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  #1  
Old 02-20-18, 12:43 PM
Matador Matador is offline
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In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

Hi All,

I haven't written here in a while, but for those that remember me, it was my ADD diagnosis a couple of years ago that was a break through for my life which was led to me finding it out by going through essentially a divorce with my GF at that time (owned a house, dog, etc. together).

Fast forward to now/last year, I've been with an amazing GF who in many ways is what I didn't have with my ex and am very happy.

Like all ADHD relationships, we've gone through some rocky times, mainly fighting and issues between us. She herself has issues with depression/other stuff that she's been working on forever. She herself is a therapist and understands a lot of what I go through to an extent that my ex or maybe many normal GF's wouldn't....


WIth that said, we got to a point where we were going to break up last year at 6 months but she brought up going to counseling together. At first I thought it was dumb given the fact we were together for so little. But I wanted to go through therapy with my ex and she said essentially what I said in that we weren't married and it wasn't worth it. I finally decided it was worth a shot because we both love each other and see a lot in each other.

Since then Therapy has not been easy, but it's been about 6 months. When we started this therapist and what led us to her was that she had experience iwth ADHD in what turned out in her personal life and in her professional. I took this as a good sign as I've read in books that therapists that 'don't get it' as far as ADHD goes can end up unfairly ganging up on the ADHD spouse/partner and cause issues.

Since being in therapy, we've learned a lot of great tools to help us with our issues/fighting, and we're trying to implement it....but of course I am not as good as it as my partner who not only is someone who doesn't suffer from ADHD but is a professionally trained counselor herself.

I see the good in the therapy...but a lot of what we're taught is asking for restraint, the ability to control impulses in situations, and asking for a lot of what I feel at times I can't do for my normal life at all!

The GF feels like I am not trying enough, and I tell her I am doing as best I can...and I also feel like the therapist is essentially doing what I was warned about in books, I feel often ganged up on and singled out in the sessions.

I had a breaking point some months back and spoke to this to the therapist who I believe got it...but since then had gone back to making me feel singled out. The GF and I had a big fight last week and I didn't even show up to therapy. We've since made up but I don't know what to do now when I go in today....

I obviously am going to talk to the Therapist, but I am trying to think of how to go about it because I am not sure how it will turn out....

Does anyone else have experience with Gottman Therapy? Curious to hear from others and how they've done it with ADHD...
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Old 02-20-18, 01:49 PM
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Re: In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

Gottman is good stuff and one can learn a lot from it, but part of what is learned is that no relationship is going to work if both don’t engage equally, and with what they have learned in mind at the time of a given interaction.

Fighting is not a given in relationships where one or both people have ADHD. Don’t accept that as a given, because it is not.

Are you currently medicated, and is your med, dosage, and regimen working for you?


Cheers,
Ian
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Old 02-20-18, 02:31 PM
Matador Matador is offline
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Re: In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

Thanks for the input!

What is your experience with Gottman? Has it worked for you?

I am actually trying to find a better med for me. Adderall XR is what I've been on for a long time (30MG). My partner doesn't like me on adderall though and she wanted me to try somethin else.

I was on Vyvanse which was great, but was going to try a higher dosage....then my insurance company decided to cut it out and I would have to pay full for it.

I am now trying Dextro...(10MG 3 times a day)something like that. I am just on day 2 of it and am a little weird that it's not just 1 pill a day like Adderall was for me, but so far so good....

I am still working out the details for me to better manage my ADHD. Unfortunately my insurance sucks....AND I am about to lose my job soon because of lay offs. I am in the process of finding a new job and insurance. But until then, I am squeezing all I can out of the coverage I will have until the end of April when my severance/coverage is done.

I am trying to exercise more often, at least 2-3 times a week. I used to play soccer twice a week which I love and was a good de-stresser, but have stopped because of knee issues.

I am trying to eat better also in hopes of it helping with the ADHD. So far though..jury is out on what I am trying to do...

The GF wants me to do Neurofeedback because she believes in it but at 3K or more for a the amount of time she wants me to do it, not to mention with me losing my job soon, I am in no financial place to do that.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:28 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

Haven't done Gottman ... but am familiar with his method.

