What Does ADHD Have to Do With My Relationship?
If you just thought in your head, “ADHD has nothing to do with my relationship,” let me walk you through it:
Do you have communication problems? Do you feel like a priority to your partner? Do you struggle with time management? Do you know what needs to be done but feel overwhelmed by where to begin?
THAT is what ADHD has to do with your relationship.
It’s not an excuse, but it is hindering your relationship. As a clinician, (and someone who has ADHD), I promise the greatest coping mechanism in a relationship with someone with ADHD is to understand. It genuinely makes your partner easier to love. But there are also more tangible things that can be considered:
• Ask without nagging and jointly make a list.
• Avoid the blame game. Whether we are blaming the partner, or their ADHD, forget it, it is never going to help. Accept things are different, move on…
• If it is you with ADHD and you feel unloved, remember that isn’t true, but your symptoms may be challenging your partner, so let’s understand them more, together.
• Stay far away from anger, difficult as that maybe, stay clear. Learn to cope and divert things when they are brewing. Develop anger avoidance techniques, change the subject, agree to disagree, say sorry… it all works.
• Remember some basics. You fell in love, remember to work hard to stay in love, not just with your partner, but also with the ADHD component. Look for the strengths, maximize on them, list them, remind yourself of them.
• Also remember, that our brain is complex. We need to nourish it. Our personalities change based on how much sleep we get, how hungry we are, intestinal bacteria could be the determining factor of our emotions. Eat well, together. Exercise frequently, together. Sleep well, together.
Spend some time, whether it’s having conversations together or with a therapist, about how ADHD is impacting your relationship. Understanding is the first step to strengthening your relationship.