How ADHD Affects Couples

Romantic relationships can be challenging in general. Every couples go through their ups and their downs. However, when ADHD is involved, the challenges and struggles that the couple faces are bit different.

Living with ADHD is definitely a struggle all on its own. We don’t mean to be forgetful, or be disorganized, or getting all those impulse purchases. Due to our struggles, we don’t always have a lot of confidence, positive self-image, and carry quite a bit of shame. We are all to aware of how ADHD affects us.

However, ADHD affects our partners as well. Over time, it can create some strain on the marriage and the partner unaffected by ADHD. The partner without ADHD may feel some resentment, as it seems that the partner with ADHD may not be listening, or may not be pulling their way around the house, or struggles with time management, or forgetting to do something. The partner without ADHD may feel neglected and lonely at times. They may feel like they have to nag their ADHD partners to do things. These are just some of the struggles and challenges that the partner without ADHD may go through and face.

From their perspective, it’s not to difficult to see why they would feel/think this way. I can understand that it’s difficult for them as well, even though they don’t have the disorder.

Relationships are a challenge for partners with ADHD, as well, although for different reasons. The partner with ADHD may feel ashamed because they feel like they’re not good enough. They feel awful when they lash out, when they get angry/frustrated easily and fairly quickly. Those with ADHD don’t go out of their way to forget things, or get distracted during a conversation, or interrupt. It can be difficult to know how our partners feel and how we make it difficult for them, especially when it’s not our intention.

With all this in mind, it is easy to see how romantic relationships are difficult, when one or both partners have ADHD. It can cause a lot of tension within the relationship.

As challenging as it can, there are definitely things that couples can do to work through the challenges and struggles they face and make the relationship work successfully.

One thing that couples can do is have a conversation. Talk about how you feel. What’s going inside. This can help both partners understand what are some of the problems with the relationship, or what each partner is feeling, for instance. Have regular conversations with each other. This can help air things out, make the couple feel more connected, have a clearer idea what are some things to work on (if any), and can be a good way to spend time together.

Another thing to try is divide tasks based on strengths. This may help balance out the to-do list evenly between both partners.

Working together as a team is something to keep in mind and work on. It may not always easy, but working together, supporting each other and such will definitely make a positive difference in the relationship.

All that said, it is not easy to be in a relationship when one partner has ADHD. It can be difficult for both the partner that has ADHD and the partner who doesn’t. As difficult as it is, there are ways to make the relationship work, be successful, and be a happy relationship. It is possible. Remember, many with ADHD do find themselves in successful relationships.

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