ADHD and Marriage Blog

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:

Your partnership includes too many lies – big and small.  In three previous posts I’ve written about why this is happening, and how this hurts your relationship.  ADHD – and responses to ADHD – can certainly play a role.  So what to do?  Here are 9 strategies for ending in your relationship:

Depending upon the research study, between 21% and 53% of adults with ADHD will experience alcohol dependence or abuse at some point in their lifetime.  And, turning it around, it’s been estimated that 25 percent of adults receiving treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse have also been diagnosed with ADHD, which leads experts to believe that there’s an important link between ADHD symptoms, ADHD treatment, and substance abuse.

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