Duties and functions

Adult ADHD and neuro-intimacy in couples

Although problems at work or college are usually the main areas of life affected by ADHD in adults that compel them to seek evaluation and treatment, they are usually encouraged by loved ones behind the scenes who are witnesses of the struggles. Relatives often arrange professional services on behalf of the adult with ADHD.

The fact that disorganization and lack of follow-through are central issues for adults with ADHD is a factor, but loved ones feel the pain and negative effects of ADHD vicariously, such as job loss and corresponding financial stress. , or loss of college tuition. course dropouts.

On the one hand, these are common life stressors that are very frustrating and emotional for adults with ADHD who deal with them; on the other hand, the ripple effects of ADHD can erode relationships with those within the inner circle of ADHD adult life.

This blog post focuses on committed love relationships – marriages, life partners, or whatever designation captures the type of partnership in which there is this unique expectation of reciprocity and support – emotional, financial, sexual, and any other indicator of this. single link.

There are several great resources for couples where at least one partner has ADHD. These resources often cover a range of questions, including standard relationship skills and ADHD-friendly questions from other couples.1,2,3

Registration of relationships

I want to focus on a fundamental principle that performs many useful functions: the record of the relationship. The ADHD-focused check-in is a scheduled, face-to-face, ideally in-person, meeting between partners. Gadgets are put aside and the meeting takes place in a distraction-free setting to improve focus. The meeting is organized in advance so that each partner can go into discussion “mode” and be ready to listen, hear and process their partner’s questions, comments, requests and propose questions, comments and requests to his partner.

This mode also enables effective listening, synthesis, empathy, and other communication skills commonly discussed in relational guides for ADHD in adults. These communication skills are designed to counter our human factory setting: defensiveness.

Access the same calendar page

A face-to-face check-in for a couple where one has ADHD is helpful – and intimate!

Source: Ketut Subiyanto/Pixels

There are several advantages to these check-ins. The first and foremost schedule for them is coordinating schedules, chores, picking up and dropping off children, or any other tasks and schedule items. While this is a good strategy for any couple, in the case of ADHD it’s a clear means of communication rather than an over-the-shoulder reminder when someone leaves for work or s fall asleep.

The recording setting provides plenty of time to enter all the necessary information into (ideally shared) calendars, a smartphone notepad, setting reminder alarms, or other coping tools.

Neuro-intimacy and household chores

Second, coordinating household chores, administrative tasks, helping children with homework, and other issues are often never really discussed strategically in most households. In this area, it is interesting to discuss the strengths and weaknesses related to ADHD and their correspondence with these duties.

Partners without ADHD will have their strengths and weaknesses, and the couple can work together to coordinate the best match. It’s not the stuff of Hallmark cards, but it’s very intimate communication – neuro-intimacy. It’s a degree of vulnerability, trust and mutual respect that helps get things done in life, but, more importantly, it’s a bonding experience for the relationship.

The very fact that a couple spends time sitting across from each other and hanging out together helps them realize and express what they love about each other and what is good about their relationship. .

Finish with unity

Finally, the check-in can be a springboard for relational activity later. The recording itself can end with an appreciation of the other’s qualities and gratitude for specific positive actions observed since the last recording.

After check-in, it helps to plan to go out for breakfast, go for a walk together, or whatever way ends on a high note. It’s always amazing how little time it seems to change feelings and attitudes when partners feel heard and feel like they and their brains are working together.