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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Why Your Asperger's Partner Is Non-Committal

What’s Behind Your Fear of Commitment?
  • “I equate commitment with heavy responsibilities and a boring existence?”
  • "I'm afraid I won't be able to live-up to her expectations?"
  • “I fear being overwhelmed and ‘taken over’ in an all-consuming relationship that will just lead to a dreadful life of sacrifice, sacrifice and more sacrifice?”
  • “I fear that I simply can’t handle a woman’s emotional baggage?”
  • "I hate talking about feelings?"
  • “I fear that she will want me to spend a lot of time with her, and this will rob me of time that I need to spend on my special interest?”
  • “I fear that I’m simply not equipped to make a woman happy?” 
  • “I see a life filled with endless chores, such as taking out the garbage, being a chauffeur, and changing diapers?”




=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA 

Why Your AS Partner Seems to Prefer Spending More Time with His “Special Interests” Than with You


For all people with Asperger’s and high-functioning autism, life is usually divided into two categories: preferred and non-preferred activities. Preferred activities are those things your partner engages in frequently and with great intensity.

However, not all of his preferred activities are equal. Some are much more highly desired. An activity that is lower on the list can hardly be used as a “motivator” for one that is higher. For example, you, the NT partner or spouse, will have great difficulty getting him to substitute his “computer time” by offering a “social reward” (e.g., accompanying you to a family get-together) if the computer is higher on his list.

Any activity that is non-preferred will often be avoided as long as possible (e.g., doing chores, going to the grocery, watching a “boring” movie with you). The lower the activities are on the list of desirability, the more he will resist or avoid doing them.

Sometimes an activity becomes non-preferred because it competes with one that is much more highly valued. For example, going for a walk with you could be enjoyable, but if he is reading at the moment - and reading is higher on his list - he will not likely stop what he’s doing to go for an impromptu walk.

Most often, preferred and non-preferred activities are problem areas in the relationship. Your AS or HFA partner will always want to engage in preferred activities even when you have something more important for him to do (e.g., watch the kids while you run an errand).

He does not want to end preferred activities, and your attempts to have him end them will likely cause a bit of conflict. If many non-preferred elements are combined together, the problem can become a nightmare (e.g., go shopping with you, then stop by to see his mother-in-law, then back home so he can “fix” the water leak under the kitchen sink). Family vacations, where his routine is totally disrupted for a rather lengthy period of time, can also be a nightmare.

The AS or HFA individual rarely has activities he just “likes.” He tends to either love or hate an activity. The middle ground is usually missing. Obviously, you would like for your partner or spouse to experience new things to see if he likes them, but he may not want to do this just because you're asking him to do something new.

People on the autism spectrum usually HATE change and deviations from their “routine.” He already has his list of preferred interests, and will rarely see the need for anything new.


=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA 

How to Get Your NT Wife to Divorce You: Tips for Husbands on the Autism Spectrum

Here are 15 very concrete ways that will drive your wife to filing for divorce quicker than a 95-year-old demented man can shit his pants:

1.    Recognize what’s NOT working – and keep doing more of the same.

2.    Remember the bad times and replay those memories often.

3.    Stop focusing on solutions to problems.

4.    Make her do all the chores around the house.

5.    When she wants to talk, face the other way and hold out your palm.

6.    Pressure your wife into having oral sex - on YOU - only!

7.    Gamble away the money set aside to pay the electric bill.

8.    Don’t take a shower or brush your teeth – EVER!

9.    Always announce when you have to poop (e.g., "Honey, it's gonna be a Big HONKER!!!").

10.    When you pee in the middle of the night, leave the toilet seat down – and aim for it (or the walls).

11.    If you do shower, leave your wet towel on her side of the bed.

12.    Sneeze straight ahead rather than covering your mouth and sneezing to the side.

13.    When she needs you to do some handyman work around the house, complete the task only halfway, then leave your tools where the “fixing” took place.

14.    Blow your nose on the cloth napkins while at the restaurant with her.

15.    When there isn't quite enough milk for a full bowl of cereal, but there is a second UNOPENED container, ignore the first and open the second.

Best of luck to all the manly men!

Why Your AS or HFA Partner Has Difficulty Understanding How the Social World Works


Your Asperger's or high-functioning autistic partner has a neuro-cognitive disorder that affects many areas of functioning. This includes a difficulty with the basic understanding of the hidden (i.e., unspoken) rules of social behavior – especially if they are not obvious. Life has many of these rules. Some are written, some are spoken, and some are learned through observation and intuition (and intuition is not a strong point for people on the autism spectrum).

