“It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak, and the other to hear.”
-Henry David Thoreau
If I had a magic wand, one of the gifts I would give struggling couples is the ability to hear their partner, and be heard. It’s incredibly important as you try to reconnect! But it can be really hard. Because we tend to approach what our partner says not from his or her perspective, but from our own. This leads to defensiveness, rather than openness.
As an example, when we were struggling my husband might say “You’re always so negative about me!” and what went through my head was “That’s because you don’t do what you say you are going to do!” A much better response would have been “Gee, I wonder why he is saying that now?”
In other words, trust that his opinion and what he is saying is TRUTH to him, and it is my responsibility to understand that truth, not to tell him why he is wrong.
This ability to listen non-defensively is actually one of the most critical characteristics of a healthy, happy relationship. I might not have liked that my husband was telling me I was negative, but if I was honest with myself…I was. Yes, I had my reasons, but that didn’t make being negative any more productive.
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 Live session starts September 26, 2018.