The need for social interaction is an inherent one for everyone. Being friends with someone or in a romantic relationship means sharing the ups and downs of both of your lives with the person. While maintaining a relationship is generally hard for almost everyone, it is particularly so when jugging ADHD and relationships.
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ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by a failure to remember information, pay attention and follow directions.
Moreover, people with ADHD struggle with:
- Organization of their tasks
- Chronic lateness
- Explosive tempers
- Excessive talking
- Easy boredom
These symptoms make ADHD and relationships challenging. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to love or have a fulfilling relationship with a patient diagnosed with ADHD. After all, these patients need love and affection as well.
Handling ADHD and Relationships
Below are a few tactics for handling ADHD and relationships:
Get the Right Diagnosis
ADHD usually plays a bigger role in relationships than most people are aware of because some downplay its severity. Others might see the signs of ADHD in their partners who do not have an official diagnosis of the condition. If you notice any symptoms of ADHD in your partner, get a professional to evaluate him/her and make the right diagnosis. Getting the right diagnosis is the basis for instituting the appropriate management strategies to keep symptoms in check. With the symptoms managed and knowing what you are dealing with, your relationship will be easier.
Know What to Expect When Dating a Man With ADHD
One crucial step when handling ADHD and relationships is to understand the condition. Most people only know about the negative effects of ADHD on their relationships.
Even so, ADHD also brings:
All of these traits are highly beneficial in your relationship. Take time to understand ADHD and how the condition will affect your relationship. When you know what to expect, you are not only better-placed to deal with the few issues that might crop up later but will also understand your partner.
Try to Understand Things from Your Partner’s Perspective
As in all relationships, when you feel ignored, unloved or frustrated, this becomes a recipe for long-drawn arguments. To avoid seemingly endless arguments when juggling ADHD and relationships, stay objective and try to see things from your partner’s perspective.
Some strategies you can use to understand your partner’s perspective are:
- Asking how he/she is feeling and then attentively listening to his/her response.
- Not defending your actions whilst your partner is talking because this will frustrate them.
- Repeating the points, your partner has cited for his/her actions to be sure you have understood them.
- Avoiding interruptions when your partner is talking.
- Writing down the points, a partner has discussed if you have a poor memory and will not remember them.
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Separate Your Partner from Their ADHD Symptoms
It is easy for most people to label their partners as impulsive or forgetful because they are dealing with ADHD and relationships. Nonetheless, the symptoms of ADHD are not a person’s character traits, so separate them from your partner’s personality. Recognize that sometimes the acting out and other negative behaviors of your partner stem from his/her frustration or stress instead of always attributing it to ADHD. After all, he/she has the same feelings as people without ADHD. Learning to separate your partner’s personality from his/her condition will be quite fulfilling for both of you.
Work On Your Communication Skills
In most relationships with someone with ADHD, communication breaks down. This is because they often take a parent-child approach where the one without ADHD feels the need to do everything and make decisions for the one with ADHD, much like a parent would do to a child. This makes the person with ADHD feel micromanaged and underachieved, feelings that breed insecurity or shame. Work on your communication skills, including non-verbal cues, such that your relationship has two equal partners rather than a superior and inferior one. After all, handling ADHD and relationships does not make any of the partners superior to the other.
Divide Your Tasks According To Strengths
Having ADHD does not mean that you are completely unable to handle tasks. In fact, people with ADHD find very smart ways to compensate for the tasks that they might be unable to do. This has seen them make huge strides in different sectors nowadays. Recognize your partner’s strengths and weaknesses, then divide the tasks in your relationship according to these. This makes your partner with ADHD feel like he/she is contributing something to the relationship. Moreover, dividing tasks prevents ADHD and jealousy in relationships when one person feels overburdened.
Continually Evaluate Your Relationship
Having periodic check-ins on how well your relationship is working allows both of you to get fulfilled rather than continue holding onto a relationship filled with resentment from one partner. A weekly check-in is a good option for strengthening the bond in ADHD and relationships while evaluating different elements in your relationship. You can change your timetables for chores during this time or suggest a few ways to better the relationship.
Know How to Handle ADHD and Intimacy
A common misconception about ADHD and relationships is that the condition makes one hypersexual. As such, some men and women, ask, “can a man with ADHD be faithful?’’ Yes, it is possible to have faithfulness in a relationship with someone who has ADHD. ADHD affects most aspects of a person’s life, and it is common for his/her sexuality to be affected to some extent. Even so, the effect differs among patients.
Some of the symptoms of ADHD, including emotional instability, depression, and anxiety, are often associated with hyposexuality. On the other hand, the impulsivity associated with ADHD makes some people hypersexual, hence the common connection between ADHD and flirting. Communicating and considering each other’s needs will boost your sex life to a large extent when dealing with hyper or hyposexuality. Even so, most couples report that engaging in calming exercises like meditation and yoga helps to keep them grounded at the moment so that they have a fulfilling sex life when handling ADHD and relationships.
Use Laughter Therapy
If you are asking what to expect when dating a man with ADHD, rest assured it will not all be pain and gloom. Do not forget to laugh at yourself and some of the issues you will face in the relationship. Sometimes, your partner will say a few unusual things but learn not to take them too seriously and let them affect your relationship. A good laugh, though hard, will help you move forward in your relationship. Drop your defensiveness and learn to let go of some trivial things that might irk you to enjoy the benefits of ADHD and relationships.
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ADHD and romantic relationships are not exclusive. With the above steps, you are sure of maintaining a successful relationship irrespective of the severity of ADHD symptoms in your partner. Successful stories on ADHD and relationships are also possible between partners with ADHD. Even so, you need a dependable healthcare partner through your journey with ADHD to help you cope with the condition’s symptoms and any issues that might arise.
EZCare Clinic is one of the best options for people with ADHD. The clinic employs some of the leading doctors who use a comprehensive and multi-modal approach to diagnose ADHD before instituting the best-personalized management approaches for the condition. Book your appointment today!