==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples
Search This Blog
==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples
4. After a fight, both parties need to accept and experience their true emotions. While certain feelings are painful to experience (e.g., rage, anger, sadness, disappointment, rejection, etc.), it's important to acknowledge these feelings rather than sweep them under the rug. Trying to cut-off your emotions is synonymous with hiding them in the closet. When the next argument occurs, those pent-up emotions will rear their ugly head again.
- Identify the problem: This is not always as simple as it sounds. In some cases, couples may mistakenly identify the wrong source of a problem, which will make attempts to solve it unproductive.
- Define the problem: After the problem has been identified, it is important to fully describe the problem so that it can be solved.
- Form a strategy: The approach used will vary depending upon the situation and the couple’s unique preferences.
- Organize information: Before coming up with a solution, organize the available information (e.g., what do we know about the problem – and what do we not know?). The more information that is available, the better prepared the two of you will be to come up with an accurate solution.
- Monitor progress: Effective problem-solvers tend to monitor their progress as they work towards a solution. If the two of you are not making good progress toward reaching your goal(s), then reevaluate the approach or look for new approaches to the problem.
- Evaluate the results: After a solution has been reached, it is important to evaluate the outcome in order to determine if it is the best possible solution to the problem.
Resources for couples affected by ASD:
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Feeling restless or fidgety
- Feeling worthless, helpless, or guilty
- Frequent crying
- Loss of interest or pleasure in doing things
- Sadness that won’t lift
- Sleeping too much
- Trouble concentrating
- "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001)
- "Elf" (2003)
- "Home Alone" (1990)
- "Jingle All the Way" (1996)
- "Miracle on 34th Street" (1994)
- "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989)
- "Scrooged" (1988)
- "The Santa Clause" (1994)
- "When Harry Met Sally" (1989)
- “A Christmas Story” (1983)
==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
• Anonymous said… So what is the sum total of all of this? My answer is this - ACCEPT PEOPLE AS THEY REALLY ARE.
• Anonymous said… As to finding out what he needs, suggest you use a computer to interact with him.
• Anonymous said… Best bet is to figure out why he feels he needs to spend that much time; if it is an escape what is he escaping from? Does he feel stressed/overwhelmed? But as states above setting concrete desires and plan of action; I need x # of hrs each day of personal interaction/Family time/etc and working that out; he may not realize or pick up that there is or that you have an issue with his actions.
• Anonymous said… Don't use the word relationship it's meaningless..state what u want simply e.g. an ideal daily/weekly schedule then say please talk with me tomorrow night at...about this.he needs time alone with you too if poss..nothing improves unless you design it to
• Anonymous said… I also have aspergrs and it is always helpful to have a schedule. Computer use from one time to another, family time from another time to another
• Anonymous said… I am HFA and am 63 years old, am married. As a group ASDs generally tend towards empathy but away from overt displays of emotion. People tend to hide from things which bother them in some way. Perhaps he find emotions difficult or touching and being touched. Perhaps he cannot slow his thinking self down so as to hold a conversation. Perhaps his radius of privacy versus interaction is further away from himself than others' are aware. Also, be aware that ASDs may not be able to distinguish individual voices when more than one person speaks. Pushing emotional contact onto an ASD may result in a meltdown.
• Anonymous said… I can pretty much guarantee your relationship comes first even though he doesn't show it. Aspies are highly loyal and dedicated. My husband is exactly the same way, video games and computers are his escape and relaxation. When our kids were younger we set it up that he doesn't play until after the kids go to bed (which was 8 for us). He also had to set an alarm for his phone or else he would play til all hours of the night. Also plan date nights where you can get out of the house. Good luck!
• Anonymous said… I married late in life - after army service and after my 40th birthday - the 1 st marriage was not a success, though we struggled on for 11 years; I found her need for emotion and constant touching difficult to cope with and I escaped into books and hobbies.
• Anonymous said… I reckon he loves you loads, personal space, my computer and other bits of nonsense represent safe haven for me, I use mobile devices to stay connected to that which allows me more time to venture out into the crazy world, I'm rubbish at peopling in general so not the best person to be giving relations advice, but when people say autistic folk don't feel stuff they are wrong, it is an overwhelming experience that creates my blank response to those deep situations not the fact that I'm not feeling anything, hope you can find some solutions. 😎 🎈
• Anonymous said… I think you need to put very specific boundaries around your needs - ie I need to have an hour of time each day to catch up on life - etc
• Anonymous said… In all of this I do not hear or see his voice nor what he wants - until you know what he honestly and truthfully wants, then you are whistling in the winds of uncertainty.
