Could you have learning or attention issues?

9 Ways to Keep Your Challenges From Affecting Your Relationships

By Kate Kelly

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Learning and attention issues can impact many aspects of day-to-day life, including your marriage and your relationship with your kids. Here are some strategies to help you overcome your challenges.

137Found this helpful
Close up of a father and daughter reviewing a chore list
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Put it in writing.

If you zone out during discussions about what needs to get done, that’s sure to annoy your spouse. Sit down together and make a list of the chores and errands that are a priority. Agree who will do what and write down what you will do.

Father and daughter cooking in the kitchen together
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Divide and conquer.

When you’re deciding who’s doing what, play to each other’s strengths. One of you may be better suited to cooking dinner and folding laundry, while the other one pays bills and goes grocery shopping.

Mother driving in the car with her daughter
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Be as self-reliant as possible.

Avoid asking your partner to remind you where the soccer game is this week, or when your child’s piano lesson is. Keep schedules, phone numbers and addresses in the glove compartment of your car. Bookmark websites where you can find this information so you can look things up yourself.

Father wearing a space helmet reading to his son in his bedroom
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Use your strengths.

If you can spend 30 minutes playing pretend games with your preschooler without getting bored, or love to try new recipes, claim these activities as your special thing. For example, every night after dinner is playtime, or Fridays are your showcase for a fun family meal.

Parents smiling, embracing and looking into each other’s eyes
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Work on communication.

Maintain eye contact while your spouse is talking. Don’t interrupt. If your attention wanders, tell the other person as soon as you realize it and ask him or her to repeat it.

Wife sitting on the couch next to her husband speaking to him with sign language
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Ask for what you need.

Your spouse may not always understand your challenges and limits. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. If you’re juggling too many tasks, be clear about what is realistic. Explain, “I can only do one thing at a time. Which one is the most important to you?”

Husband and wife lying on the living room floor talking and discussing paperwork
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Schedule weekly sit-downs.

Meet once a week to address issues that came up during the week. Don’t let one partner feel overwhelmed and the other feel picked on. Use “I” statements to explain how you feel, rather than “you” statements, which can come across as blaming.

Husband and wife enjoying an outing to a fish market, smiling, talking and teasing each other
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Remember your relationship.

Try to have regular nights out so you can reconnect as a couple and remember why you love each other. Every relationship has challenges, but focusing on what’s good rather than dwelling on the negatives will keep your relationship strong.

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About the Author

Portrait of Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Molly Algermissen

Molly Algermissen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.

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