ADHD and Marriage Blog

Coach Jeff Copper explains why both observation and experimentation are critical to finding strategies that work for you.

There are quite a few individuals who have recently been evaluated, or will be evaluated for ADHD showing up on the forum these days, and others whose partners/spouses show signs of ADHD.  It is valuable to know some basic information about ADHD medications, as that is what most doctors will recommend as a way to work with ADHD symptoms.  What follows is a very brief overview and is not intended in any way to replace your doctor’s recommendations in regard to medications.

ADHD, like so many things that people go through, exists on a continuum from more intense to less intense, and in addition, there are different types.  There are those who are Inattentive (and may appear to be spacey), and those who are hyperactive/ impulsive, and those who are both at the same time.  No two individuals with ADHD show up the same way.

I am continually impressed with the enormous amount of support that is so generously shared on this website.  The amount of care and concern that posters have for each other is just tremendous.  And it’s great to see that it comes from both the ADHD/non-ADHD sides of the story.  Each in her/his way, sharing perspectives that are so valuable to be heard.

Have you ever gotten flooded during an interaction with your partner when you felt so overwhelmed that you couldn’t seem to see straight?  It can happen when it seems like the same material is coming up in an argument that you’ve been over and over again and again and you just can’t handle it any more.  You know you should disengage, but somehow when you get to this point, it just seems impossible.  Everything seems out of control.  This is flooding.  Flooding is defined as:

As a therapist, I’ve always known that mixing mood stabilizing drugs with booze is not a good thing.  I’ve now done some research that shows that this is also true of the pairing of ADHD medication with drinking.  Pairing Adderall with alcohol can be downright life-threatening.

The Dangers

I've read so many comments on the Forum recently about ADHD partners/spouses who seem to have problems with anger, and in some cases..rage.  I can certainly appreciate how difficult it is to live with someone who seems to get triggered into this kind of reaction without a substantial reason.  Melissa recently wrote an article on just this topic in EMax Health.  Research done in Feb. seems to suggest that those with ADHD may be genetically predisposed to what is called "emotional lability."  This is just a fancy term for moodiness, ie. irritability, or a short fuse...anger responses.

I appreciate Melissa’s introduction of me, the co-author of her latest book, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD.  I will be guest-blogging here for a bit, and it is my honor to do so.  I look forward to sharing some thoughts with you, and I hope you will share your thoughts with me as well.

Hello to all of my blog readers!  I want to let you know that I will be taking a medical leave starting about June 18, lasting possibly into August.  The website will be up and running, and Nancie Kohlenberger, the co-author of The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, will be posting here and keeping an eye on the forum conversations.  So things at adhdmarriage.com will go on pretty much the same except you might notice my silence.  Please welcome Nancie if you come across her -  I hope she will continue to be a presence on the site long after my return!  And make sure to pick her brain - she's not only an expert in ADHD and relationships, but she is also a woman with ADHD, married to a man with ADHD, so she has much to offer with her perspective.

You suspect your partner might have ADHD but are unsure how to bring up the topic.  What do you do?

ADHD in adults can be a sensitive topic.  Some feel that ADHD "is not real" or "just for kids" while others, sensitized after years of comments that they should 'just try harder' might take the suggestion that they might have ADHD as a direct criticism.  And some adults embroiled in the struggles of 'the ADHD Effect' might worry that considering the possibility that they might have ADHD would be tantamount to admitting they are to blame for your marital struggles.

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