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Effects of ADHD on Relationships

Dealing with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as an individual can be challenging. Dealing with ADHD in a relationship can be even more challenging. When a person with ADHD is in a relationship with another person, there are bound to be some difficulties. Although every relationship has its up and downs, people who have ADHD add a whole new dimension to the mix. There are some positives, as well as some negatives, but as with any other challenge in relationships, there are solutions and ways to work through every aspect of the relationship successfully.

One of the biggest issues that present themselves in relationships which involve at least one person with ADHD is that there can be a lot of communication issues. For starters, the person with ADHD may not listen well when their partner is speaking. They are so easily distracted that it is very difficult to keep their attention, even when there is a serious conversation occurring. This can make their partner think that they don’t care about what is being said, but that is not really the case at all. The person’s mind is simply over-active and moving so quickly that their attention is constantly being moved around. The person who has ADHD might also misunderstand some things, both due to the fact that they might only be hearing half of the words that are being spoken and because they may simply not process the information in the same way that other people do.

People who have ADHD often suffer from damaged self-esteem. Before the diagnosis was made, the person may have felt that they were abnormal or strange, yet not understood that there was simply a disorder that needed to be addressed. As children, they might have been the one that always seemed to be causing trouble and because of the hyperactivity, they were also probably the ones that were told constantly to be quiet, settle down, and stop what they were doing. This can cause damage to the self-esteem of a child. There have likely been many “failures” in the life of the person with ADHD and a good deal of them were probably in academics. The person with ADHD can feel that they are “dumb” or “stupid” because they weren’t able to learn in the same way as other students were and got grades that reflected this. Socially, they may also have floundered, as they are given to be highly emotional and could have had difficulty making and/or keeping friends. All of these things can leave a person with very low self-esteem which will have an effect on the person’s future relationships, especially those of a romantic nature.

Individuals with ADHD are almost always highly emotional, as mentioned above, and this can make them either ecstatically happy or explosively angry, with no seeming middle ground at all. Many people do learn how to deal with the strong emotions that they are feeling in a healthy manner, but some people don’t. For those who don’t learn to respond to life in a more neutral manner than they are feeling, life can be a constant rollercoaster of emotion and the person will feel out of control of their lives in general and the relationship in particular. This can be very hard to deal with during the negative times, but exciting and thrilling during the happy times. The constant change of emotion, though, can be exhausting over time.

Most people with ADHD are highly creative, having amazing abilities in areas such as music, art, writing, and other creative skills and talents. This is very attractive to many people, especially those who themselves lack these abilities. Because the mind is almost motor-driven, people with ADHD often find that using their creativity gives them an outlet for all of the excess energy and brilliance that they have inside. When well directed and with some encouragement, people who have ADHD can do some of the greatest things, but it is hard for them because they generally don’t have the organizational skills required to really pursue a dream.

ADHD people are not your standard “type A” personalities who enjoy order and structure, although they may actually thrive in it once they grow accustomed to it. They may be rather messy, difficult to keep in a single career, and not always be the most dependable. However, they are usually the most fun people that you will ever meet, loving a good challenge and doing exciting things at the drop of a hat. They require no pre-planning to have an adventure. In fact, the lack of planning is all a part of the adventure for them.

Being in a relationship with a person who has ADHD can have its fair share of troubles, but they aren’t insurmountable and the fun and laughter that these people bring with them is unique to them. We all have areas that we are weak in and we also each have our strengths. The person with ADHD is no different in that way. With patience, time, and love, each of the struggles can be turned into successes and both people can learn to live and love in peace and happiness.