What to Do When You’re Always Arguing With Someone With ADHD
If you are dating someone or in a relationship with someone that has ADHD, you know first-hand the struggles that come with it. You may find yourself constantly arguing with someone who has ADHD.
But no one wants constant fighting in a relationship. It can be exhausting and create a large strain on the relationship.
In this article, you’ll learn how to stop fighting with someone with ADHD so that your relationship can be healthy again.
Get To Know Each Other’s Values
If your wife or husband has ADHD, it is vital to get to know each other’s values. While that is important in any relationship, it is even more important in a relationship that one partner has ADHD.
When you know where each person’s values are, you can make them line up easier with your own. Not only that, but if you do disagree on something, you can understand where the other person is coming from instead of continuing to disagree constantly.
Let’s take an example.
If you and your spouse are talking about cleaning the home, you may be coming up with solutions that make sense. One of you may want to hire a cleaning service to save time, while the other one wants to do it on Saturdays to save money. Clearly, one person’s value is having time while the other’s is being financially secure.
Being able to have conversations about these values can help when conversations like this one come up. Both people should feel valued, and that is where compromise can come in.
Always Restate Your Partner’s Words
Many times, couples disagree because there is a miscommunication. Most of the time, there really isn’t a disagreement and one person has heard the other person incorrectly.
That is why restating your partner’s words is crucial to reducing the number of arguments in a relationship.
Instead of immediately becoming defensive or angry at your partner because of what you thought they said, take the time to truly understand what they said. Restate the words back to them. Most likely, they will correct you with what they actually said, and you’ll avoid the argument that could’ve been.
Talk Through Emotions
Many times, arguing with someone who has ADHD leaves you feeling lonely and uncared for, but the other partner doesn’t know about it. In a relationship, it is important to talk through emotions that you are feeling in order to avoid this.
That means if you are annoyed with your partner, you should talk about it. If you are sad, you should talk about it.
When you talk through your emotions when you feel them, it will prevent an argument when something else is put on top of that emotion that makes it even stronger.
As the other partner in the relationship, you should also look for signs of the other person’s emotions to make sure you are not exacerbating them.
Write Things Down
One thing that may be causing arguments with your partner if you are in a relationship with someone with ADHD is that they are always forgetting things. Since that is part of having ADHD, it can be difficult for them to remember things as important as dates or simply that you asked them to wash the dishes.
But there is a way around this! Instead of communicating only verbally, you can also communicate by writing stuff down. Every day, you can make sure to have a to-do list that you talked through previously. You can even put this list in multiple areas around the house so that your partner cannot forget about it.
Because there is a list and you talked it out, there is less of a chance that there will be an argument that stems from forgetting about something the other person said.
Right now, you may not feel like you are working together as a team and listened to or supported in your relationship.
Usually at the start of a relationship, a couple feels a safe and warm atmosphere. As issues creep into the relationship, these things erode the love and connection. Arguing with someone with ADHD will not create a feeling of teamwork.
Therefore, a couple may need to explore how to create that “loving feeling” they used to have. By focusing on your strengths, being positive, speaking lovingly and holding hand/giving hugs, you may reconnect and desire to work together.
Go to Counseling
If you and your partner are constantly arguing, going to counseling is a great option for the two of you. This is especially true in relationships where one partner has ADHD.
If you are feeling lonely or isolated from your partner, one way to fix that is by bringing in a third party to talk through those feelings. Being able to talk with a professional and to your partner with ADHD at the same time can be beneficial for both of you.
You both will gain a better understanding of how ADHD can impact a relationship because of the differences in the processing and functioning of their brain. Here’s how counseling helps:
- Get a better understanding of how ADHD affects relationships
- Learn how to communicate
- Understand nonverbal signs
- Coping tips and helpful solutions for communication
In addition, you don’t have to always be arguing to go to counseling! Counseling is a great way to reduce the number of times you argue as well as prevent some of them through more understanding and skills to cope and work through difficult conversations.
Fighting With Your ADHD Partner
If you are arguing with someone who has ADHD, you’re probably burnt out and exhausted. You’re tired of arguing and want to stop. Most importantly, you want your love and excitement for your relationship to come back!
With these tips and the help of a counselor, you can be on your way to a healthy and happy relationship again!
Additional reading to support your relationship as you explore options for couples therapy and healing:
Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a licensed counselor in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Vermont and Florida. She also works with international couples and expats. With her support, you can learn how to reduce stress and conflict in your relationship through an intensive marriage retreat or couples counseling. Reach out to Lisa for a 20-minute free private consultation today.