“Stop, in the name of love, before you break my heart…”
What would happen if you and your partner identified the one thing that you wished the other would stop, and then each acted to eliminate that thing? That one thing that hurts your heart more than anything else?
Doing so won’t be easy, because if it were, you would already have stopped. Few genuinely want to hurt their partner, even if they are frustrated or angry. So you might need help.
Let me give you a quick example: In my relationship my ‘stop request’ of my husband was his quick spurts of anger that came out of the blue for me. He stopped those with the help of medication for his ADHD and anger. Many years later, when his stress levels were lowered, he stopped the medication and controlled it with mindfulness and (jointly) some effective verbal cues set between us.
His ‘stop request’ for me was to stop telling him what to do. This took quite a while as I had to learn how to adjust to thinking of him as equal in our relationship in spite of his lack of follow through due to ADHD symptoms. (It helped that he improved his follow through somewhat, as well as got rid of the anger spurts!) My ‘treatment’ included a lot of reading and self-reflection; some counseling; and learning a lot more about ADHD so I could differentiate between defiance/stubbornness and ADHD symptoms. I also spent a good deal of time thinking about – and working on- reconnecting.
Most struggling couples have at least one ‘stop in the name of love’ requests in them. Perhaps a counselor could help you both define yours, and act on it.
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For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com 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.
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