ADHD Effect on Divorce

In my last post about ADHD and Relationships, I mentioned The ADHD Effect on Marriage.  The author, Melissa Orlov, wrote the book after her husband with ADHD was unfaithful to her, and she began to examine the dynamics of their relationship.  Their relationship survived.  But, as Ms. Orlov points out, many others die.  She writes, “Research suggests that rates of marital dysfunction and divorce are about twice as high for people with ADHD as they are for people without it” (here).

And there are no books or research (that I can find) on the ADHD effect on divorce.  So how might ADHD come into play during a divorce? I hope there will be more research on this, but what I can say is that it makes sense to expect that the ADHD will show up.  The impulsivity, procrastination/lack of follow-through, aversion to low-interest/boring/tedious tasks, disorganization, etc. that the ADHD label describes will be present through a divorce just as through a marriage.

This likely will look different ways.  Impulsivity may show up as an unexpected announcement by the spouse with ADHD that s/he is leaving and wants a divorce (as one with ADHD might at work say, “I quit!” without having thought it all through).  Aversion to tedious tasks along with procrastination may show up as unfinished divorce paperwork and missed deadlines.  Disorganization may appear through lost paperwork or reliance on the spouse or others for reminders of events, etc.  I hope you get the idea.

Just as ADHD affects marriage (see ADHD and Relationships link at the top), it affects the end of a marriage, too.  Maybe, one day, we’ll know more about how, so that both parties involved know what to expect.

 

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