Why do some couple's marriage last and grow stronger, even though the path is not smooth for them? Others seem to have it all, but their marriage crashes and burns! What makes the difference? How does Attention Deficit Disorder factor into all of this?
This sounds simple, but it is a good idea to get to know a person and their attitudes toward life really well before you get married. What do you personally need from a marriage to live a good life with ADD? You both have to communicate honestly what is truly important to you. This is a process that lasts throughout the marriage. People with ADD know how to talk! Use your communication skills to talk and listen.
Often, couples who have a long-lasting marriage share their beliefs and core values. These could include family life, parenting, finances, and spouses helping each other to achieve their goals. If one or both partners have ADD, then it will affect all aspects of their marriage. Sometimes the ADD can be a challenge to the marriage, while other times the hallmarks of ADD make the marriage stronger.
There are couples who enjoy their freedom and the opportunities for living in the moment! These spouses believe strongly that they donít need children to make their lives complete. They are content with their relationship, and they want to streamline their life together. A child-free lifestyle fills this need. Especially, if a personís ADD caused them a lot of pain, they may not want the complication of parenting children. Attention Deficit Disorder does tend to be familial. Other partners have a strong belief in the importance of a family life that includes parenting. If a couple with Attention Deficit Disorder has a child who has ADD, they may be more able to understand the childís needs and to help their child gain the skills for a successful life. Parents with ADD can effectively advocate to have their childrenís needs met. Whether or not to become parents is one of the most important topics that couples must resolve. Compromise and creativity doesn't work on this issue.
Some spouses love luxurious material goods, while others like simple living and shopping at thrift stores. Finances can pull a couple together or tear them apart. When one person is an impulsive buyer and the other spouse feels strongly that purchases should be planned and saved for, then trouble may be on the horizon. It is imperative that the partners honestly discuss their needs. If one person needs to be spontaneous, while another needs to plan, they need to discover where they have common ground. When is it a good idea to have more financial spontaneity, and when should they plan and save? Creative people with ADD can come up with novel solutions that can make their marriage stronger. Each personís financial-style needs can be met. Couples run into trouble when they donít talk about and respect their spouse's individual differences and needs.
If one partner believes that higher education is important, but the other feels that it isnít a priority, an understanding spouse will know that they can support the otherís educational goals. Supporting those educational goals could maintain the common goal of marital happiness. That may well sustain the marriage during times of stress. Understanding and acceptance of the other spouseís needs is a hallmark of people with ADD. Time and again, people with Attention Deficit Disorder strive to accept others, since as children many of them had difficulty being accepted by peers.
Is a strong, lasting marriage in the cards for a couple where one or both partners have Attention Deficit Disorder? Use the natural energy and creativity that ADD can bring to a marriage. Kindness toward each other goes a long way toward smoothing lifeís path. When couples donít have a common set of beliefs and values, they need to respect each othersí needs and feelings.
When you are having difficulty tapping into your ADD strengths and want some pointers on how to strengthen a marriage, both of these books offer practical advice. They are highly recommended. Links are provided below.
The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps
Married to Distraction: How to Restore Intimacy and Strengthen Your Partnership in an Age of Interruption