Friday, October 3, 2008

Saving a Marriage with an ADD Diagnosis

I recently treated two couples with severe marital problems verging on divorce. In one, the spouse claimed that her husband was passive- aggressive, didn’t listen or follow through with her requests despite agreeing to them. Further exploration revealed a cluster of behaviors he exhibited indicative of ADD. His wife understood that many of his behaviors were due to ADD, and reframing them as such drastically changed the situation. Similarly, in another situation with a newly married couple, the spouse was told by his wife that her impulsive, irritable and often disinhibited behaviors were due in large part to ADD. He did not believe in or understand the ramifications of this diagnosis. I had him read Hallowell’s and Ratey’s Driven to Distraction which opened his eyes.

In both cases, as a coach and clinician, I had to work with the ADD and the non-ADD spouse to recognize their different brain styles, and to learn how to adapt to each other.

1 comment:

mkoofer said...

Interesting. Can you give more details?