How to Build Better Relationships: Advice for ADHD Adults

Find Common Interests

Doing things together as a couple sounds easy, but adults with ADD often lack patience for activities that a spouse enjoys. Anything that is slow or requires attention to detail can feel like torture to some ADD adults: For instance, your partner asks you to play backgammon, but you’d rather pluck out your eyelashes than concentrate on its rules. Or your partner asks you to join him to watch a foreign-language film, and you would rather see an action flick. Although such differences seem tough to resolve, there are solutions (see “Bond with Your Spouse,” below).

Instead of letting backgammon or movies separate you and your spouse, show respect for his passion, while honoring your own interests. How? Give your partner a backgammon set, a book on backgammon strategy, or a night off from family duties to play the game with others.

While you may never share your lover’s enjoyment of board games, you can find activities that make you both happy. If you and he enjoy Italian food, say, come up with activities planned around that interest. Try different Italian restaurants, take a trip to Italy, read cookbooks, or collect Italian wines.

If you compromise yourself, chances are, your relationship will fail. This doesn’t mean that your partner should always be ready to meet your needs. It means that you shouldn’t consistently defer to the other person.

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