Are you in an ADHD impacted relationship? If so, you have probably been affected by the Parent/Child dynamic. It exists in almost all ADHD relationships and probably exists in yours.Depending on whether you are the ADHD partner or the Non-ADHD partner, you will experience it differently.
For the Non-ADHD partner, it is often experienced as crushing responsibility. That is the parent role. If your ADHD partner has unmanaged ADHD, you will feel like your home life is often chaotic, disorganized and overwhelming. Chances are you are often nagging your partner to get things done, and it seems like if you don’t manage your partner effectively, everything will fall apart.
The ADHD partner experiences this dynamic in a very different way. You often have difficulty making decisions, and sometimes depend on your partner to be the responsible one even over things like getting you to places on time, knowing where your keys are and keeping the family finances in order. There can be a lot of shame with this role, as you never feel like you do things well enough, and your partner is happy to point this out to you. This is the child role in this coupleship.
Both partners have difficulty with their respective roles, and this can often lead to frustration and anger. It can be very challenging to break this pattern, but it is not impossible.
The Non-ADHD partner needs to accept that their ADHD partner is not always going to be able to do things as they would like them to be done. And they have to be able to stop the blame and the constant critique. Over time, they need to be able to share more of the responsibilities of keeping a home together, but to do this keeping in mind their partner’s strengths. Holding family meetings to discuss how the load can be shared can be very helpful.
The ADHD partner needs to manage their ADHD more effectively by taking their medication every day, if they are on medication. They need to use reminder systems, calendars and alarms, so they know, for example, when it is time to take the trash out. They need to do their best to keep the chaos to a minimum, and to step up to taking on more.
Overall, it is important to recognize that one partner is not superior to the other. Your brains just work differently, and therefore you do things in different ways. Respect and acceptance are essential to making it a healthy relationship.