Six Secrets to a Happy ADHD Relationship

You can have a happy ADHD marriage.

Read that again, you probably don’t hear it often enough.

The statistics are scary and at times you might not believe it’s possible to make a marriage work with ADHD in the mix. You fight too much. Your house is a mess. You can’t find your keys. You’re late for appointments, if you even remember that you have them. The bills are late. You say things without thinking or tune out during important conversations. Life is chaotic. And still, adults with ADHD are completely capable of happy, fulfilling marriages.

All marriages have their ups and down, but if one or both spouses have ADHD, the relationship is significantly more challenging. Two people, two lives entwined, every day, under one roof…and ADHD. It’s complex, it’s hard, it’s beautiful, it’s not impossible.

Marriage is like a rope. The entwined threads can either be sturdy or frayed.  The rope stays strong and supportive as you both reach and climb upward together. But with too much stress the threads can become twisted and frayed, the rope weakens and gradually your relationship starts to fall apart.

The good news is that you are always an active participant in your marriage. You can choose your role, how you communicate, and the behaviors that can either strengthen or weaken your bond. If you are willing and ready to strengthen the rope that holds you and your spouse together, you will bring back the warm, cozy feeling you had when you first met.

Remember when you met? Do you remember the sparks that were flying between you when you looked into each other’s eyes? Something about that person made you want to spend the rest of your lives together. You can bring that feeling back again. In fact, it can be even better than that – a deeper, more mature and profound connection – if you choose to make the effort.

Relationships thrive when both partners act lovingly towards one another, willing to make an effort to grow, and committed to working on themselves.

Follow these 6 ways to live peacefully with ADHD:

  1. BRING BACK THE LOVE

You loved each other once. As the years go by, you know more about each other. The “real” person comes out. Often you find yourself thinking, what happened to the person I fell in love with? The more comfortable you get in relationships, the more you take them for granted. You forget to nurture and nourish them. Expectations cause disappointment. Resentment sets in, secretly hiding in the background of your lives.

With ADHD, life can be lived impulsively or haphazardly. After a hard day at the office, a stressful commute home, driving children to after-school activities, it’s hard to feel romantic; especially when you are late, forget your keys, or realize you didn’t pick up your kids.

It sounds unnatural, but if you want to emotionally reconnect, you have to schedule private time for your relationship. Yes, that means make a date (like the old days). Put it in your calendar. Busy days filled with work, phones and Facebook can distance us from our partners. Schedule a “shut down” time at least once a week. No phones, no TV, no interruptions. Just be together. Talk about your day. Leave out the comments, judgment, and criticism. Pretend you’re on a first date again.

  1. SLOW DOWN

Life with ADHD is often frantic. Leaving the house, finishing projects, and showing up for appointments on time can be stressful for the person with ADHD. Each day whizzes by. Sometimes you can’t even remember where you went, what you did, and who you were with. ADHD is fast-moving; in the body and the mind. Take time to slow down your body. Intentionally, move slower. Your mind will follow.

  1. ACCEPT IMPERFECTIONS

People with ADHD have a few more challenges than most. However, everyone is imperfect. Even you. Once you accept your own flaws, you will think differently about your partner’s imperfections. We are human; all of us are struggling through life individually, yet together. Judgmental, critical thoughts distance you from peace and love.

  1. LOOK FOR THE GOOD

Every trait has a positive and negative side to it. The trait that drives you crazy is probably the same trait that brings a benefit to your life. Start by giving compliments. Say something nice. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but if you value your relationship it’s worth the effort. Remember your impulsive partner may be the fast-acting doctor, nurse, or EMT who is saving someone’s life.

  1. PRIORITIZE YOUR CONFLICTS

Most things couples fight about aren’t worth the effort. Every comment, disappointment, or difference of opinion does not have to turn your home into a battlefield. Try not to react when negative emotions are strong. Speaking while angry causes damage to your partner and to the relationship. Take space for yourself to manage your feelings and pick your battles.

  1. BE ON THE SAME TEAM

One of the most important things you can do is join forces. Be on the same team. Bickering, competing, and criticizing are habits that are harmful to a loving relationship. When you’re in the midst of negativity, be it an argument or just the voice in your head, remember to regroup, readjust, and realign your thoughts so that you feel united with your partner.

  1. PRACTICE COMPASSION

This is indispensable within any relationship. A person with ADHD often feels disappointed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. When a person with ADHD appears to be acting selfishly, it may be that he or she is feeling overwhelmed with their own thoughts. ADHD takes up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth. It’s exhausting and often the ADHDer is struggling to get through the next task. Slow down, be compassionate, and refrain from judgment. Your ADHD loved one will respond lovingly to your kindness.

An ADHD relationship requires patience and compassion, at times more than other relationships. Understanding what it feels like to have ADHD- without judgment- will help both partners stay on the same page and allow you to regain a peaceful, happy home.

The more love you give, the more you will receive.

June is a personal excellence coach, blogger, and author specializing in ADHD. If you have ADHD, or love someone who does, visit her website, junesilny.com, where she shares her experiences with ADHD.
    • Nikkie
    • August 5, 2017
    Reply

    Hi, me and my boyfriend have been together a year. I was informed by his mom that he has ADHD when we first got together. But I thought its no big deal. It wwill not affect our relationship. But I soon found out how serious it is. I’m always very frustrated when trying to explain my feelings. Or just trying to explain anything. We constantly argue because he admit to being wrong but he can’t really grasp how to fix the problems. No matter how many times I actually tell him just what to do to fix our relationship. I know he loves me greatly but I constantly feel unloved because he really Dont know how to be affectionate . I try helping but he also have this ” know it all” attitude. He is a great guy . he Dont cheat. We Dont have issues of that sort . its just that he is constantly confused. About making desicions . he do things without thinking . or say things without thinking and my feelings are constantly hurt. Um trying to hold on but I think his ADHD might be more than I can handle

      • Dawson
      • August 7, 2017
      Reply

      My girlfriend is going through the same situation. I often feel unloved and neglected by her. We’ve tried many times and it seems to work for a little bit but then goes back to normal. I dont know what you’ve tried but if you know anything that might help that would be great.

    • SM
    • August 3, 2017
    Reply

    this was fantastic! thank you. my boyfriend of 2 years has ADHD and recently told me he is depressed. I am supposed to move in with him in 3 weeks and for the last few months he keeps saying that he is not ready for this step. (we are in our early 30s). I feel totally confident but he has been hiding his fear for a while and I am starting to get scared that this will end badly. We have been fighting recently over the move because I don’t feel that he is excited (or as he says, ready), i am not pushing him, we discussed this a year ago, time just flew by!

    Is there anything that I can do to be more supportive? I am a highly sensitive person and I know that I have to manage that and not let the short temper and harsh words during an episode get to me. But adding in the depression, are there any tips? thank you!

