Marriage and ADHD and What Works Best

ADHD Marriage: 

Hi - Ned Hallowell here.  I wanted to post an entry about what I think works best in a marriage where one or both partners have ADHD.  The key to it all is insight and empathy.  Once you understand what's going on, then you have to work at really putting yourself in the shoes of the other person.  THIS IS DIFFICULT!!!  Everyone agrees that emapthy is important, but few people do the work to develop it.  It is amazing in how many marriages neither partner truly understands or feels what it's like to live the life of the other partner.  But, if you work at it, you can develop empathy and with empathy will come a deeper love and appreciation for the other.  How do you do it?  Listen.  Ask questions.  Suspend judgments.  Assume you DO NOT know, rather than you do know.  Learn.  And did I mention listen?  Keep your sense of humor.  Be willing to change your mind.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Remember, forgiveness does not mean you condone bad deeds, just that you let go of anger and resentment.  Inquire.  Be curious about the life of the other person.  And listen.  Let yourself be surprised by what you hear.  Remind yourself that you don't have all the answers.  Be humble.  You don't have to be a saint, just be humble enough to admit you're wrong or that you might be wrong or have been wrong.  Empathy is a powerful tol, but it takes work to develop it.  But, everyone can do it!  Good luck.

Comments

ADHD and marriage

I am a ADHD wife and my 20 year old daughter has it as well. My husband is sometimes sympathic and patient but other times he seems to forget how frustrating things can be for us and actually throws fuel on a fire instead of trying to difuse a sitution. The one that irks me the most is when he says in front of other people, Did you take your pill?

The pill remark

My wife has not offered that one in public, but she seldom gets angry without throwing out a remark like that. What I hear is that there is a level of judgment that is unfair -- she is saying to me, whether or not she means to, that I have poor character and am using a crutch where other, "stronger" people deal with their problems. It is difficult for her to understand that I am really trying to be more orderly and that I only take the medication because I AM trying...

Anger and "the pill"

I read all these posts where the ADD spouse is looking for sympathy and I'm thinking, 'They're doomed.' If your non-ADD spouse went through anything like I did before you started taking the pill, you need to have some sympathy, or at least empathy. Just yesterday my wife's life started getting out of control because she had way too many things going on pill or no pill. Before I left work I made a quick call to someone she had made a big commitment to, explained the situation in a very non-judgmental way (and with no reference to ADD), provided an alternative solution that was satisfactory to both, and then drove home, wondering the whole time how my wife would react. Would she blow up at me for stepping in? Would she call the person back and recommit to the clearly impossible out of some sense of failure or guilt? Would she punish me with silence? These are all the reactions I was accustomed to as the non-ADD spouse who regularly needed to call the ball, clear the dust and close the doors and windows to the chaotic winds caused by a very, very treatable condition. My wife has been very good with her Adderall (she knows the improvement -- if you don't, maybe you need a higher dose or a different med) and I know she's trying. So I walk in the door -- flinching -- and I tell her what I did. She thanked me. I didn't see that coming. I think with the pill she has a much better read on when she's in trouble (and she is in trouble far less often) but she still doesn't know how to successfully get out of trouble. Even non-ADD people over commit at times. When we do it we see it as a mistake -- not failure. About a month ago my wife went grocery shopping. Later that night we went to make dinner and half the ingredients were missing. Seems a bag was left at the store? An hour later the phone rings. Her license and credit cards were found by the hospital, which is in between the grocery store and my house. I asked if they found any diced tomatoes. The bag, and wallet, likely went for a ride on the roof and made it a quarter mile. Guess what I asked my wife? Yes, that horrible question: "Did you take your pill today?" I got cussed out. Why? She had just had a miserable day -- she didn't need me "judging her" -- and now she's scrambling to figure out what to make with what she has, which she doesn't have to do nearly as often any more. An hour later she admitted that she had meant to pick up her prescription first thing that day but never got around to it. I went out and picked it up for her after dinner. Now, just as I'm still willing to pick up the phone to help, I also occasionally need to ask if my wife took her pill. Why? Because you all forget sometimes, but we're also terrified that it might stop working. Sometimes you forget to take the pill. Sometimes you forget to refill the prescription. It's a mistake. We're not being judgmental. None of us think the pill is a crutch. But when you make the mistake of not taking the pill the wheels often fall of the bus by lunch, which can wreck a spouse's day if not the week. If we were talking penicillin I could see how upset people would get by a spouse asking/nagging, "Did you take your pill?" If an older couple goes to bed and the woman expects some action, yet the same old nothing is going on, you bet she's going to ask, "Did you take your pill?" Because if he did there's a whole new problem. If not, well, that explains everything. There's still the obvious problem, but we all know the fix, which offers some level of relief. That's what we're talking about here. You need to understand the pill makes us non-ADD folks very happy. It makes our lives so much better. Don't deprive us of it. If we could take it and get the same result in the relationship we would (we would have taken it years ago). So when we ask if you took it, don't get defensive -- figure out how to get it going on and we'll be fine. You know, my wife thanked me again this morning for making the call last night. It was a nice drive in. I could get used to this. To think not long ago I was wondering how much longer I could stay in the marriage...
clancy's picture

