Few things drive a Type A partner crazier than a spouse unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. Projects left unfinished and half-done chores are droplets of water accumulating over time into a deluge. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often misunderstood. The lack of understanding creates problems in a marriage. Fortunately, a little education can ease the frustration.
What is ADHD?
Picture a person with boundless energy bouncing into different tasks, ideas, or thoughts in a short period of time. People with ADHD are suffering. They’re frustrated with their inability to see something through to completion. Whether the cause is due to something in the environment or a variation in their brain, ADHD patients are as frustrated with their disorder as the folks in their lives.
Often ADHD is diagnosed in students. Classrooms are where attention is demanded. Many students obtain medication to slow their minds down. The neurological slow-down increases focus on a single task. However, there are many parents leery of putting their children on medication. This caution extends into adulthood with married couples.
How to Handle ADHD
There’s an old axiom in therapy that a patient can’t change the behavior of others, but the patient can change how they react to the behavior. This philosophy is very helpful in marriages where one partner has ADHD. Understanding the disorder and changing behavior to deal with ADHD creates a harmonious life.
Here are some quick ways to adjust to a partner with ADHD:
- Big Projects Become Small Goals: Asking someone with ADHD to complete a large, time consuming project sets them up for failure. Break the project down to small parts. Completing small tasks removes the invisible egg timer of ADHD.
- Keep them Moving: Have a partner with ADHD be on the go. In a dinner party, for example, the partner with ADHD would be excellent at serving food, checking which guests need drink refills, and several other tasks where they need to get up and move around.
- Checklists: A great way to keep an ADHD partner following up is a list. The list centers the person and gives them items to work off of. This type of organization is quite helpful.
Managing ADHD is not very difficult if patient. A partner with ADHD often feels unable to control their impulses. Helping partners manage their ADHD is a great way to bond as a couple. Through awareness and understanding of such a disorder, a marriage will grow stronger.
Getting Help for ADHD
If ADHD is suspected, a couple should see a mental health professional. This person will determine if ADHD is the cause of attention problems. The provider may recommend medication. Once the physical/neurological issues are handled, marriage counseling may be able to help address any lingering marital issues resulting from the situation.
At Marriage Rescue Retreats, we help couples battling ADHD (and a wide variety of other marital issues) by strengthening the underlying relationship. ADHD strains a marriage. We help couples create solutions to push ADHD to the side and develop patience for each other.
One of the best parts about having a partner with ADHD is the unlimited energy this person seems to possess. Finding a way to direct this energy towards a positive goal can create better outcomes in each partner’s life and the marriage as a whole. We help each spouse find a way to feel empowered to address problems that arise while rebuilding their relationship.
Suffering from ADHD shouldn’t strain a marriage. With patience and professional guidance, you can work together with your spouse to corral ADHD and improve your marriage.