    • Sue
    • July 17, 2017
    Reply

    I hear the desperation and pain in the non-adhd partners over and over but see little addressing this with compassion. The pain , isolation, loneliness, and loss of identity that is so common in them sorely needs tending to. It seems most “professional advice” focuses on understanding your ADD mate and stresses having compassion for them, which is needed, and I totally agree with, but still leaves the non-add partner wounded, hopeless, and starving for a connected reciprocal relationship. How about more tools and tips for the ADD person to learn how to improve their relationship techniques to meet their partners needs also? They are mostly exhausted and many have hung in there out of their love for their spouse.

    • Reply

      Hi Everyone! It’s me, June, the author of this article. Sue, you’re so right. The non-ADHD partner is often the one who is left starving for connection, involvement, and love in return. Ideally, both partners are putting in the same effort to maintain a healthy relationship, but that doesn’t always happen. You can’t change another person, you can oly change yourself. I know that’s frustrating but sadly, it’s true. The good news is… when you change how you think, feel, and act towards your ADHDer, he/she will respond to your attitude. Influence with love, not anger. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s the only thing that really works.

    • Alicia
    • June 20, 2017
    Reply

    Hi everyone! It was great to read this. I often feel alone in all this. Even my own mother does not understand what I am going through. After being married for seven years, we have come to realize my husband might be struggling with ADD. I had suspected something was going on a couple years ago. We own two homes, two kids (3 yrs, 2 months), two cats, a dog, and we both work full time. There is always a lot going on.

    He is active duty military for 16 years, so we are a bit concern with having the diagnosis and how it might impact his career. Anyone have any experience with this?

    He struggles with insomnia and loves playing video games. Are these things at all related to coping with ADD/ADHD?

      • Jess
      • July 14, 2017
      Reply

      Alicia,

      Very similar to my/our circumstance. My husband is also active duty and in for 16 years. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was a preteen. He is not on medication. Every bit of our relationship has been a battle. We do everything on his schedule. I was always a very organized, prompt, and responsible person. If there are decisions that takes two of us, it will take a very long time to get it done. It has been extremely frustrating. My husband plays video games as well, all the time. It is the only thing he does.

    • Linda
    • June 18, 2017
    Reply

    My boyfriend of two months has adhd and has many female friends. He won’t stop getting calls and calling these women. I feel that we are a couple now, that this should stop. He still is friends with his ex’s
    also. Doe’s he do this because he has low self esteem, and needs the attention. He says he won’t change. Should I stop seeing him? He stops and talks to everyone he passes by, mostly women. I think this is rude. I may as well not be standing there, because he ignores me and keeps talking to the women. He says he will keep his women friends. I need advice please.

      • Amanda
      • August 2, 2017
      Reply

      I have the exact same problem that you have with my boyfriend. I think its inappropriate for him to be texting and communicating with his ex gf and he is constantly checking out other women in front of me which i feel is so disrespectful. He tells me I am just a jealous person and i often feel like i am crazy. I wish someone would have a good answer for this behavior

    • Aleksandra
    • April 11, 2017
    Reply

    Dear all thank you for this amazing support and for sharing experinces. I have been with my boyfriend for six years. From the moment I met him I could see that he is strugling and that his behaviour is not “normal”. It took me three long years to make him free enough to ask for professional help. I have realised very early that his problems surpass my knowledge to help and understand. Eventually he got diagnosed with ADHD but only when he saw that the problem is so big that is not allowing him a functional day to day life. When he was diagnost due to a very stresfull period in my life I couldn’t fully invest myself in understanding everything that comes with it. He has left me just few days ago. He said that I am destructive for him because I am too successful and he can’t cope with the passive pressure my everyday succes (even as small as getting out of bed) and that that worsens his state. I still want us to work out but it is very difficult when the other side chosses not to work as a part of the team. Did you ever experince this kind of response from your ADHD partner? And how do you define the time when you simply give up?

      • Sheree
      • April 26, 2017
      Reply

      I’m struggling too.
      As for my hubby, I have been with him for 11 year’s this October. And I don’t know how much more I can take. It’s hard. I feel so alone. I have been asking for us to get help for a couple of year’s now but my hubby thinks he can help himself. If I leave him it won’t be because we have so many problems in our relationship, it’ll be because he makes the same handful of mistake repeatedly. I have 2 children with him though ( a 5 yr with adhd and a 2 year old) and I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’ll stay with him but I’m not sure if we’ll ever be happy. Maybe if he gets help things might change.

      6 year’s is a long time to be with someone. I hope you both can figure it out.
      If not we both need to remember that we deserve to be loved and appreciated.!

    • Jacqueline Welsh
    • March 14, 2017
    Reply

    Just today my boyfriend told me that he has ADHD. We’ve been dating for two years, and it kind of bothers me that just now he is deciding to tell me. I had no clue before he even mentioned it. I feel like I’m looking at him differently now, even though I love him the same. I hope his condition won’t affect our relationship; it hasn’t in the past. Now that I know, I’m just a little worried. How should I fix this situation?

      • Yohan
      • April 1, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Jacqueline,

      I think I have ADHD just like your boyfriend. I’ve found this about me for last 1+ years and it start to make sense why after reading this:

      http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/three-types-adhd#overview1

      ADHD is divided into three different types:

      inattentive type
      hyperactive-impulsive type
      combination type

      People who experience inattentive behavior often:

      miss details and are distracted easily
      get bored quickly
      have trouble focusing on a single task
      have difficulty organizing thoughts and learning new information
      lose pencils, papers, or other items needed to complete a task
      don’t seem to listen
      move slowly and appear as if they’re daydreaming
      process information more slowly and less accurately than others
      have trouble following directions

      People who are impulsive or hyperactive often:

      squirm, fidget, or feel restless
      have difficulty sitting still
      talk constantly
      touch and play with objects, even when inappropriate to the task at hand
      have trouble engaging in quiet activities
      are constantly “on the go”
      are impatient
      act out of turn and don’t think about consequences of actions
      blurt out answers and inappropriate comments

      If you have the combination type, it means that your symptoms don’t fit inattention or hyperactive-impulsive behavior.

      Most people, with or without ADHD, experience some degree of inattentive or impulsive behavior. But it’s more severe in people with ADHD. The behavior occurs more often and interferes with how you function at home, school, work, and in social situations.

      I’m pretty sure you have witnessed/dealt with some of symptoms/behavior listed above from your boyfriend. Go to the link that I’ve mentioned and print them out and discuss with your boyfriend 1 on 1 to see if he can point out some of behaviors that he is having. It is all about learning about each other.

      Questions for you:
      1. Why is this bothers you?
      2. How his condition changed/effected you?
      3. Are you going to fix him or his condition?
      4. Are you going to accept him for who he is (unconditionally)?
      5. What is “your” definition of love?

      I hope your relationship with your boyfriend to last. If it hasn’t affect in the past, I’m pretty sure that it own affect you that much because it didn’t. Now you will know more about his conditions, you will understand him more and that will make your relationship to grow.

      • Jackson Hulgan
      • March 19, 2017
      Reply

      Wait wtf? You didn’t even know he had it and didn’t expect it this whole time. That’s *&?$! you think you should look at him differently now. He hasn’t changed.

