ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD/ADD) AND COUPLES
Adults with ADHD/ADD are more likely to have relationship problems, and a higher likelihood for divorce unfortunately. A typical pattern that occurs for adults with ADHD is that the person without ADHD, tries to point out what their partner did or didn't do so that the partner would realize and fix the problem. Unfortunately, it often triggers shame for the partner with ADHD, and they might get frustrated and defensive, or possibly feel bad and withdraw, and become avoidant.
For the person without ADHD/ADD, although they know their partner loves them, and they might know they have ADHD/ADD, but it still hurts because they feel that if their partner really loved them, they would try harder to overcome their difficulties. They often feel alone, like all of the responsibilities are on their shoulders, and often feel overwhelmed or even resentful. Often, the partner with ADHD/ADD cares a great deal for their partner, but may experience their partner as critical or controlling, and the parent with ADHD feels they will never get it right, never meeting their partners standards. They also end up feeling alone, frustrated, and feel bad that their way of being is hurting their partner and may feel like a burden, and/or react feeling as though the other partner is being perfectionistic.
In couples therapy, we begin to understand this pattern, and catch it. Helping partners to communicate with each other and connect with their care for each other, and work towards partnering together to overcome ADHD/ADHD, rather than having it come between them. In my work with couples, I integrate Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which are evidence based, effective treatments. Together, we can get you out of the pattern you're stuck in, and reconnect with that person you fell in love with, and overcome ADHD/ADHD together.
Inattentive Symptoms -
1. Making careless mistakes
2. Difficulty sustaining attention
3. Difficulty listening
4. Difficulty following through or finishing work or projects
5. Difficulty keeping organized
6. Avoiding boring tasks like paying bills or homework
7. Losing things like keys, pens, homework, or phone
8. Being distracted by noises or people
Hyperactivity Symptoms -
1. Fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming in the seat
2. Getting out of the seat when supposed to be sitting
3. Feeling restless
4. Difficulty playing or working quietly
5. Acting as if "on the go" or "driven by a motor"
6. Talking excessively
Impulsivity Symptoms -
1. Blurting out answers before the question is completed
2. Difficulty waiting for a turn
3. Interrupting in conversations or games