Dyslexia in Adult Relationships: What to expect?

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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 of feelings is difficult for people suffering from dyslexia[1]. They suffer inabiltiy to express due to language problems caused by this disorder.
  • Inability to process words spoken to them due to poor auditory skills poses hindrance to effective communication.
  • Secretive behavior and 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 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 doables in the form of voice notes or using text-to-speech applications like Smartynote. These communication tools are designed keeping the dyslexics’ diffculties pertaining to conversations in mind.
  • It is always advisable not to make 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 little perseverance can help you go 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 excaberates 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 require to be little extra cautious when your dyslexic partner shows low esteem or self-pity.
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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 dyslexics 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.
  • Different perspective: People born with dyslexia are great readers of messages between the lines. Their inability to respond to situations readily is compensated by deeper view of life and happenings. Thus, you find your partner to be having quite different view of things as compared to others.
  • Overwhelming feelings: Since the dyslexics’ brains are wired little differently, they see lot many versions of 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 them on 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.”

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“I need simple sentences to understand instructions.”

“If instructions are given to me in 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.”[2]

All these confessions from a person who manages dyslexia give a glimpse of daily struggles that person faces on any normal day.

Hence, some of the common things to expect any normal day while sharing life with a dyslexic are:

  • Keeping plan B ready always: If you want some thing at home urgently and depend on a dyslexic person for quick action, you might end not having that thing at all when needed. So, planning in advance always is necessary.
  • Moments of feeling low: No one can maintain 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 partner active and engaged to prevent him from feeling gloomy.

To conclude,

When you are in love, there are high chances that nothing else would 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.

References

[1] 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

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[2] Extracted from Dyslexia and Working Memory, an article published in Psychology Today.


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