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Doing Dishes - ADHD Marriage Comic

Sometimes, I find myself wishing that my ADHD spouse could read my mind, sparing me the need to be so explicit about household chores, as depicted in this comic strip. What seems obvious to me often isn't to him, given the different way his mind works.

This situation persisted for years until I discovered The Fair Play Game. Playing it made me realize that unless the minimal standard is clearly communicated and agreed upon, I couldn't expect the outcome I desired. So now, whenever I make requests, I make a conscious effort to be more specific by asking myself the following four questions:

  1. What is the task?

  2. When does it need to be done?

  3. What does the expected outcome look like?

  4. How can he self-check to determine if the task is complete?

By answering these questions for myself, I've found that I'm often successful in articulating what my ADHD spouse needs to know to complete a task. If he finds the task too complicated, I break the task down into smaller steps. While this approach may require a bit more effort on my part, it significantly reduces the back-and-forth between us just to get a task done. Moreover, when my ADHD spouse accomplishes things on the first attempt, it boosts his confidence and provides a dose of dopamine, making him more eager to assist with other tasks.

Give it a try and let me know what you think by commenting below.

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