ADHD and Relationships

couple at therapy

ADHD and Relationships

When one person has ADHD in a relationship, and the other person doesn’t, unique problems can occur. The power dynamic can become that of a parent to child, which isn’t healthy. The non-ADHD person becomes the one with the power, guiding, reminding and helping their partner. When the ADHD partner has a chore to be done, their counterpart may remind them, indeed several times, until the ADHD partner does it. Or the non-ADHD partner may give up and do it themselves rather than keep reminding their other half. Eventually, too many chores or responsibilities are allocated to the non-ADHD partner.

The symptoms of ADHD unmanaged are permanent. Distraction, memory problems and other symptoms start to weigh on the relationship. The non-ADHD partner becomes the parent, the ADHD partner the child. The power dynamic in this relationship becomes off kilter, leaning only to one side. This leads to a lack of respect on the part of the non-ADHD partner as they begin to view their partner like a child, and a condescending attitude can ensue. The ADHD partner begins to resent their significant other.

Adaptation is generally considered a good thing. One partner sees an issue arising and both partners change to meet and overcome it. Some research has shown however that stronger couples see problems coming down the pike and counteract them before they become an issue in the relationship. For ADHD, this power dynamic increases over time. As more and more control is lent to the non-ADHD partner and the more they become the parent, the other the child, the more resentment builds. Both people in this relationship have their problems with the other. One doesn’t want to do all of the work of the other. The ADHD partner doesn’t want to be treated like a child. They get tired of constant reminders, general bossiness and nagging. And the non-ADHD partner gets tired of doing so. And this dynamic puts a strain on the relationship. The couple feels less inclined toward positive feelings of love, affection, physical intimacy and romance.

Child/parent dynamics will almost inevitably lead to relationship or marital dysfunction. ADHD should be treated with the help of a mental health professional. Both partners should be involved. But if you are married or seriously involved with someone who has ADHD or if you have ADHD make sure to talk about it in depth with your partner. Treatment should also be sought. For more advice read, The ADHD Effect On Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov.

How Beautiful Women Mess with your Head Biologically


According to new research out of Canada when a man talks to a beautiful woman the conversation is shorter by 3.5 minutes on average, and he remembers more details from the conversation. Doctoral researcher at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the study’s coauthor Ping Dong says that when a woman is beautiful a man seems to make more of an effort, listens more carefully and watches what he says more carefully in order to make a good impression. Since the brain is more active time seems to go by sooner. But speeding up time isn’t the only way beautiful women mess with your head on a biological level. They also confuse fiction and reality. According to research out of Texas Christian University the more you lie to impress your beauty the more difficulty you will have separating fact from fiction weeks later. That’s because according to researchers the brain accepts these lies as truths. Honesty is the best policy guys. You may not be able to remember what mistruth you told her but she will definitely remember.

Women who are easy on the eyes also make men lose patience. Research out of the National Bureau of Economic Research in conjunction with McMaster University found that hot, sexy and beautiful women fire up the reward centers in the brain, making men forgo a payout in the future for instant gratification. Their research found that men accepted poor terms on mortgages more readily if the commercial advertising the loan features an attractive woman. They also opted for a short-term payout rather than a richer one down the road after they looked at ladies that had what we call sex appeal. Beautiful women bring out your inner hero. According to a U.K. study men were more likely to act generously and donate to the poor when a gorgeous woman was present. According to the authors men are more likely to be philanthropic when good looking women are watching, which women find attractive. New research out of the University of Texas found that nothing gives you a high like a beautiful woman. After observing photos of gorgeous gals with hourglass figures, men felt a high that felt as if it was drug induced. The waist-to-hip ratio sends signals to men that this is a good candidate for reproduction. Researchers say the result is a powerful jolt to the pleasure centers of the brain. For advice on how to approach attractive women, read How to “Pick Up” Beautiful Women in Nightclubs or Any Other Place by John Eagan.

He’s Nice, but Not for You


So you met someone. He’s got everything you want in a man. He’s funny, smart, articulate, charming, he takes good care of himself, and has a fulfilling career. What’s not to love? But inside, you know that something isn’t right. He’s nice, but not for you. What’s going on here? Some women fall in love with the concept of the perfect man. But our fantasies don’t always match up with reality. Of course, it could also be that you two are just getting to know each other. Have you given him a proper chance? Are you just coming out of a relationship, or have you been out of the game awhile and perhaps your senses aren’t so keen? Here are some ways to tell that it’s just not working, or not going to work even though he seems great. First, if you never had a honeymoon phase. This is when each person believes the other is their perfect soul mate. They want to spend every waking moment together. If you don’t get any butterflies in your stomach, but you two are comfortable together, remain friends. But if there’s no chemistry, what’s the point in being together? Another sign of a dead end relationship is when you run out of stuff to talk about. When it all seems like meaningless chit-chat, and you don’t have any really powerful, funny, fun, deep, or meaningful conversations, than you two just aren’t that compatible.

