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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 09-15-04, 01:21 AM
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Post Are people with ADD drawn to marriage with perfectionists?

Hi,
This is a topic I've been thinking a lot about lately.
I'd like to know if anyone thinks these two personalities are somehow drawn to each other and WHY they hook up.... because it would certainly be a very stormy and difficult match!

Here is an article on perfectionsists that I think is very good.



Perfectionism Can Lead To Imperfect Health:
High Achievers More Prone To
Emotional, Physical And Relationship Problems



From Science Daily (Adapted from York University)fficeffice" />>>




TORONTO, June 1, 2004 -- York University psychology professor Gordon Flett says that perfectionists are prone to health problems because they are under constant stress.

Flett and a team of Canadian researchers in a landmark study have developed a 45-item questionnaire to identify the three types of perfectionists: self-oriented perfectionists (expect perfection of themselves); other-oriented perfectionists (demand perfection from other people); and socially prescribed perfectionists (think others expect perfection from them). The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, as it is also known, was just published this week by Multi-Health Systems Inc., based in Toronto. It is the first published scale that focuses specifically on perfectionism
from a multidimensional perspective.


According to Flett, who collaborated with UBC psychology Prof. Paul Hewitt, perfectionists are people who not only hold unrealistically high standards but also judge themselves or others as always falling short. “Perfectionism
is the need to be – or to appear – perfect,” says Flett. “Perfectionists are persistent, detailed and organized high achievers. Perfectionists vary in their behaviors: some strive to conceal their imperfections; others
attempt to project an image of perfection. But all perfectionists have in common extremely high standards for themselves or for others.”

Moreover, Flett, who is also Canada Research Chair in Personality and Health, adds that certain forms of perfectionism can be linked to a host of emotional, physical and relationship problems, including depression, eating disorders, marital discord and even suicide. “Perfectionism is not officially recognized as a psychiatric disorder. However extreme forms of perfectionism should be considered an illness similar to narcissism,
obsessive compulsiveness, dependent-personality disorder and other personality disorders because of its links to distress and dysfunction.”

For instance, a 1994 experiment with 30 preschoolers at a computer camp in Toronto showed that even 4- and 5-year-olds possess marked traits for perfectionism. Interviewers asked the children five questions tapping
perfectionism levels ("How would you like to be perfect?"). They then gave the kids a computer task that was rigged to not work. The highly
perfectionistic children showed greater signs of extreme distress, such as elevated anger and anxiety, explains Flett.

He adds that perfectionists reveal themselves in three distinct ways: first, a "self-promotion" style, that involves attempts to impress others by bragging or displaying one's perfection (this type is easy to spot
because they often irritate other people); second, by shunning situations in which they might display their imperfection (common even in young children); and third, a tendency to keep problems to oneself (including an inability to admit failure to others).

*Ten Top Signs Your a Perfectionist
Are you a perfectionist? Flett has devised a list of telltale signs:
1. You can’t stop thinking about a mistake you made.
2. You are intensely competitive and can’t stand doing worse than others.
3. You either want to do something “just right” or not at all.
4. You demand perfection from other people.
5. You won’t ask for help if asking can be perceived as a flaw or weakness.
6. You will persist at a task long after other people have quit.
7. You are a fault-finder who must correct other people when they are
wrong.
8. You are highly aware of other people’s demands and expectations.
9. You are very self-conscious about making mistakes in front of other
people.
10. *You noticed the error in the title of this list.

Last edited by moxee33; 09-15-04 at 01:22 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-15-04, 09:37 AM
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Good article! I have read that ADD people often pair up with highly organized people. The ADD person is supposedly drawn to the organized person's abilities. Perhaps the perfectionists are drawn to the ADD partners' playfulness and their different approach to life. But you're right ... living together can be a challenge. I'm living that challenge myself! Here's an excerpt from an article I read recently...

Often, adults with ADD marry someone who is particularly well-organized. Potentially that could be helpful, but only when there is an early understanding of the nature of ADD and roles and expectations are properly established before too much damage is done. Otherwise, messiness becomes a source of constant significant criticism and lateness frequently sets off exploding frustrations.

Unpaid bills are seen as a serious failing that an organized adult cannot fathom. In fact, there are many issues which the organized spouse cannot understand or accept. "How could you ignore that pile of bills on your desk?" "What do you mean you forgot to pick up Jennifer at 4?" "I hate walking into this kitchen when I get home from work. How can you leave such a mess?" These, and many more plaintiff cries are common and become trigger points for painful, often explosive, confrontations....

This makes for a nice lead into one of the most important, central challenges for these couples: accommodation. It requires the earlier recommendation of acquiring a full understanding of the disorder. Then see what changes can be achieved through medication and other strategies. Once the dust settles from these first steps, the couple must have the flexibility to revisit how they manage their lives and learn to make changes in roles and responsibilities that will create a more functionally successful relationship. In turn, that can potentially allow for a more loving relationship. But this can be a formidable challenge.


The rest of the article is at http://www.drheller.com/spouse_add.html
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Old 09-15-04, 11:00 AM
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Great stuff!! Thanks for posting. I know that I have always dated women who were organized. I did not think about it at the time, but looking back I can see that I broke up with the women who were not super organized and the women who were organized broke up with me.

The women I married is the most organized of the bunch. The articles point right at the problems we have experienced in our relationship. She sees my weaknesses as not caring about her.
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Old 09-15-04, 12:43 PM
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Smile Thank you for the article!

