To you, the distraction, trouble following through and general struggle suggest ADHD. Plus, you have kids who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. Yet your partner refuses that he (or she) shows all the signs. What do you do?
“It is not me nor my spouse that is broken. It is the relationship that is broken.” These wise words were posted in the forum not too long ago. A breath of fresh air and some great perspective – so much clearer than blaming your partner!
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 think my partner has ADHD – he shows all the classic symptoms. How do I approach him with this without making him angry?” This is a great question and I applaud any spouse who is sensitive enough to be asking it. Some specific ideas and hints follow.
One of the most common problems in couples in general and in couples where there is ADD in particular is the inability to make changes. This is vexing because, as they say in AA, if nothing changes, nothing changes.
I’m spending quite a bit of time these days thinking about how to get men with ADHD to realize that their ADHD affects those around them more than they think. At least two men I can think of who have ADHD say they wish someone (other than their wives) had “hit them upside the head” with information that would convince them that their ADHD was causing real problems.
If you are in a marital crisis, do you say anything about it to your kids? While the answer to this question is extremely personal, I think there are some rules of thumb. Some of these are based in my personal feelings about how you foster trust in relationships, including the parent/child relationship. I would love to hear what you think and your own approaches.
There are a number of posts in our forum from non-ADD spouses who would like to blame their ADD spouses for the troubles in their marriages. I personally think “blame” should be considered a 4-letter word that is banned from all marriages. The fact of the matter is that we are all responsible for the state of our relationships. Or, to paraphrase Newton’s laws of motion, “for every action, there is a reaction”.
I've been thinking a great deal lately about how poor communication contributes to the downhill slide of many relationships affected by ADHD. Here are seven basic ideas that will help you get along better with your partner: