Constructive Arguing— ADHD Tip O Day 990

Constructive Arguing:

Arguments are a normal and unavoidable part of almost all marriages (intimate relationships).  The trick is to make them productive instead of destructive, and to have them not too often nor too intensively, and to get over them fairly rapidly.  These principles will help achieve that.  They’re not easy to apply but with determined effort can become new habits.

The very best arguments start, “We have a problem that we need to work on so that we can find a solution that will work for both of us.” At best, this doesn’t ever actually become an argument.

  1. Keep on the topic, one topic at a time. – if your SO (significant other) says, “But you’re so selfish.”—, you might reply, “That may be so and we may need to discuss it, but right now we’re discussing —-.”
  2. Keep the focus on the present instance — not “You always—”, or “For years you have –”, but “When you did x this morning, —–“, instead of bringing up a list of past offenses.
  3. That is a good formula for bringing up issues : “I feel x when you y, because z”.  This is a bit artificial but well worth it.
  4. Avoid bringing up you SO’s family, unless that is the issue under consideration (Yes: “I do not want to go visit your mother with you this weekend.”  No: “You are acting just like your mother.”       No: “Your mother is a x, y, and z, and she’s ugly, too.”  In general, it’s best to avoid saying anything negative about any of your SO’s family; that’s your SO’s prerogative.
  5. Avoid name calling or labeling –lazy, stubborn, etc. instead, “I don’t like it when you—“ versus labeling it.
  6. Speak in paragraphs and not chapters. Try not to interrupt.
  7. Do not psychoanalyze your SO.
  8. Have an agreed upon safe word, to temporarily disengage if the discussion is getting too hot.  Use it before it gets too hot.

Relationships are difficult, and of course, more so with AHD.  Hope this helps.


Note of the Day:  The holidays stress relationships, so this may be good timing.  Hope you all had a great christmas or whatever and wish you the best of a new year- honestly, it looks shaky I fear.

Quotes O the Day:

I’d agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.

I’m not arguing with you, I’m just trying to help you see why you’re wrong.


Living together with ADHD

How to Stop Losing Things with ADHD: 6 Expert Tips ( – this will reduce stress in your life and in your relationship

Perfectionism – is common with ADHD and also adds to the stress

#ADHD, #adultADHD, @dougmkpdp,  @addstrategies, @adhdstrategies

Marriage and ADHD. Even Possible?

Marital Conversations

An ADHD Marriage


Having a good argument

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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4 Responses to Constructive Arguing— ADHD Tip O Day 990

  1. Dee says:

    Hi Doug, This is great! These tips are so spot on. I’ve used #3 for years, a counselor taught me that. So helpful. I am grateful you brought up these and hope to see more in the future. My husband has had “come aparts” due to my “energetic excitement, jump in and do it, then change my mind” modes that seem to wax and wane. Sort of like your bowling ball story. He goes along for the ride and when I find I am not interested or physically can’t do it anymore – I am ok with saying no that’s not for me now, but he doesn’t understand this. He makes a decision and sticks with it. I don’t get that!
    Love the cartoons too. We joke about the first one often, almost 30 years of marriage… 🙂 Even in the tough spots, I still get to love and pester him.


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