    • Graham
    • March 8, 2017
    Reply

    My gf with ADHD had cheated on me in the past, we worked through it and things are going great now, but it is still a concern of mine that it may happen again. Does anyone have advice on this or how I could help her to avoid doing this without being controlling or not wanting her to go anywhere without me? How can I hold her interest?

      • will
      • April 19, 2017
      Reply

      Ive been dating my girlfriend for a year now and she has ADHD. Honestly, I would let your girlfriend know how you feel and IMO I don’t really think you can help her “avoid” cheating. I would think that would come down to her and how she wants to handle her life. If she “can’t help it” then I would advise you to move on because its just going to end up eating you up alive in the end.

      I think that is more of a trust thing between you and her and open communication. I know that must be hard for you as I have been cheated on before. ( not with current girlfriend)

    • Brandy Olsen
    • February 21, 2017
    Reply

    Ok I have ADHD, to the point that when I went in to reviewed as an adult, he said there are not letters big enough to describe the level of it.

    I’m kind caring and loving. But I am quick to fight. Well was.

    My boyfriend of almost 7 years loves me anyway. We have good communication. One thing he never does is make it seem like there is something wrong with me.

    He also has ADD. He has never been clinically diagnosed but we are aware of it. I am not on meds nor is he.

    Sometimes I think that all the non ADHDers want us to conform to their way of thinking and processing things and by them doing that it sets off a downward spiral for us. I do not process emotions the same as others, and not even the same way as he does.

    I have read all the comments here. Some of you are in the right track to a healthy relationship and others I wonder why you are in it. Its not about who is right or who is wrong. Nor is a relationship about pointing out faults of another. A healthy relationship is about knowing how the other one works and helping them to thrive.

    I have shown him many articles and he gets me. He understands that when I say something cold and callus that my intention is not to cause pain, just the opposite. I am short and to the point. ADHD does NOT cause someone to be abusive nor is it a excuse for doing bad things that is all on the person doing it with or without tbe ADHD they would probably do it. It drives me batty when someone says “I have ADHD thats why.” That is a cop out.

    I struggle daily to work through mundane daily tasks they bore me. But I reward myself by letting my brain go free once complete.

    Here is an article that I truly love because why should we have to change for you non ADHDers we process things faster we can handle things in a high stress sittiation we can juggle more things at one time without anxiety. I’m truly sorry for those of you who think that you love your partners in the manner to spend a lifetime with them. But that kind of does not see anything as a problem.ot is seen as a part of the person you love to end of time. We have our struggles but the ADD/ADHD is not one of them. We are raising 3 beautiful girls in a blended family, at our farm. Im not saying that there is no love there with those of you that view it as a “problem” but my daughters dad can attest that the love we have is not one to sustain a marriage lasting a lifetime hence he is an ex. He noticed to many of the traits that make me me. http://m.additudemag.com/site/additudemag1/articleredone?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.additudemag.com%2Fadhd%2Farticle%2F10117-2.html#2922
    Seriously check this article out. This site is wonderful as well. I have had ADHD since birth. And 2 of the 3 girls have it as well. True ADHDERS are brilliant I mean like almost Einstein brilliant. But we get board with the hum drum of non-ADHDERS and their expectations put on us. Maybe there is something wrong with them? Just kidding it takes all kinds to make the world go round but the lump in throat you got after reading that sentence is how we feel when someone that is supposed to love us for us says we are wrong. God made me this way so this way i stay.
    So many people say that they have never met someone like me and how refreshing it is to have conversations with me. Because of the honest to the point conversations we have. I guess God knows what he is doing after all.

      • Tina
      • March 23, 2017
      Reply

      this is beautiful. thanks for sharing!

    • NZ
    • January 3, 2017
    Reply

    Hi there

    I believe my partner may have ADD or ADHD, I’m not sure if the difference.

    I believe if I even suggested this to home he would fly off the handle with me.

    Has anyone ever been in this situation?

    I’m so worried it will damage our relationship if I suggest it to him.

      • lovisa
      • January 26, 2017
      Reply

      Hi,
      I’m in the exact same situation. I tried to tell him, and he took it quite well. But since then (a month ago) nothing has happened and we haven’t talked about it again. We have an amazing relationship for what I would say two weeks at a time, and then something happens – usually I am criticising something he did or didn’t do, but it can just be a small comment and it starts. (he has problem with money, organizing, and many other common ADHD traits). I feel as if I’m very understanding and try not to loose temper, but I also feel that I have to be allowed to criticize/say how I feel when I think he has done something wrong… but it never leads to any good. I don’t know how I should deal with these situations. It feels like he can’t understand how I feel, and I don’t know how to communicate it because he just misunderstands everything I say.

      • Mary
      • January 16, 2017
      Reply

      Hi I feel the same way with my significant other as well, but I learned how to pick the “right timing” with him its usually in the evening and best for us (cause we live together just the two of us no external family etc) I wait also for his “card night” he plays cards with 7 other men in a poker league he has known most of these men all his life so he is always “at ease” when they come over to the house, we host it 2 x a week. So I just mentioned it to him quickly as he was “passing by” the hall way to the mens room and he was neutral about it so at least i planted the seed maybe if you find the right time for your significant other it may help “ease the blow” if you will……Hope that helps feel free to email me if you want thanks Mary

    • Ashtin
    • January 1, 2017
    Reply

    Hi, I’m a 16 year old Boy with a loving girlfriend, however we seem to get into fights over stuff here and there. These fights eventually accumulated into her being damaged emotionally, I love and care for her very much. But I keep making mistakes because I have trouble thinking before doing. She acknowledges that I have ADHD & Aspergers, but there is only so much pain she can handle. I’m asking this now because I don’t know where I can get a definite answer, is there any way I can help change myself to fix these problems.
    I absolutely hate hurting her emotionally, and I want to work hard to fix these.

      • Kristina
      • January 8, 2017
      Reply

      Hey, Ashtin,

      it’s really sweet of you to acknowledge that some of your actions may be hurting the girl you love. Most young people would not have this insight until they are well into adulthood. I would say, educate yourself about your ADHD and Asperger’s online, and if you can, get a professional counsellor on board to assist you to identify your patterns: things that make you act impulsively, what is really going on for you when you appear acting thoughtless, how you can give yourself some time before you make a decision that your girlfriend finds helpful and how the two of you can find a way to move forward together. Getting a professional person who spent years learning about ADHD (and may even have it themselves!) will save you a lot of time and heartache.

      • NZ
      • January 3, 2017
      Reply

      Hi there

      After reading up on the symptoms of ADHD I believe my partner may have this.

      I really don’t think I could even suggest it to him as believe he would fly off the handle with me.

      I think it would be damaging to our relationship for me to suggest it.

      Has anyone here had to suggest it to a partner who may not have considered this for themselves?

