Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Editorial Team
REVIEWED BY NUMBERDYSLEXIA’S MEDICAL REVIEW PANEL ON JULY 10, 2021
“Will I be able to get into relationships just like anyone else?” It is quite a valid question to ask especially when you feel there is something special about yourself.
Growing up with learning disorders does affect the confidence level in adults. Problems caused by dyslexia are not restricted to learning difficulties only. A variety of behavioral problems also emerge.
Researchers reveal a few interesting facts that they found in dyslexic adults that ultimately affect their relationships too. For instance,
- Expressing feelings is difficult for people suffering from dyslexia. They suffer an inability to express themselves due to language problems caused by this disorder.
- The inability to process words spoken to them due to poor auditory skills poses a hindrance to effective communication.
- Secretive behavior and the tendency to camouflage learning disorder with rogue behavior also develop an invisible wall between the person and other contingents.
- Dyslexia also interferes with the memory retention capacity. Forgetfulness may create a gap as people with learning difficulties are not likely to recall conversations or important days.
Things to remember while being in an adult relationship with a dyslexic
Love always finds the way despite the hurdles people face. If you think dyslexia can be one of those hurdles, it actually is not!
All you need to put in is a bit more hard work and a highly empathetic approach. However, at no cost, should you display undue sympathy.
At best, try to create a harmonious environment in relationships without overdoing the caring part. As a quick guide to a successful relationship with a dyslexic, you can consider the following pointers:
- Give all doable in the form of voice notes or using text-to-speech applications. These communication tools are designed to keep the dyslexics’ difficulties pertaining to conversations in mind.
- It is always advisable not to make a fuss about your dyslexic partner not remembering your birthday or anniversaries. They will feel better when you just tell subtly about the specialty of any day. Once absorbed, dyslexics will not leave any stone unturned to make the moment special, but the only push they need will be a reminder.
- Encourage dyslexics to be vocal about their feelings. There will be lots of days when your special partner may not be in the best of the mood. They may develop depressing thoughts or may show no interest in any activity. Give them your company and be with them instead of feeling chucked out or ignored. You may find it confusing where and when to stop initially, but a little perseverance can help you go a long way.
- Self-image issues are a reality. Dyslexics go through a lot of frustration since childhood. Constant pointing out of errors by teachers and peers and dealing with being a subject of ridicule exaggerates the issues related to dyslexia. Hence, as a partner to dyslexia, you need to understand that self-image talks are not out of attention-craving behavior. You need to be a little extra cautious when your dyslexic partner shows low esteem or self-pity.
What to expect from an adult dyslexic when in a relationship?
The very first thing you may encounter when you meet a person with dyslexia is their interesting personality. You may assume it to be haughtiness or arrogance, but these are the ways of protecting the pride that your dyslexic partner adopts, remember that!
Other characteristics you may find interesting in a dyslexic individual are:
- Exceptional creativity: The dyslexic’s vision and imaginative powers are mostly exceptional. You may find them doing things that require creativity. As a result, you may feel attracted to them because of their talents.
- A different perspective: People born with dyslexia are great readers of messages between the lines. Their inability to respond to situations readily is compensated by a deeper view of life and happenings. Thus, you find your partner to be having quite a different view of things as compared to others.
- Overwhelming feelings: Since the dyslexics’ brains are wired a little differently, they see lot many versions of the same thing concurrently. As a result, they get confused, irritated, and feel overwhelmed quite easily. So, you may need to be extra cautious while filling in any information.
- Self-doubt: Many times, a dyslexic individual fails to identify the problem and continues believing that he or she is slow or stupid. Even you may not be able to recognize the issue since you are not an expert in this matter. Hence, you are quite likely to find a dyslexic doubting the self.
A normal day while living with a dyslexic partner
“My wife reminds me of errands quite often, but I forget lot many of those.”
“I need simple sentences to understand instructions.”
“If instructions are given to me in the fewest possible words and repeated amply, I can understand it hopefully.”
“I forget things despite him telling me the same repeatedly. Forgetfulness is my cruel reality.”
All these confessions from a person who manages dyslexia give a glimpse of the daily struggles that person faces on any normal day.
Hence, some of the common things to expect on any normal day while sharing life with a dyslexic are:
- Keeping plan B ready always: If you want something at home urgently and depend on a dyslexic person for quick action, you might end up not having that thing at all when needed. So, planning in advance always is necessary.
- Moments of feeling low: No one can maintain the same levels of energy throughout the day. It holds true but possibly in a little exaggerated manner for a person with Dyslexia. So, you may need to keep your partner active and engaged to prevent him from feeling gloomy.
When you are in love, there are high chances that nothing else will matter. But, these fairy tales don’t apply to adult relations with dyslexics. Dyslexia in adult relationships can be a hindrance, and it is entirely up to the partners how willing or ready they are to put up with ensuing challenges. So, if you are all committed to giving your relationship a serious try, you must read a lot about dyslexia and ways to deal with it.
- Emotional experience with dyslexia and self-esteem: the protective role of perceived family support in late adulthood, Aging & Mental Health, DOI:10.1080/13607863.2015.1008984
- Social and emotional problems related to dyslexia. (n.d.). LD OnLine. https://www.ldonline.org/ld-topics/reading-dyslexia/social-and-emotional-problems-related-dyslexia
- Hämäläinen JA, Salminen HK, Leppänen PH. Basic auditory processing deficits in dyslexia: systematic review of the behavioral and event-related potential/ field evidence. J Learn Disabil. 2013 Sep-Oct;46(5):413-27. doi: 10.1177/0022219411436213. Epub 2012 Feb 8. PMID: 22323280.
- Alexander-Passe, N. (n.d.). Dyslexia and marriage. http://dyslexia-research.com/page24.html
- Brazier, Y. (2023, May 25). What to know about dyslexia. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/186787
- Leseyane, M., Mandende, P., Makgato, M., & Cekiso, M. (2018). Dyslexic learners’ experiences with their peers and teachers in special and mainstream primary schools in North-West Province. African Journal of Disability, 7. https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v7i0.363
- Alloway, T. P., PhD. (2019, November 15). Dyslexia and working memory. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/keep-it-in-mind/201601/dyslexia-and-working-memory
Armed with a degree in Psychotherapy, CBT and Happiness coaching I have been a counselor for troubled children and their parents for over 4 years. Having a dyslexic child at home made the journey more personal. I have worked at Manovikas kendra for a year as a part time volunteer. In the process I have helped many children overcome learning disabilities and other psychological constraints to lead a fulfilling life! My most tangible victory is my dyslexic child has completed her plus two with over 80% marks and now has trained as a chef from the best college in Asia.