The Weight of ADHD On Your Marriage

If raising a child with ADHD can strain even the sturdiest marriage, imagine what it does to the rest of us. Follow these seven steps to save your relationship when parenting problems threaten to split it apart.

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Stop the Blame Game

Your child acts up in the toy aisle, and you are out of patience. Instead of telling him to improve his behavior, you turn your frustration on your spouse. "He got into another fight at school today, and I had to talk to the teachers by myself. It's not fair. After all, he takes after you!"

The solution? Acknowledge that you're both dealing with the same frustrations. "Accept the fact that your child has this condition and that this is the way things are, regardless of how they got that way," says J. Matthew Orr, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical family and preventive medicine at South Carolina School of Medicine. In moving beyond blame to acceptance, you become free to celebrate your child's strengths.

"Before my husband and I understood the ramifications of an ADD diagnosis, we blamed each other for 'bad parenting' or 'passing along ADHD genes,'" says Jody Aud, of Mount Airy, Maryland. "When each of us admitted responsibility, we let each other off the hook. ADHD is not 'something we did to our kid,' and it's not the end of the world. Our child may not be the next Einstein, but she does have a shot at being the next Picasso."

Next: Get in Agreement...

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TAGS: ADHD and Marriage

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