ADHD and Marriage in New York: Relating to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder using the Furniture Conundrum
Have you ever embarked on the bold quest of assembling furniture? If so, you’re familiar with that unique blend
of feelings of
, anxiety, bafflement, and fleeting regret. Now, what if I told you that being in a relationship where one partner has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) feels a lot like putting together that intricate, Swedish-engineered bookshelf named something unpronounceable like “Björksnäs” or “Lack”?
Imagine this: you’re ecstatic, standing in the heart of the IKEA maze, surrounded by sleek designs and plates of Swedish meatballs. You stumble upon a beautiful piece of furniture – stylish, affordable, and fitting perfectly with your vision. “This!” you declare, “This will transform my space!” Without a second thought, you cart it to checkout, and home it goes.
Excitement fills you as you tear into the box, ready to master the assembly. But as the layers of particleboard, screws, and a booklet with a wordless, seemingly mocking cartoon man unfurl before you, reality sets in. What have you gotten yourself into? Your heart rate quickens; perhaps there’s a bead of sweat. The instruction manual looks more like hieroglyphics than helpful guidance. The screws – oh, the countless similar-yet-different screws! Why do they all look the same yet have tiny variations that make all the difference?
Transfer this scenario to a relationship where untreated ADHD takes center stage. It’s an intricate dance of managing distractibility, impulsivity, and emotions, akin to flipping back and forth through that IKEA manual, trying to figure out why you’re left with a peculiar-looking bolt that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere. The non-ADHD partner’s experience can often feel like they’re deciphering the diagrams of your partner’s mind, wondering if a page got mistakenly left out of your relationship manual, and pondering why there’s no customer support line to call. The non-ADHD spouse often feels like they are in a parent-child dynamic. The ADHD brain can play a number in
romantic relationships, as the non-ADHD partner takes on responsibilities for important details in their daily lives. Well, there is – it’s called specialized couples therapy for ADHD in New York, but we’ll delve into that later!
The romance and thrill at the beginning feel like that initial attraction to your dream furniture in the store. The sleek design, the promises of transformed space (or, in relationships, a transformed life), and the allure of newness. But, as anyone who’s stared at an IKEA instruction page knows, there’s more beneath the surface. In
romantic relationships with an ADHD partner, the layers unfold with time: the distractibility that looks a lot like that moment you can’t find the right Allen wrench, the emotional surges mimicking the exasperation of forcing a wooden dowel into a spot it just doesn’t want to go, and the impulsivity reminiscent of deciding to build the darn thing without even glancing at the manual.
Before you start thinking this is just a humorous tirade against IKEA or ADHD, secretly devised by the non-ADHD partner, fret not. It’s quite the opposite. This assembly, be it furniture or relationship, is utterly worth it. The satisfaction of clicking the last piece into place or navigating the waters of ADHD with love and patience is unparalleled. But to reach that ‘ta-da’ moment, we need a dash of humor, heaps of understanding, and perhaps a friend (or therapist) to say, “Hey, I think that piece goes over there!”
If you’ve ever yelled at
one partner over a piece of wooden plank or a bag of screws or felt the same frustration with your partner’s quirks as
your partner feels with an IKEA item missing its screws, stick around. We’re about to dive deep into the maze of flat-pack relationship challenges and how to come out on the other side with a beautifully assembled love story. And don’t worry, meatballs are optional, but humor is mandatory!
Part 1: The Seven Executive Functions — Or As I Call Them, “IKEA Bag of Parts” of Adult ADHD
Brace yourselves as we plunge into the intricate world of the seven executive functions. Imagine these functions as those seven puzzling bags accompanying your IKEA purchase. Each bag is brimming with essential components, yet eerily similar. Have you ever pondered, “Why do these three screws look identical, yet one is slightly shorter?” Well, that’s a glimpse into ADHD in relationships and the role ADHD plays on people with ADHD and stress with their partner.
