Sick of Arguing? It Might Be Time For a Smarter Compromise
If you’ve been talking with your partner about the same ADHD-related marriage problems for many years, it may be time to take a direct approach and create a work-around.
BY MELISSA ORLOV, NANCIE KOHLENBERGER, LMFT
When it comes to having good fights with your partner, it’s important to understand that more than half of your battles are unresolvable. They result from deep differences in opinion or approach. A common non-ADHD/ADHD difference, for example, has to do with what constitutes “adequately organized” — whether it relates to planning events, putting a household in order, or raising children.
Another is whether or not you should let things “just happen” (be spontaneous) or actively “make them happen” (plan ahead and pursue goals). Those with ADHD typically have a higher tolerance for spontaneity and disorganization, perhaps because they’ve had so much more experience with it.
If you’ve been talking about the same ADHD-related marriage problems for many years, it may be time to take a dierent approach and create a work-around. The reality is that there are two of you, and compromise is often necessary. Compromise does not mean give up or lower your standards. It means accepting that you are dierent and guring out how to move forward with your lives while accommodating those dierences. Here are some examples from our lives that illustrate this:
My husband, George, likes to hang on to stu because it might be useful in the future, and he doesn’t worry too much about how it’s organized. I like things more tidy. After years of discussion, our work-around includes hiring someone to help clean the house every other week (so I don’t have to bear all of the burden of cleaning up) and delineating areas that are his and mine. I no longer worry about, nor do I comment on, what my husband keeps in his areas of our home — his oce, closet, or bathroom area, his side of the garage or the basement. George does help keep the public spaces of our house tidy.
Jeff Stull DMin PhD
Dr. Jeff Stull is an Individual, Marriage and Family Counselor who enjoys assisting his clients in developing creative alternatives to everyday life, love and work challenges. As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Counselor he has specialized trainings in Relationship Repair, Abuse Recovery, Adolescents, and Mindfulness. He holds certifications including Professional Counseling Supervision, Clinical Sexology, Professional Christian Counseling and Accelerated Resolution Therapy(ART). He serves his clients in Alpharetta, Cumming and Dahlonega, Georgia and all over the world via Skype.