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Transform Your ADHD Relationship Challenges into Strengths with Jessica Burgess

Jane interviews Jessica Burgess, Psychologist on this expert view on Relationships (romantic) and ADHD.

Highlights

  • Jane talks about how she is hyperactive ADHD and her husband has self diagnosed inattentive ADHD and how that can create friction.
  • Jess talks about her relationships and how these have worked over the last few years
  • Jane and Jess talk about dividing house tasks and the balance/battle on time.
  • Jess talks about little known reasons that ADHD can impact relationships.
  • How we can take responsibility for our symptoms and how they effect relationships
  • Jess explains how inattentive ADHD can look calm on the outside but the person will be hit with anxiety at some point.
  • Jess and Jane discuss how to communicate frustration in a way that’s productive and helpful rather than creating conflict.

You can listen to Jess’ other episodes here:

Anxiety and ADHD

High performance and ADHD

Transcript
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Hello and welcome to the ADHD Mums podcast. Today we are very blessed with Miss Jessica Burgess back and welcome to you Jess. Thanks, Jane. Great to be back. So for anyone who hasn't listened to Jess's previous episodes, I'm going to put the previous episodes in the notes. So if you enjoyed listening to it and you're like, I'd like to hear more of hers. We have two other episodes that we have done. One was on ADHD and high performance and the other one was on ADHD and anxiety. So I'm going to list them into the notes in case you want to go back and I'll put all Jess's contact details in case you love it and want to do some more with Jess. For those of you who haven't listened to her former episode, Jess is the CEO of My Peaceful Mind, which is centered around high achievers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs with mindset tools and practices of psychology and hypnosis. to become mentally thriving high performers. She has programs, retreats, workshops, and educational tools. My peaceful mind is motivated to change the hustle and achievement based success culture by changing the beliefs and drivers behind it. So Jess is a psychologist. I've known for a long time. It feels like I think I've, I hide you about. Four and a half years ago, I got everything off my children's birth. So I'm pretty sure I was breastfeeding a newborn when I met you and we've done so much work together and I sometimes. Like listen to what you say and then it takes me about six months of thinking about it and then it eventually hits when I'm ready So I love a lot of your philosophy on psychology, and I'm really blessed and happy to have you here Today's episode is on Romantic relationships, which is going to be a really interesting one So if you've got anything you would like to share opening up things To begin with, Jess. Uh, so it's a really exciting but very important topic, I feel. It's a lot unspoken and a lot of conflict can be avoided and we could strengthen a lot more relationships from this talk. So thank you so much all for joining us. Jane is the absolute legend. I do actually have a flashback to my first interview with her and she was definitely holding the baby at the time. I love it. Just very real from the get go. Very real from the get go. Well, I didn't have any moments without the baby, so I was be like, I'd mute the baby, put the baby to sleep, anyway, it's a whole thing. Good times. I'd like to say it was good times. It's more like, I hate using the word trauma. Like people go, Oh, I've got trauma from like going out to the mailbox and kicking my foot on the letterbox. But I feel like there was actually some trauma from 2019 when I had that baby and started my business. Cause that like, that does give me some cold shivers. Anyway, let's move on because that was terrible time. So Jess, let's do some full disclosure straight up. So I have ADHD and I'm super hyperactive, more than inattentive or I might be inattentive, but my anxiety drives over the top of that and I can rely on that as a motivator. So if I am a bit inattentive and I slow to get started, my anxiety generally pushes me forward. My husband, who I have diagnosed with ADHD. Not professionally at all. I think he's more inattentive, ADHD, the medication works for him, which is kind of hilarious considering he doesn't believe he has it, but him and I are very much yin and yang. Where would you and your husband kind of sit on that before we kind of open up? I feel like there are a lot of parallels with our relationship. I'm. Probably a bit more like your lovely partner. I don't have the hyperactivity, but the inattentiveness is definitely something that my husband would say is present and then Vice versa. My husband is brilliant. They're very energetic. Also undiagnosed, but he meets some of those criteria. So the ADHD diagnosis Yeah, I can definitely see the parallels there. Yeah, absolutely the you understand each other, but it's also I do experience a fair bit of friction with some of the indetentiveness, which can be a bit of a ride. Let's do a relatable story just to like kick it off, right? I always love a relatable story. So yesterday my husband and I have always, we always battling time, right? Because I'm very hyperactive. Any moment is a moment that can be put into a product productive moment, right? Especially over a weekend, because I want to lose my shit. Because I'm just like, just overdoing the kid stuff and I'm like wanting to use my brain. And anyway, so we actually have two opposite ends because during the week I'm super productive and hyperactive in any time I get alone. Any moment is used into productivity and I often don't feed myself, do basic self care because I'm so busy trying to get the most out of all the moments. My husband, super the opposite. So he will do everything else he needs to do. He's very interested in self care and exercise, and he will cook himself up a beautiful lunch every day, which like I can't even heat up a meal and eat it because I don't have five minutes. I can't stand it because I think I could do that later when the kids are here. I need to do something with my brain anyway. So we have this friction every weekend because he will often have left tasks for so long that they become urgent over the weekend. Then he will often put in a time frame, for example. Oh, I have to get it done by Sunday five o'clock. So by putting a time frame in, it forces him to finish, but that's actually on the weekend. So I've flogged myself during the week to try and become present. So I don't have to be doing stuff, even though mentally I'm really wanting to do it. And then I usually take the kids to the park so he can finish off all the tasks that he hasn't done. I did that on Saturday after he'd already had the whole morning off the kids. I then backed it up to the kids to the park, really felt like I'd won the mom wife of the year doing it. to come back for him to say that he hadn't even finished the tasks and he got distracted and he'd gone and done something else unrelated and he still hadn't finished and I would need to then isolate more time for him tomorrow. To send a simple email that I could have done in about five