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...

Search This Blog

Wife of a Man with Asperger's Provides Some Pointers

"One of the things I have learned while married to my husband with Aspergers syndrome is that I have to allow for processing time. Robert needs longer processing time, particularly for verbal instruction. He can't instantly react to my requests.

For example, a few months ago, I came home from work and told Robert that I decided I'm taking him out for dinner. And he said, "No!" His response confused me and also kind of hurt my feelings because I was making a kind gesture. But in his mind, although he hadn't already cooked dinner (and he is the cook at our house), he had already decided what we would be doing for dinner, and to quickly change his internal plans was difficult for him to do. Situations similar to this one had occurred quite frequently.

I realized now that instead of throwing a last-minute change on my husband, I need to give him a heads-up. So, a better method for me has been to call him earlier in the day while I am at work, and ask him what he thinks about us going out to eat dinner that evening. Robert needs to adjust to the idea, and by the time I get home, he has warmed-up to it.

Time to adjust has proven to be even more critical when a serious decision has to be made (e.g., issues related to our children and financial considerations). My method now is to approach my husband, suggest my idea, and then leave it alone and wait for him to respond. Sometimes that may be days later, which in most cases is not a problem because it allows us to carefully consider the implications.

Over time, we have learned to trust that we will not be pressured into making a decision that we are not comfortable with. Taking a little extra time helps to ease tensions that used to result in heated arguments.

The other important thing I have discovered during my marriage is I need to avoid assuming Robert automatically knows my needs. For example, a while back I came home with two arms full of groceries and struggled to get in the front door. Robert could see me struggling but didn't get out of his chair to offer to help me. As I returned to the car for another armload, I became very frustrated. Robert continued to ignore what I considered to be obvious struggling. At my wits end, I screamed at him and asked why he didn't help. He reacted with shock and hurt and yelled back, "I didn't know you wanted my help!" (Then my thought: "WTF!")

I have since learned that people with Aspergers do not read body language that is obvious to people without the disorder. Robert didn't come to my aid because he couldn't read my body language that exuded frustration while struggling to carry groceries through the door.

Now when I need his help, I approach things differently. I often say, "Can you help me sweetheart?" This simple request has helped save a lot of frustration and tension in our relationship. I used to think that if he doesn't know, I shouldn't have to ask. That's not going to work in this kind of situation where one person cannot pick up on another person's needs without words. Over time, my husband and I have established a routine of clearly outlined expectations. I don't put him in a situation where he has to guess what I need in the moment.

In a nutshell, now that I give my husband some time to process things, and give him specific instructions on what I need him to do, things have gone much more smoothly. I wanted to share these revelations in the hope that other neurotypical wives may benefit from just two simple adjustments that can make such a huge difference."

Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living with ASD: eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by ASD

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

==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

==> ASD Men's MasterClass: Social-Skills Training and Emotional-Literacy Development

Best Comments:

Wow… this scenario is sooo familiar.We're an Aspie husband/NT wife couple who spent the first 35 years of our marriage without realising what we were dealing with (and not very well).Then came the diagnosis — for me and our five adult children and most of our grandchildren — and a whole new relationship.Next month is the 50th anniversary of our wedding in 1968.Thanks for this insight. :D

How is it that your Asp diagnosis was not found until you were in your 50s.

Autism wasn't on the DSM until 1980, Aspergers was added later (and has now been rolled into autism spectrum disorder in the latest edition). Since diagnosis traditionally focuses on childhood development, adults are overlooked unless they are looking into other health issues.

We went to many marriage counselors in the 80s. None of them could figure him out. Finally at age 60 he agreed to be diagnosed,(he's on severe side) he stormed out of room. Won't admit or talk about it. Five years later,42 yrs marriage,it helps me understand him. He seems to be getting worse with age.But I am unbearably lonely.😢

I'm 55 now and was only diagnosed 3 years ago. When my wife met my Uncle about 21 years ago she commented that he must be on the spectrum. My wife had been working as an early intervention therapist. It was only 18 years later that she suspected that I could be as well.

How is it possible for your diagnosis not to be picked up for so long. Do you have the mildest form of Asperger's?

I have just been diagnosed at 44, always felt so different and struggled.

