“I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."
- Viola Davis
Being Who You Are
I agree with Davis – being who you are is great! But…understand that this has ramifications in a relationship. If you feel that it’s important to indulge your hair trigger anger and are regularly violent because you’ve ‘always been that way’, for example, you will have trouble sustaining a relationship. You may be ‘you’ but you will be alone.
There are two versions of this ‘accept me as I am’ that I hear with ADHD couples that don’t work for me. First, there is the ADHD partner who says ‘love me unconditionally and accept me as I am’ while taking little or no control of ADHD symptoms that make the partner’s life completely miserable. Second, there is the non-ADHD partner who feels that controlling behaviors are justified due to chaos, and takes over everything…trampling others. (Yes, non-ADHD partners are going to think I have put that unkindly…but when you overperform in a relationship, this is what you are doing.)
Instead of the “I get to be who I get to be” attitude if you indulge in it, how about looking at what makes a good partner instead? And, if you think that includes things like being respectful, affection, kind or level-headed…then the first place to start is with yourself.
We are all unique, and that’s part of what is great in life. But unique is different from awful or hurtful. Make sure you know the difference.
Are you a good partner? .... Join ADHD and Non-ADHD Tele-Support and Coaching groups starting in January. Learn more here.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free:
- Online treatment overview;
- Downloadable chapters of my books;
- A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;
- A large number of blog posts on various topics;
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live session begins in January 2018.