seconds and that there was very grating, very grating because you're same, same, but different. Yeah, absolutely. The way that you're seeing and approaching situations, there can be quite a contrast and you feel like you're both contributing and doing the best you can. But there can be different challenges that come up with it, which is, and I want to commend you. Why for the year you did what you could in that moment, you went out, you know, and I'm sure Jess had good reason for why it didn't happen the way that it did. Oh yeah. Which is why sometimes it's got to be even greater flexibility. Well, actually. Letting go of expectations and embracing flexibility. Absolutely. I actually was proud of myself because the last few months I've been better with saying what I need. So I actually said to him on Sunday, I was a little dirty about it. I said to him on Sunday, just to let you know, I'm feeling a little frustrated because I did take the kids. For a couple of hours to the park, then you went out for dinner with your friends, which I was totally fine about, for then you to not finish what you said you were gonna do because you got distracted and he's like, I was very frustrated too with myself. Okay, anyway, but I did kind of name the feeling rather than just go, it's fine, honey, and then die inside. Yeah, I'm really that's key. One of the key cornerstones of foundations of a healthy relationship. It's having those tough conversations, but I love jumping into the communication focus of this podcast using those I statements. So you're not blaming. You're not pointing the finger. He's not going to get on the defensive and like you acknowledge straight away. He actually honored. and validated that. He was frustrated too and he could see why you'd be frustrated with it. There was no battle. There was no defensiveness. It was just the I statement allowed you to express what was going on and for him to acknowledge it as well. Then I usually come up with a bit of a plan moving forward. Yeah, it's interesting because we, he did start to get a little defensive to be fair. And then I said to him, you know, when I stomp around the house, And you say to me what's wrong and I don't look at you and I'm quite short my answers and I won't tell you what's wrong for at least half an hour and then you have to guess no, you know that that I do and it's like, oh, yes, yes, I know that very well. And I said, I'm trying to tell you how I feel. So I don't do that. And I was like, so I'm not blaming you. I'm just saying how I feel. And then he's, it's, it's, he's very, he's a very emotional, intelligent man. I am. Very lucky. Cause I know a lot, some partners can't go there, but it did kind of take the lid off the anger that I was. I was feeling, if I'm honest. Yeah, it's great how you explained it as well. You got to normalise this new pattern of communication. Because maybe he didn't understand your intention to begin with. You're like, I'm giving you an I statement. Can't you see? Like, I'm taking responsibility. And this way he feels safe enough. And we'll know the pattern in the future. So hopefully, lower the barriers and the protector down to be able to actually hear what you're saying. Well, I think it was the lesser evil. Because it was like It was like, okay, well, I listened to her for two, three minutes now and acknowledge her, or she's going to stomp around, which I don't like. So I think he's thinking, oh, well, I'll just, I'll just apologize, which I suppose is, is just. Everyone kind of learning. So what, Jess, in your professional opinion, because you are the expert here, how do you think ADHD impacts romantic relationships? Like, what do we need to do to start to build those? Because that doesn't always come natural to us. Let's just start with the basics of education. From my understanding, a lot of people, they go quite a few years without there actually being. a diagnosis or even recognition of what they're experiencing. And then there's the whole process of learning. What does this actually mean for me? And like we were saying in a partnership, someone ADHD, someone not, someone ADD. And so every partnership and container is unique. To them, but if you're not aware of what's going on, you, there's going to be mislabeling. It's going to be misunderstanding and misinterpretation of certain that are going on. Someone might think that you're being disinterested without actually understanding that. Yeah, you might not be overly focused, but you're giving what you can in your capacity in that moment. But your interest is somewhere else, or they can think that you're an inconsiderate partner. If you always. You're for different things, so you're not fully invested. So the first step is starting to have some real honest communication and just being clear and educating yourself as much as possible about how does my personal ADHD experience show up for me. And what, yeah, how does that impact how I relate in my relationship and what do I take ownership for? And then start communicating. Yeah. I think that's great. I think that's great. So when you're talking about education, how would you get educated on yourself? Cause sometimes it's taken me a lot, actually, to be honest, I don't think I've only become aware since doing this podcast because I talk to so many different people about ADHD. I've become a bit clearer. How would you kind of get educated if you weren't really sure? So we've had previous podcasts on talking to psychologists, getting the diagnosis, even just in sessions starting to bring up, I think I might. Having some ADHD symptoms. Can we explore this further? There's also many, many resources online as a starting point. If you're not feeling ready to go talk to a psychologist just yet, and then you could also start listening to some podcasts from experts in the field. Jane. To start seeing, getting more experience and some feedback. Not a plug, such a plug. Getting some feedback. Because the most important point is it will all look different. All our experiences are unique. There are different traumas. There are different learning and developmental outcomes, so it's not, we don't want to kind of just keep it as like a, Oh, what's the best way to put this? It's not black and white. And so it's approaching yourself with compassion and kindness to say, okay, how is my memory being affected? How am I inattentive? What do I need to do to take responsibility for my hyperactivity? How are my emotions with this? And then start going from there. And then having those communications with your partner. Start shedding some light on what's going on. Yeah, absolutely. And I think getting some, I'm always about the relatable examples because what I found when I was diagnosed was There was lots of experti chats, there was lots of Google documents, but when it came down to it, I was like, am I inattentive? I don't think I am, but I did start to notice when I heard or when, I mean, even TikTok can be really powerful to see someone go, I'm actually doing a hundred things and I'm feeling really stressed and I'm feeling really productive, but actually what did I achieve today? And that was when I was like, Oh, actually, sometimes I never get the job done. But I feel like I've killed it, but actually I haven't. So yeah, that can be hard too. