Does ADHD Affect Your Love Life?
If your love life isn’t what you would like it to be, especially if this has been sort of a life long thing, have you stopped to wonder if it’s your ADHD?
Could your ADHD be ruining your intimate relationships?
How Does ADHD Affect Your Relationships?
Let’s start by talking about the word relationship (or love life) so that we’re all on the same page.
I’m talking, basically, about all of it: love, sex, romance, dating, marriage, divorce, and anything in between. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are in terms of your current relationship – if there is one – or even who you are in it with.
Because ADHD doesn’t care about any of that.
Here is a quick rundown for you:
We Have Trouble Paying Attention
Just read that sentence again and think about it in terms of a relationship with another person. Someone you care about. Someone you love.
Do you pay attention to them? All of the time? (No, no one does. But how about most of the time?) Even though my husband and I both have ADHD, he still calls me on this one at times and we’ve been together 42 years.
Oh, and I don’t mean to get too personal here, but I don’t just mean when they’re talking to you. It is absolutely possible for our minds to wander off during sex. It happens, and the consequences are not pretty.
It should be said that none of this necessarily has a direct bearing on the health of the relationship; sometimes it just happens. After all, not every conversation is thought provoking and not every sexual encounter is earth shattering.
We Get Bored Easily
See the above regarding paying attention. The two are often related.
When you’ve heard the same story for the 400th time, had the same argument or discussion, do things the way you always have, go to the same places – you get the drift – you might get bored. (Sounds like a Jeff Foxworthy joke.)
And when you are bored by something your partner is saying or doing or wants to do, they may take offense and they may blame you, and that is not good for your love life.
You’re going to get a lot of blame through this.
Our Minds Wander and We Are Easily Distracted
Kind of more of the same, right? The same, but different.
You know you’ve experienced it before: you’re in the middle of doing something and suddenly something pops into your head. You can’t help it; it just happens.
I had been in bed about 5 or 10 minutes the other night, just starting to get nice and warm, when boom! Did I pay the water bill?
You know I had to get up and do it.
Or let’s say you’re cuddling with your sweetie, and their clothes smell so nice and fresh. It reminds you of when your grandma used to hang her clothes on the line to dry. And thinking of grandma makes you think of your mom and how you promised her you would (fill in the blank here) – and there you go, leaving your sweet smelling sweetie behind. And possibly damaging your love life as well.
The Arguments and Accusations
You’ve probably heard them more than once, probably from more than one person:
- You’re self centered and selfish
- You’re too weird
- It’s always all about you
- You never pay attention to me
- You don’t listen
- You’re always somewhere else
- Is there someone else?
How About Some Love and a Little Heart to Heart?
The best way to get through this, hopefully with your love life intact, is to talk it through. Gently and sweetly, with a little understanding on both sides.
Someone who really cares about you should take the time to understand your ADHD. Because ADHD affects everyone differently, and they should know what it’s like for you.
There will be times when things are worse than usual for you, and you already know you’re going to have trouble paying attention. Communicating that would be a good idea at the start.
Maybe you can commit to doing things like keeping a planner and a dump list or whatever it takes to help you remember things so that you have fewer times when things show up out of nowhere demanding your attention.
Trying new things is always a good idea. It keeps things interesting. How about trying one new thing once a month? You could sit down together and make a list.
The point is that if this particular relationship is important to you, and hopefully to your partner as well, then ADHD is just like a lot of other things in a relationship. It takes some work at times, but in the end it’s worth it.