“You didn’t choose the brain chemistry you were born with, you didn’t choose the family or the culture you were born into, and you don’t choose what your body does today in response to…stimuli. What you can choose is how you feel about all of that – and you can choose your partner. And feeling okay with it is what makes the difference…” - Emily Nagoski
Nagoski is talking about meta-emotions, i.e. “how you think about how you think.” I didn’t choose to have some anxiety, or to be someone who thinks like a manager. But I can control how I think about those qualities – and my opinions about them have changed quite dramatically over the years as I’ve come to know myself better. For example, I didn’t used to think much about anxiety…now I actively control it (through mindfulness). I accept that it’s part of me, and that sometimes it serves me well, but I don’t particularly wish to have my anxiety running the show in my various family relationships.
I used to embrace all aspects of my managerial temperament. But then I started ‘managing’ my husband. That didn’t work well (at all!) So now I have a different opinion of my tendency to manage. It’s usually great for work, but not great for people.
I like both parts of me (though the anxiety can be pesky!) – they are part of what makes me who I am, in all of my complexity. What has helped me get to this place of self-acceptance has been a lot of self-reflection and learning.
How do you feel about all that you were born with that makes you who you are? Would reflection help you be more accepting of all of yourself?
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!