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232 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful and Helpful Book
My wife (who has ADHD) and I (who does not) have just started reading this book together, and we are already benefiting from it!

This is the first book that I have been able to find that isn't only about understanding ADHD and the behaviors that tend to be associated with ADHD. It also addresses behaviors that are associated with the nonADHD person in the...
Published on September 3, 2010 by kdox

versus
200 of 239 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Book
If your main problem (or your spouse's main problem) is inattention, disorganization, or distractability, then you will find this a useful book. But some people with ADHD, particularly those who are more impulsive, may exhibit more troubling behavior: sudden anger, lack of empathy, bullying or controlling behavior, or self-righteousness. They can be defensive and...
Published on September 7, 2010 by Margaret in New Jersey


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232 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful and Helpful Book, September 3, 2010
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
My wife (who has ADHD) and I (who does not) have just started reading this book together, and we are already benefiting from it!

This is the first book that I have been able to find that isn't only about understanding ADHD and the behaviors that tend to be associated with ADHD. It also addresses behaviors that are associated with the nonADHD person in the couple. And that is essential in order for both partners to feel validated, and also in order for each partner to feel empathy for the other.

In the past, when my wife and I have attempted to read other books together - books that were written for couples in which one of the partners has ADHD - my wife always felt so bad that her ADHD behaviors were causing such pain for me that she was unable to continue. She came away feeling that since she was the one with ADHD, she was to blame for all our problems. And in some ways, I actually agreed with her. But because she was feeling so guilty, she wasn't able to take a step back and really see the effect her behaviors were having on me. And so we were stuck.

The ADHD Effect on Marriage, on the other hand, puts the "blame" not just on the ADHD, but also on the nonADHD spouse's very predictable responses to ADHD behaviors, and also on the ADHD spouse's predictable responses to the nonADHD spouse's responses! So both of us are able to more clearly understand how we are each contributing to the dynamic. She can see the effect her behaviors have on me, and perhaps more importantly, I can see the effect my behaviors (in response to her behaviors) are having on her. And ironically, rather that both of us just feeling bad that we are to blame, we actually now feel that we can work together to improve things.

We've only gotten through the first part of the book - Understanding ADHD in Your Marriage. And already we are listening to each other more, and fighting less! And we both look forward to reading the next section - Rebuilding Your Relationship in Six Steps.

I think if you are in a relationship where one person has ADHD and one does not, I believe you will find this book to be very helpful.

I'll write up an update when we have finished the second part of the book.
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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful!, June 14, 2011
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This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
When we go on vacations, my husband and I usually bring a book for me to read aloud while he is driving. I saw all of the positive reviews and decided to order The ADHD Effect on Marriage for our trip a couple weeks ago. We read almost all of it on our trip and we've been finishing up since we got back.

My goodness, I thought we might get one or two good things out of this, but it completely changed the way we view our marriage! In our relationship, I am the one with ADHD and my husband has kind of always been one of those people who thinks "everyone is a little bit ADHD because we all spend so much time on computers, etc." We've been married for a little over a year. The first 5 months were a disaster, and then when I stopped taking Adderall things got a lot better (it makes me very irritable). Marriage has still been really rough, though.

As we read the first section "Understanding ADHD in Your Marriage," suddenly everything made so much sense to both of us. Over and over again, the book described our problems perfectly. The author did a GREAT job of describing things from the perspective of the ADHD spouse AND from the perspective of the non-ADHD spouse. There were a couple ideas here that I felt were most helpful: first, there is an example of everything coming to the ADHD spouse at the same level of importance (so, I don't remember perfectly what it said, but it mentioned something important vs. the bright numbers on a radio clock and to those of us with ADHD there isn't a natural prioritization). Second, Orlov describes a concept of time that is "now" and "not now." Both of these concepts were things I could relate to totally, but I had never been able to explain them to my husband in a way that was meaningful.

Honestly, the "Rebuilding Your Relationship in Six Steps" sections were not as useful for us. I think if we were to re-read them and spend more time on each tip specifically, we would probably benefit from this part more. Although our marriage has been rough, we have not had years and years of problems and resentment, or affairs, or those sorts of things. Unlike many of the ADHD spouses mentioned, I am eager to try things that will help me function better. Maybe we just have less that needs to be rebuilt right now. The information was still good, though, and I'm still glad we read it.

Something that we didn't really like about this book was that it is written as though the ADHD spouse is male and the non-ADHD spouse is female. The author explains her reasoning for this at the beginning, and that is fine and makes sense, but sometimes it was harder for us to relate to this.

Overall, though, this book is excellent. We will keep it, and I'm sure we will return to it again in the future. We have made some changes in our relationship as a result of reading this. My husband decided it was all right with him for me to try another medication. Also, we are using the "Recipe for Success" tool from the back of the book. We've only really been doing that for a week, but so far it has been really helpful. One of the best things about this book was when we were reading the first section; we realized that our problems are not unique to us. Other people deal with these same things, and there are solutions and strategies out there that can help us!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is married and has ADHD (or their spouse does). I am really grateful that we found this.

