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Successful Strategies for Relationships Where a Partner Has ADHD

When attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is discussed, it’s usually in relation to children – but did you know that adults can have ADHD, too? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 60% of children with ADHD become adults with ADHD – and this is equivalent to approximately 8 million adults each year. These adults grow up to develop careers, form social groups, and hold intimate relationships – and just as with other mental disorders, the symptoms of ADHD can affect a personal relationship in ways that may be undetected by those without it. There are 3 main symptoms associated with ADHD: inability to focus, disorganization, and restlessness. Kate Kelly, author of You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? told Very Well Mind“…The person with ADHD may be extremely distractible in the morning, for example, and relatively focused an hour or two later…Their loved one is loving and connected with them in one moment, and gone ‘somewhere else’ in the next…”

Relationships that involve a partner with ADHD may experience a host of other problems, including:

  • Sensory problems (lights too bright, sounds too loud, touch too stimulating)
  • Memory issues (because the brain has difficulty focusing, information likely doesn’t get through to be stored in one’s memory sufficiently)
  • Quick temper (anger may become activated rather quickly)

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that spouses of those with ADHD report significantly lower intimacy and marital satisfaction than those who do not. This finding does not mean that all relationships are doomed, however – it just means that additional steps need to be taken in order to move forward in a healthy way.

The first important step that any relationship involving ADHD needs to take is to have the discussion. Talk about ADHD and learn from one another about symptoms, a person’s needs, issues that have arisen, and more. Open communication, honesty, and respect go a long way because and couple is then able to work together as a team rather than against one another. If you’re the partner of someone with ADHD, begin to educate yourself on the disorder and what your loved one may be going through.

The next step may be for your partner to seek help from a reputable wellness center. There are a variety of approaches, such as through medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), meditation, yoga, and more, that can help those with ADHD find more balance and organization in their daily life. Couples therapy may also be beneficial, as each partner can learn to work together to fulfill one another’s needs.

Everyone has a story that starts before treatment. Everyone has a story that changes when treatment is over. Let The Guest House Ocala show you the way to recovery from trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs, concierge customization, and life at the estate: 1-855-483-7800