Naming Fear

ADHD & Marriage News - September 30, 2020

Quote of the Week

“The chief barrier to intimacy in a relationship is fear.  We’re afraid of being judged and rejected.  We’re in fear of disapproval…”

-David Brooks

Naming Fear

I’ve talked about parent/child dynamics a lot because it’s such an important factor in why relationships impacted by ADHD struggle.  Part of the reason for this struggle is fear.  For ADHD partners, that fear is about whether or not they will ‘fail’ yet again when they try to fulfill the promises they’ve made.  Whether they will be loved or criticized, instead.  Whether they will be appreciated, or perhaps belittled.  Fear that they are unlovable.  If you are an ADHD partner in a parent/child dynamic situation, life feels like a minefield.  It’s hard to move forward.

There is a different set of fears driving non-ADHD partners.  Fear that things will always remain chaotic and never get better.  Fear about not having control (since ADHD plays a role, and it’s not your own ADHD).  Fear of financial or health crises brought about by ADHD partner carelessness, lying or worse.  Fear that one’s partner isn’t capable of paying enough attention feel loved the way you had hoped you would.

Fear is a powerful emotion – and tends to send people into primitive responses such as fight, flight or freeze.  It is when you name these fears, allow that they can exist AND that you can start to improve the situation that progress is made.  By accepting the duality of your situation – yes, it’s okay to fear AND it’s smart to use what’s known to help couples impacted by ADHD – that you make progress.

What are the fears that you hold onto that need naming?


October is ADHD Month - Check out these Free resources:

Free VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS with Melissa to support you during the COVID-19 crisis

Thursday, October 1:  4 - 5:15pm eastern

Monday, Oct. 5:  10 - 11:15 eastern

Wednesday, Oct. 7:  8:15 - 9:30pm eastern

Monday, Oct. 12:  7 - 8:30pm eastern

11th Annual ADHD Awareness Expo. October 1 - 31, My presentation: You and Your Partner Are Much More Different Than You Think!

TADD Talks - October 1 - 31, My presentation is on October 3: 5 Things ADHD Adults Can Do to Connect Better

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD

Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. can literally change your life! Find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD 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.


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.

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-group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group.

How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD - go to the home page for a free download about the best ways to manage ADHD.

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