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Adult ADHD relationships can be incredibly difficult, emotionally draining, and at times heartbreaking.
If you’re in one, you’re most likely beyond frustrated by your ADHD partner.
You feel you can’t rely on them. Everything they do upsets you and makes you want to pull your hair out.
Sometimes, you even question why you’re still with them.
The fact is living with someone with ADHD can honestly feel miserable at times.
I hear you. Because I’ve felt this exact way countless times before in my relationship with my boyfriend.
You have a few choices, though.
You can continue to be furious at your partner. Break up with your partner. Or you can accept your partner’s ADHD and improve your relationship.
It might be a shocker and feel far-fetched, but you can have a happy and healthy ADHD relationship.
ADHD AND ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
How ADHD Affects Relationships:
Your ADHD partner might lose focus and zone out during conversations.
They probably miss important details, and they most likely mindlessly agree to something
This can be incredibly frustrating and leaves you feeling unimportant and ignored.
Poor Organizational Skills:
Your partner probably has a hard time finishing seemingly simple tasks, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the dishes.
You most likely feel like you have to do double the chores and are always picking up after your partner’s messes.
Even when your ADHD partner is paying attention, they’ve probably forgotten what was discussed or promised.
They may have forgotten your birthday or your anniversary.
You feel like they are unreliable. You feel like they don’t care.
Your partner might hurt your feelings by interrupting or blurting out things without thinking.
Maybe your partner has even been irresponsible with money or participated in reckless behaviors.
Many people with ADHD have a hard time regulating their emotions.
Your partner may lose their temper easily, and you feel like you have to walk on eggshells to avoid fights.
6 Benefits of Adult ADHD in Relationships:
1. HELPS YOU ACCEPT IMPERFECTIONS
We’re all human. We all have flaws.
Once you realize you also have flaws, you’ll start to think differently about your partner’s imperfections.
Remember, ADHD is not a choice, just like any other mental illness is not a choice.
Let go of the belief that your partner should be perfect.
Because be honest with yourself.
You probably nag too much. You’ve probably lost your patience more than a couple of times.
You are not a perfect person. And neither is your ADHD partner.
2. LEARN TO BE ON THE SAME TEAM
ADHD can either tear your relationship apart, or it can really encourage you to be on the same team.
Judgmental, critical thoughts distance you from your partner.
All these thoughts do is get you further and further away from peace and love.
Instead of thinking these hurtful thoughts, join forces, regroup, readjust, and become stronger.
Do This By
Dividing Chore Work:
Make a list of the chores each of you don’t mind doing and which ones you hate doing.
For example, I don’t mind doing the laundry but I DESPISE cleaning the toilet. The opposite is for my boyfriend.
We compromise and I’ll do the laundry and he’ll scrub the toilet.
If you know you are much better at the financial side of your responsibilities, it’s completely okay to take reign.
Still, make sure to compromise and have at least monthly meetings about your financial situation.
The key here is to make sure you don’t become resentful.
You can always choose to be kind.
There’s absolutely no need for name calling, belittling, or screaming.
3. REALLY SCHEDULE IN TIME
Our days are filled with work, cell phones, and social media. All this does is distance us from our partners.
ADHD can make spending quality time together that much rarer and hard to come by.
This is why it’s incredibly important to schedule in uninterrupted time together at least once a week.
Just be together. Talk about your day. Laugh and have fun!
The time you do spend together becomes more treasured and more meaningful.
Find out my favorite date ideas filled with lots of quality time.
4. LEARN FORGIVENESS IS IMPORTANT
Your ADHD partner is going to break your trust.
Most of the time, it’s completely unintentional.
If trust is something you struggle with, I highly recommend the book I Love You But I Don’t Trust You.
This book is incredible. And it really does an amazing job at putting the little things and big things into perspective.
Forgiveness is one of the most important things you can have in any relationship, especially ADHD relationships.
5. BECOME MORE PATIENT
If you’re going to want a successful ADHD relationship, you’re going to have to become more patient.
I’m not a patient person by nature, but I’ve become a much more patient person being in an ADHD relationship.
Ways to Become More Patient:
2. Breathing Exercises: Whenever you feel angry, exhale out a breath completely.
3. Learning to Be Mindful: Mindfulness teaches you to be in the present moment. It helps you avoid conflict.
Patience requires understanding, dedications, and lots of practice.
6. GET BETTER AT COMMUNICATING
You have no choice but to learn to communicate better if you want to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
Most of the things you and your partner argue about simply aren’t worth the time, effort, or energy.
Every comment, difference of opinion, or disappointment does not have to turn into an argument.
You really do have to pick your battles.
I know it might feel way easier said than done when you feel like your ADHD partner is constantly letting you down.
But try not to react when your negative emotions are about to burst.
Speaking while angry causes damage to your partner and to the relationship.
You’ll end up saying these you don’t mean. And you’ll only fill your home with tension and hostility.
When this happens, take some space for yourself to cool down.
Additional ADHD Resources:
THE ADHD AFFECT ON MARRIAGE
The ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa Orlov has been an absolute game-changer for my relationship.
Honestly, I don’t think I would still be with my boyfriend without it guiding me.
I’ve read it more than two times. And anytime I feel my patience or understanding slipping, I read it again.
This book helped me tremendously in learning to be more compassionate and understanding of my boyfriend’s ADHD.
It taught me to look at ADHD in a more positive and less disruptive way.
It also helped me identify behavior patterns that hurt my relationship, such as nagging.
The book also includes worksheets and various methods for difficult conversations, so you and your partner can improve your communication skills.
I believe that every person can benefit from therapy, just like every relationship can benefit therapy.
Did you know that there is affordable online therapy?
Better Help is the largest online counseling platform worldwide.
It makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere.
You can get counseling in four ways:
- Exchanging messages
- Chatting live
- Speaking over the phone
- Video conferencing
What I love about Better Help is that your monthly payment will be the same regardless of the number of messages and sessions you have with your counselor.
This means you can communicate with your counselor as often as you’d like and whenever you need.
You never need to worry before getting help.
To wrap up…
Having a partner with ADHD can be very challenging. It can be hard and can be emotionally draining at times.
But there are several benefits of being in a relationship with someone who has ADHD.
- 6 Ways to Overcome a Rough Patch and Strengthen Your Relationship
- 5 Pieces of Bad Relationship Advice You Should Stop Believing
- 5 Little Things You Can Do to Improve Your Relationship Today
- Two Relationship Tests to Make Your Relationship Healthy Again
Have You Tried Couple’s Therapy?
If you’re having complications in your relationship, it might be helpful to talk to a couple’s counselor.
Did you know that there is affordable online couples therapy?
Talkspace is a super flexible option for couples counseling, as you only need your phone or web browser.
Benefits of Talkspace:
- Won’t have to physically visit therapist’s office
- Won’t have to rearrange your lives or hire a babysitter
- You and partner will share same therapist
- You’ll share a private online room
- Communicate with your therapist whenever
What I love about Talkspace is that you can get incredible couple’s therapy from the comfort of your own home.