“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out."
- Robert Frost
A human response to pain is to retreat or build a wall around oneself. While walls can be helpful for short-term protection, they are often problematic for couples. Because except in a few specific instances (such as physical abuse) when a couple struggles it is the result of what BOTH partners are contributing to the relationship. In ADHD-impacted relationships the most common combination is one partner is contributing under-managed ADHD symptoms and chaos; the other partner is being overly controlling and angry in response.
But if you just wall off the anger, the ADHD symptoms don’t usually get managed better. If you wall of the ADHD partner, the anger festers. You take your problems to opposite sides of the wall and…then what?
Relationships – and particularly FIXING relationships – are about ‘two’ not ‘one.’ In order to fix them it is best to not build a wall, but seek ways to constructively engage, instead.
Are you hiding behind a wall right now?
ADHD Women's Palooza - Going on NOW, Feb 5-10. It's not just for women, but also for the partner who loves her. This is a great resource for people looking to find out more about ADHD from over 30 experts. Melissa speaks at 10am on Feb 9. Register 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 October 2018.