A Simple Moral Code

ADHD & Marriage News - February 23, 2023

Quote of the Week

“(My husband) has a simple moral code.  He tells the truth and does the right thing.”

- My Aunt

A Simple Moral Code

Relationship expert, John Gottman, has done a lot of research into what comprises the elements of trust.  His research suggests a simple equation – ‘transparency’ plus what he calls ‘positive moral certainty’.  Transparency is about being honest (transparent) as well as following through on what you promise.  Positive moral certainty is knowing that your partner is ethical and will treat you with respect and kindness.

In my couples’ seminar I talk about rebuilding trust in your relationship, as well as the way that this trust equation must be modified to accommodate ADHD.  Because it is impossible that a person with ADHD who sometimes doesn’t follow through on promises due to the presence of ADHD symptoms is inherently and always untrustworthy!  Yet, the inconsistency that ADHD symptoms adds must be accommodated in some way that is reassuring to both parties for trust to remain intact (or be rebuilt).

The ‘secret sauce’ is to add the ideas of owning ADHD symptoms and symptomatic behaviors, and being transparent about issues as they come up.  That might mean putting a backup system in place to call a partner if you’re running late to pick up the kids.  Or owning that you didn’t complete an important project and taking responsibility for creating (and executing) a plan to get it done now.  And…if you don’t have the skills in place to fully execute, taking responsibility to figure out how to learn those skills…or admitting that the project must done a different way – perhaps hiring it out, or exchanging tasks with a partner.

Doing the ‘right thing,’ as my Aunt would say, means taking responsibility…even if one is not always consistent…and making sure you are always honest as you do so.


Does trust need to be repaired in your relationship?  Consider taking my spring Couples Seminar that starts March 13.  I won't give it again until the Fall.

REGISTER NOW for the ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' LIVE 9 session Seminar, 7:30pm EASTERN time.

March 13: Session 1: Optimizing ADHD treatment; Understanding the differences between you
March 21: Session 2: Interpreting ADHD symptoms; Symptom/response/response cycles & how to interrupt them; Defensiveness & anger intro 

March 28: *Break (No live lesson)  Please put in your calendars for catch up work
April 4: Session 3: Getting out of parent/child dynamics; The healing process; Setting boundaries
April 11: Session 4: NEW SESSION IN 2023!  Dealing with strong emotions in ADHD-impacted relationships
April 18: Session 5: Communication strategies that work
April 25: Session 6: Getting away from fights and chore wars; Bonus video: Getting organized with ADHD–the emotional issues plus what works 

May 2: Session 7: Difficult to understand behaviors:  The skinny on lying, affairs, pornography, and more
May 8: Session 8: Rebuilding trust; the science of finding joy in your ADHD-impacted relationship
May 16: Session 9: Conflict intimacy; sex and desire; setting personal boundaries; next steps

- For a more detailed curriculumgo to this page.

Resources For those in relationships impacted by ADHD


ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Is your relationship in trouble? My highly acclaimed 8-session Zoom seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live session STARTS March 13, 2023.

Non ADHD Partner Support Group (few openings) and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group (Spring 2023 Group - April 19, 2023 - June 7, 2023 - Registration open now!) - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship.


How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD

Downloadable chapters of my books;

A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;

A large number of blog posts on various topics;



ADULT ADHD CAN HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! 

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© 2023 Melissa Orlov