Adults living with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) probably know quite a bit about the symptoms that come with the condition. But if you have ADHD, you might not recognize or fully realize how deeply forgetfulness, disorganization, impulsivity, inattentiveness, and other ADHD symptoms impact your relationships. Or how to minimize those impacts. But you don't have to let ADHD symptoms get the best of your bond with your partner. Here are some common ways ADHD affects relationships, as well as some strategies for working through the issues that ADHD symptoms may cause:
Poor communication. Feeling distracted and fidgety doesn't affect just you. There's a very good chance your partner sees these feelings manifest in your communication with each another. Maybe you've been told you're sometimes a poor listener or a poor communicator. Over time, that poor communication can lead to big misunderstandings and resentment. So use these simple tricks to promote better interaction:
If your communication problems continue, you might consider professional advice or counseling. For example, a type of therapy called Imago Relationship Therapy has been shown in studies to enhance communication and understanding between partners and help strengthen relationships in people who have ADHD. And there are lots of other counseling and therapy approaches as well, so talk with your doctor.
ADHD affects your relationship in a few other ways . . .
Problems managing responsibilities. Adults with ADHD typically have difficulties with executive functions -- the part of the brain that helps with planning, organization, management, and recall of details. Difficulty with executive functions can show up in many ways. For example, bills, household chores, and shared responsibilities may fall through the cracks because the ADHD sufferer has trouble managing the execution of those details, all of which can cause stress within the relationship and arguments with your significant other. Here are some steps for staying on top of your to-do list and maintaining domestic harmony:
Impulsive behavior. Adults with ADHD may act impulsively. This can lead to addictive behavior, overspending, dangerous behaviors like driving too fast, and other actions that may affect your relationship. Here are three ways to help rein in impulsive behavior:
Trouble with intimacy. ADHD can contribute to problems in the bedroom in a couple of ways. First, if you're taking ADHD medication, some may cause a decreased sex drive. Alternatively, some people who have ADHD have a higher than normal sex drive, and having different levels of desire may lead to conflict between you and your partner. Here's what to do about it:
Conflict within relationships is perfectly healthy and normal. The key is in how you resolve those conflicts. Because ADHD affects some of the tools partners use to resolve tensions and conflicts, it's important to be aware of how your symptoms may come into play so you can be prepared to deal with them appropriately. You can still cultivate a relationship that is just as healthy and satisfying as any other couple's relationship. It just takes a little self-awareness, some work and dedication, and the right information for moving forward.
Whether you refer to it as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)it's the same disorder. Impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating are symptomsand children and adults ...can have them. Can't sit still, can't finish projects, always forgetfulthese are also part of the pattern. With medications and therapy, it's possible to control these impulses and live a more normal, productive life. More