“The ability to yield, to bend, to give way, to accommodate,” he said, “was sometimes a source of strength in men as well as in wood, so long as it was helmed by inner resolve and by principle.” - Master crew shell builder, George Pocock, as reported in Boys in the Boat
Bending vs. Giving In
I am sometimes asked whether acquiescing to a partner’s specific needs (be they emotional or related to ADHD symptoms) isn’t just a form of giving in. Sometimes it is, but often it is not. Pocock’s idea about accommodation as a source of strength as long as it is guided by inner principle provides insight into how to distinguish between acquiescing in a negative way, and bending in strength as a way of doing better. We all need to yield to our partners – sometimes more than we would like to. But so long as that yielding is based in principle, then this can be a source of strength for you, rather than submission.
I suggest in The ADHD Effect on Marriage that partners get in touch with their boundaries or – perhaps a more accurate description - values. When we are confident we know what’s really important to us, it’s much easier to bend and yield in other areas without feeling bereft for doing so.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at my marriage and ADHD website, including: an 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; 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. Next session begins Fall 2015.