Sometimes it feels like you're in a bind – you want to communicate that something is bothering you, but you're trying hard not to nag or parent your ADHD partner. If you don’t say anything, chances are good that not much will change. But if you suggest something got forgotten again, it sounds like a critique. What do you do?
When is it nagging and when is it reminding? For non-ADHD partners, it can be hard to figure out whether - or how - to remind a partner of something that needs to get done. Here are some ideas about where to draw the line.
This guest blog post has been provided by Hal Meyer and Susan Lasky of the ADD Resource Center.
You fell in love with his boyish enthusiasm, adventuresome spirit and easy-going charm. Now you are frustrated that he decides to go skiing instead of shoveling the snow off the walkway, or forgets to take the children to the dentist. You were fascinated by her many interests, creativity and “enjoy the moment” approach to life. Now you are fed up with the clutter of her incomplete projects, and annoyed by her indifference to planning meals and shopping. It is easier to love someone with ADHD than it is to live with them.
When you're trying repeatedly to get an ADHD spouse to "respond" to your requests it's hard not to get into nagging mode. But non-ADHD spouses need to avoid chronic nagging patterns if they are to be successful, happy partners. This is much harder than it sounds.
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.
I spend a lot of time helping non-ADD spouses understand how to interpret their ADD husband’s actions (or, more frequently, inactions – a word I use without judgment.) I think it’s time to write a piece for the ADD male about what non-ADD women want.