ADHD & Marriage News - February 2, 2024

Quote of the Week

“Someone gets defensive as a means of avoiding accountability and getting the other person to back off."

- Seth Meyers, PsyD


One of the biggest barriers to good communication between partners impacted by ADHD is defensiveness.  And I hear about LOTS of it.  That’s not surprising, given the nature of ADHD-impacted relationships.  But what to do?

Here are some specific paths to pursue:

  • Defensiveness may be so severe that it actually indicates Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD).  Read this article if you want to learn more and consider using some of the meds that tame this extreme sensitivity to perceived and real criticism.
  • Defensiveness is often a response to a shame trigger.  Shame is debilitating, and generally can only be addressed with professional assistance.  One of the most effective types of therapy to address shame is Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS)
  • Use Learning Conversations to explore repetitive emotional issues.  (If you don’t know what these are, see The ADHD Effect on Marriage or my couple’s seminar).  This structured conversation is harder to escalate and may help the partner avoid some or all of the shame
  • Bulk conversations about task into a weekly task meeting.  This diminishes the number of conversations around things not yet done that can trigger shame.  Both partners can mentally prepare for the meeting, and thus bring their A game, with less likelihood of escalation


Need more ideas on how you and your partner can communicate BETTER?

  LESS THAN TWO WEEKS: My 9-week couples seminar ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar starts February 13th. It's just $299 for 18+ hours of content - that's less than $17 per hour per couple for life-changing information! It is given by Zoom and includes slides and live Q&As every week. In it you'll learn how to turn your relationship around.

Resources For those in relationships impacted by ADHD


ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Is your relationship in trouble? My premier, highly acclaimed LIVE seminar STARTS FEBRUARY 13, 2024. The next LIVE seminar will start in Fall 2024. (There will be NO spring seminar in 2024.) 

Non ADHD Partner Support Group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship.

NewADHD & Marriage Professional Training Program - an integrated team of experts dedicated to supporting the needs of couples and adults impacted by ADHD.  


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;


Social Media: - follow us for tips and resources




Question? Contact Melissa.

© 2024 Melissa Orlov