“Compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love you’ve got."
- Sheryl Strayed
I will readily admit that there have been times in my marriage when I did not feel ANY compassion towards my husband. He was being horrible towards me – why give him something back that felt ‘soft,’ such as compassion? So, instead, I gave as good as I got. Hounding him, berating him, withholding affection, trying any way I could to move him into a place of greater action and responsibility for our family.
As you all know, this approach failed miserably. Not just for me, but for every single person I’ve ever seen try to use it. And, sadly, that’s pretty much every person I’ve ever consulted with.
One of the reasons to get well-educated about how ADHD – and responses to ADHD – impact relationships is that understanding provides room for feeling more compassion and empathy towards your ADHD or non-ADHD partner. It’s really hard to have ADHD. And it’s really hard to live with someone who has ADHD. Over and over again I’ve seen relationships soften as people have learned the ‘whys’ of how their relationship functions…as well as ‘how’ to address the issues. Finding room for compassion is an important base or building block creating a new, and better, love together. Being compassionate may feel like weakness if you are in a relationship war. But it is actually a place of strength and building. I found that I had to dig deep to find all the love I needed to go there…but that when I did, good things happened to both me (I was back on track to being the person I wanted to be) and to my husband (who felt more heard and respected and therefore started improving his own behavior.)
Do you have the love in you to seek compassion for your ADHD or non-ADHD partner’s situation?
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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.
Seminars and Groups
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 March 26, 2019.