Love and Sex

How to Navigate ‘Over-Functioning’ in Relationships When One Partner Has ADHD

Three years into the pandemic, we are experiencing the monkey pox, and polio has recently returned. If that wasn’t enough, the new school year is starting in August, which means fall is quickly approaching. Adult ADHD diagnoses have increased over the past two years in the field of mental health. As a society, we have trouble concentrating and getting things done. This has two implications. One: Many individuals find it difficult to concentrate,and maintain eye contact with persons they care about. And two: All of the adult patients with ADHD—whether recently diagnosed or previously known—probably have over-functioning partners.

Over-functioning is characterized by taking charge of someone else’s life obligations (such as scheduling their doctor visits, getting them up, or purchasing gifts for them to give), offering unsolicited advice because you believe it will be helpful, and feeling overwhelmed and even resentful. Over-functioners frequently have strict requirements for how and when things must be accomplished. This gives one a sense of success, helps manage one’s relationships and daily activities, andwhen one partner has ADHD, the relationship can almost seem insurmountable due to its constant tension.

Fidgeting, impulsivity, impatience, absentmindedness, difficulty focusing, issues paying attention, anxiety, mood swings, and even aggressiveness are symptoms of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Now, a person with ADHD is not always the relationship’s underperformer. ADHD symptoms can occasionally present as underperformance. It’s not intentional or done out of laziness; rather, it’s a mental health condition manifesting itself in the real world.

Because those who over-function need to control their anxiety to cease over-functioning. A person who over-functions must therefore learn how to assign a task, set it, and forget it. For instance, cleaning the bathroom. Let’s say you detest cleaning the bathroom but your partner doesn’t mind doing it. An over-functioner may find it difficult to give up control of a task, therefore task management might help them cope with their anxiety. By “putting it down and letting it go,

Can you please make sure to clean the bathroom at the end of the week?

If the toilet isn’t cleaned by the end of the week, it’s time to have that conversation again; however, if it is cleaned in any way, shape, or form, there is no need to have that conversation again or to redo it.

As an over-functioner, it is beneficial to exclusively delegate low-risk jobs. You shouldn’t first delegate tasks that are urgent, truly life or death (such giving an elderly person insulin) or that depend on how the over-functioner completes them. An over-functioner will struggle to complete this exercise in patience. In order to reduce worry and potential resentment of their beloved, the over-functioner must also give up some of their power.

It is wise for persons with ADHD who feel they are dating an over-functioner to discover their own workarounds. If you have ADHD symptoms, you could struggle to manage your self-care or even do home chores. As a lover in a relationship, you may also see the toll it takes on your partner and your union (or perhaps you don’t and reading this article has made it easier for you to understand what your partner experiences).

ADHD diagnoses

You can try to accomplish goals in a staggered and less daunting (and less prone to forget) approach by dividing the process into smaller, more manageable pieces, such as gathering the material, cleaning the toilet, and putting the materials back. Using timers, keeping conversations brief and focused (even taking notes! ), setting timers, cleaning to music, Whatever solutions you come up with, remember that they support your relationship and ultimately lead to more intimacy since your partner can relax and let go of some of the effort while you feel appreciated and successful.

Relationships when one partner has ADHD and the other is an over-functioner can succeed and flourish. The need to understand how to cooperate for harmonious relationships is greater than ever given the status of the world today, the rise in ADHD diagnoses, and anxiety.

You May Also Like:

These Sex Positions Are So Cuddly They’re Basically Just Hugs