• Anonymous said… My 3rd marriage happened late 2014 and we are both essentially loners who felt the need for companionship. M is severely disabled and I am her principle carer. Somewhat ironical because I wear a power chair. We annoy each other and then we laugh about it.
• Anonymous said… My second marriage was to a lady I call the love of my life because she instinctively knew what she needed and when I needed to have separation because I was heading for a meltdown; we were really close - she was terminal when I met her and we had 8 years together. She died on the operating table on Jan 26th 2013. so just coming up to 4 years now.
• Anonymous said… Nothing will change .. been there done that
• Anonymous said… Now as to a non-ASD imposing rules or routines on an ASD - you are likely to find that he withdraws even more.
• Anonymous said… now it sounds like your boyfriend is a typical Aspergic, let me tell you we love our patterns i have Aspergers my self, now i don't know him or you so i cant give direct advice but what i cab say is that yes he does love you, being and Aspergic we are drawn to certain things like technology, i my self love playing on my ps4 when i am at home. if i would give advice from an Aspergerics view point id say try to set up a time table of sorts a lot time for him to go on his pc and time rot you and your child.
• Anonymous said… Yes He Probably Does value the time understanding and processing then with you. However that does not mean ur not valued. Tolerance levels of one on one and groups?
Asking for time in other activities is key for eveyone whos lives are online.
• Anonymous said… Yes, this. 1. We need an exact, specific, literally-worded schedule, 2. Schedule ALL time, & 3. The hyperfocus on the computer/similar favorite activity is akin to what others do to relax and have fun. The computer stuff is simultaneously stimulating and relaxing. But it's also a need for us in this overwhelming world, not merely a hobby or escape.
• Anonymous said… You need to be more concrete in your needs. People have mentioned a schedule for the computer but actually a schedule for family and couples time is probably s good idea too. Give him definites around the time and activities you expect him to do with you and his child. Now you may get tired of always doing the planning but getting him to plan things might be stage two. For now set up a schedule for the evenings. Including playtime for your son and time for just the two of you. It may be a good idea to schedule his computer time for the very last thing in the evening when you are having your own chill out time or going to bed. If he has met his commitments then don't complain about his computer time. If it cuts into his sleep time that's his issue. Not yours. Giving him very concrete plans is best. Saying vague things like you want him to spent time with you may get through to him as he won't understand what you want or what you are saying. Learn to speak his language and see how it goes. It's all about compromise and it may seem like it's you doing all the compromising but it won't be. Escaping into the computer or an activity is a natural impulse for us aspies and giving up some of that is actually hard. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids. This is " our" bottle or wine or beer . Or friends or social outings. These type of behaviour replace a hell lot of stuff people like you do naturally to feel good. Like friends or nights out or wine etc.
* Anonymous said... So if your not married yet I would tell you to move on without him. I am married to an Aspie for 24 yrs. We only got gis diagonsis 4 yes ago and he hasnt even tried to change. Always on his tablet and no interaction with me or our son. He seems to get angry when I even mention it now. He has gotten worse over the past few years. It leaves you very lonely and you and your son will alway be doing things by yourself.
Post your comment below…
In working with adults on the autism spectrum over the years, I have noticed a prominent theme that I will refer to as AMGS, which stands for Anxiety - Meltdown - Guilt - Self-punishment. This is a cycle that many adults with Asperger's [or high functioning autism] have experienced since childhood.
- yelling and screaming
- walking out on your spouse or partner
- threatening others
- talking to yourself
- road rage
- quitting your job
- pacing back and forth
- domestic abuse
- banging your head
- angry outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects
- aggressive behavior in which the individual reacts grossly out of proportion to the circumstance
Self-punishment tends to serve a dual purpose: (1) it relieves internal feelings of guilt, and (2) it impacts how others perceive us. By engaging in self-punishment or costly apologies, the individual demonstrates that he is willing to harm himself in some way to “even the score” with those he has wronged, thereby restoring his reputation as a "fair person."
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
• Anonymous said… I have the meltdowns but not necessarily anxiety...
• This is a great break-down of the how/why this cycle repeats. Is there a follow-up or another article that deals more with helping break this cycle (for the individual with Aspergers or those that love them)? Great article, as understanding is half the battle.
• Does anyone know who to brake this cycle? My 12 year is showing these symptoms and we are trying to tech him cope skills but is there a way to stop the cycle (rather then try to prevent it).
