I am the non-ADD spouse, I have heard many say on this site that the best approach in dealing with issues, especially those which cause anger and frustration, is to set priorities and deal with one issue at a time. That makes such sense, intuitively. But I find myself having a hard time picking the one (or two) issues that matter most. One, because there seem to be so many of them. Two, because any issue taken by itself doesn't feel like it is "high priority" - rather, it's the cumulative effect over time that might make something a high priority. And third, because whatever is frustrating me NOW is what seems to have the highest priority. Also, I find that when my wife and I do address an issue, she sometimes can be pretty good about it for a couple of days (or even weeks), and then when I least expect it, she slides back into old behaviors.
So - do people recommend I set priorities based on how often behaviors occur, how frustrating they are, how "easy" they might be to change, or some other criteria? Do I select MY top priority issue or is that something I work on with my wife? If with my wife, how do we go about laying out and prioritizing the issues, without her becoming overwhelmed or feeling like a "bad" person because there are likely to be a lot of issues on that list? Once I (or my wife and I) select a priority issue, how long do we focus on that issue before moving on to the next issue?
I would love to also have my wife lay out and prioritize her issues about what behaviors of MINE she would like me to address. But whenever i try to get her to express what I do or don't do she has a very hard time coming up with anything. (That says more about HER than me, as I definitely know I have lots of behaviors I can improve on - it's just hard for me to get my wife to acknowledge them.)
my priorities as a wife are
Submitted by Clarity on
working around my ADD husband. For example, I finally demanded that he take care of the yard work and pay the bills so he can fix what he's done to our finances. The yard is a mess and I still have to shovel snow in the winter. Handing over the finances to him might be a mistake but I was having anxiety attacks and started having trouble with my blood pressure and decided not fight with him anymore (I've tried all kinds of things there, this was again something different) Heck! We've got nothing so there's nothing to lose... I work and go to school so, dinner, (which includes grocery shopping), dishes and laundry are my top priorities. Cleaning the bathrooms, dusting and vacuuming happen as needed. He will occasionally vacuum. We've established our basic boundaries and he has his tasks and I have mine. I guess what I did was set up a system of sorts to help us function as simply and efficiently as possible. It's like an outline of the bottom line necessities for life.
As far as behavioral issues, if we're behaving at all, I do what I can to limit our interaction to light and social banter. I don't know how he will ever be able to realize that I'm not the one picking the fight. He can get angry at anything I say whether it's what I say when or how I say it. Without consistent good counsel and a behavioral coach, referee or watch dog I couldn't prioritize all those random behaviors either. I have a hard time responding instead of reacting as it is. I guess I did insist that he watch his temper but I still have to immediately ask why he is angry or ask "Does that really piss you off?" just to nip it in the bud so things don't escalate. It's challenging though and I get tired of being on guard all the time. It helps to understand and accept his limits. At least if I can keep him level and the subject matter basic it feels like there is some kind of progress or compromise.
Accepting the fact that I will probably never have the kind of relationship with him that I expected at the start has been mournful. I've had to find other ways to satisfy that desire which is probably a basic need. My faith, girlfriends, time at the gym and other simple pleasures help me to cope. Understanding how to work a strategy for our lives has been a long process and requires a lot of thought and organization and it's all subject to change! But at least I have a basic outline that helps me to stay on track as I can be prone to bouts of depression or self pity. There's an attitude I can improve on! I am aware of the areas I can work on and it's unrealistic for me to seek my husbands input there as he usually sees our problems as my fault so...
I don't know if that was the kind of information or example you were looking for but, hopefully you'll at least understand that you're not alone. Maybe I've been rambling on but thanks, I guess writing can be a good form of expression (:
Submitted by Nettie on
There is a prioritizing grid tool in the workbook for "What Color is Your Parachute" that may be helpful for more than job hunting. Basically, you take each option two at a time, compare and rate them, then score the grid.