have a lesser interest in sex (like just once a month) as you live longer with a person? I have initiated many times but when he is in the mood, he is really saying no or just making excuses. I also asked him to talk about it but his reasons are mostly he is tired or he doesn’t want to. I am confused because I know he is a very sexual person. He even mentioned to me that he masturbates 3-5x a week, and when we were on a long-distance relationship, he was hooking up at least once a week. Whenever I try to open up intimacy, he is avoiding it.

      However, on the other hand, he always cuddles with me and kisses my cheeks and my lips when we are watching TV together. He would always hold my hand, he is the one always initiating to go to the grocery together and cook together. So this is actually confusing for me. He is not the type who talks a lot or communicative, he is very introverted and always trying to avoid misunderstandings and arguments so it’s really hard for me to adjust on this matter.

    • #189855

      Thanks for your respone. I tried talking to him about it and he said that he is not in the mood or he is just tired from work, but he actually makes less work each month compared to before. Sometimes he would also say that it is just in my head. I am now confused if his pills has something to do about it. I tried to ask him and initiate to spice things up but he has no interest.

      I am now confused because when we were on a long distance relationship, he was hooking up with different girls. Could it be that he finds it exciting to be with different girls and sexually unsatisfied in a monogamous relationship?

    • #189866

      I don’t think the sex thing will be down to ADHD. Maybe you need a hart to hart on that, there could be so many reasons, hard to second guess. Best of luck.

    • #189870

      Hey– I’m back. I’ve been thinking about this a little bit. I wonder if he is one of those ADDers who are just exhausted by social activity?

      It might explain some things. Whatever he does for work, the daily interactions exhaust him. He comes home and you are there, wanting –more interaction! Thus, the quick bite to eat and losing himself via gaming.

      It could also explain (but not excuse) the Tinder stuff. He gets the sex he desires, and because it’s just a hook up, he doesn’t have to deal with the social aspect of a GF wanting to go places, do things, and talk.

      So when he is mentally ready for interaction, he’s super nice and cuddly, etc. I’m not sure this explains the sex avoidance, unless he is also struggling with his own sexuality. (Sorry to drop that bomb on you.)

      All this considered, until you get to the bottom of what is driving the behaviors you consider challenging, you should not marry this person.

      If he is exhausted by social activity, imagine how difficult it will be for him to deal with kids, etc. if you have hopes in that direction. He may not ever be able to be available the way you want him to be. You need to decide, for your sake and his if you want to continue the relationship. There may be better matches for both of you out there.

      Again, best of luck with this difficult stuff.

    • #189896
      Penny Williams

      Here’s an article that addresses this that you may find helpful as well:

      How ADHD Impacts Sex and Marriage

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

    • #190115

      I can’t and won’t speak for anyone but myself, but maybe you can benefit from my experience so I may as well share it. First off, I identify very strongly with your fiancé and a lot of the things you have mentioned remind me of my own marriage and the struggles we have had.

      I’ll give some background and try to be concise. I have ADHD and have been married for little over three years, and in a relationship for two years prior to getting married. I have always had a tough time with sex, and my history with it has not been a good one. I’m a gay man, so there is a certain degree of pain or disappointment I’ve learned to fear from sexual activity. Outside of those two facts, which may not really apply to your situation, I also find sex to be a burden, and usually would prefer masturbating alone than I would bringing someone else in. My imagination and fantasy tends to be a lot more fun to explore than the actual reality of sex, and as someone raised by relatively conservative parents, I struggle with discussing any sort of sexual fantasy with anyone else out of fear of judgement and ridicule. What this results in is me preferring to take care of it by myself, but also being extremely wary of anyone who attempts to interfere with that.

      If the problem is that surface level, the only thing I would recommend is trying to create a safe space and reassure and promise your partner that there will be no judgement from you if he mentions sexual fantasies he thinks he might like (and most importantly, FOLLOW THOUGH with that promise and do not judge). Be patient and don’t pressure him to open up, just allow him space to and let him decide the right time. If stuff comes up, explore it at your leisure to keep the sex life novel to him and have lot of talks about what you like and what you didn’t like.

