For people in relationships where ADHD is involved, these five words are often one of the biggest sources of rage because Nobody Appreciates Someone Else Making Excuses for His or Her Own Behavior. Although the excuse may be right-on, “I’m sorry; it’s my ADHD,” is usually seen as a self-serving, hollow and (very annoying) pathetic excuse.
Apologies which seem more like an excuse than something someone is sorry about is viewed as shallow and insincere. Saying these words can have the effect of someone throwing gasoline onto an already raging emotional bonfire.
If you blame ADHD for your shortcomings, then you are blaming something outside of your relationship. Given that we are powerless to control things outside of our own behavior, your partner is left feeling helpless to solve the problem. And, in essence, you are saying that you are also powerless against the problem.
You may be powerless to change the way your brain works, but you are not powerless to control and sensor your actions!
Blaming ADHD can leave both partners feeling as though they are fighting an invisible enemy which cannot be reasoned with. If the ADHD is the only thing at fault, then the relationship must certainly be doomed because there’s no way to solve a problem rooted in an incurable condition.
However, healthy, enjoyable relationships with ADHD people are quite possible!
The key is for both people to commit to not blaming the condition. They must accept each other as they each are and choose to see the best in each other. And again, this is true in every relationship, no matter what the outside issues are. Yes, ADHD can make a relationship more difficult, but that is certainly no cause to say it is doomed. If the partner with ADHD does something foolish, then he or she needs to take responsibility to better manage the ADHD. On the other hand, part of the responsibility also lies with the non-ADHD partner by making the effort to genuinely try to respond more appropriately to daily situations. Undoubtedly as in all relationships, sometimes expectations will not be met, but blaming ADHD is not helpful and as we have already stressed, it can actually be detrimental. Individuals are the absolute, only thing able to mess up any relationship!
By recognizing this, couples are empowered to take actual steps to begin solving these challenges and enjoying their partner, their life and their home.