Until recently, the medical and therapeutic community has not paid as much attention to adult ADHD as to childhood ADHD. Happily, this is starting to change. If you think your partner might have ADHD the first thing to do is to learn all you can about it. The first step is research: there are good resources for you and your partner to do this, including Dr. Ned Hallowell’s Driven to Distraction, and my own book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage. If ADHD seems like a possibility, I strongly urge an evaluation. Some adults resist doing this – thinking that receiving a “label” will mean their partner will blame them for the state of their relationship. But getting an evaluation doesn’t commit one to any specific course of action – only provides access to a whole range of treatments and approaches to consider that can really improve your relationship and lives together.
So if you’re confused as to why you can never get your partner’s attention, you owe it to yourself to do a little research and consider if adult ADHD might be an issue.
Melissa Orlov helps couples impacted by ADHD learn to thrive. You can reach her and read more at her website. She also manages an active forum of adults trying to better understand their special type of relationship at the same site.