Gosh! Thanks so much for the article, Krisp. Its the best one I have read on ADD and Marriage. Its SO accurate! I wish Dr Heller lived in CA. I'd love to go to someone like him for help. He is so right that the diagnosis is the easiest step...even though it can still be a very hard thing to accept.

Have you seen any other good articles on ADD and marriage?

Thanks again, it really made my morning!
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Old 09-15-04, 01:40 PM
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Glad you liked it! I've been reading a lot about the subject lately, trying to educate myself. Here are a few links:

http://www.adders.org/info75.htm
http://www.addresources.org/article_...well_ratey.php
http://www.addresources.org/article_...uple_betts.php
http://www.addresources.org/article_...hips_ellis.php
http://www.zongoo.com/article7836.html
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Old 09-15-04, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for posting the links...I'm going to share them with my wife and hopefully get her to understand why I am this way a little better. They also gave me a little insight into my self.
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Old 09-15-04, 03:16 PM
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hmmmmmmm I wouldn't call my hubby a perfectionist, but he sure is responsible with our finances!!!! better than I am! LOL
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Old 09-15-04, 09:31 PM
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I think I'm ADD as well as moderately OCD, so I'd say I'm the sloppy, spacey perfectionist and my husband is a laid back super-organized person. It works well.
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Old 09-16-04, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkie
I think I'm ADD as well as moderately OCD, so I'd say I'm the sloppy, spacey perfectionist and my husband is a laid back super-organized person. It works well.
You are very,very lucky if you have a supportive spouse. Or would you say its not luck, that its the way you interact with him? If you have been able to make him more understanding/tolerant etc...I'd love to hear how!!
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Old 09-17-04, 12:45 AM
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My ex is rather perfectionistic. I worry about her, even though she doesn't ever want to see me again. :/ [Don't worry, I'm not depressed over it... sad, yes, depressed, no. ]
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Old 09-17-04, 07:01 PM
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Well I gave the first article posted to my wife hoping it would help. It went over like a lead balloon. She knows the symtoms. What do I want accomodations? She did not empathize. Still thanks for posting it is great information.
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Old 09-18-04, 02:56 AM
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Question

hi Biking!

Don't worry that she didn't like the article. I expect only 1 in 100 would be "emotionally intelligent" enough to listen to their spouse say that they are a perfectionist and not have a major cow!

I had an idea last night as I was tossing and turning from my Adderall .

I'd like to make a chart of 5-10 of the issues that my husband has brought up as being "problems" ie forgetting to pay bills, not cleaning the litterbox daily (who cleans it daily???) etc etc and then under each "challenge" (I don't want to call it a problem or an issue), I will have 2 arrows. One will be what my husband will do to accomodate it (if it is an ADD issue). The second is what I am going to do to repair it. There are 2 rules 1) both spouses have to agree on the accomodation and the repair. 2) The non-ADD spouse has to come up with the accomodation. The hope is that they will be learning to walk in our shoes. For example:
Challenge: not remembering to clean the litterbox
His Accomodation:he will remind me non-verbally, by bringing up a new bag of 10lb litter from the garage. I want a non-verbal accomodation, because I get really annoyed when I am reminded to do something that someone else obviously remembers with no difficulty. My instinct is to say "do it yourself since you remembered"! However, if I ask to be reminded, I don't get annoyed with the reminder. No wonder it confuses my poor husband!
My repair: Clean the litterbox within an hour of the new litter being brought upstairs without the usual whining and complaining.

Anyway what do you think of the idea?

Last edited by biker; 10-19-04 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 09-18-04, 11:13 AM
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I would love it if you started a thread on this and shared your chart with me! I seem to take well to visual representations. These types of things help me a lot and I think you are onto a very helpful idea.
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Old 09-18-04, 12:46 PM
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Aw moxee
I say just get one of those expensive auto-cleaning litter boxes
I know too simple and EXPENSIVE
But you change 10#s of cat litter every day?

Seriously think you are on to a great idea here with your chart and each partner agreeing on each issue, such a practical solution!

This thread is giving me ideas on how to hopefully solve some issues with my ADD 18 yr old daughter. Wish me luck!
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Old 09-18-04, 09:45 PM
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Hi Charlie,
I absolutely will figure out a way to get the chart on this forum....I'm new to the whole posting thing so please give me a day or two!

I thought of 3 more things to to add to the chart.

1)you have to revisit the chart and make sure its working for BOTH of you every # weeks (you decide how often). So if you volunteered to pay the bills but you find that you really hate it...its ok to choose another accomodation or repair, neither partner gives the other person a hard time.

2)"success" needs to be defined up front! because my husband would measure his own success as doing what he says 99-100% of the time. I know thats not how I think and certainly not how I operate! Success for me is any number above 50%!!! so if I remember to pay most of the bills but get dinged for late payment fees 2-3 times a year, I feel that I am remembering more often than not, and I think I am doing great!
You can imagine the "talks" around our house when our ideas of success crash!

3) this chart shouldn't be just to help the spouse that complains the most. Its for BOTH spouses and all complaints are valid. So if the ADD spouse says I think we need to work on the fact that you are often late coming home, the non-ADD spouse cannot say "WHAT? you've got some nerve to bring up this up as MY issue when you are late ALL THE TIME". That sort of attitude that 'your problems are worse than mine' will just start fights. Neither spouse can be made to feel that they are being hauled in for repairs!

I think keeping the chart to 4 "challenges" is a good start, you can always add more when the first challenges have been mastered!
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