Reply To: To the ADHD Partner: When you need to be liked

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It breaks my heart to read letters from an ADHD perspective written to a non ADHD partner. I’m a partner to a man with ADHD, we live for the updates and emails from this site – it helps so much when my partner is struggling to put into words, how he is feeling. It also breaks my heart to know how little an ADHD partner thinks of themselves, low self esteem, self worth and constant doubt of themselves as an individual but as a partner as well. I try so hard to understand what my partner goes through, I’ll never totally get the measure of it, but reading these forums helps me (as well as him) understand and put into words the daily struggles he faces. What seems to be common place on these forums is the message that someone living with ADHD makes an awful partner. “Difficult to live with, difficult to pre-empt, difficult to love” if only non ADHD partners could make their loved ones see – every day you put yourself down, it breaks our hearts, all the things that you think make you “difficult” only make you, you! And you wouldn’t be you without all those characteristics. I’ve been with my partner for five years and yes we’ve had our ups and downs but I wouldn’t be without him, nor his quirky ways, that’s what makes me love him – he’s blunt, he’s realistic, hilariously funny, the ADHD symptoms aren’t as much of an obstacle to us as you think they are, they will always feel worse in your head than they do in ours. I will continue trying to learn as much as I can about ADHD and the life that comes with it, but it would be useful if, as someone living with ADHD – you can keep us in the loop. If there’s an article that you totally relate to – show us! Help us learn what you’re going through! Make us better at understanding but remember, this isn’t common ground for us, our brains don’t experience the same stuff you do so please be patient, and I hope I speak for all ADHD partners when I say: all we want to do is understand, help us do that, and it’ll make for as harmonious a relationship as possible with ADHD running through it. 🙂