Your mindset can make all the difference when you are in a relationship with an ADHD partner.
I want to share a note from the spouse of an ADHD partner who, after discovering ADHD was a factor in his crumbling marriage, decided to try to be more open to his wife's 'way of being' and experiences.
ADHD, like so many things that people go through, exists on a continuum from more intense to less intense, and in addition, there are different types. There are those who are Inattentive (and may appear to be spacey), and those who are hyperactive/ impulsive, and those who are both at the same time. No two individuals with ADHD show up the same way.
All of us have bad days sometimes…even bad months or longer. I’m having one right now that has to do with my negative feelings about the impact of my husband’s job in our lives. The problem is, my responses are making things worse. As always, you can learn from my mistakes - in this case about how NOT to approach your partner.
I regularly hear from successful adults with ADHD - particularly men - that though they experience success at work they worry that they still don't feel successful. In fact, they feel as if they have others 'fooled' and that some day they may be discovered as a fraud. A marriage tip reader recently wrote me to ask "what's at the root of this? I often feel this way but can't pinpoint why..." As I've talked with adults in counseling about this issue I believe it has to do with the inconsistency of ADHD.
Do you fight over whether or not you agreed to something in the past? Or perhaps you're a non-ADHD partner frustrated that your ADHD partner doesn't seem to remember your conversations? If so, I would like to suggest a simple solution that will help you avoid these fights.
Excessive use of electronics is not a neutral activity when it comes to relationships – it takes time away from family and partners. In our house it can feel as if my husband’s electronics rule my life. If I ask a question or sound speculative about anything, the first thing he does is whip out his phone to look up the answer. He views it as being helpful and interesting. I view it as a distraction that pulls his attention away from me and from our conversation.
This guest blog post has been provided by Hal Meyer and Susan Lasky of the ADD Resource Center.
You fell in love with his boyish enthusiasm, adventuresome spirit and easy-going charm. Now you are frustrated that he decides to go skiing instead of shoveling the snow off the walkway, or forgets to take the children to the dentist. You were fascinated by her many interests, creativity and “enjoy the moment” approach to life. Now you are fed up with the clutter of her incomplete projects, and annoyed by her indifference to planning meals and shopping. It is easier to love someone with ADHD than it is to live with them.