Submitted by Hopeful Heart on 02/10/2016.
How do you talk to a person about their ADHD without simultaneously tearing them down?
How do you say,
"You need medication."
"You need counseling."
"You need to receive treatments."
without also implying,
"You're not good enough."
"You need to change."
The Elusive Answer to the Million Dollar Question
Submitted by I'm So Exhausted on
Indeed, I think there is the hope it could happen, , , , ,once both sides of a couple gets to the place of acceptance -
For me, acceptance as the Non-ADHD spouse of which of my behaviors were not constructive, and were forced through the filters of sheer and utter confusion/frustration/desperation.
combined with -
acceptance of the ADHD spouse - that the words and actions of their spouse - are all well intentioned - and are being forced through the filters of criticism/rejection of people in their upbringing. "You need medication." "You need counseling." "You need to receive treatments." are worded in a fashion that would bring up defensive responses.
"I really believe that some sort of medication would help you enjoy your ife better."
"I really believe you got to this place by struggling to figure things out by yourself, and some guidance will help you enjoy your life better."
"You're not good enough." "You need to change." "You're defective." are what reaches their ears once that internal filter strains our words.
For sure, what I do know, is there are some behaviros I experience from my spouse that really need to change.
Who he is - that is not a problem.
What he does - some of it is truly a problem. - - - -for me. And he is free to choose if he wants to to to understand. . . or does not. It has nothing to do with right or wrong, or his way or my way.
Thank you so much for your
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
Thank you so much for your response. Your wording is very tactful and thoughtful. Those are two areas that I definitely need to work on. I'm going to start with your suggestions and try to build on them. Thanks again!
I agree w/ Liz, and one other
Submitted by c ur self on
I agree w/ Liz, and one other suggestion is think about putting it letter form...I know my wife would read a non-threatening letter in it's entirety...Even if she does take offense or struggle with acceptance of my feelings...I don't know about you, but when I am trying to relay hard things verbally it doesn't always come out like I would like. Also offense and interruptions can stop the message from being heard and getting through....Any time your telling another adult (esp. our spouses) they have blind spots, it's very hard at best for it to be received w/o some emotion...
Best wishes to you Hopeful Heart....
Liz - you nailed it so well.
Submitted by SpaceyStacey197... on
Liz - you nailed it so well. I know that my husband thinks that any suggestions of getting help are attempts at controlling- when its furthest from the truth. I hate seeing him controlled by the symptoms and by past traumas. He cant see the forest for the trees - BUT WHO HE IS, IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
"Who he is - that is not a problem.
What he does - some of it is truly a problem. - - - -for me. And he is free to choose if he wants to to to understand. . . or does not. "
This so many times...
Continuing to look at myself
Submitted by I'm So Exhausted on
SpaceyStacey1975 - The Fool,
I have been spending my summer doing student teaching at the childcare center at the college I am attending. I really haven't taken the time to participate in this forum in recent weeks.
If I was given a choice to pick just one dynamic that I wish I could change/adjust/fix, it would be knowing/understanding the difference between:
1. Expecting someone else to change
2. What is just the normal evolution of maturing/growing up/becoming an adult.
I had learned early on that I cannot change anyone but myself. I think I looked at 'changing someone else' in much too broad of a sense; like changing someone from liking country music to preferring rock music. Or changing a country gal to a city gal. Or changing someone's favorite color. . . . . . .or their style of clothing.
I had these idyllic visions of 'blending' my spouse's and my gifts and talents, into becoming a powerful force. It didn't happen that way. It turned into power struggles.
I love to organize. I felt my spouse was afraid I wanted to throw away all his stuff.
I have great administrative skills, and lots of business knowledge. I thought we would create a very profitable construction business by working together, him as the creative problem solver and the brawn/muscle, and me doing the book work and administration.. I felt my spouse did not welcome my knowledge, and did not want to be told what to do. I started to attend college to get a degree in business because I thought if I had a degree, maybe he would see the value in my knowledge. Once I realized that was a futile endeavor, I changed my goal to my own heart's desire, and am working towards getting a degree in Early Childhood Education.
I have seen a lot in the past few years with regards to relationships. ADHD or not, being and becoming a couple, and learning to compromise, and work as a team - - - -well what it means to me, to Liz, is deciding what strengths and gifts we each posses, and working together. The same issues that we struggle with, are the same for couples who are not impacted by ADHD.
My life has been impacted by a lot of things:
I cannot put BLAME anywhere. I do not know if things would have been any different had these things not been part of my life. They are. They were. And that is all I know. I know for sure, that each of those hurt, one heck of a lot, were difficult, and the battle made me a better person. Better and stronger and wiser.
What I do know for sure, alcoholism impacted my life, but I have learned what lessons to keep and which ones to get rid of in my life. Anorexia and bulimia were coping mechanism that filled a need, but were not healthy ways, so I worked damn hard to overcome them. Cancer has taken some loved ones too soon, and others were blessed enough to battle it and overcome. Depression is something to always keep vigilantly aware of so if I feel myself sinking, I can address it before I need 15 friends with spatulas to scrap me up off the floor.
I am not any of those things. Neither is my son nor my spouse just ADHD. Sure it impacts their lives, and how they maneuver in this world. It is also part of who they are. Period.
I do not know the secret to sharing with my spouse so he does not feel attacked or criticized. I do know the skill of choosing to walk away when my words are met with angry words. I do have the right to say when I disagree. I do have the right to say, "No, that is not what I wanted." I do not choose to put myself in the position to feel my views are wrong. Or askew.
My own choice. I want to feel honored, loved, respected and cherished. And I am the one who sets those boundaries. My skin is not too thin. I simply have learned to value myself, and not put myself in positions where it will be pricked more than I am willing to endure.