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So in my relationship, my beautiful husband the other day, I'm quite a bit of a calming presence. Definitely. I think I'm a therapist. That's my, my genius zone. That's where I put all my interest and focus into the rest of life. I've got some room for improvement, but that's okay. Constantly growing, constantly expanding. Fanning constantly meditating, but he's like, I just was like reflecting on you. How is she so calm and peaceful? Is it just that the other things that the world, she just actually doesn't put attention and energy into it. She's just focused in her lane. Whereas my husband's like 50 things at once excelling at those things somehow, but he's like, yeah, the calm. And then also just the different approach and how that shows up. And he's learnt from me, like, he'll start talking about football or things that I just have no interest in and he'll just say this, I try really hard for about five minutes and then this, this, nah, this fog. I'm out. And he's just learnt and loved to let it go. He's let some of those dreams die about me being a footy wife. Because he can just see how when the disinterest hits it, it comes in strong and there's no, no battle with that's winning without one. With those standards. Yeah, see, it's interesting because I always wonder with, with my hubby. And actually with you as well, because he comes across quite calm. He's definitely a bit of a rock and I think you would, you would be similar. Right. And I say to him sometimes because I'm just curious and I say to him, the list of stuff that you've got to do is monumental because he's often procrastinating. Right. So it's not that things don't get added. He just doesn't actually move forward on a lot of it, and he does it for such a long period of time, and he looks so calm, and he comes home, he makes his big lunch, he sits down, then he lays down and has a small kip sometimes, right, and I'm looking at his list, looking at him going, I just don't understand how you could not worry about it, and, or, or go and do all of this other stuff that's unrelated. Like, do you actually feel calm inside? Like, Or are you actually spinning inside? There can be calm before the storm. So sometimes the, the emotion I find because we are quite emotionally aware and sensitive to experiences and quite calm when we do have like a response, like anxiety, it hits us really hard and it's almost like the uncharted territory. So they can be the avoidance or just the presence outside of it. And then reality will hit. At a later time, and that's when it can go to like a, to an eight or a nine physically in our body. And that's when you start to see the other parts, the less calm parts. And it can be a bit of a shock when someone seems to be so calm and such a rock for so much of the time. Does that relate to you in your experience? Yeah, look, I always say to Jez, like, especially if one of the kids hits their head or. There's what I deem an emergency and a Jane emergency is not really an emergency. Like that's got a very, if I ring him panicking, he doesn't know if that's I can't find my keys and I'm hyperventilating because I've got to be at an appointment that doesn't matter or whether someone's died. He has no idea and I'm probably the worst person to have in a crisis, I reckon. So I always say to him, if I see panic or anxiety on his face, I, it's sirens because he, yeah, he does not show anything. And eventually he will crack eventually, but then at that point, I do attempt to be really. I'm not going to be empathetic to him because I'm like, shit, man, if he's going to crack, like it must be really bad. Yeah, absolutely. Like I was saying, it can hit in a very different way, which is then in those moments being a partner, it's great. Like my husband will always guide me, all right, yep, you know all the things, but go outside now, get that fresh air, he'll sometimes take me out and actually remind me of the things that we were both already know. But when you're still triggered by the emotion, the logical brain can sometimes switch off, depending what it is, which is really great. Our next point is. What are the best ways to have beautiful communication with your partner and almost have structure around that and establish clear expectations? And then what have you radically accepted as a partner of someone with ADD? And what have you had to radically accept in yourself? Two sentences, two questions in one. Yeah, well, I think the acceptance is, yeah, I mean, the compassion and acceptance can be really hard when you're aggravated. I mean, as only a husband and wife can aggravate you. But then also I do try and think, okay, well, I know that he is particularly bad at doing any administration tasks and I'm pretty good at it. So it's frustrating to watch him drown. Right. But I also don't want to do it all for him because then I'm like, well, he's not really upskilling either. But if I flip over to things that I'm awful at, that he has to help me out and I think about how I just drown doing them, but it can be really difficult. Absolutely. But like you, Vic acknowledge, you have both learned to radically accept those other parts of you that might've been quite confusing or mislabeled previously, and because you're accepting them now, you know how to work together and you're strategizing or you're coming up with plans to manage them when they do come up and then avoid them or better manage them in the future. Okay. So let's say we're particularly frustrated. I'm trying to think of a situation I'm frustrated with my husband about, it's just so many. What, what could I think of that I could share on this podcast? Let's say for example, the back fence. So he's still in his, like, starting, get starting, getting distracted. He's got to coordinate with a couple of neighbors, get some quotes. It's difficult to communicate with him about it because sometimes he says to me, you're looking at me like I'm an idiot. And probably I am because I'm so highly frustrated that he can't just text a few different neighbors and get it sorted. But I also don't want to take the job from him because if I take all the jobs, then I then get burnt out and I'm resentful that he's not helping me, right? So where's, where's the balance? Because he's trying to help, but he's not achieving the timeframes. What will be some key things to remember when I'm communicating with him about something that I'm frustrated with? So there is an element of letting go and trusting the process or trusting his process. And even though sometimes we can see the answer right in front of us, it's very clear they're having their experience because that's what they're meant to be having and journeying through and receiving. At that time, and sometimes there is a blessing or something does come out the right way from their experience. Well, the other 1 is just having clear expectations or a norm where he can come to you. If he is feeling distressed, so it's out of the priority list from 1 to 10. How important is it? That this takes flight and we has a quicker outcome. If you take a helicopter view and picture it all in front of you, you might say, well, end of the day, it might take a bit longer than expected, less, but that's okay. He's doing what he has to do. It's