View Full Version : Starting a conversation, not an argument.


niknee
01-05-15, 02:50 PM
Hi I'm new to this site my partner has adhd.
I would love some advice.
need to know how to start a conversation with him as don't want to turn into an argument .

Hoping
01-07-15, 01:51 AM
In my experience anything can start an argument. What they may say today is a good way to start a discussion, tomorrow they'll either A) completely forget and deny they said it, B) completely blow their lid and find something wrong with what you said, even if it's exactly what they suggested or C) not start an argument but go off on endless tangents not fully answering/responding to your concerns.

I'm sorry I'm so cynical. I hope someone comes with some helpful advice.

lmg2474
01-07-15, 08:44 PM
First, don't talk about your ADD SO in such an offensive/accusatory way, Hoping. You seem to me like you're implying that your partner chooses to be that way, when in all actuality, it is uncontrollable. The first step is to stop viewing it as a personal attack.

As someone with ADD with a non-ADD SO, my biggest concern is that he is understanding of the fact that I have it. I gave him multiple resources regarding ADD when we first starting seeing each other and it helped him a lot in being more patient with me.

If you feel as if your concerns aren't being met and/or responded to, then simply tell your SO. It really is that easy. We might have a disorder that causes us to be off in lala land a majority of the time, but we do take relationship issues seriously even if it doesn't seem that way sometimes. I promise it isn't voluntary.

People with ADD have extremely poor working and/or short-term memory. I would suggest researching the impacts of ADD on working memory since that seems to be your biggest concern.

Remember to just show respect and open-mindedness in your exchanges with your SO. We are hard to deal with, but if you show patience, kindness, and love instead of saying the things you said above, I can almost guarantee you that things will go more smoothly.

@niknee, it depends on the kind of conversation you're attempting to start. If it's at all accusatory or "naggish," then it's pretty likely your SO will find that to be argumentative. It's just the way we've been programmed. Most of us have grown up not knowing we even had ADD at all, and so we've had our fair share of harsh criticisms/accusations/nags thrown at us since the time we were young. It's traumatic and so most people with ADD have an automatic/instinctual negative response to anything that sounds remotely accusatory/bossy. A better way to approach any issue you may have with your partner is to put it in a gentle, non-hostile way. Example: "Sweetheart, I know you don't do it intentionally, but [insert whatever is bothering you], has been upsetting me lately. I don't mean to offend you or accuse you of anything, but I just think that if you hear my side of it and why I feel this way, we can work on it together. I hope you can understand."

It's easy to become perturbed with someone and be less than polite to them when voicing a concern, but all it really does is cause your SO to be less likely to cooperate and work on their issues and more likely to block you out completely.

I think the biggest issue (and this goes for the both of you) in your relationship is narrow-mindedness. People without ADD tend to subconsciously assume that because their own brain is normal and gives them minimal issues, everyone's brain is or should operate like that. While this may seem obvious at first, it really is the biggest hurdle to tackle in being in a relationship with an ADD partner. It's very easy to dismiss someone's ADD symptoms as being voluntary, or that they're just making excuses to be a poor SO. Not the case. People with ADD try EXTREMELY hard to control their symptoms, believe me.

I hope that my advice was helpful for you all. I don't mean to sound harsh, but again, as someone with ADD, I would be willing to bet that your ADD SO would be very offended by the tone of voice insinuated in your (Hoping) post.

Another major factor is medication. Are either of your partners on medication? If so, that would help a lot in controlling their symptoms. That isn't to say that it's an end-all, be-all cure for the disorder, however, because even on medication the symptoms are never truly "gone."

Vivid_thoughts
01-10-15, 06:47 AM
In my experience anything can start an argument. What they may say today is a good way to start a discussion, tomorrow they'll either A) completely forget and deny they said it, B) completely blow their lid and find something wrong with what you said, even if it's exactly what they suggested or C) not start an argument but go off on endless tangents not fully answering/responding to your concerns.

