In a recent "Marriage Tip" email Melissa sent, she warns "If you are in one of those relationships where eye-rolling and other non-verbal dismissal cues are used, watch out!" My wife sent me an email after reading it that said - "I think Melissa was directing this at the person with ADD, because if the person without ADD used non-verbal cues, the person with ADD wouldn't even notice it."
I have been thinking. I definitely use and also read non-verbal cues very well. I know my wife's ADHD prevents her from noticing non-verbal cues. So I am trying to be more clear when I communicate with her, saying what I mean explicitly rather than relying on non-verbal cues.
I haven't read anything about whether people with ADHD also have a difficulty using non-verbal cues. Do they not know they are using them when they do? For example, my wife will say something in a tone of voice or use an expression that communicates to me displeasure, frustration, annoyance, etc. Sometimes it will be an eye roll. Sometimes it will feel like she "barks" her response to me. Etc. I have recently started checking my assumptions by asking her about it, saying something like - "Are you annoyed by what I just said?" She almost always says no.
So, is she not admitting her feelings or unaware of her feelings? Or is she really not annoyed but just unintentionally communicating that to me? Do I need to learn to ignore non-verbal cues from my wife? Does anyone else have experience with this?