maybe like a 4 out of 10, 9 We sitting down. We having chats. You're not go walking out that door. I'm back in here. All right. I'm going to put my hat on. So it's, it's weighing up what the priority list is, but then if you can really set some structure in place, so it could be some couples is every day you have those five minute conversations and you just be real authentic with what your experience for the day of dinner, or without the kids not around. You might say, what have we done well, these areas that we could improve on, or this is what I noticed happened. Is there a different way you think you can go about it next time? So I've learned. Depending on the state of someone, it's sometimes the best to give them advice because they're not in a place or they're not ready to receive. So you know how earlier in the podcast, sometimes we have a chat and something comes around six months later, we all have that experience. It's like, oh yeah, there was so much truth to what they said. I just couldn't see it that way at the time. I wasn't ready to see it that way at the time. So reversing it to, Oh, but what happened today and seeing if there's a way that they can elicit a different outcome, what do you think you could have done instead? Or is there something else you could have done differently next time? That way that gets them thinking about what's happened rather than you happen to be in the Travis. Yeah, because I think as women, we generally, or even as moms as well, I think we often take in a leadership position. Someone described to me once being a mom as just effectively being in a leadership position constantly. Being a good leader is keeping all of the team members on board, including your husband, because that is the strongest way to conquer, right, the day with kids and competing interests and lots on. If you have a team member that's not working with the team or doesn't feel included, they will systematically destroy that team and they will make everything harder. So, Actually being a mom and being a wife sometimes can be about leadership and becoming a good leader, which is kind of funny because if moms go back into the workforce often, it's like, well, what skills do you have? Like I'm like, they're usually a pretty good communicator and they're a great leader and they're a great coordinator and they've got some pretty good admin skills just to start project manager. Absolutely. Very emotionally intelligent as well. I think that makes sense. The key, key ways to communicate. I was wondering, I have heard a lot of people say that ADHD people do not like being told what to do. I have noticed with my husband, if I directly tell him to fix that fucking fence, he will not do it. Do you think that's a real thing or not? I mean, that's kind of the ego and it's something that depending on our journey, we can all experience. There's something I think of it as the role of the protector showing up in those moments and the protector says, well, this is part of me that might be rejected or be a failure or not good enough. And therefore I need to put up this wall to keep myself safe. Because if I was to feel, or if I was to think for a second that I was a failure. And what would that mean for me as a person? And it's a very, in a child, it's a wounding response. Someone who's done the work can sit back and say, I'm still worthy. I'm still enough. Even, and I can actually take on the feedback from this person and it's not actually about me failing or not impacting my self esteem or my identity, regardless of going to make mistakes. So that can be common with people that have often felt not good enough in their childhood or this needs to be perfect. Well, there's a sense of failure. And this needs to be approved to gain people's approval as well. Their protectors tend to be quite strong. Yeah, so something that can really help this is having conversations firstly about what's going on. And then just reframing the way that you see feedback as, what would it look like if you knew that you were enough in those situations? What would it look like for you to know that it's okay to make mistakes and you can still be well received and still be loved and still be enough? And the number one thing that's always helped me is The people around me through every conversation that I have, they give me feedback and that's the number one way that I can grow and learn. Every person I encounter is some wisdom. And so then that way the defensive wall can come down. It's like, okay, what's the lesson I need to take this right now? The sooner I learn the lesson, the sooner that cycle will stop playing out. And I keep moving forward. And so having that at the forefront of the awareness as well can help bring some humility and bring those walls down to better receive what you're saying. My husband though would probably say I'm still like quite defensive. He calls me defensive Jess in saying that, but I feel like outside of my husband, I have a very open to feedback. I feel like I've come a long way though. I've come so long, such a long way. Yeah. I think the key ways to communicate can be really because I feel like if you have someone with ADHD on your side, they're generally so capable. They just have to be in the right direction. Like you just got to aim them in the right way. And they're, they are a lot better than the communication can be interesting back to the fence. So I gave. I said, my husband and I, we had this whole thing around what's important and what isn't. So that's like for me, what I know is actually trying to work on and what like he's probably going to get to some point, which just in my mind is like, okay, I know he's probably not going to get there. If I want him to do that, I'm probably going to have to outsource that. The fence has been one of those things. And I said to him the other day, look, Let's just, I don't really look at the fence. I don't really notice it. It's actually you with the problem with the fence more so than me. I'm happy just to wait for you to do it because we were talking about who was going to do this fence thing. Anyway, he goes to me, Oh, I feel like if you knew more about the fence, you probably would be worried about it. I said, really? And he goes, well, I just wanted to let you know that, just go home. I just wanted to let you know that there is a American pit bull on one side of the fence that is broken. There's only a little bit left to go and that pit bull will be loose. And that people may go into our yard. And I was like, Oh my God, cause I'm actually quite scared of dangerous, not dangerous, but breeds that I don't really know well. I don't, I've never really had a dog. I don't know a lot about them anyway. And I was like, Oh, that sounds like something that's terrifying. Like. that we've got kids. That's not a good idea. Anyway, he's like, Oh, don't worry because that dog is only really aggressive to other dogs. And there's these Labradors on the other side of the fence. It's going to go right in there. Oh my God. I am suddenly seeing this as an emergency, but for him. It is still, it is still not an emergency. So at some point we are going to have to tackle this fence and I'm there going, I don't know how to communicate much more calmly, but I'm going to need that fixed in the next month. Like that just has to happen. But as soon as I go really direct, I just noticed that he's like shut down. I'm not going to do that. Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you are going to have some structured communication or in structured, it's letting him know, look, I just need a timeframe. Because what's going on right now is creating a lot of anxiety for me with the uncertainty and I feel really supported. And protect it. If I knew when this was going to be done, and is there anything that I can do to support you as you're handling this? And I thank you so much for what you're doing, but let me know if there's things that I can do because I really excel in these areas well, and I can compliment you for coming to China, find that middle ground. It'd be helpful. I feel like at the end of this, Jess, I'm going to be like, can, can we get married? Okay. Join. Join. Okay. So let's go to the next one, which was really interesting one, emotional intensity. So I have really struggled with this dating wise because I kind of want to know what the outcome is going to be immediately. So I make immediate judgments, not very good at like letting go and seeing how it goes. And oh, I don't know. I'm just floating with the breeze. How do you, with emotional intensity, how does that play out in long term relationships and also Kind of like dating. If it's unconscious, so you haven't actually done work to explore the drivers and the why, it can be self sabotaging and a really big barrier to connection. The first step is starting to, I guess, build that self connection and getting familiar with why is there so much emotional intensity? What are the beliefs that are driving and creating that for me? And then how can I best support myself and guide my heart? Take care of this dynamic. So there's that radical acceptance. So this is what the pattern is. What do I have to take that radical responsibility for to make sure we're all okay in this? Because it can be an emotional rollercoaster when you're experiencing emotions that significantly and that strong. And if you already know that when you're in an emotional state, you're not going to be thinking logically. All those plans that you made might be a little rough or unaccessible. It's even more important to go in primed and prepared, prepared, consciously, and then you can also do some visualization work around that as well to support you for those situations that arise. Now, if they're, you know, one of those spontaneous situations that we all have. If you still even have like a basic framework of going outside, outside, grounding, jumping on the grass, doing start jumps, getting the adrenaline out of your body because the motion stored in the physical body, not so much the thought. So for the first few minutes, your best response would be to get outside and quickly, my husband's always like, get outside and shake. And I'm like, yes, you're right. Like shaking like a weirdo in my backyard and then for at least like three to five minutes and then I'm like, oh, okay, blow my breath. I might do some breath work, couple of rounds. Now I can start exploring the situation and how it was feeling more clearly. There's a point though when someone's like, How are you feeling? When you're in the peak of emotional intensity, you're like, Just leave me alone! Because your body is actually not in the place to receive. Just needs to go through the physical experience and so release or Just give that adrenaline and cortisol a bit of direction so you can calm your body and then be present and focused. Does that help? Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. It's funny because when it's like when you need to do that and you should do that, you don't want to be told to do that. That's my experience. So you might have people say to me, do you want to go for a walk? Right? I'm like, I don't want to go for a walk. I don't need to go for a walk. And it's like, actually, he's totally right. But in that moment, I'm like, what do you mean? There's nothing wrong with me. I don't But you were right, I think that's what we should do. It's hard sometimes in the moment to recognize that. Yeah. It's, yeah, it's, it's interesting one because sometimes I think there's so much going on in our brains. It's, it's difficult to then receive a hug or like more sensory, like you're overloaded and then someone will come in to hug you and you're like, fuck off mate. He's generally my, cause I'm like, I don't want to be targed. I don't want any, I just need actually some more quiet time, but it's such a rude thing. That's why I'm making a plan. Yeah. It can become a crosscut route. Yeah, absolutely. That's why having these conversations in advance with your best friend. So with my husband and I, that's just an agreement. I'll see him stressing out the desk. Okay, what do you need from me right now? I can see right now that you're not doing that great. Do you need to go outside? What's best for you to start regulating yourself? And we've both learned to respond to that in the moment. Yeah, because we know we're going to feel so much better and there's no, again, no defensiveness. There's no, like, I'm telling you what to do. It's like, we both know we can struggle from time to time. And we both know that's going to be a thing to support us in the moment. And we just see that direction. So we take it straight away. I've read somewhere about dating and ADHD that Often people with ADHD can jump to the conclusion real quick, like, you know how it's about the journey and sometimes dating is about learning about yourself and it's about experiences and joy and having a good time, let's say. Sometimes that can be like shaded over by the emotional intensity of like over texting, texting too many times, not being out of weight, being consumed. And I suppose that rejection sensitivity as well. I very badly did not succeed in dating. And I think there was ADHD was probably why. Um, obviously I'm married now, but I was lucky to jag my hubby when he was looking for a long term relationship. So I've managed to run into him at a time that he was available and interested in something long term, which had been on my radar for a long time. And possibly I wasn't ready, but we managed to connect with the right timing, which was probably really important because. I, my intensity was matched by somebody who was like, yeah, well, I'm, I mean, yeah, I'm pretty keen for that. Fine. He was, he's had no problems, but if that intensity is, is not matched by, and he's also a little bit older, so he was probably a little bit more mature where the, you know, I've probably been dating people that were more. Like the same age as me, who were in a totally different place, how, what are some ways to kind of navigate that? Yeah. So again, noticing and recognizing your pattern, the first thing to do is acknowledge and accept that this is my pattern when I, I do feel things really strongly. And there's also that dopamine release that's probably going to hit me even stronger, which is going to lead to more of the obsessive behaviors, which will then self sabotage or create connect or come across as desperation, which isn't going to serve me. Moving forward. So what I need to start doing is feeding the wound. The opposite of rejection is that