Typical ADHD/Non-ADHD Relationship Patterns • Hyperfocus Try not to look back (too tempting to “blame” ADD partner for problems, which isn't accurate). All relationships present challenges at some point in time. ADD and ADHD can certainly have a unique impact on relationships. When partners struggle with ADHD intimate relationships can be damaged by Symptoms of Adult ADHD that Interfere with Relationships if failure to complete tasks is a common problem impacting your relationship.
For the partner with ADHD, this means learning how to manage your symptoms. For the non-ADHD partner, this means learning how to react to frustrations in ways that encourage and motivate your partner. If you have ADHD, you may zone out during conversations, which can make your partner feel ignored and devalued.
Even when someone with ADHD is paying attention, they may later forget what was promised or discussed. This can lead to difficulty finishing tasks as well as general household chaos.
If you have ADHD, you may blurt things out without thinking, which can cause hurt feelings. Many people with ADHD have trouble moderating their emotions. You may lose your temper easily and have trouble discussing issues calmly.
Your partner may feel like they have to walk on eggshells to avoid blowups.
Adult ADHD and Relationships
You and your partner are more different than you think—especially if only one of you has ADHD. Let your partner describe how they feel without interruption from you to explain or defend yourself. You may want to write the points down so you can reflect on them later. Ask them to do the same for you and really listen with fresh ears and an open mind. The more both of you learn about ADHD and its symptoms, the easier it will be to see how it is influencing your relationship.
You may find that a light bulb comes on.
So many of your issues as a couple finally make sense! Acknowledge the impact your behavior has on your partner. Separate who your partner is from their symptoms or behaviors.
The same goes for the non-ADHD partner too. Recognize that nagging usually arises from feelings of frustration and stress, not because your partner is an unsympathetic harpy. How the partner with ADHD often feels: Overwhelmed, secretly or overtly, by the constant stress caused by ADHD symptoms. Keeping daily life under control takes much more work than others realize. Subordinate to their spouses. Their partners spend a good deal of time correcting them or running the show.
The corrections make them feel incompetent, and often contribute to a parent-child dynamic. Men can describe these interactions as making them feel emasculated. They often hide a large amount of shame, sometimes compensating with bluster or retreat. Afraid to fail again. As their relationships worsen, the potential of punishment for failure increases.
But their inconsistencies resulting from ADHD mean that this partner will fail at some point. Anticipating failure results in reluctance to try. Longing to be accepted. One of the strongest emotional desires of those with ADHD is to be loved as they are, in spite of imperfections. How the non-ADHD partner often feels: The lack of attention is interpreted as lack of interest rather than distraction. Angry and emotionally blocked. This can cause resentment and frustration for the partner, who might feel like he or she does more of the work at home.
Many adults with ADHD have difficulty regulating their emotions. This can result in angry outbursts that leave partners feeling hurt or fearful.
While the adult with ADHD in the relationship is at risk of feeling micromanaged and overwhelmed with criticism, the non-ADHD partner might feel disconnected, lonely, or underappreciated.
More often than not, the behaviors on the surface i. This chronic pattern of micromanaging and underachievement can result in feelings of shame and insecurity for the ADHD partner. It also increases the risk of depression. When couples work to improve communication skills, they can restore balance to the relationship.
ADHD and Relationships: How to Make it Work
Try these strategies to communicate effectively with your partner: Sharing your struggles helps your partner understand how ADHD impacts your behavior Hold eye contact when listening For long conversations, consider a fidget toy like a squeeze ball to keep your mind engaged Focus on teamwork.
To create balance in a relationship, two partners have to work together. Divide tasks based on strengths. If ADHD interferes with your ability to pay bills on time or manage money, ask your partner to handle that task. When couples divide tasks based on their strengths, they get through their to-do lists without either partner feeling overburdened or resentful.
Have a weekly meeting at a predetermined time to discuss the workload and rebalance the tasks if one of you is feeling overwhelmed. Weekly check-ins are also a great opportunity to slow down and connect and plan time together to strengthen your bond.