ADHD in Marriage and Relationships
Many mistakenly believe ADHD only affects childrenbut nearly one-third to one-half of children who had ADHD carries it into their adulthood Here are some of the problems you might face if you or your partner has ADHD:
- Difficulty listening and paying attention. An individual with ADHD may “zone out” or talk out of turn, making it difficult to communicate.
- Trouble completing tasks. ADHD can lead to poor organizational skills and forgetfulness. A man with ADHD may miss his wife’s birthday or their wedding anniversary, or may forget to stop at the store on the way home from work as his wife had asked.
- Inability to handle responsibilities. Someone with ADHD might forget to pay the bills, neglect to clear a dangerous pile of branches from the backyard, or leave a toxic cleaner on the sink while children are playing nearby.
- Impulsive behavior. People with ADHD constantly need stimulation, and may fail to think through the consequences of their actions. This can lead to reckless, irresponsible behaviors (like driving too fast with the kids in the car).
- Emotional overreaction. Someone with ADHD may lose his or her temper easily, leading to major misunderstandings. Arguments can quickly spiral out of control, because the person with ADHD is unable to talk through issues calmly.
Some strategies to help ADHD-related relationship problems include:
- Make to-do lists of everything from daily responsibilities to items you need from the store. Also keep a calendar of important dates and deadlines.
- Ask the partner with ADHD to repeat back any requests, to make sure he or she understands what is being asked.
- Simplify your life by cleaning up clutter around the house and only attempting to accomplish a small number of tasks each day or week.
- Get into a routine — for example, go through your checkbook once a week to see how much money you’ve spent, or plan the entire week’s meals every Sunday night.