The Impact of ADHD on Marriage: Forgetfulness

Marriage can be difficult —especially with outside pressures from careers, children, in-laws, extracurricular activities, volunteering, church, sporting events, and even pets! With all the things that can interfere with your marriage, I bet you never imagined adding ADHD to that list. But if your spouse struggles with ADHD, it can add a whole other level of difficulty and stress to your marriage. This week we are going to dive into what it can look like and why. We hope that you find some solace in knowing you’re not alone!


Individuals with ADHD tend to be very forgetful. It is not on purpose, but rather because their brains are often so overwhelmed with racing thoughts, following “rabbit trails”, or fighting external distractions that they often lose focus. This can look different in each person.

For some it may be losing things constantly—their purse, car keys, grocery list, etc. For others with ADHD, it may look like a lack of follow through. They may offer to start the laundry, but then walk out the door without pressing the power button—or even putting the clothes in! Or maybe they started the laundry without putting any detergent in the washing machine.

All of this can come across as laziness, lack of caring, or selfishness. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Most individuals with ADHD care a lot, but struggle to focus on tasks and complete any tasks they are given without getting distracted. As frustrated as you may feel, your partner may feel just as frustrated, as well as experience shame and guilt because of their ADHD.

If you recognize that either you or your partner have ADHD, we encourage you to get help. Some studies suggest there is a higher risk of divorce in marriages where ADHD exists. Although medication may help, there are other coping skills and changes that can be made to lessen the impact of ADHD.

Please check in this week as we discuss more ways that ADHD can impact marriage.

Guest post written by Christy Fogg with Journey to Joy Counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.