• Have him write affirmations... and seriously consider speaking to an expert (and by expert I mean a child/adolescent psychiatrist who does talk therapy) about what you can model for him, what he can do, and maybe see if he has OCD as well. A part of this cycle, the anxiety and guilt, can be obsessive thoughts. Maybe a psychiatrist could help with that.
• I had broken the cycle for a decade. One meltdown in 10 years and now I feel the cycle emerging again. My best friend thought HFA was all me just being absent minded and quirky. Now they are afraid and don't want to be friends. This hurts just as much as an adult as it did as child. I wasn't violent in my meltdown. Just shaking, crying and some yelling out, but not accusative at them specifically. Just makes me feel sad and awful.
It’s difficult for them to imagine situations that are outside their usual routine, and they often carry out a narrow, repetitive range of activities.
This is not to say that these individuals have a lack of imagination. Most adults on the spectrum are very creative, and some go on to become talented artists, musicians or writers.
People on the autism spectrum may find it difficult to:
- accept changes in routine
- accept others’ points of view
- appreciate other people
- attempt work if they feel they are unable to do it perfectly
- avoid talking incessantly about their topic of interest
- cope in new or unfamiliar situations
- cope with “mistakes”
- deal with rules being broken
- determine and interpret others’ thoughts, feelings and actions
- discover an awareness of unwritten rules (‘”the hidden curriculum”)
- engage in imaginative play and activities
- foresee what will or may occur next
- identify hazards
- organize their time and/or equipment
- plan for the future
- predict the consequences of their own behavior
- prepare for change
As a result, they may have limited understanding of what they have learned and how to use it in different situations. While these individuals have excellent memories for certain things (e.g., dates, facts, figures, etc.), they often lack a meaningful framework to store and access memories relating to personal experience.
In other words, it is a skill in which the person places himself outside of everyday routines and views his actions or life from a third party perspective.
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
They may have been teased, bullied or rejected due to their “odd” behavior and way of viewing the world. As a result, these adults bear the scars of those experiences today. And to matters even worse, many of them continue to be bullied in the workplace.
Everyone (even introverts) need to be able to give and receive affection to be emotionally healthy. We all need (a) stable relationships and (b) satisfying interactions with individuals in those relationships. If either of these two factors is missing, the person in question will begin to feel isolated and hopeless. In fact, the majority of human anxieties appear to be due to social exclusion, which may explain why so many Asperger’s adults have anxiety issues.
==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
• We are seeing this in my daughter. In middle school she began to be rejected by peers and by 8th grade was borderline suicidal and completely withdrawn. We pulled her out of the school and transferred her to another where she experienced much more social success - everyone there is an 'oddball' so she fits right in and has many friends. We are hoping that this will alleviate/reverse the cycle of low self esteem that she experienced. Have seen positive results already so far.
• Yes, bullying did affect me when I was younger because I was an Aspie, and people don't like what's different. It was the start of a massive decline in mental health. Not only did the misunderstanding impact me in school, but the depression I developed from the bullying made me start using mental health services, where they continued to misunderstand me, which caused my mental health to plummet further, and then another "service" I used physically assaulted me, which scarred me for life. I was deeply suicidal, but upon distancing myself from those places, and dropping their drugs, I improved greatly, with the help of my lover. But when broke up with me, and my attempts to rekindle the relationship failed, and my attempts to have the love live on in others with new relationships failed. The weird part is that they were Aspies too, but they never told me specifically what went wrong. While I always have my family, I've given up on dating. Though I'll always have my dog, who is my child. I prefer to keep myself company with my family, including my parents, siblings, and non-human animals.
• I'm late 50's now and likely outlive most HFA. You've discounted the impact of hypersensitivity to overstimulation. Aversion to normal social smells, tactile sensations, noise, drafts, clutter, gastric gas pains, too many types of foods, too many people, etc. all make for a chronically overly stressed condition. Add to that the social mis-cues then it's hard to put up with other people without self medication, masking defenses like stemming or fidgeting, or the higher noise environments that drown out sudden noises, along with filters like sun glasses and earplugs.That same hypersensitivity to environmental stimuli that others habituate to lends itself to detecting and remembering patterns that others miss. Hince task orientation. I've largely lived alone my adult life and quite happily since I can de-stress from work. And I've moved often enough and far enough to avoid longer term relationships including with siblings and their large families. It's been a blessing to discover late in life that my tendency to isolate myself is part of being mildly aspie. I truly hate typical situations like commercials on videos or radio and big box store music / kid noises, and driving. Driving is where I still encounter bullies all too often. I've progressively moved from larger urban to more rural areas. As for needing social interaction, it's obvious that as I've aged I'm losing abilities. In some cases that's a blessing such as losing much of my sense of smell, likely due to text neck and often drying out my sinuses while sleeping. As my vision clouds I'm less able to detect mosquitoes to kill or avoid with the complication of not getting enough fresh air. I most detest mosquito bites over all tactile events, but have found cellophane tape over a bite helps greatly. Same goes for covering over tags in clothing or small hairs that get trapped in clothing seems that poke like a goad.......
