Many non-ADHD partners want to connect at night with a meaningful "goodnight, honey," a kiss and hug or with some sexual intimacy. Yet disappointment follows when their partner is too distracted or too tired to shine the spotlight of their attention in the non-ADHD partner's direction. (Conversely, I sometimes hear complaints from ADHD partners who say that the demands of their non-ADHD partner to come to bed at a certain time are obnoxious...but that's for a different post.) What to do?
This is a guest blog post by ADHD coach Kathy Sussell about her marriage and what has helped it over 32 years.
When my husband asked if he could take me out for a fancy dinner this weekend I was more than pleasantly surprised, I was absolutely shocked because it’s not the kind of thing he does.
“Why would you want to take me out for a fancy dinner?” I asked. “Don’t you want to celebrate our 32nd anniversary?” he replied.
I thought to myself, “Miracles never cease.” Here was my husband, the love of my life, the father of my children, remembering our anniversary for the first time in 30 years and taking the initiative to plan a date. This may sound like small potatoes but my husband has ADHD and he struggles with planning, initiating, remembering and other executive functioning skills.
Too many couples find that Valentine’s Day is a yearly reminder of what they don’t have – the “picture perfect” marriage with both partners arriving home with red roses, a bottle of wine and sex on their minds. Like in the magazines, right?! Except that’s not how it happens for many couples, particularly if you are struggling in your relationship. So here are four tips for surviving what may be the worst Hallmark Card holiday of them all!
On the one hand, today (Dec 31) will unfold much like tomorrow (Jan 1) - so what's the big deal about New Year's?! On the other hand, why not use the holiday as a reminder to reflect a moment about who we are and where we are going for the next 12 months? In that spirit, I hope you'll take a moment to set just a few resolutions in motion. Here are mine for 2013:
Want to know what success looks like when you've pretty much lost hope and then turn things around? Here is a letter that came in to me this week that describes it so well that I thought I would share it. Of particular interest, I think, is the connection between the two partners as they progress - they create an upward spiral of positively reinforcing behavior that really helps them succeed.