“The best virtues thrive with affection.” - Isabele Allende
If a relationship is something to nurture and grow together, affection is like fertilizer. Without it, the relationship withers.
There are many reasons people withhold affection as they start to struggle in their relationship: they worry that signs of affection such as holding hands might signal to their partner that everything is okay; they can’t demonstrate affection when they feel hurt; they wish to punish their partner and withhold affection to do so…
I totally understand and empathize with these feelings. But once both partners are committed to repairing the relationship, couples must make sure that they don’t just focus on the nuts and bolts of repair. Getting better treatment, putting communication strategies in place and learning to organize around chores better is all incredibly important work that can be made “lighter” with the addition of affection. Yes – this relationship repair stuff is hard work. Make sure to make it just a bit easier with regular gestures of appreciation and affection.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
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, has helped many couples turn around their relationship, and is given by phone, so anyone may participate.