Now I just except I am wired slightly differently and no longer try to have friends etc because that's what everyone expects which I hate!

Helped with wife and kids who know understand me better and realize that my routines are important to me and to give me a little time and space.

Just wish I had found out many years ago as I feel so much better and can move on in life.

I realise my 53 year old husband has AS . It's so difficult, hard to cope and feel so alone

Asperger's Syndrome was not officially recognised until the DSM-4 was released in 1994. So it was really easy NOT to be diagnosed until I was 57 yo. And yes, I'm mildly affected — although I have a few aspects that are more pronounced.

Common to not be diagnosed until adulthood. I know one man who was a senior. I was 30.

I am also married (2nd time) with an aspie. My 1st marriage, my husband was NT( as myself) and adjusting to an aspie husband is still a work in progress. I lived thru the same things the article mentions but i learned something else. Surprises when it comes to birthdays or trips do not sit well either. I loved to give surprised trip for a bday but with my husband and not child, i have to let them know that i am planning something for them. Yes, the surprise effect is gone but they both need to adapt to the new adventure. everyday is a work in progress adapting to them :)

Can anyone here relate to the husband with asperger not being ok making love even though we are married and had an active love life before marriage? We stopped being active till marriage for a year and a half so honey moon night came and NOTHIN! And maybe 7x since then and we're going on 5 years together/4 married!

That seems to ber very normal with Aspergers sadly. I’ve been married for 15 years, together for 19 and it’s been one a year and I doubt it will ever happen again. It was great until we moved in together.

Yep.still can't work out why it was different then.

The groceries! Every week! Thanks for the reminder. I forget to ask and I’m really bad about not asking for what I need. I have learned to ask for a “minute” when I’m sad/lonely and that is his cue that I need a hug.

5 Crucial Tips for How People with Asperger’s Can Make and Retain Friends

Regrettably, making and keeping friends isn’t always easy for people with Asperger’s (high-functioning autism). Meeting new people is often overwhelming for these individuals. But, with some effort and willingness to step outside of their comfort zone, “Aspies” can indeed make -  and keep - friends.

If you are confused about how to go about forging new friendships (or strengthening old ones), here are 5 simple – yet highly effective – ideas that are more creative and practical than the old “just be yourself” strategy:

1. For the Aspie who likes a specific topic, he/she should try searching for a location where he/she can meet people who share that interest (e.g., attending a church, Mosque, temple or other house of worship; joining a club, such as a science club; joining a band or choir; volunteering time at a local nursing home, hospital, or a non-profit organization).

2. Aspies can join a club or go to church, but they still won't make friends if they don't actually talk to others. By the same token, they don't have to be involved with an organization to be social.

As one 34-year-old male Aspie stated, “Any time I talk to someone, I have a chance at making a friend. Most conversations are a dead-end of sorts, and I may never run in to that person again. But, every once in a while, I actually make a friend. I make a point everyday to talk to several people, such as the clerk at the video store, the person sitting next to me on the bus, the person behind me at the checkout line at the grocery store - just to name a few.”

3. If Aspies have an unfriendly facial expression or body language, people are less likely to be receptive to their friendship. Squinting, looking bored, frowning, or folding one’s arms practically scream "don't talk to me." Such habits make Aspies look troubled or disinterested. Looking the person in the eye when he or she is speaking - and offering a warm, friendly smile - goes a long way in getting the other person to feel comfortable.

4. Learn a few “conversation-starters.” For example, give a compliment ("That's a nice car" or "I like your tennis shoes"), make a request for help ("If you have a minute, can you help me carry a few boxes?" or "Can you help me decide which one of these is a better gift for my girlfriend?"), or try making a comment about the weather ("At least it's not snowing like last week!").

5. Introducing one’s self at the end of a conversation is another great way to be friendly. It can be as simple as saying, "Oh, by the way, my name is John". Once one introduces himself or herself, the other person will usually do the same. Also, try to remember that person’s name.

As one 28-year-old female Aspies stated, “When I show that I remembered things from my past conversation with the other person, it kind of makes me look intelligent, and the other person knows that I was paying attention and am willing to be a friend.

Best of luck!

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Popular Posts

Chat for Adults with HFA and Aspergers