radical self acceptance and self love. So what practically cannot be doing not just behaviorally taking actions and doing my hair, nails or whatever by feeding my soul with words of life. And like, I am valued. I am accepted to doing meditations around that and doing the conscious work of like, speaking it out loud and taking actions in line with the higher value version of you that you truly are at your core beyond the wounding. And then the next step is training presence. So your pattern is the over texting or the obsessive thought response by knowing the thoughts that would be showing up for you. It'd be having a key replacement thought that you could be meditating on during that time and things that will really stroke me, maybe in healthy ways. They're going to get you feeling really good about yourself. And then it's also having some rules that you could put in place. For example, I don't reply for two days and you're just going to set some really clear rules. I'm not going to wait. I'm gonna wait for a day. Things that you can hold yourself to, knowing your pattern. So it's always coming back to, is this leading me towards my goal of connection or is it leading me towards disconnection or self sabotage? So if you have that little scale going on, is the overtexting coming across and leading me towards connection? If it's not, okay, what's my radical responsibility step? What's going to help me nurture that? Maybe like a date, something like that. Yeah, setting up some structure. That actually, yeah, I feel like I should have had that conversation with you when I was dating. I was terrible at it. But you know what though, as we do with The Rabbit Hole, Gigi, my daughter, is obsessed with love and who does she get it from? Me. I love romance novels, right? It's, I just love them. And we were watching, we had a girl's night, Saturday night, which involves her and I watching High School Musical, which she loves, right? And it means Zac Efron. I mean, I like her, I like her taste. Like that's, that makes sense to me. So we make popcorn, we sit on the couch, we watch high school musical. And I noticed we're watching number two and Zac Efron was kind of like, he, he didn't, he wanted to be with Gabriela, the lead, right, the one that he ends up with, but he got a bit like distracted by this other blonde girl who was kind of like using her parents money and status to kind of like, he could have got a college scholarship or something. And he got a bit distracted. Kept making dates with her and then not turning up. And it was really interesting because the way that that played out in the movie was Gabriella, the lead, who was beautiful in her own right and lovely, right. And sweet and gorgeous. She just went about her life. You didn't see her texting him, worrying about him, whinging about him, obsessing about him. Every time he turned up, she was just having a good time with her friends and he was just watching her like, I wish I could do that, but I'm off on this other journey. And in the end, they ended up together. But I just thought it was really interesting the way that the newer movies. Play out with the woman, not sitting back and not obsessing and not crying about the other blonde girl. She just went, had a good time with her friends, which I thought was awesome. That's amazing because the, when we watch TV, often a darkened, darkened room, those messages go straight into us subconscious. So reflecting back on our upbringing, all the stories we saw, there was. A lot of probably unhelpful messages that were received unconsciously and locked in the filing cabinet in our minds, and we've never corrected them. They'll be like, why is it not going this way that I've been told it would go my entire life? Because since the age of five, I was seeing things on TV and my mind told me that was the way it should be. A different level of that. So I love that there now is a really beautiful, healthy way of communicating how a relationship can look. You can be independent, self loving, live a rich life and trust and know that the right person will be attracted to you at the right time as you're doing your own thing. It's not about you failing or not being good enough if they don't respond or react in the way that you hope. It's just a divine timing situation. So I think that's great. It's being role model. Yeah. I was really impressed too because some of those love stories, as you said, when we were growing up, it's like, I look back and I'm thinking that's actually really unhealthy messaging. So thanks for that movies. But anyway. Okay. So time management and practice. And being flexible to go along with it. That is a bit of an art form just in itself for anyone with ADHD. What are your kind of thought patterns around that one? So knowing how you both as a couple, how you, you excel, what your strengths are, what is the routine that you can put in place that can still have some level of flexibility? Don't want to get to the point of being so rigid with it because it's an element of control, trying to keep everything on top of it. And then the situation you did earlier with Jez. All of a sudden, he's got a weekend planned, you've planned something, there's expectation, and then reality is not met, and you're left with frustration, which is a natural emotional response for something not going the way that you thought it would go, right? So we want to have some flexibility, but a bit of a general routine or structure, especially if you've got kids thrown in as well, so you both know what's going along, and you're both choosing that in a way that works for you two. What have you found works so far? Well, you know what? I'm pretty good on the visual calendar now. So I'm one of those mums that were told by an OT to do some things that I now actually do for myself and my husband as well. Which I think the visual calendars really work. I do find having everything on your phone in really small letters and then you can miss things. It stresses me out and I'm constantly on it. I think you in the anxiety episode that we did have gotten me more on paper. So actually that's been life changing for me. We had a conversation if you haven't heard it, go back and listen to it on anxiety and ADHD. But we had a conversation around my head being so hyperactive. That then I would want to write it down in my phone. So I'd write, write down all the things in my phone because then I'd be able to relax. Otherwise it goes around and around and around. But what I would do is I'd open a can of worms by opening my phone. I'd then have messages. I'd then have notifications and didn't matter how much I tried, you would accident and get down a rabbit hole. And this isn't social media. This is just like pure work. I just start going into work mode. And Jess was talking about getting a memo pad or getting some little paper. And now I try and really reduce what's in my phone to a paper that I leave like in a desk. So I'm actually a desk working. I can look at it, but I'm not looking at it all day, which is what I was doing. So for me, I think the visual calendar on the wall. And having things out of my phone and on paper in a spot that I actually work because if I'm at the park with my kids and I've got my to do list open and then Jez starts talking to me about how he's