Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by ongoing inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. It affects nearly ten million adults in the United States.
Because ADHD impacts interpersonal skills, it can also affect your intimate relationships — and could be the cause of relationship problems without you even knowing it.
1. ADHD can make things difficult for all people in the relationship, but understanding how symptoms affect the relationship can help.
2. And proper treatment for the person with ADHD, along with their partner's support, can help control symptoms before they cause issues.
3. It might not be obvious that someone has ADHD when you first start dating them. In fact, you might not be able to tell at all.
4. In the early stages of a relationship, the person with ADHD might hyperfocus on their partner, so that it seems like they're the ~center of their world~.
5. Once the honeymoon phase is over, the hyperfocus might fade and be replaced with lack of attention or forgetfulness.
6. Difficulty sustaining attention can make it seem like the partner with ADHD never listens or doesn't care.
7. On the other hand, they can talk excessively and go on endless tangents, which might make their partner feel like they can never get a word in.
8. Impaired working memory means the partner with ADHD doesn't always follow through with favors or keep promises.
9. Problems with time management can mean that the partner with ADHD is often late and keeps others waiting.
10. Forgetfulness can cause the partner with ADHD to lose things, miss texts and calls, or just seem very disorganized in general.
11. If you live together, the person with ADHD might seem messy and all over the place, but it might have more to do with memory than neatness.
12. Inattentiveness caused by ADHD can also impact a couple's sex lives.
13. The partner with ADHD might have emotional outbursts, which can make their partner feel like they're walking on eggshells.
14. Impulsivity can cause the partner with ADHD to say things without thinking, which can come off as being harsh or careless.
15. If a couple has shared finances, this same impulsivity can also lead to overspending and poor financial tracking.
16. Sometimes partners might develop a parent-child dynamic to cope with symptoms, which can be problematic.
All relationships have problems, but working as a team to fix things can actually make a bond even stronger. Just know when it’s time to seek professional help.
For more information about adult ADHD, check out the resources below:
* "Taking Charge Of Adult ADHD," by Russell Barkley.