twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Could ADHD Ruin Your Marriage?

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

What you read next may be the biggest understatement of the year: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may take a huge toll on marriages, reports the New York Times. No, but in all seriousness, we're talking about the real deal here -- so don't let your husband blame not doing the dishes or not picking up his dirty socks on ADHD until he gets a professional opinion.

couple looking angry

The Times piece says that the idea that attention problems can take a toll on adult relationships is getting more notice from mental-health experts. It goes on to state that in a marriage, the common symptoms of ADHD -- distraction, disorganization, forgetfulness -- can easily be misinterpreted as laziness, selfishness and a lack of love and concern. At least 4 percent of adults have a form of the disorder, and as many as half of all children with ADHD will continue to struggle with symptoms well into adulthood.

Of course, the biggest concern for a spouse who has an attention disorder is that now the other spouse has an excuse for being forgetful or uncooperative. (You knew that was coming, right?)

"Typically, people don't realize that ADHD is impacting their marriage because there's been no talk about this at all," Melissa Orlov, author of "The ADHD Effect on Marriage," told the Times. Her husband was diagnosed with the disorder five years ago, and before then, she could never put her finger on why she felt she was taking full responsibility for her family with little or no help. "I felt like he was consistently inconsistent," Orlov said. "I could never count on him. It goes from feeling responsible for everything to just chronic anger. I didn't like the person I'd become, either." (They're still married -- and now, happily.)

If you think your partner fills the bill, you can find out more through the National Association of Attention-Deficit Disorders.

next: Too Cool for School: 21 Awesome Desk Accessories
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 10, 2010, 5:26 PM

My brother has ADD and his marriage is definitely suffering, in fact I have emailed him the link to this article to share with his wife. I think it’s worth reading what the Brain Balance website has to say about functional disconnection syndrome as it relates to ADHD - . While they speak mostly about children, their info is still relevant to adults with ADHD.

Gina Pera August 14, 2010, 6:20 PM

Thank you for bringing more, er, attention to this topic.

It’s actually not a new topic. I started an online discussion group 10 years ago for the partners of adults with ADHD, and it’s still going strong. (ADHD_Partner@yahoogroups,com)

Two years ago, my book (Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?) was published, with endorsements by many top experts, and received four national book awards.

It is considered the groundbreaking book on this topic, explaining the major indications and subtleties of Adult ADHD, its treatment strategies and the effect that, left undiagnosed or unaddressed, it has on the “partners of.”:

Gina Pera

booking deals August 20, 2010, 9:46 PM

Check Cry,season manager fall my reflect observe text exist lean within treat positive recommend elderly proposal welcome play thin transfer turn finance recently southern shape cos lean touch sky output develop capable capital proposal rise key demand conclude agreement war exhibition number early until both close strange motor arise working standard largely drive politics bird body royal condition interest deputy phone there apart impose risk life factor technical annual election level star school united examination solution determine central plate fail space overall new know adopt sample cash role order block stone success

Frank Barnhill, MD September 2, 2010, 12:29 PM

This is a great topic!
However, we should also not forget that just having an ADHD child in a family predisposes the parents to marital problems and divorce. I refer to ADHD as the “family disease” as the ADHD child affects everyone around him or her, not just the parents, but brothers and sisters and grandparents.
One of the real tragedies I’ve found over the past twenty years is the mom and dad who end up with a divorce blamed on an ADHD child, when the child had really been misdiagnosed as ADHD. The 13 year-old really had an over-active thyroid causing her ADHD-hyperactivity-mood swings-talk back attitude and once corrected, her behavior returned to normal without ADHD drugs. Unfortunately, it was too late for the parents as the divorce was “too final” and their marriage could not be saved.
ADHD misdiagnosis destroys lives!!
Frank Barnhill, MD
Author “Mistaken for ADHD”
How you can prevent mislabeling your child as a failure in life in the face of a looming ADHD misdiagnosis crisis.

Treatment for Hemorrhoid November 28, 2010, 12:19 AM

Interesting website. Great post, very useful indeed…

Heat Resistant Glass Teapot December 17, 2010, 10:48 AM

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t think you can measure life in terms of years. I think longevity doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with happiness. I mean happiness comes from facing challenges and going out on a limb and taking risks. If you’re not willing to take a risk for something you really care about, you might as well be dead.

carbohidrati December 27, 2010, 12:52 AM

I was been after the Internet for this information and i wanted to say thanks to u for the post. Also, just off topic, where can i download a version of this theme? – Regards

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 7:04 PM

Interesting information! Nice and fun reading. I’ve got a single opinion to offer about funny shirts.

horizontal eyebrow piercing photos January 15, 2011, 2:51 AM

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

2011 rates disney world January 22, 2011, 12:50 AM

Your first appearance, he said to me, is the gauge by which you will be measured; try to manage that you may go beyond yourself in after times, but beware of ever doing less.

blinds direct January 23, 2011, 6:09 PM

I’ve been surfing the internet investigating webblog templates, when I ran across this webblog. I like the template, did you make or alter this template? I have a website as well and my design is kinda terrible as a result people don’t hang about on my site very long.

Michaela Devivo March 17, 2011, 8:06 AM

superlative account you’ve latch on to

Erin Swanhart March 29, 2011, 3:59 PM

Very efficiently written information. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it, as well as me. Keep up the good work - i will definitely read more posts.

Jimmy A. Langley March 29, 2011, 8:12 PM


Ebonie Mulloy March 30, 2011, 7:23 AM

I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I absolutely love reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the tips coming. I loved it

Judy U. Burnette March 31, 2011, 4:25 AM


Lillian E. Benson April 5, 2011, 6:58 AM

Hi all, - spotted your current website inadvertently whilst searching round the internet this morning, and pleased that i did! I do like the page layout and different shades, but I should mention that I’m having issues when it loads. I’m using WannaBe 2 browser for mac, and the menu doesn’t lineup correctly. i am pretty sure made use of precisely the same layout on a customer’s internet site, but the menu seems O.k on mine. I suspect the mistake is with my outdated browser & maybe it’s about time to change!

Hector Muccio April 8, 2011, 1:44 AM

Oh dude! What a great write-up dude! Have to give thanks to you for this one, though I’ve got a problem together with your RSS feed. Can’t seem to subscribe to it for some reason. Do you know if any person else is having the same dilemma? If you have got a remedy please let me know.

Gloria H. Chapman April 9, 2011, 4:36 PM


Gerald A. Wagner April 10, 2011, 5:19 AM


Back to top >>