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10 Signs You're Experiencing Emotional Trauma in a Relationship with an ASD Partner

If you’re in a relationship with intense baggage, conflict, or symptoms that seem similar to PTSD, there’s a good chance you’re in a toxic relationship with an emotionally abusive partner or spouse, and are suffering as a result.

Whether you actually qualify for a PTSD diagnosis or not, these feelings are very real and prevent you from having a healthy life - both physically and emotionally.

Here are 10 signs that people often experience when they are in a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship with someone on the autism spectrum:

1.  You have lost interest in having sex with this person. In fact, just the thought of it can make you a bit sick. You don’t enjoy spending time with him or her, and you dread such things as meal time and phone calls etc. Most social contact with this person causes you an element of distress.

2.  You often feel worthless and notice your confidence and self-esteem are waning.

3. You often have thoughts of divorcing this person, which brings you a sense of temporary relief. But this is quickly followed by feelings of guilt for even contemplating divorce.

4. You often have intense feelings of isolation and loneliness. This may occur when your Asperger's partner is off somewhere engaging in his or her "special activity," or when this person is in shutdown mode as a way to cope with relationship-related stress.

5. You blame yourself at some level for being "stupid" enough to fall in love with a person who is this selfish, uncaring, and insensitive. This person wasn't abusive early in the relationship, but now you feel like a fool or a sucker for not noticing the red flags "back in the day."

6. In your heart of hearts, you know you can’t continue living like this, but you’re having a very hard time letting go and moving on.

7. You often have intrusive thoughts, "waiting for the other shoe to drop." When is your Asperger's partner going to have his or her next meltdown or temper tantrum? As one neurotypical spouse stated, "Whenever things are going well and my AS husband is calm, this little voice creeps in my head that says, 'This won’t last. Don’t trust this. The other shoe is going to drop at any moment.' And it always does." [This is a sign of PTSD, by the way.]

8. You feel like you are constantly walking on egg shells, and you frequently apologize for "upsetting" this person.

9. You have tried really hard to not say or do anything to be upsetting to this person, but your best efforts usually fail.

10. You frequently feel anxious and/or depressed. Flashbacks from past disputes, as well as a few nightmares, are not uncommon.



  1. Thank you for this.

  2. I am a girlfriend that was in a long term relationship. where is help for the nt trying to move foward? this is like an addiction of the soul.

    1. Is it abuse if my asd husband hits, pushes, yells, threatened, put hands around my neck, destroys my possessions, throws my phone in the bushes?

    2. Who cares, get the hell out of that now!!

    3. All I did was be understanding for years, constant forgiving of bad behavior. I was told every time after a verbal assalt, that took him contacting me when he was ready, just to say I just have to understand...That's all I had done for years. It got worse. He never does anything in front of a friend or co worker-Just aimed at me in private.

    4. Thank you for your response. Is your partner ASD or Aspergers?

  3. I feel most of these, spot on 😢 17 years of marriage and my self worth has eroded, PTSD, constantly in edge and can’t talk about my feelings or all hell breaks loose.. He gets obsessive over his hobbies and it intrudes into regular life all the time (can even sit and watch a show together without him looking things up on his phone for his current project). He’s always right and the way i feel is wrong, the list goes on…. He lies and withholds information he should be sharing. He feels entitled to do whatever he thinks is ok for him to do even if it hurts me (we have boundaries, he has had problems with infidelity) I am always so anxious i can’t breathe…. Before i meet him i was different, stronger, said I’d never put up with this kind of bullshit. I don’t know how Igot to where I am now..

  4. I’ve been with the same man for 10 years, married for 8. We have our 5 year old son together. I have CPTSD from childhood trauma and have engaged in 11 years of therapy and self healing. My husband didn’t recognise his autism until we met. No one has ever brought it up and he never looked into it himself. He seems to walk around being almost completely unaware of himself. He never looks in the mirror. He is a gentle and loving man in lots of ways and he has always been kind. But we have had a merry go round conversation for the past 10 years. He has dissociations and shutdowns which he is unaware of and I am not allowed to bring them up with extreme defensiveness. He comes in and out of being present and I feel so alone and often like a single parent. Each shutdown triggers my own mental health, which I am trying my best to recover from. And when I talk about how unhealthy our relationship is for both of us, he gets upset and makes out that I am giving up on him. I am exhausted and so feel I have to put my son’s and my own needs first now in order to be the best mother I can be for my son. It often feels like I have two children. I am so sad 😞

    1. I feel exactly the same and I just don’t know what to do. Are you doubting your decisions or even are at the point where you can’t even pick a paint color for a room? Like you need someone else to approve these so you know you are making the right decisions? I don’t know what happened to be but as I realize and go back and forth with myself. Is it emotional abuse if he doesn’t realize he’s doing it? So lost.

    2. Omg yes! I say that all the time! What is wrong with me? I cannot make any kind of dumb decision. One of them was picking out paint colors. I really don’t know what to do. The more I research, the more I feel validated.


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