You and your partner must take ownership of your condition. Treat ADHD responsibly by using behavior therapy and/or appropriate medications to manage symptoms, increase dopamine, and help the brain work as it is supposed to. When you do all that, you should see a decrease in ADHD symptoms —like the inability to focus when your partner is talking to you or to follow through on tasks, such as paying bills on time.
Commit to Commitment
The main symptoms of ADHD — impulsiveness and the need for constant stimulation — can enhance, as well as threaten, relationships. Because adults with ADHD are impatient and easily bored, adventurous sexual activities are highly stimulating. Attraction to the new and different may make it difficult to stay monogamous. That’s why it is vital to be committed to the idea of “relationship” — even more so than your partner.
I met a 93-year-old woman who had been married to the same man for more than 70 years. She told me that they had good times and bad times in their years together, and that she had never once considered divorce, though she joked that she had considered murder once or twice. She knew that she had to be more committed to the institution of marriage than to her husband to make the relationship work. There were times when the couple didn’t feel committed to each other, but their dedication to their marriage got them through.
Forgive and Forget
It is tempting to point the finger at the other person and blame her for the problems in the relationship. But it takes two to tango. When we admit to the problems we may be causing, instead of dwelling on what our partner does wrong, we grow spiritually. When I acknowledge my own shortcomings — identify them, work on changing them, and forgive myself for not being perfect — it is easier to accept my partner and to forgive her shortcomings.
A phrase that sums up this forgive-and-forget concept is: “I did the best I could do in that moment. If I could have done better, I would have.” This takes the sting out of a bad experience, and enables you and your spouse to talk with each other civilly. It is no longer about one of you “doing it again,” it is about being human and making mistakes — something that is possible to forgive.