I'm sorry I'm so cynical. I hope someone comes with some helpful advice.

If you weren't in the US - I'd think you were my wife.

The problem can be the emotions. The fact I find is that I can go out the house in a good mood, be gone for 1 hour and then in that hour something (completely useless and irrelevant) has stressed me out and caused me to get paranoid, meaning I'm in a totally different mood when I get back.

Maybe try to start it as a simple and non-threatening question? I find due to my inablity to deal with negative situations that as soon as something could be negative then I start playing the victim in it all, it's the only way I can cope - so it might be a very small thing, but I'll blow it off the scale. Or maybe try it when you and your partner are in a touchy feely mode (if you partner likes that), could eb just good to do it when your partner is in a secure psoition, if they feel relxaed and comfortable in bed with you, try then.

Pentax
01-10-15, 07:36 PM
If you weren't in the US - I'd think you were my wife.

The problem can be the emotions. The fact I find is that I can go out the house in a good mood, be gone for 1 hour and then in that hour something (completely useless and irrelevant) has stressed me out and caused me to get paranoid, meaning I'm in a totally different mood when I get back.

Maybe try to start it as a simple and non-threatening question? I find due to my inablity to deal with negative situations that as soon as something could be negative then I start playing the victim in it all, it's the only way I can cope - so it might be a very small thing, but I'll blow it off the scale. Or maybe try it when you and your partner are in a touchy feely mode (if you partner likes that), could eb just good to do it when your partner is in a secure psoition, if they feel relxaed and comfortable in bed with you, try then.

Thanks very much.

I agree, from my offline life, that timing is everything. In our house sometimes its just not the right time to start a communication of any kind, because, as you say, he's carrying an extra load from something else.

Rebelyell
01-10-15, 07:52 PM
I'm great at starting and finishing one that usually ends up in a big stfu and go f off

Pentax
01-10-15, 08:02 PM
Hi I'm new to this site my partner has adhd.
I would love some advice.
need to know how to start a conversation with him as don't want to turn into an argument .

Yes, I don't want things to turn into an argument if I'm not arguing!

At the moment, niknee, I'll trying out what to do about it if something non-emotional, factual, or good willed coming from my side of it seems to be setting off argument or accusation.

I really do agree with vivid thoughts that some times are especially loaded with extra charge in my ADHD partner that, while real, and I can appreciate in the abstract, I can't predict always. Why should I know when something elsewhere is creating extra stress in him, if I've had no signals of it before he starts into an argument?

The solution to your very real, good intentioned question, however, is not "walking on eggshells", meaning tiptoeing around his feelings, all the time. That doesn't work for the long haul

There is excellent advice from people with ADHD on this site about timing. Your wish or your judgement of a good time, or what to you is a neutral time, even though completely well intentioned, might not be the determiner of when to start a conversation. I'm on the learning curve about what you're naming. Thanks for posting.

Currently, I'm working on not participating, if it turns into accusations or an argument when I didn't start it or intend it. If I don't want to argue, I am trying not to, no matter what he says, or says I mean, or said.

My SO is such a wonderful man, and I mean that 200% :) 300%, actually.

Pentax
01-10-15, 08:07 PM
People without ADD tend to subconsciously assume that because their own brain is normal and gives them minimal issues, everyone's brain is or should operate like that. While this may seem obvious at first, it really is the biggest hurdle to tackle in being in a relationship with an ADD partner.:goodpost: Well said.

And, I must say, the river flows the other direction as well.

It's a feat, for my SO to understand that my brain operates differently from his.

Bouquets to him....

BellaVita
01-10-15, 08:07 PM
Try to avoid "you" statements, sentences that go like "I hate it when you..."

Instead, use "I" statements."

Like, "I feel sad about this"...

Less likely to put people on the defense.

Also, don't force the conversation on him.

Make sure you start it at a good time, when both of you are calm and happy.

