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Adult ADHD and Your Relationships

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Does your husband complain that you never listen? Does your wife say she feels like you’re just one more child in the house? Have your friends lost patience with you because you’re late all the time?

ADHD could be to blame. The condition starts in childhood, but it can stay into adulthood. Some people don’t even know they have ADHD until they’re adults. And if you have it, it could be causing relationship problems.

Learn the red flags and what to do about them.

5 Warning Signs

While everyone is different, some common problems seem to affect the relationships of adults with ADHD. Do the following complaints sound familiar to you?

1. ''Do you even hear what I’m saying?''

If you have the condition, your loved ones and friends might have a hard time getting your full attention.

That’s one reason why they might get frustrated with you. On the other hand, you might feel like they're nagging you.

2. ''You never pull your weight around here.''

Mowing the lawn. Washing the dishes. Folding clothes. Household chores can be a challenge when you have adult ADHD.

If the people you live with tell you that you aren’t doing enough, take a step back and consider whether they’re right. When was the last time you took out the trash? Is your clutter taking over the house?

Your family members may be doing more than their fair share of keeping the household running smoothly.

3. ''You never do what you say you’re going to do.''

You meant it when you said you’d get to your son’s basketball game by 4:30 p.m. You really did. But then you got distracted at work, and your cell phone rang, and then you realized you needed to pick up the dry cleaning. And before you knew it, the game was over -- and you were in the dog house.

''People with ADHD very much intend to do something when they say it. It’s not like some problems where people lie or are deceitful,'' says Steven Safren, PhD, director of behavioral medicine in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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