ADHD Relationship Challenges

unmanaged ADHD symptoms

When ADHD symptoms are left unmanaged, and we find ourselves lacking the necessary tools and structures to effectively cope… This can not only affect our lives, but also our romantic relationships. It can strain communication and understanding between partners, impact intimacy and the couple’s future.


Impulsivity can make it difficult to achieve joint goals. When ADHD symptoms are unmanaged, many can make impulsive “in the moment” decisions, not thinking about the future consequences. This can be disappointing if you’ve planned something together with the partner. 😭 

What can help:

– weekly check-ins (like a Sunday meeting)

– setting clear goals: how much, when, how?

– having vision boards or other visual reminders about joint goals

emotional dysregulation

Emotional flooding during arguments can make it difficult to resolve them. After some time, all of these unresolved issues can pile up and cause real damage to the relationship.

What can help:

– Noticing the signs of emotional flooding: racing heart rate, shortness of breath, tension, extreme overwhelm, inability to self-regulate, escalation of negative, critical thoughts.

– Recognise when you become overwhelmed and step away from the argument: “I need a moment…”

– Do something to self-soothe: go for a walk, exercise, journal, do breathing exercises

– Only come back to the argument with a clear headspace


Symptoms like forgetfulness, inconsistency, a lack of follow-through, and time blindness can pose challenges when it comes to building and maintaining trust in relationships. These symptoms can create a sense of uncertainty and frustration, making it harder for partners to rely on each other.

What can help:

– Practicing self-awareness (coaching can be a great tool for this!): are there specific reasons why you struggle with follow-through? Understanding your own patterns and habits, can help to come up with solutions. Then you can also share this information with a partner. 😊

–  Set clear expectations and boundaries: don’t say “yes” when you actually mean “no”.

rejection sensitivity

Rejection sensitivity can make it difficult to emotionally connect as we’re more hesitant to open up, be vulnerable, or express true thoughts and feelings in a relationship.

What can help:

– Therapy is a great tool to discover underlying fears and experiences that stand in the way of connection 

– Practice vulnerability by sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner in a constructive and honest manner. Start small and gradually build the trust necessary for deeper connections.

– Learn to validate your own emotions and experiences. Trust your own judgment and value your own feelings, rather than relying solely on external validation.

Working as a team

It’s important for couples with these symptoms to openly communicate with their partners about the challenges they face. Seeking professional guidance, developing strategies for better ADHD symptoms management, and working together to find solutions can help rebuild trust and foster a more understanding and supportive environment.

By acknowledging these difficulties and finding the tools to address them, relationships can become stronger and more resilient. If you’d like to work through relationship challenges together, check out this workbook.

coaching can help!

ADHD coaching can greatly benefit couples by providing education and understanding about ADHD’s impact. It enhances communication skills, helping partners express their needs and concerns effectively. Couples learn coping strategies and organizational skills to reduce conflicts arising from symptoms like forgetfulness and impulsivity. Conflict resolution techniques are tailored to address ADHD-specific challenges.

Coaches support goal setting and accountability, fostering a more reliable and predictable environment. This collaborative effort can strengthen the relationship, reduce blame and resentment, and promote self-care, ultimately improving the overall well-being of both partners.

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