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Couples With One ADHD Partner

Wanting it all...

Hi.  I am the one in my relationship with ADHD and for the most part, I have a sweet deal - I really want a family and am fortunate to have one - and the best part, the kids are part-time (step kids with us every weekend).  That being said, as much as I desire the domestic life, I REALLY miss the freedom of being independent - don’t get me wrong, I love my family and if I didn’t have them I would lament about that - it just seems that while my love is perfectly blissful with our nice steady life - I am going NUTS with boredom - he knows it - just doesn’t think its important to address (i.e. I knew what I was signing up for) - again great man and I love him for so many reasons - I am just struggling to think this will be life (I am only 37 and we have been together for 4 years)...

Any advice to keep my sanity and family…?


Often people don’t realize that the biggest deal killers are not what we like in anything, relationship, job, activity, purchase, but what we dislike.

As the novelty wears off, your boredom is growing. If you can’t find an outlet for your need for novelty and stimulation, this may turn into a deal killer and hurt the ones you love.

How many things do you do on your own? No matter how much you enjoy someone’s companionship, it can help to have things to do without each other. Have enough space to miss the other and want to come back rather than wanting to get away.

Does he object if you get out and do things without him? If so, that may be a deal killer.

My sweetheart and I do a lot together but I don’t want to do everything he does nor he want to do all I do. Works fine for us. A friend of mine was making her husband nuts because she wanted him to go shopping with her. Just the usual grocery store stuff which at least he could benefit from was ok but asking him to go along and go stir crazy while she shopped for shoes or trinkets was like fingernails on a blackboard to him. She tried to get me to go along for some of the same and I was going nuts too.

So find some ways to get your needs met without taking too much time or attention from your family.

Posted by Gadfly on Jul 31, 2014 at 3:05am

Spot on, Gadfly.

Hi Bat.

You alone are responsible for your happiness but if you seek it will always allude you. Really happy folk seem to do things that are good, and do good. Their effects create ripples of benefits beyond themselves.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jul 31, 2014 at 12:56pm

Yup, I can relate 100%. to the boredom or This is life…..boring.  However I believe that it is not boring, just rather the same thing day in and day out.  If I rode the same rollercoaster ride day in and day out I would think it is boring. 

Family is 1000% important to me and means so much to me to snuggle up with my son matthew.  Truth of the matter is it is not the family that makes me feel this way, they are the reason I feel happy, content, Lucky, Loved.  Knowing I have ADD it is up to me to keep myself and family from being bored. 

I think setting goals for the family is awesome.  Right now we are working on strengthening the family.  That is one of the reasons why we bought a beautifu;l huge teepee. 

The goal was to strengthen our family and teach our children and community the culture and identity of our people.  Well We are having so much fun sleeping 3-5 nights of the week in there.  This for some reason has helped in so many ways that I don’t think about boredom or long for freedom.

I am rambling however ADD people need to keep constantly moving forward in life with as many exciting and fun ways to get from a-b.

As a result I am beginning more and more to appreciate and recognize just how lucky I am to have the specific members of my family especially my Wife.

Posted by Mat_thew on Aug 01, 2014 at 4:38pm

I always tell my kids “If you’re bored you’re not paying attention”.  And I think that is true.  There is more in the minutia of every day than we notice because we have set ourselves up to “be bored”.  And by the way, I have one kid with ADHD and one without and the with kid is much much better at not being bored than her brother because she uses her ADHD brain to her advantage to entertain herself.

Here’s how to try to avoid (works for my kids, might work for an adult!) “boredom”

First, stop naming it for heavens sake!  You know our brains comply - and try to support what our consciousness tells it.  So if you say “I’m bored” even inside your head your brain will attempt to make that so.  So, instead try “I wonder if I can find something else to do”

Do something you’ve never done before.  My ADHD child and son and I decided to take up knitting.  My ADHD child not so much into the knitting part but loves reading about it and dreaming about all the patterns and possibilities.  It may not be productive but she’s not bored!

Turn everything off and just listen.  Your brain could in fact be fatigued.  There is so much noise in the world.  Try turning off all screens, devices, fans, radios, everything and just listen.  We don’t truly listen to the world much anymore.

Turn to wonder.  Start wondering.  “I wonder where that ant is going” Wonder about what the inside of a flower looks like, wonder how to make an engine run, wonder what someone is thinking or where they are going and ask and listen.

Read something, or if you like TV watch something totally out of character for you and wonder what the people who make this or watch this stuff are like.

And then share these musings with your spouse.  I doubt if you can have possibly talked about or experienced everything there is in 4 years.  And pay attention to your spouse, turn to wonder about him, ask him what’s on his mind.  And listen, watch and listen.

Posted by YellaRyan on Aug 01, 2014 at 11:22pm

“I REALLY miss the freedom of being independent”

See if you can take some time to pin down what exactly you miss. It might be that you can find a way to make it happen without destructive changes.

A change of scenery - Take a vacation - either during the week without the kids, or on the weekend.

Spontaneity - let your partner know that sometimes you might just wander off to have some ‘you’ time. You aren’t rejecting him, just need to go follow the rainbow for a bit and see where it goes. Promise him that you’ll bring a phone, will play safe, and will remember to text if it’s getting late.

Stuck in a rut - pick up a hobby. Ideally a fixed term thing. My wife changes hobbies every six weeks or so.The running deal we have is that she can do whatever she likes, as long as she doesn’t have too many things on the go, and the initial investment isn’t too high (eg. she will rent snowboards or fencing equipment).

Time alone - do the vacation thing, but do it solo. There’s no shame in a solo vacation. Ideally, do it over the weekend so you get a longer break from the kids as well.

Posted by dnh on Aug 03, 2014 at 3:15am

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