ADHD and Marriage

Both my husband and I have been diagnosed with ADHD and we have two young adult children who were diagnosed with ADHD over ten years ago. As you can imagine , this household has been in a constant state of chaos. I took it upon myself to read everything about ADHD, subscribed to an ADHD magazine, got ADHD coaching and was part of an ADHD support group for adults. This year I began attending a 12 step program as suggested in Delivered From Distraction as I was totally ready for a divorce after twenty-nine years of stress. Not only am I learning to Keep it Simple, but by taking care of myself and setting boundaries there has been a shift in my marriage for the better as well as in my children by taking more responsiblity for themselves. Learning about detachment is a wonderful way to stop engaging in negative behaviors with my spouse. I have a very long journey ahead of me , probably one for the rest of my life. But at our last therapy session, our therapist commented that it was the first session in four years that she saw a positive change in how we related to each other. I think we were less defensive and more honest with each other.

Thanks for this forum for conversation on marriage and ADHD!

This blog has been a great help to me! Hearing other people’s stories and ideas on how to cope has been phenomenal. My husband and I have been married almost 18 years. Two years ago he, our 4 children and I were all diagnosed ADHD (as well as 1 obsessive compulsive, 3 dyslexia and 1 auditory processing difficulty diagnosis!). It was such a relief to realize that there was a reason for all of the insanity in our home. My husband and I struggle daily to be on the "same page." Our approach to living with ADHD is polar opposite. He strives for order, scheduling, and structure. I on the other hand tend to be more loosey-goosey and enjoy the freedom of not being scheduled. Thanks to our strong faith in God we are committed to each other. Otherwise we would have already been among the ADHD divorce statistics. Thank you for starting this wonderful blog. We have already learned several new techniques that have been helpful to our family. ADHD x 6

balance is everything

I was diagnosed with ADHD over 10 years ago. I am dating a woman also diagnosed with ADHD. We are both divorced from non ADD spouses and have had therapy etc. Our relationship sounds similar to yours in that we deal with our ADHD differently. We were both diagnosed after high-school and developed different coping mechanisms. She is very organised and structured and it suits her well. She works in an office working for a large charity and is well suited for the job. it requires a lot of in and out of the office for meetings (we are also both extroverts) and relies heavily on meds to keep her attentive. I have embraced the as you put it "loosey-goosey" side of things. I am a paramedic and have the luxury of a very spontaneous job that is both intense and always changing. We embrace each others coping mechanisms and use them as strengths. Her organization keeps us on track in life and always reaching to accomplish our goals. My spontaneity keeps things fun and always interesting. we do something called "anywhere the wind blows" (it's a line from a country song) we take the weekend and load up the backpacks and just go...we don't always know where we're going and sometimes we get lost and that's ok.I realy enjoy this blog because for the first time I am with someone who truly does empathise with me and I with her. We just get each other. When she is spaced out I know why, and she knows when i'm a little off the wall to just embrace it and find something constructive to do with all that energy.

Empathy, Do I still have it????

Prior to being a husband to my wife who is not diagnosis but acknowledges and declines any treatment and a father to a 11 year son who is diagnose and no longer taking meds, I possessed a high level of empathy. 5 years going into 12 year marriage I discover the word ADHD. For the last 7 years, I have done my best to learn everything about ADD not only for my son but for my wife and my marriage. I feel extremely frustrated that I no longer have that high level of empathy, patience and find it difficult to listen from the constant shifting thoughts and actions. I wonder being around those I truly love makes me ADDer, too!. (I was tested and not diagnose with ADHD). Perhaps, things would be better in marriage and family if only...........?????? Can I regain empathy or do I need those I love with ADHD to make an effort with me??? If so, how???

