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Customer Review

210 of 251 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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Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2010 9:11:58 PM PDT
Can't help but wonder if you are experiencing a dual diagnosis: the fact that your partner may have narcissistic personality disorder and have ADHD. Certainly, there can be some similarities, but with ADHD there is less intentionality toward being cruel, more of a cluelessness. With narcissism, there is intentionality. Lisa Francis in Tucson

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 10:09:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2010 8:59:44 AM PDT
Thanks, but I thought of that already. He doesn't fit the criteria. He's not intentionally cruel. He just cannot imagine himself in someone else's shoes. So he can't understand how I can disagree with him. It makes him very certain that he is right, no matter what the issue is.
In addition, I think that much of the worst behavior is really an unhealthy coping strategy. He can protect himself from criticism by lashing out.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 10:55:27 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 30, 2012 2:29:32 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2010 11:59:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2010 1:48:43 PM PST
Sheldon says:
Above, Melissa Orlov wrote, "Has this reviewer read this book?" That strikes me as quite a hostile comment from the author, who isn't considering the possibility that the book truly did not address this reviewer's situation.

Melissa Orlov also wrote, "But getting them to stop doing so is not a matter of bludgeoning them with "the unvarnished truth" - as appealing as that may sound to an angry or frustrated non-ADHD partner."

No one said anything about "bludgeoning". But honoring someone's reality (whether the ADHD adult or partner) is not bludgeoning. It's being truthful and accurate.

This reviewer has stated her opinion, given her personal situation, and done it thoughtfully, from my perspective. In response, the author has not only insulted the reviewer by insinuating that she's a liar; the author has bullied the reviewer out of her reality in perhaps the same way the reviewer has been bullied out of her reality by her husband. The difference is, the reviewer's husband might not be doing this intentionally but as a side effect of his ADHD or some other psychiatric disorder.

This reviewer is obviously dealing with a situation that is more severe. Since ADHD is a spectrum condition, it makes sense that some cases are on the severe end of the spectrum. This book presumes that all ADHD adults are willing to learn and do things differently once they learn about ADHD, and if the ADHD adult doesn't do this, it's the partner's fault because they are angry. That's called blaming the victim. And it also supposes the the ADHD partners are always angry. Sometimes they are depressed, cowed, and silenced into submission.

The reviewer did not find this book helpful, and she found another book more helpful. The author should leave it at that.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2010 8:56:41 AM PDT
Agilitee, there is insight in your comments, but, just as Orlov overstated her case, IMHO you overstated your as well. The author states a fact that raises legitimate doubt as to whether or not the reviewer read the book: an entire chapter on empathy and another on anger and denial, and dealing with anger and denial comprise steps 1 and 2 out of the six steps. Let the reviewer respond with why it wasn't sufficient.

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 6:11:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 10, 2010 7:39:39 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 4:43:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 5, 2010 9:24:13 AM PDT
Sherry says:
I found that "The ADHD Effect on Marriage covered every aspect of the ADHD personality in a very thorough manner. My daughter who has ADHD has asked to read the book next. She is about to marry a wonderful man who also appears to have ADHD but has not yet been diagnosed. I feel very comfortable recommending this book to them and don't feel they need to read any other books to get all the information they need. Also, I don't understand how Ms. Orlov listing the pages that cover the personality characteristics under discussion and reiterating the value of empathy constitutes bullying.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2010 4:52:55 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 5, 2010 6:29:57 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 9:02:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2010 1:50:02 PM PST
Sheldon says:
A very strange set of comments. Perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye. Makes me want to read the book myself to solve the mystery.

Update: I have now read the book, and I agree with this reviewer. If your ADHD partner is willing to consider that ADHD is impacting the relationship, great. This book has lots of helpful strategies. Even if you are dealing with some degree of denial, this book might help you. Or it might not.

If the denial comes from your ADHD partner being defensive about always being criticized, that's one thing. But denial can be much more complicated than that, born of ADHD symptoms themselves. In this book, Ms. Orlov implies the only reason for the ADHD partners' denial is their partners' anger. That is simply not always the case and irresponsible (and even rather mean) to suggest it is always the case.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 12:18:36 AM PST
I greatly appreciated your review, Margaret! I am not a phony or a cad, I am a real shopper. The person in my life with ADHD, when really struggling, is *exactly* all of the things you list when you say "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." Though I'm no doctor, I am quite sure these kinds of behaviors are the result of poor coping skills, and that there is great hope with managing their ADHD. It's not the result of some other "illness" as others suggest, at least not for this person, because I've seen the behaviors develop as a result of their ADHD, over time, and during specific periods where their unmanaged ADHD has had a real negative impact on their life (relationships, jobs, finances). I don't consider it "bludgeoning" at all to discuss these kinds of behaviors that *can* erupt, freely, and truthfully, because those bad habits, they develop over time and can really limit the success of the person who has ADHD! If you can't talk about how to better address coping skills, because you're completely oversensitive and have to avoid all criticism, you're gravely missing an opportunity for growth, as a result of that oversensitivity. It's like an ADHDer's own personal prison, otherwise, that might never allow them to learn coping skills - they just go on being angry, depressed, and frustrated, because they haven't learned how to cope - it's not a blaming thing, it's just an objective fact - at least for this person! Honestly I was caught off-guard by the author's slightly defensive comment below, and it makes me wonder if she herself doesn't struggle with what she perceives as criticism. Ouch!
Thanks for the honest review. This disorder has a wide range of characteristics, and a wide range of intensity. As a result there's bound to be a wide range of literature, and within that bound to be something specifically applicable or non applicable to readers depending on their personal situation. For the author not to applaud that, I find a little disconcerting.
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