The Weight of ADHD On Your Marriage

If raising a child with ADHD can strain even the sturdiest marriage, imagine what it does to the rest of us. Follow these seven steps to save your relationship when parenting problems threaten to split it apart.

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Shout Out Your Spouse

A common dynamic in ADHD families is that Mom helps out with the homework and keeps the child on task, and Dad takes the child outside to play. "The result? Mom feels resentful toward Dad because he gets to do all of the 'fun' stuff, while she is the taskmaster and bad cop," says Orr.

Mom may need to admit that playtime is not always fun for Dad. He negotiates rules, deals with temper tantrums, and teaches the child about taking turns and slowing down. Couples need to give each other credit for the things they do well.

"We have 'debriefing' sessions in the kitchen after our child goes to sleep," says Michelle Sherlin, of Southwick, Massachusetts. "We review any updates from school, and we celebrate our successes. We might say, 'Wow! We helped him study for his spelling test, and he got a 90!' or 'Nice job, honey, getting her through this busy week!'"

Next: Laugh It Off...

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TAGS: ADHD and Marriage

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