Treat the problem before it gets worse.
Many people are attracted to individuals with ADD or ADHD for their zany sense of humor, imagination, creativity, charm and “out of the box” thinking. But for many couples, those attractive qualities can sometimes fade in the light of untreated ADD.
Sadly, untreated ADD is a large factor in many divorces and breakups. The following is a list of some of the signs you may have ADHD, as well as the trouble they cause for couples.
1. They have uncontrollable rage or anger.
Many individuals with ADD have difficulty controlling their anger and can provoke their partner’s anger as well. The partners of individuals with ADD (POADD) are often overwhelmed and exhausted with all the fighting, and feel badly that they're unable to control their temper.
2. They have trouble with finances and spending.
People with ADD often having problems with impulsive spending, problems keeping a job, and/or underemployment. There's often a lot of debt and hoarding of items purchased on a whim that may be stashed away in closets, drawers, under the bed or in disarray around the home. Online spending is also often a big problem as well.
3. They're unable to hold a job.
Due to their partner’s inability to hold a job, the POADDs often don't feel that they can take risks in their professional lives due to the sense that theirs is the only stable source of income. In addition, they often under-perform at work due to an ongoing “crises” and stress caused by their home life.
4. They avoid sex, or want it constantly.
ADD partners can either lose interest in sex or will expect to have sex all the time. Sometimes this occurs because person with ADD gets bored easily or (paradoxically) sex may be used as a stimulant.
The POADD’s loss of interest in sex with their partner is due to the feeling of having sex with their child (since they often take on the role of parent), and the partner with ADD often loses interest in sex because he or she may feel like they're having sex with their parent.
5. They're frequently involved in traffic violations.
People with ADD frequently have car accidents that cause worry about their safety and/or the safety of the passengers, who are very often their children. They often have very high insurance rates and costly violations, which put further financial strain on the couple.
6. They put the children in danger.
POADDs often tell me that they feel that the bulk of most decisions rest on their shoulders. If they have children, they feel that they're the one single parent raising their children alone. They don't feel supported by their partner.
Even if they were thinking of getting a divorce, they're too frightened for their children’s well-being to ever leave, so they feel locked in a hopeless partnership, staying for the sake of providing stability for their children.
7. The stress has caused you to developed an illness.
POADDs often develop illnesses that are caused by the effects of living in a stressful environment. Sometimes these illnesses are chronic, such as chronic fatigue, and sometimes they're manifested as frequent bouts with common viruses, such as colds. This impairs their ability to function effectively in the world and can create further isolation.
8. You have trouble seeking out help.
Very often, couples don't know where to turn for help. They may speak to a family doctor, pastor or clinician that isn't well versed in the area of ADD and miss the diagnosis, causing more damage to the relationship. It isn't until the diagnosis is clearly understood and applied to the individuals' lives through understanding that it's possible for healing to occur.
But there's hope for those who seek out effective support systems. Couples can learn to communicate and find ways to bridge these gaps. They can learn about effective ways to set boundaries, share responsibilities, develop talents and goals, strive for healthy intimacy, and gain self-esteem and confidence.
Actively look for clinicians that specialize in working with individuals with ADD and their families. Find support groups in your area that work with adults with ADD and or their partners. If you need help finding support groups in your area, you can contact your local CHADD chapter and ask for assistance.
Never give up until you have all the answer. Positive change does happen with the proper information and support.