Marriage for a non-ADHD spouse can serve as a whirlwind life, always caught in the flutter of lost keys or wallets, bounced checks, and continual let-downs.
Having coached over 13,000 hours with clients diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms, and profiles of those with an ADHD diagnosis can vary widely. Often my clients are bright, engaging, funny, and intelligent.
I can see how many of them make a super and engaging first date and attractive they would be to see again. However, when responsibility, follow-up, and other acts of “adulting” crop up, this can turn into a very different scenario.
Although you love this funny and engaging guy who swept you off your feet, life doesn’t seem that rosy now. Now you see a man who has a low frustration level, can’t seem to keep up with work, and even might want to be “taken care.”
These are the situations I am presented with from people living with ADHD spouses to me for help. Sometimes I see the results of untreated or undiagnosed ADHD, where the self-esteem of both partners is left in tatters.
I am a resource to them not only in helping them facilitate effective and proper communication, but I help them understand the diagnosis of ADHD, whether they were diagnosed when they were ten years old or forty.
Changes CAN be made to save a marriage with an ADHD partner. The most successful couples I have worked with make this commitment of hard work to learn how each actually processes thoughts, identify individual strengths, and learn the ability to compromise.
They need to be optimistic and want to feel challenged by the exercises I suggest they try at home, i.e., whether it is a new arrangement of delegating daily chores or simply agreeing that marriage is not always a 50-50 arrangement.
Optimism, hope, and growth are the key factors to change marriage from an “okay marriage” to a “great one.” This is by no means easy or fast process.
By regaining faith in a partner and putting in the work is what can reestablish the love and commitment needed to make marriage worth saving.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I have coached over 13,000 hours to adults and couples with ADHD. Understanding the traits and symptoms of ADHD is a critical component to the success and viability of a long term commitment between two people. I work to facilitate communciation and work in a strengths based method to help couples understand each other and how they can work together. Achieving satisfaction can take hard work with a very intentful communication approach. Hope and positivity, while working through these issues, is a "must have" to bring about better communication and relationship changes. Educating the non ADHD spouse is critical; guiding the ADHD spouse through strategies and techniques to minimize the impact of ADHD is just as vital. A better marriage can be a reality for both partners! It takes time, compassion and commitment.