And make sure he has eaten recently, as ADHD'ers are often more sensitive to low blood sugar.

Also some conversations are just not worth having, pick your topics wisely.

Pentax
01-10-15, 08:15 PM
Try to avoid "you" statements, sentences that go like "I hate it when you..."

Instead, use "I" statements."

Like, "I feel sad about this"...

Less likely to put people on the defense.

Also, don't force the conversation on him.

Make sure you start it at a good time, when both of you are calm and happy.

And make sure he has eaten recently, as ADHD'ers are often more sensitive to low blood sugar.

Also some conversations are just not worth having, pick your topics wisely.

Agree very much with "don't force the conversation on him" and the thing about low blood sugar, Bella. It took me the longest time to figure out that end of the evening conversations were possibly affected by blood sugar.

:) Although when my sweetie is on a roll of you-you-you :) that good (excellent, really) advice of not accusing him, and speaking only with "I" doesn't really work. ...at the moment. He doesn't hear "I feel sad..." very well, coming from me, in those moments.

But I sure think it's a good thing to do in general.

lmg2474
01-14-15, 10:59 PM
Just throwing it out there: try to play some music in the background whenever you want to have a conversation with your ADD SO regarding your concerns/personal feelings. It will (paradoxically) help us to focus on you more.

lmg2474
01-14-15, 11:06 PM
:goodpost: Well said.

And, I must say, the river flows the other direction as well.

It's a feat, for my SO to understand that my brain operates differently from his.

Bouquets to him....

I definitely can relate. My boyfriend tries so hard to understand... the effort means a lot but when it comes down to it, as someone who has experienced ADD full-force my whole life, even I can't even begin to understand it myself.

But a little really does go a long way, non-ADD folks.

Wowwowwow
01-15-15, 09:00 AM
That's nice!!!! Lol well until mrs Browns boys! It wasn't that bad a thing to say !

InvitroCanibal
08-24-15, 01:30 AM
1. Know what it is you want to happen specifically and be clear about it
2. Understand the other persons world first, know what things they can not do and do not argue with them when they say why they can not do something
3."Know thyself" know your flaws and compare the things you can or cant change about yourself that maybe they can do. Dont see yourself as superior but as equals
4. Provide questions, not solutions, and no half ***** questions passive aggressive/ self serving questions either, no one wants to hear "Have you tried X?"
5. Summarize, listen, and reflect "So what you're saying is X, correct?"
6. Show dont tell, use the socratic method but don't be blatantly obvious
7. Agree when you disagree, and understand why you disagree, first argue with yourself and narrow down what aspect of x's problem bothers you
8. Use perceptions, not assumptions. Dont say "You always disrespect me and take me for granted!"
For example, act as though you were writing a script based on actions, specifically identify the actions or action that bothered you and state it clearly, nonjudgementally.
Say, when you do X, I feel like it means x
9. Use the 24 hour rule. If something happens that bothers you that day then give it 24 hours, if in 24 hours it still bothers you, talk to them about it, so it doesnt fester into a mental illness and is fresh in everyones mind.
10. Don't take it personally, dont talk to change them, talk to understand first, realize they may be aware of it, they just don't know how to handle it, understand that the most likely scenario of who will have to change their behavior is you not them. Whether you were right or wrong, it doesn't matter, what matters is what you can control and you can only control you. If the situation is toxic, get away from it.

Bonus summary-
Forgive by example, be humble by example and teach by example

dvdnvwls
08-24-15, 09:55 PM
In my experience, asking or expecting another person not to turn something into an argument is usually code for asking them to agree with you before you've even said anything. If you believe something is likely to turn into an argument, it's usually because you're aware that the other person has a considerable chance of disagreeing with you.

Therefore, to have something not turn into an argument, one of the most important things you can do is to begin by honestly assuming you are wrong about the topic at hand. Not necessarily that the other person is right - they may be wrong too, and the truth may be a third thing neither of you has thought of yet - but if you're very sure that you're right, then why shouldn't they argue?

aeon
08-24-15, 10:10 PM
You can discuss anything without starting an argument if you engage in nonviolent communication, as per Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication

I’ve read his book. Parts seemed silly at first, but it works, it really does work.

