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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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query self care. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query self care. Sort by date Show all posts

The Deceptiveness of Anxiety

The reason that most people with Aspergers (AS) have chronic anxiety is because anxiety can be so deceptive. If you are the type of person with high-anxiety, you are constantly getting fooled into believing that there’s something to be afraid of in the absence of real danger.

Fear is when you’re afraid of something and you know what it is, anxiety is when you’re afraid of something but you don’t know what it is.

A lot of people with AS have panic disorder, social phobia, a specific phobia, OCD, or generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Those who have generalized anxiety disorder get deceived into thinking they are about to be driven mad by constant worrying.
  • Those with OCD get deceived into believing that a terrible calamity is in the near future. 
  • Those with a specific phobia (e.g., the fear of elevators) get deceived into believing that they’re going to be trapped. 
  • For those with social phobia, they get deceived into thinking that other people are looking down on them and will humiliate them. 
  • Panic disorder causes people with AS to get deceived into thinking that they’re about to die or go crazy.



Anxiety is deceiving because when we feel discomfort we get tricked into treating it like a real threat. But as the rational part of your mind knows, discomfort is not dangerous. When there is true danger at hand, we either freeze up, run, or fight back. If the threat looks faster and stronger than you, you may freeze up. If the threat looks stronger than you - but slower - you may run away from it. If the threat looks weaker than you, you may fight back. If people are your source of major “discomfort” - but your body gets tricked into believing that certain individuals are truly “dangerous,” you will either argue with them (fight), avoid them (flight), or be intimidated by them (freeze).

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Your natural instinct to protect yourself is what leads you to get deceived by anxiety. So, why haven’t you been able to see the pattern of repeated episodes of anxiety that never actually lead to the feared outcome? Since your worst-case scenarios never come to fruition, why don’t you gradually lose your unreasonable anxiety around those scenarios? There’s several reasons why.

You took protective steps - and there was no disaster. Therefore, you started believing that these steps that you took “saved” you from disaster. But these steps that you take that save you from disaster also cause you to worry more about the next dangerous episode. It convinces you that you were very vulnerable and must always protect yourself.

The real reason you didn’t experience a disaster is that such disasters are not part of fear or phobia. We are talking about anxiety disorders, not disaster disorders. You get through the experience because the experience isn’t actually life-threatening. But, it’s justifiably hard for you to recognize that at the time. You may be more likely to think that you just had a “narrow escape.” And this leads you to redouble your self-protection steps.

It’s the self-protection steps that actually maintain and strengthen the deceptiveness of anxiety. If, for example, we think we just escaped a disaster because we went back and checked the stove 10 times, then we’re going to continue to feel vulnerable and continue to feel the need for self-protection. When this happens over and over, we are going to get stuck in the habit of protecting ourselves by certain means. This is when chronic anxiety gets entrenched into your life.

We think we’re actually helping ourselves, but we’re actually getting tricked into making things worse. That’s how deceptive anxiety is.

For those of us who have chronic anxiety, we have noticed that the harder we try to escape the anxiety - the worse it gets. Thus, if the harder we try the worse it gets, then what we need to do is take another look at the protective steps we’ve been using. With high-anxiety, we’ve been deceived into trying to protect ourselves against something that isn’t dangerous, and this makes our anxiety worse over time.

Let me repeat: the harder you try, the worse it gets. Thus, it would make sense to NOT try so hard to avoid anxiety when it comes. Instead, allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, as uncomfortable as it is. Know that this feeling of "uncomfortable-ness" will be short-lived -- and it will not be life-threatening! Simply allow yourself to feel that emotional pain. Because running from it makes it worse -- it will chase after you and bring out even more fear as you “run for your life.”

==> Strategies for self-care in people on the autism spectrum can be found here...

 

Taking Things Too Personally: Tips for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Do you frequently feel offended by the remarks or actions of others? Do you take every minor event too seriously, allowing it to scare you or piss you off? Does someone else's bullying personality make you feel worthless? Do you mistake people's antics for subtle insults? Does this justify feeling offended?

