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Breaking the Cycle of Negativity

Writing positive and negative aspects of life on virtual board.

Writing positive and negative aspects of life on virtual board.

Researchers have demonstrated that negative thoughts or experiences have a much greater effect on our mood than positive thoughts and experiences. As an example, imagine how differently you would feel if you found a piece of jewelry or lost a piece of jewelry. The stress of the loss is typically far more dramatic than the joy of a sudden find.

Do you feel like your relationship is locked in an endless cycle of negativity? Are your only thoughts about what’s NOT working in the relationship?
It’s So Easy to Get Stuck on the Bad!
It’s easy to get swept up in a tornado of negativity if you’re in an relationship that is falling apart. If you don’t break out of the tornado, you may find your relationship being swept away from negativity. It’s important to realize that negative events have a much greater impact on everyone’s brains than positive events do- that’s everyone’s – not just yours.

Negativity in a Relationship

If we think more about the pains and disappointments in a relationship, we soon begin to resent our partner. We may start to wish we were no longer partners!

In contrast, if we change our focus and dwell on the good times as well as the positive qualities of our partner, the relationship is likely to become stronger and intimate.

Every relationship has fun times and good experiences mixed together with painful experiences and disappointments. It comes down to what you focus on?

“The brain gives more attention to negative experiences over positive ones because negative events pose a chance of danger. By default, the brain alerts itself to potential threats in the environment, so awareness of positive aspects takes deliberate effort.” Nicole Force, M.A.

Why do we focus on the Negative?

The mind has a built in bias to respond to negativity more than it responds to positive. Our need to focus on the negative and forget the positive is an evolutionary carry over from our ancestors who lived in very dangerous circumstances. During their time if you remained focused on potential threats and dangers, you were more likely to survive. Better to be alive and negative than dead and positive.

This focus or “negativity bias” is no longer productive. We live in a world of cooperation at home, in the workplace, and in social environments. Focusing on the negative is now destructive and can cause be harmful to a relationship.

Remember the Good in Your Relationship

To counteract our natural predisposition to negativity here’s a great way to change your focus to the positive by asking these questions:
• What first attracted you to your partner?
• What good experiences have you had together?
• What are your partner’s greatest strengths?
• What do you enjoy doing together?
Actions fix broken relationships not intentions!
The Bad is Limiting

When we focus on something the feelings that we attach to it will grow. If we focus on the negative parts of your relationship, then we “choke out” our ability to remember the other areas of our relationship that may be good. What we take action and focus on the positives and the memories that bring a smile to our face, our feelings are more productive. Focus on the good, and you open up a world of new thoughts and feelings.

The story we continually tell ourselves is the story we come to know, believe, and experience in our lives and relationships.

Actions fix broken relationships not intentions!

Couples Success is here to break the Natural Power of Negativity that has covered and hidden the true passion and intimacy that brings relationships together.

Rediscover Your Heart’s Desires

Aligning Your Actions with Your Heart’s Desires
Are you actively putting your hearts desires in alignment with your choice of action every day?

If we’re not careful the world will fill our lives with busyness. This can result in a full life but not necessarily a fulfilling life? For a truly fulfilling life you must align your desires with the actions you choose!

If you have lost sight of your hearts desires or if you’ve lost your passion then how you spend your time and energy will reflect that!

Is it your time and energy spent on the Internet? Have you fallen in love with the mindless distractions of a computerized companion? The internet is just one small example of how choosing something out of alignment with your heart’s desires can quickly distract your attention and waste valuable time with unfulfilling activity.

Life is filled with things that rob us of living a fulfilling life. If you’re not vigilant they will clutter your relationships and fill your life with activity that lacks any real accomplishment.

We are challenging you to spend a few minutes each day really focusing on what you desire in your relationship. There is a great adventure in living your life as if your relationships really were the most important thing in your life. Read that last sentence again, it just might be life changing. Read it and ponder just how different your life would be if you really did put your partner first in your life.

Think about your where your daily choices are taking you and ask yourself if you are choosing to be in the driver’s seat or sitting in the back seat letting busyness or someone else determine where your life is going.

What would your days look like if you could take back control of your life and your relationships?

Do you have the will to live the life you say you’ve always wanted or are you choosing to give priority to actions that are counter to what you really want?

Here’s a small exercise that is simple to implement and can have dramatic results.

