A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, Gina Pera, wrote a book called Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? In this almost ridiculously comprehensive work: Gina provides a caravan full of information, advice and anecdotes on the subject of living with an ADHD partner, spouse or paramour. If you want a complete perspective on the subject, check it out. In the meantime, consider my somewhat colorful perspective.
Living with an ADD/ADHD is like being on the border of a particular kind of nuclear-capable country. It can resemble Israel with its surreptitious program. It's got nuclear weapons, but it doesn't admit it. Everyone 'knows' the Israelis have warheads, but the country doesn't talk about it. So while no one in the neighborhood has evaporated in a mushroom cloud, a certain kind of volatility persists. Living with an ADHD'er who denies his/her condition is much the same. It's hard to relax.
Alternatively, an adult with ADHD can be more like Iran. Its program is somewhat open and seemingly chaotic. Maybe, it hopes to generate electricity - as it says - or perhaps the point is to make weapons - as everyone believes. Quite possible, the leadership believes both, while also changing its mind frequently. Under either case, such uncertainty can create enormous tensions in both international politics and around the domestic hearth.
Given this, you might wonder why any sane person would choose to have a romantic, long-term relationship with an ADD/ADHD adult. The answer, I think, is simple: it's exciting. Those of us with ADHD are on an endless search for stimulation, which can be exhausting but seldom boring.
Of course, the excitement works best when it's tempered with both acknowledgment and treatment. When that happens, you can have make the nuclear option work for you. By way of example, I offer you the country of France. It's nuclear. 75% of its electricity is generated by 59 nuclear reactors; it has nuclear weapons. And yet, none of this is newsworthy.
And just as the French have learned to live in peace and harmony with their nuclear nature, individuals on the home front can peacefully coexist with ADHD life partners. It takes work on both sides, but it's clearly possible.
Michael B. Laskoff
CEO - AbilTo