Now, it’s my default mode of communication.

InvitroCanibal
08-25-15, 05:03 AM
In my experience, asking or expecting another person not to turn something into an argument is usually code for asking them to agree with you before you've even said anything. If you believe something is likely to turn into an argument, it's usually because you're aware that the other person has a considerable chance of disagreeing with you.

Therefore, to have something not turn into an argument, one of the most important things you can do is to begin by honestly assuming you are wrong about the topic at hand. Not necessarily that the other person is right - they may be wrong too, and the truth may be a third thing neither of you has thought of yet - but if you're very sure that you're right, then why shouldn't they argue?


I think what you are referring to is making a concession.

What you said made me remember about concession rules in which it is about power dynamics. If one person or both feel too much is being asked one may say no altogether to maintain authority while the other is asking for a concession. Or both say no and there is no room for agreement.

My opinion, identify who has the power, if you're asking something of them, then they do have the power. The only way to make it agreeable is to ask for more then ask for less. "Buy ten candy bars sir for 1 dollar each!" "No? Well how about just buying one candy bar for a dollar"

Its called the door in face tactic. You expect your terms to be rejected (assume you are wrong and hear them out with openness) then you ask for less (assume the middle ground) which is making a concession to create an agreeable situation.

Hope that made sense.

I think you are right dvd If I understood it correctly

BellaVita
08-25-15, 05:56 AM
In my experience, asking or expecting another person not to turn something into an argument is usually code for asking them to agree with you before you've even said anything. If you believe something is likely to turn into an argument, it's usually because you're aware that the other person has a considerable chance of disagreeing with you.

I think this is true for certain personality types.

For myself, I usually ask the other not to start an argument because I hate conflict - I'm very hypersensitive to it.

I usually ask it at the point that I'm already too overwhelmed and cannot handle any more chaotic stimulus.

Therefore, to have something not turn into an argument, one of the most important things you can do is to begin by honestly assuming you are wrong about the topic at hand. Not necessarily that the other person is right - they may be wrong too, and the truth may be a third thing neither of you has thought of yet - but if you're very sure that you're right, then why shouldn't they argue?

This might be unhelpful and only lead to confusion. (Inner self-confusion and invalidation, innaccurate perception of one's own thoughts and conflicting feelings about the other's thoughts...since assuming one is wrong automatically puts one in "judgment mode". Even if it's only judging self.)

I think being empathetic is more important.

I think moving away from the focus of "right vs wrong" and instead making a meaningful effort to connect and understand are more important.

Allowing both people opportunity to express their needs and wishes, and their feelings, in a respectful and calm manner.

dvdnvwls
08-25-15, 01:59 PM
For myself, I usually ask the other not to start an argument because I hate conflict - I'm very hypersensitive to it.

I usually ask it at the point that I'm already too overwhelmed and cannot handle any more chaotic stimulus.

I'd suggest simply not beginning a serious or controversial discussion at times like that. Whether it's anyone's intention or not, starting a difficult topic and requesting that there not be an argument about it is a control tactic, plain and simple. Sometimes a particular topic will require an argument, and it's unethical and coercive to try to remove that possibility. Again, the truth of this holds regardless of good intent; muzzling the other person is not an acceptable conversational tactic, no matter what kind of reasoning might be behind the request.

acdc01
08-25-15, 06:44 PM
I'd suggest simply not beginning a serious or controversial discussion at times like that. Whether it's anyone's intention or not, starting a difficult topic and requesting that there not be an argument about it is a control tactic, plain and simple.

I agree with you on this. Though I think it's ok to request they speak in a calm tone and with respectful words throughout the discussion even if there is disagreement.