      Thank you

    • Sarah
    • December 22, 2016
    Reply

    Dude this explains so much…I wish I hadn’t felt so scared and isolated in dealing with my ex with ADHD… I really didn’t understand him well enough I realize now…it’s really tough to be aware and accepting of these problems and not take stuff personally or wonder if someone is trying to use the ADHD title to get away with things. I really loved that guy though, even through the chaos I experienced I don’t feel he was a bad person. He just had so many issues and I felt like I was falling apart after awhile…it’s sad the way things work out…thanks for this discussion guys I learned a lot reading your responses…

    • Nancy
    • December 18, 2016
    Reply

    I am the wife of a man with undiagnosed ADHD or ADD — this was suggested to me by my therapist after I started to share some of my difficulties in dealing with him. I finally brought it up and he has been defensive and not willing to read much about it. I feel that I am doing all the adjusting in the marriage, while he implies I am being too critical. I am very stressed out (my job demands a lot of time and thought) — I am the primary wage earner (he is retired on a very small pension). I feel like I am married to a teenager and dealing with him (forgetting things, losing important things, being late, not listening well to me, not being very attentive to me, etc. etc.) is really stressing me out. I have told him we must go to a counselor who understands ADD/ADHD and its implications for marriage. I think things would improve if he was actually diagnosed and he started to take responsibility for dealing with it. I think he is OK with seeing a therapist in the new year, but again, I will need to make all the arrangements, etc. How can I start to appreciate him more and yet deal with the real problems he creates because of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD? Again, a big problem is that I don’t have too much energy left to deal with additional stress. I cannot wait to retire in six and a half years, but that will be a long time. He is ten years older than me (I am in the late 50s, he in his late 60s) — we haven’t been married but just five years and I want our older years to be happy together.

      • Mary Simkins
      • January 1, 2017
      Reply

      Nancy,
      I have been married to my husband for 24 years and he has ADD. 9 years ago when our son was diagnosed with ADD I started reading a lot about it and realized my husband also has ADD. It was a huge relief to know there was a reason for his negative behavior and I thought that he would see himself in all of the information we had on ADD, he would get diagnosed and treated. Instead he denied he had ADD. We were already in family & couples counseling. It took 9 years for the therapist to get him to the point where he would answer the self assessment questions honestly & for him to admit he has ADD. Like you I was under a lot of stress. I have a Severe case of fibromyalgia and was like a single mother. After being diagnosed my husband refused to address his ADD & continued to blame me for all of the problems in our marriage. I had previously talked privately with our therapist about divorcing my husband. The final straw was his refusal to take responsibility for his ADD & the negative fall out of its symptoms. I met with the therapist and told him that I could no longer take my husband’s behavior and that if he did not get treatment for his ADD and change I was truly going to divorce him. Stress aggravates fibromyalgia. Even though I am good at managing stress the level with my husband had gotten so high it caused the fibromyalgia to flair so much that I could not get out of bed. I told my husband that I was at the point where I had to choose to take care of myself and that I would divorce him. He got an ADD coach and started working on self awareness with our therapist. In spite of this, he is not using the tools he is being given to manage his ADD and moodiness. My husband is 62 &I’m 56. The only thing I can say is that it has helped me to work with a therapist. I have changed the way I communicate with my husband and learned not to take anything he says or does personally. This has not improved our marriage because my husband just keeps refusing to work on himself. I love my husband very much. I want to have a good relationship with him. Sadly, I do not believe he will put in the work. I believe our marriage will end in divorce because life is so much easier for me when we are not together. So take care of yourself and do what is best for you. Love alone cannot sustain a marriage . I wish I could offer better advice but if he refuses to admit that he has ADD he will not change. Good luck , Jane

        • lisa
        • January 28, 2017
        Reply

        Nancy, I really feel your pain. I have been with my husband for 13 years and only married for one. I knew all along he had ADHD (which is undiagnosed or should I say he is unwilling to admit). But I could handle it until we were married. I have RA which also has flare ups during stressful times. Since we got married and are together all the time now (he retired in June 2016) I have been barely able to get out of bed some days due to physical pain. I am so tired of having to explain myself constantly, being told how controlling I am (because I am organized),. I am just sick at how all of this has turned out! He refuses to even take natural supplements because he doesn’t believe there is a problem. You are right, Love alone cant sustain a marriage. It has to be a partnership. Being a partner to someone who has untreated/not admitted ADHD is very hard. I wish you well

    • Charlotte
    • November 11, 2016
    Reply

    I have ADHD and I started medication two weeks ago. ADHD is not something a lot of people know about around here. I have been dating for 8 months now. Tried to get my partner to read more about the condition so as to help him understand me more and why I do some of the things I do. But every time I want to, I feel like he’s going to think I am using it as an excuse to not accept my mistakes. Which I do, but I just wish he would take that into consideration.

    Often when I try to explain how his actions and words make me feel he gets defensive as if I’m condemning his actions. But I just want to be clear on what he means so I know how to adjust my emotions because they are constantly overwhelming. We argue too much and I dont know how to get him to understand. I dont think he fully understands me and I dont know how to make him without seeming to shift the blame to “ADHD”

      • Fiona
      • March 6, 2017
      Reply

      Charlotte,

      I would advise you to be truthful about your shifting the blame onto ADHD. If you are honest you do shift the blame to ADHD when something ADD-y happens. Every ADD person does this and then swears up and down that they don’t blame ADD for what happened but they fully take responsibility for their actions. Just be truthful. Isn’t it the fact that you have ADD responsible for your lack of attention, (list other symptoms here)? So be truthful…then present a possible solution. One that has NOTHING to do with him. Not him reading about it…not him chasing an answer for you…nothing! Let me repeat that…1. Be Truthful – Yep, that was ADD Bullshit (you hate it too…don’t lie about that either), 2. Present a Solution (THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM). Example…messy house…dishes up to the ceiling, clothes everywhere, general ADD-iness exploded in your house! Solution: Hire housekeeper. Can’t afford one…cancel cable…cancel internet…cancel extras. Put your money where your mouth is. All Non-ADD people like myself understand this, but the biggest thing we do not tend to understand is lying, insistance that WE need to deal with something that’s your problem (once or twice is fine, but its ALL the time). Please admit that your life cannot be “complicated”. Keys put in SAME place everyday is a routine. Too many things dependent on your ability to remember them is NOT how to lead a successful life….ie: finances…get auto-pay. Restrict, limit, set boundaries, put up successful solutions around yourself so that you stay focused on the few things you have to make your life happy. This may not help…by now ADD has kicked in and your checking your FB. (Please laugh at this crap…it’s funny! If this were a Woody Allen movie or British humor…everyone would get it and laugh with you. Take it one issue at a time and present yourself a solution. Good Luck Charlotte! I am a straight foward woman so I packed some punches in here, but I sincerely believe you can do it! 🙂

      • Scott
      • November 28, 2016
      Reply

      Hello,

      I am a male with ADHD and I have been dating my girlfriend for about 6 months now (she does not have ADHD). I was only recently diagnosed and this is the first relationship I am in since having been diagnosed and I found that there are many internal struggles I face. The biggest issue I have faced so far has been that I take offense very easily to things that my girlfriend says and when that happens I feel like I overreact or shutdown and my girlfriend doesn’t know why.

