When someone in a relationship is diagnosed with ADHD there can be difficulties for both partners. This doesn’t mean that the relationship has to end! There are so many tools that you can use as a couple to get through any struggles. Check out these 6 resources put together by Dr. Sheri Clark!
1) Adult ADHD and Relationships: Tips for Dealing with Symptoms Together and Developing a Solid Partnership
“If you’re in a relationship with someone who has ADHD, you may feel lonely, ignored, and unappreciated. You’re tired of taking care of everything on your own and being the only responsible party in the relationship. You don’t feel like you can rely on your partner. He or she never seems to follow through on promises, and you’re forced to constantly issue reminders and demands or else just do things yourself. Sometimes it feels as if your significant other just doesn’t care.
It’s easy to see how the feelings on both sides can contribute to a destructive cycle in the relationship. The non-ADHD partner complains, nags, and becomes increasingly resentful while the ADHD partner, feeling judged and misunderstood, gets defensive and pulls away. In the end, nobody is happy. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re the person with ADHD, you may feel like you’re constantly being criticized, nagged, and micromanaged. No matter what you do, nothing seems to please your spouse or partner. You don’t feel respected as an adult, so you find yourself avoiding your partner or saying whatever you have to in order to get him or her off your back. You wish your significant other could relax even a little bit and stop trying to control every aspect of your life. You wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with.”
2) How to Feel Your Feelings and What That Will Do for Your Life (Everything!)
“So I learned to stifle my sensitivity and emotion in a well-meaning but mistaken effort to protect those around me. Many of us do.
We learn that emotions aren’t safe.
We learn that crying is not appreciated.
We learn that life runs more smoothly when we pack our emotions into our spleen and forget about them.”
5) Attention Deficit Can Take a Toll on Marriage
“Does your husband or wife constantly forget chores and lose track of the calendar? Do you sometimes feel that instead of living with a spouse, you’re raising another child? Your marriage may be suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. An A.D.H.D. marriage? It may sound like a punch line, but the idea that attention problems can take a toll on adult relationships is getting more attention from mental health experts. In a marriage, the common symptoms of the disorder — distraction, disorganization, forgetfulness — can easily be misinterpreted as laziness, selfishness, and a lack of love and concern.”
“Adults with attention disorders often learn coping skills to help them stay organized and focused at work, but experts say many of them struggle at home, where their tendency to become distracted is a constant source of conflict. “
Spouses with attention deficit, meanwhile, are often unaware of their latest mistake, confused by their partner’s simmering anger. A lengthy to-do list or a messy house feels overwhelming to the A.D.H.D. brain, causing the person to retreat to a computer or a video game — further infuriating their spouse.
“It’s not because they’re lazy or they don’t love their spouse, but because they are distracted,” Ms. Orlov said. “But if you don’t know that distraction is the issue, you start to think the person doesn’t care about you, and anger and resentment build up.”