2 Ways to Deal with High Emotions

ADHD & Marriage News - April 11, 2020

Quote of the Week

“People are struggling with the emotions as much as they are struggling with the economics (of the Corona Virus pandemic.)"

- Andrew Cuomo

2 Ways to Deal with High Emotions

We are under an avalanche of horrible news these days, and this translates for many into a larger emotional than we usually carry.  

You may be tempted to hide your emotions or act out upon them.  I would choose a third option.  We all have every right to our emotions, so while boxing them off because they are hard may seem like a good coping strategy, it actually places further burden on ourselves because it lets those emotions fester inside.  We can't work through them when we box them up.

But the other 'go to' strategy - of just blatting them out all over and with little thought can lead to hurting others you love (including, at one extreme, domestic abuse, which is on the rise).  So that strategy isn't in your best interests, either.

Instead, try creating a time when each person can talk - respectfully - about any emotions that they are feeling that are important to them.  There are two specific ways to do this that I like - pick either or both.

1.) at the end of the day take about 5 minutes to finish the sentence "What you need to know most about me today is..."  You can answer that by talking about an emotion ("...that I'm scared I'm going to get sick") or about something you wish to share that's happened that impacts you emotionally ("...that I am proud I finally got to refinishing the teak chair after putting it off for a year!")

2.) schedule two 30-60 minute meetings a week for talking about emotionally laden issues in a respectful way.  In one meeting one partner leads.  In the other, the other partner leads.  Make sure to talk from your own perspective ("I feel rather lonely right now.") vs. blaming your partner ("You don't pay enough attention to me.")

And, finally, at any time during this crisis, if you need a hug or just plain reassurance, let your partner know (assuming they have been quarantined the proper amount of time for that hug!)  Don't expect your partner to 'read' your emotions.  Share them overtly, gently and in a non-critical fashion and ask for what you need.  And when your partner asks you for some emotional support please try to remain open to provide it.


P.S.  Speaking of emotional support, during the pandemic period I am offering free virtual office hours for quick support as well as adding non-ADHD support groups, starting April 23.

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.


Free, Virtual Office Hours with Melissa

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 will start Fall 2020.

Support Tele-groups - Be part of a community exploring similar issues; learn from each other's successes and struggles; and find new, more effective ways to be your best self in your relationship: Non ADHD Partner Support Tele-group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group. Non ADHD group starts April 23.

How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD - go to the home page for a free download about the best ways to manage ADHD.

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© 2020 Melissa Orlov