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.
In a recent class I was asked this interesting question by a non-ADHD husband (who also happens to be a therapist) - "All couples experience anger - so how do you tell anger that is related to ADHD apart from normal anger?" Great question!
There is some conversation going on right now in the forums questioning whether it is appropriate to make generalizations about people with ADHD.One person suggests this is insulting or hurtful to group those with ADHD together. Another poster asks: ‘if "they" (people with ADHD) are all so completely different, why do we keep hearing the same behaviors (forgetting, interrupting, not handling money well, etc.) coming up over and over?’ I would like to respond to this question in the blog, rather than in the forums.
Welcome to the viewers from the Dr Phil Show, as well as other newcomers to this site. There is a lot here, so we suggest you start with the blog posts. Some of the "favorites" are under "Melissa's Favorite Posts" in the top right corner, or you can explore by area of concern in the "categories" area. The site also has a forum where people with concerns share them. Many find it reassuring that others share their issues but please understand that the forum is biased by the fact that those who have found this (unadvertised) site often seek it out because their marriage is in deep trouble.
I gave a talk last night for ADDclasses.com about overcoming anger and frustration in ADHD relationships. At the end of the session listeners asked two very important questions: how do I get my spouse with ADHD to admit he has ADD and participate in improving our relationship? And, as an ADHD spouse, how do I get my non-ADD spouse to admit I have ADD and start to deal with it?
I've been thinking a great deal lately about how poor communication contributes to the downhill slide of many relationships affected by ADHD. Here are seven basic ideas that will help you get along better with your partner: