The Person With ADHD
To the person without ADHD in the relationship, these symptoms can lead them to feel ignored, underappreciated, frustrated and angry with their partner. They may question if the behaviors are fueled by ADHD or if that is how their partner truly sees them.
The person without ADHD may also become overwhelmed or burned out due to having to manage more of the daily household obligations. Perhaps, they become tired of the disappointment when the person with ADHD cannot follow through on promises.
The Person Without ADHD
Relationship dynamics, personality styles, and communication levels have a lot to do with the negative contributions of the person without ADHD in the relationship. They are likely to blame their partner, and his or her disorder for the negative aspects of the relationship – the partner with ADHD becomes a scapegoat.
In some cases, the scapegoating will be unintentional and based on patterns that develop in the relationship. When something goes wrong, it is normal to look for something or someone to blame. ADHD is an easy target.
The scapegoating can also be intentional as it becomes a smoke screen to cover the mistakes of the partner without ADHD. Depending on the confidence and signs of low self-esteem of the partner with ADHD, they might be more willing to accept that problems and unwanted situations are their faults, a view quite likely congruent with their established self-perception.
If the scapegoating is unintentional, both people in the relationship lose. The person with ADHD feels like a constant failure that cannot please their partner, and the person without ADHD feels that ADHD is a huge, unchangeable barrier standing in the way of happiness.
If the scapegoating is intentional, again, the person with ADHD feels like a failure while feeling confused and second-guessing his or her memory and decision-making. The person without ADHD may feel good about their ability to manipulate the situation, but that satisfaction is a negative and indicative of an unhealthy relationship.
Helping Your Partner With ADHD by Finding Solutions
The goal should be to make the relationship as rewarding as can be. Here’s how:
With ADHD, the question is not if treatment is needed, but what treatment and how much treatment.
Commonly, medication is helpful for ADHD, which means it is helpful for your marriage. Individual ADHD therapy, group therapy and support groups are available to both partners in the relationship. Be creative and willing to experiment to find a good balance and maintain symptoms.