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How to Cope with an Arrogant Asperger's Partner: Tips for Neurotypicals

An arrogant partner can make you feel insignificant, discouraged, and depressed. If your partner acts "superior" to you - either in private or in front of others - this behavior should be dealt with and changed in order for you to keep your sanity and self-esteem intact. A relationship can't survive if one partner is always critical of the other, so address the behavior quickly and find ways to make a change. 

Here are 15 tips to get you started:

1. Avoid saying that your partner "makes" you feel inferior, because this term may put him or her on the defensive. Also, nobody can "make" you feel a particular way unless you give them permission to do so. He/she does not have that much power over you.

2. Tactfully confront the problem soon after the arrogant behavior occurs, but do so after your partner has had time to relax and unwind from work [and the kids are in bed].

3. Determine the best time and place to tactfully confront your partner (e.g., while watching TV in the evening, while in the car driving somewhere, on the weekend, while dining out at a restaurant, etc.). During the "heat of the moment" is the worst time to confront. Tempers are flaring and either of you may say something you regret.

4. Don’t take the blame for your partner's behavior, but try to communicate how you feel in a calm way (i.e., use "I" statements).

5. Find a safe setting where you two can be alone. Presenting your case in front of others will make you look "hurt" and your partner look like an asshole.

6. If you allow too much time to pass after an incident, it may be forgotten and the details will become fuzzy.

7. Always present your case in a diplomatic tone (i.e., think in terms of problem-solving as opposed to blaming).

8. Provide specific examples when you talk to your partner about his or her behavior. Choose a recent event and be specific about what was done or said.

9. Set some boundaries. Make it clear that arrogant behavior is not acceptable and that you will not tolerate it. Stand your ground and do not change your mind if your partner further criticizes you or tries to minimize the situation. Your self-image is at stake, because if you are on the receiving end of condescension long enough, you may come to believe the so-called "flaws" that your partner accuses you of having.

10. Stop your partner's arrogant remarks in their tracks by turning the spotlight onto him or her (e.g., "How would you do it better?" or "Where's the evidence for doing it the way you think it should be done?").

11. Try asking your partner to tell you what is really going on by saying something such as "Is it possible that you are mad about something other than me. What's really going on?"

12. Try to learn the motivation for your partner's haughty behavior. This will make it easier for you to empathize with your partner and get him/her to start behaving in a more considerate manner.


==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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