Reply To: Strategies for harmony in marriage

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strwbry
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ADDLobstah – GREAT advice!

ADHDers know we suck at administrative tasks. Motivation is physically hard, and honestly, it’s sometimes embarrassing. Pride is just our defense mechanism for not feeling like a screw up again. If I choose to be lazy, then I’m not really lazy? It doesn’t make sense, but it’s how we cope with our reality.

1. Start out the conversation from a place of gratitude. We’re used to being nagged and called lazy. We don’t like it. It hurts. And we will defend our psyche against it.

2. Be honest about your workload. You cannot physically do it all. You NEED his help. We generally like to be useful and relish opportunities to help. It makes us proud, since we’re usually the ones needing all the help.
– Plus, a lot of guys in our generation don’t realize how much wives have to do in ADDITION to working full time. It’s like 3 jobs. He may “hear” you say you need help but not understand what that really means.

3. Show him a list of ALL the tasks you have to do during your time off. Let him know what a better and happier wife/mother you COULD be if you weren’t spending all of your time doing chores/management. Ask what he would be comfortable taking off your plate. Express gratitude for anything he is willing to tackle (it’s a tough first step), but also be firm and realistic about the amount of help you need. You may not get 50-50, but hey, 60-40 or even 70-30 is WAY better than 0-100!

4. Agree on a system of accountability. We keep a list, with both of our names on it, near the front door. That way, whenever we walk in or out of the house, the list is right there. We also each have a running to do list for things like purging.

5. Say thank you. Real, heartfelt, and often. When you do get to spend time together, try not to focus on the administrative stuff. Hang out a little, just for fun. It’ll show him that his help really is freeing you up to be happier and less stressed. It’s not a trap!

A lot of us ADHDers have spent a lifetime in situations that we cannot succeed in. Pressure to perform certain tasks usually makes us shut down. No amount of nagging or frustration will get the job done. That’s what our parents and teachers did. “Why can’t you just get it done?” I don’t know, because I can’t. Say that enough times, and it becomes your mantra. Having someone whisper “I believe you can, and I need you to” can invite us to turn that attitude around. A gentle offer of personal responsibility that offers flexibility and is presented in a way that shows a possibility of success can help us care and try.

It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. I hope it helps!