“It’s not even the shame that is so bad. It’s the disappointing people that’s so hard to bear.”
-Woman with ADHD
If you are an adult with ADHD, do you sometimes cover up mistakes you make rather than expose them to your partner? Do you feel despair when you feel you’ve disappointed your partner again?
I run into this frequently – a man will explain that he covered up a mistake (i.e. lied) because he couldn’t stand the idea that he was going to disappoint his wife, whom he treasures, yet again. A mother will talk about the agony of having her kids upset about her tardiness driving them to places they need to be…and having her husband add to her pain by reprimanding her.
I’ve seen in my own relationship that my husband can bear my anger (when it’s expressed constructively) but can shrivel in pain if I say I’m disappointed (and then, to fight that pain, will become angry with me.) Before I understood that connection I did not realize how important it was for me to consider exactly what – and how – I responded to his mistakes.
I urge you consider finding a calm time with your partner to talk about your own feelings about disappointment and pain. You both have them, and it could be a very constructive conversation. As you do this, remember that it is healthy to feel grief about where you are, too.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
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; Referrals. Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!
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 next live session starts in October 2019.
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-groups - start in October 2019 and the ADHD Support Groupstarts September 10, 2019.