“Our culture idealizes only the harmony phase (of relationships). Just once I would like somebody to say, “Oh, there’s Harvey and Shirley. They’ve been married 47 years. Of course they separated at one point for nearly a year because they were so pissed off at each other, and periodically they fight like cats and dogs, but they always find their way through it. Aren’t they a cute couple?” But you’re not going to hear that.” - Terry Real
Aren’t They Cute?
Okay, I admit it. My partnership closely resembles Harvey and Shirley’s, and so I laughed when I read this. But in spite of my laughter, it’s a serious topic. We put so much value on the “harmony phase” of relationships that many of us have quite unrealistic views of what a relationship should look like. It’s hard work. You fight. Sometimes you don’t like what’s going on, or what your partner is doing…or even your partner! You are different – there is bound to be friction. And with the stresses of financial commitments, raising kids, work…even more friction.
Our relationship has been imperfect but there has always been a deep core of love that has held us together through it all. At times that core was pretty deeply buried – we knew it had to be there, but had real trouble finding it.
I wonder, sometimes, how much my old expectations that my relationship would be all about that ‘harmony phase’ impacted our lives together. I so badly needed my husband to CHANGE so that there would be more harmony…never wondering whether my expectations were either healthy or realistic. I’m guessing, though, that if I had had a better picture of marriage being as much about negotiation of your difference as celebration of what you share, things could have been easier.
Do you err on the side of ‘idealizing the harmony side’ of relationships?
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including: a free online treatment overview; free downloadable chapters of my books; a community forum with other couples facing similar issues; a large number of blog posts on various topics; referrals; and my very popular couples course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Next live session starts October, 2016 - this eight-session phone seminar has helped many couples turn around their relationship.
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!