Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) does not just affect children and teens. ADHD frequently continues into adulthood and can have a detrimental impact on relationships and marriages.
ADHD impacts both people in the relationship
If you have ADHD, you may feel that your partner doesn’t understand you. He or she has become a nag and is constantly after you to get things done and contribute to the functioning of the house. It may feel like your partner has become like a parent and behaves in a way that makes you feel like a child.
It may seem as though your partner doesn’t trust you anymore, even though you are trying.
If your partner has ADHD, you may feel alone in your responsibilities. You may feel ignored by your partner who seems to act more like a child than an adult. Arguments happen over tedious things, or worse, you stop talking and begin to withdraw.
If ADHD is causing difficulties in your relationship or marriage, you may benefit from professional help.
If you think ADHD may be affecting your relationship
1. Make sure you have an accurate diagnosis
There are many issues that can look like ADHD but are in fact something else, from problematic substance use to too much caffeine to dissociative disorders. Past trauma can cause ADHD symptoms. Research shows many adults diagnosed with ADHD have a history of past emotional abuse and neglect.
2. Increase empathy in your relationship
Empathy comes from understanding where the other person is coming from and what they are going through. It is helpful to learn about the underlying cause of behavior in ADHD so you can make sense of why your partner behaves the way he or she does. An ADHD brain is hardwired differently and this can present many challenges in today’s world.
Additionally, it is important to understand how your own behavior impacts your partner with ADHD. A lack of understanding and constant conflict, criticism, and complaints can cause stress on both sides of the relationship, even when one feels justified in expressing how they feel.
Be sure to increase communication skills rather than fighting or withdrawing.
ADHD focused therapy for couples
Working with a therapist who understands ADHD can be very useful for couples trying to navigate a relationship when one or both have the disorder. Evidenced-based effective techniques are available and helpful in treating the range of challenges that ADHD can create. For example, research shows that neurofeedback significantly improves focus and function in those struggling with ADHD. Couples-focused therapy sessions can prevent resentment and destructive relationship patterns from occurring or going on for too long.
Our intimate relationships are an important source of happiness and contentment. A therapist who understands can help both people in the relationship shift behavior patterns and reach for a better, happier place together.
If you would like to learn more you are welcome to call and book an appointment or fill out my contact form and click Send.