I recently finished training on how ADHD effects couples. Usually, when ADHD is a factor in a relationship and/or a marriage it is because one partner has ADHD and the other doesn’t. Often the ADHD partner hasn’t been diagnosed, is just recently diagnosed or isn’t acting on their diagnosis. Once the couple discovers that ADHD is a player in the marriage or relationship dysfunction they think they have the answer to all their problems and now things will get better. But things will not get better yet!
It is what the couple does with the new information of ADHD as a factor in their relationship that begins the change and healing. For the partner with the ADHD diagnosis means getting as educated as possible about the issues surrounding ADHD and how the issues, their issues, infringe on the people they live with. For the non-ADHD partner, it means getting educated about what ADHD is and the implications that has for the relationship. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean automatic change. Expectations need to be realistic.
Coaching can help in two ways. Coaching for the ADHD person to develop skills and systems to manage the ADHD and coaching the couple to find a better way to live with the reality they are in and create a balanced relationship. One of the most likely scenarios that occurs is that the non-ADHD partner becomes a kind of pseudo-parent to the ADHD partner. The ADHD partner resents being told or “nagged” on what they should be doing and the non-ADHD partner resents all the responsibility of the relationship falling on their shoulders. That dynamic has to be changed so that the partners are once again in a true partnership, each of them carrying their equal portion of the load. It also has to be understood that each partner will carry their load in a different way based on who they are and what their skills are. No one way is correct, each way is simply different.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or are interested in couples ADHD coaching.