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Old 03-10-11, 03:08 PM
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Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

I see many people who love an ADHDer who are at a loss, they don’t know what to do, where to turn or what to think. They don’t know what ADHD is to blame for and what it is not.

There’s a lot of confusing information out there. There’ also a lot of people trying to sell you something, a book, medication, a treatment plan, who will fill your head with hope and promise just to make a buck.

On the many websites, blogs, forums, in books and at support groups I often see the same thing again and again. An angry, often bitter and frustrated spouse, who just wants things to get better. I see the same questions asked over and over again and the same misconceptions time and again.

The purpose of this post is to help cover some of those questions and misconceptions that are so common among the partners (and parents) of a person with ADHD.

I know you probably feel like you’re out of you mind and maybe that your life is out of control. In no way do I wish to belittle your feelings or your experiences. In no way is this tread is NOT meant to be an attack on you. However, it might say some things that are hard for you to hear (or read, rather) or to understand at first. Please, I ask you to try, and to bear with it.

(In no particular order)

* The best research shows that ADHDers have 5 areas of the brain than develop slightly smaller than the norm. This makes it as much a physical disability as being born with one leg shorter than the other. But it affects the brain, which in turn affects everything. For more information o n how the ADHD brain functions, I suggest you watch a wonderful talk given my Dr. Barkley on the subject: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html watch the videos in the “Executive Function” folder. Its long, but well worth having this information, this information will help you!

* Then watch all the other videos.

* For something a little bit short and sweet. Go onto Youtube and search “ADHD Barkley” for a few highlights.

* ADHD is a real disability. It is not a moral issue. People do not CHOOSE to live like this.

* ADHD does not affect your ability to be moral and make ethical choices. It affects your ability to do things and perform tasks. But that doesn’t mean we have free reign to be bad people. ADHD does not excuse infidelity or abuse. Most ADHDers are GOOD PEOPLE, if someone with ADHD is abusive, they would probably be abusive if they did not have ADHD.

* Many people confuse typical marriage and gender issues with ADHD. Example: Many wives complain that their husbands never say “Thank you” but yet expect a parade to be thrown in their honour for taking out the trash. This has nothing to do with ADHD.

* If you have met one ADHDer, you have not met us all. We are still individuals. We still will have different personality traits. Upbringing and such has a lot to do with it. Just because your ADHDer does something, does not mean another will.

* ADHD is a spectrum disorder with different subtypes. Imagine a stereo system, the kind with many dials that affect the sound and volume. Some ADHDers have the volume cranked very high, others it’s down to almost normal. Some ADHDers have certain symptoms more than others. No two ADHDers have their dials set exactly the same.

* The troubles in your marriage are not totally your ADHDer’s fault. Own what you have done to contribute to the break down. You are responsible for your own anger, resentment and issues.

* There is no cure for ADHD. Even the best treatment can only help us cope better.

* Medication will not fix anything on its own. It is only a tool, a crutch, assistance.

* Counselling will help you too, not necessarily because you are broken, but because you need assistance and to learn how to cope.

* It is not fair to expect you to do all the work when it comes to treatment, your spouse is responsible for getting his or her butt to the doctor and following through with treatment. But please understand that it is often a two steps forward, one step, back kind of progress.

* It can be difficult to come to terms with being diagnosed with ADHD, expect it to take some time for them to wrap their head around it and be ready to face it.


(I have to go make lunch, does anyone have some thing HELPFUL to add?)
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Old 03-11-11, 03:09 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

* Finding the right medication and dosage is not going to be easy. Meds don't work for everyone.

* ADHDers do MUCH better leading as simple of a life style, in as uncluttered an environment, as possible. It might not be easy, but it would be a good idea to pick up one of those books on simplifying your life and do some of the things suggested. Get rid of extra stuff: you don't need 6 plates per person, or 6 towels per person, in the house. Decide which extra activities and hobbies can go, or look for things that are drop-in and not scheduled. Consider buying a dishwasher or biodegradable paper plates once in a while. Have a rock garden or wild flower bed rather than grass that needs to be cut.

* Any couple who can afford two divorce lawyers can afford a maid service once in a while, or a laundry service, or hire the kid down the street to wash cars and mow the lawn.

