When your partner/spouse doesn’t have ADHD

Relationships can be difficult and every couple have their own set of problems. Sure, most, if not all, have their share of good times, but it’s not always easy.

When one partner has ADHD while the other is neurotypical, the challenges within the couple may be quite different from those where both are neurotypical. Not necessarily worse or better. Just different.

As many of you know, I have ADHD. My husband, on the other, is neurotypical. We have had our share of happy times. But there have been a lot of struggle and we’ve both talked about it.

Recently we were apart of a 3-day workshop for couples where one partner has ADHD. Day 1 was only for those with ADHD, day 2 for the spouses, and day 3 for everyone.

It seems as though there were definitely some similarities.

So, I did some more digging. Here are some things that couples affected by ADHD have mentioned.

Spouses/partners with ADHD.

Partners/spouses with ADHD have mentioned:

  • Feeling misunderstood
  • Sense of shame and failure
  • Feeling bad about being disorganized, easily distracted, and such.

These are just some things that have been mentioned. There are certainly many things.

Neurotypical spouse/partner.

On the other side, the neurotypical partners/spouses are affected as well and struggle with their spouse’s ADHD. Here are some thoughts shared from their perspective:

  • Lack of time management
  • Feeling of neglect
  • Their partner’s forgetfulness
  • Feeling that the majority of the responsibility within the home falls on them

Again this is just a short list of some things that neurotypical partners/spouses have shared over time.

Final thoughts.

Obviously, these challenges do cause problems within the relationship. It isn’t easy to deal with them or address them.

As challenging as these issues can be to address and overcome, couples can overcome them. Both spouses have to be willing to put in the work and effort, get some help if needed, and just take steps to be able to make the relationship work.

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