ADHD in Relationships: Part 1
There are plenty of books on relationships with an ADHDer; or where the couple has the diagnosis together.
Today we’ll discuss a few ideas partners can do to help treatment go as smoothly and as fast as possible.
First and foremost:
Find a specialist that will treat the ADHD as a whole, not just the ADHD symptoms. The specialist will look at forgetfulness, lack of attention towards the relationship, anger explosions, job changes/firings. These are just by products of the ADHD and if the whole is not treated then you’re really just plugging leaks in the dam, only to find another sprung up near by.
It’s best if both parties understand the diagnosis and what it truly is and isn’t. ADHD is a gift, or superpower, but like all powers, if gone unchecked it will wreak havoc. It is not a defectiveness, an excuse, a crutch or a label of stupidity (as the ADHDer may still believe).
Next, the hard part:
Address the feelings of anger the non-ADHDer harbors for the other. “Why can’t you remember?! I told you! You’re always late! How could you forget!?” and so on. After years and years this can manifest as anger and erode a relationship. These feelings may be best addressed in therapy, where a “translator” of sorts, can help make sense of what is happening. The counselor can address where these feelings are coming from and why. Not only that, what can be done now with a full understanding of what was working against them without anyone realizing. Once the work has been done within counseling, the couple can work outside on their communication as well as restoring their relationship.