I feel anger at my ADHD spouse most of the time. How do I get control of my emotions and my relationship?
by Melissa Orlov
Your anger is a clear sign that something is awry in your ADHD marriage.
The best way to deal with this powerful emotion is to determine its cause. For instance, you may think you’re upset with your husband for spending so much time on the computer, but the real source of anger may be feelings of loneliness and the fear that you’re unloved.
Talk with him about your feelings in a calm and caring way. Once you find the reasons for your anger, you can take control of your relationship.
Taking control means understanding that you — and only you — are responsible for your life (stop blaming your spouse); communicating thoughtfully, not lashing out (a mild-mannered approach will get your spouse to cooperate and, possibly, to change); and engaging in activities that reduce your anger and make you happier. This isn’t easy, so get help.
I would start by reading a good book on the subject, such as The Dance of Anger, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. She writes extensively about relationships like yours, and offers specific solutions. The book also teaches you how to avoid getting angry about things you don’t have control over.
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