Identifying the problem areas in ones' marriage is relatively easy, but the difficult part is ferreting out effective mechanisms to bridge the communication gap that often occurs when one’s partner has ADD. Knowledge, patience, and empathy go a long way in working on these issues. Since both partners need to work together to find solutions and new ways of thinking about their relationship conflicts, the following 8 guidelines are broken down into “the ADD partner’s part” and the “non-ADD partner’s part”.
ADD Partner’s part
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- Accepting how one’s ADD has negatively impacted the relationship. In order to take responsibility for your part in the relationship problems, it is vital to openly acknowledge the impact that having ADD has had on the relationship.
- Learn how to respond to one’s partner’s negative feedback non-defensively. This may take some work since you probably have a lifelong pattern of defending yourself against outside criticism that has continued to plague your current relationship with your partner. This is where a good coach or counselor can help guide you to learn non-defensive communication skills.
- Face the problematic issues without denying or minimizing them. Learn how to hear your partners concerns without defending against them by renouncing or rejecting their validity. This means developing effective and empathic listening skills.
- Accept responsibility for your part. Own your part in what may have occurred and honor your partner’s feelings. Your partner needs to know that they have been heard and that you respect their feelings.
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