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Is Your AS Partner Exhibiting Traits of the Disorder - or Purposely Being Insensitive and Uncaring?

How can you tell the difference between Aspergers-related behavior versus pure insensitivity? 



==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples 

==> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA

Stress-Management for People on the Autism Spectrum

There are a number of techniques you can try to manage your stress. What works is different for everyone, and it can take time to find the ones that work best for you. Here are 10 tips to try:

1.    Be good to yourself. Remember that you are NOT your stress. You are not a feeble weakling. You are not a second-rate person. You simply have a mental health condition called “chronic stress.”

2.    Be aware of your self-talk. How you think directly affects how you feel. Stress makes you overestimate the danger in a situation -- and underestimate your ability to deal with it. Think of different interpretations to a situation that’s making you stressed, rather than launching to the worst-case scenario. Look at the facts for - and against - your negative thoughts being true.

3.    Fully understand your stress. Keep a diary of when it is at its worst – and best. Look for the patterns, and plan your day to proactively manage your stress.

4.    Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Stay active, eat well, go out into nature, spend time with family and friends, and do the activities you enjoy. These are all effective in reducing stress and improving your mood.  

5.    Learn from other people. Talk with others who also experience stress or are going through something similar. This can help you feel less alone.




6.    Set aside time to worry.  No one can stop worrying entirely, so set aside some time to humor your worries. Take 5 minutes each evening to write them down and go over them in your head. This will help stop your worries from taking over at other times.

7.    Utilize progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscles from your head to your toes. Hold the tension for 5 seconds, and then release slowly. This will help reduce the feelings of muscle tension that often comes with stress.

8.    Incorporate slow breathing. When you’re stressed, your breathing usually becomes shallower. Deliberately slow down your breathing. Count to 5 as you breathe in slowly, then count to 5 as you exhale slowly.

9.    Try to stay in the present moment. Stress can make your thoughts live in an awful future that hasn’t happened yet. Bring yourself back to where you are now. Meditation can help with this.

10.    Attempt small acts of courageousness. Avoiding what makes you stressed provides some relief in the short term, but can make you more stressed-out in the long term. Thus, approach something that makes you somewhat fearful (even in a small way). The path through stress is by learning that what you’re afraid of isn’t likely to happen. Even if it does, you’ll be able to deal with it effectively.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> Skype Counseling for Struggling Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA

When Your Asperger's Husband Suddenly "Detaches" from the Relationship

"How can a man [with Aspergers syndrome] just switch off his emotions seemingly overnight? Something happened a few weeks ago [I’m not sure what it was exactly] and my husband has changed for the worse… has no interest in sex… no interest in talking to me… no interest in going anywhere with me, etc. Has anyone else experienced this where your AS husband turns into a completely different personality all of the sudden and doesn’t know why? He’s not even aware that he has shut me out. How does this happen? I’m so confused! Is he cheating on me perhaps?"

In counseling couples, it has been my experience that when this happens, it is frequently the case that the husband with AS no longer feels safe in the relationship. In most cases, the relationship difficulties between the two partners/spouses have been going on for several years with no improvement in sight.

Thus, the NT wife has repeatedly registered numerous complaints and concerns about the relationship (in hopes of getting to some kind of a resolution), and the list of concerns and hurts keeps growing.

So, now the husband feels as though there is no way he can redeem himself. That is, the list of problems is simply too long and deep to address at this point (in his mind). Therefore, he feels like he cannot truly be deeply “in love” with someone who has this colossal litany of unresolved issues with his past behavior.

In other words, the AS man in this case feels that he is in a very vulnerable position and would be putting himself in “harm’s way” if he were to “stay in love” with someone this “threatening.” He dials-down his love, affection and connection in order to avoid getting hurt in the event that his NT wife registers more “painful” complaints – or worse yet – leaves him. 

He’s afraid to have attachments to someone who may abandon or ridicule him. And he uses the wife’s “criticisms” as evidence that abandonment is highly probable – and even imminent. This is (unfortunately) a survival strategy (i.e., a way to avoid feelings of shame and the pain of loss).

Of course, this is not the only reason an AS husband may suddenly "detach" from the relationship, but it is by far the main reason I have witnessed in counseling couples affected by the disorder.




==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> Skype Counseling for Struggling Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA

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