“Shouldn’t respect have to be earned?...She wondered, for the first time in her life, why she had never asked herself the same question.”
-from The Storyteller’s Secret
Some would tell you that respect is owed in certain situations by virtue of one’s station, such as being an elder, church official, parent, or spouse. I see it slightly differently. I believe that respect should be the default mode. One should show respect to every person, of every age, until demonstrated (repeatedly) they are not worthy of that respect.
This can be tricky when ADHD is at play – because some of the things that we base respect upon, such as following through on promises, are made more difficult with the presence of ADHD symptoms.
So what to do when an ADHD partner loses your respect, by not following through, or by making impulsive, poorly thought out decisions (as just two examples)? At that point respect must be earned. This rebuilding of respect (like trust, which is related but slightly different) can take a long time, and is based upon today and tomorrow’s behaviors. If a partner with ADHD wants to earn your respect back, he or she must demonstrate a real desire to ‘own’ his/her ADHD and manage it to the best of their abilities.
This doesn’t mean that you will be aligned in your thinking (which is a mistake some make when they think about respect). Sometimes I find I can respect my husband’s opinion, as well as his right to hold it, while not appreciating the actions he takes based upon that opinion. Or agreeing with the opinion, for that matter.
Is that ‘earned’? I don’t know. But it’s a system that works for me. What are your thoughts on respect?
Update: new dates for my Live Phone Seminar.... same seminar, just new dates. I will next give the seminar again live in the Fall, exact dates TBD but the self-study option is available at any time. There will be no seminar in the Spring of 2020.
The new dates are: Tuesday, Feb 18, Tuesday, Feb 25, Tuesday, March 3, MONDAY, Mar 9, Tuesday, Mar 17, MONDAY, Mar 23, one week break, Tuesday, April 7, Tuesday, April 14,
My non-adhd groups start January 15th and meets BY PHONE 8 evenings at both 7pm and 8:15pm eastern timeLearn more.
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.
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 February 18, 2020.