While collecting comments, ideas, and wisdom from readers on the topic of ADHD and Marriage, our reader Christie and her husband wrote in sharing these marriage tips. -- ED
My husband and I are both ADHD and we have developed several strategies over our 20 years of marriage. Here is what we have come up with off the top of our heads.
1. EVERYTHING goes on the calendar and EVERYONE is responsible for checking it before they go to bed and again when they get up in the morning.
2. Keep the extracurricular activities to minimum.
3. Have a set schedule and do your best to keep to it, but remember to build some flexibility into it.
4. Lists of chores help. I have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists so I remember what needs to happen and when. www.flylady.net may be a help to some of your readers.
5. Do it now. Put away that item/paper/jacket/box right away otherwise it becomes part of the scenery and will never be found again.
6. Make allowances for each other. Everyone is going to have a bad day where things get missed. Pick up the slack and don't tell your partner that you have done it. They don't need the additional guilt when they are already struggling.
7. Talk about things that are bugging you BEFORE they get out of hand. It may be hard now, but it will be even more difficult if you let it fester.
8. Ask yourself if the thing that is bugging you is going to matter to you in 25 years. If the answer is no, then let it go. If the answer is yes, then you need to deal with it NOW.
9. Laugh whenever you can. A sense of humor is hugely important in an ADHD marriage. Things are going to happen, you had better learn to smile and shrug or you are going to spend your entire life being really angry.
10. Chances are, you have a child (or children) with ADD or ADHD. Teach them coping skills now. Show them that they have a gift, not a handicap. Then show them where they can shine. Help them where they need help, but let them make small mistakes and face the consequences. They will learn from their mistakes if you treat them as a learning experience. Trying to micro-manage their lives, while keeping your head above water is a shortcut to insanity.
We keep coming up with more, but these are the best so far. Pearls of wisdom? Maybe not, but we are still married and enjoying each other's company. :)