The Impact of ADHD on Marriage: Obliviousness

This week we are discussing how ADHD creates challenges in marriage. Many couples have no idea this is going on. The person is just seen as disorganized or lazy. Hopefully this is helping shed light on those that struggle with being married to someone with ADHD. Here are some more characteristics. 

They Seem Oblivious/Uncaring

First, let's define oblivious: Not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one (according to Webster's dictionary.)

An ADHD person can definitely seem oblivious at times. Truly, let's look at what might be going on in their minds through an example. Remember the spaghetti analogy Tamara used on Tuesday? She mentioned the brain process gets all jumbled up like a plate of spaghetti. If you were trapped in a bowl of spaghetti would you notice what's going on with others around you? Probably not. You would be focused on the bowl of spaghetti and how you get out of there. In the process you might be distracting by the taste and feel of the spaghetti. You may wonder who put you there and why am I in a bowl of spaghetti? You would have a lot going on in your mind. It's the same with an ADHD person. Although you may be talking to them (and they may even answer back) their mind is going in so many directions about how to "get out of the spaghetti" they may not truly "hear" you or may not even notice you are talking to them. This can definitely appear as uncaring. Try not to mistake it for that. In most cases, they may care but can't focus due to the bowl of spaghetti they are swimming in.


Because their brain is like the spaghetti and they are trying to "find a way out", they may get overly focused on things. They know inside that they HAVE to stay focused on something as one little distraction will be a rabbit trail. So they overcompensate by over-focusing. Sometimes it's called being hyper-focused on something.

As mentioned previously, 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.

Thank you for reading! Tomorrow Joleen will finish us out with more common challenges of ADHD in marriage.

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.