feeling and what his plans are, it's very difficult for me to concentrate on that because I've just gone into productivity mode where I'm then thinking about what I can achieve on my list. whilst being at the park, which is not very good wifing. So I suppose for time management in practice, that for me has helped because I need to unwind a little bit more. But it can be frustrating to watch someone else that's probably maybe not their skill set. Because you're trying to get them to wind up, but I also don't want to blow him up with anxiety, but I'm also like, I'm super anxious and I'm super stressed. Why aren't you? Because I'm almost jealous and envious that, that they, they looking like they're pretty chill. They're on the couch. And I'm in a spin over here. So you're kind of like, can we balance each other out somewhere? Because it's, we're not meeting in the middle. Yeah, absolutely. There's that middle point of my emotions and my responsibility, I'm the one creating them with my thoughts and beliefs. Therefore, what do I have to do in this situation? What is self created? And maybe we also know when we're driven by emotion, all of a sudden we tunnel vision in on our wounding, all the things that we've done wrong by, and it's like the puzzles laid out and we've turned over one piece or maybe like five pieces. And there's a lot. But on the other hand, if there is something that your husband, your partner isn't doing, they're not bringing their weight to, then that's the invitation to have those conversations. And again, having some structure every day around like, if you're super busy and you got all these responsibilities going on, there's no time to have those conversations with your partner. It could be every day 10 minutes, we just sit down and have some honest communication with how the day went, talk about the really good things, the things that we admire, talk about the things that maybe we struggled with, not attacking, just being present. Those are the acts of listening, reflecting back to what your experiences both were, and then finishing up with an action step or a problem solving step of, okay, what do we have to do moving forward so that we're not playing the cycle out over and over again? How can we both take that responsibility for our relationship to keep moving forward? But I do find, again, the flexibility is a big key piece, along with forgiveness. There's a lot of forgiveness pieces going on as well, because those are expectations that are always not being met, and they have to be moved and shifted around. Yeah, and I think that expectations can be a real problem as well. I know I have really high expectations of myself and also others around me, and that actually can be difficult for the other person who's just, they're not meeting them, or I'm at them, or I'm feeling that they're not meeting them because they're where, why does it matter and whose expectations are they? And that's just a reflection of my childhood and my dad's. High and unrealistic expectations that he held that I never met. So I also wanna be really careful, and I've acknowledged that I do do that. And then you've got someone who's constantly not meeting expectations and then it's sad. It's awful for them. Sorry, you go, Jess. Yeah. When I found there's a beautiful lady, Katie, and I'll remember her last name in a second, but she has these four questions that you can use to explore your beliefs. Very simple. And I always come back to them. Sometimes I even just use one Katie Byron. Yeah. Beautiful. So she says, the first thing is once you're aware of what's going on, you ask yourself, is this true? So if the belief is my partner should be helping me with dinner, should word already like flag for self Chinese language. Like I wish I prefer, and he's just being lazy right now. Is it true? Is it true that they should be helping you for dinner? Maybe, but maybe you haven't had that discussion before. Maybe it's just something that you're projecting out there. And then you can ask again, like, is this really true? Is it an expectation that you're just creating or are they creating? When I have this thought or this belief, how does it make me feel? And how do I act? Because straight away you're doing some mild, mild CBT on yourself. And you start bringing awareness to your own pattern. I love this one. Who would I be without the thought? So say girls on the couch, you're in the kitchen and those thoughts are playing out, but if they're in that moment, they didn't exist and you just had a clear mind, how would you respond physically, emotionally and mentally? You probably would just cut your carrots without stress. You just would be there, like, doing the activity. But it's the thought that Jez should be helping me that's creating the distress, which is then creating the disconnection. And the last one is, like, what's the opposite of this thought? So Jez should be helping me. The opposite would be I should be helping, right? So what does it look like? What do I have to do to help me then? Do I have to get extra support? And is it the right time for me to be doing this? Have a conversation and love knowing that he's doing what he needs to right now. So they're four simple questions. Keith's got quite a few YouTubes on them as well. So you can see some real life role play scenarios. Also got a book, but yeah, they've, they've really helped me. And sometimes it's just the question of who am I without the thought or. What's the opposite of this thought, especially when I find myself being like, Joel should be doing this, or you should be straight away, I'm like, the reverse is I should be. And that takes responsibility back to you and puts you in the driver's seat with what you're going to take, what action you're going to take next. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I suppose psychologist or counselor, relationship expert, whoever you want to see, maybe I don't help you unpack some of this. It's, if it's difficult to just start out of nowhere, like let's say you've been together for 10 years, you listen to this podcast, you're like, well, I don't even know how to begin having that conversation with my partner because he might not be ready. He might think it's weird. We've never done that before. And I think sometimes that professional help can help, especially in the beginning. Yeah, absolutely. Starting to get you familiar with your patterns, the unconscious things that you have, what's playing out on your end that you can start shifting and changing and you being a team as well. So you're both in this together. Yeah. If it's hard to have those conversations without some support there. Yeah, absolutely, and I think as well, depending on who you're with, if you're with somebody who generally has quite good intentions and they really love you, I think sometimes it's easy to take the excuse that we can't control. or they're doing this to me, but I found, and this might just be me that if I change my behavior first, they will often change their behavior without a conversation. So we actually think have, and this might be controversial, have more power or control than what we think we have. Because often if we wait for them first, often I find if I change myself, they will then change too. So that can be really powerful. Even if