ADHD Relationships: If Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, ADHD is the Stale Orange Ones

ADHD ValentinesPerhaps it’s Valentine’s Day and those warm feelings that it engenders. 

Deep desire, ever-present love, overwhelming passion… for chocolate. 

Oh, and my wife. Who loves chocolate even more than me.  Chocolate and great relationships seem to be on everyone’s minds.

The Theme

Years ago, Ava and I presented a workshop called, “You, Me, and We With ADHD.”  We talked about the impact of ADHD on the person who has ADHD and those around them. 

In this case the spouse.  And also the impact on the relationship, the ‘We’.

There are some great books about the myriad ways ADHD can rock a relationship from the inside out.

Especially when it’s undiagnosed.

Check out Gina Pera’s book, Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?, and Melissa Orlov’s The ADHD Effect on Marriage.  Or our video, Living With ADHD (available in our 3 video series The Comprehensive Guide to ADHD)

Way back when we had our webinar with Dr Roberto Olivardia about emotionality, a surprising number of the questions were about ‘relationship issues’, the clinical term for lovey wovey, mooshy wooshy, kissy wissy.

The Outcome

Those of us with ADHD, and those around us, really want help with organizing, time management, scheduling, prioritizing, procrastinating, and all the logistics of life.  

For a long time that was my top priority. 

But I’m starting to realize that having everything up-to-date, tidy, sorted, and accessible won’t mean much if I don’t have connection, if my kids don’t know that I love them.  If I’m not close to my family, if I don’t have friends.

Do you know what I mean?  Organization has an impact but isn’t everything.  It’s not the end goal. Knowing exactly where my car keys are? Valuable. 

Having the car full of gas?  Valuable.  Having someone I love travelling with me?  Priceless.

Big Stuff

What’s the lesson? 

Just that we can’t lose sight of what really matters. The big stuff. 

And so as we get our lives organized, our finances working for us, our emotions under our control and serving us, our relationships will improve.

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12 Comments

  1. Avatar
    sweet-sheba February 13, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thanks Rick, for another awesome Blog! It’s all about us learning to pause, and pay attention to what’s really most important in our lives, what really matters, those people that are always there for us. Thank you for putting it all into perspective!
    Happy Valentines Day to You and Ava and Jimi!

  2. Avatar
    ADDcoachCandace February 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Stale orange ones?! There’s no such thing! The orange ones are the best ones in the box. And the first ones out of it. They don’t have time to go stale. I love that we’re the orange ones! What a great metaphor.
    (Pssst ….. it’s the boring, chewy, ones that go stale).

  3. Avatar
    sdwa February 14, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Connections here in the forum have been a huge part of what keeps me going. You and the rest of theTADD folks make a huge difference and that is meaningful.

  4. Avatar
    lockedoutofmycar February 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Right on the mark Rick would love for you to have you at a event in London sometime
    Finding a partner that (gets It ) as loving match in your life is huge advantage for a happy life . Had it lost it
    Trying to find again . Enjoying more and more of the content and making a wish list of the products.
    Thanks for leaving the light on . Learning to love again.

  5. Avatar
    Ava Green February 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    When Dr Hallowell first spoke to us about connection, I really didn’t give it much thought. But as time goes on, I really see the importance and how precious it is. Community and connection. A partner isn’t a substitute. But a great partner can sure make a difference in our lives too.
    This is a second marriage for both Rick and I btw lockedoutofmycar. We’ve grown a lot, together. I’d say more like learning to love than learning to love again for us!
    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

  6. Avatar
    turnip February 18, 2014 at 7:36 am

    You nail it Rick!
    In fact I am too busy with real life and love roight now that I mostly arhives all I get about ADHD in my mailbox, though I did open tha mail I got from you at my birthday, yes that day is my birthday 🙂
    /Mats, from a small Kingdom in nothern Europe

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