Relationship Advice and ADHD symptoms

relationship advice and ADHD symptomsGetting Connected and Staying Connected – Relationship Advice Tips

Whether dating or married, all couples must contend with challenges and can profit from some relationship advice. However, individuals with ADHD have a greater challenge.  Studies show couples with ADHD deal with more stressors in their relationship. And they also have a higher rate of divorce and separation. Knowing how to avoid the pitfalls and connect with genuine love will grow a strong relationship.

Why are ADHD symptoms a challenge in relationships?

Adults with ADHD have difficulty with concentration during conversations, follow-through, and organization. These can put a strain on a relationship.

Relationship advice for conversations – use strategies to stay focused and engaged

People with ADHD often have difficulty concentrating during conversations. Their partner can mistakenly see this as a sign of being disinterested. Difficulty focusing during conversations can end a relationship.

If you have ADHD:

  • Look into your partner’s eyes. This helps to connect and stay focused. It also invites intimacy.
  • Make fidgety behavior work for you. Fidgeting with an object stimulates the body for better attention. Experiment with different ways to fidget so they don’t distract your partner.
  • Be sure to tell your partner what strategies you use to stay focused. He or she may misinterpret fidgeting as a sign of boredom or impatience. We don’t want that, now do we?

If you are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD:

  • Be alert to the fact that people with ADHD use fidgety behavior to be more alert. Typical signs of boredom such as drumming fingers on the table are helpful to your partner. They help him or her listen and concentrate on you. That’s a good thing!
  • You can help your conversations be more stimulating by doing something unexpected every once in a while. For example, you can pause in the middle of the sentence, or talk louder. Things such as this can encourage alertness, for your partner, and for you!
  • Use touch to get your partner’s attention. A pat on the arm or back will help your partner focus attention on you. And it builds trust and intimacy as well!

Relationship advice for organization – strategies to be close and connected

Individuals with ADHD have trouble putting their ideas and possessions in order. Their home, office or car may be disorganized or messy. With the right kind of strategies, they can get their possessions more organized.

If you have ADHD:

  • Get help from a friend or a professional service to get your home and car neat and clean. Your partner doesn’t want to find last week’s pizza crusts and smelly socks. That’s a real buzz-kill to intimacy!
  • Store items in see-through buckets, tubs, or boxes so they are out of the way and easy to find.
  • Make time every day to clean up your home and car. Keep clutter under control by not letting it get a hold on your life.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD:

  • The usual rules really don’t apply here. You’ll be a lot happier if you don’t expect possessions to be in perfect order. However, this doesn’t mean you should tolerate clutter and disorganization. Your partner needs to make a genuine effort to “clean up” his or her act! Do your best to feel comfortable with a different level of organization than you are used to.
  • It can be tough, but resist the impulse to criticize or micromanage. ADHD is not a choice and is not a character flaw. It is simply a condition with different brain chemistry. Some things are just harder for your partner to accomplish.
  • Know where your “breaking point” is. Figure out just how much disorganization is “too much”. Explain your needs to your partner. Evaluate the response. Work together to be compatible in the long term?

Relationship advice for follow through – use strategies to be on time and get things done

People with ADHD tend to be impulsive, spontaneous, passionate and a lot of fun!  And their capacity to focus on the creative process makes them excellent inventors, artists, CEOs, and risk takers.

However, these wonderful traits can have a down side. It can be a challenge for people with ADHD to stay on track and follow through. They may be late for appointments. And they can underestimate how long it will take to complete a task. This may result in missing deadlines.

If you have ADHD:

  • Prioritize following through. Follow through affects people’s sense of safety and security. It influences how trustworthy you appear and how much respect and connection develop in the relationship. Learn strategies to get your time better organized and managed.
  • Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Do your best to understand how difficult it is for a person who doesn’t have ADHD to understand what it’s like for you. Explain how much harder you have to work to be on time and get things done than your partner may realize.
  • To many non-ADDers, creativity can seem irresponsible. Don’t lose your creative spark! You may need to help your partner understand your brand of creativity. Find something you are both interested in and have fun imaging!

If you are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD:

  • De-personalize the situation. When your partner doesn’t follow through, it doesn’t indicate a lack of respect. Your partner wants to be on time and follow through. He or she is genuinely embarrassed about not meeting expectations.
  • Focus on your partner’s core values and goals rather than the symptoms of ADHD. It’s easier to connect to someone you respect. And it’s easier to overlook or minimize problems when there’s a deep personal connection between you.
  • How amazing to be around someone who sees fewer roadblocks and boundaries. It’s exciting to be around someone with a fire to improve things. That’s a gift! Keep that passion alive. Join in with it, and enjoy the ride! Life’s too short to pass up a chance to get interested in something!

Relationship advice and ADHD symptoms

Relationship advice for both of you – Tips for getting connected and staying together

  • Each of you needs to be willing to educate yourselves about ADHD. Seek relationship advice rather than letting obstacles ruin your relationship. Plan in advance how it to deal with challenges. Successfully living with ADHD may be different than your expectations about what is normal in a relationship.
  • Manage the symptoms together as a team. Be open to discussing how you feel with your partner. Be willing to consider his or her point of view. Valuing each other’s perspective is the only way you can grow as a couple.
  • Each of you must be willing to make your relationship a priority. Each of you must nurture your relationship through the hard times.
  • Understand that you will not agree on everything. Success will come from your ability to follow meaningful relationship advice and learn how to handle your differences. Calmly and clearly state your feelings. Stand firm on personal respect for yourself and your partner. Negotiate like an adult.

Download my free guide – relationship advice for dating and staying in a committed relationship when ADHD is in the picture. It has all these tips in a handy format.

Relationship advice and ADHD symptomsDr. Kari Miller

ADHD coach and board certified educational therapist. Dr. Kari, helps women conquer their biggest ADHD challenges. She assists women in getting focused, organized, and motivated. She helps them get unstuck, finish what they start, and accomplish more every day!

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