Response from an ADHD Wife

Luis Ramon, I can identify with both sides of your frustration. My husband are both taking medication for our ADHD, but tht does not remove all "symptoms" of ADHD. We have been married almost 18 years and have been diagnosed for 2 of those years. I have dedicated myself to reading up on ADHD and learning as much as I can. My husband does not see the need. He will discuss what I have read with me I try very had to be empathethic. However, when he continues in the same negative pattern it becomes difficult to be empathetic or supportive. I have found that developing personal boundaries has been very helpful to me. Example: My husband tends to waid until the very last possible minute to get ready to go somewhere. This weekend he and our 3 sons went to a Father/Son Camp-out. The camp out started at 5:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m. he was still sitting in front of his computer. He had not showered, packed or gotten anything together. In the past, I would have been freaking out and scurring around to get everything ready so that the experience wouldnt' be stressful for the kids, my husband or myself. Now, I have given myself a new boundary. If the outing is my husbands, let him take care of the details. If it ends up stressing him out, eventually he will realized he needs to change his behavior and prepare sooner. This past weekend, instead of sticking around and getting caught up in the last minute preparation, I took our daughter and we went out for a girls night. This kept me from getting sucked into the fray. On the other hand, I am an ADHD spouse. I know EASILY forget how stressful it can be to live with me. I tend to remember or notice the things my husband does "wrong" but forget or don't notice all of the wonderfully helpful things that he does to help me and the family. I know my husband would agree it is hard to listen when the person speaking jumps from topic to topic, many times without finishing any topic. It is good to develop a way you can tell your spouse to stop and look more objectively at whatever situation you are in. Manytimes, when my husband gets my attention and I stop and look honestly at my behavior or expectations, I realize that I am the one who needs to adjust, not him. I would encourage your wife to consider talking to someone (a doctor, life coach, minister). For many ADHDers it is extreemly hard to read about ADHD, but talking to someone is much easier. Medication may not be right for her, but understanding her "kind" of ADHD can help her develop more productive coping skills. For our family, medication is a must! All 6 of us take either Strattera or Concerta. It has made a tremendous difference in our family life. It is not a cure all but it deffinitely helps. Anyway, I hope some of this is helpful to you.

Thank you Response from an ADHD Wife

Thank you for sharing what works for you and family. I continue to read the Thoughts on ADHD and Marriage. My hopes and will try to encourage my wife to talk to someone. Understanding the kind of ADHD would be helpful for my wife, myself and family. I pray that with this we all can develop more productive coping skills to lessen frustration and anger. Also, I will look more closer at myself and regain the empathy I have within. Again, thanks for your words. They were very helpful.

As a person who myself has

As a person who myself has ADD and lives with a partner who has it as well, this question is repeated in my mind often. The key is that BOTH parties need to have empathy; it needs to be reciprocal to work. Others may lecture about unconditional love and what not, but in order for any true or good relationship, you need both parties to understand the need for this key ingredient. Because we are human, and we won't always remember to think from the other person's standpoint, it is even more crucial, at least in my view, that the two (or in your case three) parties sit down and try to hammer out a concise agreement and view of the situation. That way as equilibriums of mood and life shift and flow between you, you can adjust to the tides accordingly an not be ravaged. It may help to have a mediator. To sit down, hear out the other person (no matter how wrong we think -or know- they are in our view) without interruption and understand that they may have some validity. This should happen two way, or the whole point of the matter is mute. We need to understand that the invalidity of our own point of view implied by another's actions is what usually hurts the most! The hardest part in all of this is honestly that it requires two people, who may not agree, to try to compromise for the sake of their relationship without feeling that they are compromising themselves. It's always good to start out with the understanding that your common, and uniting goal, is a stronger partnership with each other. One that will strengthen you as individuals because the ultimate goal is to nurture one another. If you understand each other's languages, then it's harder for misunderstandings to occur. And it's easier to approach a topic that once could start a fight. Instead of accusing you can learn to hear each other out and see the other side without invalidating your own self. Again, the hardest part in all of this is to get BOTH parties to accede. I've found in my own relationship, that the "flavor" of ADD the person has usually magnifies their tendency towards left or right "brainedness".... whether or not professionals would agree with me remains to be seen. The hard part is that Right and Left brained people normally interpret the world differently. And a left brained ADD person will definitely find it harder to understand a right brained ADD person, even if some unspoke current of empathy exists. Again, all of this means you in essence are forced to learn a new language in order to understand the other person. There is a book called "A General Theory of Love" that I strongly suggest reading. It doesn't focus on ADD, but is a great way to look at the complex language of relationships formed not only by speech, but a host of more subtle and delicate movements between beings. I hope this response can help some. Sorry if it's a bit jumbled and tangential.

