5 Tips for a Happy Relationship With Your ADHD Partner

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After you have successfully navigated the dating phase, you and your ADHD date become a couple. Your status changes from single to ‘in a relationship’ and life settles into a new normal. 

You feel relaxed in each other’s company, spend more time together and do regular things like grocery shopping, instead of getting dressed up for official dates. This new phase of a relationship can be a wonderful time; however, it can bring a new set of challenges.

Here are 5 tips to help you have a happy relationship with your ADHD partner.

1) Excitement 

Being in a relationship with someone with ADHD is exciting. They have a low threshold for boredom, so they are always thinking of new things to do. If you are someone who likes routine this can feel strange and out of your comfort zone. However, there is a way to combine excitement and routine.   ADHD adults do well with structure and habits. If you are naturally structured and organized, this can provide a helpful framework. Then, within that structure they add the variety. A simple example would be eating at a regular time every day but trying new recipes or  new restaurants for variety. A balance of routine and novelty is healthy for both of you.

2) Why did you fall in love?

You might have fallen in love with your ADHD date because they were carefree, funny and exciting. Now that your relationship has become more serious and long term, you are properly looking for different characteristics such as  organization around the home and financial responsibility.

These skills can be learned, but they usually don’t come naturally to someone with ADHD and can be the cause of many fights and arguments. Take regular time outs to remind each other why you fell in love. Looking at the big picture instead of focusing on whether the garbage was taken out  helps you stay connected 

3) Let go of convention.

Letting go of convention is the secret to a happy and healthy relationship. Rather than splitting household responsibilities by traditional gender roles,  divide them based on your individual strengths. For example, if your partner is creative in the kitchen, they could cook the meals and you could do the cleanup. Or if they love being outside and active, they could run errands and do the gardening, while you attend to tasks at home. Always question convention, and do what works for each of you.

4) Your needs matter.

When you love someone and see them struggling, your natural instinct might be to want to help and make life easier for them. Many people put their needs to one side while they focus on helping their partner. However, ADHD is ongoing. You can’t put your needs aside forever. Some people do, and then they feel resentful and angry. For a relationship to work, you must feel loved, valued and respected. Make a commitment to let your partner know what you need too.

Remember it is possible to both be a supportive partner and express your needs.   

5) Keep living your life.

Sometimes the non-ADHD partner can adopt a parent role in the relationship. This in turn can leave you both feeling resentful. To prevent this from happening, maintain clear, strong boundaries. Keep doing your hobbies and seeing friends, just like you did before you met your partner This helps keep your life balanced and stops you from losing your identity.

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