Charisma vs. Character

ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - January 25, 2012

Heart to Heart

Tips for Thriving in your Marriage

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“Charisma is not character. A magnetic personality doesn’t necessarily indicate a good heart.”
- Laura Linney


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Charisma vs. Character

What goes on inside a marriage is often quite different from what it seems on the outside. Charisma, for example, is pretty easy to spot in any neighbor or acquaintance. But is it enough?


Linney would suggest not, and I agree. It’s not how popular or easy-going you are that counts, but whether or not you have the generosity of spirit and actions to sustain warmth between you. That generosity might show itself in odd ways – hanging a new towel up for your partner on a regular basis or perhaps caring for a critically ill pet longer than many might. When a partner has ADHD sometimes a generous spirit is hidden behind the problems that symptoms (particularly distraction) can cause. If your partner is generous in spirit but rarely remembers to show you that generosity, does it count?


I would suggest yes – with this proviso. Having a good heart is a critical component to long-term success in a relationship, as long as you can share it through actions. If you have ADHD and your intentions are not matched by your actions, get treatment so that you can show your partner – without being distracted - just how much you really care.

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
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Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2011 Melissa Orlov

© copyright Ned Hallowell, M.D. and Melissa Orlov, 2007-2011