‘No Idea’ is an Opportunity

ADHD & Marriage News - February 1, 2023

Quote of the Week

“Putting together a novel is essentially putting together the lives of strangers I’m coming to know.  In some ways it’s not unlike putting together my own life.  I think I know what I’m doing when in truth I have no idea.”

-Ann Patchett, These Precious Days

'No Idea' is an Opportunity

I have spent quite a bit of time over the last year and a half contemplating the idea that the future is unknowable.  I thought I knew where my life was going, with a really great bucket list and a partner I loved who seemed eager to share the journey.  With effort many of you are familiar with, I thought I had been putting together my life as I wanted it, only to learn that none of us really know where life is going to take us, myself included.  In relationships, in particular, we are only one half of the ‘putting together’ and that means we have less control than we might like to think.

As I start fresh as a now-divorced woman, I might find the idea that we don’t really control our lives depressing, but instead I find Patchett’s words oddly reassuring.  She writes of coming to know one’s life in a way that makes me think of an unending opportunity to learn.  To figure out oneself as she figures out her characters.  To grow, and blossom as you go along.  To become stronger and more fulfilled.  She is not upset that she has ‘no idea’ what she is doing, only notes that many things are not knowable but can become familiar through experience.

Rather than being scary, I find the idea that ‘the future is unknowable’ is a call for acceptance – to let go of trying to control things, people’s experiences, and my own life’s specific direction in a ‘planning’ kind of way.  Instead, I’m learning to accept all the present day has to offer, be less anxious about the future, trust others to contribute what they wish to (rather than what I ask of them), and to make each of my days as interesting, connected, and positive as possible. 

If you accepted the idea that the future is unknowable and relaxed a bit more into today, what would happen?  It’s a thorny question for many people struggling in ADHD-impacted relationships. The ups and downs of life together naturally produce anxiety and a desire to either control or escape, neither of which helps your relationship.  Still, it’s a question worth asking.



➤ The March non-ADHD partner support groups will open for registration on FEBRUARY 8. These groups fill very quickly, so please go to the non-ADHD support group page to see which dates and times might work for you, then return to the site on February 8 to register.

The next groups after this set will run in the Fall of 2023, so if you want this support please don't miss your chance to register.

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 Monday, March 13, 2023 - registration now open.

Non ADHD Partner Support Group (registration opens Feb 8) 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;



ADULT ADHD CAN HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! 

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© 2023 Melissa Orlov