I came across this site and thought, hallelujah, finally a place where we can discourse openly about the issues in relationships where one or both partners have ADHD. While I did discover a great many positive and supportive posts and a number offering sage advice, I am sad to say there has been a preponderance of negative and resentful and at times very hurtful comments from "normals" There are an alarming amount of pejorative remarks that tend to categorize ADHD adults as social deviants something akin to zoo animals. There is entirely too much us/them stuff going on for my comfort. If you normals are truly unhappy with us inept and irresponsible social morons , why not just leave the relationship instead of complaining. To tell the truth, the scope of critique here is daunting and rather than help to straighten us up, it further damages what little self esteem we have left. If you're in a relationship that you resent because you do all the housework, your not going to reform your partner by bitching at them, they may just feel worse about themselves and lash out impulsively.
On the other hand, if you want advice from the heart of a successful ADHD marriage and really do want an equitable (not necessarily equal) partnership, these are strategies that work for us
1. Don't try to force roles onto people who truly can't, not won't but can't, manage them. One poster on ADHD women noted that her "normal" spouse was a disaster with power tools and sliced through electrical wires. What does society know? 200 years ago men wore the fancy wigs and stockings with high heel shoes. Instead, do a skills inventory of all household members and figure out who does what kind of stuff most efficiently. Does your ADHD have OCD, he can sort the socks. Does your partner sit on the internet all day, automate all the billing to on line banking and let that person "handle " the banking. They can also look up strategies that will make life easier like the talking clock I just found that states the exact time (from the computer) every half hour. This is a real plus when there are people in the house who have no concept of time. maybe the ADHD partner is more funny and spontaneous and can take charge of family outings. Spend the time to figure out who is good at what and make them the head of that department. Run the family like a business. Listen to each other's ideas.
2. Habit development is a godsend. I hate not finding my keys. I made a key place. Any keys that turn up anywhere in the house go to the key place. Saturday is always laundry day. dishwasher is run in the AM, put away in the evening while supper is cooking. It sounds really boring and tedious but speaking from an ADHDer POV, it really works and eliminates so many stresses. We are still looking for more things to make into routines.
3. Clutter is an ADHD nightmare. Too much clothes, dishes, toys, electronic gadgets just take an amount of management that ADHD people just don't have and CAN'T learn. If you like to have lots of stuff, expect to lose it. Declutter whenever possible.
4. Lists for everyday routines. I have a preflight for leaving the house. Car keys, check, cell, purse check, meds, check, lunch etc, you got the picture?Again, mundane but it works
5. Work back from arrival time,add 10 to 20% plus 15 minutes and set alarm. For example, it takes 20 minutes to get to x, short distance + 20% is 25 minutes add 15 min for 40 and I arrive almost always on time. Figure out a formula that works for you.
6. Set alarms for things that you want to do but have trouble with motivation, egg timer for shower (i have trouble getting out) computer alarm for going to bed. I am working on going to bed by midnight right now. Still having issues with that.
7. Don't try everything at once, don' t get discouraged the first 17 times. Forgive yourself, forgive your partner but most of all find strategies that are more likely to succeed. It is really hard to change after 30, 40 even 50 years of not being diagnosed and having people rag on you for your faults. If you are a non ADHD spouse, remember that we are not invalids, we are different, not only from you and 92% of the rest of society, we are different from each other. Your partner has strengths and will discover and utilize those strengths in a non judgmental and supportive relationship.
Obviously, this is not a run of the mill relationship and it can be tumultuous with even the best supports in place but whose gonna pay to ride a flat roller coaster. If that's you, get off as soon as you can.