Are you an adult with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's? Are you struggling emotionally, socially, spiritually or otherwise?
Then you've come to the right place. We are here to help you in any way we can. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile.

Search This Blog

Rules of Effective Listening: Tips for Men on the Spectrum

Being a good listener won't just make a big difference in your relationship and sex life, but in every part of your life that involves social contact. Effective listening may be the most crucial factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.

Rules of Effective Listening: Tips for Men on the Spectrum

1. Always give your partner your undivided attention. Make sure that you're not watching the basketball game while she's trying to discuss your next weekend get-away together.

2. Don’t be judgmental. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as positive, constructive criticism.

3. Don't try to fix things. Most guys are under the misconception that they need to provide all the answers in a relationship. WRONG! Make sure your wife is involved in ALL decision-making opportunities. In this way, she will feel more loved, involved and special.

4. Help your partner along by asking questions to encourage her to open up and to clarify things for you.

5. NEVER be sarcastic. If you do, it insults your wife’s intelligence.

6. Realize that listening to women is a great man-skill to have. Most likely, no one ever told you that listening to women is an important part of "being a man," so you may have tended to discount it.

7. Remember that your one and only job while listening is to understand your partner’s experience, feelings, attitude or point of view.

8. Show your wife that you truly understand her point of view. Whether or not you agree with her, talk to her in a calm and composed manner. Don’t forget, as soon as your tone of voice goes up, so will hers. If she is shouting, then bring your voice down and she will probably do the same.

9. Try to recognize the different sets of emotions that your wife speaks with. For most wives, the feeling is usually more important than the content of a conversation.

10. Understand that listening is not the same as agreeing. Men don’t have to agree with their wives, just listen and try to understand. Women are usually more receptive to working things out and comprising when they feel understood.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

4 comments:

  1. This was a good post, but I don't just want to play the part of an active listener, I want to truly connect with my wife and feel that warm, fuzzy bond where each of us feel like we're sharing our soul, not necessarily because of the topic, but just being able to open to each other and feel that deep connection. I don't just want to intellectually understand, I want to *feel* something. The only thing I feel is broken and defective when she reaches out to me and no emotion comes up. We recently bought a house together and it's a really nice house. She's so excited and happy, and all that comes up for me when I look around are projects and things that could be made even better, and thinking about all the money involved. I want to be excited too! And she gets all deflated when she's practically jumping up and down and she looks at me with those beautiful, sparkling eyes and all she sees in me is mild bewilderment and a forced smile. What is wrong with me!?

    I do feel almost overwhelmed with love for her, but it feels like it's trapped in me and I don't know how to let it out. I want to pour it straight into her heart but I don't know how! Seriously, if I had one wish I would say f**k world peace or a cure for all diseases, I just wish my wife could feel how much I love her for one minute. I feel like I'm in one of those horror movies where someone's trapped and screaming through a thick window at someone outside, but no sound gets out. They can't hear. I've told her this, and she understands it intellectually, but she doesn't feel my love. I force myself to try to look deep into her eyes and make a connection, but it feels like trying to bite a tomato seed (they always just slip out from between your teeth and you can never quite do it - I feel like the connection should be right there, but I just can't lock it in!). I seriously wish I could just reach into my brain and rip out whatever wall is in there.

    I read all these posts from women who feel no connection or emotional support from their husbands and how miserable they are, and how they all just want out. I try to keep skimming their comments, hoping someone will have some actual advice, but it's all just more of the same - "it will never get better, they never change, get out as soon as you can!" I feel terrible. It's not that the advice in this post isn't good, I need help with all that, too, though I feel I am getting better at responding to comments and making small talk, although I really have to force myself to and feel weird doing it. It's just that I want more. I want my wife to have more. I see her unhappiness and I feel like I should leave her for her sake, though she tells me she wants to stay with me. If this were some epic movie where I could go on some perilous, long, arduous journey to find some wizard or potion or something that could cure me, I'd be right out the door with a few cliff bars in my pocket. Would so appreciate it if anyone had any advice or a success story around this. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I fell in love with a man who I suspect to have mild aspergers recently and we have communication and emotional reciprocation difficulties also. He, like yourself, has some issues connecting with emotion at the 'right' moments, understanding when I need to feel emotionally supported etc which has left me feeling quite lonely at times in the relationship. We are going to go to see a professional to help us gain a better understanding of one another's perspective and hopefully come up with some creative solutions to our problems. For what its worth, and bearing in mind I'm very new to all of this, I just thought I'd let you know I was moved to tears by the emotion and love in your comments above about your wife as I suspect she would be if she read it. Perhaps show them to her as your feelings jump off the page in writing :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am in love with someone who has mild autism and aspergers too. He is 23 and I am 44.I could care less about the age difference between us. To me age just a number and a state of mind. The biggest problem is that the family does not approve of the age difference between us. I am trying to read everything I can on aspergers and autism especially on communication and relationships. I have learned that if we are alone together we do communicate easier.I have to speak in a very calming voice. And I have also learned I have to be very patient and he will talk to me and tell me what is bothering him. We were engaged for a while,but he got cold feet and broke off the engagement for now. I have been reading a lot about this. All I can say is be very patient and except him for who he is on the inside. I know I was supposed to meet him for a reason. We are definitely soul mates.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's tough. Sometimes the emotional strain of listening to my wife's problems causes me such agony. I'm convinced every time she has an issue that she's going to leave me, and that I will be alone forever - after all I've never really been able to connect with another woman at all, and spent much of my life feeling empty and alone. She will talk and I feel the emotion in my chest and can smell it as I breath out through my nose - sometimes I clench my teeth and feel the breath come out like a Siberian wind chilling my gums. Sometimes I say I understand etc, and she tells me that I'm just giving her platitudes and I have the look in my eyes of a deer caught in headlamps. I can't help but see her problems as a threat, and am afraid of her responses and catastrophize.

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts