In seeing a lot of frustration throughout the comments....I thought it might be good to hear some thoughts from people on what they can do as the non-add partner,to help allieviate the frustrations we experience with the ADD partner.There is a lot on certain situations or how to help the ADD person,but how about personal coping mechanisms for peace.Not anything about negatives or positives of ADD,but more of a personal approach in handling the emotional part of it.I realize how easy it is to get caught up in changing/helping/mothering/nagging/preaching,etc,etc towards the ADD person.Along with consistently trying to be patient,understanding,helpful,hopeful,positive,etc,etc.In other words..all the emotions.It gets down right exhausting.A roller coaster of emotions.
To get started,here are some suggestions that have helped me.I hope to hear some others.I find when it all gets too much and you feel like your going crazy...you need to take care of yourself first and foremost.You are of no good to your partner if you aren't happy yourself.My ADD partner has helped me to realize this actually.Everytime I would bring up yet another ADD thing...he would come back at me and say..."Your also not happy either and have your own issues!"Ya know what...he was right.That was a hard comment for me to swallow and for a long time,yet something that being in a relationship with an ADD person will do...is mirror your own issues!!Gauranteed! You certainly are forced to push through your own stuff,whether you want to or not.I think because of all the feelings that go with what we go through day in and day out,you can't not face your own personal struggles.Make sense?I think also as women...we can carry some self esteem issues,control issues,co-dependant issues,etc that contribute to the struggles of the relationship.I may be stepping on toes here or causing upset with my own gender,but I am speaking from personal experience on how I have had to take a look at me too and not always blame them.
First off,in all honesty...sometimes all the focus and push to "educate yourself as much as you can about ADD!" Frankly sometimes it can be all out depressing to do that.I have found when I read these ADD books..I get more mad and depressed.Yes I read the positives about it too...but I need to put a time limit on it and not focus or obsess about ADD.I think as the frustrated partner...you tell yourself all the time..."If it weren't for you having ADD,we wouldn't have these problems,so as soon as your fixed..things will be fine."Truth be told..I think we all think that at some point.Sometimes for the sanity of everyone...it just needs a break.I was always suggesting books,counseling,medication,etc. and it just drove him away.Granted I wasn't using the right approach,but my emotions were in the way!
I started by loosing sleep at night.Everynight...getting only three to four hours of sleep because the wheels just kept turning on how to make my relationship better.In case you haven't figured out by reading...yes I would be called very codependant!This I know.So I started by sleeping in a separate bedroom from him.That helped a lot.Also make sure you do things for yourself and by yourself.It is so easy to pick up the phone and complain to friends and loved ones."Guess what my ADD partner did today!?"At the end of the conversation..you really don't feel all that better about it and maybe even feel bad because you ripped all over him to your friends and then are left feeling guilty anyway.They just get tired of hearing about it and tell you to leave him or find someone else.(Depending on how supportive they are...they may not say that and just listen to you vent.)Unless you deal with your frustrations on a very personal level...you never really deal with the emotions.
It helps to talk to a counselour for yourself.If your a spiritual person...go to church or talk with your pastor.I really like exercise!I am a big hiker in the woods.Walks,ride a bike,walk your dog,ride a horse.I find that when you exercise,some of the things that the ADD partner does...suddenly don't bother you as much anymore because your mentally and physically in a better place.Seriously...it has helped me.Massages,take a bath,go to a hot springs,get a hottub,soft music,watch the birds,read a book not on ADD,visit friends but vow not to talk about your ADD spouse,start a new hobby,make some new friends,volunteer.They say that helping others makes your own troubles not look so bad.
Also I think it is safe to say that we always feel that we have to be kind,patient and understanding of our ADD spouse.You know what...it is OK to allow yourself to be angry about it.Just do it properly.That is why a trusted counselour is soo helpful.We always hear and make ourselves feel that we are not being patient enough..."be more patient of him/her..after all they have ADD!"I tell ya what..I am a nanny of twins and when I come home...my patience card is all wore out.I watch kids all day.I don't want to come home and watch another kid.I know you stay at home mothers and people with kids feel the same way.So allow yourself those real feelings to come out..just not at your partner.
I think just getting grounded sometimes helps you to not loose control.Ever feel like something has just got to give?I do and it can be scary.Be kind to yourself,your dealing with a lot!Not everyone can do this job that god has given us.Sometimes I feel pretty proud of myself that I can deal with it as well as I do.I know a lot of my girlfriends would have been gone a long time ago!So take pride in that you do deal with it.
The stress and anger has to have an outlet.That is why I exercise.The relaxation of mind has to be there so I happen to be a big hottub fan.I am a spiritual person,so go to church and also read self help books,etc.You have to eat right and have a good diet.Take vitamins.I am really finding out you have to be "in shape" in mind and body so to speak to deal with what we deal with on a daily basis.Ever feel like it takes a true counselour to be partners to these people?I do.
If nothing else...you will find it easier to deal with the issues that come up.You will be a better partner in soo many ways.Your ADD partner will respect you more and maybe actually start to want to get help and change themselves if they see the focus isn't all on them.Again...coming from experience.
Once your in a better place and your partner likes you again.Something that helped clean the slate for us was to get back to doing something fun together.Our counselour suggested that each of us write on a piece of paper five to ten things that we could do together,that we had NOT done together before.Think outside the box.It was really fun and really helped bring some new hobbies in our relationship.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind and cycle that it all just needs to come to a screeching halt.Sadly enough sometimes divorces happen when they may not need to.Relationships may end when they don't have to.At least if you know you took care of yourself throughout it all,you will have still left with yourself and your self esteem.Failed relationships are hard enough,but if you do choose to leave knowing you did all you could in a healthy way...it makes ending the relationship a litlle easier.
So have outlets,get your mind off of ADD and remember that it is OK to feel your own feelings too.Those I believe are the things that will help greatly in clearing the road to see the positives of ADD.You have to work through the negatives to see what the positives even are.They are there,you just can't always see them clearly when your upset...and rightly so.
Good luck and may peace be with us ALL!