Blog for Individuals and Neurodiverse Couples Affected by ASD
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...
Life is like a complex puzzle for men with ASD (high functioning autism). If you know that your partner is suffering from this disorder, be patient with him. With time, you will be able to see why his behavior (that seems inappropriate to you) is the only right way for him to react.
Once married, the true characteristics of ASD become more noticeable. Maybe your partner’s constant need to be reminded of things, or the way he lost track of time was cute when dating, but not now that you're married! You may become angry as you wonder why - after so many years of being together - that your spouse still can't understand what you are saying or understand your feelings.
At times, the partner with an autism spectrum disorder may appear egotistical, selfish, or uncaring, when in fact this is not the case. ASD is a neurological condition in which a person is often unable to understand the emotions of others. Those with the disorder are not intentionally being mean or uncaring, they just can't interpret other people's feelings adequately or figure out the sarcasm in their speech. Usually they are surprised and embarrassed when finding out their actions were rude or hurtful.
While it was nice to have your partner's unwavering attention when dating, a married couple needs the socialization of others. Many women are surprised how unsociable their spouse with ASD may be, or how inappropriate his comments may be.
Some women may not even know their partner is affected by ASD. They may believe he just doesn't care enough to change or make a big enough effort to save the relationship. For those who do discover the possibility of ASD, or for those who have already been diagnosed, they have a better chance at making the relationship work.
Part of understanding ASD is to know that people with the condition are not intentionally trying to frustrate their partner. They are not trying to ignore their spouse when they get so wrapped up in a particular hobby or interest. They don't mean to be rude when the wrong things come out of their mouth at the wrong time.
Adults on the spectrum may have certain rituals or routines. They may hate surprises or not be able to handle changes. They may not be able to remember the little things, and they may be easily distracted. All of these characteristics are not meant to hurt anyone.
In living with an ASD partner, accepting the differences that come with it is crucial. No relationship is perfect, and neither is one with ASD. Husbands and wives both must work to make any relationship work. Having a better understanding of autism is usually the “saving point” in a conflicted marriage.
Together, couples can work out a better understanding of one another and learn how to better communicate and to send clearer messages to each other. For a successful relationship, knowing that their spouse with ASD really does care makes all the difference.
Most men on the spectrum are reliable and responsible people. They work hard and are good providers for their families. In adulthood, Asperger males don't try to meet the obligations society has for men in general. They can be quite happy to help clean and cook. Most of the time when asked, they are more than willing to help out with whatever task is needed …all you have to do is ask.
Having said the above, it's VERY common for the NT wife to feel hurt by her autistic husband's lack of insight into how relationships are "supposed" to work. As on wife stated, "Just because it isn't on purpose, doesn't mean it's not hurtful, neglectful, or at times abusive."
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