........So I've adapted ways of dealing with my over-sensitivities and under- appreciation for social cueing and the drama of human-packs. Such as avoiding marriages, funerals, holidays etc. And yes that's come at the cost of never completing college degrees despite having 150+ semester hours of classes with high GPA.Frankly though I don't miss the human contract because of hyper awareness of the spiritual presence of Christ. I credit Him with getting me through depression and addiction including suicidal ideation in my 20's. It's the higher order spiritual connection as a result of acting in faith that has likely graced me with having survived and thrived professionally.So isolation in the natural is offset by enhanced connection in supernatural dimensions. I'll spare you the testimony unless interested. In sum then, I get that I'm much more able to detect some things and patterns than typicals. While also missing social cues that are the lubricant for human and animal packs / cliques. I think typicals have some brain areas over wired and others under wired too, just not as much as HFA's. Thanks for that! HFA is much less stigmatizing. We're just birds with different songs than the majority. Isolation has it's perks and offsetting penalties. Like with Temple Grandin. Just different, that's all. Children of a "Greater" God. (Please pardon my dumb phone typos.)
• I am 27 years old and have recently found out I have aspergers syndrome, although obviously I have felt different all my life. I was bullied incredibly badly at school, and there were times when I had to leave for a month or so. I can't help but to see this as a very negative article, although I may just be an exception to the rule, and if so, please excuse me. Besides the bullying I had a very difficult upbringing with an alcoholic father who passed away when I was 21. Despite this I have a good job as a teacher and have dreams and aspirations of one say becoming a psychologist. Aspies find life difficult, overwhelming and stressful, and my struggle with all the symptoms is daily, but that doesn't mean we can't live a long, happy, successful and fulfilling life, which I 100% plan to do.
• This was eye-opening. I was never actively bullied so I couldn't figure out why I felt like I'd been bullied my whole childhood. I didn't understand the ramifications of social exclusion as bullying. And while as an adult I have a good job and live in my own house ... I live with cats, not humans, and have very few friends, and a good majority of those are family. I hate social situations and am likely to isolate myself first so I can't be rejected.
• Me too! I have had a lifetime of abuse that I have experienced in school and the workplace. I was excluded from parties but still told I had to help plan for them. Each time I said NO WAY I will NOT help plan for a party that I am not invited to. Even recently, I've given up on any and all planning committees because I, too, get rejected. I've faced a mental health system that was chock full of quacks and other so-called "professionals" who would pump me with drugs and guilt. My therapist and I had screaming matches in his office so much that I finally fired him and found someone new. Rejection still happens to me this day. Guess I'm a very slow learner lol
• Wow - my entire life suddenly makes sense. I always assumed that I was just born mentally ill, even though the rest of my family are fine. Now I understand the correlation between how family and schoolmates treated me and how I've felt about myself most of my life.
Post your comment below…
Ridicule and rejection often takes its toll over the years, resulting in not only a pervasive blue mood, but also an element of paranoia in the mind of the autistic individual. In other words, he or she is so used to being mistreated (emotionally and/or verbally) that he or she comes to expect it.
Oftentimes, autistic adults’ paranoid tendencies result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, their “expectation of ridicule and rejection” leads them to say or do something that provokes the very negative response from the other person that they so dread. For example, in anticipation of a critical comment, the person with ASD may deliver one first, inciting the other person to return the criticism. This, in turn, convinces the person that others and indeed “out to get” him or her.
Unfortunately, many people with ASD not only had to endure various forms of social stress throughout the school years, they now experience much of the same at home and at their place of employment. Many have reported bullying both at home and in the workplace.
The main venue for the ASD person's retaliation against others for past hurts tends to be online (e.g., in chatrooms, forums, etc.) where he or she can chastise others, yet remain fairly anonymous. The typical Asperger’s adult does not have the confidence or social skills to stand up to the “offending party” face-to-face.
