Submitted by NedHallowell on 01/11/2008.
Hi - Ned Hallowell here. I wanted to post an entry about what I think works best in a marriage where one or both partners have ADHD. The key to it all is insight and empathy. Once you understand what's going on, then you have to work at really putting yourself in the shoes of the other person. THIS IS DIFFICULT!!! Everyone agrees that emapthy is important, but few people do the work to develop it. It is amazing in how many marriages neither partner truly understands or feels what it's like to live the life of the other partner. But, if you work at it, you can develop empathy and with empathy will come a deeper love and appreciation for the other. How do you do it? Listen. Ask questions. Suspend judgments. Assume you DO NOT know, rather than you do know. Learn. And did I mention listen? Keep your sense of humor. Be willing to change your mind. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Remember, forgiveness does not mean you condone bad deeds, just that you let go of anger and resentment. Inquire. Be curious about the life of the other person. And listen. Let yourself be surprised by what you hear. Remind yourself that you don't have all the answers. Be humble. You don't have to be a saint, just be humble enough to admit you're wrong or that you might be wrong or have been wrong. Empathy is a powerful tol, but it takes work to develop it. But, everyone can do it! Good luck.