ADHD and Relationships

couple at therapy

ADHD and Relationships

When one person has ADHD in a relationship, and the other person doesn’t, unique problems can occur. The power dynamic can become that of a parent to child, which isn’t healthy. The non-ADHD person becomes the one with the power, guiding, reminding and helping their partner. When the ADHD partner has a chore to be done, their counterpart may remind them, indeed several times, until the ADHD partner does it. Or the non-ADHD partner may give up and do it themselves rather than keep reminding their other half. Eventually, too many chores or responsibilities are allocated to the non-ADHD partner.

The symptoms of ADHD unmanaged are permanent. Distraction, memory problems and other symptoms start to weigh on the relationship. The non-ADHD partner becomes the parent, the ADHD partner the child. The power dynamic in this relationship becomes off kilter, leaning only to one side. This leads to a lack of respect on the part of the non-ADHD partner as they begin to view their partner like a child, and a condescending attitude can ensue. The ADHD partner begins to resent their significant other.

Adaptation is generally considered a good thing. One partner sees an issue arising and both partners change to meet and overcome it. Some research has shown however that stronger couples see problems coming down the pike and counteract them before they become an issue in the relationship. For ADHD, this power dynamic increases over time. As more and more control is lent to the non-ADHD partner and the more they become the parent, the other the child, the more resentment builds. Both people in this relationship have their problems with the other. One doesn’t want to do all of the work of the other. The ADHD partner doesn’t want to be treated like a child. They get tired of constant reminders, general bossiness and nagging. And the non-ADHD partner gets tired of doing so. And this dynamic puts a strain on the relationship. The couple feels less inclined toward positive feelings of love, affection, physical intimacy and romance.

Child/parent dynamics will almost inevitably lead to relationship or marital dysfunction. ADHD should be treated with the help of a mental health professional. Both partners should be involved. But if you are married or seriously involved with someone who has ADHD or if you have ADHD make sure to talk about it in depth with your partner. Treatment should also be sought. For more advice read, The ADHD Effect On Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov.

How to Kill a Marriage

angry

How to Kill a Marriage

Lots of people picture the perfect wedding, and little happy Norman Rockwell-like vignettes of what it’s like afterwards. But the truth is, after the honeymoon phase is over, there is a huge adjustment period where you really start to find out all the deep issues, the quirks, the funny little things, the scars, the emotional baggage and all the stuff you never even considered about the person who will now sit across from your breakfast table for as long as you both shall live, or as fast as you can drive to a courthouse, whichever you decide.

Lots of people fall into patterns and then wonder why their marriage falls apart. They don’t look at what happens as a phenomenon with steps and each person’s interpretation of what went on and what was said, and a conclusion in which the couple finally sees what’s happening and how to break out of it. Instead, they often fall into a routine and barely stray from it. The routine itself may be destroying nuptial bliss. Perhaps the energy or care that needs to be invested in a marriage is missing. But there are common routines people fall into that begin to pull you two apart, without you even knowing it. Here’s how to kill a marriage.

First, realize that watching TV after the kids go to bed and not interacting is a marriage killer. Of course you’re tired, everyone is nowadays. But you have to invest a little time in your marriage to make it last. Turn off the TV a couple of times a week and talk to each other, have fun, and maybe even get a little frisky. Remember when you two used to send lovely messages via text or email during the day? If you don’t want your marriage to last, by all means don’t keep it up. A phone call at lunch may be nice too, depending on what you do at lunch and your schedules. But just a simple “Hey good looking” via text may be all that is needed to make your spouse feel appreciated. Make sure you don’t stop saying “I love you.” It matters. It makes all the difference. It reassures, calms and makes the person feel special and loved. Don’t skimp out on those unless you want the marriage to end.

