Determining What Behaviors You Would Most Like to Change
Whether your symptoms of ADHD have recently been diagnosed or if you have struggled with the same symptoms for a number of years it is possible to function in a healthy relationship with your partner. The popular saying that someone “can’t see the forest for the trees” reigns true for those coping with adult ADHD. Because of this, asking your non ADHD partner to identify what top two ADHD behaviors they see as interfering in your relationship can be a good place to start.
It may help for you and your partner to familiarize yourselves with the symptoms of ADHD ahead of time by performing a simple online search engine for adult ADHD symptoms. Because relationships are built on communication learning and discussing the role that ADHD has on your relationship can open the door to a more fulfilling and understanding partnership. With your combined knowledge of the symptoms of adult ADHD that affect your relationship healthier ways to communicate can be developed and fostered.
Fostering an Environment where an ADHD Relationship Can Thrive
Now that you and your non ADHD partner have identified and labeled the symptoms of adult ADHD specifically affecting your relationship it is important to depersonalize the emotions surrounding the symptoms. If you have ADHD you may feel guilt related to years of untreated symptoms and feeling as though you can not live up to your partner’s expectations. If you are the non ADHD partner in the relationship you may feel unimportant or frustrated by the newly developed parent child relationship that has begun with your ADHD partner.
Learning ways to continue communication once symptoms arise is essential to addressing the problem. For example, if you find yourself becoming frustrated can you reframe your frustration by identifying and labeling what current symptom of ADHD is affecting the conversation without using blame. Next talk with your partner about what would be a helpful way to in the future acknowledge and discuss the symptom that is being observed. Talk specifically about what would be the most helpful way that your partner can share for example that you appear as though you are losing focus.
Individual as well as couples counseling can provide opportunities to learn valuable coping skills for monitoring and addressing symptoms and communication barriers. If you feel like you are stuck in a cycle where you will never be able to live up to your partner’s expectations or if you feel isolated or ignored by your partner, schedule your first individual or couples counseling session today.
Kasandra Wheeler, LPC
904 E. 8th St.
Charlotte, NC 28204