Every once in a while there is a forum discussion happening that is so relevant for so many readers that I note it in my blog and direct people to it. We have one going on right now about anger and grief that I think is worth your time to read. And I’ll add a few of my thoughts here:
One of the things that I have heard and seen time and time again from many people with ADHD is that there's no point in their trying to meet expectations, because they will always fail. My ADHD husband used to frequently tell me this. And I understand the feeling. I've been through that experience myself, even though I don't have ADHD. I have felt the despair and the sense of just being completely beaten down by what other people do with ease.
My new book is about to be released, and it contains a significant section on overcoming “obstacle emotions” that keep you from improving your relationship (anger, fear, denial and hopelessness). I’ve reprinted a very small portion of that section here for those who feel mired in anger. This section is about the “myths” I sometimes hear people fall victim to about the “usefulness” or justification for their anger.
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.
It seems as if a lot of non-ADD spouses at this site have been bending over backwards to accommodate their ADD spouse’s issues, often finding that doing so is exhausting and making them angry and miserable. I would like to suggest that while negotiating how to meet somewhere in the middle is a part of all marriages, many non-ADD spouses are giving (and giving in) way too much. Let me explain –
I have read a couple of posts recently that have noted that reading all of the posts in the forum makes people frightened for the future of their relationship with a person with ADD. “Do we have a chance?” these people ask. The answer, unequivocally, is YES! Let me share one of these posts, which I think really clearly states many of the issues in ADD relationships, and then tell you why and how I think this couple can (and will) succeed.
One of the most frequent questions that comes up is one of frustration – “how do I get my ADD spouse to listen to me about our problems?” The short answer is that you can’t if he doesn’t want to, but let me elaborate, as this is clearly at the heart of many struggling marriages.
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. Dr. Hallowell discusses why getting help might bring about the changes you and your partner need.