Spontaneity, outside-the-box creativity, and heightened energy can add pizzazz to romantic interludes. But these familiar attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) traits, if not properly managed, will sorely test even the strongest relationship. Here's a helpful quiz and relationship advice to strengthen your marriage:
1. Do your thoughts wander during intimate moments?
2. Are you so exhausted by the demands of coping with ADHD that you have little time for your partner?
3. Do you rush through intimate moments?
4. Have you ever told your partner, "I'll be right back," only to get sidetracked by a video game or some other distraction and forget to return to the bedroom?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, here are the basics to fine-tune your romantic life:
Background noises that other people easily tune out can be enormously distracting to adults with ADHD - sometimes to the point that they are unable to stay focused on their partner. Note the kinds of sounds that interfere with your concentration, and do your best to eliminate them before things heat up in the bedroom. For some, even soft music proves to be more of a distraction than a mood-setter.
Beware medication lapses.
Your romantic encounters most likely take place late in the evening - when the effect of your ADD medication is waning. That can open the door to unfiltered words and impulsive actions. Make sure your partner knows this - and ask for his patience. You may want to ask your doctor about adjusting your medication schedule. And remember that regular exercise, meditation, and other alternative ADHD treatments help curb ADD symptoms.
Watch your words.
Open, honest communication is essential for both emotional and physical intimacy. The more willing you and your partner are to identify your likes, dislikes, and fantasies, the more likely it is that your needs, and those of your partner, will be met.
On the other hand, too much talk in the bedroom will drive a wedge between you and your partner. If you're a big talker, use some sort of visual cue to remind yourself to watch your words. For example, you might hang a photograph of a kissing couple (you can't kiss and talk at the same time).
The last thing you want to do is let an impulsive comment make your partner think you don't love him. "Looks like you put on a few pounds" probably isn't a good way to launch a romantic evening.
Harness your creativity.
Folks with ADD are easily bored, and that's an issue in the bedroom as it is everywhere else. To keep things interesting, consider experimenting with new positions, locations, outfits, and toys.
Never underestimate the importance of cuddling.
ADDers tend not to be fond of foreplay - and no wonder. They're eager to get going and don't want to waste time on the preliminaries. And after the big event? For someone with the hyperactive form of ADD, lying in bed holding someone for a few minutes can be torture. For an inattentive ADDer, the mind may wander during cuddling time. Your partner might be whispering something wonderful to you while your thoughts are miles away. Talk about these issues with your partner. Negotiate an amount of cuddling that works for both of you.
Many ADDers are hypersensitive to touch. If you are, let your partner know. Tell him what type of touch you find pleasing or - better yet - take your partner's hand to demonstrate.
This article comes from the June/July 2006 issue of ADDitude.