Q: “My Partner Is Refusing an ADHD Evaluation”

You suspect that your partner has ADHD, but they refuse to even discuss getting evaluated. How should you move forward? It depends on how their symptoms impact your life and what boundaries you’ve erected.

Heterosexual couple sit facing each other on a grey couch and appear to be having a disagreement.

Q: “My partner gets angry with me when I suggest that he get an evaluation for ADHD, which I strongly believe he has. How do I handle this?”

Your partner might say, “I know I have ADHD, or I suspect I do, but I don’t want to get an evaluation. I’m never going to actually do anything about it. Love me as I am.” I hear this in my practice. That person has every right to hold that point of view, and you have every right to respond in a way that helps you live your life as you wish.

Why It’s Important to Set Boundaries

You might say, “Okay, you’re sort of an absent-minded professor, and I enjoy that, and that’s just part of who you are.” Or you might say, “Actually, you’re angry at me a lot. You verbally beat me up a lot. There’s a ton of discord. If you wish to be that way, that’s fine. That’s your right. I can’t live with it.”

You might establish boundaries around what you want to live with and what isn’t acceptable to you. You might say, “I’d really like to see if I can convince you to think differently about this. Let’s talk about it some more.” And if this doesn’t produce a fruitful discussion, you might say, “You know what? I think we need to be separated for a while and see if this is going to work.”

So it isn’t a matter of coming to an agreement. It’s a matter of recognizing and accepting that your partner has a point of view and deciding what you want to do with it.

When Your Spouse Has ADHD: Next Steps

Melissa Orlov is a marriage consultant and the founder of

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