At the close of each day reflect on what choices you made since you woke up that morning. Were your choices in alignment with the desires you have in your heart?

If they were out of alignment what choice could you have made instead? Set a goal to make the appropriate choice the next day. As you do this simple exercise each evening your choices the following day will tend to be more deliberate and less a result of outside influence or bad habits.

The most tragic betrayal is when your heart and your head are in conflict throughout your day. You and your partner, as well as your family, suffer when you make choices based on habit or with little conscious awareness!

There is no need to stay unconscious any longer.

A life well lived – one filled with love, integrity and passion, is a tremendous life, especially for those of us with ADHD. Creating a life deliberately: of your own accord; of your own wishes; is central to living a fulfilled relational life.

The Small Stuff Matters

          How micro-betrayals erode the very foundation of your relationship

Probably dozens of times throughout the day, your partner forgets to do something; breaks a promise, arrives late or leaves too early (or forgets an appointment altogether), or makes another big mess. When confronted with his (or Loving couple at homeher) actions, he thinks that by simply saying, “I’m Sorry,” (again) will somehow make everything magically O.K.  What the offending partner doesn’t realize is that it’s not the big stuff that usually destroys relationships, but rather the small stuff, little things that happen again and again, over a long period of time, which destroys the loving relationship.  We like to refer to these “over and over again” episodes as “mini-micro betrayals,” which seem at the moment, like no big deal.

But Nothing Could be Further from the Truth!

Those pesky little things add up, and while no single act is that big of a deal, when they start adding up and multiplying – Watch Out!

Over time, these little things start to feel like termites ferociously eating away at the foundation of your relationship. What’s left is a relationship filled with holes, destroyed one little termite-sized bite at a time. This leaves the disappointed partner feeling like, “Hey – if I can’t trust him to deliver on the ordinary, everyday stuff, how in the world can I count on him with the big stuff; the important stuff?”

Left untreated, your partner’s unreliable nature creates distance and resentment, and eventually the relationship could collapse or implode. Meanwhile the offending partner is oblivious to any problem whatsoever, thinking everything is totally “fine.” What an unpleasant surprise when he is confronted with a mad spouse who has finally had enough!

Remember in relationships the daily micro-betrayals really do have an enormous impact on the sustainability of your relationship.  You can’t change him or her (…if that were the case, you’d have done it by now!). So, what can you do to alter this destructive course?

Learn to talk to your partner every day. Accentuate the positive, telling him or her how much you appreciate his uniqueness, or the way he does something that you really do appreciate. Do not be condescending! Only tell the truth and express genuine appreciation.

In the same way, when something is done that sends you through the roof, explain those feelings, too. Leave out absolutes (you always do this or that); avoid negatives (why don’t you think before you do something?) and don’t bring up the past (you did the same thing last month!). Instead, tell him you need to talk about something that happened and then gently explain. The purpose of talking is not to condemn and bring up a laundry list of things done wrong. NO! The purpose is to bring awareness of the situation from your perspective and lovingly talk about the repercussions of the event.

For example, let’s say you come home from work to find that your wife started planting some flowers along the walkway in the morning, and then when she was about halfway through, decided to go into the kitchen and bake bread. The flowers she planted look like they may survive but the ones still in the cartons are hot and drooping and appear to be about half-baked from the blazing sun. Dirt is all over the sidewalk; and the shovel, rake, hoe, the hose (which is still on and spurting water), and fertilizer lie in the way all scattered about. It’s a mess.

In the house, the house smells almost wonderful, like the aroma of freshly baked bread, but with a hint of burn to it. Hmm…seems as though she may have forgotten to set the timer again. Your wife is tired but happy for all that she has done today, and she desperately wants/needs your approval and appreciation. Never mind that the yard and the kitchen (and your wife!) are a mess and the bread is burned. (“It’s not burned,” she explains with a grin and a wink, “it’s only a little brown on the edges.”) Dare you burst her bubble by saying something now? The results may not be what you really want or expect from an adult, but she really has worked hard all day and is eager to share everything with you. But you know from experience that it could literally be days or weeks before she gets back out to finish up the flowers. You groan inwardly as you ask yourself if this is going to be a repeat of last year when she left the same project unfinished all summer long?

What do you do? What should you do? How do you turn this into a positive?

Now is your time to express heart-felt appreciation.

