According to Orlov, cultivating empathy is the first step to rebuilding the trust needed for there to be any lasting effort on the part of the ADD partner. What is it that the non-ADD partner needs to understand about the experience of having ADD and vice versa? One exercise that is recommended in the book is for the ADD partner to write a letter to their spouse explaining what it feels like to have ADD. The non- ADD partner is to read the letter without offering suggestions on how to fix it, but rather to ask questions on how to better understand their partners experiences, thus offering both partners the opportunity to engage in some very important discussions and to learn about the experience of having ADD without judgment. This is the beginnings of cultivating an empathic relationship and without this understanding, healing is not possible.
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