What is one of the biggest destroyers of relationships?
Who earns it, who spends it, on what, and how?
ADDers (those with ADHD) are notorious for managing their money badly. ADDers seldom have enough money left at the end of the month, often despite earning more than their peers."
In our coaching sessions this is one of the first crises we have to deal with.
In one of those curious ADHD paradoxes, some ADDers are brilliant at managing money - but they are the exception rather than the rule. These folk often develop OCD (obsessive compulsive) tendencies towards money. Perhaps having grown up in an ADHD family where money was a problem the ADDer has become obsessive about ensuring that the same will not happen to him or her.
There are a number of likely reasons for ADDers not being able to manage their finances and these include:
Just as the ADHD brain does not compute time accurately, ADDers seem unable to place an appropriate value on money. Like the digital clock that goes blip... blip... with no sense of time spent, money is just a nebulous concept that we need to buy stuff we want.
Short-term memory loss as ADDers can't remember how much they have in their accounts, and what has already been allocated.
Impulsivity is the real problem when added to the impairments above - on its own it's bad enough though. Being bright ADDers are often gadget freaks and love to have the latest cellphone, tv etc.
Most ADDers battle with maths.
Inconsistent employment. Many ADDers do not function in the corporate world so they frequently change jobs, cash in their pensions and often have to start at the bottom each time as they try a new career option
Because ADDers don't like following rules, they believe that entrepreneurship is the only way to go. They have the ideas but lack the enthusiasm and commitment to consistently work on the business, get bored and move on.
Low self esteem causes many ADDers to buy approval and love. Women particularly will """"rescue"""" men, lavish gifts on them and then get dumped and the cycle starts again. We often buy inappropriately expensive gifts for our friends and family hoping that we will buy their approval.
A major consequence of this inability to manage money is for the non-ADHD partner to take over full financial responsibility. This is understandable but has very severe long term consequences. The ADDer becomes the "child" and the non-ADDer the parent. You can't sleep with your child.!
It reinforces the low self esteem the ADDer is already feeling and the ADDer never learns.
Both partners need to communicate openly about money issues and perhaps the non ADHD partner needs to relax their expectations a little. Look for the good points in the ADDer and try and remember what it was that attracted you to your partner initially. Was it their carefree, fun loving lifestyle? Was it their interesting but not very well paying career choice? It is unlikely that an ADDer suddenly becomes hopeless at money management.
Find creative ways to work on your finances together. Set agreed goals and regular rewards.
What is important in your relationship? A loving caring partner with good self esteem or a bank account that is loaded and the latest fashions. Somewhere there is a middle ground. Have fun finding it.
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