Taking things too personally makes life difficult. When you take things too personally, you make yourself more vulnerable to anger, frustration and “meltdowns.” Taking things too personally is like intentionally placing a heavy load on your shoulders. Why would you want to do that to yourself?

Here’s what I have discovered: Most of the time, the way a person acts toward me has little to do with me. It has more to do with how this person was raised, how he/she deals with emotional issues, or other variables like his/her mood, energy level, or health. This is important for me to keep in mind on those occasions when I find myself taking the blame for things that are beyond my control.



Below are some of the things I have learned to do that help me to stop taking others’ comments and behavior so personally. I hope some of these ideas can help you as well!

1. For the most part, I have removed toxic people from my life. These are people who treat me rudely or who dump all their problems on me without reciprocating in a supportive way. I try to surround myself with positive people as much as possible. I definitely feel more confidence in myself when I’m hanging out with people who treat me with respect.

2. I always keep a list of my strengths and abilities to remember what my strong points are. The list is on my refrigerator door so I can review it daily.

3. I also have a list of goals alongside my list of strengths. Having things to work towards gives me a sense of self-worth and purpose. This includes things I would like to improve on or advance in. I take each goal and break it into smaller steps (called objectives) so the goals don’t seem so insurmountable. 
 

4. I constantly remind myself that I don't need anyone's approval. Just because someone isn't happy with me doesn't mean I have done something wrong. In many cases, it means that person isn't happy with themselves and expects me to fill their unmet needs in some way.

5. I find I become more susceptible to someone’s opinion if I am feeling doubtful and placing too much of my own self-worth on his/her opinion. When I am confident in my abilities, another person’s rude behavior or negative opinion is less likely to affect me. Feeling proud and confident in my skills is more important than the passing opinions of others.

6. When I was younger, I had terrible personal hygiene habits (e.g., didn’t comb my hair, brush my teeth, shower, etc.). But over time, I learned that this lack of personal care was a big contributing factor to my low self-esteem. Now I try to take care of your physical self with grooming and dressing to look my best. I keep my clothes clean and wear clothes that fit properly. I have tossed out old clothing that doesn’t fit, is tattered, faded, etc. And I try to keep a good posture. All of these things improve my mood.

7. In order to stop taking things so personally, I try to consider the situational factors as well as the other person’s motivations and background. Improving my self-confidence and communicating assertively are key to being able to handle other people’s comments.

If you tend to take others’ comments and behavior to personally, or take life too seriously in general, here are a few more tips I would like to share with you:
  • When you are about to feel offended, ask yourself, “Is what I just heard true at all?”
  • Think, “Maybe what I heard does not refer to me at all.”
  • Ask yourself, “Why am I allowing words and feelings to hurt me.”
  • Avoid thinking over and again about what upset you. Rather, think of things that make you feel happy.
  • When you take something too personally, go away alone for a walk or do some other form of exercise. This will boost your confidence, and the problem will look smaller.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.
  • Wait a while before responding.

Lastly, here are a few quotes to think about:
  • We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things and sometimes taking things too personally. ~ Dalai Lama
  • To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes
  • I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside. ~ Wayne Dyer
  • Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism



COMMENTS:

•    I read this article so I could then print it out and put it on my asperger husband's desk. We have been married 28yrs and have known about Aspergers for about 2/12 yrs. I read many articles,books,etc and then reproduced them for my husband to read as I wanted him to know how much I had suffered being married to him. I wanted him to know what he had done and why I am like I am. Talk about playing the victim card. I was all in. I took no personal responsibility for my situation. I would love to say I have seen the light and now am a happy, mentally healthy gramma, not there yet. Knowing my husband has Aspergers and that I have Cassandras syndrome has brought much peace into our relationship. I no longer want to punish him for being sick, and he is trying to make changes for our life together to be better. Biggest thing I learned was to not take things personally. Period. I no longer have to react to criticism, foul moods, silent treatments, and angry comments. They are his problems not mine. I have plenty to do becoming the person I want to become. We rarely argue anymore as I have the attitude that what he does and says is not something I have to react to. What is the use. I am not gonna change his mind in an argument aspies are not stirred to listen in a fight. When we are both calm I will approach him then. When I stopped taking things personally from him, I also stopped taking things personally from others. What a relief not to have to please the world that I could not please anyway. Thanks for the website.

