Dealing with Denial in a Spouse with ADD/ADHD
Take Responsibility for Your Part in the Situation
Relationships are created, or broken, by two people. They do not go bad because of just one person. It takes two people to create a loving relationship; it takes two to tear it apart.
Blame may run rampant, you, as the spouse without ADHD, may blame and resent the other spouse. You may feel annoyance that you have taken over many of the household responsibilities. You may feel irritation because you feel your spouse does not do their share of the work around the house. Take some time to determine why you have done this. Do you feel that your spouse cannot manage responsibility? It is because you feel they would not do it as well as you? Do you think they may become overwhelmed? Have they tried to help in the past, but when they did not live up to your standards, either they stopped trying or you took over the task?
In doing so, have you created a relationship of dependence? Have you quickly taken over when things didn't go well or when your spouse seemed overwhelmed? Have you covered up mistakes or forgetfulness, always pulling things together? Do you enjoy the feeling of knowing that someone "needs" you?
Possibly you see the glass ‘half empty" rather than half full. Do you focus on the negative, on what doesn't get done rather than on what has been accomplished? Do you notice progress being made or the progress that is still to come? Are you a perfectionist, always looking for things to be done in a certain way, and nothing else is quite good enough?
Or maybe this isn't it at all. Maybe you just accepted your role for years; maybe you paid the bills, kept track of the money, and kept the household running smoothly. Maybe one day you woke up and it wasn't what you wanted anymore.
Whatever the reason, whatever brought you to the point that you feel the relationship is no longer working the way you want it to, accept that maybe it wasn't anyone's "fault." Maybe it is your relationship growing and evolving, as all relationships do and you, and your spouse, need to adjust to ever changing family dynamics.
If however, you take responsibility for the good part of your relationship, you must also take responsibility for what has gone wrong as well. Accept what you have done to contribute to the marriage, good and bad. Once you have done that, you will be able to move forward.
Stay tuned for more of this series in the coming weeks.
Published On: January 12, 2008