If you really want things to go downhill fast, when you mess up, don’t apologize. If you apologize you’ll show that your spouse is more important than yourself. And who would ever want to do a selfless thing like that in a marriage? Don’t cuddle, kiss, hug or be intimate. That would definitely strengthen your bond and make you much happier and less stressed. Lastly, nagging is a great way to put a marriage on the ropes. Finding better and more effective ways of communicating is a way to bring it back. For more marriage advice read, I Don’t Want a Divorce: A 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage by Dr. David Clarke & William G. Clarke.

How Men View Love and why Women should adopt it

DATING-DEAL-BREAKERS

How Men View Love and why Women should adopt it

Both sexes view love slightly differently. While men may be selfish and ignorant of their insensitivity at times, there are many positive attributes to their outlook on love that the overanalyzing, ardent female may learn from.

Here are some ways men view love and why women should adopt them into their own view. First, men seem more resilient in the realms of dating and love, particularly when a relationship is over. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t hurt. He gets down in the dumps about it just as much as she does. But men seem more willing to brush themselves off, pick themselves up and get back out there. They bounce back more quickly, and enter the dating scene with a more positive attitude. A woman however sees an ended relationship as a failure. She is more apt to give in to despair, swear off all men and live life as a celibate spinster, or at least this is what a lot of women claim. Perhaps if they could find a way to bounce back, or have a more positive attitude about getting back out there, they wouldn’t find themselves wallowing in despair and swearing off all other men. Men are also excited about the prospect of meeting someone new, where oftentimes women dread it.

Men are more straightforward with communications with their partner in a relationship. Women sometimes have a hard time communicating what they are feeling. Instead of sorting it out and approaching their man with it, they clam up. They tell him nothing is wrong when something clearly is. They push him away and he ends up confused. This behavior drives a wedge between the partners. And soon, if better forms of communication aren’t brought to the fore, the relationship won’t last. Instead women should try to communicate openly and directly. What is the point of the relationship if you can’t communicate with your partner about important things?

Women also sometimes wrack their brains trying to figure out their man, or find out if something is wrong. Just ask him. If you want to find out something, ask. If a woman doesn’t make a man happy, or a relationship doesn’t fulfill him he punches out. Women however stay in relationships that don’t make them happy thinking they can change the man. They usually end up frustrated and swearing off the entire gender, or nagging him to death and driving him away. Instead, know when a relationship has reached a dead end ladies, and take your leave of him. Lastly, don’t defend your man at all costs when your friends are trying to tell you something about him. Women can be very defensive about their men. When a man’s friends give him a gentle warning, if he’s mature he heeds it. Women should do the same. Your friends are only looking out for your best interest. Heed their warnings well and avoid dating a jerk. For more advice read, To Date a Man, You Must Understand a Man: The Keys to Catch a Great Guy by Gregg Michaelsen.

When You Don’t Want a Divorce but your Spouse Does

young-woman-sitting

When You Don’t Want a Divorce but your Spouse Does

Oftentimes one person in a marriage wants to call it quits while the other wants to work things out. For the person who wants out, it’s over. They feel they’ve tried and tried. There’s no hope of reconciliation from where they sit. The majority of those in this position are women, as women are the majority of those who serve their husband’s divorce papers. Lots of men, ignoring the problems in their marriage, suffer what has been labeled as “sudden divorce syndrome.” But it certainly isn’t always the case. There are definitely men who get fed up with their wives and want out, too. Usually, this is when the other person panics. They try desperately to change things, to make the other person happy. But often they tend to further push their partner away rather than bring them back into their orbit. So what do you do when you don’t want a divorce but your spouse does? Are there any moves you can make to try and save the marriage or is it all just hopeless? There’s no way to make sure that they see it your way and warm to reconciliation. However, positive changes can make an impression. It’s possible to bring a marriage back from the brink and plenty of other couples have done so before. Here are some ideas on how to save a marriage.

