What roles must I avoid playing if I have a partner with ADD?

If you have a partner with attention deficit disorder (ADD), below are a few predictable roles you might recognize in yourself that you should avoid:

  • Parole officer -- if you keep a close eye to recent infractions with a sense of duty about summarizing these to your partner, you have fallen into this role.
  • Police officer -- a police officer doesn't so much monitor the running tally of infractions as she might be on the lookout for any new infraction. The police officer role means that you have a heightened awareness and tendency to try to catch your partner doing something he or she shouldn't do.
  • The judge is a role you might fall into in which you are constantly trying to examine the evidence to determine if your partner's behavior falls into the category of right or wrong. In this case you resort to argument and rationality to sift through evidence.
  • Lawyer -- you might have taken on a lawyer role if you find that you are constantly making a case that your partner has committed a "crime" which can be as simple as forgetting a chore or as major as relapsing into an addiction. You can recognize this role by a constant need to ask questions as if you were giving a deposition. Questions are often leading, meaning that you are focused on finding fault rather than hearing it from your partner's perspective.
  • Accountant -- an accountant keeps a running tally of credits and debits and is vigilant to ensure a "balanced budget of love." If you have an ADD partner you might be keen to see that they contribute their "fair share." When you feel that the balance sheet is unequal you resort to demands for more effort from your partner.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.