* Here are a few helpful and informative threads on this forum I suggest you read:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...ight=detaching

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97663

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73780

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94048

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76056

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74037

http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...ight=detaching


* Here are some article from the New York Times on ADHD:
http://health.nytimes.com/health/gui.../overview.html

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/health/he...klass-ess.html

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ns-of-a-d-h-d/

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/20...is-is-a-d-h-d/
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  #3  
Old 03-12-11, 12:15 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

As the non adhd spouse (and mother) of adhd'ers I have some to add:

#1- For me the #1 most important thing is to carefully examine areas of difficulty and REALLY ask how important it is. How is it going to affect you and your family, now, next week, in 10 years, in 30 years. For me, if it is something that I am going to have a conflict about, or work to find a way around it, then the only acceptable reason is a life altering, vital to our health and safety issue.

DO NOT ever think that just because you know and your spouse knows they have adhd, that that means you can find a way to make it go away. I think too many think, "Oh THAT"S why this is happening, NOW we can work to FIX it all".

There are GOING to be un-fixable, un-alterable things. That's where rule #1 comes into play. What's TRULY important enough that it NEEDS at least an attempt at fixing, and what just realy isn't all that important after all?

For example: cutting the grass. My husband had trouble getting it done. He would see the grass needed to be cut and he would worry about it. It would be a nag in his head that it NEEDS to be done. He would lie awake in bed with the anxiety of uncut grass. It was an albatross around his neck.

For someone who does NOT have adhd, the simple solution is to, well, cut the grass. But for someone WITH adhd, their brain doesn't always co-operate by so kindly giving them the means to cut the grass. For a non-adhd'er, that is not comprehensible. We think of what we need to do, our brain responds appropriately, we do it. So it is common for the non-adhd'er to say OH MY FREAKIN GOD JUST CUT THE GRASS ALREADY!

Or they may understand that their spouse is legit having problems with this. And they will try to 'help' their spouse overcome their adhd and cut the grass. It is not an easy task, this 'overcoming' their adhd so they can cut the grass. It is a LOT of work on BOTH spouses.

So, thats' why I say, how important is it. Really. For us it was an easy decision. Hire someone to cut the grass. Hubby comes home to a nicely cut yard. Whew! No more grass albatross, because in reality the 'support my family' albatross was already taking up so much room that grass one simply had to go.

My husband's relief and peace of mind that he didn't have that worry was the ONLY thing that matterd.

Do not get caught up in the mentality that 'getting everything done' becomes your focus. Your goal. Your primary concern. It is going to be a difficult, stressful life if you focus your energy and time on 'helping' your spouse overcome their adhd so they can perform the tasks that most consider normal easy things to do.

Your spouse's mental health should be your focus, your goal, your main concern. Period. You MUST understand and accept that their adhd limits what they can do.

Think of it more as a mental weight limit. Not so much that task x, y and z can be done on a regular basis but a, b, and c can not. But that there can only be (this) amount of mental energy expended, in ANY combination of a,b,c,x,y,z. Once that limit has been reached, no more can be added.

In my grass example, my husband's mental energy was FULLY expended on his job and his family. If he HAD to add another task,(cutting the grass) the only way to do it without compromising his mental health was to eliminate something. Can't eliminate his job, not willing to eliminate energy focused on family. No room for one more task.

And one more thing. This has equal importance to #1.

Your adhd spouse NEEDS, MUST have!, mental down time. In whatever form that works for them. This is not to be considered a reward for getting something done. It is to be considered a NECESSITY, that can NOT be compromised anymore than not having food or clothes or shelter.

This is not the same as a non adhd'er relaxing at the end of the day. This is not your adhd spouse being selfish or inconsiderate. This is not your adhd spouse taking your needs lightly. In fact this has nothing to do with you at all.

To me, and I have spent the past 29 years with my adhd husband, 16 of those years with an adhd child also, these 2 things are what it condenses down to as the most important things to consider.
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Old 03-12-11, 12:49 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

What Luvmybully said really hit the nail on the head, I think. Even if I fully intend to do something my head doesn't always co-operate, the grass cutting was a good example. The more pressure that gets put on, the more I freeze up.
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Old 03-12-11, 01:57 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Great posts! Thank you.

The two things that really stand out for me are:

Get co-counseling or find a support group. Just like you would do if your child was diagnosed with a medical issue that affects your whole family you would look for a support group. This can be really helpful. A lot of people use this forum for a support group, this helps too. You need this.

