Does your spouse, partner, significant other get you? Do they understand you in terms of your ADHD?
Or are there problems in the relationship because of it?
People without ADHD really have a hard time understanding those of us with ADHD. I guess that goes both ways; how well do we understand them?
It can be hard for a person who does not have Attention Deficit Disorder to understand how “simple” things like being on time, remembering stuff, and getting things done can be so hard. That can cause a lot of tension in a relationship.
If you are in a relationship with someone who does not have ADHD or understand it, it is up to you to help them, assuming they want the help. (If someone you are with does not care about understanding such a vital part of who you are, then why are you still with them?)
Education is always a good start to understanding something new. There are tons of resources online that can help explain ADHD and ADD behavior. Of course ADD Moms is a good place to start 🙂 but you should also check out ADDitude Magazine’s site and About.com’s site.
Another way to familiarize your partner with your ADHD is to explain things as they are happening. For instance, let’s say they asked you to bring them something from another room. Several minutes later you arrive back without what they asked for.
You can then explain the thought process that went on: I went to the kitchen to get you a bottle of water but when I got there I noticed that the dog had no food so I put some in his bowl and took the empty can to the recycling bin. After that I needed to wash my hands. In the bathroom I noticed that my hair was a mess so I went upstairs to brush it….
You get the idea.
The important thing is to remember that you want to explain your ADHD without making excuses for your behavior. It’s OK if you forget something because your ADHD kicked in, as long as it doesn’t happen all the time and you are making an effort to improve.
“Forgetting” that your mother-in-law invited you over for dinner isn’t the same thing.
Couples made up of an ADD partner and a non-ADD partner can get along very well and even flourish, as long as both are committed to doing so. In a way, one complements the other.
And just so you know – the same can be true of other relationships besides couples kinds of relationships. If you have a child who does not have ADHD, you may need to work with them to help them understand the way you behave.
People who love you and have your best interests at heart will always be willing to try and understand. Those who are not, are not worth your time.