Gracious, Gentle, Polite

ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - September 14, 2011

Heart to Heart

Tips for Thriving in your Marriage

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“Along the road, be gracious, gentle and polite.”

  • Kenneth Jackson, historian

ADHD Marriage blog and forum

Dr. Hallowell's website

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Be Polite

Too often I hear some variation of this comment made recently by a husband with ADHD:

“My wife always criticizes me. I never do enough, and what I do is never satisfactory. She yells at me, tells me she doesn’t love me, but expects that I’ll treat her with warmth. I never share anything with her anymore or tell her how I feel because she’ll just disregard it or tell me why I’m wrong.”

You may be frustrated in your relationship, but one of the absolutely necessary ingredients for relationship success is what Jackson calls being “gracious, gentle and polite.”

I know (only too well!) how HARD this can be when your partner is driving you nuts. But listen to what this man was saying – not being gracious or polite drives a huge wedge between you. How can you work out the problems in your relationship if you can’t even discuss or confront them together?

You don’t have to agree with a person to interact respectfully with them. But when you treat your partner with respect he or she is more likely to interact with you, be willing to consider your point of view, and respond to your needs. That means you are both the beneficiaries of that respect.

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at to ask your questions and learn from others who share your issues.  In addition, you'll find in-depth essays to help you learn how to thrive in a marriage affected by ADHD.
Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2011 Melissa Orlov