living with ADHD - meaning, having a partner with ADHD - the good, the bad, the ugly

snippets of what people shared on campfire.


I live with a man, 57 years old, who got diagnosed only four years ago with this condition. I’m struggling. Anything I need to know/tips to share from people living with ADHD and people who have it?


I think if you don't have adhd yourself, you can never fully understand, but the fact you're trying to understand will mean a lot to your partner in the first instance. Also, for your own sake, accepting that you will never fully understand is going to give you more peace of mind, just accepting the way your partner is will be more supportive and beneficial to you both


I just wouldn't do it. My partner is also 57 and also has strong ADHD. I have more mild ADHD and strong coping mechanisms. I like my house clean. I like my junk organized. His home is totally chaotic. It's not my home. So it's not my issue, so it doesn't stress me. If I lived with him, I would become his personal secretary and cleaning person, just so my home wouldn't stress me out and I don't want to be any of those things to him. I just want to be his partner. I'm madly in love with him. I see my future living with my friends, not with him.


use capitalism if you have the means. Hire an organizer/cleaner. Start a little free bullshit box in your yard. you get dopamine for helping others and you don't have to go far to do the thing and also motivated to toss things that have value...(a simpler house makes chores feel less heavy for me)

Body Double to get things done....as for personal things, notice that thing where if you can't see it, it doesn't exist... applies to humans. I use penguin pebbling to help keep humans closer to the top of the pile.


This is almost literally my TED Talk. ADHD and kink/sex as play

Way too much to type in any detail, but

A) late diagnosis is its own trauma. Imagine replaying every aspect of your life with a new understanding of yourself. It's a lot

B) in the short term, post-diagnosis, there's going to be an increased sense of struggle. However, there is (some) support for channelling your newly understood brain's unique abilities, so encourage him to follow whatever that path looks like to him

C) The rejection sensitivity cuts like a motherfucker. If you can shepherd any discord with him to specifically limit the amount of rejection felt, you'll be doing both of you a biiiiig favour

D) All of the amphetamines in the world won't help more than therapy. Undiagnosed ADHD has given that man a lifetime of not knowing the steps but still having to dance. 57 years of that'll do something to a person. Find a therapist that specialises in this stuff. Read some Gabor Mate.

E) (I think this might just be A again) Capitalism encourages all of us to see our value as our contribution. Forgive me for gendering this, but I think that's especially true for men. Thus, men take their value from what they do VASTLY more than just /being/. ADHD brings a lifetime of being told "No. Not like that" and thus a lifetime of being told that your natural instincts are annoying/disruptive/unhelpful. Inside, he probably swings between feeling like a genius and a piece of shit but mainly the latter. That's what you're up against. The story he tells himself about who he is is about a feckless selfish arsehole who can't hold shit together. If you /love/ him*, that's what you've ultimately got to help him fix

*forgive me if this sounds more Doctor Phil than could ever be meaningful or useful

(also, in a different vibe, I'm really interested in starting or attending a party night for neurodiverse people. I like sex parties a lot, but I always find them quite serious in a way. I think for a lot of ND people, these kind of shenanigans have a much greater attendant

"Wahey! Let's do rude shit with each other!" vibe than "Let's stand round trying to look as sexy as possible to European trance" vibe.

So, if anyone knows of anything of that ilk or is interested in starting a night like that (I have no idea where to start) please let me know!


Could you explain penguin pebbling?


penguin pebbling :: offering a small shiny to express care. "here's a link!" "I made you this thing!" "i saw this and thought of you!"



Going back to the original question, everyone with ADHD experiences it differently, so maybe the most helpful for you both would be to learn his specific "traits" and how you can both deal with them, and if he is willing to deal with them

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