“Hatred is poison, which damages the one who carries it. It’s a fire that burns the one who is embattled with it.”
“There is no victory in a war. All are losers…the only way to truly end the conflict is by coming to a mutual understanding via education.”
- Izzeldin Abuelaish, founder of Daughters for Life
Education Wins Out
Abuelaish founded Daughters for Life after an Israeli tank shelled his home in the Gaza Strip and killed his three daughters. I cannot imagine the pain in this event nor how you keep yourself from becoming bitter. His response – to create good – is inspiring. He became an advocate for peace via empowering and educating women in the area to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I also think his premise – that hatred and war only create losers – is relevant for struggling relationships. Rages, criticisms, attacks, frustration all lead into negative downward spirals of problem-response-response---and harden us from being able to be compassionate.
How do you get out of a relationship ‘war’ if you are in one? First, get educated about ADHD and responses to ADHD. (My couples seminar is a great place to start if you haven’t taken it yet.) Next, focus on yourself. You can’t control your partner, but what can you do to seek compromise? To find the positives? To experience more joy? Finally, you can decide that you no longer wish to fight. Instead of engaging, set up a verbal cue to de-escalate disagreements. Politely walk away. Be careful to be sensitive when bringing up difficult conversations.
You must come to a mutual understanding if your relationship is to survive, let alone thrive.
What are you most often at war about, and how might you de-escalate the situation?
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, 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;
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 January 15, 2019.