We need a lot of down time to recharge our energies in order to meet the demands on us to deal with social issues and everyday things like paying bills. Even as a child I needed to be a hermit at least once a week, that became even more important when I became a wife and mother. My ex would take our daughter and go watch football with his gramma every Sunday afternoon and I had some alone time so I could head back into the new week. We need this.
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Old 03-12-11, 02:54 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

* Set very clear boundaries for yourself and your relationship. Simple and straight forward. No grey areas. Make sure they are understood and defend them with love. ADHder have a hard time divining boundaries, if they are not clearly explained and if you do not bluntly but gently tell us when we have over stepped we may not even know we did. There is a need for boundaries in a relationship,make sure to defend yours, for your own sake as well as your spouses.
Never put something in my face to wake me up, even if its funny. Never call me stupid, and if you do I expect an apology and a hug. Never shush me while watching TV and if you do, I expect an apology and a hug.


* ADHDers can have a hard time understanding "sometimes rules"; sometimes it okay to do this and sometimes its not. Much better to agree on "always rules". We always sleep in on Sunday. I always need help bringing in the groceries. I always want help making dinner, even if its only setting the table. Never grab my butt while I am cooking. We never have company over on Thursdays. Make rules clear, simple and discuss and agree upon them, then stick to it.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:04 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

* Unfortunately, we can't tell you spouse or partner what to do. Not unless they join the forum! Also, you can't change another person, you can only change yourself and how you respond to things. So please don't be surprised if people respond to a post you made by suggesting things for you to try, do or say. When ADHDers post in the forum expressing issues they are having, we do the same thing with them, because we can't talk to their spouse either!

* Most of the people here are ADHD and/or have learning disabilities, there's also an number of people with Aspergers or just English as a second language. Also we are using text to communicate. Try not to read too much negativity into posts and don't be surprised if you read a lot of blunt language.

* When an ADHDer posts on the forum and is not being kind to their spouse (such as considering cheating) we give them as much as, if not more of, a verbal smack as we might a NT (neuro typical or normal brained) member of the forum for posting the same thing.

* ADHD is no excuse to be abusive to the ones you love. Nor is it acceptable to be abusive to an ADHDer, even if they "drive you crazy". Abuse is never okay.

* If you can get your ADHDer to start posting here, that would be a good thing. Maybe we can give them that verbal slap they need. Or at least offer some tips to help them manage their ADHD.

* Remember that ADHD can only be managed so much.

* Typically in forums, if you just need to vent then you make sure to write "vent" in the title of the thread. This is an indication that you are just blowing off steam and looking for sympathy. Otherwise, do keep in mind that "support" can come in the form of pointing out your own failings or how you are making things worse.

* Take some time to read threads in different parts of the forum, then you can get a clearer picture of what is ADHD and what is simply your ADHDer's personality or non-ADHD related short comings.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:24 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Dear non-ADHD Spouse or Partner of people with ADD,
This is what I told my husband today. I hope it helps you understand your ADHD-er:

Until I went on medication, all the noise in my head, the anxiety that resulted, and frustration I felt caused me to act very angrily toward you. Now I feel calmer and genuinely appreciative of you and all that you do. I'll try to keep saying so...but I know it doesn't make up for the many times I didn't appreciate you, or worse.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:40 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Luvmybully what a superstar post. Thanks for your support it means a whole lot! I'm having one of those "I've just had my faith in humanity restored" moments.






[quote=RedHairedWitch;1050498]

Quote:
* Most of the people here are ADHD and/or have learning disabilities, there's also an number of people with Aspergers or just English as a second language. Also we are using text to communicate. Try not to read too much negativity into posts and don't be surprised if you read a lot of blunt language.
This can be called taking responsibility for realising that you too have an obligation to learn the adhd partners communication style. Yes, it's hard. It's hard for us too. The vents that say this much emotion is appropriate right now have a mind of their own, so there's going to be too much or too little and unlike goldilocks it's rarely every third try is going to be 'juuuuust right'

Sometimes your hair will be blown back by excessive emotion that to you might feel like rage and to us may feel like mild irritation. Regulation is at the heart of the adhd disability.




* When an ADHDer posts on the forum and is not being kind to their spouse (such as considering cheating) we give them as much as, if not more of, a verbal smack as we might a NT (neuro typical or normal brained) member of the forum for posting the same thing.

