ADHD and Relationships

Navigating romantic relationships is tricky, but add a partner who has ADHD and things can get downright messy. And I’m not talking about the dirty dishes piling in the sink.

In the first episode of ADHD Smarties, I talked with Dr. John Burton, a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in relationship counseling and treating ADHD. Dr. Burton offers strategies for dealing with common challenges in ADHD relationships, including boredom, impulsivity and communicating with your partner about your disorder. For good measure, we also discussed some of the wonderful qualities of ADHD partners.

  • 3:00 - Unique challenges of ADHD in romantic relationships.
  • 6:15 - Understanding your ADHD mind and how it affects your behavior.
  • 9:47 - Positive aspects of an ADHD partner.
  • 12:39 - Is it ADHD, or just normal relationship stuff?
  • 15:45 - Understanding and supporting an ADHD partner.
  • 20:30 - Talking about your disorder in a new relationship.
  • 23:30 - Online dating with ADHD.
  • 26:32 - Impulsivity and relationships.
  • 28:54 - Being present in your relationship.
  • 30:33 - How to check your “hot head” in arguments.
  • 32:30 - Keeping your relationship exciting.

Additional resources recommended by Dr. Burton:

Love Sense, Susan Johnson
Hold Me Tight, Susan Johnson
The Gift of ADHD, Lara Honos-Webb

The bit about our expert:
Dr. Burton is a psychologist who specializes in treating adults with ADHD, as well as couples therapy in which one or both of the partners have ADHD. He is a graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he received the Institute Scholarship for excellence as a graduate student. Dr. Burton is based in Hood River, OR with his wife and two kids. You can learn more about Dr. Burton on his website: