To Have and to Hold

Raising awareness of all things ADHD! - ADHD relationships samantha gades N1CZNuM Fd8 unsplash
Being married or even in a romantic relationship/ friendship with someone with ADHD can be frustrating, but also rewarding too.

Loving someone with ADHD, and having ADHD are two vastly different things. Both can be frustrating, isolating, and destructive, but they come with their positives too.

Though I’ve never been married, I’ve watched someone who is married struggle to cope while carrying the burden of loving someone with ADHD. It’s difficult to know whose side to take really, knowing how much the person with ADHD is struggling, but also knowing the way there are making the other person feel is not acceptable either.

Ok, here’s a genuine question; how many times do those of us with ADHD think about how much our traits and behaviours impact on those around us? I’m not trying to catch you out by the way. If I’m being honest, most of the time, I’m far too busy struggling myself to give it too much thought. Of course, the times that I do think of it I just get overwhelmed with guilt and feelings of self-loathing, because not only do I realise how frustrating my own behaviour is, but other people do too. What must they think?

“What is common sense to most, just doesn’t occur to those of us with ADHD.”


The truth is even being in a friendship with someone with ADHD is a difficult thing and I speak from experience. One of my best friend’s at university also had ADHD and I also have other friends with suspected, but very probable undiagnosed ADHD. It’s weird as you begin to recognise the common characteristics you share, but also realise how vastly different they are too.

Being friends with someone with ADHD can be amazing and wonderful, because we are loyal and caring, but on the flipside we are constantly late, forget the things we shouldn’t and usually interrupt a lot of conversations. That’s why we need friends full of a whole lot of understanding and unconditional love.

As difficult as it is being friends with someone with ADHD, I imagine being in a relationship with someone with ADHD is a whole different ball game, especially if you live with them. It probably leads to arguments about lack of effort or something like “Why can’t you just do this….”

The problem with ADHD is what comes natural to most, a lot of what many would call common sense, doesn’t come natural to us with ADHD. It’s not a lack of effort, it’s a lack of motivation because we either paralysed by fear or are sick of trying and failing. It’s not that we don’t want to do it another way, it’s just that it didn’t occur to us.

It’s probably easy for me to sit behind a computer screen and prattle on about the highs and lows of loving someone with ADHD, but the honest truth is it’s messy, complicated, and downright frustrating. It takes a special person to not only love us, but to inspire us, encourage us and do it without judgement.

So if you are that person who loves someone with ADHD; well done, as hard as it may be, we need people like you to show us that the world, which has beaten us up with its high expectations and definitions of normal, is still a place where we can belong and be loved. We may not always get it right, but with your support, we might not get it completely wrong.


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