“You can’t talk your way out of problems you behaved yourself into."
- Stephen Covey
What Covey is saying here is that if you behaved yourself into a corner, you have to improve your own behavior to get yourself back out of it. Otherwise, your credibility and trustworthiness are shot.
Or…actions speak louder than words.
If you have ADHD, getting your actions to be the right actions at the right time can be a difficult problem! Even so, it’s important to get your behaviors in order because this is the bottom line for your relationship. Talk and good intentions don’t cut it. Either you act like - and are - a good, loving partner who cherishes and supports your relationship…or you’re not. ADHD partners can certainly do this, but they have to get the ADHD issues under control first.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help. Coaching can help (see my recommended coaches page.) Making sure you optimize your treatment is critical (download my free e-book from the home page.) Taking time to ‘attend’ to your partner and training yourself not to cover up failures are also important tools when becoming a better partner.
And this isn’t just about ADHD partners. Non-ADHD partners can behave themselves into problems – I sure did when I was angry and belittling to my husband. I simply was not holding my own behavior to a high enough standard. Instead, I nurtured my frustration and tried to force him to do better, rather than learn what was going on and how to tame my own negative behaviors.
We talked about doing better and commiserated about how hard it was. But it was not until we created specific plans for dong better and implemented them – behaved our ways out of our problems – that our relationship actually improved.
I spend a lot of time in my couples seminar on teaching how to do this. If you are interested in turning ideas into action, you might wish to join me for one of my upcoming sessions. One starts September 26, and the next one will start in January, ’19.
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, 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;
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 September 2018.