Rewards to Come

ADHD & Marriage News - December 30, 2020

Quote of the Week

“The anticipation of doing something (pleasurable) starts the brain’s responses even before you actually start doing it.  You can use this as a tool to ‘trick’ your brain to do things.”

-J. Russell Ramsey, Ph.D.

Rewards to Come

Isn’t it fun to anticipate doing something fun?  As you think about how great it’s going to be, don’t you become more eager for it to happen?  Isn’t that eagerness a motivator?

This is what Ramsey is talking about when he’s talking about tricking your brain to do things.  The long slog of planning a complicated trip can be managed better if you envision what it’s going to feel like to actually be on that trip once the planning is over.  The trepidation you feel at having a delicate conversation with your partner can be steadied when you envision what it will feel like to be through the conversation after your partner has listened to you and you are no longer be in such a dark place.

Doing a task you don’t love can be made easier by both gamifying it and thinking about the appreciation your partner will show you.

Of course, this latter suggests one element of using your brain to think about reward - that there is a reward coming.  This is one of the reasons why each partner’s responses to the other are so important.  The ADHD brain is reward-focused.  It tends towards those things that feel good.

Bottom line – one way for ADHD partners to motivate is to remind themselves and visualize the reward to come.  Non-ADHD partners can help the process along by creating rewards for tasks well done.

Don’t be shy with your ‘thank yous’!


REGISTRATION FOR THE JANUARY, 2021 COUPLES SEMINAR IS NOW OPEN. Let's put 2020 behind us and enter 2021 excited. Many couples who had lost hope have gained the specific skills needed to improve their lives together. The first session starts January 13, 8pm EST.

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD

Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. 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.


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 13, 2021.

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.

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