As adults, people with a blue mood experience little joy in their lives. They tend to take life too seriously, and to take other’s comments and behavior too personally. In fact, many adults on the spectrum that I have worked with are unable to remember a time when you felt happy, enthusiastic, or motivated. They often report feeling as though they have been in a one-down-position their entire life.
These individuals tend to be rather irritable, gloomy and negative much of the time, usually expecting the worst possible outcome when uncomfortable challenges and struggles arise. They tend to be inactive and withdrawn, worry frequently, and are critical of themselves. Most have a hard time enjoying things and having fun – unless it is a solitary activity, usually one that involves their “special interest.”
As one man with Asperger’s stated:
A blue mood appears to affect more women than men. Many of these women report feeling mildly, yet chronically depressed to the point that it seems to be a part of their personality. Kara, a female with Asperger’s, had this to say:
Having a blue mood may be associated with the presence of personality disorders (e.g., avoidant, dependent, histrionic, borderline, and narcissistic). However, it is difficult to determine the extent to which a personality disorder is present since many of the long-term problems of having a blue mood affect interpersonal relationships and how the ASD individual perceives him- or herself.
If the adult on the autism spectrum finally seeks treatment, it is not uncommon that he or she has had this problem for a many years. Because a blue mood tends to develop in adolescence, the autistic individual may believe that it is normal to always feel this way. He/she does not realize that the quality of his/her mood is anything out of the ordinary.
As another young man with ASD stated:
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:
• Anonymous said… i have feels for you and completely understand. I have been married 14 years to my aspie husband. First time i did not aware of his condition, ( and even have specific name for it) even himself not aware of. But last year he figure out himself (no clinical diagnosis) and as years goes by, our relationship is not easy, lot of negativity, criticism, unsuportive behaviour from him for me. I feel so lonely have to cope things on my own, and raise my kids who seems have same behaviour. His family knew this from long time but they ignore it and defend him. I have no emotional support at all. My family is overseas and my husband and i hardly visit them as it is expensive. I have no permanent job, and my husband not even help me to find one for me. He does his own business and i only help when he needs me and he is so perfectionist and fuss, particular on his own way to do things. If i talk like this to others, then they will direct me to the questions: how did we met ? I am not trying to deny this question, but even him self not aware that he has this condition. Same like other people who have illness or disorder, do they always aware of their condition until someone else can notice it ? Or until they can feels themself are having lot of trouble (uneasy) specially in their social life.
• Anonymous said… I'm afraid I'm on the opposite end of this dialog. I'm a recently diagnosed Aspie who has been the callous, melt-down prone, controlling, ice queen that destroyed several very important relationships (one of which still haunts me with regret). I had no idea that I was on the spectrum and I'm sure most folks just thought I was bat-guano crazy. Heck, I even thought so for years. I began to have suspicions at the late age of 53 that something about me was intrinsically different from other people, and I took the initiative to consult a specialist. Now that I have a "label" for the indescribable chaos I have unwittingly inflicted on the world, myself and my near and dears, it has helped me to monitor my responses to the world more carefully and hopefully function a bit more adroitly. I will not, however, EVER be able to make amends for the hurt and destruction I have caused along the way. Believe me, we DO feel, and VERY deeply--but sometimes, we just have no idea how to express it. It's almost as if by simply feeling, I've assumed that the significant person at the time knew. They didn't. I am sorry for all of us, Autistic and NT alike. Our struggles to understand each other do leave casualties. ( ; _ ; )
• Anonymous said… Just putting it out there, but narcissism can get confused for Aspergers.
• Anonymous said… Aspergers is something you must read about and study to understand. It is a higher form of Austism.
• Anonymous said… Being married to an aspie is very hard. I can relate to the woman who wrote this letter.
• Anonymous said… Everyone is our mirror and we can learn from looking into that mirror. Calling him a droid breaks my heart for him. He may not be able to feel her feelings or understand what she needs in a given situation, but as someone else pointed out, he can learn to give this woman what she needs. He can learn to give their children what they need. And the children can learn to understand him better, as well. Understanding others is something people with abilities take for granted. It's able privilege. Our abilities can do us a disservice by allowing us to ignore the plight and the pain of people who are unable to do what we can do. She needs to stop blaming him and learn some empathy herself. She needs to make sure her children become intimately acquainted with empathy, as well. She does her children just as much harm as she believes his Aspergers has done. She chose to stay, she chose to let her children live this way, and apparently she did nothing to learn about or teach her children about Aspergers. She chose to drink. Blaming him for her own choices is just plain silly. This is my opinion based on this woman's very harsh words, but I realize that others will disagree with me.
