ADHD creates stress in relationships due to the fact that the very nature of ADHD runs counter to that of a healthy relationship. Time management problems, being easily distracted, an inability to plan effectively, and being impulsive can create stress in the relationship for both partners. Strong relationships require the attention of both partners. Yet, the easy distractibility of someone with ADHD neutralizes their ability to focus on the relationship. ADHD impulsive behavior can damage trust and cause problems that can increase the stress level in the relationship. Though they carry even more stress, that isn’t to say that relationships where one person has ADHD can’t be loving and strong. Of course they can. It means merely that they suffer more stress as to the symptomatic issues that those with ADHD struggle with. The other partner needs to be patient and both partners need to practice good communication skills. Knowing what symptoms go with ADHD can help. Of course, there are those situations where ADHD has remained undiagnosed and this puts a particular strain on the relationship as one or both partners may be unaware of exactly why someone is acting a certain way or exhibiting a particular behavior. They may even think that it is done on purpose or maliciously.
If one person has ADHD in a relationship there are things you can do. Learning specific ADHD communication techniques, eliminating a parent-child relationship dynamic, and visiting a counselor and taking part in ADHD treatments in order to lessen symptoms are all important steps that should be taken. Sometimes, too, ADHD may be responsible for the hot button issues that inhabit your relationship, but perhaps you or your partner don’t even recognize the connection. It takes a lot of strategies, time and energy to mitigate the effects of ADHD on your relationship. It’s important to first notice these behaviors in your partner. Then begin to take a look at what patterns are caused by this behavior and how these patterns negatively impact the relationship. Have a discussion about them. If your partner hasn’t been evaluated, let them know how much you love them and care for them and tell them that you think they have ADHD. Show them a reputable website or some other dependable source. Seek out information. Have your significant other see a mental health professional to receive treatment so that the two of you can be educated on how best to mitigate ADHD so it doesn’t affect your relationship. For more on this, read The ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa Orlov.