If you guys spend a lot of time texting and talking on the phone but not in person, he may not be the guy for you. People who really care about one another make time for each other. If you would rather see your girlfriends than hang out with him, or if he has no time for you, than the relationship has fizzled out with no hope of revival. Tell him this and if he really cares about you, he’ll make time for you. If not, it’s best to move on. Does he remember your birthday? Has he forgotten about one of your dates? If so, lose him. You aren’t that important to him. And if he is like this in the beginning of the relationship, how will he act later on? You deserve to be treated exceptionally well with every kindness and consideration granted to you. And you should expect to do the same for him. But to be this cavalier about things is unconscionable. If you’ve been together for a while now but you aren’t talking about or making plans for the future, this could be a sign that he’s nice, but not for you. If you have exciting news, or something has really hit you out of nowhere like a runaway bus and he isn’t there for you, let him go. He’s not the one. You need a boyfriend that will be there for you during the highs and lows of life. If you aren’t there for each other, what’s the point? If you are still unsure of whether you’re in the right relationship, author Ian Kerner offers some helpful advice in his book, Be Honest–You’re Not That Into Him Either: Raise Your Standards and Reach for the Love You Deserve.

Sniff Test helps find your Ideal Mate


Have you ever found yourself attracted to someone’s scent? Our bodies give off compounds called pheromones. Those who are genetically different than us are a good match, as the outcome would produce healthy children. A lot can be said for scent. Our olfactory sense is one of the most astute and has the strongest bond to memory. Recently a website in Houston, Texas held an event where attendees were told to bring a worn t-shirt. Those that enjoyed a certain person’s scent were put together to see if they were indeed a good match. This t-shirt test has been a staple of scientific studies for decades. In fact, it’s usually tested on women who sniff a man’s shirt. And women who were at a fertile point in their cycle have been found, through one of these tests, to prefer men with a higher level of testosterone. So if you are going to go smelling your dates, realize ladies that what attracts you right now may not be what will be attractive to you in days to come. One theory even suggests that the use of oral contraception, indeed “the pill” has thrown off the human male’s ability to sniff out a proper mate so to speak, ergo causing the enormous spike in the divorce rate starting at the pill’s coming on the market up until the 1990’s. The jury is out but it is an interesting theory.

Would you ever try the sniff test to find your ideal mate? It seems rather silly. Of course there are all kinds of scientific reasons why we go through the complex and sophisticated human mating ritual, so many things that we do have much more to it on an evolutionary level than we are actually aware of. So are there any ways to amp up our pheromones in order to attract someone? You can get more exercise. Try to hit all the big muscle groups. It will increase pheromone output and sweating will get it on your skin. Don’t go to a date all sweaty of course. And proper hygiene is important. But you could shower less and use a light soap in order to increase your pheromone output. If this sounds less than ideal, than why not take a zinc supplement? Zinc increases your output of pheromones. Or why not go right to the source? Start eating foods with higher zinc levels. Chicken, yogurt, eggs, lean pork, milk, and other dairy products all contain zinc, an essential nutrient for good health besides giving your chances of attracting a mate a little boost.

Things not to do When Dating


The dating landscape has become more confusing. Different people have different styles. Some are more lax while others are more formal. Some people like cultural jaunts like museums and art galleries. Others don’t want to do something stuffy like that. A fun date to them is a night out at a club, bar, or sporting event. And etiquette is hard to figure out, too. Should you wear something formal or casual? Where should you meet? Is it alright to kiss on the first date, or more? Usually, if you two have chemistry, you just fall into the right pattern. For blind dates, it could be a lot more difficult to discern since you don’t really know the person. And chatting on the phone, texting, and emailing are way different from what happens when you are face-to-face with someone new. All that said, there is a list of things not to do when dating. If you follow this outline, you should be alright no matter what the situation.

If it’s a blind date, or you met only once, make absolutely sure to know the person’s name. This sounds straightforward to some, but many people pretend to know someone’s name even when they don’t. This can lead to problems later, embarrassing social situations, and it reflects poorly on you. Early on, just simply say, “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” Repeat it back to the person when they say it. If you have trouble with names, make up a rhyme or use a mnemonic device. Don’t pretend to like something you actually don’t like. You will be surprised at how many people do this. But if it comes out later, it looks as though you were lying, putting strain on the relationship. You won’t have fun. You’ll be even more tense. And isn’t the point just being yourself? Put your cell phone down. In fact, turn it off. I think the world can live without you tweeting for a couple of hours. It’s rude to be looking at your phone on a date. Focus on the person instead. Make sure you wait a significant amount of time before introducing your date to your friends and family. Three to six months is a good rule of thumb. Don’t avoid difficult topics. After the first date, when you feel more comfortable, slowly allow the person to get to know who you are. Don’t hide anything significant from them. Following these rules, you should be ready for whatever dating situations come your way.