your partner's not on board. To self discover and then start to make changes. Absolutely. And one of a man's basic needs is for admiration. And so when we're constantly in this place of trying to correct them or give them guidance and feedback, that's another reason their defender slash protector comes in full speed ahead because there's an imbalance there and they're not, they're feeling they don't have your respect and your admiration. So if you can always come back to really speaking life and encouragement over them when you do give feedback or you do have those moments. They're going to be better received. Always love sandwich them well. Yeah. I mean, everyone likes a shit sandwich or a love sandwich. Everyone responds better that, and even when you know that you're getting one, you still appreciate the effort, right? Like if someone's telling me feedback and I know that they're going in nice and they're about to come in hard in the middle and then finish with, I still, I know that it's kind of that. But I'm also like, it does take the blow out, even if you know what it is. Yeah. But I would even go a step further to say that it's actually you being intentional to see the good in a situation where we could be primed to only see the bad, perceived bad. Because when we're in the middle of a wound, often we're seeing, or me, woe is me, I'm being mistreated. It should have happened differently. It's taking, it's allowing yourself to train your mind to see the other side of that coin. You get to create two heads instead of just one, right? Two sides of that coin. And it's a fantastic exercise to have to keep you balanced in a relationship. Yeah, absolutely. And I think if you're looking for positivity, you'll find it. If you're looking for negativity, you'll find it. And it's easy to wake up in the morning. We've got PMS, we've been up all night, we've really tired and feeling burnt out. And then you just look around and you just see. Things that are not happening the way you, it should be, which actually kind of ruins your day more than anyone else's. Yeah, absolutely. But I also want to add the importance of validating yourself. I find a lot of beautiful mothers that are juggling 50 things and then sometimes the husband's protectors come in for probably good reason, but he's not ready to receive. It can make you feel maybe You gaslight yourself, or you think I should be able to do this, or you don't fully acknowledge that it is really hard, or this didn't go the way, and you're disappointed, or you're frustrated, and that's okay, which is why the I statements are so important. You're validating your emotional state. You're not attacking. You're just saying, this is what came up for me. What can we do moving forward? Validation is so important for health and well being. We don't want to sit breath, we want to work knowledge. Yeah, it's always that question of whether you're being reasonable or not. Because when you have such competing demands, everyone's fatigued, everyone's exhausted. Doesn't feel like many, anyone has got to do anything that they want to do for a long time. And then, you're kind of like, Am I blowing up over this empty dishwasher or full dishwasher because it's really an issue or is it just that I'm exhausted and I'm just projecting shit like it's actually really hard to know at times what's real and what's what's suck it up and what's actually something that you should address for me. I have trouble knowing because. You're just so tired and you're like, is this the straw that breaks me or is this me being unrealistic and actually he's struggling as much as I am because it's having a really hard weekend. Absolutely. But it's good that you're giving yourself a chance to take a step back and see, okay, big picture, that helicopter view again, what are the missing pieces if I was looking upwards? And down in my situation, what's going on with Jess? What's been going on with the kids today? How's my general energy? How's happening with work or school? All these things are coming together. And if that's the case, what do I have to do is that honoring and building self care and what kind of agreement around self care my partner and I have along with having these honest conversations. There was, I think Byron Katie, no, there might be another lady, sorry. She talks about the shame researcher, that will come to my mind shortly. Thank you. Saved me. Yes. I was like, there's so many. She was talking about, there's just, with her and her husband, there's this expectation and there's just knowing that you're probably going to be depleted by the end of the day. So they actually quantify it by percentages. She'll say, babe, I'm feeling 60 percent today and he'll be like, Oh, I'm feeling 40%. Okay. So how can we both, what can I bring based on my 16, you're on your 40, but sometimes actually giving it a label or a number can help rather than, Oh, I'm depleted, but you must be fine. You haven't done the work that I've had. It's kind of like, you don't want to be competing, which is such a area to get into the new competing against who's. Who's what? Who's more tired? Who? You don't have any right to feel like that because I've done this. Once you get there, oh yeah, and you're not in a good spot, never comes, there's no winners from that conversation. But if someone's like, I'm 20 and your partner's like, well, I'm 20 as well. Okay. What do we both have to do then? Because we're feeling 20 and you're both recognizing you're on the same page. So you both need support and it might be pulling things right back or what can we both do to support each other? But if someone's like 80, they might need to take a seat on the couch, I'll make dinner. I'm feeling pretty good tonight and it will come around the other way as well in a healthy relationship. Yeah. And that's where I think giving does change things. So if kind of you're listening and you're thinking, Oh, I would always be 50 and he would just say 10 and I would have to do everything and he wouldn't, I reckon there'd be some people in this podcast that that's what they would go into. It's interesting because I really believe in a healthy relationship. As you pointed out, we're talking about healthy relationships. If you give, you then will receive. Human nature is, is generally that way. It's particularly if you're with someone who actually really loves you and they're willing to put in. I'm hoping most people are in that relationship. Then that might start that way. You might say you're 50 percent every time and he might say 10%, but maybe that only happens three times. And then on the third, fourth time, he goes. Oh, and you say, I'm 40, I'm 30, and he might go, Oh, I'm 42. I'll help you. Because the way to break it, I think is to start to, to give and give it a go. Because if we have this thing about, well, I'm always going to have to do everything. Well, that's the story you're telling yourself. That's probably what's going to happen. Absolutely. And at that point, if it was being maintained for quite a bit of time, you might want to look at a situational change. Why is he at a 10 continually? Is, does he need a work change? Because that's not healthy and not normal and that all creates stress, not just for him, but for the dynamic and it's just for long term for him.