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Book Review: "ADHD & US" by Anita Robertson

Updated: Dec 14, 2023



As a non-ADHD spouse, I'm continually on the lookout for resources that can help me better understand and connect with my partner. With an impressive 4.6 rating o Amazon, equivalent to Melissa Orlov's book, The Effects of ADHD Marriage, I decided to explore "ADHD & US" by Anita Robertson.


Who is Anita Robertson?


Anita Robertson, LCSW, a psychotherapist with ADHD based in Austin, Texas, specializes in working with individuals and couples dealing with ADHD. She facilitates the ADHD Relationship Bootcamp, guiding couples to acquire the necessary skills for enjoying the benefits of their neurodiverse relationships while sidestepping common conflicts. As a co-vlogger at the Steep in Thought YouTube channel and a provider of relationship tips on her blog at AnitaRobertson.com, Anita's expertise shines through in ADHD & US.


What do I think of this book?


When I initially read this book a few years ago, I found its tone resonating with the renowned ADHD expert, Edward (Ned) Hallowell M.D. The book's upbeat nature, logical explanations of common ADHD couple challenges, and positive strategies made it seem very feasible to make ADHD relationships work. While I agreed with its insights, I found it somewhat challenging to adopt many suggestions at the time due to a somewhat closed mindset, given I was at the peak of the rollercoaster in my own journey.


It wasn't until this year, when I decided to join her ADHD & US non-ADHD training (reviewing in next blog), that I revisited the book with fresh perspectives and a new set of eyes. I highly recommend this book, especially for two specific audiences: a) couples who have recently discovered one partner has ADHD, and b) couples looking to rekindle their relationship again in the ADHD rollercoaster journey where they need tools that your the ADHD spouse will try and continuously to engage in.


3 Reasons Why I recommend this book?


Reason No. 1: Written from an ADHD Spouse's Point of View


Only this year did I discover that Anita has ADHD and is married to a non-ADHD spouse. Combining her personal and professional experience, she navigates both sides of the ADHD couples' dynamic. For ADHD spouses, she connects the dots between symptoms and behavior, while for non-ADHD spouses, she sheds light on intentions from personal experience.


Reason 2: The 5 Pillars for ADHD Marriage for Successful Marriage


In her book, Anita introduces these five pillars—praise, acknowledgment, games, growth mindset, and positive acceptance—essential for thriving ADHD marriages. Drawing insights from marriage experts like John Gottman, Melissa Orlov, and her personal and professional experiences, Anita elucidates the successful implementation of these pillars. Each pillar is exemplified with challenges, explanations of behaviors, and the transformative impact that each pillar can have. Take, for instance, the challenge of cleaning the kitchen—a daunting task for many with ADHD due to its lack of inherent fun and the high level of concentration required. Anita skillfully connects the dots between the energy an ADHD partner expends and the value it provides to the non-ADHD spouse in the chat below. Through simple yet powerful illustrations, she illustrates the stark contrast in motivation for tasks like kitchen cleanup, emphasizing the need for praise and acknowledgment to motivate ADHD partners and foster a cleaner and more harmonious living space.



Reason 3: Practical tools that truly engage the ADHD spouse:


Throughout the book, Anita provides practical tools like games and communication exercises to help ADHD couples establish the strong foundation of the five pillars. These tools, though they may seem unconventional, tap into releasing positive dopamine for the ADHD spouse. Despite any initial reservations, trying these exercises with my ADHD spouse proved beneficial, creating a relaxed and enjoyable environment where he felt heard and understood.


Conclusion


ADHD & US by Anita Robertson is more than a book; it paves the path for both spouses to better understand the impact of ADHD on their partners and how to build stronger relationships. By combining insight, practical advice, and the 5 Pillars for ADHD Marriage, Anita's book serves as an great companion for anyone embarking on the journey of understanding and thriving within an ADHD-affected relationship.


BTW, this book is a free book if you have the Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership. Take advantage if you haven't done so.


Anita's website: www.anitarobertson.com


Have you read this book? I love to hear your thoughts on this book. Share your feedback in the comment section below.




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