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Kicking Off 2023 Well: Relationships — Navigating Partner Relationships with Adult ADHD

Marital and domestic relationships that include someone with ADHD can be challenging. And at times very unhappy.

The issues can be even more challenging if the ADHD in the partner is undiagnosed. Then, neither of the partners understand the root cause of so many of the issues.

But even when a spouse or partner has diagnosed ADHD, there can be problems. The partner without ADHD can feel ignored and lonely. He or she can feel resentful at their partner’s distractibility. And resentful about having to be the responsible person in the relationship.

Meanwhile, the partner with ADHD can become frustrated with their partner’s continual nagging. And how they seem to always be unhappy with them.

All of these issues show up in research on adults with ADHD. Some studies show that marriages that include at least one partner with ADHD are more likely to be unsatisfying. Other studies have shown the divorce rate is twice as high among relationships with one person with ADHD.

But experts point out that relationships that involve a person with ADHD can be rewarding and exceptionally loving. The secret, the experts say, is understanding and continual communication.

ADHD Online asked one of our writers — someone with diagnosed ADHD — to write about some of these issues in her own marriage. And to write about how she and her partner have worked — successfully — to deal with the issues. Here’s her interesting report.

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