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Why Your NT Wife Is So Unhappy: Message to Men on the Autism Spectrum

Your neurotypical (NT) wife is no doubt highly intelligent in the social and emotional sense. This, by default, means that she has a lot of social and emotional “needs.” You, the husband with ASD, are comparatively low in social and emotional intelligence, which in turn means that your social and emotional needs are low.

Because your wife’s social needs are high, she enjoys social contact and the sharing of emotions with those who are important to her. Because your social and emotional needs are low, you tend to prefer activities that do not involve feelings or socializing; you are highly task-oriented, and you favor things, projects, objects, and other non-social pursuits.

One of the main ways your wife gets her social and emotional needs met (or hopes to get met) involves her “significant other” – YOU, her soulmate and partner in life. When you are emotionally unavailable due to spending most of your time with your special interest or career, you are getting your task-oriented needs met. But your NT wife is not getting her relationship needs met, because you were busy doing things outside of the relationship.

It is often the case that the NT wife tries very hard to get her husband with ASD to be a “team player” in the relationship – that is, to express feelings, to make her feel important, to validate her, listen to her, show affection, and to be deeply intimate in as many ways as can be expressed. But when she doesn’t accomplish these important goals, she is (of course) going to be very discouraged and disappointed, and possibly harbor feelings of resentment that her emotional requirements are not getting fulfilled.

So, as the two of you grow further apart emotionally, you can continue to get YOUR task-oriented needs met, because they don’t involve feelings or socializing necessarily. But at the same time, she is getting less and less of her needs met (i.e., intimacy, sharing, togetherness).

This is why, in most cases, the NT wife is not only unhappy, but often depressed due to “emotional deprivation.” And, this is also why the ASD husband does not seem to be as negatively affected by the “distancing” that is occurring in the relationship, because he can continue to engage in his non-social activities regardless of how much the reciprocity and warmth that occurred in the early part of the marriage disappears.

Do you want to imagine how your NT wife might feel?

Imagine that you are a computer geek who loves computer-programming and doodling with digital devices, in general. But one day (for whatever reason), you get banished to a tropical island with NO ELECTRICITY!!!

So, now you are stuck there with no computer, iPhone or iPad – you have virtually lost ALL of your special interests. And to make matters worse, let’s assume you HATE idle chitchat, but there are other people on that island always talking about mundane, boring topics that disinterest you SO MUCH - that it’s painful to even listen to.

In this scenario, you’re not suffering from emotional deprivation, rather you’re suffering from “favorite-task deprivation.” Make sense?


More resources:


==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's
==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples [eBook and Audio]
==> Videos to help you understand your partner on the autism spectrum...


  1. Wow, just wow!!! You just described what's left of our dying marriage. And my husband has no clue it's dying.

  2. That's what I find is one of the hardest things, no matter what has been discussed, he still seems to have no clue, thinks everything is fine! I'm not.


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