•    I find meditation helps a lot. It helps me focus on responding positively and humbly with the goal of making things right again. I screw up a lot. I'm not supportive of my wife enough even though I try, which makes her stressed and then she lashes out at me. It still hurts, but meditating helps me cultivate a state of mind where I can keep moving forward rather than wallowing in it.

•    Love the.quotes... Im in the early learning process and all you said is true...now i just have to master puttin it into practice!! i wish there was more info about girls with aspergers though...but i guess that will come in this changing world.

Panic Attacks in People on the Autism Spectrum

 "Is it common for people with ASD to also have panic attacks?"
 
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder [High-Functioning Autism]  are often prone to anxiety, which in extreme situations can lead to panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, the sufferer might think she is losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if an individual has had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, she may have a condition called panic disorder. Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they're now recognized as a real medical condition. Although panic attacks can significantly affect quality of life, treatment can be very effective. 
 

Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at almost any time —driving the car, at the mall, sound asleep, or in the middle of a business meeting. Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. The sufferer may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides. Panic attacks typically include a few or many of these symptoms:
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Headache
  • Hot flashes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Tightness in your throat
  • Trembling
  • Trouble swallowing

One of the worst things about panic attacks is the intense fear that another one will occur. The sufferer may fear having a panic attack so much that he avoids situations where they may occur. He may even feel unable to leave his home (called agoraphobia) because no place feels safe.

ASD adults who have any panic attack symptoms should seek medical help as soon as possible. Panic attacks are hard to manage without assistance, and they may get worse without treatment. And because panic attack symptoms can also resemble other serious health problems (e.g., a heart attack), it's important to get evaluated by a health care provider if the individual is not sure what's causing her symptoms. It's not known what causes panic attacks or panic disorder, but these factors may play a role:
  • Certain changes in the way parts of the brain function
  • Genetics
  • Major stress
  • Temperament that is more susceptible to stress

Some research suggests that the body's natural fight-or-flight response to danger is involved in panic attacks. For example, if a grizzly bear came after you, your body would react instinctively. Your heart rate and breathing would speed up as your body prepared itself for a life-threatening situation. Many of the same reactions occur in a panic attack. But it's not known why a panic attack occurs when there's no obvious danger present. Symptoms of panic disorder often start in the late teens or early adulthood and affect more females than males. Factors that may increase the risk of developing panic attacks or panic disorder include:
  • Death or serious illness of a loved one
  • Experiencing a traumatic event (e.g., an accident or sexual assault)
  • Family history of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • History of childhood physical or sexual abuse
  • Major changes in one’s life (e.g., the addition of a baby)
  • Significant stress

 
Left untreated, panic attacks and panic disorder can result in severe complications that affect almost every area of life. The sufferer may be so afraid of having more panic attacks that he lives in a constant state of fear, ruining all quality of life. Complications that panic attacks may cause or be linked to include:
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Depression
  • Development of specific phobias (e.g., fear of driving or leaving the house)
  • Financial problems
  • Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Problems at work or school



If you have had signs or symptoms of a panic attack, make an appointment with your physician. After an initial evaluation, the physician may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment. Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment and what to expect from the physician:
  1. Ask a trusted family member or friend to go with you to your appointment, if possible, to lend support and help you remember information.
  2. Make a list of your symptoms, including when they first occurred and how often you've had them.
  3. Write down key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any stressful, major events that occurred before your first panic attack.
  4. Write down medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions that you have and the names of any medications you're taking.
  5. Write down questions to ask your physician (e.g., Do I need any diagnostic tests? Is it possible that an underlying medical problem is causing my symptoms? Is there anything I can do now to help manage my symptoms? Should I see a mental health specialist? What do you believe is causing my symptoms?).
  6. Write down questions to ask your mental health provider (e.g., Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? Are there any self-care steps I can take to help manage my condition? Do I have panic attacks or panic disorder? For how long will I need to take medication? How will you monitor whether my treatment is working? If you're recommending medications, are there any possible side effects? If you're recommending therapy, how often will I need it and for how long? What can I do now to reduce the risk of my panic attacks recurring? What treatment approach do you recommend? What websites do you recommend visiting? Would group therapy be helpful in my case?).