• Anonymous said… Have you been to marriage counseling? Or therapy just for yourself? Honestly, it might help.
• Anonymous said… Honestly my hubby is the same way, but marriage to my hubby has been very fulfilling. He may not be physically or emotionally available but he says he loves me in other ways. In his own ways, the world is not made up of ALL the same kinds of ppl *emotionally available*. And also what is it you want them to do? They can't just like a switch turn on emotions. We've been married 21 yrs and I don't expect things from my hubby that he just can't give. Because he just can't feel emotions, and he falls into his own depression because he doesn't know why or how he just can't feel,and he struggles himself with feeling like I need or want more, but Blaming him isn't the way to go about it, I find fulfillment in other things, we are best friends,we go on long rides on our harley, he buys me those stupid little things he knows I love *my favorite granola* he's always home and comes to bed every night, he shares his food with me and let's me steal drinks from his cup, he gives hugs on occasions and kisses. I find it horrible that anyone could blame someone who can't help who they are, because it's just who they are. And you either love them or you don't, you either stay or you leave. My wonderful hubby is the best part of me because he loves me out of the box.
• Anonymous said… HOw bloody rude some other people have been. Its never just as simple as that, especially when you have spent 17 years with someone and have children with them. OP- there is a huge difference between him having AS and him being abusive. I believe his behaviour in regards to him blaming your alcohol usage is abusive. My advice? You deserve to be happy, as do your children. Leave him and find someone who will care for you and demonstrate that love.
• Anonymous said… I feel so sad for the woman in the op, but she has one thing wrong-- aspergers does not mean a person is 'emotionally empty'. He may not love her, but that does not mean he is incapable of love. I'm sorry for the awful marriage, but it's untrue to equate someone not loving you or not being able to show you love to them not being capable of it
• Anonymous said… I find this society difficult because we have it drummed into us that we shouldn't treat people differently because they have a disability however you can't leave an unhappy relationship because they can't help it. I feel that more people will feel stuck unhappy because of this in between mentality. OP he may not be able to help it, but your expectations when you married him are not being met, and it's ok not to be ok with that. You don't have to blame him or yourself but whether he had a diagnosis or not, sometimes people don't grow together the way they expect to and you're allowed to feel unfulfilled.
• Anonymous said… I was thinking the same thing, Jennifer. I have a son who is an Aspie and I would think she would have noticed his behavior before she chose to say, "I do".
• Anonymous said… if he did used to hold her hand and kiss etc and then stopped it is not his aspergers at fault, he may be falling out of love with her
• Anonymous said… I'm confused, do people with Aspergers just suddenly become emotionally absent? I guess I'm confused as to how people wouldn't notice this when they are dating and considering marriage. I'm not trying to be snarky in my comment I really just simply don't know.
• Anonymous said… It is a very, very difficult problem sometimes... Not all people with Aspergus are difficult... But my life has been hard due to my Father having this... He is 92 and was never given any help throughout his life.
• Anonymous said… mine never says 'i love you' but he shows me every day in his actions we have been together 12 years
• Anonymous said… most people with aspergers are not this way
• Anonymous said… My Aspie hubby is very loving and giving, his main differences is logical order, sensory sensitive, and can seem aggressive due to these. My Aspie neighbour is very affectionate and appreciative gentlemen, his differences is mainly understanding life skills. Everyone is different, but there is always some level of affection given. Get counselling.
• Anonymous said… My son is 12 and is Aspergers, I worry on a daily basis that he will grow to be an emotionally abusive partner but then I remember that nurture trumps nature. We will ensure he has the upbringing he needs to navigate life and treasure family above all else. I am sorry for all you have been through but do not be naïve and write people off because of a condition.
• Anonymous said… No, this is wrong. Many people with Aspergers display emotions and empathy for others.
• Anonymous said… She said that in the last 10 years she's not had any physical touch but has been married for 17. I've heard of many occasions when Aspies have said they could only pretend for so long so perhaps he began shutting down. I feel for both parties involved.
• Anonymous said… So you married him because you thought you would 'fix' him or 'cure' him? What you describe is not typical of autism. I think there are issues other than autism. Seek counseling together.
