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ADD - When Your Partner Doesn't Get You

Dec 28, 2007
Are you dealing with your partner's unhappiness in your relationship? What are their complaints? Could they be that you can't remember things, that you're always distracted, or that you're lazy and leave things lying around everywhere? Does this sound like the arguments you've been having?

Consider that you might have adult attention deficit disorder. Your partners reactions to some of your behaviors are typical, especially when you aren't aware of your ADD and neither is your partner. First, take an online test to see if you might have attention deficit. Then, see a medical professional for an adequate and positive diagnosis. What may seem like ADD, could actually be something else, so you want to get that nailed down for sure. If you really are experiencing attention deficit, then to make your partner happy, you'll need to make some adjustments.

Once you have a proper diagnosis, set aside time to discuss it with your partner. Help them to understand why you do or don't do things that frustrate them. Together, you can work on setting up some ADD-friendly solutions for the issues that are bothering him or her.

But first, you need to decide exactly what those things are and make some definite plans to solve them. Attention deficit is tricky, though. It won't always let you see things through to completion, so you'll have to make special effort to get things under control. Set up a calendar or a white board where you can write things and be able to view them throughout the day. You may want to work on one ADD behavior each day, until your adjustment kicks in and becomes a regular part of life.

Linear-thinking people often accuse people with attention deficit of laziness because we have a tendency to just drop things and let them lie. Yet, it's important that your linear partner doesn't clean up after you. When they do that, they're just reinforcing your ADDness. Instead, ask them to remind you where the sweatshirt on the chair belongs, and get them to help you set up some ADD-friendly systems to help you with this issue.

Memory could be another issue. If your partner asks you to pick something up at the store or their cleaning at the dry cleaners, and it's really important, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when your ADD makes you forget. Write things down. Always keep a notepad by you and all over the house. Then, be sure to write down anything important that you just can't forget.

Also make time for your partner. You'll need to talk things over and find out what's working and what's not, and perhaps make some adjustments to the systems you set up. Don't judge the effectiveness of a plan over a single day, though. Allow your system to work for a week or two before making any changes.

Having attention deficit doesn't mean you can't have fulfilling, lasting relationships. The first step is finding out that you do have ADD and the second is to help your partner to understand it. Once he or she realizes that you aren't doing things to make them nuts, and it's just your ADD, they'll be more likely to see that you just need to make adjustments to your lifestyle to make things work. If you can do that, stick to a plan, and keep working at it, until you find a solution that's right for you. When you have, your ADD will no longer be an issue.
About the Author
Tellman Knudson is a certified hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. Subscribe to his Free weekly ADD Success Tips newsletter and take the ADD test when you visit Instant ADD Success at http://www.instantaddsuccess.com/
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