Fear and Bravery

ADHD & Marriage News - March 9, 2023

Quote of the Week

“(Those who want to be braver need to remember that) feeling fear is not the opposite of being brave.  It’s a necessary requirement for being brave.”

-Abigail Marsh, neuroscientist

Fear and Bravery

Marsh gave a fascinating speech I attended a couple of months ago.  The topic was the neuroscience of courage.  It made me think of what it takes to be brave in a relationship.  To address walking on eggshells; to initiate intimacy after years of a hiatus; to ask for counseling; to reach out and repair when you also feel shame.  All of these are examples of being courageous in a relationship.

Fear is often present in these situations, most notably fear of failure, rejection or anger.  But believing that one must feel safe in order to address these situations may invert the order of events – for one must be courageous to address difficult topics, and thus it is likely that one will feel fear.  The safety comes after the courage, and because of the courage to be open and work things through.

That said, emotional dysregulation blows up a couple’s ability to utilize either partner’s willingness to reach out courageously, because acts of bravery such as reaching out or making oneself vulnerable may turn into acts of self-destruction when a triggered partner responds thoughtlessly.  It’s one of the reasons that emotional dysregulation is often a bigger issue than classic ADHD symptoms in relationships.

The good news is that emotional dysregulation can be addressed in many people either with medication, therapy or both.  There is often childhood trauma at the heart of emotional dysregulation.

If you are an emotionally dysregulated partner, make it a top priority to get that under control so that you both can head bravely towards a better future together.  And remember – fear is part of the courageous acts needed to turn things around – including starting the process of managing your emotions.



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Resources For those in relationships impacted by ADHD


ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Is your relationship in trouble? My highly acclaimed 8-session Zoom seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live session STARTS MARCH 13, 2023.

Non ADHD Partner Support Group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship.


How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD

Downloadable chapters of my books;

A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;

A large number of blog posts on various topics;



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