Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love Means Saying You're Sorry

This month's insights on Adult ADHD and relationships come from psychologist Ari Tuckman, with two excerpts from his book More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD. Enjoy, and please join in with your comments on these topics!  -- Gina Pera

By Ari  Tuckman, Ph.D.
It's been said that if one person in a relationship has ADHD, then the other person kind of has it, too. The one person’s ADHD affects not only how he interacts with his romantic partner, but also his ability to meet his practical obligations in the relationship, like getting to dinner on time and picking up after himself. This can lead to some predictable and interesting dynamics between the two people as they work to find a better way. Every couple faces their own challenges, but a relationship where one person has ADHD will tend to face certain kinds of challenges—and benefit from certain kinds of strategies.
          It’s important to remember that when it comes to improving your relationships and friendships or reducing the effect that your ADHD has on them, you don’t need to strive for perfection. Often, some partial improvements are enough to make things much better and create a situation where your positive qualities outweigh the negative feelings the other person has about your ADHD-based behaviors. Of course, you may also decide that you’re tired of trying to be something you aren’t and make some choices about who you interact with. Some other people may be much more appreciative of your good qualities and much more tolerant of your negative ones.
          I use the word relationship broadly to refer to interactions of all kinds: family member, friend, coworker, boss, for example, so it doesn’t apply just to romantic relationships. Besides, a lot of the same rules apply to all of these. Usually romantic relationships intensify feelings and thoughts that we can keep simpler in other relationships.
         Below are two excerpts from my book
More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD:, drawn from Chapter 15: Relationships and Friendships: Strive for Balance