Remember, partners with ADHD often have a lifetime of feeling “wrong” and dumpsters full of criticism from others. It’s important to learn how to talk about things when they do go wrong and not jump right into defending yourself and trying to regain control of chaos with blame.
Blame is a false solution. While it gives the blamer a temporary feeling of power, wisdom, and control at a time when they feel upset, or like they lack control or power over a situation, it does so at the expense of the feelings of others. The Golden Rule applies here: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. No one likes feeling blamed.
Unfortunately, it’s easiest to blame the people we’re closest to. Sometimes, we want to punish our spouse so that they will feel as badly as we do about a particular event. But really, of all the people we shouldn’t want to make feel bad, he or she ought to be at the top of the list!
Blame gives only the illusion of a solution. We feel like now that we know who’s wrong, we know what to do. But it never helps! Blaming someone just passes your anxiety onto them. Instead, try looking for a positive solution, or even apologizing.
By the same token, when someone blames you for something, recognize that they’re likely just trying to make themselves feel better, even if they don’t realize it. Yes, sometimes you are at fault and need to do better at something, and you need to be open to that possibility too. Generally speaking, however, if someone’s blaming you, it’s more about them than it is about you. Look for opportunities to help them calm down, and look for a real solution to the problem – together.