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  #1  
Old 10-15-04, 11:46 AM
Glinda Glinda is offline
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Question ADD and fault

I've noticed that it appears very important to my ADD friend to determine whose "fault" things are. When things are bad between us, he will actually say things like "Yes, this was 95% my fault, but you were 5% wrong." When I apologize for something, he wants to hear the words: "It was my fault. I was wrong." Saying "I'm sorry. What could I do differently next time to make this easier for us?" is not enough. He wants me to accept my responsibility as the wrongdoer.
It's very difficult for me to understand. I come from a place where "right/wrong" are not very helpful labels, where any problem between us is 100% OUR problem. I prefer "working/non-working." I don't understand why it seems so important for him to pin fault, especially when he pins so much of it on himself.
I wonder if it's because a lifetime of struggle with ADHD has made it important for him to label behaviors, since he doesn't seem to have instincts about what is appropriate or what is hurtful. He is always processing for the "right" thing to say, and trying to supress the "wrong" thing.
Do other ADDers' partners notice this? Have you had any success in helping your ADDer shift perspective beyond a "right/wrong" dichotomy?
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Old 10-15-04, 12:04 PM
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Interesting. I don't think I've seen this topic discussed. It does sound sort of like black & white thinking which is not really ADD but more of a reaction to difficult living (I think?). I think your analysis makes sense that this is his way of working around his gaps in certain areas by using a different pathway to get things done. Sorry I'm a bit confused, I'll be curious about other responses.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:29 PM
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I don't see this in my husband, but I think I've seen it in myself. Like, who left the remote out for the dog to chew up? But, I'm learning to stop, because I agree that it's not a fault thing, it's an our thing and we just need to work through it.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:45 PM
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It could be that some people with AD/HD are so used being told that they are wrong and being blamed. They begin to not only believe that about themselves but put it on to others.

My husband and I have had an on going joke since we were dating that "I am perfect and nothing is ever my fault". I have never been a person who needs to be apologized to. I think so many apologies are just words and that's it. So many people just say I'm sorry and expect things to be ok. It's like the guy who beats his girlfriend says he sorry then everything is perfect again.

When somebody does something to upset or hurt me. I usually think about the intention. I try to explain to the person about why what ever was done upset or hurt me. I have been know to tell people that I don't think they are really sorry and they are just saying that to "shut me up".

I don't know if what I just wrote helped you at all. Even for an ADD person I tend to march to the beat of a different drum at times....lol
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Old 10-15-04, 01:34 PM
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Hm, yeah apologies are meaningless to me also. It seems so pointless for me to make them too. All I can do is try to understand what went wrong & try to address that.
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Old 10-17-04, 11:13 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingwithadd
It could be that some people with AD/HD are so used being told that they are wrong and being blamed. They begin to not only believe that about themselves but put it on to others.

My husband and I have had an on going joke since we were dating that "I am perfect and nothing is ever my fault". I have never been a person who needs to be apologized to. I think so many apologies are just words and that's it. So many people just say I'm sorry and expect things to be ok. It's like the guy who beats his girlfriend says he sorry then everything is perfect again.

When somebody does something to upset or hurt me. I usually think about the intention. I try to explain to the person about why what ever was done upset or hurt me. I have been know to tell people that I don't think they are really sorry and they are just saying that to "shut me up".

I don't know if what I just wrote helped you at all. Even for an ADD person I tend to march to the beat of a different drum at times....lol
So true, Tara, I dont believe most people when they apologize. Same reason as you...."shut up" is what it amounts to.
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Old 12-04-04, 01:52 PM
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Really, I think the only apology that I want from my guy is like ones people in AA make (amends) when they're working the program. They don't just say they're sorry, but tell you what they did, why they did it, how they think it might have affected me and then ask what they can do to make things better. They listen to what you have to say. When MG lied to me about seeing an ex-girlfriend, it took him about 6 months to apologize(for the lies). I'm still not sure he understands that lying to me cuts deeply and affects so much of our relationship. It makes it hard to trust him. He just wants me to say it's okay, for us to move on without ever hearing how I feel about it. I do think apologies can help, if the person really understands the hurt.
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Old 12-04-04, 03:22 PM
Coral Rhedd Coral Rhedd is offline
 

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To me apologies need to have some real meaning. An apology by rote is pointless. If someone commits a true wrong against me (something much more significant than forgetting three of the items on the grocery list), I want an apology that has some aspect of:

1) Here's why I did it.

2) I acknowledge your hurt.

3) Here's what I will do to repair the damage.

4) Here's why it won't happen again.

Apolgizing for every careless mistake just cheapens true remorse. Apologizing for real damage to a relationship is required. Otherwise, there is always the door.

Alagirl, I lived 17 years with a compulsive liar. I know you aren't the OP in this thread, but let me just say that it's not worth it.
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Old 12-05-04, 11:32 AM
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Hi Coral: I agree with your post, especially the part about acknowledging the harm caused. I need to know he "gets" that what he did hurt me. I don't think he's a compulsive liar, but I really don't know yet.
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Old 12-06-04, 09:09 AM
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GLINDA,

I think your husband may be needing to define things, as Paulbf says, in black and white, as a way to put the issue of the problem into some sort of struture, so it makes sense to him.

Most ADDers thrive on structure (although they can have difficulty building such structures this goes hand in hand with the textbook-case disorganization problems). So by assigning blame, especially in such a precise way (percentages), he can put some structure to what is most certainly to him an otherwise chaotic event, no matter who is at fault, and then be at peace with the issue.
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Old 12-06-04, 09:29 PM
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I'm a very quiet person so I don't usually assign blame to people out loud ...but I do it a lot in my mind, especially when I'm getting the entire blame for something or when someone is being hostile about a mistake. Kind of a defense mechanism, I guess. Also, when I mess up, I often blame myself more strongly than other people blame me. This could also be a defense mechanism. I acknowledge my faults before other people can put me down for them. Does this make sense?
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Old 12-07-04, 08:31 AM
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Red face

I'm not really convinced that this issue is necessarily related to ADD ....could be more about being self aware and taking responsibility for personal behaviors.

So as a responsible person, who happens to be somewhat ADD um welll okay lots ,I want to be reminded of my errors and make up for them. And I will apologize. Likewise, I will accept this from others, as well. We all make mistakes.

It is not important how wrong I am....if it is wrong it is wrong.
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Last edited by Deeperblue; 12-07-04 at 08:53 AM..
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