Anticipating Pain


ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - November 1, 2013

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“Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet doesn’t protect us from pain.  Ask anyone who has experienced a tragedy; they’ll tell you there is no way to prepare.”

- Brene Brown, in Oprah Magazine



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Anticipating Pain

I talk with a lot of couples in which a non-ADHD spouse is quite worried that bad things are going to continue to happen with the ADHD spouse.  The worrying itself becomes an issue for the couple because it means that the worrier is always on alert to any possible issue.  Since the ADHD partner is aware of that, he or she becomes particularly tense and worried as well.  This means that even a small mistake or slip that might not become very big in most circumstances can escalate quickly because of the tension created by the anxiety lurking nearby.

Try alleviating this worry by focusing on the present – has my partner been a good partner this week?  Have I been a good partner this week?  Today?  If not, what can either of us do better?  And what’s the most constructive way to talk about it?  It can also be very useful to focus on finding the positives in what is happening.  If you have to focus on something, wouldn’t it be better for you both if you spent your time trying to find the positives than spending your time anxiously awaiting the next problem?

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at to ask your questions and learn from others who share your issues.  In addition, you'll find in-depth essays and a terrific recorded in-depth seminar to help you learn how to thrive in a marriage affected by ADHD.
Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2013 Melissa Orlov