My Fellow Distractoids,

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is considered by many to be a good definition of insanity. If that’s the case, many a Distractoid is insane. Two aspects of ADHD “time blindness” have to do with “hindsight” and “foresight.” We lack those things (compared to the Muggles), which makes repeating mistakes much more likely. But are we doomed to Groundhog Day relationships that never change?

Masters of Distraction know the answer is “No!”. In fact we are not doomed to stay in negative patterns and deep ruts because we have the power to choose how we act, and we can make a conscious choice to do things differently.

Here are some ideas on how you might break limiting, dysfunctional patterns in your relationship.

Important Note: These actions in themselves are not designed to bring about long-term change. Probably no single action can change the course of behavior that may have been going on for years. Instead, these actions are designed to signal to your significant other — and yourself — that you realize that the status quo is not working and that you are making a different kind of effort to reach out, shake things up, create good will, and express determination.

But first, listen carefully to your significant other so that you understand their fundamental issues. How are they not being heard? Do they lament a lack of connection? Do they feel you are bored of them? Are they feeling unloved? Do they have needs that are not being met? Do they have areas of disappointment?

Then, make sure your actions address your partner’s need in a dramatically new way.

And one final thing, let these efforts come from the heart. In fact, make sure these efforts come from the heart. Many a Distractoid is living up in their head, which let’s face it can be a funky place to hang out. Masters of Distraction know that’s not where the magic is going to happen. The good stuff comes from the heart. (I’m reminded of the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but you get the point …)

— Write a heartfelt letter telling your loved one how wonderful they are.

— Plan a special event or trip that appeals to your partner’s unique spirit.

— Take care of a piece of unfinished business that will make a difference in your loved one’s life. 

— Declare a spouse appreciation day and make it a great one.

— Buy or make a special gift that your partner will have a unique appreciation of.

— Come up with your own better idea to make a heartfelt statement. Creativity — that’s one of the things ADHD was made for! — now’s a great time to break it out.

Again, it would be pretending to think that these kinds of actions — in themselves — are sufficient to alter longstanding patterns of behavior and feelings. But as part of a larger strategy, making a statement or statements from the heart can be a real benefit.

As always, to all good luck!

-Coach Drew