Inattention/Distractibility – The Misplaced Manual
Having difficulty staying focused on tasks can manifest in myriad ways. For instance, while gleefully setting up their new “Ektorp” sofa, Jordan realizes they’ve missed several steps halfway through. The end product? It’s more of a modern art piece than a functional couch. And then there’s the classic scenario where Taylor recounts their workday to Jamie, only for Jamie to become utterly entranced by an odd bird outside, prompting Taylor to say, “Hello? Earth to Jamie!”
Impulsivity – The “Who Needs a Manual?” Approach
Leaping headfirst into tasks without much forethought is a hallmark of impulsivity. Alex, confident in their assembly skills, discards the manual and ends up with a table more prone to wobbling than dining. On the relationship front, Jordan’s surprise weekend getaway for Taylor might seem dreamy. Still, it clashes with a family event Taylor had already scheduled.
Emotional Dysregulation – The “Why Won’t It Fit?!” Meltdown
Consider those moments of explosive emotions akin to the frustration of a tricky IKEA piece refusing to fit. After several failed attempts at joining two pieces, Jamie has a mini-meltdown and renounces all things furniture-related. Similarly, Jordan’s sudden outburst over a misplaced cushion leaves Taylor treading carefully, like walking on eggshells.
Working Memory – The “I Swear It Was Here” Phenomenon
Recalling recent actions or details, like misplacing that crucial Allen wrench, can be a struggle. For example, Alex’s half-hour quest for a missing screw ends with its discovery beneath the instruction booklet they consulted. On the home front, Jamie’s surprise at being reminded of a dinner with Taylor’s mother exclaims, “That’s tonight?!”
Task Initiation – The Procrastination Parade
Putting off tasks can be all too familiar. Jordan’s new desk sits untouched because, according to them, “The vibe isn’t right yet.” Meanwhile, Taylor’s plea to Alex to hang an artwork goes unheeded for months, perpetually “on Alex’s to-do list.”
Planning/Prioritizing – The Backward Assembly
Starting a project with no strategy can lead to unique outcomes. Take Jamie, who crafts something more abstract than functional by following the manual from the last page. And Alex’s attempt at a cozy date night at home falls short when they overlook essential dinner ingredients, leading to an unexpected take-out evening.
Organization – The “Where’s The Remaining Screw?” Dilemma
Keeping things in order can be a genuine challenge. Like Taylor, an ADHD partner, who, despite laying out all the screws neatly, can’t locate the exact one needed. And then there’s the scene where Jordan inquires about the whereabouts of
one partner the extra shelf pins, with Jamie’s helpful response being, “Somewhere over there?”
with adults with ADHD in relationships mirrors the joys and pitfalls of IKEA furniture assembly. It’s a journey riddled with baffling moments, precarious balancing acts, and the occasional misplaced component. Yet, with patience and understanding, one can master the art of crafting a resilient relationship where everything fits just right.
Part 2: The ADHD-Relationship Carnival – When The Rollercoaster Meets The Bumper Cars for the ADHD Partner and Non-ADHD Partner
Have you ever had that thrill of stepping into a carnival, your heart racing, only to find out it’s a tad more chaotic than the brochure said? That’s relationships with
adults and ADHD for you: exciting, a tad unpredictable, and…did someone mention cotton candy? Alright, hang in there; we’re getting to it. This is about the ADHD effect on marriages in New York, considering all of the challenges attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can bring.
🎡 The Schema Ferris Wheel – One Rotation at a Time!
Introducing the Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline Schema Ferris Wheel, the crown jewel of our ADHD-Relationship Carnival. From its peak, the breathtaking views give a panorama of ‘Willpower Woesville.’ But the climb to the top? Oh, what a saga!
Here’s Alex, an ADHD partner, set on sticking to a fresh diet. But then, boom! A choco-lava cake stall beckons, and suddenly, Alex is back at square one, savoring every bite.
Next, imagine Jordan, an ADHD partner, vowing to their non-ADHD partner, Taylor, about a frugal month ahead. But then, the irresistible urge to match sequin jackets spirals them into a fashion frenzy.
