9 Ways ADD/ADHD Affects Relationships (Cont.)
It Takes the Two of You
8. The Blame Game. The Blame Game sounds like the name of a TV show. "For 40 points: Who didn’t take out the garbage this week?” It’s not a game at all. The Blame Game is corrosive to a relationship. It is happening when the non-ADHD partner blames the ADD/ADHD partner’s unreliability for the relationship problems, and the ADD/ADHD partner blames the non-ADHD partner’s anger -- “If she would just calm down, everything would be fine!” Accepting the validity of the other partner’s complaints quickly relieves some of the pressure. Differentiating your partner from her behavior allows a couple to attack the problem, not the individual, head-on.
9. The Parent-Child Dynamic. The most destructive pattern in an ADD/ADHD relationship is when one partner becomes the responsible “parent” figure and the other the irresponsible “child.” This is caused by the inconsistency inherent in untreated ADD/ADHD. Since the ADD/ADHD partner can’t be relied upon, the non-ADHD partner takes over, resulting in anger and frustration in both partners. Parenting a partner is never good. You can change this pattern by using ADD/ADHD support strategies, such as reminder systems and treatment. These help the ADD/ADHD partner become more reliable and regain his or her status as “partner.”
Excerpted from The ADHD Effect on Marriage, by Melissa Orlov. Copyright 2010. Reprinted by permission of Specialty Press, Plantation, Florida. All rights reserved.
More Adult ADD/ADHD Relationship Advice
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This article appears in the Spring issue of ADDitude.
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