Your gf, according to Gottman, would do well to add in more positive and encouraging words to you ... along with touchy affection ... rather than to identify your flaws and ways you need to "improve." In successful couples, Gottman says, I think, that they give each other 5 times more praise than they do criticism ... Is your gf doing this? ... is the therapist insisting that she do this?

And Gottman says successful couples make "repairs" ...that is when you give a criticism ... you come back and reassure the other person that you like them. One person might playfully stick out their tongue or do something silly to "repair" the criticism and the tension.

Sounds like you may want to set sound boundaries on what's reasonable ... There's already an imbalance with your gf deep into recommending therapy treatments for you, like the neurofeedback. Is gf open to you recommending therapy treatments for her?
in order to improve her attention and care for you?

ADHD people ... we have to draw boundaries ... and one benefit of the counseling this early on ... is you can really see if this relationship can work. But by boundaries, I mean, you make clear: this is what I can do ... this is reasonable ... that (detail-oriented task or tedious task or set of responsibilities) over there--nice in theory--but no I ain't gonna start doing that tomorrow.

As far as emotional control, seems like you are aware of that issue ... and what you need is a therapist making practical reasonable suggestions that you can implement now--not in the future based on you being a different person. I would say don't let the therapist and your gf get away with pointing out the problems you have without giving you some practical steps ...

Ultimately the best relationships occur when we accept our partner as they are right now. Otherwise, you'll always be under pressure to change ... and you'll always feel tired and struggling to win your gf's approval. She needs to accept you as you are ... if she can't ... then that won't change ... even if you do make some "improvements." If she can't ... moving on is usually a good step.

Anyway, hang in there ... we have a right to be our flawed ADHD selves. We're not killing anyone ... Yes, we want to make improvements, but we don't want the relationship conditioned on our anticipated improvements. We need people who treasure us as we are right now. And irony that acceptance of who we are right now ... is great fuel for making change without resentment.

Tone
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Old 02-20-18, 08:50 PM
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Re: In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
Haven't done Gottman ... but am familiar with his method.

Your gf, according to Gottman, would do well to add in more positive and encouraging words to you ... along with touchy affection ... rather than to identify your flaws and ways you need to "improve." In successful couples, Gottman says, I think, that they give each other 5 times more praise than they do criticism ... Is your gf doing this? ... is the therapist insisting that she do this?

And Gottman says successful couples make "repairs" ...that is when you give a criticism ... you come back and reassure the other person that you like them. One person might playfully stick out their tongue or do something silly to "repair" the criticism and the tension.

Sounds like you may want to set sound boundaries on what's reasonable ... There's already an imbalance with your gf deep into recommending therapy treatments for you, like the neurofeedback. Is gf open to you recommending therapy treatments for her?
in order to improve her attention and care for you?

ADHD people ... we have to draw boundaries ... and one benefit of the counseling this early on ... is you can really see if this relationship can work. But by boundaries, I mean, you make clear: this is what I can do ... this is reasonable ... that (detail-oriented task or tedious task or set of responsibilities) over there--nice in theory--but no I ain't gonna start doing that tomorrow.

As far as emotional control, seems like you are aware of that issue ... and what you need is a therapist making practical reasonable suggestions that you can implement now--not in the future based on you being a different person. I would say don't let the therapist and your gf get away with pointing out the problems you have without giving you some practical steps ...

Ultimately the best relationships occur when we accept our partner as they are right now. Otherwise, you'll always be under pressure to change ... and you'll always feel tired and struggling to win your gf's approval. She needs to accept you as you are ... if she can't ... then that won't change ... even if you do make some "improvements." If she can't ... moving on is usually a good step.

Anyway, hang in there ... we have a right to be our flawed ADHD selves. We're not killing anyone ... Yes, we want to make improvements, but we don't want the relationship conditioned on our anticipated improvements. We need people who treasure us as we are right now. And irony that acceptance of who we are right now ... is great fuel for making change without resentment.

Tone
Oh how I wish someone had told me all that when I was married.

If I was able to make a change, it wasn't enough of a change.
Or there was something else that I needed to change.

The relationship felt conditional on my being someone different than I am.
In turn, I complained about him and things that he really could have changed
(seeing a doctor about snoring or a dentist about bad breath).
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Old 02-25-18, 05:49 PM
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Re: In Relationship Therapy (Gottman Therapy)...but need some advice...

I wish I had figured this stuff out before the age of 50!

Tone
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