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HomeADHD CoachingManaging Relationships in ADHD

Managing Relationships in ADHD

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            In children, the symptoms and impact of ADHD is related to mental development and the management of relationships is not a very serious concern at that time because the responsibility in relationships between children and grown ups lies principally on adults. However, when we grow up, the responsibilities of relationships lie on both the partners.

Relationship problems of the people with ADHD

            Every relationship demands a lot of time, attention, love and tactics to remain sustained and get stronger and better. It is not an easy job even for normal people. ADHD is associated with an additional set of new challenges in relationships. The people with ADHD appear to be inattentive, not listening, careless and stubborn to follow the suggestions and not to forget the occasional outbursts of anger. These serious issues can ruin even the strongest relationships in the world.

            In a relationship, each of the partners come with his/her own bag of good and bad things. The persons with ADHD have some extra problems such as negative self-image, lack of confidence, experience of failures in the past and insecurities of oneself. These problems hold back the persons with ADHD or they may appear to be hyper focused and over-caring for sometime in order to compensate for their shortcomings. Whatever the case may be, it may negatively affect the relationships.

Relationship problems of partners of the people with ADHD

            Due to these problems, the partners of the people with ADHD can have concerns about their relationship and they may think that they are not important because their partner is not paying attention to them or has a careless attitude and gets angry easily. They may feel angry, offended, stressed, anxious and even depressed due to the apparent attitude of their partner. This is true especially for the people having a spouse with ADHD.

            On the other hand, spouses and partners who understand the condition of their partner quite well can be over-helping to compensate for the “flaws” of the relationships. It can ruin the mental health of the healthy partners and can revert the journey of personality development of the partners with ADHD because they can become dependent.

How To Manage a Relationship in ADHD?

            There are several ways to make your relationship better and quite better if you have ADHD. Follow them and you will become least likely to mess up.

1.   Feed your partner with information

            Talk to your newly formed partner about your condition and tell them the most important things about yourself and behaviour. Talking about the problems at your end beforehand makes them acceptable and helps to build a healthy and reliable relationship. Tell your partner that you are in constant struggle in working yourself and getting better and better continuously.

2.   Constantly seek help

            You need to be in a constant struggle of betterment. Keep in touch with your healthcare provider and follow his/her instructions strictly. Take medications regularly as prescribed and practice the lifehacks regularly. Your partner needs to know that you are not doing all this hard work only for him/her but to function for yourself.

3.   Acknowledge the problems with yourself

            Being a person with ADHD, it may seem that your partner is not being reasonable at times. Take a moment to relax yourself and acknowledge that it is not necessary that your partner is to blame for the mess, rather you also have a condition which can be a problem in all the possible ways.

4.   Communication problems and skills

            One should watch what he/she is saying before you say it. And one should not make assumptions and try to be a mind reader. It is not wise to be over-expressive and it is also not wise to keep emotions bottled up. There should be a balance. Let your emotions out in a nice way, with nice and acceptable words. You need to develop some good communication skills to get better at this.

            One should communicate to his/her partner face to face when possible, and listen carefully and attentively and should not interrupt the conversation of the other. If you have missed some part of the conversation you should ask to repeat that in a nice way. Humor is a very effective tool, try to find that while conversing.

5.   Work together as a team

            Both the partners should plan their daily routine and divide the tasks to be done among them. They need to plan and evaluate the routine as a team. Dedicate some time for this exercise. Plan weekly or daily sit-downs to have a better chit chat. The partner with ADHD may need help at times to complete the task. One should help but try not to be over-helping.

References:

  1. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/adult-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder-and-relationships.htm
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-spouse-lonely#non-adhd-partner

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Linda Barbara

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