Romantic Love & ADHD

As featured in the Hornsby Kur-ing-gai Post November 2021.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is currently reported to be as prevalent as 1 in 20 Australians so there will be many couples who experience relationship challenges due to the neurological differences between a neurotypical and a neurodiverse partner.


ADHD is defined as a difference in executive functioning, which is our brain’s capacity to organise, plan and regulate emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Like many individuals with ADHD, it’s likely (if you're the ADHD partner) that you have a history littered with experiences of being misunderstood or excluded due to your differences. Childhood may have been a constant struggle to fit into ‘systems’ - school, family and community – as it was for many of my clients. This can have a devastating impact on self-esteem which makes it difficult to feel confident navigating relationships. This can also sometimes create a parent/child dynamic, where the non-ADHD partner assumes responsibility for many of the 'life tasks' and the ADHD partner feels hopeless, or like the 'child' in the relationship.


That said, it’s not too difficult to understand how it might feel dismissive to your partner if they're talking to you and you’re distracted by your phone. It’s not hard to understand why they may feel frustrated if you said you’d pay the car regist