I hear from too many non-ADHD partners who say they have been working really, really hard to ‘compensate’ for ADHD in their relationship, only to end up frustrated and resentful. This outcome makes total sense – you can make changes in yourself and improve things somewhat, but you cannot address the issues that your partner contributes.
Couples impacted by ADHD often must deal with the question of emotional affairs. This post will help you explore emotional affairs for couples impacted by ADHD, including providing hard data about the incidence of emotional affairs for adult couples impacted by ADHD. The best way to start the conversation is to ‘hone in on it’ by looking at ‘definitely’ and ‘definitely not’ scenarios.
People with ADHD commonly have significant sleep issues, and couples impacted by ADHD often have radically different sleep schedules, with the ADHD partners being night owls and sometimes sporadic sleepers, and exhausted non-ADHD partners often falling into bed at a very early hour. Here’s how ADHD-impacted couples can do much better in this area.
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.