Sometimes I get a question that is so spot on that it is best simply to launch a post with that question. This one was sent by a woman who recently took my couples seminar:
My husband now thinks he might well have ADHD. But, what is driving me crazy is his inability to move forward. Inertia. If I am supposed to wait for him to make the decision to see someone — call and actually make an appointment — on his own he will just not do it. And in the meantime, things are not getting much better. We both have full time jobs and two small kids so life is full of stress. I can cope with a ton of stuff, but am really at the end of my rope and need his help (in getting through each day as well as working on our relationship.) So how do we get started? How does he break the inertia?
This is a great question — and trickier to navigate than you might think. Too often in ADHD-impacted relationships, the partners fall into a dynamic in which one person "runs" the relationship while the other one takes orders. The spouse in charge acts like a "parent" (the not so benevolent version of parenting) while the less powerful spouse ends up in a more "childlike" role, without much authority. I call this "parent/child dynamics" and it is not only very, very common, but also quite destructive. Who, after all, wants to be romantic with a parent figure...or a child figure?