Last week, Part 1 of this entry had some quick facts about adult ADHD, and discussed two of the four top issues that affect the relationships of adults with ADHD: relating to others and success at work.
Today covers the remaining top issues adults with ADHD have in relationships: contributing equally at home and sexual functioning.
3. Contributing equally at home: As mentioned in the previous post, having a partner with ADHD can often feel as if you have a child to be responsible for, as opposed to an adult partner who can take care of business themselves. Collaborating to create a system that divides the responsibilities and reminds your partner of what needs to be done when, and communicating effectively about your concerns may help. Many people recommend hiring an ADHD coach who can help your partner identify helpful strategies to organize their life, including home responsibilities. Working with a couples counselor who specializes in ADHD is another idea. This article about being married to a partner with ADHD might also offer some insight.
4. Sexual functioning: If your partner is struggling with sexual functioning, it’s probably going one of two ways: your partner has no interest in (or loses interest during) sex, or your partner’s need for stimulation is so high that they are frequently asking for sex, masturbating, or looking at porn. Either end of the spectrum likely will cause problems in your relationship, and the best remedy is to speak with an ADHD specialist who can address the issue and make recommendations, such as changing medications or implementing a behavioral modification plan. In the meantime, try these five tips as well.
When researching this post, I found the website ADHDCentral.com very helpful. Two articles I especially encourage partners to read are 10 Things Your Partner with ADHD Wants You to Know and Tips for Success When In A Relationship with Someone with ADHD.
Other helpful resources:
Online ADHD Support Group
Dozens of articles about ADHD
About.com guide to Adult ADHD
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD by Eileen Bailey and Donald Haupt, MD
The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa C. Orlov (and a related article, including an interview with the author: ADHD and Its Effect in Marriage)