Melissa Orlov

Short Version Bio

Melissa Orlov is the author of the award-winning books, The ADHD Effect on Marriage (2010) and The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD (2014, with Nancie Kohlenberger).  She is considered one of the foremost authorities on ADHD and relationships.   A marriage consultant, Melissa helps ADHD-affected couples from around the world rebalance their relationships and learn to thrive.  She also teaches marriage counselors and other professionals about effective marriage therapy for couples impacted by ADHD.  Orlov blogs for Psychology Today and at, where she also hosts a large community of adults learning about ADHD in relationships.  She has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, Today, US News and World Report, CBS, AOL, the American Psychological Association Monitor and many others.  Ms. Orlov is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College.

Longer Biography

“Melissa Orlov is one of the foremost authorities on ADHD and relationships in the world today” says Dr. Edward Hallowell, co-author of Driven to Distraction and other seminal books about ADHD.  “Every day she offers advice based on not only her firsthand experience but also the immense knowledge she has gained through her study.  She also has what few experts have - the benefit of her own suffering.  She weathered the worst kind of storm and has lived what she's talking about.  And she has the benefit of having prevailed.”

In one of life’s more fortuitous twists, Ms. Orlov's marriage to a man with ADHD neared divorce as she was working with ADHD experts Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey.  Throwing herself into the topic of how ADHD might be affecting her situation in an effort to save her union, Orlov realized that there was little good information available to help couples struggling with ADHD in their marriage – in fact few people even knew ADHD could be a factor.  But she and her husband persevered and, after successfully turning their marriage around, vowed that others should not have to suffer the same difficulties “finding a way out” as they had.

Her resulting book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage, introduces couples to what they need to know to start to turn their ADHD relationships around.  Named best psychology book of 2010 by ForeWord Reviews, The ADHD Effect has been a revelation and relationship-changer for many thousands of couples.  Her second book, The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD helps couples navigate the emotional issues they face as they work to revive their relationship.  It was written with co-author, Nancie Kohlenberger, LMFT, and awarded a Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Medal by the IBPA.

Orlov and Dr. Hallowell started a popular blog on the topic of ADHD and relationships in 2007 to share their insights, unique perspectives and expertise.  It helps couples understand that they are not alone and that they can change their marriages for the better (  Orlov also blogs for Psychology Today, and authored the “Your Relationhips” column for ADDitude Magazine from 2008-2014.  She is a contributing author to Married to Distraction, with Hallowell and his wife, Sue George Hallowell, LICSW, and to The Distracted Couple, the first therapist handbook about counseling couples with ADHD.

A marriage consultant, Orlov provides seminars and private consulting to help couples from around the world understand and rebalance their relationships so they can learn to thrive.  She also gives continuing education seminars for couples therapists and psychologists so they may integrate knowledge about ADHD into their counseling practices.  It is rewarding work to be able to provide the insights couples need to move past their anger and hurt so they may rediscover the joy they thought they had lost forever.

Melissa Orlov has been interviewed about the topic of ADHD and marriage by the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, CNN, Today, AOL, The Boston Globe, the American Psychological Association Monitor and many other top news organizations.  She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College.  In her free time she enjoys road biking, summers at Chautauqua Institution, singing, and playing the cello.  She and her husband of 26 years have two children.