For ADHD adults in relationships with non-ADD partners, we offer some reader suggestions for improving intimacy, strengthening communication, and supporting one another.
We asked ADDitude readers what they would most like from their partners with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). In response to the prompt, “I wish my ADHD partner would…” you offered the following ideas and suggestions.
“Hyperfocus on me for once! At this point, I am attention-starved.” -Shelley, Illinois
“Acknowledge that we both have ADD/ADHD, and stop patronizing me about mine.” -An ADDitude Reader
“Deal with change more easily. I try to create a predictable world at home for him, so that nothing upsets him. The effort I put into it drives me crazy and makes me resent him.” -Crystal, Florida
“Be less defensive when we talk about the things he is struggling with. I wish he had been diagnosed sooner, so he could have treated his symptoms earlier. His self-esteem wouldn’t be so fragile.” -Cari, Colorado
“Sign up for ballroom dancing lessons with me, so we can exercise and have fun together. It would help both of us ADDers.” -Deborah, Tennessee
“Take pride in how many changes he has made to accommodate our family. Being a family man and the breadwinner is a tough job for anyone — with or without ADD/ADHD.” -Heather, New Jersey
“Finish things he starts. He began painting three murals throughout our house, but hasn’t completed any of them. Every night I go to bed and see an unfinished mural on our bedroom wall.” -Jennifer, Florida
“Stop being so hard on himself, and accept the fact that he’s OK just as he is.” -An ADDitude Reader
“Recognize that he probably has ADD/ADHD. My son was diagnosed recently, and the more we learn about what he’s up against, the more my husband says, ‘Gee! That sounds like me.'” -Tammy, British Columbia, Canada
“Appreciate what I do to make our journey together more harmonious. I wish he would bring it up every once in a while.” -Linda, Australia
“Work as hard as I do to control his ADD/ADHD symptoms.” -Suzanne, New York
“Find a way to slow down, relax, and unwind.” -Tracy, Illinois
More Relationship Help for ADD/ADHD Adults
Clear Up Confusion: Communication Secrets for ADD/ADHD Partners
Married to ADD/ADHD: Relationship Advice for You and Your Partner
Speak Easy: 7 Tips for Better Communication in Your ADD/ADHD Relationships
My Partner, My Child: Who Invited ADD/ADHD into Our Marriage?
Updated on February 10, 2011