BellaVita
08-26-15, 02:15 AM
I'd suggest simply not beginning a serious or controversial discussion at times like that. Whether it's anyone's intention or not, starting a difficult topic and requesting that there not be an argument about it is a control tactic, plain and simple. Sometimes a particular topic will require an argument, and it's unethical and coercive to try to remove that possibility. Again, the truth of this holds regardless of good intent; muzzling the other person is not an acceptable conversational tactic, no matter what kind of reasoning might be behind the request.

I'm not talking about muzzling - far from it.

I'm saying discussing topics with empathy and understanding - letting everyone get a chance to explain their thoughts in a calm manner.

No point in having a loud chaotic argument - nothing good comes from it.

I have a "sixth sense" when it comes to detecting arguments - that's because I had to detect them when growing up and became hypersensitive to it due to my parents.

What I'm suggesting is a way to open conversation - without the bad chaotic negativity attached to it.

One cannot simply avoid serious or controversial discussions - but the two parties can be kind and understanding and willing to listen to the other's viewpoint without reacting in an unhealthy manner.

I'm not suggesting to avoid, I'm suggesting to be kind and considerate and thoughtful - mindfulness and compassion are especially helpful in scenarios like this.

Basically - not starting an argument at all but a discussion that doesn't put either parties on the defense.

It's healthy and good for all involved, and will encourage deeper connection and increased empathy between the parties.

sarahsweets
08-28-15, 05:17 AM
Nothing makes me more angrier than being told that I'm starting an argument when all I'm trying to do is have a discussion. It seems sometimes like the person saying it wants to stop me from speaking my mind so they accuse me of trying to fight.

ToneTone
09-05-15, 12:41 PM
Well, a little different view.

I think good relationships require arguments when big issues are at stake.

When you feel your boundaries are violated, it is absolutely crucial to stand strong, object, raise the issue and NOT CARE HOW the other person reacts. We should care about how bosses might react if we bring certain news or stand up for ourselves ... because bosses have power over us and can fire us from our jobs, etc ... But with partners ... we absolutely have to stand up for ourselves and not put them in the role of a boss who we have to tiptoe around. Now, after we stand up for ourselves, it's crucial that we then flip around and listen carefully.

If you are afraid (literally) to raise a constructive point with a partner--for fear of their reaction--then the relationship has major problems.

Problem one is on their end for not taking your comments seriously ... and for trying to bully you into backing off. Problem two is on our end for allowing a partner (not a boss or a child) to bully us from raising important points ...

I have found it helpful to distinguish between temporary defensive vs. long-term defensive.

1. Category #1: People who are immediately defensive ... and stay that way.

2. Category #2: People who are immediately defensive ... but afterwards they will quietly think about the matter you raised and in a day or so and come back with a more considered response.

Dealing with Category 2 people is fine. That's where most of us are ...

Category 1 people ... I have yet to learn of a way to "get through" to these folks.

I don't know if you are married or not, but certainly before people get married, some arguments--as in major line-drawing, loud arguments--are totally worth having.

Good luck.

Tone

InvitroCanibal
09-05-15, 10:57 PM
A lot of this comes down to just taking the time to put what someone says in context by by taking the time first to understand the rules of their universe.

Pilgrim
09-06-15, 04:27 PM
I'd suggest simply not beginning a serious or controversial discussion at times like that. Whether it's anyone's intention or not, starting a difficult topic and requesting that there not be an argument about it is a control tactic, plain and simple. Sometimes a particular topic will require an argument, and it's unethical and coercive to try to remove that possibility. Again, the truth of this holds regardless of good intent; muzzling the other person is not an acceptable conversational tactic, no matter what kind of reasoning might be behind the request.

Sometimes I can't take the pressure and I explode, and then the cups start flying. It's why I have never met the right girl. After that initial argument she's turned off. Too bad:doh:

Pilgrim
09-06-15, 04:28 PM
A lot of this comes down to just taking the time to put what someone says in context by by taking the time first to understand the rules of their universe.

