• ADD Relationships: The Non-ADD Adult Partner

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    Life can be a challenge if you’re a non-ADD adult living in relationship with an ADD adult partner.

    I recently coached a non-ADD adult regarding some of her specific issues living with her ADD adult partner. My client voiced concern that is easily the most common complaint I hear from non-ADD relationship partners. “I feel like he needs me to tell him what to do all the time. I have to guide him and direct him. I resent that I married my husband to have an equal partner but now I feel like I’ve got another child to take care of.”

    Adults with ADD tend to lack the inherent nature of structure and routine. Consequently, adults with ADD often function best when there is some source of ‘external structure’ in their life, ie work and school. However, non-ADD relationship partners also provide a great deal of structure and anchoring for the adult with ADD. Without this anchor, the ADD partner may have a greater tendency to meander during projects, chores, and possibly with life in general. Thus, it may appear that the ADD partner is depending on you or that he/she won’t do certain things without your comments or reminders.

    Coaching Tips for Non-ADD Relationship Partners:

    • Communicate, communicate, communicate.
    • Be honest, firm and gentle with your communication.
    • Clearly communicate your preferences and expectations of your ADD partner.
    • Clearly communicate your disappointment when there are breakdowns in agreements.
    • Take time to acknowledge the strengths, assets and gifts of your ADD partner. Acknowledge these gifts to your ADD partner.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider marriage/couple therapy with a therapist who is dual trained in couple therapy AND who has a thorough understanding and skills working with adults with ADD.
    • Do not take your ADD partner’s challenges and breakdowns personally.
    • Do have ‘realistic’ expectations of your ADD partner.
    • Do not expect perfection from your ADD partner.

    Schedule your complimentary consultation with CoachRudy

    ~CoachRudy

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