EDIT 7/14/12: Another helpful book is The ADHD Marriage Workbook: A User-Friendly Guide to Improving Your Relationship. It is completely different from Orlov's book, and it prompts some good discussion.
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120 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Miracle, October 2, 2010
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This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
This book explains all of the confusing and confounding problems my wife and I have had, period! Through 28 years of marriage and 9 counselors, no one pegged the real problem of our dysfunction - ADHD/ADD. It is as though Melissa Orlov has been in our living room studying and writing about us. We knew ADHD/ADD was in our relationship, but felt taking meds was the whole solution...not! Fortunately, the author does not leave us with just a clear understanding of the problems and the very predictable patterns of behaviors (of both the ADHD/ADD affected spouse and the non-ADHD/ADD spouse,) but offers practical ways to acknowledge the truths of the effects of ADHD/ADD on our relationship and proven methods to alter the course of our marriage (which was miserable and headed for divorce.) From her personal experiences and her research, she explains how to alter both of our behaviors, resolving conflicts and confusion, rekindling love and trust, and communicating in a whole new way. If this book had come out one month later, we'd be getting divorced. As it is, while still separated, we are working towards reconciliation with an entirely different understanding of each other's behaviors and challenges, and with a clear path towards a future with healing and hope. There is no area of marriage left unaddressed, from the challenges of getting mail from the mail box to where it belongs, to finishing the laundry, to dealing with perceptions and solutions to differences in how we process time, money, feelings, sex, thoughts, etc. This book is a God send, and is bringing us back to the love and compassion and consideration and respect we once had for each other.
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200 of 239 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Book, September 7, 2010
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
If your main problem (or your spouse's main problem) is inattention, disorganization, or distractability, then you will find this a useful book. But some people with ADHD, particularly those who are more impulsive, may exhibit more troubling behavior: sudden anger, lack of empathy, bullying or controlling behavior, or self-righteousness. They can be defensive and extremely sensitive to criticism, so sensitive that it is impossible to discuss problems calmly. If these are your issues, you need a different book: "Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?" by Gina Pera. Ms. Pera is a journalist with an ADHD spouse, and the book is an outgrowth of her many years of facilitating support groups for partners of people with ADHD. She speaks frankly and includes many stories from her support groups. This unvarnished truth may be hard for someone with ADHD to read, but for the partners of people with ADHD, the book is a Godsend. It changed my life.

"The ADHD Effect on Marriage" provides useful information, but little on the topics that matter most to my family. Looking at other reviews on this site, I guess I need to point out that I do not know either Ms Pera or Ms Orlov, and I have a lot of respect for Dr Hallowell. In fact, the first book I read about ADHD ten years ago was "Driven to Distraction." Since then I have read many books about ADHD, searching for information that would help my husband and son. "Is It You, Me or Adult ADD?" was the first one I read that accurately described my family's experience and provided the practical help and support I needed. I suffered for many years before I found it, and I don't want anyone else to go through what I did.

As another reviewer has said, there is room on the shelf for many books on this topic. If your experience of ADHD is similar to mine, you'll find that "Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?" is the only one that discusses these issues in detail. If your experience of ADHD is not like mine, then "The ADHD Effect on Marriage" may be helpful for you.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melissa Orlov read my mind!, February 2, 2011
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This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
I am a non-ADHD spouse married to my husband who has ADHD. By the time he found this book and suggested it, we had legally separated after 14 years of marriage. We had tried everything, but had been going in increasingly negative circles for years. Although neither of us wanted to sacrifice the past 14 years, we wanted to live like we had been, for another 14 years, even less.

Reading this book confirmed by suspicion that all the therapy, counseling, romantic getaways, communication, etc. in the world will not fix a marriage where untreated and unmanaged ADHD symptoms are present. This book represents the unvarnished truth, from someone who has experienced the issue intimately and has the communication skills to convey what she has learned. But the book is not just touchy-feely; she delves into the research in an approachable way, and gives exercises in each chapter for the reader to gauge where they are at and what types of ADHD symptoms/responses are causing the most problems.

I felt, at many points during the reading, that she was reading my mind. Her advice for the non-ADHD spouse to stop the destructive reactions and instead focus on "who you want to be" was, in fact, EXACTLY what I had said to myself just a few months prior, and the reason I separated and moved out.

The bottom line is that both people in the partnership need to take responsibility for their own behavior. But, as anyone who is searching for this book knows, this is much easier said than done. The author validates the concerns of both ADHD and non-ADHD partners, while giving some gentle tough love that is necessary to move things forward.

I felt very validated after reading this book (I'm not just a shrew!) and visiting the companion website at [...]. With some hard work and honesty on both of our parts, we are now reconciled and experiencing a whole new relationship (better than when we first met, in fact). But even if it hadn't worked out, this book would have helped greatly with enhancing clarity on the situation and creating an authentic self to take forward as a divorced, newly single person.

