ADHD and Relationships

ADHD can affect relationships. Teens with ADHD tend to be less mature, with less developed social skills, than their peers. As a result:

  • They begin having sex early, at age 15 on average.
  • They tend to have more sexual partners than their peers without ADHD, and do not stay in relationships for long.
  • They are more likely to engage in high-risk activities, such as unprotected sex. As a result, they have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy.

It is important to maintain open communication with your child about his or her body and sexuality. The best time to start is when your child is young.

ADHD, relationships, and marriage

Many aspects of ADHD may affect family life, including:

  • disorganization
  • difficulty dealing with frustration and regulating emotions
  • difficulty communicating
  • problems at work or school
  • poor self-esteem

The spouse of a person with ADHD may need to take on extra responsibilities in the family, such as planning, organizing, setting limits for children, managing money, and keeping the peace in the family.

Adults with ADHD tend to get married, separated, and divorced more often. However, there are many adults with ADHD who maintain long lasting and meaningful relationships, and who do not get divorced.