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Adult ADHD - ADHD Effects on Relationships

Updated: May 29

Understand the impacts of ADHD and the effects that it could be having on your relationships – Jessica


Adding on from last week’s post, once we have recognized the top signs of adult ADHD, we can then start to understand how ADHD can impact our relationships. As our understanding of ADHD continues to change and adapt rapidly, it is important to work closely with highly qualified and trained mental health professionals who can help you understand the impacts of ADHD and the effects that he could be having on your relationships. Here are the top five effects ADHD can have on interpersonal relationships:

ADHD Effects on Relationships


Communication Challenges: 

Adults with ADHD may struggle with communication in relationships. They may interrupt or talk over their partners, find it difficult to listen attentively, or have trouble staying focused during conversations. This can lead to misunderstandings, frustration, and feelings of being ignored or unimportant for their partners. Additionally, impulsivity can cause them to blurt out thoughts without considering the impact on their partners, leading to conflicts or hurt feelings. (Just remember, communication is the number one difficulty that brings people in relationships into counselling).


Forgetfulness and Disorganization: 

Forgetfulness and disorganization, common symptoms of ADHD, can strain relationships. Adults with ADHD may frequently forget important dates, commitments, or promises made to their partners. They may struggle to keep track of household responsibilities, such as paying bills, doing chores, or managing shared schedules. This can lead to feelings of resentment or frustration from their partners, who may feel overwhelmed or burdened by the imbalance in responsibilities.


Emotional Dysregulation: 

ADHD can contribute to difficulties in regulating emotions, leading to mood swings, impulsivity, and heightened sensitivity to stress or criticism. Adults with ADHD may experience intense emotions that fluctuate rapidly, making it challenging to maintain emotional stability within relationships. Their partners may feel uncertain or confused by sudden shifts in mood or behavior, leading to tension or conflict in the relationship.


Difficulty with Planning and Decision-Making: 

Planning and decision-making can be challenging for adults with ADHD due to difficulties in prioritizing tasks, managing time effectively, and considering long-term consequences. This can affect various aspects of relationships, from making plans for the future to resolving conflicts or addressing important issues. Partners may feel frustrated by the perceived lack of initiative or follow-through from their ADHD partner, leading to feelings of disappointment or resentment.

Strained Intimacy and Connection: 

ADHD can impact intimacy and connection in relationships. Adults with ADHD may struggle with impulse control, leading to difficulties in maintaining boundaries or engaging in appropriate behaviors within intimate relationships. They may also have difficulty staying present during intimate moments due to distractibility or restlessness. These challenges can lead to feelings of disconnect or dissatisfaction from both partners, impacting the overall quality of the relationship.


It's essential for individuals with ADHD and their partners to communicate openly, seek understanding, and work together to address challenges effectively. Seeking support from mental health professionals or ADHD specialists can provide valuable strategies and resources for managing ADHD symptoms and strengthening relationships.


Jessica Blake Registered Psychologist

If you feel like any of the above symptoms are affecting you and your ability to function cooperatively and collaboratively in a relationship, again we highly encourage you to come down and chat with one of our highly trained mental health professionals to assist you in understanding what adult ADHD looks like, and how they can be addressed so that you can have more satisfying and connected relationships.

Come heal, grow and create together

signature of Jessica Blake


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