In trying to understand how the social world works, your AS or HFA partner will try to make sense of your explanations, but sometimes is not able to do this. As a result, your efforts at trying to “fix” the relationship difficulties will often fall short. This occurs because your “reasoning” has no meaning. He can usually only understand things for which he has a frame of reference (i.e., a picture or idea about this from other sources or from prior discussions).

For example, your partner is not able to sit in a room, observe what is happening, and understand social cues, implied directions, or how to "read between the lines." Instead, he learns facts. He does not "take in" what is happening around him that involves the rest of the social world, only what directly impacts him. And you have probably had the thought that he is “overly-logical,” only living in his head with few true expressions coming from the heart.

==> Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors and Anxiety In Your AS or HFA Partner [audio clip]

Many of the conversations you have had with your AS partner or spouse have generally been about knowledge and facts – not about feelings, opinions, and interactions. This occurs because he does not really know how the social world works and what one is supposed to do in various situations. This can apply to even the smallest situations you might take for granted. Not knowing the unspoken rules of situations causes anxiety and confusion. This leads to many of the behavioral issues that appear as he tries to impose his own sense of order on a “mysterious” world he doesn't fully understand.

Thus, your partner creates his own set of rules for everyday functioning to keep things from changing - and thereby minimize his anxiety. Sometimes, he may even make up some rules when it is convenient. Other times, he may attempt to make them up by looking for patterns, rules, or the logic of a situation to make it less chaotic for him and more predictable and understandable.

If there are no rules for an event or situation, he may create them from his own experiences based on what he has read, seen, or heard. He will usually have a great deal of information to use in reaching his conclusions and forming his opinions. As a result, some of his conclusions are correct - and some are incorrect. And we will likely argue with you until the cows come home if you disagree with him or have a different point of view.

He will rarely consider your point of view if he does not consider you to be an "expert." The more he views you as an illogical and overly-emotional “amateur” on the topic in question – the more stubbornness you will see. He will argue with you about your opinions if different from his own, because he views his truth as THE truth!

He thinks that his opinion is as good as yours, so he chooses his. This represents his rigid thinking. He finds it difficult to be flexible and consider alternate views, especially if he has already reached a conclusion. New ideas can be difficult to accept ("I'd rather do it the way I've always done it"). Being forced to think differently causes a lot of anxiety. And the more anxious he becomes, the more he tries to squelch this uncomfortable emotion by “resisting change” even more – sometimes resulting in a meltdown or shutdown.

NOTE: The above statements are in no way intended to be criticisms, rather to simply explain why it is often difficult for NT spouses/partners to work on the relationship problems. Living in - and trying to cope with - a very confusing social world of results in rigid behavior that can look like insensitivity, narcissism,  and even cruel disregard for others.





=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA 

Why Your Partner with Asperger’s or HFA is So Inflexible

Neurotypical individuals often don’t understand what their partners with Asperger’s (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (ASD level 1) are thinking, how they interpret what is going on, and how their deficits cause relationship problems.

In these cases, it’s best to collect information and analyze what’s going on (i.e., do an investigation). Without investigating the reasons behind the relationship difficulties, NTs may very likely do something that backfires. But, if they know what is really going on, they can make a positive change in how the relationship operates.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Because a situation was one way the first time, does my spouse feel it has to be that way always (i.e., being rule-bound)?
  2. Does my spouse see only two choices to a situation rather than many options (i.e., black-and-white thinking)?
  3. Has my spouse created a rule that can't be followed (i.e., he/she sees only one way to solve a problem; he/she can’t see alternatives)?
  4. Is my spouse blaming me for something that is beyond my control (i.e., he/she feels that I must solve the problem for him/her, even when it involves issues that I have no control over)?
  5. Is my spouse exaggerating the importance of an event? 
  6. Is it the case that there are no “small” events in his/her mind, and everything that goes wrong is a “catastrophe” (i.e., black-and-white thinking)?
  7. Is my spouse expecting perfection in him/herself (i.e., black-and-white thinking)?
  8. Is my spouse misunderstanding what is happening and assuming something that isn't true (i.e., a misinterpretation brought about by mind-blindness issues)?
  9. Is my spouse stuck on an idea and can't let it go (i.e., he/she does not know how to move on when there is a problem)?

Realizing that people with AS and HFA will NOT be  good observers of their behavior is your first step. This is where you, the NT partner, may be able to provide some insight. Not knowing what to do results in anxiety that leads to the AS/HFA individual taking ineffective and inappropriate actions. Inflexibility is usually a result of this anxiety, which leads to difficulty moving on and letting go of an issue and "getting stuck" on something.


