ADHD and Marriage Blog

Tools for adults with ADHD and for partners of adults with ADHD are important for managing the issues that come up in relationships impacted by ADHD.  A very useful tool for this can be support groups, and I'm happy to announce that we are sponsoring some of these.  These tele-support groups start October 20 and 21 (one just for individuals with ADHD and another just for partners of individuals with ADHD.)  They are run by phone so that you can participate from anywhere.

October is ADHD Awareness Month, which means there are some excellent programs going on that can get you more information about ADHD and introduce you to some of the other experts in the field.

I cannot tell you how often I have had a non-ADHD partner contact me and say something such as “I have a partner with ADHD who is also a narcissist.”  Sometimes, a therapist (who usually doesn’t know much about ADHD, once I probe) has suggested this, as well.  Though your partner seems self-absorbed, it is likely not narcissism, and with the right approach it usually CAN be addressed within your relationship.

ADHD is highly heritable, which means you may well have children with ADHD.  As they age, how to support them becomes less clear, as parents need to let go of the organizing support they provided their ADHD child when younger, and embrace something new.  Here are tips for parents of adult children who wish to keep their relationships strong.

A recent article in ADDitude Magazine reminded me that about 20% of people with ADHD will develop Bipolar and about 70% of people with Bipolar also have ADHD.  Wow!  This is a huge overlap, and it’s important to know the characteristics of each, so that you can get treatment right.

It’s easy to confuse ADHD and Bipolar, as both conditions include symptoms commonly associated with ADHD. 

When I work with couples impacted by ADHD I often see an unintentional bias towards using the label of ADHD as a negative descriptor, rather than as a medical term that enables treatment and describes a particular way of being.  This negative labeling - used by both partners - hurts relationships. as it may lead to blaming the ADHD partner for ALL relationships issues, while providing too easy an out for non-ADHD partners who also play a role in relationship issues.

Want to know what it feels like to grow up with ADHD?  This poem, written by one of the members of this site, gives eloquent testimony to the challenges – and strengths – of a childhood with undiagnosed ADHD.

Trying to avoid feelings of shame is only human, but when it comes to adult ADHD, gentle engagement with raw areas can lead to significant gains.  But how to do that, when shame feels so bad?  These ideas, provided by adults with ADHD, can help both ADHD partners and non-ADHD partners.

ADHD adults often carry a lot of hurt and shame with them.  Learn what these shame triggers are and you can significantly improve your interactions.  A recent conversation with five adults with ADHD and their partners highlights some of the issues.

The idea behind the conversation was to identify triggers that frequently led to feelings of shame for ADHD partners.  Here are a few:

ADHD may have undermined your last relationship, but it doesn’t have to destroy your future.  Here are 10 tips to keep your future healthier and happier:


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