When you’re in a relationship,you expect respect, empathy, love, support, and effective communication with your partner.
But people who have ADHD might face communication and many other relationship challenges as well. However, the problems only occur when their partner misunderstands such patterns and assumes them as a lack of love and support.
A person withADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), also known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), has different traits that might seem surprising to their partners when they are in a relationship.
The problem usually starts in early childhood, but this mental disorder may pose issues for a person, which could be impulsiveness, restlessness, and difficulty in paying attention.
How does ADHD affect a marriage
Almost everyone experiences symptoms similar to ADHD or ADD at one point or the other. However, if such instances are rare or just a few instances from the recent past, you need to observe a little longer before arriving at a conclusion.
The disorder is diagnosed and considered a problem only when these symptoms are unignorable and affecting other areas of your life, especially your relationship, because the ADHD effect on couples can be noticeably damaging without proper treatment.
The consistent symptoms can cause certain ADHD effects on marriage like:
Relationships can pose challenges in the best of circumstances, and with ADHD effects on marriage, it can be straight-up difficult when either of you begins to believe that ADHD isn’t a factor in the relationship or it will just pass with time.
The signs of ADHD breaking up your marriage or relationship can be slow but glaring. Check out these ADHD marriage problems to understand if your relationship is moving towards doom:
Criticism in the relationship
Either or both the partners turn critical towards each other. For someone with an ADHD partner, they might misinterpret the symptoms and question their motives and actions. They might assume that the relationship is not a priority for them, or they just don’t care.
Someone who has ADHD might involuntarily be bent to constant nagging in the relationship, leading to the other partner being hurt.
Considering there will be anger and rudeness involved in the relationship, the partners will often overthink the scenarios and second-guess each other’s responses before starting a conversation because of the explosive patterns in the relationship.
No matter how much the couple tries, most of the conversations become erratic and trigger outbursts. Conversations don’t hold much value no matter how hard the partners try, and words rarely bear any positive outcome, or even if they do, they are just a temporary fix.
One of the ADHD effects on marriage is that either or both of you feel a lack of control in the relationship. It’s almost like you don’t matter. Thoughts and opinions hold no value, due to which you both might avoid taking a stand for yourself.
If there is a constant worry in the relationship, it could be one of the signs of the relationship falling apart.
A person with ADHD can show one or many symptoms ranging from mild to severe that need immediate attention from a professional. Check out these adult ADHD symptoms:
Difficulty in multitasking
Lack of planning
Being easily distracted
Anxiety and restlessness
Low frustration tolerance
Impact of ADD/ADHD behaviors
A study shows that almost 60% of the people who suffered from ADHD in childhood continue to be affected in the adult years. This can send many aspects of life off the rails. However, proper treatment and medication can definitely ward off the many negative impacts on life which include:
Communication difficulties with employers and colleagues
Drug and substance abuse
Offsprings likely to have ADHD as well
Unstable health, both mental and physical
Lack of productivity
How do you deal with a spouse with ADHD
Once you understand the ADHD effects on marriage, you can sail through the marriage and take care of your spouse using the below-mentioned tips:
ADHD effects on marriage could be that you both might feel stuck in a place with no exit. Know that the more you pay attention to the ADHD of your partner, the more frustrating and stressful your life starts to look.
So, to ensure that your relationship can move forward, you should try to make peace with some of theADHD tendencies of your partner. Implementing this change in you will have an immense impact on your marital satisfaction.
Define your own space
ADHD and relationships can pose threats, but it’s not that you can’t overcome them. While in a relationship, you would expect your spouse to appreciate you and look beyond yourself. They would do precisely the opposite.
The ADHD effect on marriage is quite severe. You must find out ways to adjust things accordingly. The best way to do so would be to have your own space.
Look for what is good in your partner. See if they still have the qualities that made you fall in love with them. If they have changed, then ask yourself if you can make the compromises needed for your marriage to work.
The intent must be to not give up on your relationship before you have exhausted all the alternatives to save your relationship.
The ADHD effect on marriage is that it often puts couples against each other.
When you’re fighting against your partner with ADHD, there is hardly any chance you’re going to win over the argument.
Instead, what you must realize is thatconflict in a relationship should not be allowed to put you two against each other. Instead, you must unite to fight the issue and not one another.
So, by playing smart, you can build a stronger bond. When you stand next to them in arguments or differences, your partner will have no opponent to fight, and then the disagreement will dissolve as quickly as it started.
If you think that the ways mentioned above are not working out and you’re finding it hard to adjust to living with an ADHD spouse, try consulting an expert.
The expert will hear out all your issues and will help you find ways of living with someone with ADHD. Try couple-counseling as well for better and strong bonding.
Can ADHD cause divorce or other relationship issues
Adults with ADHD can lead a normal life and enjoy a happy and fulfilling marriage.
Well, life as an adult is chaotic, in general, and to be diagnosed with ADHD can definitely dampen your thoughts of a happy relationship. However, people with ADHD are perfectly capable of being happy and being desired by their partner.
While there could be added issues here and there, it is completely the choice of both the partners to either strengthen or weaken the relationship. To enjoy the marriage, you don’t just need to tie the knot but weave the rope too, and that is a continuous process.
With that being said, you can also use the tips below to understand how you both can win against ADHD.
10 secrets cope with ADHD to avoid relationship problems
Taking the medication might not be enough. For overall stability and health, it is important to bring the relationship on the right track with each partner putting their effort with all honesty. With the predictable patterns already in front of both the partners, it becomes easier to map out a planned approach.
Remember, it only takes commitment to change the very dynamics of the otherwise unhealthy relationship. You may find the following tips useful:
Your partner with ADHD might be distracted most of the time. You need to calmly let them know how unhealthy it is if they don’t listen and you keep your feelings bottled up, and it could lead to resentment and anger. Conversation is the key.
Don’t dive into the problems your relationship is going through, and learn to take things lightly. ADHD can make the person say unusual things and behave crazily at times. Have a light-hearted approach.
Show empathy and let each other know you believe in them and understand their side of the story. A person with ADHD might seem selfish. Also, on the other hand, the partner not giving enough weightage to the problem can appear selfish as well. So, love with kindness and avoid judgment.
Life can be pretty erratic, and with the relationship taking the toll of such an imbalance, it would be cruel not to pause and reflect on where the relationship is headed. From time to time, observe in silence if it’s on the right track and take one step at a time.
Try being sexually active. It releases happy hormones and builds a healthy relationship. So, bring the spark back by planning and learning what the other person likes or dislikes. Besides, changing things a bit and being adventurous is the way to go.
Opt for mirroring in relationships which simply means copying your partner’s actions, words, and behaviors. Mirroring will help you both remain engaged and attracted to each other.
Check out this video about mirroring in relationships and how it can be used to deepen the bond:
Be consistent in your mission to continuously improve the relationship. It is the purest way to show love where you regularly check on each other and stand by each other’s side at all times. Being consistent builds trustworthiness and helps have a realistic and honest approach towards ADHD relationship problems.
A romantic relationship is not always a bed of roses, especially when one partner is suffering. It breaks them both. So, while you both have promised to stick through till the very end, it is best to take the help of a therapist who can provide you with ADHD-friendly solutions and conflict resolution skills.
Once you acknowledge the role of ADHD in the relationship, you are in the right direction as you have accepted the ADHD effects on marriage.
For both the partners, it could be a roller coaster ride but with the right amount of love, is there any obstacle that love cannot overcome? Remember, true love will only deepen its colors with time, and no matter how many storms you both face, hold each other’s hand and move forward.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.