🎠 The Coping Carousel – Round and Round We Go!
Hop onto this Carousel of Coping, where some coping styles gleam like mighty stallions, while others…well, they’re those shaky unicorns.
Surrender: Jamie thinks, “Why merely face temptation when I can embrace it?” The aftermath? Their space resembles the aftermath of a wild souvenir stampede, and the ADHD effect overwhelms their non-ADHD partner.
Avoidance: Taylor has a looming work report. But suddenly, the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies seem pressing. And the newfound zeal for succulent gardening? Priceless.
Overcompensation: Enter Jordan on a quest to organize, wielding color-coded bins—one for crimson socks, another for ruby-red ones, and so on.
🎢 Emotional Rollercoaster – Buckle Up!
This coaster has dramatic ups and downs, rivaling any prime-time soap opera—soaring highs of being the party’s heart and soul to the lows when the last note fades.
For instance, one second, Jamie’s the life of the party, and the next, they’re pondering the great debate: pineapple on pizza—yay or nay? Their non-ADHD partner is challenged and frustrated.
In your relationship, Taylor, the non-ADHD partner, casually points out Jordan’s trash duty oversight. What could’ve been a breezy conversation morphs into a profound session on our environmental duties.
🚗 Bumper Cars – Navigating Boundaries
Enter the realm of boundaries, made tangible with these quirky cars: some smooth maneuvers, a few bumps, and occasional grace.
Alex, the partner with ADHD, sets a golden rule in their personal life: no work emails after 8 p.m. Yet, at 8:01 p.m., Alex is engrossed in office potluck planning. Non-ADHD partners likely relate to this challenge.
Next, Jamie voices a need for ‘alone time’ on Sundays to Jordan. Come next Sunday, Jordan’s version of ‘solitude’ involves inviting a merry band of friends to celebrate. Why not, they think? The ADHD effect on non-ADHD partners can often feel forgotten or invisible, suffering, hurt feelings, and a blow to their mental health. Jordan forgets how their partner feel.
Have you survived this whirlwind tour of our ADHD-Relationship Carnival? Bravo! But remember, the primary mission is mastering that metaphorical IKEA relationship cabinet, quirks, missing screws, and all. ADHD and ADHD symptoms might toss in some extra loops and spins, but with humor and a pinch of patience, you’re set for a journey filled with laughter and
And as we wind down, who’s up to delve deeper into this adventure of understanding and
feelings? Stay with us; the grand spectacle awaits!
Part 3: Navigating The ADHD-Relationship Tug-of-War – When Love, Patience, and Misplaced Keys Collide
Welcome to the grand finale of our ADHD-Relationship Carnival: The infamous Tug-of-War! Here we are, with partners on opposite ends, a rope stretched taut between them. One end screams, “Order,” and the other yells, “Chaos.” And that unpredictable, muddy pit in the middle? It’s brimming with “Misunderstandings”.
🕵️♂️ The Great Detective Hunt: Searching for Lost Items
Picture a thrilling detective hunt, where it’s less about chasing down villains and more about chasing down your stuff. Sherlock Holmes meets romantic comedy but with way more misplaced objects.
In your personal life: Casey stands there, peering into the fridge, on a noble quest to find… sunglasses? But wait, plot twist! They’re atop Casey’s head. Classic.
In your relationship: Here’s Jordan, turning the whole house inside out, searching for that elusive wallet. The plot thickens when Taylor finds it cozying up with the frozen peas and pizza rolls in the freezer.
🍳 Cooking up Chaos: The Kitchen Misadventures
When it comes to culinary adventures, sometimes they’re less ‘Five Star Dining’ and more ‘Five Alarm Fire.’
Inspired, Alex sets out to bake. However, mid-way comes the shocking discovery: No sugar. The ingenious solution? Ketchup. Because it’s sweet-ish. Kinda. Sorta.