A physician or mental health provider who sees you for possible panic attacks or panic disorder may ask any of the following questions:
  • Did you experience significant stress or a traumatic event shortly before your first panic attack?
  • Do you avoid the locations or experiences that seem to trigger an attack?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you use caffeine, alcohol or recreational drugs? How often?
  • Does anything in particular seem to trigger an attack?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions?
  • Have you experienced significant trauma — such as physical or sexual abuse or military battle — in your lifetime?
  • Have you or any of your close relatives been diagnosed with a mental health problem, including panic attacks or panic disorder?
  • How do your symptoms affect your life, including school, work and personal relationships?
  • How often do you experience fear of another attack?
  • How often do your attacks occur, and how long do they last?
  • How would you describe your childhood, including your relationship with your parents?
  • What are your symptoms, and when did they first occur?

 
 
 
To help pinpoint a diagnosis for your symptoms, you'll likely have several exams and tests. Your physician or other health care provider must determine if you have panic attacks, panic disorder or another condition (e.g., heart or thyroid problems) that resembles panic symptoms. You may have any of the following:
  • Psychological self-assessments and questionnaires
  • Inquiries about alcohol or other substance abuse
  • Blood tests to check your thyroid and other possible conditions and tests on your heart, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), to help determine how well it's functioning
  • An evaluation by your physician or mental health provider to talk about your symptoms, stressful situations, fears or concerns, relationship problems, and other issues affecting your life
  • A complete physical exam

 
Not everyone who has panic attacks has a panic disorder. To be diagnosed with panic disorder, you must meet these criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association:
  • At least one of your attacks has been followed by one month or more of ongoing worry about having another attack; ongoing fear of the consequences of an attack, such as losing control, having a heart attack or "going crazy" or significantly changing your behavior, such as avoiding situations that you think may trigger a panic attack.
  • You have frequent, unexpected panic attacks.
  • Your panic attacks aren't caused by substance abuse, a medical condition or another mental health condition, such as social phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder.

For some adults on the spectrum, panic disorder includes agoraphobia (i.e., avoiding places or situations that cause you anxiety because you fear not being able to escape or get help if you have a panic attack). If you have panic attacks but not a diagnosed panic disorder, you can still benefit from treatment. If panic attacks aren't treated, they can get worse and develop into panic disorder or phobias.

The goal of treatment is to eliminate all of your panic attack symptoms. With effective treatment, most people are eventually able to resume everyday activities. The main treatment options for panic attacks are psychotherapy and medications. Both are effective. Your physician likely will recommend one or both types of treatment, depending on your preference, your history, the severity of your panic disorder and whether there are therapists with special training in panic disorders in your area.

Psychotherapy is considered an effective first choice treatment for panic attacks and panic disorder. Psychotherapy can help you understand panic attacks and panic disorder and learn how to cope with them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn through your own experience that panic symptoms are not dangerous. During therapy sessions, your therapist will help you gradually re-create the symptoms of a panic attack in a safe, supportive setting. Once the physical sensations of panic no longer seem threatening, the attacks begin to resolve. Successful treatment can also help you overcome fears of situations that you've been avoiding because of panic attacks.

Your therapist may suggest weekly meetings when you begin psychotherapy. You may start to see improvements in panic attack symptoms within several weeks, and often symptoms decrease significantly or go away within several months. As your symptoms improve, you and your therapist will develop a plan to taper off therapy. You may agree to schedule occasional maintenance visits to help ensure that your panic attacks remain under control.

