Blog Post | It Takes Two, Baby…To Make Our Dreams Come True
It Takes Two, Baby…To Make Our Dreams Come True
It Takes Two was a popular song written in 1966 by William "Mickey" Stevenson and Sylvia Moy. Both were former songwriters and record producers associated with the Motown Records group. The song was first sung by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston in 1996 and then by Sonny and Cher in 2012.
When I hear the song, I can’t help but beam from ear to ear thinking about how true those lyrics are with our relationships today. It’s a lesson ingrained over a lifetime, from watching my parents manage through the high’s and low’s for 63 years and even with my own marriage of nearly 35 years.
We find each other. We fall in love. We decide to make a go of life together. We have definite ideas and dreams for what our future holds. What we didn’t know at the outset was about ADHD.
After the glow wears off, or maybe children come along, the complexity of life and ADHD challenges our relationship and becomes a tipping point. Life gets busier and we begin to notice what doesn’t work, where things fall short, and our emotions reel. We begin to question if our lives together will actually work. Statistics show some of us make it work, some don’t. The sad truth is many break-ups and divorces could have been averted.
Often our clients with ADHD will come to us because their marriages or relationships are on the rocks. The one with ADHD is walking on eggshells fearing the worst, carrying with them feelings of shame and failure. The one without is likely hyper-focused on the discrepancies and frequently finds themselves overwhelmingly frustrated. Who wouldn’t think of throwing in the towel?
Before you do, here are a few things to consider. This is where the song resonates:
- Stop giving the manifestation of ADHD so much power. I don’t mean ignore it, just decentralize it a bit. Every single person on earth brings their own quirks to any relationship, ADHD or not. The one with ADHD will struggle to improve if they are always feeling like they and their ADHD are the sources of all problems.
- Question assumptions. Sometimes it is assumed the problem is all about their lack of caring, love and commitment. Most individuals with ADHD are not lacking in character, love or commitment. They are challenged by underlying factors that manifest the ADHD symptoms at their worst. ADHD Coaching is a great support to help with those underlying factors.
- It is important to embrace what you bring. Life is a non-stop journey for each of us that calls for self-reflection and an ongoing pursuit of our personal growth. This rings true for our marriages. Getting through this requires lots of understanding and awareness of who we are and how we can both step up to our ideas of being together better and to make our dreams happen. I have yet to find an example of “perfect”, where any individual in a relationship holds the trophy of flawlessness. People are just not made that way. We each have our unique personalities and we must each own what we bring. I have never known anyone to overcome the challenges of ADHD without first developing the understanding and awareness of who they are and what that means for them, then taking action to work on it. The same rings true for the one without ADHD as well.
- Lead with strengths. Shift your focus and responsibilities to a strengths-based approach for day-to-day life. We know all too well that a parent-child dynamic between two grown adults just doesn’t work. As individuals, each brings relative strengths and abilities that can help with making the marriage work. And it rings very true that your strengths can help you with developing some of the weaknesses. Why not tip who does what in your favor? Figure out what needs to be done and work on finding an equal balance. As coaches, we have seen over and over again how a strengths alignment can make the best of both worlds.
- Find your groove. Work on developing the habits, routines and rituals as a team to help make day-to-day life easier. These little details are important to the systems that support a healthy marriage and family life. Just as important are systems for communication. There are so many excellent ways to streamline life and diminish the frustrations when working together, which is the focus of ADHD Coaching.
- Build your support team. Think of your marriage as a large corporation. Who are your key advisors? Who makes up your support team? Maybe it’s a Coach! Coaching does not work if unaddressed mental health conditions have taken over. Or with heart-breaking moments that shatter your emotions and trust for another. Coaching is designed to help you, as a couple, work together on common goals and the habits and actions to build a joyful life together. But there are more important players. Think of a village, with different advisors for different needs. Maybe it’s a Psychiatrist or therapist, maybe it’s a treating physician. Maybe it’s friends and family members who continue to encourage and inspire you.
This week’s blog is focused on hope and the possibilities for more balance and joy in your life together. Most importantly it takes two, and you have options to work with, to make your dreams come true. Don’t give up yet!
Robin Nordmeyer, PCAC, CLC
ADHD Coach | Center For Living Well with ADHD, LLC