Not all relationships with an ADDer are harsh and not all relationships are doomed to failure. However, there seems to me to be a relating factor in most the messages I read across the internet by other ADDers. It goes like this – the relationship starts off great and then after a while the sparks and fireworks tend to wear off and the ADDer becomes bored. We say things like the other person didn’t help me, motivate me, validate me and the number 1 complaint is that he or she did not excite me anymore.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t a relationship about two people? Isn’t there more involved than just the other person pleasing us all the time, doing what we need and want? Yes, relationships do change after a couple years as two people get relaxed around each other, that is natural, and yet difficult for some ADDers to transition into.
No, I am not going to write about every detail concerning relationships with ADDers and non-ADDers, not in this article anyway, and it would take up your whole day or longer to read everything I have to write about on this subject. Instead I am going to write this:
What have you done for your partner lately? How have you gone out of your way to please him or her? How have you motivated, validated and supported him or her? When you answer these questions, silently in your own mind, or in the comments below, keep in mind that I am talking about taking the other persons wants, needs and desires into consideration. This is important, because, too often we become focused on ourselves so much that we extend our longings to be the other person’s longings too and let’s face it, we think of ourselves too much as it is and not everyone has the same wants, needs and desires that we do. It’s a common mistake to go out and buy something we like and give it to someone else thinking they would like it too. Yeah, see, I thought so, but all is not lost, we can correct this.
Make a concerted effort to get to know your partner, what they like to eat, drink and snack on. Find out what makes them happy and what makes them smile at certain moments. Ask questions. ADDers love to ask questions, some of us have forgotten how to ask questions because we were shot down as kids for asking too many questions, but we are inquisitive types by nature (I am going to expand on this in a future article). The important thing to realize here is that we are selfish and doing the above relieves some of that. No, don’t get me wrong, we give until we bleed, but we tend to be selfish in understanding others and their motivations. Not all ADDers have this problem and yet a significant amount of us do - I think we are in the majority.
The next time we have a complaint about our partner not motivating us, cultivating us or validating us, we should take a moment and ask ourselves what we have done for him or her lately. Sometimes because we are so active in our minds and we have all these things gathered up there that we want to do, we fail to realize that we are not meeting the other person’s needs. Sure, we think we are and would say so, if asked, but truly, honestly – are we? The thing is, you or me, we cannot answer that question, it is for the other person to answer. If we answer that question for the other person, then what is it we are doing? Being selfish, self centered and you get where I am going with this – right?
This article is not meant to be a critical beat down. It is intended to be an eye opener to another possibility. Perhaps we get bored with our partner(s) because the reality is that we drain them so much that after a while they become tired of meeting our every wish, or being everything we need them to be. The answer is not simply to thank them constantly. That’s draining too. Yes, still thank them, but give them some good reasons to thank you too.
Just some thoughts from someone who knows this all too well. Doomed relationships can be corrected if we just take the time and consideration to think about the other person before we get bored and it’s too late. And yes, there does come a time when it is too late. Sorry won’t cut it for long. Been there and have done that. Maybe you have too?