Wisdom | ADHD and Marriage

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You can only change yourself, not your partner.

That is one of the hardest lessons many learn after they get into a committed relationship.  When we are young we may think ‘things will work out somehow.’  We have the space in our lives to put aside annoyances.  The newness of our relationships, combined with the dopamine increases of infatuation, make everything seem rosy.

Then life happens.  You add responsibilities, such as a home or children.  Two jobs.  There aren’t enough hours in the day, and you need more assistance.  ADHD, particularly if it’s undermanaged, starts to get in the way as the ADHD partner struggles to follow through on his or her promises.

This is where non-ADHD partners start to make their gravest relationship mistakes.  They think ‘I can just do this- it will be faster’ or ‘if I push hard enough (or remind often enough), my partner will surely follow through.’  Without realizing it, they start to try changing their partner.  It never works.

You can successfully invite your partner to change.  And hopefully, because your partner wants relationship success as much as you do, your partner will work with you to improve what is troubling your relationship.  

But the wisest path is to focus on yourself.  Don’t misunderstand.  You CANNOT change a relationship by yourself.  Your partner MUST be actively engaged.  But what you can do is make sure your own contribution is the best it can be.

Figure out how to express anger constructively, rather than yelling or insulting.  Figure out how to see your partner as a person you love, who has behaviors you don’t love, so you can request behavior change without insulting the person.  Reflect upon your values, so you don’t stray from who you really are.

You have control over you, and no one else.  What would be wise for you to change today?

 

Do you need help in your ADHD impacted relationship? My 8-session live phone seminar starts April 7, 2021. It has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. “The seminar has been life-changing for us and we are grateful.

 

Free VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS with me to support you during the COVID-19 crisis.  More information is here.

Thurs, Mar 18:  7:00 – 8:30pm EASTERN
Mon, Apr 5:  4:00 – 5:00pm EASTERN
Wed, Apr 7:  5:00 – 6:00pm EASTERN

Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship.  ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! Find great, free resources: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals.

Resources

Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples’ course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples’ Seminar – This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. 

Support Tele-groups – Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship: Non ADHD Partner Support Tele-group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group.

How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD – go to the home page for a free download about the best ways to manage ADHD.

Question? Contact Melissa.

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