Embracing Pain

ADHD & Marriage News - April 15, 2022

Quote of the Week

“Unfortunately, most of us are not taught as children to embrace painful feelings. It’s counterintuitive and goes against our neurobiological wiring. If we have a traumatic history, all the more so. And our society by-and-large is an emotion-dismissing culture. But as (Brene) Brown cautions, there’s a price to pay when we selectively numb emotions: when we numb our painful feelings, we also numb our positive ones. So, if we want the good things in life (and I think most of us want the good things), then it’s a package deal.”

- Kerry Lusignan

Free Choice

Have you ever apologized for crying in front of another?  Have you sought to put your pain aside so you didn’t have to deal with it?  I have, for sure!  And yet, the only way to really deal with pain is not to move past it but to actually move through it.  You have to acknowledge it, feel it, shake hands with it, and allow it to flow through you.

If you don’t, the pain stays within you and colors the parts of your life that are supposed to be the wonderful spots, too.  How could it not?  If it’s there, it’s there, set aside or not.

This presents an issue if you are a non-ADHD partner, who finds that some of the pain comes from living with the repetitive symptoms exhibited by a partner with ADHD.  To deal with this, both partners need to be involved.  The ADHD partner needs to work to manage the ADHD symptom expression as best s/he can. Simultaneously, the non-ADHD partner benefits from understanding what in their interactions is a ‘given’ and what is the result of expectations and a lack of understanding of what ADHD is all about.  Better understanding ADHD, responses to ADHD, and what I call the ADHD Effect can really help you determine whether or not this is the best right relationship for you both.  And if it is, how to thrive in it.

I urge you to confront the pain you feel, assess your expectations relative to your actual situation, and put the full court press on managing ADHD symptoms.  Somewhere in that mix is where your relationship sweet spot probably exists.



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