Jamie, in a bold move
towards intimacy, promises a romantic dinner. Enter Taylor, welcomed by a burnt pan, a smoke alarm that thinks it’s on American Idol, and Jamie’s proposal, “How about…cereal by candlelight?”
🎶 The DJ of Distractibility: Tune In, Zone Out
Minds are a bit like DJs – constantly shuffling tracks. From soulful ballads, one moment to head-banging rock the next. And sometimes, the record scratches.
Casey, with the best of intentions, starts doing laundry. Two hours later? They’re deep into a podcast about socks and dreaming of starting a sock empire.
Alex is sharing about their day. Jordan, the partner with ADHD, is nodding along, with their focus on choreographing an entire dance routine to that catchy tune playing on repeat in their mind. No wonder it is easy for Jordan to forget things related to their
marital and family functioning partner Alex, which brings up anger and the dynamic with a child instead of a partner.
🤹 Juggling Priorities: When Balls Drop (Literally) Life requires juggling. But sometimes, instead of juggling, we’re just…dropping balls. Left and right.
their household marital and family functioning and responsibilities – watching a movie, texting Jamie, sipping soup. As a partner with ADHD, Taylor is similar to other people with ADHD. Paying attention to household responsibilities can easily bring on anger in their partner. Suddenly? ADHD symptoms arise. A dramatic movie twist, a phone taking a soup bath, and one very shocked Taylor full of anger when they feel like they have a
partner with ADHD who sometimes seems to act like a child.
Next, Jamie’s on a mission similar to other people with ADHD: Fix that squeaky door and whip up breakfast for their partner. Fast forward to a door that’s decided to part ways with its frame and a toast that’s more charcoal than bread. People with ADHD struggle with their partner to help them understand their symptoms.
The beauty of navigating a relationship with ADHD is that it’s like the most entertaining, wild, and heartwarming reality show you’ve ever seen. There are slip-ups, laugh-out-loud moments, and those loving eye-rolls that remind
the person beside you why it’s all worth it.
Love isn’t just
about keeping daily life together and facing the storms together; it’s also about dancing in the rain with your partner, the occasional slip in a puddle, and the laughter that follows with your partner in your marriage. And as the curtains start to roll down on our ADHD-Relationship Carnival, remember this: Love is the show’s star, with or without an occasional misstep. So take a bow, you beautiful people with ADHD and the loving non-ADHD partner, and give yourselves a round of applause, and remember, at Loving at Your Best, we’re here to help you navigate it all for a more satisfying marriage in New York City.
The Grand Finale – Love, Laughter, and (Lost) IKEA Screws
Okay, DIYers of the ADHD-IKEA love furniture; let’s wrap it up. Imagine this: You’ve both taken on the daunting challenge of assembling an IKEA relationship. You’ve encountered missing pieces of cryptic instructions. Don’t even get us started on those darn screws that seem to vanish into another dimension.
But fear not! Constructing a sturdy, Pinterest-worthy ADHD relationship doesn’t need to be a two-person job. Think of us as
partners, the expert IKEA assembly crew
or partner you didn’t know you needed, complete with tools, Swedish meatballs, and the knack for making sense of those mind-boggling pictorial instructions.
we explain how we put the final touches on this, let me introduce the stellar team at Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling. These aren’t just any therapists; they’re like the elite IKEA assembly squad, specialized in relationships
, marital and family therapy, and intimacy with
partners with an ADHD twist!
Travis Atkinson, the Triple-Certified Maestro! In the realm of Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Schema Therapy for Individuals and Couples, the IKEA Interpreter Extraordinaire! When faced with incomprehensible IKEA directions full of ‘Flurgens’ and ‘Squorkens,’ Travis is your Rosetta Stone for decoding the assembly hieroglyphics to treat adult ADHD. He’s the one you want, calmly guiding you through each step, never breaking a sweat as he points out, “Ah yes, step 15 comes after step 12” with Zen-like assuredness as you frantically try piecing together your new Flibbity-Jibbit bookcase. If IKEA instructions were in a foreign language, Travis would be fluent in assembling Billy bookshelves blindfolded.