      It takes me a lot longer to process what is being said to me for two reasons: (1) I have to consider that my girlfriend is not out to get me or to upset me and maybe the ADHD is to blame for taking something the wrong way or not being able to control my initial reaction; (2) I have to take a step back sometimes and consider whether my reaction is how a person without ADHD would react. My concern is that eventually I will blame all of my reactions to my ADHD which completely absolves my girlfriend of saying offensive or hurtful things and just makes me blame myself even more for “messing up”.

      While it is sometimes difficult to do at the time, I have found the best thing to do is to immediately ask what she meant by what she was saying. Without blaming the ADHD for feeling upset or offended I am trying to figure out what the intent was in what my girlfriend said rather than assume the worst. THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT TO DO!! but I have found that it makes it easier in terms of communication and easier on the relationship (so far).

      I have been very lucky that my girlfriend is willing to work on things with me and try new techniques for communication. She has probably read more on ADHD than I have at this point and I have read a lot about it. If you have been able to overcome other symptoms of ADHD (i.e., being on time to events, sticking to a schedule, etc.) I have a good feeling that this communication issue can be resolved as well. Having said that, if anybody has experienced similar situations and figured out a way to resolve or at least lessen the frequency of outbursts/lack of communication, please reply to this post.

        • Mia
        • January 2, 2017
        Reply

        Hello,
        I am also been in a relationship with someone who has ADHD. My fiancé has ADHD and I don’t. I completely understand what your saying. As a woman I knew I wanted to be with my fiancé even though, he had ADHD. I took the time to learn about, find videos that was easy for him to understand and for myself, I watch videos being the non ADHD partner with a male with ADHD. I will just say I read it all. Still, no matter how much you read it’s all about the experience. As a woman I had to realize 1) this isn’t a “normal” relationship because my partner has an illness that creates challenge in his life. 2) The communication isn’t the same. I had to learn that I have to make things simple, get straight to the point so, he understands what I’m saying and what I mean. My partner had to understand when I criticize him I am not trying to hurt him rather, I am saying it because I know he can do better no matter what condition he is. 3) Mediation is important and sometimes , I have to remind him to take it maybe, give it to him. If I don’t do this it could be Hell. Yeah, it may sound childish to do that or irresponsible but, sometimes you have to out those thoughts aside and realized the significant and afdsxt of one not taking their medication. 4) I realized our relationship wnt be always 50-50 sometimes I may have to pick up the slack but, as long as my man tries his best to do the best he can than I accept that… We both have challenges and their some things I can’t and he can’t do but, we are a team.
        Lastly the most important techniques I could give you watch what you say because words hurt, walk away from an argument because is it worth breaking up over something so little and if it is important remember I live this because so, why would I want to hurt them. Love doesn’t hurt. l
        Also give the partner who has ADHD time. Make sure you let them know that they are important. If you are a busy person and your not willing to give up some time, change your ways, and adapt for them well, you shouldn’t be with them. People with ADHD are so authentic , specially a man, because when they truly love you they will do anything for you to make you happy. Yes, they can be implusive, rude, argumently but, if you honest, truthful, and straight forward it will be okay

        • Sharon
        • December 3, 2016
        Reply

        I recently found out my boyfriend has adhd and we lack on communication now i always end up to wait and many times he has wanting go out and never does anx yes it upsets me and ge knows that, what should i do? Ihave cared so much about him i want us to work my heart is in love with him

      • j
      • November 21, 2016
      Reply

      Hello,

      I am male and I have ADHD, my girfriend does not. We’ve been dating 3 years. The reason I’m replying is because I want you to know that I have the same issues with asking for understanding, and it’s because every time I’ve done it in the past people have only considered it an excuse for my mistakes. People hate it when others don’t own up to their mistakes, but no one would blame someone with down syndrome, or autism. The problem is that our neurological disorder is just discrete enough that we seem perfectly healthy and normal to neuro-typical people. In reality it’s kinda like we’re slightly mentally retarded, but juuust enough so that people think it’s our own fault for not trying. Maybe people 100 years from now will read this thread, and it will serve as a reminder just how barbaric people were when it came to having compassion for people with ADHD. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the population still thinks ADHD is fake.

        • Christina
        • February 20, 2017
        Reply

        You nailed it. That is the biggest issue. The stuff our brain hands us to struggle with daily is pretty much the same thing as a neurotypical simply having a bad day., or someone who is really not interested in trying to live an organized life. So people think that is the issue, but really, we want to be organized, not be so impulsive, easily overwhelmed, etc., but our neurochemistry gets in the way in ways that people can’t see.

    • Anonymous
    • October 28, 2016
    Reply

    My boyfriend has ADHD, ADD, and a slight bipolar disorder. He’s is constantly unable to sleep until 4 in the morning because he claims that his brain can not slow down long enough for him to fall asleep. This results in him sleeping until 2 or 3 in the afternoon leaving him in a very pissy mood and making him feel like he’s constantly out of time. I will often come over to him having very angry bursts and he’ll start punching and breaking items laying around. It’s absolutely terrifying. I don’t see why he has to get so angry at everything i.e. his phone acting up, the shoe he tripped over, or towels on the floor. He is constant calling random objects bitches or whores just out of pure frustration. I just don’t understand. Several times a week I’ll come over to see him and his room is an absolute wreck and he hasn’t done laundry in a whole month. I take the innative to clean up his clothes and the numerous food plates that are laying around the room, from the previous week. I clean up after him because what takes me 7 minutes to do, it takes him 45, I also can’t risk him getting so frustrated and being pissed for the rest of the day becuse of something so small. He’s always on his phone, all the damn time, it infuriates me when I’m trying to have a conversation with him while he’s checking his sports news. I bought him a very nice satchel bag to keep his keys, phone, wallet, etc in, but he’s still loosing things left and right. He claims that he can’t sit down long enough to read his school textbooks or even ADD help books. It’s affecting his ability to even do college and his ADHD has made him depressed becuse he doesn’t feel like he’s able to get anything done successfully. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the kindest, most loving, and the sweetest person to me. But every day I feel like I’m constantly having to help take care of him. I’ve read my eyes dry with AAD and ADHD help books, but nothing seems to help. I’ve done every single things which those books suggest. Is there anyone who has more experience in helping a loved one with their disabilities, who can help me? It wouldn’t be much much appreciated, I feel like I’m trying and fail every day.

      • Fiona
      • March 6, 2017
      Reply

      I’m sorry to say this to you, but do not feel that because you have fallen in love for this person that you need to stay and be his mother (which I’m sure he resents). Fast forward 10 years in your mind…what do you see? If you say much of the same you are deluding yourself into thinking this is not going to get worse. This gets worse with age because you have now become the enabler. Good luck with this, but my response is to care for yourself and leave this person. Not all people with ADD makes the sorts of choices he has decided to make. Some actually do their own dishes…some actually put away their own towels…some actually buy flowers for you just because…Some actually allow take their meds so that they can have the clearest thought they can and usually that clear thought involves you. Leave.

