ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - June 11, 2012

Heart to Heart

Tips for Thriving in your Marriage

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“We don’t actually have much control over the way our kids turn out.  Genes do a lot of the deciding, and the owner of those genes does most of the rest.  Some kids let parents have a great deal of influence; others don’t.  Either way, people blossom when we love them, not when we worry about them.  Worry just teaches worry.”

- Martha Beck

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Though this quote is about raising children, it applies equally to adult relationships.  The word “worry” comes from the word “wyrgan” (Old English) meaning “to strangle.”  And that is just what worry does.

Here are some of the mistakes that your worry might encourage in your relationship:

  • Your partner notices you are anxious about her being able to follow through on a task – this raises her own anxiety, leading her to blow it.
  • You worry that your partner doesn’t always remember things correctly, so you leap to correct him before he finishes what he is saying.  He resents this, and clams up.
  • Based on past experience, you worry that your partner will continue to not be as involved as you would like in your relationship.  He’s trying new methods, but at the first sign of a slip up you let your anxiety out.  He concludes that he’ll never get it right and stops trying.

I’ve seen all of these responses in couples I’ve worked with.

Worry is natural, but it is not neutral.  If you are a worrier, try to focus your energy on showing love and support.  “Self-talk” to yourself that “this worry isn’t getting me anywhere…what can I do right now that will alleviate my worry?” 

Some ideas include: 

  • Make a plan to address what worries you then take action against the plan;
  • Practice deep breathing or some other sort of self-calming;
  • Reach out and share your worry with others to lessen its ability to ‘run amok’;
  • Go exercise (this reduces stress and anxiety).
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at www.adhdmarriage.com 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

© 2012 Melissa Orlov