You fall in love, you enjoy those first exhilarating moments of dating. You move in together and your partner finally admits to you that they have adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Alternatively, you begin getting irritated by their forgetfulness, impulsiveness and inability to focus on the task at hand.
Chances are that you may freak out because you have no idea what adult ADHD entails. Should you stick around and build a relationship with that person? What are some challenges you’re going to face? Just like in any other relationship, you’ll need to overcome certain difficulties together. Understanding adult ADHD and being accepting of your partner will both be important for making it work and enjoying a long, healthy partnership with each other.
How ADHD Can Make Relationships More Challenging
Some of your partner’s quirks may seem really charming in the very beginning. As time passes and the initial thrill subsides, however, chances are that you’ll find yourself more and more irritated with the everyday shortcomings. These sentiments are normal – accept them and get to thinking about how things can be improved.
People in such relationships tend to experience a range of challenges that are ADHD-specific.
Distractibility is quite common among adults that suffer from ADHD. The same applies to the inability to go through with a task and make sure that it has been dealt with. If you’re patient enough, you may end up finishing the task on your own. Alternatively, you’ll feel overwhelmed and you’ll start a fight each time you agreed to something and your partner didn’t keep their end of the bargain.
There’s another, more serious challenge stemming from ADHD in a relationship. It revolves around the so-called “parent-child dynamic.” The partner having ADHD may be considered unreliable, which is when the other partner will take over the “parent” role in the relationship. This dynamic disturbs the relationship balance by putting one of the parties predominantly in control.
Building a Successful Relationship with a Partner that has ADHD
A few steps will have to be implemented in order to make the relationship survive and thrive. Both of you should be onboard, working towards mutual happiness and overcoming the problems that lead to frequent quarrels:
Do You Have ADHD? Here's How to Improve Your Relationships
Don’t let the condition control your life. As a person having ADHD, you can do certain things to forge more meaningful relationships and enjoy interactions with others. Still, you’ll need to make a conscious effort aimed at overcoming some of the most common symptoms:
By Wilma Derksen, C.E.C., O.M.
Therapist and Coach