• Anonymous said… The emotions are very limited. The mind works different. It is very difficult to deal with Aspergers. Doesn't mean he don't love you. When they reject you can be long term. I worry about my teen and relationships. It is definitely a challenge because of social skills, limited emotionals, obsessions, rituals, or daily habits. Sometimes, they can not help the things that they do. They just do things that we don't understand. Please understand that he will likely never change, even if her desires to. Ladies, know who you are getting involve with pertaining to a relationship. Aspergers is not a bed of Roses and it will never be.
• Anonymous said… The one person with Asperger is not the other person. What works in one marriage, and how the husband/wife with the Asperger is in that marriage cannot be compared to how other people are in other mariages because everyone has an own character. My exhusband does not feel a thing inside. He says it every time again. He simply does not feel, except for who he choses to feel and for himself. So when my youngest daughter cries for her daddy, calls him and asks him to please come by he just says, sorry, no can do. He says he has learned how to act by looking at the reactions of other people but when I would lay on the street through an heartattac/accident he would not help me and would just drive further. He has said it time after time, sorry, I know it is very hard for you but when I walk out of the door I do not miss you or the children, I do not think about you at all, no matter the time. And he has proven it time and time again, that he cannot feel much. Like an empty shell, who acts automatic. He falls asleep while talking to me, he does very strange things, he is not capable to care for our children and told me that he only wants to be part when the happy things are happening and does not want to be a parent. And the happy things only before a certain time. His parents and brother are the same, no emotions, except for themselves and for the ones they chose too. For the outside world they seem very nice but inside the house it is cold. It is hard to live with someone like that and I have made the choice to leave him after trying it over and over again because I wanted my kids to have their daddy and I wanted to not leave him alone because he has not chosen to have Asperger. Now he tells me that it is better this way, that I have made the good choice, that he is happy. And I try to have some kind of friendship with him so that my kids can have both parents. I really try. But one thing I have learned is that one can have Asperger and still care about his or hers family. So I will never judge other families cause I do not know a single thing about their life except what I have read which can be read or felt in more than one way. Drinking is not the solution though but I think you allready know that. I feel with, and give you a big hug!
• Anonymous said… This poor woman. I can completely relate. Here's a couple thoughts. 1. I think this lady is expecting too much from her husband. He cannot make her complete. He isn't capable and even if they attend counseling, she will still feel like a checklist. BUT counseling will at least give give an answer of where his heart is and if he does love her, he can learn how. My theory is that this cannot happen without a counselor because although she is the expert on herself, he may now be aware of his social shortcomings unless an expert in Asperger's tells him. 2. It's not fair to blame him for the drinking. She made the choice to start (not knowing she was an alcoholic) and from there, her brain took over. 3. Her "emotional numbness" sounds like textbook depression. I want her to know that neither the alcoholism nor the depression was her choice. Why would anybody choose that? Her brain lacks the ability to make the hormone for happiness (the drinking replaces the hormone). It is treatable. I would advise her to start with counseling for herself only and regular exercise and planning some regular fun. She needs to love herself instead of expect her husband to do it for her. I think that once she's done these things, she'll be able to think more clearly and make a good decision to either accept her husband as he is, or leave. There is no right or wrong choice. It's her life, it's her choice. I just want to make sure she's able to think and feel clearly before doing something she regrets.
• Anonymous said… This will sound judgemental and I apologise. You've made the way he is turn you into an alcoholic?!! You should have left him years ago. I'm sorry but you should have protected YOUR kids! They are the ones that are COMPLETELY innocent!
• Anonymous said… this would have shown through before she married him....so why did she marry him in the first place???
• Anonymous said… We have been martied for 18 yrs there are struggles. He doesnt get some ques but we work together on it. That doesnt mean i dint have days i want to bop him and say really??
• Anonymous said… well as an aspie/autistic myself, this makes me incredibly depressed for my future...
• Jane said... I have a teenage son who was diagnosed by a highly recommended neurologist with HFA when he was 10 years old. There are times me and his teenage brother have grown frustrated by his apathy, and hurt by the way he has expressed himself, but that was before we came to an understanding. My son has autism, which is a neurological disorder of which there is no treatment or cure, therefore, expecting him to change is an expectation held in vain. He CANNOT change, he can merely adapt. He is NOT a robot, nor is he emotionless, he just has a different way. He is different, he will always be different, and expecting HIM to overcome a disorder of which there is no cure, like somehow he will eventually learn to communicate like we do is a dangerous thought pattern. It NEVER goes away, it DOES NOT "get better" and it is selfish to expect him to overcome something he truly cannot help because my feelings get hurt. he has come a long way, but the autism will always be there. WE needed to learn how to communicate his way, in a way that HE understands, and because I love him, I took the time to research autism and find ways to bridge that gap and have a close relationship with my son. You have NO IDEA what the world is like in his head, and how each day is a struggle for him. There is no "fixing" him. learn to adapt to HIS needs (because they will never change) or move on and let him have the chance at love with someone who is unselfish and willing to make the effort to love him the way he deserves.