      • Exhausted
      • December 1, 2016
      Reply

      WOW! This sounds like my life – I live with my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years and he’s known about his ADD since high school but only a year ago started to see a doctor and taking meds. Besides bipolar though, he has the whole sha-bang of neurotransmitter problems. On top of ADD and bipolar, he has severe depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known about since he was diagnosed in high school) and gets some weird hypoglycemic (but it’s not caused by sugar, they’ve ruled out that) problem and crashes – literally, he has wrecked on a bike because all of a sudden he had an episode and passed out. He has bad addiction problems and before he got on his ADD meds he had the most extreme mood swings I’d ever seen. His body can not keep Vit D (poor eating habits/addictions there he won’t work on) in his system and so his mood swings get worse in the winter when it gets dark. His doctors told him he has to take vit d supplements every day, all year around, but he hasn’t since last spring. So now its dark once again he’s a TERROR to live with. Its been a fight for two months now to get him to acknowledge the bipolar. His ADD doctor, on their first meeting, sent him home with papers to research bipolar type II. I found them Dec of last year, and ever since then I’ve been pulling my hair out. He won’t work on any of his ADD/bipolar issues that are massively affecting our relationship. I’ve known for a year that the bipolar was resulting in us having huge fights, but didn’t realize that every other problem we have boils down to the ADD problems until last week I stumbled onto the website http://www.additudemag.com and read about how everyone else with an ADD partner has the same problems we do. Today I found the webpage:
      http://www.drhallowell.com/overview-of-how-adhd-affects-relationships/
      and again my mind is blown. He’s been telling me that I’m crazy and just a b**ch this whole time so I was sooo relieved and immediately started feeling better after finding those websites. However, I’ve been asking him to look at all this stuff for the last week but he won’t. He says he wants to break up unless we go to counseling, but as I’ve tried to point out, if he’d look into everything I’ve found it would explain a lot, and if he isn’t willing to look at this info and work on his ADD problems, then counseling is just a waste of money. He just thinks the doctors can give a miracle cure that he won’t have to put any time or energy into. He doesn’t want to have to make any effort dealing with his issues, not even looking at websites (even though he’s on his phone on FB and ‘click bait’ naked girl articles all the time) But he won’t look at these websites and this breaks my heart. He doesn’t put any work or effort into our relationship past sitting on the couch and watching TV together – constantly, all the while he’s on his phone. This is a relationship to him. His bipolar is rampant and everytime he drinks its like satan appears. He has such addiction/crutch problems. He feels the need to drink, do drugs, or abuse cough medicine to help him deal with his issues instead of working on them constructively and acknowledging the problems. (The combo of anti-depressants and ADD meds his doctors have told him not to drink on at all, and he’s not suppose to do drugs in order to keep his ADD meds, he gets piss tested for them.) I’ve done a ton of research on all of his issues, and nothing has helped me get through to him either, if things seem to be getting better he gets tired of having to make an effort and goes right back to the same old. All my friends have been asking why I stay with him when he is emotionally draining and unhealthy, goes crazy bipolar on me, and I say the same thing. He’s sweet and so kind, and we think so much alike on things. He just recently went back to school and I was so excited that he’d be happy to be doing something he like. Boy was I wrong. He’s using school and work as an excuse to be a giant jerk and not do anything else. He’s not even going full time and he can barely handle it. He basically uses all of his other responsibilities to justify not putting any effort into his responsibilities in our life together – helping with the home, pets, or our relationship. I’m just so tired and sick of all this drama from him & his problems & yet he won’t even TRY…

      • Anonymous
      • November 8, 2016
      Reply

      Make him wake up in the morning daily because the daily battle he does for not waking up on time make him frustrated and losing his selfesteem too, give him some work or goals to do throughout the day that he needed to complete it at the end of the day, tasks need to be light and few to start with, also make him focus on one thing at a time before jumping onto another tasks. Explain him cleaning is important for him to be productive, and relax ask him to do some meditation, walk or light excersice in the morning. Healthy food help too like eating oatmeal in the morning oatmeal soothing and keep mind calm..Being angry is only hurting him and his effectiveness of being productive…force him to sleep on time tell him the benefits of sleeping on time set the sleep target 2 hours earlier than the orginal time of sleeping and also remove all electronics include iphone, tabs, laptop, tv, games 3 hours before bed, it stimulates the brain and give mind another reason to keep it active and awake..make room more romantic to sleep in, he need to keep himself clean and the house clean ask him donot procrastinate do things rightaway..it will help him focus on his textbook too ( though for adhd textbooks bores them thats why its hard for them to keep their interest) i know things are easier said than done but he can get better by putting effort in making his routines are really good for ADHD

    • judy
    • October 20, 2016
    Reply

    I have been married almost 35 years,and have wanted to leave our marriage so often the past 20 years. My husband has never been properly diagnosed with ADHD but i know he has it. He talks non stop and my patience is running out, I will ask him not to invite company for dinner and 20 minutes later someone comes to the door and he says if you have not had dinner yet come on in. We continually fight over stupid things and he really does’nt see that he is wrong. He drinks more than he would like to and I know he does this to calm himself down. His legs are always moving when he is trying to sit still.
    I know I need to be more understanding of this, I wonder if he should have a proper diagnosis.

    • LCD
    • October 18, 2016
    Reply

    Wow its wonderful to read all these comments! I relate so much! My husband forgets agreements, which several people mentioned. I knew he had add, but i didnt realize that might be the cause. When he gets home he can’t stand to have any serious talks or do anything around the house. Therefore I often feel that my needs are being set aside for later, and later never comes. This causes built-up frustration and resentment inside and sadness as well. He needs hours and hours of downtime bc work is that stressful, and sometimes he’ll act selfish about it, getting mad at me for intruding on his time. I never thought this too could be a symptom of his ADD. One thing I wish is that he would educate himself more on what his symptoms are, and to be more proactive on learning ways to manage his own ADD better. All these comments have helped me to realize I am failing in a way as a wife to be understanding. They have made me more compassionate and I hope I can remember to give him my understanding and to not expect him to be like me. It’s very hard because I look at marriage as an equal relationship and sometimes it doesn’t feel that way because of his ADD. He also has problems with anger which I guess has to do is speaking impulsively. It’s very hard for him to contain his frustrations or to listen when he’s angry. Thanks.

    • Alyssa
    • October 16, 2016
    Reply

    After reading this article and the comments I felt relieved that I’m not alone on this. Although he’s not officially diagnosed, I think my boyfriend has ADD. Once, he mentioned that he thought he might have it because it was difficult for him to focus on finishing tasks. Also he mentioned that his brother has it, so I began to do some research on the topic and I made him take a test that I found online and he has most of the symtompts. He is the most wonderful, caring, loving guy and incredible father. I love him so much and I want to help him because I believed in him, his potencial and in this relationship. It can get frustrating and sometimes I want to shut down to analyzed how am I going to deal with him.
    I am going to keep researching and make him research as well to find our happy medium 🙂

    • Lara
    • October 10, 2016
    Reply

    I was diagnosed with ADHD a month an a half ago. I went to the dr prompted by all the criticism and complaints I get from my boyfriend of two years and now I understand a lot of his frustrations and complaints. Although, I have not told him about the diagnosis. I also have hypothyroidism and he already refers to my thyroid meds as my ‘crazy pills’. I am afraid now he is going to say I am literally crazy now if I tell him I have ADHD. I just started treatment. I was thinking that perhaps if the treatment works to manage the symptoms, I wont need to tell him. After reading this article, I think I should tell him. I appreciate and suggestions on how to approach the subject from someone who has an ADHD spouse. Thanks.

