(BlackDoctor.org) — Having adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)/attention deficit disorder (ADD) has a definite impact on a romantic relationship. And while adult ADD/ADHD affects every relationship differently, it’s not surprising that it’s often the cause of friction and anger.
If the partner with ADD/ADHD continually forgets to pick the kids up for soccer practice or has trouble deciding what to make for dinner, that lack of focus can naturally cause feelings of hostility. But while the effects of ADHD can definitely strain relationships, says Susan Biali, MD, a physician, wellness expert, and life coach who was diagnosed with adult ADHD, “it doesn’t mean that ADHD has to rule your relationship.”
In fact, it may even be a positive factor in some ways. Learning to appreciate those aspects and to deal with negative factors of ADD/ADHD effectively can be key.
Why ADD/ADHD Isn’t All Bad
“Adults with ADHD tend to be very dynamic, creative, and full of energy,” says Biali. Partners of people with ADD/ADHD find there’s rarely a dull moment, which helps keep a relationship fresh, fun, and interesting. “The partner of an adult with ADHD is unlikely to get bored, and there’s probably always something new to talk about,” she says. What’s more, “Adults with ADHD are typically quite charismatic,” she adds.
The downside of that energy and charisma? People with ADD/ADHD can also be very distractible, and partners may find it hard to cope with that trait. “I’ve forgotten to call my husband when I promised I would, and I tend to lack organization,” Biali admits. If they’re ongoing, these common scenarios can exasperate the partners of ADD/ADHD adults, who may label their spouses as lazy, careless, or disrespectful. The partner with ADD/ADHD is often just as frustrated with his or her own behavior; many fervently wish they could start and finish simple tasks like “normal” people.