My husband and I have been married 8 years. 🙂 Both ADHD, both dove into the relationship quickly. I was diagnosed right before we met. It was a no-brainer at the beginning. A bit of a whirlwind. We were a perfect match! No one else understood or appreciated our quirks like we did. Though our ADHD presents differently, over the years of annoying each other, we’ve learned to be patient, forgiving, and give each other space to be ourselves. 🙂
Later, he started traveling for work a lot. When he was gone, I felt like I had superpowers! Our home was quiet and I could accomplish all the things! When he came home, all I wanted to do was focus on him. I felt guilty if I pulled attention away from him, like he wouldn’t know how much I cared unless I CONSTANTLY showed him. I think part of this came from fear, struggling with relationships in general my whole life due to distraction and impulsivity. But part of me was annoyed because he was SOOOO distracting! Funny and cute and I missed him so. Not to mention the constant noise of having someone else home. Ultimate distraction. We’ve found ways to manage it, but still, the feeling is there, every time.
Years of making it work has taught us this: Boundaries are key. Even in marriage. (especially in marriage?) ADHDers have no shortage of love to give or enthusiasm. We’re like puppies! 🙂 But we need down time to center our emotions, prioritize our own goals, and reconnect with reality. Grounding is so important to being healthy, and finding someone who notices when you need grounding and supports your need for occasional space is invaluable. It feels so counterintuitive, but occasional space to sort out all those bounding emotions makes the relationship run soooooo much more smoothly. Recognizing when you’re being sensitive and speaking up about your needs for reciprocity are important, too! Finding someone you can be honest with about your symptoms, who will love you despite (and some times because of) them is essential.
So, I guess the advice is this: Make yourself take things slow emotionally. We tend to move at lightning speed compared to others. This will balance you out with your mate’s speed. Check in with yourself, be honest with how you’re feeling, but don’t say EVERYTHING out loud or act on every feeling or impulse. Our feelings sometimes cloud our judgement, and the intensity can be scary for people who don’t understand them. They can be useful and wonderful, but don’t forget about the other tools in your toolbox, like observation, and conscious choice (as opposed to impulse). Make it simple. Sort out what qualities are most important to you in a person, and keep your eyes open for someone who matches your values. It might be the person you’re seeing now, or it might not. One day, it’s like a lightbulb. You look up and realize the person sitting across from you checks everything important on your list! If your feelings match your thinking, then you just know. 😉
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by strwbry.