I've never posted on a forum before but I need some advice. I've been with my partner for just over a year. He has adhd but is not on any medication. Early on in our relationship, when things started going wrong and I didn't understand why,I started reading about adhd. This helped massively and I now understand him much better. There's not much advice for adults though and most of what I read relates to advice for parents or teachers looking after kids with adhd.
So what I wanted to ask was whether anyone has any tips for partners, on how to make things better and where I should set boundaries? I take care of housework and cooking etc which he really seems to appreciate but it's a bit hit and miss with the emotional side of things. I keep reading that structure helps but I'm not sure how to do this with an adult? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Set boundaries on anything that is likely to stir resent. Choose these very carefully and enforce them. Enforcing a boundary is not a delayed, polite-smiley-conversation. The feedback for a boundary should be instant, memorable and unpleasant, like an electric shock.
A stern look and a change in tone of voice can work well but it should be rare to have to bring it out.
Having ADHD is like having 'fun goggles' strapped to your face permanently. You're constantly scanning the environment to amuse yourself in some way. Any way. Typically, only extremes will register for an unmedicated ADHDer. The normal range of emotions will often not register on the joy goggles at all, nor will piles of dirty clothes or dishes, etc.
The key thing to remember is that you can't help him. You can only try to make your own life easier around him.
Don't do *anything* on his behalf without asking him first. Even when you know the response will be in the affirmative. I do this with my teenage daughter a lot. It works very well.
"Would you like me to make your bed for you?" "Would you like me to..."
It needs to sound like you're genuinely happy to help and not taking the piss and just highlighting all the stuff he hasn't done.
Servant leadership. It's the best way to build up the credit to enforce a boundary, should you ever need to do so, IMHO.
Boost, your reply is so interesting. It makes me realise how it sometimes took huge emotional rows for a memory to develop for my husband. Way back when our son was a baby we’d end up having so many long emotional fights about how to wash a baby bottle so it’s clean, or something else new. This is years before we’d thought of ADD being a factor. Now we don’t have those fights as they’re horrible, and I’ve kind of accepted I can’t change some things.
I have ADHD and attempted adult life without support. Kudos to the pair of you for your journey so far.
Yes structure helps.. Understanding the structure is the Challenge.. The structure in which your partner may benefit from, is the structure you may apply subconsciously to your own life.
For me sometimes the most basic of disciplines can feel like a mountain and in turn make me feel useless in the world.. When I get hyper focused, distracted or plainly forget because the chimp in my brain has got hold of the remote control to my thought processes and and attention span.
So understanding and providing that genuine support to going about daily life is key and that is where the structure is set. Start with tiny responsibilities but hold them accountable. It's a building process and targets are key to structure for me.
Like imagine playing a game of snooker with yourself but then covering all the pockets up on the table. You are just aimlessly whacking balls around the table to no end. I get bored probably quicker than most and end up doing the exact same thing else where. It's the same with daily structure targets that give genuine reward make for direction and structure. Which evolves the more skilled I get at it.
This is like breakfast/lunch/dinner, tidy room, making the bead, a break from technology daily. We are all different but if you understand and support this without appearing to be patronising etc it can help.
It did for me anyway, I now run a sales operation for a nation wide business so I implement structure.
I hope you find some help in this.
And wish you the best. Message if you want to discuss.
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