How do you understand the rules of their universe.?

InvitroCanibal
09-10-15, 06:43 AM
How do you understand the rules of their universe.?


Ask open ended questions, listen and the reflect back any inferences you get based on their answers. Such as "so basically what you're saying is X?"

Then gather it together to get a big picture. It helps a lot with mutual understanding.

AshT
09-16-15, 11:40 AM
Hi I'm new to this site my partner has adhd.
I would love some advice.
need to know how to start a conversation with him as don't want to turn into an argument .

An argument takes two people. If you don't enter the argument it doesn't happen, no?

So even if it's a sensitive subject and the person is trying to start one, if you respond compassionately and non-aggressively I usually find it eventually diffuses the situation when they realise they are not being attacked.

For us ADHDers, we are often attacked constantly throughout life.

It is habbit for us to respond defensively or attackingly.

But it still takes two people to have an argument. I've tried having one with my wall, I got bored.

Mittens
10-17-15, 05:42 PM
Just wanted to say this is a really amazing thread and gas lots of great advice and view points.

Unfortunately I don't have anything useful to add other than thank you and I'm definitely following.

Gilthranon
10-17-15, 06:37 PM
I'm so extroverted and impulsive, I just go with the craziest stuff and I have no rule or restraints

Delphine
10-17-15, 07:05 PM
Just to clarify..

When you ask "how to start a conversation with him" - do you mean "how to bring up an issue with him?
Of just any old conversation about anything at all?

Cos if you're talking about starting a conversation about how much you love having him in your life.... and that is enough to start an argument, then it's a whole different ballgame.

I imagine that you are talking about how to bring up a conversation about a sensitive issue? Without putting him on the defensive?

Don't want to offer further input until I'm clear on what kind of conversation-starting we're talking about :)

TangledWebs
10-17-15, 08:04 PM
I would highly recommend reading Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, both by Dr. John M. Gottman. My fiancé and I read them together to improve our communication skills. I'm the one with ADHD-PI, but we both found the books to be very beneficial.

"In 1994, Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues at the University of Washington made a startling announcement: Through scientific observation and mathematical analysis, they could predict—with more than 90 percent accuracy—whether a marriage would succeed or fail. The only thing they did not yet know was how to turn a failing marriage into a successful one, so Gottman teamed up with his clinical psychologist wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, to develop intervention methods. Now the Gottmans, together with the Love Lab research facility, have put these ideas into practice. In Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, the Gottmans share this vital information so that couples can develop the skills to turn their relationship problems around and create strong, lasting unions."

(Below portion is excerpted from the book Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage)

POSITIVE BEHAVIORS

SOFTENED STARTUP. This is the ability to start talking about a complaint or a problem gently, without criticizing or insulting your partner. When one spouse does this, the other is more willing to listen, making compromise possible.

TURNING TOWARD YOUR PARTNER. Close relationships consist of a series of "emotional bids"—that is, your partner reaches out for emotional connection with a comment, a question, a smile, or a hug. You can choose to

turn away, ignoring the bid.
turn against, reacting with anger or hostility.
turn toward, showing you're open, listening, and engaged.

Research shows that habitually turning away or turning against your partner's bids harms your marriage. But consistently turning toward your partner strengthens emotional bonds, friendship, and romance.

REPAIRING THE CONVERSATION. This is an effort to deescalate negative feelings during a difficult encounter. A repair can be an apology, a smile, or a bit of humor that breaks the tension and helps you both feel more relaxed.

ACCEPTING INFLUENCE. Partners who are open to persuasion from each other generally have stronger, happier marriages. Being stubborn or domineering has just the opposite effect. Studies show that a husband's willingness to accept influence from his wife can be particularly helpful in forming a strong, happy marriage.

NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse are a set of poisonous patterns of interaction. The Four Horseman are:

CRITICISM. Often, criticism appears as a complaint or episode of blaming that's coupled with a global attack on your partner's personality or character. Criticism frequently begins with "you always" or "you never."

