8 Glaring Signs You (Or Someone You Love) Might Have ADHD

Untreated ADHD can be a factor in many divorces and breakups.

Man losing his mind, over wife's ADHD gregobagel, Karolina Grabowska, golubovy, Watcharin panyawutso, ElenaNichizhenova | Canva

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.


Here are 8 glaring signs you (or someone you love) might have ADHD:

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 bad that they're unable to control their temper.

2. They have trouble with finances and spending

People with ADD often have problems with impulsive spending, problems keeping a job, and underemployment. There's usually 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.


RELATED: What It's Like Being A Mom With ADHD

3. They have difficulty holding a job

Due to their partner’s inability to hold a job, the POADDs often don't feel they can take risks in their professional lives due to the sense that their job is the only stable source of income. In addition, they often underperform at work due to ongoing “crises” and stress caused by their home life.

4. They avoid intimacy or want it constantly

ADD partners can either lose interest in physical intimacy or will expect to have sex all the time. Sometimes this occurs because a person with ADD gets bored easily or (paradoxically) physical intimacy might be used as a stimulant.

The POADD’s loss of interest in intimacy with their partner is due to taking on the role of a parent for their partner, and the partner with ADD usually loses interest in intimacy because their relationship role feels like being a child.


RELATED: The Biggest Challenge Of Living With An ADHD Partner

5. They're frequently involved in traffic violations

People with ADD frequently have car accidents that cause worry about their safety and the safety of the passengers, who are very often their children. They can have high insurance rates from costly violations, which put further financial strain on the couple.

6. They can make parenting more challenging

POADDs often tell me they feel the bulk of most decisions rests on their shoulders. If they have children, they feel they're the one 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.

Parent overwhelmed with children could be a sign of ADHD Natalia Deriabina via Shutterstock

RELATED: 6 Small-But-Often-Overlooked Symptoms Of ADHD In Adults


7. The stress has caused you to develop 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 who 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 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 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 who 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 answers. Positive change does happen with the proper information and support.

RELATED: How ADHD Ruins Your Relationship—And What You Can Do To Fix It

Leslie Rouder, LCSW, is a holistic therapist who has been working with women in individual and group counseling sessions for more than two decades. She specializes in working with individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder to help her counseling clients solve their immediate problems and build their inner resources for finding greater meaning and fulfillment.