People with ADHD are kind of self-centered. It has something to do with that prefrontal cortex of ours malfunctioning – or not functioning to capacity. This makes relationships of all kinds difficult for ADHDers to navigate. We miss the big picture. We sometimes lack empathy our partner needs. We have a hard time seeing the good stuff. We blame others, and we get bored very easily. These things put real strain on our relationships. When we lack the self-awareness to see these things in action, and make an effort to change, our partners can be left feeling small, not cared for, and misunderstood. Just like every other aspect of our lives – we need to try harder than non-ADHD people. We need to be aware, and make a conscious effort not to be dicks.
I’ve noticed that in my relationship, I am ALWAYS right. No matter what. I have to be, and if i am not right, I am angry. My brain works like a developing child’s brain; the whole world revolves around me. I am the center of my universe. This creates problems when in a relationship with another human being. Ummm, relationships are just that, how you relate to one another. It takes two! And when one of the two is acting like a self-centered jerk, the connection becomes fuzzy.
As for empathy, oof, empathy is a hard one. For me, it’s easier for me to have empathy and understanding for my child than it is to empathize with my love. For some reason there is this disconnect in my mind – cue self-centeredness! – and my brain just doesn’t get it. “He’s an adult.” says my brain, and most of the time, it doesnt even register with me that maybe, just maybe, he has feelings too. That’s totally valid. I get it. I have to force myself to get it though. I have tot sit with myself, and think – without opening my mouth to talk things out just yet – I have to go through all of the options in my head, and i finally get to the point. “Oh, he just needs me to hear and validate him right now, DUH.” “It’s not all about Cassie!”
Anger is a thing too. ADHDers suffer from a wide range of emotional and mental downfalls on top of their already malfunctioning reasoning and problem solving skills. Anger is definitely one of them. We often feel angry because we feel misunderstood, not listened to, and so very different from the rest of the world. Here comes child brain again, “argh, you are not listening to me!” “Just do it my way” Yep, we are oretty much children, and our partners know this, yet they stay by our side, how cute. Anger gets out of control when we don’t check ourselves. Unlearning the REACT button will help a whole lot in this area. Self-awareness, and responding rather than reacting are healthy alternatives. I am learning a lot.
Relationships are hard, and in the end, it is all worth it. To be better understood, and to gain a better understanding ourselves, the answer is always love, communication and self-awareness.