Understanding your AS or HFA partner involves knowing the autistic traits and how they manifest themselves in everyday situations. How does he/she see the world, think about matters, and react to what is going on?  Below are a few reasons that will help you understand why people on the autism spectrum act the way they do.

Reasons for inflexibility:

  • misunderstanding or misinterpretation of your motives or actions
  • violation of a rule or ritual (i.e., changing something from the way it is “supposed” to be)
  • anxiety about a current or upcoming event, no matter how trivial it may appear to you
  • lack of knowledge about the “hidden rules” of social engagement
  • sensory sensitivities, inattention (ADD), OCD, or other psychiatric issues
  • need to avoid or escape from a non-preferred activity, often something difficult or undesirable (often, if he can’t be perfect, he does not want to engage in the activity)
  • need to control a situation
  • need to engage in -or continue- a preferred activity (usually an obsessive interest)
  • transitioning from one activity to another (usually a problem because it may mean ending an activity before he/she is finished with it)

Never over-estimate your AS or HFA partner’s understanding of a situation because of his “high intellectual” capability or his/her other strong points. People on the spectrum often need a road map and a set of instructions, one example at a time.


=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA 

What to Do When Your NT Wife Insists You Have Asperger’s


Does your partner suspect that you have and autism spectrum disorder? Do you feel that she blames you for most of the relationship problems due to this "disorder"? Have you felt that she uses this "label" as a weapon against you?

Take this informal quiz to see if you should pursue a formal diagnosis. If you answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions (approx. 75%), then your spouse may be right.

"I either have the following traits, or I have been accused of having them":

1.    “Conflict-resolution” seems impossible?
2.    According to her, I am very insensitive, uncaring, and selfish?
3.    Anxiety is a common state for me to be in?
4.    Being in this relationship seems very difficult and complicated?
5.    Even if we are physically together, there is an emotional distance that leaves my wife feeling alone?

6.    Even though I like having a “companion,” it does create stress for me?
7.    Her expectations keep changing?
8.    Her feelings are all over the map and change from minute to minute?
9.    I am easily stressed by some social situations?
10.    I am mostly interested in my special activity rather than spending time with my wife?

11.    I can be “self-absorbed”?
12.    I can get defensive easily?
13.    I demonstrate my feelings of love through my actions rather than words or physical affection?
14.    I don’t exactly know what she expects of me?
15.    I don’t fully understand the nature of give-and-take in conversations?

16.    I don’t like making commitments to other people?
17.    I don’t like pressure or expectations put on me?
18.    I feel anxious when unpredictable situations occur or when things change?
19.    I find it difficult to empathize?
20.    I find it impossible to sense what my wife is feeling?

21.    I have difficulty talking about my emotions?
22.    I have had a hard time holding onto a job?
23.    I have trouble making the connection between what she is feeling - and what I have done [or not done] to hurt her?
24.    I like talking about my special interest – a lot!?
25.    I need long periods of solitude and quiet time?

26.    I need structure and routine?
27.    I often cut her off and change the subject when she is in mid-sentence?
28.    I often deny there is a problem with our relationship?
29.    I often fail to follow through with what I have agreed to do?
30.    I often worry that I’m not capable of being a good husband?

31.    I did put some effort into it “winning her” – but now do not put much effort in “keeping her”?
32.    I sometimes suffer from sensory overload?
33.    I tend to stay in my rational mind most of the time?
34.    I usually don’t like to socialize?
35.    I usually have trouble talking with my wife about emotional issues?

36.    I’m more comfortable with old friends than new ones?
37.    I’ve had significant relationships problems long before I met my wife?
38.    Making compromises is difficult for me?
39.    My best efforts in the relationship still don’t please her?
40.    My wife believes that she has made more adjustments to me over the years than I have to her?

41.    My wife claims she is depressed and “emotionally damaged” due to our relationship?
42.    My wife complains that she feels like she has to “mother” me?
43.    Our relationship was passionate in the beginning, but the passion has dwindled over the years?
44.    Our sex life has stalled?
45.    She always tries to change me?

46.    She claims that I am lazy and don’t contribute enough (e.g., with chores)?
47.    She has said I am narcissistic?
48.    She is a very complicate and difficult person?
49.    She is usually disappointed whenever her birthday or our anniversary occurs?
50.    She is very “needy” and “clingy”?

51.    She often says she’s not important to me?
52.    Sometimes, even neutral conversations with my wife can seem like an attack or a criticism?
53.    This relationship is often “messy?”
54.    When she wants to “talk” about our problems, I immediately get worried that it’s going to turn into another fight?
55.    When we argue, I tend to view my wife as illogical and neurotic?

 
=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA 

=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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