Seeing What’s in Front of You

ADHD & Marriage News - April 20, 2021

Quote of the Week

“The art of unhooking from your stories allows you to see what’s in front of you rather than seeing what you’re looking to see.”

-Heather Shane Blakeslee in Mindful Magazine

Seeing What’s in Front of You

We tell ourselves a lot of stories about our relationships that don’t always serve us well.  Some examples:

  • “I’ll never be good enough for my partner” or its companion idea, “My partner will never be able to get his act together”
  • “Though things are improving a bit, my partner is going to revert to the way they used to be – it’s only a matter of time”
  • “My partner is just controlling by nature”

I like to think of these stories as ‘filters’ through which we see things and these filters really distort the world around us, as well as our responses.  If you’re an ADHD partner who believes that you’ll never be good enough, for example, you’re unlikely to fully engage with creating a reminder system to become more reliable.  Which, of course, may be EXACTLY what the other partner longs for.  The story prevents the progress.

If a partner is viewed as enjoying being a controlling person, rather than responding to the chaos around them, then that lack of empathy is a form of invalidation that hurts the non-ADHD partner.  It’s a form of blaming the non-ADHD partner that doesn’t acknowledge the complexity of living with undermanaged ADHD.

Mindfulness training helps people observe what is actually happening around them in real time.  Unlike the ‘now/not now’ jumping from one immediate thing to the next, mindfulness hooks you into the present moment to ask yourself ‘what’s going on here, and how can I savor it better?’  Among other things, this savoring allows you to see your partner’s (sometimes bungled) attempts at connection, autonomy or task completion for what they are – an effort to move the two of you towards a calmer, more balanced relationship.  And, importantly, it moves you away from destructive stories into the real here and now.

Do you carry destructive stories (or filters) with you?



STARTING TOMORROW APRIL 21st - Managing Emotions and Triggers In Adults Group - Implement and practice emotion-management strategies so that you begin to integrate them into your life. 10 people meet virtually once a week for 8 week.

Free VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS with me to support you during the COVID-19 crisis: 

Thurs, April 22: 5:30 - 6:30pm EASTERN
Tues, April 27:  8:15 - 9:30pm EASTERN
Thurs, April 29:  2:15 - 3:30pm EASTERN
Mon, May 3:  1:00 - 2:15pm EASTERN
Thurs, May 6:  5:30 - 6:30pm EASTERN

Note..... no sessions in the summer

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD

Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. can literally change your life! Find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD 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; Referrals.


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 STARTS TOMORROW APRIL 7TH

Support Tele-groups - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship: Non ADHD Partner Support Tele-group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group.

How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD - go to the home page for a free download about the best ways to manage ADHD.

Question? Contact Melissa.

- Please follow us for tips and resources.

© 2021 Melissa Orlov