“No one should mess with your head enough that you become someone you don’t like.”
Someone You Don’t Like
I remember quite distinctly sitting down with my husband one day and saying, “I have to say that I don’t really like you right now…and I don’t like myself much, either.” He replied, “That’s interesting, because I don’t like you much, either, nor myself.”
This is what can happen when your relationship becomes really distorted in your fights around ADHD and responses to ADHD. I had become a person who was critical, contemptuous, angry and frustrated. My husband had become defiant, angry, mean and rude. Our relationship was a mess.
I read Nierenberg’s quote and it looks like blame – the other person is messing with your head and you become someone you don’t like. But in our situation (and others I’ve seen) it’s about both partners and how they interact. The solution to the issue is to:
1. Name it and acknowledge it
2. Take responsibility for fixing your side of the problem
3. Replace the poor behaviors with those that more accurately reflect your own positive values and bring you more in line with your best self
It’s not about blame. It’s about taking responsibility. For me, that meant addressing the core issues at my own frustration and how I was expressing my very real pain and anger. I had to learn to be much more constructive and stop parenting.
For my husband it meant he had to take managing his ADHD much more seriously, so there was greater stability in our relationship and so that he wasn’t as prone to fast, destructive rages.
Both people have to contribute to the solution, else nothing changes. But once you do, you’ll find that you can once again become someone of whom you are proud…and whom you like.
Monday, October 26, 7 - 8:30pm EASTERN time
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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.
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