Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, can make life difficult.
The inability to pay close attention can affect performance at school, work, and especially in relationships. The person with ADHD has a mind that is not unlike having several tabs open on the computer at once.
In short, their thoughts are hard to keep track of. They might struggle to remember what they’ve already said or done.
Here are just a few other ways that ADHD can affect relationships, both romantic and platonic.
Contributes to Insecurity
The person with ADHD may get down on themselves for not being able to remember simple requests or tasks. They may forget when or where they are supposed to meet someone. Often, this can make a partner feel stood up. The resulting frustration can create insecurity and cause the other partner to feel unloved.
Frustration Can Lead to Anger
The partner without ADHD may start feeling resentment due to disorganization and distractions in their partner. Communication can break down into criticism and arguments, further alienating the person with ADHD.
Constant Interruptions Break Down Communication
Because people with ADHD have difficulty paying attention, it’s not uncommon for them to interrupt while someone is speaking. Perhaps an idea popped in their heads that they don’t want to forget.
While they don’t do this to be rude, it still creates frustration. No one wants to feel ignored or unimportant.
Other times, someone with ADHD may drift off in the middle of a discussion without realizing it. By the time they are asked for an opinion or feedback, they have lost track of the discussion. People can get annoyed at having to repeat themselves over and over again to get a point across.
Issues with Chores
Someone with ADHD may agree to pick the kids up from school but completely forget later on. The partner without ADHD may question whether they can rely on the other to follow through on basic requests, such as picking up milk on the way home from work or emptying the dishwasher before dinner.
It’s also not uncommon for them to struggle with completing tasks, because distractions come so easily. Consequently, some chores may end up only partially completed.
Mistaken Accusations of Laziness
If the partner with ADHD partner fails to complete chores promptly, it’s easy to assume that they are lazy or simply don’t care. Such accusations may come out in the heat of the moment if a partner discovers that a task did not get done. The person without ADHD may wonder just how much “laziness” is due to legitimate ADHD, or is just an excuse to not help out.
Challenges with Sex
Because the mind of the person ADHD wanders so often, it can be difficult to pay attention even during moments of intimacy. This may be one of the most critical times when not paying attention can be hurtful, even if one knows deep down that the inattention is not on purpose.
The person without ADHD may feel hurt that they are not desirable or attractive enough to keep their partner’s attention.
Though at times, it can be challenging, people with ADHD are capable of having healthy, committed relationships. Often, success is a team effort. The partner without the disorder commits to being compassionate and understanding, while the other agrees to take their medication. Other couples find counseling to be helpful as well.
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