Tara Parker-Pope recently talked about the impact of ADHD on marriage and long term partnerships in her Well Blog. It’s an easy read that touches on many common struggles of couples when one partner is dealing with an attention disorder. In it she includes a link to a great site called ADHD and Marriage – it’s got plenty of tips and blog posts for couples in this situation.
As a clinician who works both with couples and with many individuals with ADHD, I found this article to be really interesting. I think part of the challenge as a therapist is to recognize the ADHD symptoms rather than go digging for “deeper” causes of neglect or irresponsibility (though these may be present as well). Couples therapy when ADHD is involved looks a bit different from “non-ADHD” couples in that I’m often teaching concrete skills and doing a lot more education around what ADHD looks like in a relationship before we get down to more intense emotional work. In many cases, it’s a relief for both partners just to know that their concerns aren’t necessarily deep-seated incompatibilities but simply a manifestation of attention problems that can be dealt with by employing some quick interventions.
Comments or experiences welcome – Happy Friday everyone!