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.
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.
Statistics about how many couples are impacted by one or more emotional or physical affairs are hard to believe, for obvious reasons, not least of which is that estimates vary so widely. They range from 20-60% of men and 20-40% of women having an affair at some point in their relationship. No matter the exact number, the bottom line is that a large number of couples experience this form of betrayal at some point in their partnership, often after that affair has been going on for a while.