Over 15 years ago, when I was feeling unhappy in my relationship, my husband asked me what the chore he should take over. To his surprise, I said ‘do the dishes!!!’ Turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Sharing dish duties turns out to be really important to a whole lot of women.
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.
It is with some humor that I say that a very sensitive area of conflict for many couples is driving. Most commonly, the conflict centers around the poor driving habits of an ADHD spouse (and why they can't/won't change them) and who is going to drive when. There is more here than meets the eye, though, so I thought I would explore it a bit. If you have conflicts over driving, read on!
Effectively communicating with your spouse often seems like hard work - pushing the proverbial rock up the hill. Have you ever stopped to consider the role that your everyday responses play in how smooth - or rocky - that communication is?
"So much good advice but how do I get my husband to read with me or even try?
I am so alone and I honestly don't know where to turn. I can't leave due to finances and no where to go. I don't know if it would be right to call an abuse hotline, because he is just verbally abusive.
Learning more about the ADD mind is helping a little. Just no where to turn."
First, you are not alone! There are many, many people out there who are in the same situation that you are in – feeling isolated in a relationship affected by ADHD, feeling as if they somehow didn’t get what they had bargained for in their marriage – that it all has been an ugly surprise.
It may well be that anger management in marriages where one or both spouses has ADHD is THE critical issue that determines whether or not a couple can be happy together. Anger can develop in both partners, though it often manifests itself differently in the two. This is a topic that is so large that it needs to be addressed in many different ways, but let me start here with an example of a couple I've written about before, whom I'm calling Anne and Tom.
Being a person who does not have ADHD married to a person who does have ADHD can be wonderful. It can also be intensely frustrating. I am a non-ADHD spouse married to a man who has ADHD. Dr. Hallowell has the opposite - he has ADHD while his wife does not (part of the reason we are teaming up to write a book on this topic - we balance each other out!) If you are a spouse without ADHD, you may well recognize much of what I am about to describe in your own marriage, for without a doubt I have experienced the "classic" ADHD-affected marriage.
So, what does it feel like to be married to a person with ADHD when you do not have it yourself? What are some of the basic patterns?