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“Honey, did you remember to…?” Your partner’s voice trails off as you stare blankly back, the world’s most intricate Lego set scattered across the living room floor. A flicker of irritation, then concern, washes over their face. It’s a familiar dance, one that’s become more frequent since your recent ADHD or autism diagnosis.

If you’re a late-diagnosed neurodivergent mom, chances are you’ve experienced similar moments of disconnect with your partner. Suddenly, those quirks that were once endearing or simply “you” are now viewed through a new lens, a lens tinted with questions and uncertainties.

But what if I told you this diagnosis could be the unexpected key to unlocking a deeper, more authentic connection with your partner?

Embracing the Emotional Rollercoaster

Buckle up, because a late diagnosis isn’t just a shift in perspective; it’s a whirlwind of emotions for both you and your partner. You’re on a Tilt-A-Whirl of self-discovery, clutching a diagnosis that explains a lifetime of feeling like a square peg in a round hole. It’s both liberating and overwhelming, a mix of “Eureka!” moments and “Oh no, they found me out!” anxieties.

Your partner, your trusty sidekick on this wild ride called life, is also navigating uncharted territory. They might be feeling confused, overwhelmed, or even a little lost. It’s like trying to understand the rules of Quidditch when you’ve only ever played Muggle sports.

Clarity and Chaos: The Double-Edged Sword of Diagnosis

A late diagnosis is like shining a flashlight into the dark corners of your mind. It illuminates the “why” behind behaviors that may have caused friction in your relationship. Suddenly, your partner understands why you have a hard time following multi-step instructions, or why social gatherings drain your energy faster than a Dementor sucks out happiness.

But with clarity comes a new set of challenges. Doubts creep in. Questions arise. Did I marry the wrong person? Are we too different to make this work? Can our love story survive this neurodiversity plot twist?

Breathe, Mom. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. You’re both embarking on a new chapter together, and like any good adventure, there are bound to be a few unexpected twists and turns.

The Neurodiversity Relationship Survival Guide

Here are some common relationship challenges that can pop up after a diagnosis:

  • Miscommunication and Misunderstandings: It’s like you’re speaking different languages. Your partner might interpret your directness as rudeness, or your need for alone time as rejection.
  • Differing Communication Styles: You might prefer blunt honesty while your partner values tact and diplomacy. It’s like trying to play Scrabble with someone who only speaks Pictionary.
  • Varying Needs for Social Interaction and Alone Time: You might crave solitude to recharge, while your partner wants to connect. It’s like one of you is a hermit crab, and the other is a social butterfly.
  • Sensory Sensitivities: That flickering fluorescent light in the kitchen might not bother your partner, but it sends you into a full-blown meltdown. It’s like trying to enjoy a symphony while someone’s nails are on a chalkboard.
  • Managing Executive Dysfunction Together: Your partner might get frustrated when you struggle with deadlines or forget appointments. It’s like trying to navigate without a GPS, but with the added pressure of a backseat driver.

Don’t despair! With open communication, understanding, and a willingness to adapt, you and your partner can build a love that’s as unique and vibrant as your neurodivergent brain. Remember, you’re not alone. Many couples have successfully navigated these challenges and emerged stronger than ever.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll dive into practical tips and strategies for strengthening your relationship post-diagnosis. We’ll explore communication techniques, ways to support each other’s needs, and how to build a partnership that celebrates your differences.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.
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