Medications can help reduce symptoms associated with panic attacks as well as depression if that is an issue for you. Several types of medication have been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of panic attacks, including:

Benzodiazepines- These mild sedatives belong to a group of medicines called central nervous system depressants. Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence), especially when taken for a long time or in high doses. Benzodiazepines approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorder include alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan). If you seek care in an emergency room for signs and symptoms of a panic attack, you may be given a benzodiazepine to help stop the attack.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)- Generally safe with a low risk of serious side effects, SSRI antidepressants are typically recommended as the first choice of medications to treat panic attacks. SSRIs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of panic disorder include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and sertraline (Zoloft).

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)- These medications are another class of antidepressants. The SNRI drug called venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR) is FDA approved for the treatment of panic disorder.

If one medication doesn't work well for you, your physician may recommend switching to another or combining certain medications to boost effectiveness. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks after first starting a medication to notice an improvement in symptoms. All medications have a risk of side effects, and some may not be recommended in certain situations, such as pregnancy. Talk with your physician about the possible side effects and risks.

Researchers have explored a number of natural remedies as possible treatments for anxiety disorders, including panic disorder. Small studies over 10 years old indicate that an oral nutritional supplement called inositol, which influences the action of serotonin, may reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks. However, more research is needed. Talk with your physician before trying any natural therapies. These products can cause side effects and may interact with other medications. Your physician can help determine if they are safe for you.

While panic attacks and panic disorder benefit from professional treatment, you can also help manage symptoms on your own. Some of the lifestyle and self-care steps you can take include:
  1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and illegal drugs. All of these can trigger or worsen panic attacks.
  2. Get physically active. Aerobic activity may have a calming effect on your mood.
  3. Get sufficient sleep. Get enough sleep so that you don't feel drowsy during the day.
  4. Join a support group. Joining a group for people with panic attacks or anxiety disorders can connect you with others facing the same problems.
  5. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. For example, yoga, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation — tensing one muscle at a time, and then completely releasing the tension until every muscle in the body is relaxed — also may be helpful.
  6. Stick to your treatment plan. Facing your fears can be difficult, but treatment can help you feel like you're not a hostage in your own home.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

30 Tips for the Easily Offended Person with ASD

Are you easily offended? Do others consider you “high maintenance”? Do others feel they have to “walk on eggshells” around you? Do others say you “make mountains out of mole hills”? Do you explode in fits of anger over little things? Do you frequently take things the wrong way?

If you are like most individuals with ASD (high functioning autism), you have probably been offended numerous times (in one way or another) by someone's comment, action, choice, behavior or lifestyle. But understand this: hypersensitivity is robbing you of happiness, and holding on to grudges because you were offended does not contribute to your overall happiness or mental health.

How adults on the autism spectrum can overcome being easily offended:

1. Allow most of life to be indifferent to you. Someone’s bad mood isn’t about you – it’s about him or her! This way, less in life will offend you, and happiness will be much less fleeting.

2. Consider the context that things are being said or done. Sometimes, you may have misunderstood and taken it wrongly.

3. Don’t be emotionally attached to your opinions and viewpoints.

4. Don’t hold on to the words others use to get at the thing they are trying to express. Hear the idea and ignore the clumsiness of the expression.

5. If everything is reduced to how it negatively affects you, no wonder you are so frequently offended!



6. If you expect others to act and speak a certain way, if you assume others will be as kind or compassionate as you, if you’re offended when they don’t rise to the level of your expectation, you will almost always be offended or on the verge of it.

7. In the heat of the moment, try asking yourself, “Why am I getting so upset? Does this issue really matter that much?” Reason with yourself: “Did that person really mean it the way I was just about to take it? Is that person actually trying to hurt me? If not, what is this person really trying to say?”

8. Keep in mind that when a comment seems offensive, it may not be aimed specifically at you. It may be a casual comment, but the other person is unaware that you are taking it personally.

9. Accept yourself deep inside. Validate your inner being. See yourself as more than your behavior. You are also your potential.

10. Learn from your past experiences, and be careful the next time you speak or do something. It may save an individual who is overly sensitive a lot of grief.

