Living with ADHD: Relationships

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The impulsive behaviour, disorganisation, forgetfulness, hyperactivity and distractibility of ADHD can impact our lives in so many ways.  And, in particular, cause strain on our relationships. It’s easy to become frustrated and even resentful to one another.  

If you’re the one living with ADHD…

You may feel like you’re constantly being nagged, moaned at and criticized for things you do/don’t do.  No matter what you do, it just never seems to be enough. You start to feel like people around you just don’t understand.  And soon start to distance yourself, avoiding certain conversations and situations. Finding excuses or not being honest about your feelings.

And if you’re the non-ADHDer…

Maybe you’re feeling lonely, isolated, ignored and completely unappreciated.  You feel like you’re the only one in the relationship. You’re the one who has to take control to get things done.  All the responsibility lies with you.

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for your relationship.  The three key things to help build and maintain a happy healthy relationship are understanding, acceptance and communication.

Understanding

It’s not only about understanding your symptoms of ADHD and the impact it has on you but identifying how it influences and impacts your relationship as a couple.  For the ADHDer, learning what triggers your behaviour, how to manage your symptoms and understanding how your partner feels. For the non-ADHDer, learning about your partner’s symptoms, triggers and how you can support them in managing their symptoms, whilst looking and maybe changing the way you would normally react to certain situations.

Acceptance

Accepting the fact that ADHD is part of your lives and will have an impact on your relationship will be a key turning point.  It’s not about using it as an excuse or label. But accepting that this is you now. This is the way your brain works. This is your gift, your superpowers.  Your ADHD isn’t what defines you, it’s just something about you. Acceptance isn’t about taking away the ups, downs and stresses that come with ADHD and everyday life.  But how you can get your brain working with you to find balance, harmony and tranquillity together.

Communication

Whether it’s acting impulsively, becoming distracted or forgetting what someone has said, ADHD can interfere with our communications. When you are communicating with your partner, it’s important to do it face to face to avoid misunderstandings in the tone of a written message, but also allows you to observe the body language of your partner.  

And if you do become distracted, don’t be afraid to ask your partner to repeat what they’ve said.  This is where it’s important for both you and your partner to understand and accept your symptoms. That way, you’re both aware you are interested in hearing what they’ve got to say, but maybe the situation is triggering your ADHD symptoms and causing you to become distracted by something.

If you are looking for ways to understand and find acceptance of your symptoms, book in for a consultation assessment with me.  My sessions are designed to help get your brain working with you. To help you find the balance and acceptance to start living your best life.  Click here to book your appointment now or if you have any questions, you can contact me here.