    • Bianca
    • September 30, 2016
    Reply

    I am in a relationship with an ADHD guy and even if it is hard, I have to say that he made me the happiest I ever was. I learned that he needs repetitive instructions,and that we could have the same fight over and over again he wouldn’t realise it. One of the things that helped me a lot is to stop being so angry and ready to battle. Exploring his way of thinking and asking the right questions can make you understand the connection that your partner makes in his head. My partner is also very receptive when i ask him to help me fix problems that we have in our relationship . Only thing is, I have to ask him to help me. He wont take the initiative. And his explanations even though frustrating is that he just didnt think about it or that I was too fast into thinking about it. but by making him read articles about how is condition affects him, me and our dynamic as a couple, I feel that we are making a big step in our relationship.

      • lovisa
      • January 26, 2017
      Reply

      Hello Bianca, So nice to read you positive comment! i feel the same about my partner – he has made me the happiest I have ever been. My partner is not diagnosed with ADHD but I feel sure that he has it. After me realising his likelihood of ADHD our relationship has become much better since I can understand better how he is working and thinking. But I wonder how you are communicating with him without him seeing it as you being critical. I feel that my partner is very emotionally understanding, but when it comes to him he just shuts down. How do you ask him to help you? How do you make him explain his frustrations? This is the biggest problem for me in the relationship, because I feel left outside alone when he “shuts down”. Best wishes and happiness, Lovisa

        • Yohan
        • April 1, 2017
        Reply

        Hi Lovisa,

        I think I have ADHD just like your boyfriend. I’ve found this about me for last 1+ years and it start to make sense why after reading this:

        http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/three-types-adhd#overview1

        ADHD is divided into three different types:

        inattentive type
        hyperactive-impulsive type
        combination type

        People who experience inattentive behavior often:

        miss details and are distracted easily
        get bored quickly
        have trouble focusing on a single task
        have difficulty organizing thoughts and learning new information
        lose pencils, papers, or other items needed to complete a task
        don’t seem to listen
        move slowly and appear as if they’re daydreaming
        process information more slowly and less accurately than others
        have trouble following directions

        People who are impulsive or hyperactive often:

        squirm, fidget, or feel restless
        have difficulty sitting still
        talk constantly
        touch and play with objects, even when inappropriate to the task at hand
        have trouble engaging in quiet activities
        are constantly “on the go”
        are impatient
        act out of turn and don’t think about consequences of actions
        blurt out answers and inappropriate comments

        If you have the combination type, it means that your symptoms don’t fit inattention or hyperactive-impulsive behavior.

        Most people, with or without ADHD, experience some degree of inattentive or impulsive behavior. But it’s more severe in people with ADHD. The behavior occurs more often and interferes with how you function at home, school, work, and in social situations.

        You’ve said “I feel that my partner is very emotionally understanding, but when it comes to him he just shuts down.” Do you see what has happened here? nobody likes negative things about themselves. This can lead him to anxiety or depression on top of ADHD. And yes, good thing that you are trying so that he opens his heart to you. As you can see, he is working really hard to make you happy but feels disappointed/short because he thinks that you want more or he wants to impress you more. To make this more effective, make things simpler by expecting less (let go all the fancy stuff and desires). Try to understand him rather than fix him. Do/say something nice about him (just like you want him to say “I love you” to you).

        Now you will know more about his conditions, you will understand him more and that will make your relationship to grow. It is all about learning about each other everyday and sharing all the goodness & sadness, ups & downs together. If you do that, your relationship will flourish.

    • Zara
    • September 25, 2016
    Reply

    My partner has ADHD and ADD combined. Im not being funny but its like living with a brick wall. Nothing gets thru to him. He doesnt take his pills because he says it gives him heart palpitations. He winds me up constantly and doesnt stop till i literally experience a panic attack. Ive tried to leave many times because he doesnt want to help himself but he threatens to kill himself. I feel like a slave always cleaning up while he just sits on his playstation, littering the floors with wrappers of junk food. Im very unhappy in this relationship and i dont think i can carry on much longer like this.

      • Deb
      • October 27, 2016
      Reply

      It sounds like there is a problem with being abusive also. Threatening to kill himself is manipulative. Don’t downplay the abuse because of the ADHD. I know because I’ve been in the same situation. The abuse will cost you – emotionally and physically it will harm you.

        • LINDA MARTINEZ
        • May 10, 2017
        Reply

        Hello, yes l agree the abuse will harm you, it has me! I live constantly in a state of anxiety, walking on eggshells. The man l live with is 67 yrs old and l am 52. He is crude, RUDE and
        EXTREMELY critical of everything and everyone. He is always negative, can’t sit still has to CONSTANTLY argue about EVERYTHING!! He was bullied all his childhood so in turn he uses he ADHD as an excuse for his bullying and name callling towards me. I don’t love anymore and if l had somewhere to go l would leave today. Someone mentioned the word Barbaric, well, sorry guy, but my soon to be ex-boyfriend is BARBARIC! I truly wish l could go back and find the things l liked and loved about yet l feel nothing. I am EXTREMELY exhausted EMOTIONALLY, MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY. My opinion: NO MAN IS WORTH THE ABUSE HE HAS INFLICTED ON ME! OH by the way he thteatened to kill my 8 month old cat, cuz she scratched him, common sense tells you Don’t pull her tail and intentionally make her mad. This has felt like a mother child relationship for the last 2 yrs and we have been together for 3 yrs! He refuses to take his meds cuz he knows what’s best for him. And he has the NERVE to question why women leave him
        Give me a break COLUMBO!

      • LCD
      • October 18, 2016
      Reply

      Are you married to him, or have children? Because if not, what obligation do you have to stay? If he threatens to kill himself, how serious is he? If you have to, you can call 911 to have a professional help him.

    • Michaelanne
    • September 14, 2016
    Reply

    My husband hadn’t been diagnosed with adhd, yet, but has all of the symptoms. Out therapist says he has it but his psychiatrist hasn’t officially confirmed it. She has said just yesterday that he should have never gotten married and alot of hopeless things for our marriage! I feel devastated. According to what I’ve just learned, there’s alot of hope, isn’t there?!

      • LCD
      • October 18, 2016
      Reply

      Get a new therapist who believes in saving your marriage, please!

    • Chai
    • August 25, 2016
    Reply

    I am in a new relationship with a guy who has ADHD and I can see myself with him in the future. I’m willing to give and do everything for him. I will accept this big challenge and responsibility because I know that having a boyfriend with ADHD will make me more better person. I’ve learned a lot from this site and thank you very much.

