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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Got a funny story?

Little did I know that I married into an ADHD family. Wasn’t until years later that my wife was diagnosed, but even though I didn’t know about ADHD at the time, it was obvious that this family was different. Trying to join a conversation with them was like trying to cross an 8 lane highway at rush hour! The speed, the aggressive lane changes, the fear of collisions kept me on the side street just watching in awe. How could they talk at that pace and for so long?!

I later coped by imagining that they were game show contestants with their hands permanently hovering over a buzzer. Whenever a topic came up—whether any of them knew anything about the topic or not didn’t matter—I would imagine them immediately and simultaneously hitting their buzzers to answer or give the expert opinion. Sometimes I’d just throw in a topic, let them go at it and go outside to have more meaningful conversation with the dog. And of course, they had no clue that I disappeared.

Sure, no solution, but it helped me to laugh instead of being frustrated


good story, can relate. When I sit down to dinner with my husbands family it’s shear chaos. They repeat the same story over and over and over like it’s the first time, and wonder why I’m so fricken’ board! Then on top of it all the TV has to be blaring while this LOUD , out of control conversation is going on. It’s just crazy.

Posted by JK on Aug 23, 2014 at 8:52am

this isn’t simply ADD. conversational styles vary significantly. your wife’s family appears to use ‘overlapping’ and repeating the same story over and over may have less to do with being entertaining than using a familiar rerun as a way to reaffirm affiliations. check this book for more info on the subject of conversational styles.
The movie my big fat greek wedding had 2 scenes of ‘meeting the family’. His WASP parents and their quiet dull one at a time way of chatting and her Greek boisterous vibrant and admittedly frenetic and turbulent family showed such contrasts due to cultural patterns. I couldn’t take a steady diet of either style. One would bore the crap out of me and the other send me into overload and running for peace and quiet.
What you grow up with primes you for what is ‘normal’. other regional or ethnic styles may appear rude, cold, dull, frenetic, and uncomfortable to be around. Gender and ethnicity, social status, purpose of the conversation, all have ‘hidden rules’ that influence the style and content of conversations. My Polish relatives had more of the rapid fire overlapping frenetic style and my southern WASP relatives had a hard time adjusting. The frenzy of visiting the aunt and uncle with 9 kids, and half the neighborhood kids running in and out would send me into overload but being bored by the WASPs wasn’t fun either. It’s not all ADD.

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 23, 2014 at 2:38pm

My partner goes mad about how my family rabbit on and he sits sullen in back of car. Then we watched a programme on penguins and they groom and chatter to one another to reestablish bonds when meeting again after long times apart. Now i just need to whisper penguins and it helps.We’re the non-ADHD side.

Posted by hilaauk on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:38pm

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