If you’re living with ADD or ADHD, you know how easily it can influence all aspects of your life. ADD and ADHD is known for negatively impacting work and school, but it can also have a strong influence in romantic relationships. If you’re finding that ADD is speaking louder than you are when it comes to your love life, here are a few strategies you can use to stop ADD from influencing your relationships.
Many partners of people with ADD or ADHD feel that they aren’t being heard in their relationship. This is a common feeling because ADD is known to impact a person’s listening skills. To improve yours, try setting a timer for 3-5 minutes and let your partner talk without interruption or distraction. Once the time is up, summarize what you’ve heard and repeat it back to your partner so they feel you’ve really taken in and acknowledged their experience.
Do Your Research
The more you and your partner learn about ADD, the better you’ll be able to understand and manage the symptoms together. Turn research into a bonding experience where you take time together to read up on attentional disorders and share blog posts like this one with each other. By doing the research together, you’ll reinforce the feeling that you and your partner are on the same team and committed to living with ADD together.
Acknowledge Your Symptoms
Take responsibility and acknowledge when your ADD or ADHD symptoms are impacting the relationship. This will make your partner feel validated and will demonstrate that you are aware of any issues as well as committed to working on them. Oftentimes, your partner simply needs to hear that you know they aren’t being unreasonable.
Cherish Your Partner
In many relationships, the non-ADD partner feels like a parent who takes on the majority of the household responsibilities and looks out for the partner with ADD. This leads to negative and imbalanced relationship dynamics. To break these patterns, find ways to take care of your partner and give them extra love and attention whatever way you can. Draw a bath for them after a long day at work or offer to give them a back rub. These small gestures don’t require planning or organizational skills, but will show your partner that you care for them as much as they care for you.
Relationships are full of all kinds of individual challenges that vary from couple to couple, so there is no reason why ADD/ADHD should be an insurmountable obstacle. If you’d like additional, personalized advice on how to manage attentional disorders in relationships, consider booking a couples coaching session to help build a romance that stands the test of time.