      • Dee
      • September 10, 2016
      Reply

      I too am in the early phase of a relationship with a man who has ADD. He is one of the most caring, loving men I have ever met and I would like to continue to get to know him. This site has helped to identify and explain some things I see happening.

      Thank you

    • Kaitlin
    • August 20, 2016
    Reply

    I have been with my fiancé for 6 years now and his adhd has never been as bad as it is now there is a lot he is forgetting and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how he can forget it like spending time with our 9 month old son or when he gets off work he just wants to lay down and he zones out a lot and he always forgets deals that we make especially when we go to his grandparents house sometimes I feel like me and our son comes last to everything and I want things to work out I have loved him since we were in 8th grade but it just feels like the spark isn’t there anymore especially when he starts flirting with other girls we have talked about it and he says that he messages them for help but it always ends up in flirting like he forgets all about me can someone help me understand his side

    • Maria
    • August 18, 2016
    Reply

    I have struggled with my boyfriend’s add behavior as it relates to what I call poor social manners. When we are out in public he comes across rude which is embarrassing for me. He says it’s his disease and I find it so frustrating. He is an amazing human being which is why I stick around but we also have lots of differences. I am feeling like I don’t know if I’m up for the challenge. Does anyone have any advice to help me feel hopeful?

      • adda-ADMIN
      • August 19, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Maria,

      You’re describing a very common problem many adults with ADHD face. Two key symptoms of ADHD contribute to our struggles with social skills. First, we struggle to pay attention and so often miss the social cues that other people are sending. We don’t notice that the person we’re talking to is becoming upset or doesn’t appreciate our sense of humor. We carry on, oblivious. And second, we’re impulsive. When we see or hear something that sparks a connection in our brain, we don’t filter what we’re going to say, we simply blurt it out. So your boyfriend it right in a sense, it is the result of his ADHD. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for him to learn social skills, just that it will take more work and a different approach.

      I’m an adult with ADHD and, like you, my wife despaired of me ever learning any social skills. It’s taken work, but now people usually consider me “quirky” or “blunt” rather than rude. That’s progress, but not perfection.

      Luckily, Caroline Maguire, an ADHD expert, is presenting one of ADDA’s famous Webinars on the topic of social skills on September 7, 2016. You can learn more about it here. ADDA Webinars are free for ADDA members, or you may purchase one-time attendance. If you are unable to attend the live event, you can always purchase the recording (which is also always available free to members.)

      To your success,

      Duane

    • Deb
    • August 16, 2016
    Reply

    I just met a wonderful man with ADHA. I want to understand him and his disorder. Thanks so much for the insight. Looking forward to learning more.

    • Anthony
    • August 13, 2016
    Reply

    I have to say reading up on ADD I had no idea that the person with ADD are most suffering in their life with it. I have a really close friend who I love who has this disorder. I seriously need to treat her differently and try to understand her better and comfort her and just show her my love and give her the support she needs. I am so glad I read about this disorder. Thank u.

    • Beau
    • August 12, 2016
    Reply

    I really needed this. It can be lonely and confusing to bridge between seeming harmony and sudden chaos. I have tried to rationalize, and talk about his sudden mental walk-aways and my feelings being set aside, or an agreement we made the day before being forgotten like amnesia. I may have been aggrevating my partner’s ADHD by keeping the resulting problems forefront in the mix. That’s extra pressure to think and act like I do. I’m going to try to be more understanding of his own confusion and frustration about impulsive thinking. I know he means well he is a very good loving person, I need to step out of victimhood and be his forgiving friend as well.

    • T-Dub
    • August 10, 2016
    Reply

    I am a non-adhd partner in a relationship. For years, we have struggled and continue to struggle. I now realize that I need help to cope and be the best person I can to salvage my relationship and save my family.

      • suzanne sparkes
      • August 25, 2016
      Reply

      I too am the non adhd partner..hubby just diagnosed we have struggled for years and split up twice i desperately need help to cope

    • Edswed
    • August 9, 2016
    Reply

    I have add and the selfish behaviour coming as a result feeling overwhelmed is very true. And criticism doesn’t help, I am already ruthlessly critical of myself. But I get why anyone in a relationship with someone with Add will often feel undervalued. It must be really hard on someone’s self worth when they are being ignored. The strange part is that I genuinely want to be able to give myself and my presence, but the inner pull is so strong at times.

      • Michele
      • September 27, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for commenting. I’m in the early stages of a relationship that feels like it could really be something. But as the initial fire has progressed into more of everyday flames, I feel like I’m on a roller coaster a little. When we are together, it’s wonderful. When we’re doing separate things, I feel like he forgets I exist, and that hurts. We talk about it and he says the same thing you have said. I’m just now learning about ADHD and it is all making so much more sense.

    • Edward
    • August 6, 2016
    Reply

    My girlfriend seems to put her work 1st, kids 2nd, and me 3rd. She is always in high gear when works involved. Swearing is very common towards the kids. Is there any future for me or should I move on?

      • Jessica
      • November 2, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Edward – use the ADHD resources on youtube – there are some great videos on there by professionals that explain how you can make a marriage or relationship work when one or both partners has ADD/ADHD. I too am trying to make a relationship work with someone who has the condition. He also works a lot, and when he’s not working he’s generally too exhausted to make time with me. If you look up the videos I mentioned, the professionals explain that people with the condition respond to three things 1. Novelty (exciting/new things), 2. Challenging things and 4. extreme deadlines with dramatic consequences. The ADHD brain does not regulate the use of dopamine like the regular brain, so not only do people with the condition struggle to filter out stimuli, but they seek out stimuli that result in the release of dopamine. Excitement , challenge and adrenaline. They struggle to focus on things that do not fall into these categories. Work provides challenge, novelty and deadlines so people with ADHD can thrive at work provided that they are in the right type of job. Kids would come second as they are challenging. As far as your relationship is concerned, you can make a future work with your partner but you may need to try and consider how you can help refocus your partner’s attention when she is not at work. It isn’t because she doesn’t love you, it’s just the relationship feels secure and comfortable so her focus is directed at other things. Maybe you can suggest a date night once a week where you both share a new experience together without the kids?

      • Denise Ramsay
      • August 14, 2016
      Reply

      I hear both discouragement and hope in your question. A place to start is honest communication. Without distractions, without accusatory words or criticism, find a way to help ur wife understand your concerns, needs, and hopes. Make specific, doable requests and see if she’s willing to partner with you to make the marriage more of a priority.

    • Mark
    • June 28, 2016
    Reply

    I just had an argument with my girlfriend who has adhd, she always seem to forget to consider my feelings. I’m gonna share this article when things cool down. I love her but I doubt she will every understand my pain.

    • Brian Castleton
    • June 12, 2016
    Reply

    This information was very helpful. I realize that I don’t have enough date nights with my wife. Also to slow things down

  1. Reply

    This information was most informative and helpful to me as I move forward in a relationship with a person with ADHD. Thank you!

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