“Truth is like fresh, clear air, while lies are like smog that poisons our psyches and interactions. The amount of truth you must tell to any given person depends on how much healthy intimacy you want with that person. The more intimate you want a relationship to be, the more truth you must tell. It’s that simple.” - Martha Beck
I come across a lot of couples struggling with the fact that an ADHD partner may cover up something about which he or she has done. This is often because the partner is embarrassed by his or her inability to perform more consistently. Sometimes it reflects that ADHD partner’s desire to not disappoint a loved partner. And sometimes it has to do with parent/child dynamics – the ADHD partner (in the “child” role) fears repercussions or punishment from a non-ADHD/parent figure.
Whatever the origin of the cover ups, they are not neutral in the relationship. Chronic lying erodes all sense of trust, and leads to frustration, anger and disappointment. How do you fall back in love with someone when you are feeling those emotions?!
If you have “little lies” in your relationship please understand that there is no such thing as a little lie. You must own up to this behavior and start to change the habit in order to thrive. And, since both partners typically participate in creating an environment that encourages lies, both partners will have work to do. (For more information on my topic, you might consider taking my live couples seminar – this is just one of a number of difficult behaviors we cover.)
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.
I'm delighted to announce that the Kindle edition and audiobook version of my second book are finally available. Co-authored with Nancie Kohlenberger, LMFT, The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD focuses on emotional "hot spots" couples impacted by ADHD commonly face. The book explores why these Hot Spots are so hard to move past, and what to do about them. It's time to move away from anger, frustration and other difficult emotions and learn how to calm your relationship? For more information, go to this link.
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!