DEFENSIVENESS. These are counterattacks people use to defend their innocence or avoid taking responsibility for a problem. Defensiveness often takes the form of cross-complaining or whining.

CONTEMPT. This is criticism bolstered by hostility or disgust. Think of somebody rolling their eyes while you're trying to tell them something important about yourself. Contempt often involves sarcasm, mocking, name-calling, or belligerence.

STONEWALLING. This happens when listeners withdraw from the conversation, offering no physical or verbal cues that they're affected by what they hear. Interacting with somebody who does this is "like talking to a stone wall."

BellaVita
10-17-15, 08:19 PM
Those things were very helpful, thanks TangledWebs!

I personally like this part:
REPAIRING THE CONVERSATION. This is an effort to deescalate negative feelings during a difficult encounter. A repair can be an apology, a smile, or a bit of humor that breaks the tension and helps you both feel more relaxed.

I really like the humor part, I find that works well when things have been escalating and then the other person uses humor to soften things. Really helps bring me back down to earth and momentarily takes my mind off the problem, allowing me to calm down. And also reignites love in my heart.

Thank you for sharing those, they are extremely helpful and important.

dvdnvwls
10-17-15, 10:47 PM
I have met those four horsemen. In my past, the horses pulled a chariot called "Divorce".

TangledWebs: what you gave us are certainly accurate representations IMO.

TangledWebs
10-18-15, 12:32 AM
I have met those four horsemen. In my past, the horses pulled a chariot called "Divorce".

TangledWebs: what you gave us are certainly accurate representations IMO.

Glad I could help! :)

No Spare Change
10-18-15, 07:29 PM
Wow, great thread indeed!

I've been scanning through the entire thing and I must say that I've found a lot of this advice to be effective, by personal experience.
Me and my SO used to have a lot of communication problems when I wasn't medicated. It was very hard for me to control the impulse of a snappy, sarcastic comment whenever she brought something up that she wanted to discuss. Now, my SO doesn't put up with that and usually responded in the same manner. Things escalated, and whammo! Shouting, chaos, no decent communication at all.

But when we both realized that the problem often wasn't my personality necessarily, but ADHD messing with my impulse control, we started working on it. I first tried to tune myself down without meds, but I kept slipping back into this "d*ck-mode" after a while.
So I decided to take Ritalin and my SO also has found relaxation techniques and a very, very bright friend of mine (psychologist) gave me some great tips on communication and ADHD in general. Some that were here in the thread, but some that I haven't seen here. For example:

I read This:
People without ADD tend to subconsciously assume that because their own brain is normal and gives them minimal issues, everyone's brain is or should operate like that.
This is something the non-ADD partner should indeed keep in mind, but it also goes both ways. Try to realize that someone without ADHD also has no idea what's going on in your brain. I found that literally saying what you think is going on in your brain and having your non-ADD partner compare their thoughts with yours in a calm, caring manner it actually helps to understand the differences.
I do the thought explanations with analogies or metaphors. It's a bit strange at first, but once we got used to it, we found it extremely helpful.


And my personal advice: lmg2474 said it as well, but I will repeat it. Medication is not a cure-all, but it will help with the symptoms. It won't take away all your troubles, you'll still need to know how to communicate with each other in an honest, yet rational manner. I also have a little trick. Whenever I think that an argument might occur, I start a little game in my head. Whoever gets angry first, loses After the first angry burst, whether I win or lose, I know the game is over and laugh about it. It's a very funny inside joke to me. :p But when I start laughing, my SO usually knows why and responds to this, usually with humor as some people have suggested before. These little things like inside jokes between you and your SO are often a great way to lighten the mood during an argument.

Hope it was helpful! :)

dvdnvwls
10-18-15, 09:11 PM
How do you understand the rules of their universe.?
A. Assume that everything they say and do makes sense.

B. Figure out what kind of universe would make part A possible. :)