      In the beginning part of our relationship, my husband and I opened the relationship to others so that he can still get the sex he needs instead of putting all the pressure onto me, and I had the space to take my time and get comfortable with sex. This worked alright for a while. I figure that this is as close to “having a long distance relationship where he would fool around frequently with others” as my situation is liable to get, so I’ll leave it to you to see if that resonates at all.

      Later, we began to realize that we were using the open relationship for the wrong reasons; using it as a distraction to avoid having a conversation about our needs and feelings. Fights started happening where I would be accused of either cheating, not being interested in him, or not putting in the work to satisfy his sexual desires. I would, in turn, yell at him for being demanding, a sex addict, or accuse him of trying to emotionally manipulate me into having sex. Very bad time in our relationship, and a potential path that yours may take to look out for and try to avoid.

      In addition to the ADHD, I also have moderate depression. In some of the things I’ve read, depression is a pretty common partner to ADHD, and depression definitely will affect libido. Finding the right anti-depressants, if you have the means, will help with this. Now this is getting into dangerous territory, because it is ultimately up to your partner and his doctors to determine if this is an option, I mention it here only to bring the subject up. You can’t and shouldn’t attempt to be the arbiter of your partners body or pressure them into taking medication that they are uncomfortable taking. Consider mentioning it to him if you think it might help, but be VERY CAREFUL to approach that conversation as just a potential and not as a judgement. If your partner and his doctor’s agree that he might benefit from anti-depressant medication, be aware that a lot of anti-depressants are known to have “lower libido” as a side effect, so it may take some time to find something that might work and you’ll need to be patient during this period.

      We then sought a marriage counselor to help walk through the issues and I have learned some very important things that may help you with understanding your partner:
      1. You need to understand what you’re feeling, and communicate it. If you’re feeling insecure about yourself because of the lack of sexual desire he is showing, you need to tell him that. Don’t mention it as an accusation, and don’t let your words be taken out of context if he gets defensive because he thinks you’re blaming him. Simply tell him what you feel and what happened that caused those feelings, then tell him you do not like those feelings and want them to stop.
      2. You need to understand why you are feeling it and where the feeling comes from. If you have a need that is being unfilled, it is way more beneficial to discuss that directly than it is to keep having the same talks over and over. If you are sexually unfulfilled in your relationship, he needs to know that (not because you hope it will change his behavior; guilt sex will not help you feel any more secure in your relationship, I promise). And a discussion or several discussions need to happen where you and your partner try and find a workable solution that you can both be happy with.
      3. Try and keep an open mind. If your partner doesn’t feel like they can give you the sex you want, you may consider trying other things like toys, role play, erotic messages. There is a huge world of alternate sex experiences that don’t necessarily involve penetration that you both might enjoy. See if your partner will explore those with you to help fill your needs.
      4. The hardest one, be willing to walk away if nothing works. Ultimately, filling your needs is your responsibility at the end of the day. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. If you’re unhappy, trying to stick it out in the hopes that something will change is harmful to yourself and to your partner. Sometimes two people just aren’t compatible with each other’s needs, and the best thing to do in that situation is to prioritize your own happiness. Please don’t misunderstand, I think that this should be the final option and you should definitely try a couples councilor if you have the means before taking this step.

      All of those steps, you’ll notice, involve having difficult and long conversations with him. There really isn’t any other way that I’ve learned or been told by multiple councilors and psychologists to resolve this. You may get lucky by toughing it out and it was just a temporary hurdle for you both, but just as likely you may only prolong the inevitable and cause major psychological issues to you both along the way. Having those conversations before any of those issues happen is essential.

      Final bit of advice (and I said I would try to be concise), just talk with him about his thoughts on sex, what he likes about masturbating alone as opposed to having sex, and keep an eye out for a potential solution that may come up in those talks. Hell, maybe you both decide to watch porn and masturbate together and find it to be a pretty good solution for you both.

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