What happens when you are your partner reach an impasse about how to move forward in your relationship? I got email today from a woman who wrote about how she and her husband are ‘stuck.’ She wants to work on repair, while he expects her to ‘act like nothing has happened in the last five years and move on’…including have sex together.
Melissa once asked her husband for his perspective as the ADHD partner on their experience turning their relationship around. At another time, she also asked him if he was glad he went through finding out about his ADHD. Both answers were very enlightening.
A woman wrote me recently explaining that her ADHD husband had announced that he didn't love her, and possibly never had. She is in the middle of a much-needed reset of her own non-ADHD behaviors - anger, belittling and the like, saying that reading my book made her reassess her own behaviors and that she was actively trying to improve herself with therapy and other hard work. They have children, and she asks the very important question of "how do I get him to give us another chance?"
Ned Hallowell likes to talk about the "moral diagnosis" of ADHD - the idea that those with ADHD are lazy or ill-willed. The 'moral diagnosis' was what people used to turn to when they didn't know as much about ADHD as we do now. Yet the idea that an ADHD spouse is 'lazy' is amazingly persistent. How to get at that?
I often say that though people are quick to label those with ADHD as “lazy” because they often have trouble following up on commitments, my experience is that almost everyone with whom I come into contact with ADHD is a VERY hard worker. Some of that work (organizing the disorganized mind, for example) goes on inside, and so is hidden from view most of the time. Diligence and a willingness to try, yet again, are traits that some non-ADHD spouses say they love about their ADHD partners:
vThis site spends a lot of time addressing and airing problems - I thought it was time to write a light hearted post about the successes that couples who have come here have experienced. These are all real stories taken from my clients of the past few months. Enjoy!
Frustrated non-ADHD spouses will often say to me something such as "It's so obvious that my partner should do X. I don't understand why he/she won't!" While a solution to the problem at hand may seem obvious, it's often really not quite so straightforward and here's why:
You may be frustrated at the slow progress that seems to happen in your relationship. You push and push, yet little seems to change. You may have read about my comment that “If nothing changes, nothing changes” elsewhere on this blog – I woke up this morning wondering if we could use this idea to help couples make progress, and wondering if a few of you might like to join me in an experiment that might improve your marriage. Read on, and you’ll find the experiment at the end.