Sometimes, despite our best efforts and desire to keep the family intact, divorce looms. Yet, how do you navigate divorce and custody issues with a partner whose high-conflict behavior has made divorce the only option? I asked William “Bill” Eddy, MCSW, JD, to offer some advice (below).

As an attorney, therapist, mediator, and president of the High Conflict Institute, Eddy provides consultations and training about managing high-conflict personalities to professionals, including attorneys, judges, mediators, mental health professionals, and human resource professionals.

By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
President, High Conflict Institute

Some parents considering divorce have questions about dealing with the “High-Conflict” behavior of a partner whose untreated ADHD creates intractable problems. This is a familiar problem for any parent dealing with a High-Conflict co-parent who remains in denial about any mental-health condition. While I’m going to refer to an ex-husband here, the same information applies to ex-wives in denial about their own conditions.

The first three tips are reminders to yourself; the last four tips are actions to take. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you living with an “in-denial” adult with ADHD? Try humor. For starters, check out this short video featuring Canadian writer/director/actor Rick Green and maybe share it with your partner. Then both of you can (I hope) have a laugh.

In case you didn’t figure it out, Rick has ADHD. And guess what? Ava Green, his wife, works with him as video story editor. And together they produced the much-acclaimed GlobalTV documentary ADD and Loving It?!, featuring Canadian actor Patrick McKenna. Here is the description from the TotallyADD website: Read the rest of this entry »

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For those new to ADHD Partner blog and unfamiliar with my other two blogs, I’d like to point you to several helpful posts. After 10 years of moderating the online ADHD Partner group (an international free online group for the partners of adults with ADHD), I know these are “hot topics” and are bound to help you slow your own personal ADHD Roller Coaster. So, fire up your  monitor and find the clues you’ve been seeking:

ADHD and Sleep:

This is a topic I’ve educated about for years, and still many people (including clinicians) are surprised to learn that many ADHD symptoms conspire to impair good sleep–for your partner with ADHD and you.  Click here to read my post on this topic, “To Sleep, Perchance to Turn Off that *&$@# Computer.” Definitely read the many validating, illuminating comments (leave one to help others, if you  like).

Look forward to an e-book I’m writing on the topic, full of helpful sleeptime strategies!

ADHD and Sex:

Who knew? A “little kid’s disorder” that makes them “fidget in the classroom” can create problems with adult sexual intimacy, and indeed any type of intimacy? Read the rest of this entry »

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One certain way to ease your stress is working with your ADHD partner to ease his or her stress.  For many of us, that means organization strategies that work for the entire household.

I’ve just spent my Sunday morning shopping on Amazon for helpful products to get you thinking in terms of external structural support for your partner with ADHD.  (See the “Get Organized” box to the left.)

You might do very well organizing your personal items in drawers and cabinets, but most adults with ADHD need visual storage systems  (otherwise, items out of sight are also out of mind).  If you want to avoid clutter but your ADHD partner needs visual cues, the compromise might be neatly contained but highly visible solutions.

For example, I found  handy devices for Read the rest of this entry »

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Is ADHD an invention of the United States’ “Big Pharma?”  Absolutely not.

Research indicates that the rate of ADHD in the population is fairly consistent from country to country.  Several  English-speaking countries, however, do excel in ADHD awareness — the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.   Here’s a map of this blog’s readers, from the U.S.  to 72 other countries, including Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Japan, and Iceland.  Suriname, and Russia.

Know someone in a foreign country who could use solid information about Adult ADHD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment?  Knowledge is power. Forward a link to this blog and share it on your social-networking sites.

Roll on, ADHD Roller Coaster!

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Do you ever read news stories that raise giant red flags of ADHD yet never mention it by name? I  just read two such stories, and my mind was flooded with the thousands of posts I’ve read over the years from partners of adults with ADHD that touched directly on the topics. chicken_or_egg

The first story reported a study indicating that children in day care are more impulsive and bigger risk takers than children who did not go to day care or who spent less time in day care. The second story explored the effect of  electronic  devices on the human brain, including addiction.

But first, I’d like to point out a common error with  psychological (and sometimes even medical) research: confusing association with causation.  That is,  researchers claim research shows cause-and-effect (“causation”) when really all it shows is a  relationship between two variables (“association”).  More often, researchers do not make this claim; they merely suggest “risk factors” (a risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advanced age).  But reporters overstate the connection between cause and effect. Read the rest of this entry »

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To read the two-part story that accompanies this chart, click here to visit Gina’s Adult ADHD Relationships blog.

mental health chart

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argue“Too much fighting” was a top reason for leaving the relationship, according to ADHD Partner respondents who had either divorced or separated from or who had stopped dating a partner with (untreated) ADHD.  I’ll post that survey data soon, but given my recent experience at the farmer’s market (“Knowing the Facts Makes You Gaslight-Proof”) and the  partison rancor in this country, the topic of “fighting as self-medication” is on my mind.

So many factors contribute to the sometimes unrelenting arguments and conflict that happen in relationships affected by undiagnosed/untreated ADHD:

  • “Denial” of ADHD symptoms (which often has both physiological and psychological underpinnings)
  • A co-existing condition such as conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder, autistic-spectrum disorder, or even anxiety and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder.

Mostly, though, it’s ignorance around these factors  that fuels the fighting on both sides.  Here’s an excerpt on the subject from Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder.

Chapter 7: More Mystifying Twists and Turns (on the ADHD Roller Coaster)

Conflict as “Self-Medication”

For Kimberly, here’s the hardest thing to understand about her husband. It doesn’t matter how accommodating she is, how hard she tries to avoid doing things that would make him angry; as long as he wants to be angry, he will find a reason. Moreover, he wants to get angry a lot, and he will always find a way to make his anger her fault. Then when he finally succeeds in provoking her anger and she loses her temper, she’ll suffer more accusations from him about her anger-management problem. Kimberly ends up feeling ashamed yet defensive because, she says, “Most people have no idea how determined some people with ADHD can be at provoking others.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Michele Novotni, psychologist, coach, and ADHD expert

Michele Novotni, psychologist, coach, and ADHD expert

Psychologist, coach, and ADHD expert Michele Novotni is the author of What  Does Everybody Else Know That I Don’t?: Social Skills Help for Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Below, she offers this simple  advice for you and your ADHD partner to start establishing priorities about tasks and chores:

“I want my husband to understand that I don’t do it on purpose. He thinks that I ‘forget’ to close the cabinets or ‘forget’ to put something away on purpose.”

Ginny, a client in my group for adults with ADHD, was sharing her frustrations over living with a husband who doesn’t have ADHD.  Her ADHD-specific need for relationship advice is common, especially when it comes to domestic tasks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is your ADHD Partner overconfident about his or her ability to watch the road while texting? How about suggesting a spin behind this stimulator for some objective feedback. Read the rest of this entry »

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Since my book was published (Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder), I have been receiving letters from readers worldwide. I have permission to share the following three.  These mens’ words might strike a chord for you.

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Hi Gina,

I am a man diagnosed with ADHD. I have accepted the diagnosis only after realizing that focusing on myself and exercise is not the only answer. True, it took me 50 years to discover this, I feel the combination of my medication, exercise, and focusing has proven to be successful. At least in my mind, less so for my wife, apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

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My husband walked into my office, took one look at the explosion of papers surrounding me, and asked, “What the **** happened in here?” There I was, sitting on the floor poring over every study and article I could find on how Adult ADHD affects parenting (all in preparation for presenting on the topic at the CADDAC conference on ADHD in Toronto May 30-31). With all the various angles and possibilities to cover — ADHD is no one-size-fits-all condition, after all — it felt very overwhelming.

A few days later, with the presentation finally Powerpointed, I met a 40-something mother who also felt overwhelmed — by living the topic I’d only been writing about. Definitely more challenging!. This top-of-her-class attorney had adjusted fairly well to her first child’s arrival some seven years ago. Four years later came her second daughter, the sweet-faced little spitfire whose photo she proudly shared with me from her iPhone. That’s when this stay-at-home mom’s organizing skills — tenuous, even at times humorous, since childhood — hit the skids. Read the rest of this entry »

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