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When Both Partners Have ADHD
"I have been thinking that my husband has ADD and trying to think what I can do as non-ADD wife. However, lately I believe I have ADHD too. Is it very hard or impossible for both partners to have ADD and stay together?"
Every relationship has its challenges and the task is to identify those challenges and find solutions that will work well for you. Yes, couples in an ADHD marriage can live happily ever after when they can have a sense of humor about their weaknesses and a positive attitude in meeting the challenges that living in an ADD household presents.
The importance of structure and organization in your home can not be overemphasized.
Get organizing help. Do not be reluctant to seek outside help with the tasks that seem overwhelming to you both. If both of you are challenged by paper work, taxes and bills, hire a tax consultant to do your taxes or a professional organizer to set up your home office to run smoothly, so you have file management, instead of pile management. Schedule time on your calendar to pay bills in a routine fashion, so you don't get behind.
Create structure. Put structured systems in place for doing household chores and plan and schedule time to do them. Be clear about whose responsibility it is to do what, and rotate chores that neither of you is thrilled about doing. A coach can help you set up a system for doing this and managing your time to make it work. Many ADD couples find that pooling their resources to hire a cleaning service to come in once a week is a great relief.
Consult with a therapist. If emotions run high, seek a couples therapist who is knowledgeable about ADD. The Family Therapy Institute in Alexandria, VA runs a couples group designed for ADDers. Find out if there is something similar in your area. Express your concerns and needs to the professionals that you turn to for information and advice. Remember that no one can do it alone and we all need help. Work as a team and laugh and have fun!
Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.
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