When two ADDers get married ...

My psychologist is pretty sure that both my husband and I have ADHD, unfortunately I'm the only one with an official diagnosis. The predictable chaos that happens when both parents and most likely both kids too have ADD can be a bit overwhelming at times. I totally agree with what Dr. Hallowell said about insight and empathy. We've been married for 21 years now and much of it has been pretty bumpy. Just finding out that I hadn't outgrown my childhood hyperactivity diagnosis has helped a lot in our marriage. Now when my husband says your so slow and so disorganized, I just say, "Yes, I am." Kind of like "What's your point?" He's a lot more patient now that he understand that this is mostly neurological and not intentional. It'd be nice if he'd go ahead and get diagnosed as well, but I don't think he wants to go there. Unfortunately that usually means that anytime something gets lost it's assumed to be my fault and we both tend to avoid the same kinds of jobs (ie: bill paying, filling out paperwork, calling to solve problems on the phone or make appointments, etc.). Nothing much profound to say tonight, just needed to vent a bit. Perhaps another time I'll have more enlightenment to share. Take care

marriage, ADHD, family

I am 36 years old, have been married nearly 10 years, and was recently diagnosed with ADHD. It has been a difficult journey in my marriage, and I have accepted that my disorganization and forgetfulness have not made things easy between myself and my spouse. I had to respond to "Scattered" because my therapist believes my husband has ADHD based on his fear of decision-making, violent and angry outbursts, avoidance, hyperactivity and impatience. I have over the years, been dealt a blow to my already low self-esteem because conversations I initiate to solve problems become, in his mind, opportunities to torture him or "blame" him. We never deal with the problems in our marriage in a meaningful way because he is so afraid of being wrong, despite my not accusing him of being wrong. I feel I am at the end of my marriage because my children have shown signs of ADHD, and I want to teach them healthy ways of coping with this difference, as opposed to learning from their father how to avoid blame or be dishonest. My oldest seems to be learning his father's ways. Many spouses of ADHD have stated on this site that they feel like they are the parent. Even with my challenges with having ADHD (inattentive type), I have had to be the parent in the relationship. He complains about chaos in our family, but when I offer advice or suggestions to help us deal with the problem, or when I ask for his advice, I do not get any feedback. Now that I am the one that has been diagnosed, and I take my medication faithfully, I have changed in that I try to do what's best for myself and my kids regarding organization, but I refuse to be the parent to my spouse (i.e., be his executive secretary). As a result, travel plans and family appointments are falling apart. It has been difficult, but I try to be firm, and relax in the midst of this chaos. I am focusing my energy on being the best me I can be and to be the best example and parent to my young sons, but I do not allow my husband to make me responsible to alone be the family manager, full-time worker, and all around scapegoat for his anger and frustration. I do not know if I should have hope for our marriage. A friend has reminded me that ADHD is not an excuse for bad behavior. I do not know whether my husband will ever accept any personal responsibility for our family situation and seek help to manage himself. As I learn more about ADHD, I share with him everything that I learn, but I do not get any feedback from him. He is so afraid of feeling out of control. Is there any way I can help him conquer his fears? Is there any way, in the midst of my processing this new information about myself, that I can convince him to be evaluated?