Quote:
* ADHD is no excuse to be abusive to the ones you love. Nor is it acceptable to be abusive to an ADHDer, even if they "drive you crazy". Abuse is never okay.

It is statistically much much more likely for the person with adhd to be abused. Often spouses interpret the reaction to emotional abuse as 'abuse'. There is a major blindness when it comes to the astronomical amount of abuse people with adhd have to contend with in their lives. The rates of PTSD co-morbid are testament to this fact. PTSD is the result of major abuse and represents only the tip of the iceberg.



Quote:
* If you can get your ADHDer to start posting here, that would be a good thing. Maybe we can give them that verbal slap they need. Or at least offer some tips to help them manage their ADHD.
I won't be verbally slapping anyone.

Quote:
* Remember that ADHD can only be managed so much.

Also realise that even before meds and diagnosis people with adhd are already 'managing' a whole lot of ADHD symptoms the best they know how. We don't just start managing one day.


Be aware that many of the things you might consider trivial interfere with existing management systems already in place.

As an example, you decide to move the toothbrushes 'out of sight' while your adhd partner has been using this visual cue to manage the morning and evening routines for EVER. If you up and decide you don't like how it looks and then insist it be changed you are messing and making life actually quite a bit more difficult and adding to an already over-stressed management system.



Thoughtful post Witchy.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:13 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHairedWitch View Post
* Any couple who can afford two divorce lawyers can afford a maid service once in a while, or a laundry service, or hire the kid down the street to wash cars and mow the lawn.
RedHairedWhich, you said a lot of great things in those posts but this sentence, in particular, should be engraved in stone and given to everyone that lives with a person with ADHD.

Mowing the grass has always been tough for me. I know when it needs to be done; it bothers me (a LOT) when the grass gets too long but if you leave it up to me there will be bigfoot sightings in my front yard before I actually get it done.

So...my wife and I just hire someone to do it according to a set schedule. It costs money, sure, but the problem goes away.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:08 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

It is great to finally find people who go through the same stresses as I do. I am a s/o of an ADHD'r and this being my first relationship with someone with ADHD is difficult as I was brought up to believe that there was no such disorder/disease.

I am looking forward to learning and being able to better understand my spouse.
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Old 04-02-11, 10:34 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessmoi View Post
It is great to finally find people who go through the same stresses as I do. I am a s/o of an ADHD'r and this being my first relationship with someone with ADHD is difficult as I was brought up to believe that there was no such disorder/disease.

I am looking forward to learning and being able to better understand my spouse.
My son-in-law had the same belief, that ADHD is a made-up excuse or a means of selling drugs. Until he saw for himself the difference between his daughter on meds and off meds. Now he's a believer and he always reminds her to pack her meds when the girls spend the weekend with him.

Sadly there an awful lot of people who haven't had that kind of wake-up call and still believe we're just making excuses for being lazy. The media is trying to change that, but people only believe the media when they're printing scare stories it seems.

Bravo to you for realizing that you won't understand your spouse unless you learn about his disorder. Even then it will probably be more difficult than most relationships. The trick is to keep it all in perspective and not focus solely on the problems ADHD causes. There's more to us than ADHD, eh?
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Old 04-05-11, 01:34 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

How do I deal with my Partner's ADHD and how does he deal with mine?

I have very clear boundaries that I established early in the relationship and that I defend diligently.

There are set chores and responsibilities that each of us has agreed to take on, we may remind or even give the other a helping hand but I NEVER do it for him.

I do not shield him from the consequences of his actions or inaction.

I do my own work with a counsellor to deal with my own self and my own issues and any anger, resentment and so forth, if needed. I take full responsibility for my own reactions, attitude, thoughts and feelings.

I take full responsibility for my own happiness, self esteem, satisfaction, needs, wants and fulfillment. These are things I gladly share with him but I do not expect him to provide FOR me.

We keep a simple home and lead a simple lifestyle. We do not have clutter or a lot of anything. You only need so many towels, bed sheet, dishes and knick knacks.

I do not try to keep up with the Jones'

We have as few commitments and responsibilities as possible.

I do not sweat the small stuff, such as socks that don't match, dishes in the sink overnight, forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning ... etc

Sometimes the laundry pile is taken to the laundry mat that does them for me. Sometimes we eat off biodegradable paper plates. Sometimes we order in rather than cook.

