Melissa Orlov is a marriage consultant and one of the top experts in how ADHD affects relationships. She has been writing and speaking about the topic since 2007, researching it since 2005. She has worked with Edward Hallowell MD since 2004, writing ADHD articles and newsletters, and assisting with educational programs delivered by Dr. Hallowell and John Ratey MD. She teaches couples, therapists, counselors and coaches about how ADHD impacts relationships, blogs for Psychology Today and writes the Your Relationships column for ADDitude Magazine. She also consults privately with couples who wish to improve their ADHD-impacted relationships. Along with Dr. Hallowell, she is the author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, which was awarded “Best Psychological Book of 2010” by ForeWord Reviews. Orlov’s website is www.adhdmarriage.com.
What are the main concerns couples face when one or both partners have ADHD?
Over 80% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed, so most couples are not aware that ADHD is impacting their relationship. What they see is one partner (the one with ADHD) is chronically distracted or is “consistently inconsistent” when it comes to completing agreed-to tasks; may not remember agreements well or has significant difficulty financially – seeming to underperform his or her potential. Planning is often difficult for this person. In addition, an ADHD partner often isn’t aware that they aren’t paying as much attention to their spouse as their partner would like.
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