If you love someone with ADHD, you may have fallen into one of five predictable roles in the relationship. If so, you can begin to transform your relationship now and prevent problems by identifying what role you might have fallen into. (If you have ADHD, share this post with your romantic partner! )
1) Parole officer – if you keep a close eye to recent infractions with a sense of duty about summarizing these to your partner, you have fallen into this role.
2) Police officer – a police officer doesn’t so much monitor the running tally of infractions as she might be on the lookout for any new infraction. The police officer role means that you have a heightened awareness and tendency to try to catch your partner doing something he or she shouldn’t do.
3) The judge – is a role you might fall into in which you are constantly trying to examine the evidence to determine if your partner’s behavior falls into the category of right or wrong. In this case you resort to argument and rationality to sift through evidence.
4) Lawyer – you might have taken on a lawyer role if you find that you are constantly making a case that your partner has committed a “crime” which can be as simple as forgetting a chore or as major as relapsing into an addiction. You can recognize this role by a constant need to ask questions as if you were giving a deposition. Questions are often leading, meaning that you are focused on finding fault rather than hearing it from your partner’s perspective.
5) Accountant – an accountant keeps a running tally of credits and debits and is vigilant to ensure a “balanced budget of love.” If you have an ADD partner you might be keen to see that they contribute their “fair share.” When you feel that the balance sheet is unequal you resort to demands for more effort from your partner.
Although these might all feel like legitimate strategies for coping with an ADHD partner the reality is that these approaches do not work and could cause substantial issues in your relationship. All of these roles are adversarial and imply that you are right and your partner is wrong. That will destroy the power of a passionate partnership.
Now that you have learned what not to do, read 10 Tips for Loving ADHD Women.
Have you fallen into any of these roles? Share your comments below!
Dr. Lara Honos-Webb PhD is a clinical psychologist, worldwide ADHD expert, and author of The Gift of ADHD, The Gift of ADHD Activity Book, The Gift of Adult ADD and The ADHD Workbook for Teens. She champions a revolutionary approach to ADHD, that focuses on leveraging our gifts, and transforming our “symptoms” into strengths. Learn more about her work at www.addisagift.com