I keep our money separate except for the joint account which is ONLY for money to go into for bills. (luckily he is pretty good with money for an ADHDer)

I speak and communicate clearly. I do not say something is fine when it is not, I do not expect him to read my mind, I do not beat around the bush, I do not drop hints.

I do not nag.

I refuse to parent him, I treat him as an adult.

I treat him with the respect I desire.

I keep a disability mindset. Research indicates that people with ADHD have 5 areas of the brain that develop slightly smaller than the average joe.

I do not take personally the symptoms of ADHD.

I am, and continue to be, knowledgeable on the subject of ADHD.

I remind myself that if he had been diabetic or had epilepsy or blind I would have to make accommodations and adaptations.

I thank the gods that he is in good health and not dying of cancer or something.

I meditate, I go for walks, I have a life outside the relationship.

I appreciate all the good and wonderful things he does.

I praise him.

I remind myself that it is better to be with a man who puts off doing the dishes than with one who beats me. And that in the grand scheme of things I am a pretty lucky gal.

I count my blessings.


When it comes to conversations sharing:

We use "My turn!" to indicate we have something to say and want to be heard.

We are allowed to talk over the other person if they are interrupting us. So if he is saying something and I butt in while he is in mid sentence, he just keeps going. This is agreed upon so no hard feelings on either side. Interrupting is a symptom of ADHD and moralizing it or getting upset/angry does no good. It would be like getting annoyed at a person with allergies for sneezing.

When talking to each other we make sure to touch. This can helps the other person focus.

We try to get right to the point and not ramble (though it happens)

We are forgiving if the other person rambles and just ask a question to direct them back on track, rather than complaining or nagging. Rambling is a symptom of ADHD and moralizing it or getting upset/angry does no good. It would be like getting annoyed at a person with allergies for sneezing.

For important conversations distractions are cut down to a minimum (like turning the TV off or whatever) but often done during an activity (its easier to focus this way). So we talk while being on a walk or eating dinner.

We BOTH have interests that don't interest the other very much. Part of a relationship is putting up with hearing about things you don't care much about. We have discusssed this and agreed to both politely listen even if we aren't interested and to keep discussions about those topics as short as possible.

We email or message each other for little things and to remind each other of big things.

We warn each other when we have something important or exciting to talk about. I will text him on his way home from work to tell him I have good news when he gets home. It seems to help.

We have agreed that saying (gently and politely) "yes, you've told me this story before" is acceptable. No hard feelings permitted.

We bot understand that sometimes the ADHD brain gets caught on something and HAS to keep going on about something. The story MUST be finished being told. We can't help it sometimes. We tolerate this and are understanding of it. This is also a symptom of ADHD and moralizing it or getting upset/angry does no good. It would be like getting annoyed at a person with allergies for sneezing.

We are allowed to get up and wander around while talking. He can do the dishes or I might feed the dog. ADHDers can't SIT AND TALK for long, we will need to get up and go. We will say "I'm listening" to show that while we are doing something else or even have run to the next room to grab something, we are listening. Most ADHDers are better listeners while doing some mindless task, like walking, dusting the book shelves or doodling on a piece of paper.

When dealing with social events and social anxiety:

* Stay only as long as you have to (obvious I know, but its a start)

* Talk a bit about the people who will be there. If you have a funny or interesting story about a couple of the people there then tell those stories to your hubster. This way he won't feel like they are complete strangers but see them as people. "Oh yeah, this must be the guy who spilled coffee on my wife once" and "So you must the guy who spilled coffee on my wife that one day! Nice to meet ya!"
But don't over do it and give him the people's life history or it will be information overload.

* Make sure to use people's names a lot because it will be easier for him to pick them up that way. We're often really bad with names, so make a point of using people's names when speaking to them with him and it will be easier for him to remember them.

* Plan some kind of treat or reward for after leaving. Even if its just stopping at his favourite doughnut shop.

* Have a couple of little couple's cues. Like if he squeezes your elbow it means he really needs to get some air, or get away from this annoying person. If yout tap his knee it means the story he is telling is boring/not funny/offensive. Only have a few and keep them simple.

* Plan a few possible conversation starters and small talk. Listen to the news so you can talk about whatever the headline story is. Or fill him in on a subject that might get discussed a lot by the group.