If you are in a place where you think this book might be helpful, it probably will be. You have very little to lose and much to gain.
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63 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The ADHD Effect on Marriage", September 8, 2010
By 
J. Heflin (Bethesda, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
What I found to be especially helpful about this book are Ms. Orlov's insights about how couples misinterpret the symptoms of ADHD. For example, the author describes how an ADHD spouse who isn't being properly treated can appear to be uncaring and preoccupied with matters that take attention away from home and family. Ms. Orlov explains that the non-ADHD spouse often reacts to this by feeling unloved. These feelings lead to further misunderstandings. When all of this falls on the heels of a very passionate courtship (that wonderful ADHD ability to hyper-focus) both partners are left wondering where they went wrong. "The ADHD Effect on Marriage" explains in very concrete terms how this cycle of action, reaction and reaction to the reaction can wreak havoc on a marriage. Ms. Orlov offers her expertise and advice without laying blame. Her approach is balanced. The book is easy to read, with lots of examples. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving a relationship effected by ADHD.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, September 13, 2010
By 
Pat Ward (Bernardsville, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
I have read everything I can find on the subject of ADD and marital challenges and Ms. Orlov hit the nail on the head for me!!! Her personal story let me know that even the most difficult circumstances can be overcome, and her sage solutions have been more than helpful. In addition, her ADD marital forum on the website listed in the book has been a godsend. Read the book, practice the suggestions! It works if you work it.

Pat from NJ
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beacon of Light and Hope, November 18, 2010
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This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
I've read almost every book on the market about ADHD. But, this is the first book that I have read that REALLY addresses ADHD and the effects it has on your marriage written for both the person with ADHD and the non-ADHD spouse. Most books focus on the person with the ADHD and how to go about balancing their life, love and work with the help of others. I was expecting pretty much the same when I picked up Melissa Orlov's "The ADHD Effect on Marriage." Well, I soon found out I was wrong! First chapter, first page the line "You nag, and you've started to dislike the person you've become" was like being hit on the head with a mallet! Wow, this is me! By this point 6 pages had so many highlights from me that I figured I would need another pen just for a backup if the one's ink ran out. Last page of the first chapter there is a line that reads "Furthermore, these changes must come from both partners. Changes only in the ADHD spouse don't resolve the marriage's issues." As I read on, I for the first time in my 40 years of marriage felt like there was someone out there who REALLY knew what it was like. The clincher here is, I found out after reading her book I was doing all the wrong, wrong, wrong things in trying to fix my marriage, and most of all trying to fix my ADHD spouse. Her chapter on worksheets and tools is geared for both, making it the responsibility of not just the person with ADHD but the non-ADHD person to track their own behavior. Which you won't find in most other books. One reviewer on the front of her book say's "Orlov's work is a beacon of light and hope, offering strategies that help couples feel happier and more satisfied." If you need that beacon of light and hope as I did, read this book, you will be so glad you did.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book gives me a sense of hope to my marriage and Life, September 27, 2010
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
Three months ago my life was rocked by the news that my wife no longer loved me. While I struggle to comprehend what had happened to us, our counselor told me to look into ADHD as a diagnosis for myself and to seek as much information as possible. I was diagnosed two weeks ago. As I began to dig I found Melissa Orlov's book on ADHD and marriage. In true ADHD style, I read the book while driving home on a 2 hour drive...while I was driving! I could not put it down as I was encountered by so many answers to my marriage problems and feelings I have dealt with much of my life. It was like Melissa wrote part of my life in her book. My wife and I are still struggling to find our way but she has agreed to read the book as well which gives me great hope. As a book for couples, the most helpful aspect to me was the empathetic way she shows both sides of the story and the how's and why's behind ADHD and relationships. I bought a copy for my wife as I like to go back and read this book for hope and understanding. Thank You Melissa!!

David
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Helpful Book, September 9, 2010
This review is from: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (Paperback)
Thank you so much for writing this book. I found it helpful in so many ways. I am an adult with ADHD and my symptoms have definitely affected my marriage. Both my wife and I often look for articles and books written about ADHD and relationships to help us cope with and address our differences.

Melissa's book was helpful in many ways. It gave sound advice about identifying and approaching our differences in perception, communication and other areas that we have struggled with. It gave sound and practical advice on how to address these obstacles and find common ground between us. It helped us both understand and respect our differences and offered practical ways to address them. What I liked most about the book was that it was written, not just by an expert in this field who was well versed in the challenges that ADHD presents to marriages and relationships, but by someone who faced these challenges in their own relationship and could offer insight from a personal level. That perspective gave my wife and I a valuable connection to the book and the author.

Thank you again for a creating such a useful tool to help people make positive changes in their lives.

Robert Tudisco
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The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps
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