Marriages Can Suffer From Adult ADHD & Attention Disorders

Posted on Sep 20, 2010
While many people are familiar of the signs and symptoms of ADHD in children, a much smaller number of people know that an estimated four percent of adults suffer from attention deficit problems and disorders – mental health issues that could affect their marriages.

The symptoms of attention disorders in adults can just look like a poor spouse to many: they are forgetful, they have trouble listening, and they are easily distracted. It’s no surprise that a few initial studies have found that adults with ADHD are more likely to get divorced and that 60 percent of couples that struggle with attention deficit disorders have relationships that are in distress.

A new book on the subject, “The ADHD Effect on Marriage,” by author Melissa Orlov, said that her husband’s attention deficit disorder led to anger and resentment before he was diagnosed and treated. In many cases, she said, the spouse without the attention disorder is left with too much responsibility and too many chores. At the same time, the spouse struggling with ADHD might not even be aware of his or her mistakes. These problems can become even worse if the couple is raising children or if the couples has to face a challenge together.

Orlov added that even couples that discover that ADHD is affecting their marriage still have work ahead of them – both to better understand the condition and to get over the years of anger or resentment that built before the diagnosis was made. Therapy and communication are key even after a diagnosis and medical treatment.

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