So, how can you build a strong, fulfilling, and happy relationship when you have ADHD? You and your partner will need to find some strategies that work for your unique relationship. Although it takes a little extra effort, it’s important to remember that you’re every bit as deserving of that type of love as anyone else. Use the following tips to give your relationship a boost and encourage love between you and your partner.

1. Work as a Team

You and your partner are on the same team. This is one of the core principles to keep in mind when dealing with problems in a romantic relationship. When conflicts come up, it’s easy to slip into a me vs. you dynamic. But maintaining a teamwork mindset can help you two resolve conflicts more successfully.

As you work to improve things, always remember that you both share the same goal: a happy and loving relationship. Bickering and criticizing will not help you achieve what you want, and it can chip away at the love you have for one another. Instead, you’ll need to work together to come up with solutions that benefit you both.

2. Learn about ADHD

If ADHD behaviors are causing friction in your relationship, it’s time to hit the books. The more you both learn about ADHD, the better you can understand one another. If you have ADHD, it can illuminate some of the ways your partner is affected by your condition that you didn’t realize. And for your partner, more knowledge about ADHD behaviors and neurological impacts can help them to better understand you.

Studying up on ADHD might feel like a homework assignment at first, but it can actually help bring you together as a couple — especially if you dig deep. Go beyond simply learning about different types of symptoms to really investigate the wide-ranging effects of ADHD, like dealing with social stigma and facing a higher risk for comorbid conditions like anxiety and depression.

3. Split Responsibilities Equitably

In couples where one partner has ADHD, a common issue is the other partner feeling resentment for having to always be the “responsible” one. They’re the person that has to keep things organized, clean up messes, and remember appointments — all things that a person with ADHD often struggles with. This can create a parent-child dynamic which has the potential to erode intimacy over time.

In order to avoid falling into this pattern, it’s important to make sure both partners are pulling their weight. Think about the areas you do excel in and how you can use that to contribute to the relationship and the household. In addition, take extra steps to remind yourself to stay on top of daily chores and tasks so your partner doesn’t have to pick up the slack.

4. Work on Being a Good Listener

Everyone wants to be heard. But if your ADHD makes it hard to focus during conversations, your partner might feel like you’re ignoring their needs. While it’s not your fault that ADHD affects your concentration, there are strategies you can implement to be a better listener.

First, recognize when you’re lacking focus and create better conditions for listening. That might mean moving to a quieter area with fewer distractions, for example. Next, try to visualize what your partner is telling you. People with ADHD tend to be visual thinkers, and this can be used to your advantage to maintain focus. You can also ask to occasionally paraphrase the conversation back to your partner to make sure you haven’t missed any key points.

5. Manage Your Emotions

Mood swings are one of the many potential symptoms of ADHD you may experience. Unfortunately, rapid shifts in mood can have a negative impact on a relationship. Being a good partner requires working to manage your emotions in a healthy way.

Start by identifying triggers for your mood swings and taking steps to avoid them. For the times when that’s not possible, develop techniques to deal with your emotions without taking it out on your partner. You may find that journaling helps you process what you’re feeling or that getting outside for some fresh air on a walk can help diffuse things when tensions are high. Stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing are other possible strategies for preventing emotional outbursts.

6. Try Therapy Together

Having relationship issues isn’t something to be ashamed of. Many couples face problems at some point, especially in long-term relationships. The important thing is to be proactive when these problems arise. Ignoring issues can have serious consequences. In fact, research suggests that the divorce rate for couples affected by ADHD may be twice as high as that of the general population.

Couples therapy can be a great way to work through issues together as a team. If possible, look for a therapist who has experience helping those with ADHD. It will be immensely helpful to work with a professional who is familiar with adult ADHD and can understand the cause of your ADHD behaviors.

7. Find the Right ADHD Treatment

Ultimately, the most important thing you can do for your relationship is to maintain an effective treatment plan for your ADHD. Finding the right combination of medication, therapy, and other supports can take some time, but it’s well worth it. The better you’re able to manage your symptoms, the less your ADHD will interfere with your relationship. When you take proactive steps to address your symptoms, think of it as something you’re doing not only for yourself, but also for the person you love most.