Look at the things she did get done. Tell her the flowers she planted are beautiful and will be a wonderful, colorful addition to that little area. Tell her the bread smells good enough to eat, even the “brown edges” will be good with butter, and then smile at her and wink. And then suggest that after dinner the two of you could go outside and spend time together finishing up the planting. The positives are accentuated. Your wife is appreciated. The mess provides the two of you ‘together time’ and by the end of the day, it can be all nice and neat.

Will it happen this way every time? No. But every time you can use it to create something wonderful. Do you need to be her babysitter and take her by the hand every time to make sure things are done up? Maybe, but hopefully not. Let us reiterate to you: You Aren’t Going to Change Your Spouse. She is what she is. You are what you are. We all are what we all are.

Focus on how you react to each situation. Focus on you!

Learning to look at situations a little differently; attacking a problem with kindness and love, can make all the difference in the world regarding your marriage. However, if you think you may not be getting anywhere in your marriage, seek professional council so you don’t drive yourself crazy or give up on the relationship. You can get there; be patient with your partner, and be patient with yourself.

Feedback is About ME, not YOU!

Couple having an argumentIf your spouse is upset, disappointed or offended by something you have done, not done, said or not said, her feedback is not an indictment of you personally. Calm down, take a deep breath, and remember that she has feelings too. Step back and try to see things from her perspective.

When your partner or spouse becomes frustrated with you, it does not mean that you are a terrible person; it doesn’t even mean that you necessarily did something bad or wrong. (And it may not have anything to do with you at all.)

Remember: Feedback is about ME (the giver), not YOU (the receiver)!

Instead of becoming defensive and making it all about you; before you begin blaming or minimizing the ‘attack,’ think of this as a golden opportunity to listen. This is a great chance to understand how to be a better partner.

“Thank you for caring enough about me to be honest,” is a great place to start. Assume that your spouse is coming to you out of love. Even if she’s coming to you out of frustration, at least she cares about you and the relationship enough to bring it up.

When someone’s frustrated with you is not the time to defend yourself. That will more than likely intensify the situation. Instead, recognize the anxiety and frustration in your spouse, and allow it to diffuse by listening attentively and apologizing. Later, when everyone’s calmed down, you can address the issue from your viewpoint, gently and lovingly.

And the next time you’re frustrated with your spouse, keep these feelings in mind when you want to give him or her negative feedback of your own. No one likes to feel attacked.

Stop Hurting the One’s We Love!

The closer you get to someone else, the easier your emotions can collide! The challenge to growing a relationship lies in learning how to deal with that collision in a thoughtful and loving fashion.

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.

Stop Chasing Your Tail and Focus On Your Relationship.

If miracle natural wonder cures for ADHD really worked,  rich people would not need medication just like everyone else.

I feel like such a liar

Fotolia_15402480_Subscription_Monthly_XXL 300I have lied about a few things – not intentionally but they come out spur of the moment and if I don’t make them come true, I feel like I betrayed those I lied to. They are small kinda white lies yet I don’t mean to. I want to stop lying and ask for another chance. Any suggestions. Maybe a new years resolution and confession? i.e.: I lied about getting a bonus and now they want to know when I am getting one. I said it was $500. Please help.

Bush, Nate MI

Listen as Dr’s Robert Wilford and Sarah Ferman answer this question Live.

Just diagnosed and feels ashamed

Fotolia_15402480_Subscription_Monthly_XXL 300My husband has just been diagnosed ADHD. He is ashamed and does not want to tell our friends, accept medication. He is feeling horrible. What can I do this Christmas season to reassure him and help him grow?

Roger, StPetersburg, FLA

Listen as Dr’s Robert Wilford and Sarah Ferman answer this question Live.

Just been diagnosed with ADHD – Now What?

Getting diagnosed with ADHD can be a confusing thing to handle. For many people it is a combination of relief and regret. Finding someone who knows and understands your type of ADHD is crucial.

The diagnosis of ADHD is a mixed blessing for most. It often explains years of missed deadlines, unopened mail, and interpersonal difficulties. The good news is that 70% of people respond well to medication and see a decrease in symptoms in a short time. What is difficult is that “pills don’t teach skills”. Medication is only Continue reading Just been diagnosed with ADHD – Now What?

ADHD Meds not working?

If you think your ADHD meds are not working – remember that you need to eat about 50% of your body weight in grams of protein during the day. Give me one days food diary, and I will tell you why your brain doesn’t work.