Why does it seem that too many people with ADHD come to a point in their relationship that they seek an affair, or simply find themselves in the midst of overly fantasizing about having an affair? This doesn’t apply to everyone and yet, there seems to be a growing number of mid-aged ADDers fooling around while married or in a long term relationship. What gives?
It seemed like a good relationship. Yes, it had some ups and downs, what relationship doesn’t?
I have a theory about some affairs and people with ADHD. Actually, I have several theories, but in this post I am going to try to keep it to just one of them. Remember though, it’s just my theory and, like I said, it doesn’t cover every affair.
This particular theory deals with late bloomers. Many of us with ADHD are late bloomers, including some that are early diagnosed with ADHD. ‘Late bloomers’ meaning that it has taken us so long to figure ourselves out and what’s going on around us that we are not ‘aware’ of what we truly want, much less need, until our 30’s or our 40’s. A great deal of adult ADDers are diagnosed in their late 30’s and early 40’s, which I figure is also about the ripest time for late bloomers to ‘wake up’, as it were.
In the ‘late bloomers’ theory all anger and resentment is wasted; all blame and punishment is equally wasted. In affairs nobody is going to win anyway. However, what isn’t wasted is discovering the true reason behind any such behavior. When the true reason for the affair(s) is discovered healing and reconciliations can be begun, but let me add that in this theory I present herein, it is more than likely that a separation will take place. Counseling is a choice as a remedy, but I am not convinced counseling will work.
In this theory, a significant percentage of late diagnosed ADDers grow up insecure and unaware of so many things going on around them. With this insecurity and confusion many tend to at first seek some risky relationships, but usually are just looking for security and stability. While in the midst of finding said security, it is habitually found in the form of a relationship in which a ‘role’ is taken on. The relationship is typically found after standards and expectations have been severely lowered after many failed, short term relationships, perhaps even mid-ranged longer relationship(s).
In this ‘late bloomer’ theory, although there may have been many failed short term relationships, there is very little explored in one’s true sexuality and the person has many withheld emotions. Eventually, disappointment and general anger set in due to dissatisfaction and an overall feeling of something missing. Who knows, any of those short term relationships may have been ‘the one’, but due to typical ADHD symptoms such as misunderstandings in verbal communication, misunderstood or missed body language, low self-esteem and a host of other such issues, there really was no chance and self-blame sets in. When the blame sets in, either towards self or an ex-partner, standards naturally get lowered and personal wants and needs fade into the background only to resurface, sometimes much, much later, when the person finally ‘wakes up’.
When the ‘late bloomer’ wakes up, there may come a realization that they are not in love, perhaps enveloped with an overall feeling of dissatisfaction for their secure relationship and, usually without even considering it, the ‘late bloomer’ starts to notice others, seeking that which they had once, unbeknowest, forsaken.
Late bloomers, in this theory, are ripe for affairs because they did not get involved in their long-term relationship for the right reasons, there may not have been the presence of love and, as harsh as this may sound, the person with ADHD may have just settled for what he or she thought they were worth at the time. This is why I mention that counseling may not work in this theory, because, if the person is not, and never was, in love with his or her partner, what is there to rescue? Save it for kids or what there seemed to be? I don’t know.
When the ‘late bloomer’ wakes up, there isn’t any going back to the way things were, the world has opened up to them and those long withheld emotions, needs and wants will no longer allow themselves to simply be repressed. I do not believe that any amount of counseling, pleading or convincing will cause the ADDer to revert back to a pre-‘awakening’ state. Instead of seeking for him or her to revert, it is probably more advantageous to point out the good things that they do have, that is, of course, considering they are already in a good, loving, caring relationship of value. If the person with ADHD eventually ‘fell’ in love with his or her partner, then it is less likely an affair will happen even when a ‘wake up’ is achieved.
Please, keep in mind that this post is a theory and just touching on one at that. Affairs do not only pertain to people with ADHD, affairs happen with all types of people, all over the world, everyday, for many different reasons.