“We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.”
When I felt most desperate in my relationship it was like a thick fog of misery. I knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what, and couldn’t figure out how to see to fix it. I behaved poorly – badgering and even verbally abusing my husband. I became a person I just didn’t like and wasn’t proud of.
I hear many similar stories, and when one feels this way there are two paths – double down, parent more, badger more, and try to push your ADHD partner into change. This makes sense because it’s hard to get a person with ADHD to focus…putting on the pressure helps focus effort, but it doesn’t create a healthy relationship. So while it’s logical, it’s not healthy or helpful. You can’t hate…or push…your way into love.
The second option is to learn more about ADHD in adult relationships. To build empathy, as well as an effective toolkit that both partners can use to improve things. This can be hard, particularly if you’re frustrated and feeling hopeless, but it is through kindness and a generosity of spirit that we build love with a partner. It’s also where we remind ourselves of our own worth and learn, once again, to love ourselves.
I’m not suggesting that being kind is all that it takes to repair a relationship hurt by ADHD and responses to ADHD. There are other factors, such as getting out of parent/child dynamics and optimizing treatment for ADHD that are really, really important. But it is only through seeking a loving path that we can build love rather than destroy it.
Are you pushing from a place of anger or hate or are you seeking to understand and build love?
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