Anger, Frustration & ADHD

Tired of always leading the show?  Here’s what's going on and how to connect, anyway.

I cannot tell you how often I have had a non-ADHD partner contact me and say something such as “I have a partner with ADHD who is also a narcissist.” 

Trying to avoid feelings of shame is only human, but when it comes to adult ADHD, gentle engagement with raw areas can lead to significant gains.  But how to do that, when shame feels so bad?  These ideas, provided by adults with ADHD, can help both ADHD partners and non-ADHD partners.

ADHD adults often carry a lot of hurt and shame with them.  Learn what these shame triggers are and you can significantly improve your interactions.  A recent conversation with five adults with ADHD and their partners highlights some of the issues.

Your partnership includes too many lies – big and small.  In three previous posts I’ve written about why this is happening, and how this hurts your relationship.  ADHD – and responses to ADHD – can certainly play a role.  So what to do?  Here are 9 strategies for ending in your relationship:

When I talk about lying problems in relationships, I'm not just talking about partners with ADHD.  Either partner can lie...and lies also exist in relationships in which there is no ADHD.  But there are some ways that the presence of ADHD increases the chances that one or the other partner will lie.  To be able to chart the best course to move away from lying in your own relationship, you must first understand why the lying is happening. Choosing to lie is a decision that is made – not typically a beneficial one for a relationship, but often a logical one at some level.  Understanding the logic really helps.  There are at least 7 common reasons partners choose to lie, which include:

Is lying a part of your relationship?  Are you eager to move past the lies to a more trusting partnership?  This is the first of several posts that will deal with lies and rebuilding trust in relationships impacted by ADHD.

It’s the catch-22 of ADHD-impacted relationships (and many non-ADHD marriages, as well!)  For many couples impacted by ADHD, distraction, disengagement and retreat from conflict leave non-ADHD partners feeling ‘stranded’ and lonely.  Their natural response is to pursue their partner for attention…and disaster results.  What do you do?

Have you ever gotten flooded during an interaction with your partner when you felt so overwhelmed that you couldn’t seem to see straight?  It can happen when it seems like the same material is coming up in an argument that you’ve been over and over again and again and you just can’t handle it any more.  You know you should disengage, but somehow when you get to this point, it just seems impossible.  Everything seems out of control.  This is flooding.  Flooding is defined as:

I've read so many comments on the Forum recently about ADHD partners/spouses who seem to have problems with anger, and in some cases..rage.  I can certainly appreciate how difficult it is to live with someone who seems to get triggered into this kind of reaction without a substantial reason.  Melissa recently wrote an article on just this topic in EMax Health.  Research done in Feb. seems to suggest that those with ADHD may be genetically predisposed to what is called "emotional lability."  This is just a fancy term for moodiness, ie. irritability, or a short fuse...anger responses.

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