* Take regular breaks if you can. One of the hardest things about quitting smoking for me was simply being able to excuse myself to go outside for a few minutes. Maybe have a plan like he can say "Hun, I think I left the cell phone in the car" or "I am going to step outside and call the new babysitter" that he can use as an excuse to get away for a couple of minutes.

* Try to stick to the least noisy area of the event if you can, for as long as you can. Attend during the more quiet period of an event.

* After and event, or if you get a few private moments during, have a silly conversation about what kind of underwear people might have been wearing at the event. To take the heat off, break up the anxiety, and see people in a more human and approachable light.

* Practice a couple of fun stories to tell together. Remember that time we went to the beach dear ....

* Get into the habit of being the couple that finishes each other's sentences. This way when you have to dive in and rescue him, it just seems like you guys are soooooo close you finish each other's stories/sentences.

* Give him a job, like being in charge of handing out business cards, or the job of asking for cards. Most men thrive with a goal.

* Give a fidget toy. That stack of business cards to hold and fiddle with, or a pen, or a camera (if pictures are allowed)

* Tell folks that he is a little hard of hearing. Its a great cover for being distracted or spaced out. "Oh, sorry, I didn't hear you, I spent all of high school with my headphones on max volume."

* When arriving, maybe do a walk through so both of you know what the layout is and have a planned meeting place should you get separated or are looking for each other.

* Act like the cute couple who just happens to be joined at the hip. Holding hands and wanting to tag along with each other.
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Old 04-08-11, 01:04 PM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

It is going to be really hard to separate the ADHD from the personality. Even those of us who have been diagnoses for a long time have a hard time with this. This is because the ADHD affects so much of our lives, it affects the development of our personality. Our ADHD also affects how others respond to us, which in turn affects our personality.
An example:
As a small child I was reprimanded repeatedly for not sitting still and lady-like. I would squirm, fidget, rock, sit like a boy (legs wide rather than together) and so forth. My Mother, teachers and Grandmother would say to me over and over again things like: "Good girls sit still. Ladies sit like this. Good girls keep their hands in their lap" because in our culture it is expected to teach little girls to act (and sit) like little ladies.
However, due to my ADHD I literally could not sit like a lady. I was neurologically and physiologically incapable of being still and staying in one position for any period of time. Being at the ages of 4 to 7 I could not properly articulate my inability to be motionless.
What I learned and took into myself, what helped to form my self identity and personality, was that if good girls sit still (and like a lady) and I am not capable of sitting still (or being lady-like), then I must not be capable of being a good girl. Therefore, I was inherently bad.
The result of this was a total tom boy, who rejected all things lady-like in self defence. And who embraced the bad-girl, rebel, image whole heartedly. After all, from my perspective, that's just how I was made. This was reinforced by my other ADHD symptoms, such as blurting out inappropriate things, impulsiveness, being "overly" adventurous, and just not fitting in with other girls.

How can you separate the personality from the ADHD? You might not be able to. The best possible way is to see their true intentions. Does you ADHDer really intend to leave you high and dry, forgetting to pick you up from swimming lessons? Does he beat himself up for it, is he embarrassed and defensive? Or does he seem to genuinely not care?
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Old 04-09-11, 11:17 AM
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Re: Dear Spouse or Partner of ADHD

I have another thought to add for the non-adhd partner:

Do not view your adhd spouse like your newest pet or home improvement project.

That is one thing I have noticed reading these forums, many non-adhd'ers try so very diligently to train or remodel their adhd partner into someone that suits their needs and personalities.

I KNOW that this is a big no-no for ANY relationship, but it seems that when one in the relationship has a known condition, the one without it can tend to view the condition as something they can and should try to manipulate as a way to control the relationship and make their partner suit them.

They view the condition as an issue that must be addressed. Some do it out of selfishness. Some do it out of love. They feel like since they love their adhd partner they MUST HELP them by trying to figure out how to grasp their adhd in both hands and get firm control of it.

I know it's very confusing to try to decide what is the condition and what is their personality. It is not two separate enitites. But just because someone HAS a condition doesn't mean THEY need to be fixed or altered or controlled or changed. Because essentially, since you can not separate the person from their condition, when you attempt to alter the condition you are attempting to alter them.
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