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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

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Click to download Dr. Hallowell and his wife Sue discuss how ADHD affects marriage on the Dr. Oz Show.

Marriages where one or both members of the couple have ADD can be plagued by misunderstandings, anger and frustration. These problems often arise from the misinterpretation of undiagnosed ADHD symptoms or, if the ADHD has been diagnosed, from both partners being unsure of what to do about it. The good news is that by understanding the role that ADHD plays in your relationship – by correctly interpreting what is happening to you and learning ways to make the interactions more positive – couples can not only improve their marriages, but thrive.

Dr. Hallowell offers a number of ways to learn how to thrive in relationships affected by ADHD. First, all of the Hallowell Centers offer counseling for couples interested in taming the ADHD interactions and misunderstandings in their relationship. Counseling may include treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety and other issues, as well as therapy centered on developing strategies for improving the interactions between partners.

Dr. Hallowell, Sue Hallowell and Melissa Orlov new book, “Married to Distraction”, was released in March, 2010  deals with how to keep distraction from hurting your marriage. Dr. Hallowell and Ms. Orlov also write a blog and manage a forum on how ADHD affects marriage, which can be found at www.adhdmarriage.com

Dr. Edward Hallowell and his wife, Sue, appeared on Dr. Phil and discussed their new book Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Distraction. In the show they teach you how to spot hidden distractions in your relationship and reveal the mistakes you may not realize you’re making.  Watch the interview.

Dr. Hallowell also recommends reading The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Undersand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps. 

and the  Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted  (New World Library,
February 14, 2014) psychotherapist and clinical social worker Marcia Naomi Berger offers today’s busy, often overextended couples a simple way to improve their marriage and work through challenges by committing to meeting with each other once a week without distractions

Did You Know?

If you are married to a person with ADHD and are feeling lonely your loneliness may well be the result of the ADHD symptom “distraction”.  Most likely, your spouse loves you but is too distracted to pay the attention to you that you need so that you “feel” his or her love.  In this case, rather than feel disappointed or angry or convincing yourself that your spouse “no longer cares”, a good response would be to talk with your spouse, acknowledge the spouse’s ADHD symptom “distraction”, and express your need for more focused time together.  Express that you understand that the action (ignoring you) does not correspond with his/her feelings (love) but that in order to feel loved you need more time together.  Then overtly schedule some fun time, such as date nights or trips, which can make the two of you feel more connected again.

Next Steps

1) Keep learning about ADD/ADHD! Some good places to start:

2) If you believe that you or your child or spouse may have ADD/ADHD, get a professional diagnosis:

3) Remember that you are not alone! There is a tremendous community to support and help you. A few places to look, depending on your needs:

Article on ADD and Relationships:

Feeling Lonely in Your Relationship? It Could be ADHD. Dr. Hallowell recommends reading this article by Melissa Orlov.  Please click here to read:

Recommended Blogs

ADHD and Marriage Blog   Tips on Learning to Thrive in Your Relationship from Melissa Orlov and Dr. Hallowell