Here are five quick pieces of relationship advice when one or both people have ADHD.
I hope you’ll find them helpful – read and try them with an open mind.
1) Bring in an ADHD Coach and/or join a support group.
Professionals trained in ADHD will know the latest in brain science and will have a lifetime of experience in the issues that make you crazy every day. ADHD spouses and family members in a support group will be able to laugh with you, share your frustration, and explain tips that have worked for them in the past. Let go of your feeling of isolation and embrace the community.
2) Ditch the scoreboard.
So many of my clients’ fights come down to this: ‘I’d rather be right than have you and this relationship.’ My question: Who cares? Constant bickering and grudges chip away at the foundation of love for your relationship and family. Don’t lose something big for petty issues. Next time you’re sniping at each other over who is remembering the situation correctly, step back and put words to your emotions. Do you feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, degraded, betrayed, sad, lonely? You might be surprised by the words that come to mind. And then you’ll get to the real heart of the issue.
3) Read books.
Life-changing information lives within the covers of many books these days. Reading a book can alter your relationships forever when you recognize yourself and read about the solutions to your problems.
4) Look for patterns, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
Keep track of problems by writing them down and working through them together or with a professional. Remember what worked and what different. When old habits come back around, tweak the routine and get things back on track. But don’t blow every slip up into a large-scale issue, like, Is our relationship ending? Has my partner fallen out of love?
5) Stick with it.
Keep the big picture in mind: there is a big pay-off to having an ADHD-er in your life. They’re fun, creative, big thinkers, good problem solvers, highly successful, and caring, compassionate people. They learn fast when motivated to change a problem behavior. Just stick with them.