• Naynay … For the person who said "why did you marry them in the first place?" As for me I had no idea about aspergers, I just thought I can change him and make him love me and make him more affectionate!! I didn't know what it was until I was completely broken and thought there was something wrong with me!!! You feel so unloved and so unwanted!!! It's devastating!! We have been married for 3 years and I'm at a point of can I live with begging for affection for the rest of my life or moving on from a man I really love with all my heart. It's torture.
• Wyldkat …Wow. I'm sorry, but really? Why on earth would anyone marry anyone with the plan to change them into something else? That is about the most self-destructive and, well sorry about this, but abusive thing I've heard in a long time. If you didn't love your husband the way he was, then you didn't love him and that is completely your failing, not his. I know this sounds mean, but your reply really turned my stomach. I feel very sorry for your husband.
• Unknown …The comments posted so far seem to fall into two camps. The first are those who have lived with an Aspie and sympathize with this woman's anger, grief, and exasperation. The other camp are those who think she is being too harsh because she feels angry, sad, and exasperated. These folks insist that the Aspie husband does indeed love her but just doesn't know how to express it because he can't feel empathy. He just needs to learn how, and she has no right to feel what she feels. But there lies the rub: Aspies often don't see why they have to learn how to show love and care. From inside, it seems that other people are just over-reacting or making incomprehensible and unfair emotional demands on them. Change occurs when Aspies acknowledge that their behavior elicits these responses from the world, and that it is incumbent on them to learn how to interact with those who love them in ways that nurture rather than enrage. There is a saying from AA that is particularly appropriate here: It's not your fault, but it is your responsibility.
• Dishodiwaba …WTF, all these women married to these off the scale autistic men...I cannot get a date. I have been diagnosed with each of a, but I am nothing like what these article describe! I have plenty of problems with communication but it's all subtle and most people I know don't even realize I am on the Spectrum. Your husband treats you like shit? Give me a chance. I'll treat you like gold. What the hell is this come out I'm reading about these fucking monsters, and they're all married; and I cannot get a date! This is insanity!
• oliveyew…I've been married to an Aspie for 13 years and just recently figured out what was going on thanks to my therapist. We've been to over 8 therapists, trying to make our marriage work. When she recognized some of his behaviors as matching those of people on the spectrum she gently asked me and blew my mind. I feel so stupid after all of these years. To those asking how we married men who are emotionally unavailable, I can only speak for myself. I never really thought I could change him but I was a workaholic when we met climbing the corporate ladder. The space he gave me worked at the time in many ways. I accepted or chose to not look at the ways our miscommunication could be to the detriment of our relationship. I was also raised in a non-nurturing home (by a non Aspie), so it felt comfortable to me in a way. For this reason I chose to not have children (THANKFULLY) - I don't want to imagine this man with kids. He's wonderful in many ways, but caregiving/empathy is not one of them. I don't know if we'll make it through this, we're not in a good place right now. It is comforting to know others are out there though, and this forum has been very helpful.
Post your comment below…
Resources for ASD-NT Couples
“I am married to a man with Aspergers. I must say this has been the biggest challenge in my entire life. Although I do love my husband dea...
"Can an adult with Aspergers or High Functioning Autism have a meltdown just like a child with the same disorder?" Click here ...
A lot of men with Asperger’s (AS) – also called “high functioning autism” – have never been diagnosed and are regarded as being eccent...
You have a love Asperger's, and you don't understand him or her, so it's making you crazy? It doesn't have to be that wa...
Men with Aspergers have many traits that can be attractive to a prospective partner. Click here for the full article... ==> Liv...
People with ASD [High Functioning Autism] often face challenges related to their ability to interpret certain social cues and skills. ...
Many, if not most, females with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism “slip through the net” (i.e., go undiagnosed) because they camoufl...
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming bouts of de...
Too often, the microscope is focused on all that is wrong with adults who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD]. Yet, these grown-ups a...
"One of the things I have learned while married to my husband with Aspergers syndrome is that I have to allow for processing time....