As many of you already know, my child has ADHD, but what many of you don’t know is that my husband also has ADHD. Clearly, I love people with ADHD, but living with my husband, sharing a life with him, and raising our children together can be challenging at times. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband with all my heart and being in love with someone who has ADHD definitely has its perks. My husband is very imaginative, intelligent, and hilarious, which are qualities I’ve always loved about him. Life is never boring with him, that’s for sure! During the past fifteen years that we’ve been together though, I’ve noticed some not-so-great perks about being in a romantic relationship with an ADHDer. Fortunately, I’ve also come up with solutions for each one to prevent myself from going completely crazy:
#1. He’s Late (A Lot) I can remember back when we were in high school and we were going on our first date to watch Shrek. I was ready well before the time he said he would pick me up, but was he on time? Nope. Not even close. For whatever reason, he has a horrible sense of time. To make matters worse, he missed the exit on our way to the movies, because he was busy talking and not paying attention to the signs. He really didn’t make the best first impression, but I gave him another chance, and another, and another. Something in my heart felt there was something special about him and I was right. (Now everyone say “Awwww…”)
♥ Solution: I lie. I tell him that the time we need to be somewhere or do something is actually sooner than the real time. For example, if I need him to meet the kids and me at Red Robin for dinner at 6:00pm, I tell him to meet us there at 5:40pm instead. Don’t worry. He is never waiting around for twenty minutes. He will get there 15 – 20 minutes after the time I told him.
#2. He Doesn’t Listen I will tell him that I am going to the grocery store and to text me if he thinks of anything else we might need. Thirty minutes or so later while I’m out shopping, instead of texting me something like “Milk,” he will text me, “Where are you???” I told him face to face where I was going! There’s no way he didn’t hear me, right?!? Well, he may have heard me, but he really wasn’t listening. He was either too focused on something else (like the TV) or he was zoning out. This is incredibly aggravating for me, especially if what I told him was very important, like “Pick up our daughter from dance class at 12:00.”
♥ Solution: I touch him. (No, not like that!) Right before I am going to tell him something important, I touch his arm or his shoulder. This gets his attention and if he was zoning out, it brings him back to reality. After he makes eye contact with me, I tell him whatever it is I wanted to say and make sure he responds. If it is something super important that needs to get done by a specific time, I will check in with him about it. Some men will call this “nagging,” but I call it “making sure sh*t gets done.” (Sorry! Not sorry!)
#3. He’s Unorganized Good Lord! The first time I walked into his room when we were teenagers, it looked like a tornado had just struck! There were clothes, papers, empty water bottles, and dirty dishes everywhere! Not only was it messy, it was filthy. His desk and TV were covered with dust and his bathroom literally made me gag. It was awful. I just couldn’t take it, so one weekend, I came over and helped him completely clean and organize his room. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. He really doesn’t mean for things to get bad and he isn’t deliberately trying to piss me off. He just has a hard time multi-tasking and following through with tasks, chores, projects, etc.
♥ Solution: I break it up. Just like my child with ADHD, he gets overwhelmed if a project or task is too big, but if it is broken up, it looks much more approachable and doable to him. What also helps is making lists that he can check off. If it is something he absolutely could care less about, but is important to me, I have learned to just suck it up and do it myself. For example, matching socks and pairing them up in his sock drawer is something he despises. He would rather just throw all of his socks into the drawer (How barbaric!), but it’s important to me that his socks are matched and paired, so I just do it myself. It’s not his fault I’m a neat freak!
As you can see, being married to an ADHDer can be a bit challenging at times, but as you can also see, there is always a solution. I made a vow to love my husband and be with him for the rest of my life “for better or worse” and that is exactly what I intend to do. Sure, he can drive me crazy, but lucky for him, I’m crazy about him. Every marriage has problems. Every married couple fights, (If anyone says otherwise, they’re lying.) but as long as you are able to create solutions and work things out, that’s all that matters.
If you are in a relationship with an ADHDer, what are the solutions you and/or they have come up with to have a happy relationship together?