The new year is a time for looking back and looking forward. For my annual end of the year post I thought I would pull out four of my favorite posts from over the years and review why they remain so relevant for couples looking to tame the impact of ADHD in their relationship. As it happens, two posts are written for those with ADHD and two for those married to people with ADHD. Hope they give you some food for thought about adult ADHD and your relationship as you are thinking about the New Year!
I'm Really Unhappy - Why Stay Married?
Let me start with the posts for the non-ADHD partners. This first is a favorite because it addresses questions that I think the majority of non-ADHD partners ask at one point or another - can this marriage really be saved? Will all my hard work be worth it? Is it possible to go from how miserable I am now to being happy again? Not every couple manages to improve their relationship - but many do. This post explores my own personal reasons for staying married even when I was deeply unhappy, and the (in our case) happy outcome of really going after my husband's ADHD and my own negative responses to his ADHD. Read it at ADHD and Marriage: If You're So Unhappy, Why Stay?
Don't Dominate Your ADHD Partner!
One of the singly most difficult tasks for non-ADHD partners is learning about the limits of their own control in their relationship. Parent/Child Dynamics are incredibly common and destructive, and the more the non-ADHD partner takes charge, the more he or she diminishes the non-ADHD partner. My post, ADHD and Marriage - Giving Up Control explores this incredibly difficult conundrum and helps non-ADHD partners understand that while taking control may alleviate their anxiety in the short-term, it significantly degrades their relationship in the long-term.
Bridging the Gap Between ADHD Partners and Non-ADHD Women
I cannot tell you how many women have written to me to say that they read my post, The Care and Feeding of the Non-ADHD Spouse, and felt it so described their feelings that they printed it out and gave it to their husband. This post tries to express those feelings that are underneath all the actions that ADHD partners see but don't understand...and asks for understanding and compassion.
My ADHD Spouse Just Doesn't Get It!
Finding out that ADHD impacts your relationship can be particularly difficult for the ADHD partner, who may assume that acknowledging ADHD will mean they are responsible for the marital problems a couple is facing. This last post, For Men with ADHD Who Aren't Convinced it Matters, is meant to provide fodder for a good conversation around the impact of ADHD in your own relationship, and encourage partners to be open to addressing ADHD issues, rather than remaining defensive.
And for 2014...
That's a quick look back - now, for my resolutions for 2014! My primary hope is that all of my friends and readers will find the time and energy to pursue one dream that they've held close for a long time and then find great joy in that pursuit. (My own version of this is starting cello lessons - I've always wanted to play the cello!) I am also trying to dedicate 2014 to making this website easier to use, and more helpful. My new book comes out in April - and by then I will have added an in-depth treatment guide and, I hope, a cleaner (and easier to navigate) look, as well as additional resources which couples and therapists can use.
Thank you all for your continued readership and support, and please let me know if there are specific resources (such as courses, books or topics) that you would like me to create or address.