regarding the pill remark/

I just read the response where the comment judgement was assumed when spouse asked if pill was taken. I married to a man who was diagnosed with adult ADD two years ago. Our 17 year old marriage has been difficult and although I love this man and i am barely able to go on these days. His ADD affects every aspect of our marriage and family life. I finally went to see a psychologist because he can't bother to schedule or keep the appointment. My doctor point blank said he cannot help our marriage if he does not address his ADD. He used the analogy of a car that had flat tire and alignment issue. you wouldn't fix the alignment without fixing the tire. His ADD is so severe he needs medication. If he is unwiling to take his medication there really is no hope for us. Although i am so sick of being his mother and fixing messes for him, I do ask him if he has taken his pill because i am desperately trying to save our marriage and improve the quality of our family life. I have asked two things of him to take his pill and to attempt to make a schedule. He rebels, revolts from the schedule thing and forgets to take his meds. He needs reminding as I suspect you may too. You may hear judgement but chances are the question is coming from years of having to remind you and help you get things done. Dr Hallowell, you say forgive, forgive, forgive--what if you feel broken. You forgive, forgive, forgive and nothing. How long? I so resent the ADD diagnosis. I am struggling with bitterness. Where is the joy?

I had a 25 year marriage to a

I had a 25 year marriage to a man who was only recently diagnosed with severe ADHD. For many years, I tried to make a go of it. I kept thinking it would get better. But it only got worse. I always felt there was something "odd" about his emotions, that he didn't "really" seem to feel for others. He would do nice things, but it seemed to be all an act just to get favor. We went to a counselor to try to make things better. She told us to get a divorce (this was before I knew he had ADHD). I tried avoiding him during his off times, give him space. I tried to do everything I could to make life easier for him. But it seemed the more I did, the more he "went away" from me. He went to a psychologist, but he never wanted me to go with him. I read on the blogs how we are supposed to feel sorry for the people with ADHD. But there is very little mention of how devastating it is to the non-ADHD spouse to have so little support and stability in a marriage. Although the psychologist helped him and our marriage, my husband decided he didn't need to go anymore. Things went way downhill after that as he became so self-centered and narcissistic. Whatever he wanted to do, he was going to do it. No feeling whatsoever for me. After being away from him for over a year, I am only now realizing how emotionally and mentally abusive such a relationship was. To all of those who have ADHD and think you don't need help or don't need that medicine, you are wrong. Please get help and stay with it. To those who are living with an ADHD spouse, please, please take care of yourself and do what is best for you.

RE:25 year marriage

Wow, I could have written this. My husband too has an "oddness" about his emotions. A lack of empathy or sympathy. He is the guy who will do anything for anybody- but just not me. He goes out of his way for people he works with, is friends with and for his family (who treat him like dirt by the way) but the one who loves him, is there by his side to bail him out of trouble, to support him, to be there while in the hospital, to take care of him, to help him in his search for answers with regard to ADHD, to make the appointments for him, to remind him of those appointments so he is not charged (again) for another missed appt...you get the picture. Me, he won't lift a finger for. Its all about outward appearances. I recently had someone he works with say to me that she couldn't survive there without him...that he is such a big help, a great support, always there when she needs him. HUH? MY husband?? How dumb did I feel. Actually he WAS like that to me while we were dating, he just changed after we got married. Classic hyperfocus story. His mind works differently than most, yeah I get that. How about if someone tried to "get" me? I'm not all that complicated really. No books written on how to understand me better. ~Exhausted.

Re: 25 year marriage

Narcissistic! Perfect word to discribe people with ADHD.

They are your classic bullies....

 

 

I couldn't disagree more. If

I couldn't disagree more. If it were such a universal problem as you suggest it would be used as a main diagnostic criteria as it is in psychopathy.

I don't know about this, either.

Hi Running21,

Yikes!  Your marriage must be pretty bad to paint us all with the same brush.  I have read some of your old posts, and you mention you have two children?  Me, too.  My son has ADHD.  He also has the best heart out of anyone I have ever met in my entire life.  My husband agrees with my assessment.  This is a child who hears about sad situations and takes money out of his piggy bank to help.  This is a child who in spite of his SEVERE ADHD, can be extremely thoughtful, and never expects anything in return.  He always thinks the best of people.  He wants to do well in school.  He is protective of his little sister.  He is a remarkable and intuitive human being, and I am so proud of him, it brings tears to my eyes, and to my husband's, too.  

I don't want to make it sound like life is easy with him.  It isn't.  He is very high-maintenance, disorganized, and quite argumentative without medication in his system.   It can be extremely stressful, and having ADHD myself doesn't make things any easier.  I have to actively work on this every day, and countless conversations take place between my husband and I on how to best help him and handle him without losing our collective minds!

