A member of one of my current non-ADHD support groups recently shared a strategy that he and his husband use to help them stay connected. The rule is simple. Any time they watch TV, they must be cuddling. For obvious reasons, they call it the Cuddle Rule.
"We make a point of touching - maybe spooning, holding hands, having our legs cross each other...some form of touching to show we care." He notes that it's always the rule in their household, no matter the emotional temperature. When they have been having a disagreement and aren't really on the same page, one might suggest they watch some television and the other will say 'You remember the Cuddle Rule, right?' The acknowledgement that they have agreed to always cuddle has become a form of repair for them. Simply put, it's a lot harder to stay mad at your partner when you're holding his hand or cuddled up, watching your favorite show.
My husband and I have now adopted the Cuddle Rule ourselves and we have great fun with it, even with others around. Recently my husband, daughter and her boyfriend were all on the couch, watching a movie. I could have sat in another chair and probably would have in other times. Instead, I said "Cuddle Rule!" and they made room for me. Both couples had fun with it and got some good cuddle time.
Why not adopt the Cuddle Rule in your own home?
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So, speaking of cuddles
Submitted by Mizeeyore on
So. Explain why, after the hyperfocus courting (read: bait and switch) and marriage, why ADHD or PTSD is now a reason for him to move away from me in bed after even accidentally touching him. The "reasons" are room temperature, tiredness, ADHD, and PTSD. Sorry, but why now, and why am I supposed to just accept this without comment? I've been thoroughly chastened for not just handing him his free pass and expressing that it makes me feel rejected. I used to be able to reach out affectionately in bed, but now, no, he moves away from me as if I was disgusting. He claims to be asleep so there's no reason to assume bad intent, and then the explosive verbal abuse starts because I dared question him. I just don't understand why the change. I also wouldn't reject him, and in fact have not ever done so in bed for any reason. Even when I am unconscious, I still love my husband. How is it possible to not like someone asleep, but claim to love them when awake? His PTSD is related to a nasty car accident (yes, I empathize, the story makes me cry), and he was raised by the same awful authoritarian parents that I was, just in a different time zone. I don't understand how I can present a fact about the relationship, say it's not right, say it hurts me, and become the bad guy. I would prefer at this point to not sleep together anymore, and the explosion that caused was ridiculous. Why can't he own his words or behavior? I can't continue the one way relationship of he does what he wants, and if I react unfavorably or try to set a boundary, I'm a mentally ill bitch. I can bring nothing to this marriage but continuous positive regard. If that's the limit I have to live under, it's a fake relationship, and he will be having it with someone else. How much stuff do I stuff? I've handed out free passes and apologized up to now, but this time he even told me that I was lying the last time I apologized. That actually tells me that not only did he not even know (or listen) to what I was apologizing for, but felt free to bash me with it as inauthentic. Who's inauthentic? So I withdraw from these conversations because they are leaving scars. But withdrawal is out of the question because he chases me around the house in order to escalate the fight until I'm in a closet holding on to the doorknob with everything I have. Sorry I said anything, every time. My feelings are now not open to discussion until I can pay someone to listen. I told him that and he finally is leaving me alone. What the actual hell is wrong with him?
Submitted by 1Melody1 on
In my opinion, just reading your story here, you shouldn't have to accept this treatment. PTSD... ADHD... forget that... no acronym is a valid reason to repeatedly mistreat a partner. Your feelings matter just as much as his. You in a closet hanging on to doorknob to escape an argument is not okay - that's a sad and frightening image you've described.
I hope you can find your way free of this. Please know that you're not wrong. You are seeing clearly. I hope you can get some help and support for YOU.
Submitted by c ur self on
Just to be clear about intimacy....If a person care's about God's design for male/female monogamous marriages...You are right....
1 Corinthians 7: 2-5
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
I am like melody....It's not OK...Blessings
Don't get this the wrong way
Submitted by Joanne81 on
Don't get this the wrong way but if this is a truthful picture of your relationship, you shouldn´t be researching ADHD or PTSD. Have a look at NPD instead. You have described almost all possible red flags there can be found in a relationship with a person with NPD. And if you find it to resonate with your situation, don´t wait for an official diagnoses, just get out of there as soon as possibly. Best of luck.
Intentionally seeking conflict
Submitted by Loopdaloop on
I'm very sorry for you're situation, I hear you. I've recently read an article by a leading psychiatrist who specialises in adhd, he says it's incredibly common for people with adhd to yank out chain so to speak, to escalate arguments, to say the opposite of what you say regardless if they believe it or not, if you have a complaint I'll turn it into my complaint. They basically seek drama to get the dopamine hit as negative thoughts have a stimulating effect on the brain.
i wish they'd invent something to put dopamine into the brain and keep it within neuro typical ranges.
Ive read and had experience of the no touching rule, it's difficult to understand. Is it because people with adhd struggle to sleep so it becomes precious to them? And that they sometimes don't like a gentle touch?
In my case my ex from the start claimed he had trouble sleeping, yet when our relationship started to worsen, I'd be awake for hours then have to get up at 6.15am for work. whilst I knew he was asleep and had no work to get up for. He had a no touch rule during sleep from the start, kind of made you want to touch him more. But I found it interesting that the occasional afternoon nap we had, we would often fall asleep in each other's arms no problem no issue. Unlike many that I've read about my partner was very into sex and said the only time I was allowed to wake and touch him during the night was to initiate sex. I do wonder if the relationship has lasted would he also have started to be repelled by me. I really don't understand the hyperfocus change and why these partners seem to lose attraction to the point they make the other person feel horrible about themselves. To put yourself out there physically makes a person extremely vulnerable, rejection is an awful feeling.
The reason why
Submitted by sickandtired on
I think the reason why that hyperfocus recedes and they lose interest is that we are no longer the “new, shiny object” in their world. Our familiarity fails to give them the dopamine hit they need, so they seek it elsewhere in obsessive hobbies, or other people. I saw my ex do this to friends as well as to me. We met a very nice guy on our multiple trips to a tourist town. We were thinking of buying a house there, and my ex liked him so much, he even suggested renting the downstairs apartment to him. On one of our vacations we brought him along, and although his kind demeanor never changed, my ex lost interest in him, and later became visibly annoyed by him. His annoyance escalated into outright hate for this unsuspecting guy, who later my ex would avoid if we saw him walking down the street toward us. My ex started assuming all sorts of negative things about him, that were just not true.
My ex also didn’t like it if I touched him. Just a light brush against his arm caused him to jump and recoil as if he touched a hot stove. He then would go into a long story of his parents, their abuse by making him go to church and be in his sister’s wedding, how he fainted at the wedding, how embarrassed he was, etc, etc, etc. I had to hear that same story literally hundreds of times, as if each touch triggered this flashback in him that he absolutely had to share with me, each time I touched him. He told me sex was dirty and awkward to him. We didn’t have ANY sex for the last 8 years of our over 10 year relationship, and as time went by, friends would tell me they sensed his outright resentment toward me.
What an explanation
Submitted by Loopdaloop on
That explains things well. I remember 2 occasions where my partner seemed to take such a dislike to me, once when I kindly had made a pie for him and his mum, as requested and did the cooking at her house, and then another time when he was spiteful to me in front of one of his friends kid's birthday party. The next day the friend pulled him up about it, and my ex partner did apologise over it, but I don't think he thought too deeply about it, and I could see events like that increasing.