Keeping a Relationship Fresh with ADD
Cultivate a friendship - I have found that it is a lot harder to get mad and stay mad at a friend. When you are friends, you help and support the other person. You have their back, and they have yours. When looks and hormones fade, passion comes from having a lifelong friend who understands you and your needs.
Spend time together - Take a walk. Visit mutual friends. Go explore your city. Watch a favorite show with your partner. Share laughs! Spending time together gives you natural opportunities to talk about what is important to both of you. It helps you to build the foundation of a solid relationship.
Give each other space to grow - Spending time together is important, but so is each person spending time cultivating their passion. Is your spouse into martial arts? Find something that you like to do. Does your partner play a musical instrument? While they practice, do an activity that you enjoy. Grow as a person; then share that growth with your partner.
Talk about the important events and items in your lives - Partners need to discuss their beliefs and values. If your values are not the same in important areas, you need to find a way to show respect toward the other person's viewpoints.
When couples don’t have a common set of beliefs and values, they need to respect each other’s needs and feelings. Mutual kindness goes a long way toward smoothing your shared path.
Manage disagreements - If you are furious, put a bit of time and distance away from the event before you discuss it. Words hurled in anger can never be taken back. Years later, they can sting and bring hurt feelings into the relationship equation. That does not mean sweeping troubles into a corner where they can fester. It means being kind, even when you feel like throwing something.
Be a good partner - That doesn't mean that one person runs things all of the time. Both people need to have input. Sometimes one person may be dominant, while the other person hangs back. This depends on the situation and the level of expertise of both partners. When one partner has ADD, the beginning of a relationship can be stressful, until the partner without Attention Deficit Disorder learns about their partner's living style. If a person has ADD, they process events differently from those who don’t have ADD/ADHD. That’s where the stress level can rise. Talking things over can be helpful. Be kinder than you need to be. Be aware of your limits and those of your partner. It often takes years for a smooth relationship to develop.
Several years ago, I wrote, "Relationships need attention to grow and be successful. Especially in marriage, you need to nurture the relationship. While ADD brings distractibility and inattention, it can also produce natural energy and creativity for a marriage." This is still true. Attention Deficit Disorder can help put the zip and zing into a relationship. A true partnership, where the partners work to keep the relationship fresh, can help both people go farther and be more contented than they would have been alone. Having a traveling partner through life can be a wonderful thing.
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