ADHD and the struggle to adapt

Since my wife and I began our journey, many different things have happened, but I will go back a few many years first.

While I was in the Marine Corps, my best friend asked me to be his best man at his wedding, and I flew out there. When I got off the plane, I was floored by a woman who caught my eye. It was love at first sight. But it was my friend's fiancé. Having grown up in a very strict conservative family, I immediately pushed my feelings down. We became friends, and left it at that. During their marriage I was transferred to another duty station, but kept in contact with them both. After they divorced, we chatted a lot. Eventually, the universe saw fit to bring us together. At our wedding, her first husband was there and told us both that he knew the only reason he married her was because fate wanted us to meet.

More recently, she was having to take certain medications that destroyed our sex life, as she had no desire. This killed our intimacy and put our marriage into a bit of a rut. We didn’t really talk much anymore, and each of us just kinda did our own thing, She was finally able to get off the meds, and she “woke back up” and things started to go back to normal.

After the first of the year, she brought up the subject of opening our marriage to become polyamorous. After talking about it, I discovered this was something she had been looking into and thinking about for a while. I would like to add at this point that we are also in a dom/sub relationship, which was destroyed by the medication. I was having a hard time being a dom for her. She wanted to explore and even wanted to see about finding a dom to satisfy that part of her life. After a few discussions, we decided to do it.

Shortly thereafter, I began to change my life for health reasons, meaning I stopped smoking and greatly reduced my coffee intake. We then found out that all of that was masking my ADHD.

Her first date with a dom came shortly after this. It was just going to be a one-time thing, to test the waters. My ADHD went crazy that night (think 6 -7 out of 10) and I was not in a good state of mind when she came home. It did unlock my dom side. Later she told me he turned out to not be a dom. We had a few discussions about that, as she helped me deal with all the negative emotions I was dealing with-- fear of losing her, betrayal about him not being a dom, jealousy, and some miscommunication because we were not on the same page.

IF YOU AND YOUR PARTNER ARE JUST STARTING OUT, MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE SAME PAGE!!! There are good posts and articles on this site just for that.

We had many discussions and we talked openly about all of this. By this time, what she wanted changed. Because my dom side woke up, she wanted a vanilla relationship outside of us. She kept talking to the one she'd met up with.

I went to a doctor for my ADHD and was prescribed my first medication for it. By the time she had her second date, the negative side effects kicked in during it. My ADHD went into hyperdrive (think 15-16 out of 10). By the time she got back, I was having a breakdown that she had to deal with. Needless to say, I was feeling guilty for having her deal with that after a date, ruining her good mood.

I started feeling like I was poisoning our marriage and her relationship. During this time and the discussions we had, I saw some red flags that, to me, were not good. That’s when I started looking online, as the area I live in has no real poly community, and found this site and started posting, mainly just to vent, and maybe seeking a little validation. So many kind and friendly people responded with great advice, and pointing me to various articles, and I found other resources here.

I have found that communication is important for us. I express every fear so we can talk about it and deal with it. I have also found a therapist to see for my ADHD. I am looking at other medications, and looking into a couple's therapist that is poly friendly.

I will tell you, with all this communication, our marriage has become stronger, more intimate, and just overall as good as, if not better, than when we first got married. I actually surprised her the other night and told her that our family was more important to me and a bigger source of pride than my 6 years in the Marines Corps. IYKYK.

To add to this, another personal journey of mine has been the awakening of bisexual curiosity. That was the hardest thing for me to confess to my wife. She has been nothing but supportive of it. Of course, all through this, I have been looking for someone to connect with, but sometimes it's harder for a male to find another male than a female.

So far, this has been an 8-week journey of epic proportions for us. I will update this, as it just feels good to put this down.
Are willing to share the meds you are taking and how they are working? Also - sexual side effects?

Also curious about wife's meds that killed libido. I've been there starting with traditional birth control (irony, no?) and later with anti-depressants.

(No pressure.)
Are willing to share the meds you are taking and how they are working? Also - sexual side effects?

Also curious about wife's meds that killed libido. I've been there starting with traditional birth control (irony, no?) and later with anti-depressants.

(No pressure.)
For me, they tried Wellbutrin, but OH HELL NO, hit with too many bad side affects. Wife was on Gabapentin
Prozac/fluoxetine is notorious for lowering sex drive. (So is finasteride, a drug used to prevent male pattern baldness.)

Wellbutrin, on the other hand, can increase sex drive.

I was once prescribed Lyrica for migraine headaches, only to have it kill my hearing, memory, and ability to orgasm. I also quickly developed eye floaters and cataracts, although they deny there was a link there. It just destroyed my autonomic nervous system synapses like crazy! (Turned out I just needed PT for arthritis/bursitis in my shoulder, which was causing pain to radiate up my neck to my head.)
I’ll say that Wellbutrin helped my adhd/depression and didn’t touch my sex drive (already high). Did make my insomnia a bit worse especially at the beginning.
Also there’s something really ironic about baldness meds causing lack of sex drive.
Omeprazole (one of the proton pump inhibitors) for GERD/acid reflux reduces libido in a lot of women too.
Omeprazole (one of the proton pump inhibitors) for GERD/acid reflux reduces libido in a lot of women too.

Here is a list of meds that can cause lowered libido in women and men. It seems most of them decrease testosterone.

I believe I had a lowered libido when I used to take hormonal birth control. I also had less libido when I used to menstruate, on or off hormonal birth control. It's extremely common, of course, for women's libido to increase while ovulating and then decrease at the other end of the cycle.

My libido increased in my early 40s during perimenopause, when I also stopped taking birth control pills. I believe when my estrogen started to fluctuate, then lessen altogether, my testosterone became more active.

I take omeprazole a couple times a week and it doesn't affect my libido at all. I used to need to take it more often and I never noticed an effect in libido. I have a higher than average libido for a woman and have for the past 20+ years.

I was on Zoloft once for a year in my mid 40s. I do believe it decreased my libido somewhat, but not altogether.

That Lyrica was the worst, for me. I was offered gabapentin for my headaches, before the Lyrica, but it gave me terrible unbearable nightmares. Gaba is related to Lyrica. I just don't do well on either.

I think the chances that any med will kill your libido, even after you go off it, is quite unusual.
I felt the EXACT same way about oral contraceptives. (Like maybe they prevent pregnancy because they also basically prevent sex, haha.)
OMG, this! I totally had that experience. And the fact that no one talked about it as a possibility has had lasting effects on my life/my relationship with my husband.
Yeah, it makes total sense that if you mess with your body's cycle, and prevent ovulation, you therefore reduce the female "heat" phase, and we just turn into sexless robots lol

I mean, I have a super-high libido normally, so even when I was on BCPs from age 16-22, I still had some drive (but not as much as my partner/husband would have liked). I started using a diaphragm when I got married at 22, and that had drawbacks too, as you have to struggle with getting it out of the drawer, its case, adding the spermicide, and insertion, in the midst of having sex. Then you have to wear the damn thing for 8 hours after sex, and if it's during the day, I could always feel it in there. And if you want to repeat sex, you have to add more spermicide into the vagina, which makes things literally TOO wet and messy!

Then after we had kids, they work well as birth control. At least mine did, because they wanted to be held all the time, nursed round the clock, and didn't sleep through the night til they were 5 years old.

I hope that most women have better luck with modern IUDs these days, and/or that men are good to go with condoms, or vasectomies if they're done having babies.

I remember when i came out of the fog of having babies/little kids, and wasn't on birth control, and was hitting perimenopause, my sex drive came back and it was a fucking shock!! I had eyes for everyone I saw. Crazy!