Do not beg them to stay. This is perhaps the worst thing you can do. Crying and pleading never work. If they feel like it’s too late to change anything, you will only further solidify that idea in their mind by partaking in this kind of behavior. Don’t block them if that’s their idea. But don’t exacerbate the issue by say leaving the family home first. Do not exacerbate the situation. It sounds simple but many people in this tenuous situation often take part in other behaviors that make matters worse. If you have been unfaithful, call off the affair. If you have been whining, nagging and overly critical learn how to stop those things from happening and instead supplant them with positive behaviors. If you have trouble controlling your temper and this has been what has been driving a wedge between you two, seek counseling, go to anger management classes and get a handle on the problem. Many people at this point want to bring up the transgressions of their partner. But you can’t control the past. And you can’t control your partner. The only thing you have absolute control over in this marriage is yourself. If you want to see positive change happen and talk the marriage off of the ledge you will have to change those negative things for which you yourself contribute and that are causing strife. If you do make progress and want your spouse to consider couple’s therapy with you, your first step forward may be making progress on your own issues.

Are you spying on your spouse because you think they are having an affair? Stop. Are you pressuring them to go to counseling with you? Cut it out. Do you keep badgering your spouse for one more change? Don’t do it anymore. Are you reading their emails, texts and stalking them on their social media sites? Give it a rest. This behavior will only further push them into the divorce camp. If you want them to reconsider the marriage you will have to give them some space. If you smother them you will drive them away. Don’t demand anything from them at this time. Don’t take part in blaming behavior. Take a good look at the negative patterns you and your spouse take part in. You are a scientist researching a phenomenon. Give your spouse time and space. Consider what their complaints are in the marriage. Are they legitimate? What are you doing that is helping to drive them away? Show them concrete evidence that this time you are making different choices and working on your issues, out of love for them, yourself and for the sake of the marriage. Once you understand what triggers your problems, and what you do to help set them off, you can counteract that behavior. And that is the first and most important step. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley and Susan L. Blumberg. 

Wife’s Nagging can lead to Husband’s Early Death

nag

Wife’s Nagging can lead to Husband’s Early Death

When a man tells his wife she’s nagging him to death, he may not be exaggerating. According to research out of the University of Copenhagen a wife’s nagging can lead to a husband’s early death. Spousal worries and demands lead to about 315 deaths per 100,000 says the National Post. Those men who had very demanding spouses were 150% more likely to die early. Going to work helped some husband’s de-stress. Those who were unemployed and home with a nagging wife all the time had a higher chance of kicking the bucket early. Women are socialized to talk about and communicate their emotions with friends and family. Men however are socialized to hold things in or deal with them themselves. Instead of friends, men generally have their spouse or lover as their confidant. Lead author of this study Dr. Rikke Lund in an interview with The Daily Mail said, “Men will limit their conversations with friends and family. The one person they have as a confidant is actually the one putting the worries and demands on them then that could be making them more vulnerable.” Men’s bodies react to stress by releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. This isn’t good for cardiovascular health such as blood pressure.

Children and spouses who were demanding were the ones that put men into early graves. In-laws and neighbors didn’t have the same effect. It could be out of a sense of love, duty and social responsibility that makes men more susceptible to the stress placed upon them by their wife and kids. Women have stronger social networks and therefore aren’t affected by nagging the same way men are, according to the Telegraph. Certainly men should make sure to pay attention to the woman they plan to marry in this regard. He should however notice his own behavior. Does he increase her likelihood of acting this way? Does his wife believe he isn’t listening or paying attention to her? Or is she just a complainer who exports all of her happiness in a selfish and demanding way? In terms of nagging women, wives should first evaluate what she is going to say to her husband. Are you giving him more stress or helping him through it? Sure, couples do have to discuss uncomfortable situations. But is this something you can handle yourself? Are you making things positive, secure, happy and loving for your man or are you making his home life worse? Find different ways to communicate and see how best to reach him. Try to couch things in a positive manner. Make sure, instead of putting the burden on him, you two are going to tackle problems together, as a team. For more information on this study, you can find it in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. To learn about communicating in a more positive way, read The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.