Paul Chiariello, the Relationship Renaissance Man!
Plunge into the ever-mystifying pages of ADHD relationship dynamics, and you’ll find Paul armed with his encyclopedic Relationship Blueprint wisdom to help treat adult ADHD. Staring blankly at a relationship structure that’s as wonky as an upside-down coffee table? That’s where Paul steps in, with a twinkle in his eye and a master plan in his pocket. He’s the sensei you summon when love turns puzzling, deciphering every nuance and nudge. When you’re stumped, trying to figure out if “Lurve 101” comes before or after “Passion 202”, Paul’s the one with a sly smile, handing you the guidebook, ensuring no single love note goes unread. If relationship dynamics were a board game, Paul would always be three moves ahead, crowned the eternal champion of Love Monopoly.
, the Emotive Architect Supreme! In a world where love’s layers often overlap and crisscross like those confounding IKEA diagrams, Tiffany shines as the mastermind who sees the grand design in adult ADHD. Ever felt like your emotional wiring’s gone haywire, as chaotic as that mixed bag of IKEA nuts and bolts? Fret not, because Tiffany’s here, magnifying glass in one hand, heart compass in the other, leading you to serene shores. She’s the wizardess who waves away woes, ensuring every sentiment, sigh, and subtle gesture finds its rightful spot. And when it seems like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, with ups, downs, and unexpected loops, Tiffany’s your ever-smiling conductor, guaranteeing a smooth ride through the tunnels of tenderness. If emotions had a melody, she’d be the maestra composing symphonies of the soul.
, the Blueprint Brilliance Beacon! Ever felt you’re navigating a relationship maze, lost in its turns and twists? Jon’s your trusty compass, navigating through every challenge gracefully and with gusto. Picture this: you’ve crafted what seems like a love letter, but on reading, it feels more like a grocery list. That’s when Jon swings into action, refining, reworking, and revamping. He’s the genius you call upon when the relationship script seems scribbled, ensuring every scene, act, and dialogue radiates romance. When you’re on the brink of crafting a masterstroke but hit a creative block, Jon’s there, brush and palette ready, painting the canvas of companionship. If love stories had genres, Jon would be the literary luminary crafting tales from rom-coms to epic sagas.
With Loving at Your Best, you get specialized support
and family therapy tailored to the vibrant challenges and strengths of ADHD relationships. Our eclectic mix of
treatment options and techniques, ranging from the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Schema Therapy for Individuals and Couples, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ensures your relationship doesn’t just stand upright but thrives with flair. And hey, it’s been a hit with couples across New York, New Jersey, and Vermont.
We’ll also connect you with an Attention Deficit Disorder Association to help some of those moments when you feel overwhelmed or are at a breaking point. We’ll work together to help the person with ADHD talk with medical professionals who can evaluate the need for medication to reduce symptoms and stress in their treatment. The ADHD effect can strain relationships, like when attention disorders involve a destructive pattern of consistently inconsistent chore wars and household tasks that can feel like a specialty press to feel hurt.
Untreated symptoms can thwart people with ADHD, and symptoms can respond positively with the proper treatment that includes talk therapy and medication to help the person with ADHD reduce symptoms of stress, anger, focus, staying organized, or when their mind wanders. The non-ADHD partner may find some of their thoughts helped, reducing anger and being a better parent through more understanding with their partner. Talk to your partner about improving your marriage and ADHD symptoms, sharing your own thoughts, like increasing focus, using sticky notes, and finding your car keys or even Metrocard.
When you’re ready to transition from assembling IKEA furniture on a wing and a prayer to crafting a masterpiece with expert guidance (and fewer missing screws), give us a call or visit our website. Be sure to like this video, subscribe to our channel, and tap the notify button to be the first to see more entertaining YouTubes from us. And remember, for an IKEA relationship with an ADHD twist; there’s no
person or place more adept at turning those L-shaped screws than the hands at Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling.