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ADHD and marriage - How couples make it work

The challenges of being in a marriage where one partner has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD are many, but it can work if there is deep commitment from both sides.

Most news articles about such marriages talk about the challenges like forgetfulness, impulsivity, and the powerful emotions and anger that threaten the relationship.

But studies show that partners with ADHD share many of the same frustrations as their non-ADHD counterparts. They feel misunderstood and unloved. They get angry when their partners criticise them a lot, and they worry that their relationship will break down because of their disorganisation.

Most ADHD partners are strongly committed to their spouses, their families, and their relationships. They bounce back when things go off track They also take time to learn about their ADHD and treatment options.

Most couples say that communication breakdowns were the number one challenge in their relationship. Some people have trouble processing what their partner is saying and drift off.

Other common problems reported are anger and outbursts, to the point of screaming and shouting.

Some tips for making it work

  • ADHD diagnosis and treatment is essential to a strong relationship so get treatment as soon as possible.
  • Divide household chores equally
  • Understanding ADHD is key to understanding each other. It's important that both partners learn about ADHD, not just the partner who has it.
  • Conversations quickly escalate to arguments and hurt feelings in ADHD marriages, so it makes sense to work together on communication. This may need the help of a counsellor or an online class.
  • A successful ADHD marriage requires give and take.

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