Are you an adult with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's? Are you in a relationship with someone on the autism spectrum? 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...

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ASD and Inflexibility: What NT Spouses Often Experience

"My husband has asperger syndrome. We've been married for 3 years, and we work out most of our issues related to the disorder. But I must say he is THE MOST stubborn person I know. He always HAS to be right. How can I break through his rigid way of thinking so that he can see the other side of issues? My opinions are of absolutely no value to him. Once he gets an idea in his mind, no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince him."

One big challenge for people with ASD is "mind-blindness," which refers to the inability to understand the needs, beliefs, and intentions that drive other people’s behavior. Without this ability, they have great difficulty making sense of the world.

People, in general, often confuse the person on the spectrum, because he has  a hard time connecting his own needs, beliefs, and intentions to experiences -- and the positive or negative consequences associated with those experiences. He may even be unaware that he have this problem, even if he knows he has the diagnosis.

In any event, people on the autism spectrum can learn to compensate for mind-blindness through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  As therapy progresses, they will learn to use logic to make sense of the world and the people in it, one personal situation at a time. And, they will understand that all human behavior has a reason behind it -- even if they don’t see it.

The mysteries of human behavior disappear when people with ASD can understand the appropriate states of mind behind such mysteries. Also, once the state of mind is understood, other people’s future behavior can be anticipated. Then, and only then, will the individual be able to (a) see another person's point of view and (b) objectively look at their own point of view to see whether or not it is truly accurate.

Think of it like this: The fact that your husband currently has difficulty understanding your point of view is no different than having a language barrier. He can't see your side of things due to mind-blindness issues in the same way he wouldn't be able to see your side of things if you spoke only French, yet he spoke only English. 
It's not that he doesn't want to understand you, he simply hasn't learned the language yet (i.e., he hasn't learned that other people have their own needs, beliefs and intentions that drive their behavior).

==> More strategies for dealing with inflexibility in your AS partner can be found here...

Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism  

==> Online Group Therapy for Couples and Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

 ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives


•    Anonymous said…  I dont mind the wanting to be right, but its the belittling of my view or opinion that bothers me....Then if i try to explain i am told im arguing.
•    Anonymous said… After 22 years with my Aspie husband, he's learned to do better at listening to my opinions and taking them into consideration, but I very rarely get an apology (almost never). I've learned to live with it. What I dislike most is his tone of voice and the look that goes with it when I say something he considers to be a "stupid question". I'm like, look man, I have the same IQ as you, so put your disdain away and answer my question  😂
•    Anonymous said… Aspergers doesn't make a man a jerk. It just makes him not want to change.
•    Anonymous said… I can still be the same way most of the time but my obsession with science and logic override my syndrome.
•    Anonymous said… I just let my 26 year old fly the nest... they can't help how they are and we have to be willing and able to let it all go and love them for who they are...marriage is a whole different ball game... good luck to you.
•    Anonymous said… I'm an Aspie on his third marriage. I hear you.
•    Anonymous said… I'm still on my first. My NT husband can be so difficult to deal with.  🤣
•    Anonymous said… Its only a syndrome if you all say its a syndrome. I see it as a evolution of soul and mind, most of you ladies might be looking in to deep of things. Thing's that may have never been their until you heard the name Asperger's.
•    Anonymous said… i've been married to one almost 49 years...learned about Aspergers about 7 years ago ... I'm sorry but some things don't change
•    Anonymous said… My husband and I have been together for 20 years. Thanks to our daughters diagnosis, we found his as well. How I communicate to my husband is calmly voice your side, if that doesn't work find a different approach. I either have to word it differently, ask him to explain in detail why my idea won't work, come up with a visual of some sort. They function on a totally different wave sometimes, so even thought we are speaking their language, they aren't understanding it. Also, if it's something out of his comfort zone, it takes longer. It can be so frustrating and hard, I know!! My 2 communicate on 2 different ends of the spectrum. Most of the time I'm the interpreter!!  ☺️
•    Anonymous said… The rigidity of thinking is to do with them trying to control their environment, which in turn comes from anxiety. I know because I have the condition too. It's not a deliberate attempt to be unpleasant. Being wrong would create a whirlpool of emotions that would be hard to deal with. We are very complicated people!
•    Anonymous said… Unless for some reason he wants to change it will not happen.....
•    Anonymous said… we're doing behavioral therapy and these are some of the things he's working on so that he doesn't appear rude to clients, etc so it's helpful to point it out when he does it. For the record I have Asperger's as well so I have a good idea how he thinks and we've done wonderfully well adapting to each other over the years (22 years married). For the most part I don't get offended about it any more. I say something to bring his attention to it and we talk about it.
•    Anonymous said… What goes on in his mind when he says those things is different to how you are taking it. His instruction manual is different to yours. He can change to suit you but he would be acting a part and it would appear false. You have to learn that when he says things in a certain way you consider rude or out of line it is your problem not his. Try speaking autism. It's really easy. Just put your ability to be offended on hold.
•    Anonymous said...Hello my name is Davon and I am 26 years old I have come to realize that I am Aspergers and now the way I think is starting to make since now. I have not been diagnosed with Aspergers yet but sometimes I feel like It's me against the world and no one understands me. I go through horrible anxiety and depression. I attack myself all the time saying all sorts of mean thingscto myself. I have a social problem and I am a loner. Please help me understand how to fix this.
•    Anonymous said...I think reading Mark's blog And his books are a great way to begin to understand. I'm raising my 11 year old grandson who is genius IQ and very high-functioning Asperger's has total mind blindness I'm also married to an aspie man as well as my father being on the Spectrum especially with OCD over the top good luck to you and it's so great to reach out for help because you are certainly not alone��
•    Anonymous said...The difference is ... I can learn French! I can't learn to speak Aspie. I wish I could.

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