Non ADD Partner
- Meet your partner half way, but don’t “enable” through co-dependency. Learn how to participate in behaviors that are empowering to both you and your partner without participating in co-dependent behaviors. Remember that anytime you do for your partner something they need to be doing for themselves, you are participating in a co-dependent process.
- Learn not to blame. State what is going on for you without blaming or judging your partner. Use “I” statements and take responsibility for your own feelings.
- Understand which behaviors are neurologically based in your partner’s ADD. Educate yourself about ADD and recognize that a particular behavior (although upsetting) may not be about you. Don’t assume that your partner’s behavior is malicious, selfish or even intentional.
- Strive for kindness and patience. Remember that your partner has probably lived his/her entire life feeling inadequate and criticized. Therefore, your negative words may trigger some hyper- sensitivity to criticism. While your partner is learning how to deal with his/her ADD issues, be patient while holding him/her accountable for their choices and actions.
If you and your partner have tried it on your own and are unable to resolve your issues, do seek professional counseling. Counseling can be vital in providing the kinds of guidance and coaching necessary to becoming conscious of old patterns of behavior, defense mechanisms, and attitudes that often stand in the way of healthy communication. It should be noted that any couple’s therapy that does not adequately identify or acknowledge how ADD is impacting the relationship can do more harm than good by exacerbating the problems, instead of relieving them. It should also be noted that not all counselors are well versed in ADD, since training in this area is not a licensing requirement for therapists. Therefore, should you decide to work with a couple’s counselor, be sure to do your homework and seek out a qualified clinician who has specialized training and is well versed in the area of ADD before moving forward.
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For more articles and help with these kinds of issues, please visit my blog at http://addadults.net/blog.