ADHD Resource Hub

ADHD in romantic relationships

ADHD and love

ADHD-related relationship struggles

Relationships where one or both members of the couple have ADHD can be filled with misunderstandings, anger and frustration. 

Research supports notion that couples including adults with ADHD are more likely to report low relationship satisfaction and to separate or divorce, than couples unaffected by ADHD. 

​These problems often arise from the misinterpretation of undiagnosed ADHD symptoms or, if the ADHD has been diagnosed, from both partners being unsure of what to do about it. 

Symptoms that show up in relationships because of unmanaged ADHD

  • Trouble paying attention. If you have ADHD, you may zone out during conversations, which can make your partner feel ignored and devalued. You may also miss important details or mindlessly agree to something you don’t remember later, which can be frustrating to your loved one.​
  • Forgetfulness. Even when someone with ADHD is paying attention, they may later forget what was promised or discussed. When it’s your partner’s birthday or the household item you said you’d pick up, your partner may start to feel like you don’t care, or that you’re unreliable.
  • Poor organizational skills. This can lead to difficulty finishing tasks, as well as general household chaos. Partners may feel like they’re always cleaning up after the person with ADHD and shouldering a disproportionate amount of the family duties.
  • Impulsivity. If you have ADHD, you may blurt things out without thinking, which can cause hurt feelings. This impulsivity can also lead to irresponsible and even reckless behaviour (for example, making a big purchase that isn’t in the budget, leading to fights over finances). ​
  • Emotional outbursts, or extreme sensitivity. Many people with ADHD have trouble moderating their emotions. You may lose your temper easily, have trouble discussing issues calmly or come across as quite defensive. Your partner may feel like they have to walk on eggshells to avoid blowups.​​

ADHD & Couples Therapy

‘Assortative mating’ (attraction to partners who exhibit similar behaviours as ourselves) is more common among adults with ADHD than we might think.
A new study published in 2021 found adults with ADHD are more likely to have partners with clinically significant symptoms of ADHD, which increases the likelihood of relationship problems.

By understanding the role that ADHD plays in your relationship – correctly interpreting what is happening to you and learning ways to make the interactions more positive – couples can not only improve their marriages, but T H R I V E.

​Traditional couples therapy might fall short of both assessing and meeting the needs of a couple who may or may not know that ADHD is what is underpinning their difficulties.

Navigating commitment within relationships

Are they just not into you?

The Dig A Little Deeper team offers tailored ADHD couples solutions to address the assessment and presence of ADHD in a romantic relationship, so you can finally get back to that connection and happiness you once had. 

The central question in couples therapy that eventually prompts the deeper dive into an adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) assessment is:

DIY*ADHD Couples - a course for couples & family therapists

ADHD romantic relationships

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