At times you might not believe it’s possible to make a marriage work in the mix. You say things without thinking or tune out during important conversations. Life is chaotic. And still, adults are completely capable of happy, fulfilling marriages.
Every marriage life has its ups and downs, but if one or both spouses have the relationship is significantly more challenging. Two people, two lives entwined, every day, under one roof…and ADHD. It’s complex, it’s hard, it’s beautiful, it’s not impossible.
Marriage is like a rope. The entwined threads can either be sturdy or frayed. The rope stays strong and supportive as you both reach and climb upward together. But with too much stress the threads can become twisted and frayed, the rope weakens and gradually your relationship starts to fall apart.
The good news is that you are always an active participant in your marriage. You can choose your role, how you communicate, and the behaviors that can either strengthen or weaken your bond. If you are willing and ready to strengthen the rope that holds you and your spouse together, you will bring back the warm, cozy feeling you had when you first met.
Relationships thrive when both partners act lovingly towards one another, willing to make an effort to grow, and committed to working on themselves.
Follow these 6 ways to live peacefully:
Bring back the love
You loved each other once time. As the years go by, you know more about each other. The “real” person comes out. Often you find yourself thinking, what happened to the person I fell in love with? The more comfortable you get in relationships, the more you take them for granted. You forget to nurture and nourish them. Expectations cause disappointment. Resentment sets in, secretly hiding in the background of your lives.
It sounds unnatural, but if you want to emotionally reconnect, you have to schedule private time for your relationship. Yes, that means to make a date (like the old days). Put it on your calendar. Busy days filled with work, phones and Facebook can distance us from our partners. Schedule a “shut down” time at least once a week. No phones, no TV, no interruptions. Just be together. Talk about your day. Leave out the comments, judgment, and criticism. Pretend you’re on a first date again.
Life is often frantic. Leaving the house, finishing projects, and showing up for appointments on time can be stressful for the person. Each day whizzes by. Sometimes you can’t even remember where you went, what you did, and who you were with. ADHD is fast-moving; in the body and the mind. Take time to slow down your body. Intentionally, move slower. Your mind will follow.
People have a few more challenges than most. However, everyone is imperfect. Even you. Once you accept your own flaws, you will think differently about your partner’s imperfections. We are human; all of us are struggling through life individually, yet together. Judgmental, critical thoughts distance you from peace and love.
Look for the good
Every trait has a positive and negative side to it. The trait that drives you crazy is probably the same trait that brings a benefit to your life. Start by giving compliments. Say something nice. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but if you value your relationship it’s worth the effort. Remember your impulsive partner may be the fast-acting doctor, nurse, or EMT who is saving someone’s life.
Prioritize your conflicts
Most things couples fight about aren’t worth the effort. Every comment, disappointment, or difference of opinion does not have to turn your home into a battlefield. Try not to react when negative emotions are strong. Speaking while angry causes damage to your partner and to the relationship. Take space for yourself to manage your feelings and pick your battles.
Be on the same team
One of the most important things you can do is join forces. Be on the same team. Bickering, competing, and criticizing are habits that are harmful to a loving relationship. When you’re in the midst of negativity, be it an argument or just the voice in your head, remember to regroup, readjust, and realign your thoughts so that you feel united with your partner.
This is indispensable within any relationship. A person with ADHD often feels disappointed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. When a person with ADHD appears to be acting selfishly, it may be that he or she is feeling overwhelmed with their own thoughts. They take up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth. It’s exhausting and often t is struggling to get through the next task. Slow down, be compassionate, and refrain from judgment. Your loved one will respond lovingly to your kindness.