“Most parenting approaches have you giving a strong punitive consequence that’s all energy and that confirms that, as a parent, you’re highly available through negativity – you’re a toy that works when they push buttons…And you work if, and only if, they act out bigger.” - Howard Glasser
Almost all of the couples I work with suffer from significant parent/child dynamics. One partner (typically non-ADHD) acts like a (poor) parent figure – taking on too much responsibility, setting goals for a partner, educating, reprimanding or punishing the partner if something isn’t done on time or correctly. Over time, the couple no longer acts in partnership, and many of their interactions are negative.
But think about what Glasser writes. Do you wish to only be “available” through negativity? What sort of partnership is that? There was a period in my own relationship when my husband simply stopped wanting to interact with me because he didn’t want the hassle of dealing with my negative responses…and the less we interacted, the worse both our behavior became.
Over the long haul, we all do better when we are inspired rather than punished. What could you change to better inspire your partner to connect?
If you need help with parent/child dynamics, consider taking my Live couples course, beginning next Tuesday September 23, 2014, as this is one of the issues that it tackles. It's likely that this live couples seminar will be my last for some time, perhaps for good. So now is the time to sign up!
Given once a week by phone conference call for 8 weeks, this seminar covers such important topics as: ADHD treatment, anger, parent/child interactions, communication strategies, chore issues, lying, cover-ups, sexual interactions, and how to find the positives in ADHD and your relationship.
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at my marriage and ADHD website, including: a free online treatment overview; free downloadable chapters of my books; a community forum with other couples facing similar issues; a large number of blog posts on various topics; referrals; and my very popular ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar. This eight-session seminar, starting this Tuesday September 23rd, has helped many couples turn around their relationship, and is given by phone, so anyone may participate.
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. Please take a moment to investigate the information available to you. It can literally change your life!