I bring this up because it is not out of the realm of possibility that one or both of your children could be diagnosed.  It runs in families, as I'm sure you know.   How would you handle it if one of your children was diagnosed?  Would you write him or her off as a hopeless narcissist?  Based on your other posts, I'd say you would dig in and work harder.  That said, I know you can't always "try harder" with a spouse who is giving you nothing.  

 I have met many kind people with ADHD.  I've also met jerks.  We haven't cornered the market on that, though.  I have met just as many jerks without ADHD.  I'm not sure how much experience you have with ADHD people, but I have a lot of experience, both in my family, and in my job.  I would agree with the poster who said it would be part of the DSM if it were universally true.

Good luck in finding the peace you are looking for.  I hope your wife gains clarity and insight into her damaging role in your marriage and what she can do differently.

ADHDMomof2

 

In Response to Your Love & Marriage Entry

I am almost ashamed to say that as I sit here and type this I am crying! (but a good cry..I think lol) As I began reading your entry on what works best in a marriage I instantly began to cry! Somebody out there actually GETS IT!!! YOU actually get it! Get what I have been trying to say for what seems a lifetime! Here it has taken me YEARS of trying to get my fiance (& other people as well, I guess) to understand the very things you wrote (& believe me..I'm a talker so that's a whole lotta words. lol) & you managed to sum it up in a handful of sentences!!! I'm apparently not doing something right! hahaha Seriously, I am engged to be marriedin September of this year to a very, very wonderful man!! Truly! He's seen me at my very worst & never once hesitated to tell me he still loves me & for as insecure of a person as I am deep down, that's a big deal. But a new "issue" as arose, I guess. See, since 2003 (when my fiance & I first met, actually) I was diagnosed w/ Bipolar I Disorder & I still believe that the diagnosis was fitting at the time. But not anymore, not since Russ. (my fiance) He moved in with me 2 years ago & in that 2 years he has helped me grow so much as a person. And as it stands now, I have not taken a Bipolar med in almost 1 year! I have ZERO sysmptoms, OTHER THAN a occassional hypo-manic evening where it is difficult for me to sleep. I taken an occassional 5mg Vallium if I need help sleeping. (don't think I've slept through the night completely in at least 3 years) BUT, lucky me, developed a whole new world in which I now dwell...the land of ADHD!!! :-) ZERO Bipolar Symptoms, more ADHD symptoms than I know what to do with!! Every day I adjust a litle more & in all actually I'll pick ADHD over Bipolar any day of the week!!! (but first I'd have to actually REMEMBER what day of the week it is, huh? lol) ANYHOW...my fiance was finally used to the "Bipolar Me" & now here I am with a WHOLE new plethera of issues which, for the most part, on the surface, he still gets me. But I have so many fears & worries about this marriage, not doubts, but so many things that have to be resolved & so many revolving around HOW I FEEL!! A concept I have a Hell of a time trying to drill into Russ. The fact that feelings are not right or wrong, THEY ARE JUST FEELINGS! And as I read your entry I cried & cried b/c it just felt like FINALLY someone out there knew what the Hell I've been trying to say. Maybe I'm not crazy! Well, no, I'm definitely crazy, but at least not about this! LOL I'll shut up now (you're a Dr. Is there a cure for rambling insesantly? Just curious) I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart! At least I know there is one person out there who understands! ;-)

Both my husband and myself

Both my husband and myself are (diagnosed) ADHD, married 34 years - whew! I wonder at times how we've made it and I know it is first: love, second: committment. A current struggle for me it realizing (as our therapist pointed out to me - privately), my husband has no insight. I felt devasted, yet it opened my eye to realize how true this is. How does a spouse deal with this, especially when you stress the importance of insight. Also, I have a significant trauma HX, and it seems that my husband has little empathy - especially since I'm finally getting therapy to heal from this 'old stuff'. He wonders why I'm 'dragging' up unnecessary old stuff and thinks I should just move on. His intense angry often triggers PTSD symptoms for me. How can (if) someone develop insight and/or empathy?

Both have ADHD

I actually feel that we had instinctual empathy for each other from the beginning. I didn't realize that I had ADHD nor that my future husband did -- but we just understood each other and accepted the disorganization, etc. without too much judgement or criticism. I guess no one without ADHD would be able to cope with some of my "stuff" -- thank goodness I'm not alone with it....in fact it's kinda fun a lot of the time! Sally A.