11. Many people with ASD are easily offended because they can’t emotionally differentiate between their thoughts and their inner sense of self. When identities are too closely tied to one’s opinions, and those opinions are then disagreed with, many feel like they have been rejected – pushed to the pavement and crushed. This, of course, is highly inaccurate.

12. One individual on the spectrum stated that whenever he hears that he has offended someone, his first response is to stop and think if, in fact, he may have said or done something that could have given the impression of an offense. That, by itself, is a great attitude of humility that would make him almost immune to offense. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to say that he often found that he had indeed said something that could have been construed as offensive. He would then seek out the offended party and apologize for the misconstrued word or deed.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

13. Part of accepting others’ imperfections is learning to forgive them for their past mistakes and create a sort of “forgiveness-default-setting” in your heart that you automatically go to when confronted with offensive language or behavior.

14. People who are internally fragile – no matter how “tough” their exterior – break most easily at the wrong or misplaced word or deed. So grow your inner self. Become self-accepting, and life will be a more consistently joyful place to live.

15. Pray for the ability to forgive and forget the offense if you have been truly offended.

16. Putting yourself in the offender’s shoes will have the added benefit of being less offensive to others, as you learn to be “too noble to give offense.” If you can empathize for a minute, you can learn to see things from the offender’s perspective. And then you will see that you too played a role in the conflict. Also, you might come to see that the offender had no such intentions of offending.

17. Realize that your opinions are not you. Any given opinion is not the whole of who you are. To the degree you can detach your ideas from your identity, you will live a fulfilling life with little opportunity to feel offended.

18. Remember, humans are imperfect. You are imperfect. Life is imperfect. And that’s just the way it is. When you can accept others’ imperfection – and your own – you will be well on your way to a life of more emotional stability and joy.

19. The reason you usually feel offended is because of the meaning you attach to what is said or done (e.g., “That means she really doesn’t care!” …or “He’s saying I am no good!” …or “I knew she didn’t really love me!” …and so on.). And so the internal interpretation goes.

20. So often we jump to conclusions, assume an ill intent, create meaning to a word that then hurts and offends. Resist that urge and delay judgment until the conversation has run its course. You just may find there is no offense to be had by the time you get to the end.

21. Self-acceptance will literally destroy others’ ability to offend you. It won’t hurt because your validation doesn’t come from their opinions about you.

22. Stay away from self-pity when offended. It can destroy your self-esteem and make you miserable.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

23. Talk to the “offending” party about how you feel. That individual may not even realize that he or she has offended you. Calmly talking over the issues can help to resolve misunderstandings, hidden anger and frustration.

24. Talk yourself out of the offense by telling yourself, “This person is simply expressing an opinion, and listen to how interesting it is! I find it so fascinating that someone can have such an opinion that is almost the exact opposite of mine!”

25. Tell yourself that maybe the “offending” party is having a bad day and does not realize how she came across. Don't judge, and avoid jumping to conclusions.

26. Tell yourself that the individual who is the potential offender has as much right to her opinion as you do to yours. Besides, they’re only words.

27. The “everyone is out to get me” mentality is fertile soil for being frequently offended. Every word out of every mouth, every action or inaction, all that is done or undone, all motives and intentions become a stab at you. That is a HUGE burden to carry.

28. Think positive and stop brooding over the offense. Thinking too much often makes you jump to conclusions that are not based on fact.

29. Unless proven otherwise, assume the “offending” party has noble intent. Maybe the language was clumsy, maybe even ill-advised, but assume a good heart. That should take the sting out of the bite and put some joy back in your moment.

30. We all have faults, quirks and character flaws. So do you! Yours just may be different than theirs. So, shrug and let it slide off your back. Don’t hold on to the imperfections of others so tightly that you strangle yourself in the process!


COMMENTS:

~~ "As a diagnosed Adult Aspie at 34, now 36, I had always felt different growing up. In my "own little world." The way our brains function with autism does not match with the neurotypical community, at all. The majority of humans are neurotypical. No depression, no anxiety, able to relate to each other, dating people left and right, no over indulgences, self confidence, etc. Do you know how much energy I waste on a daily basis worrying I'm going to offend somebody, wondering what I'm here for, and if I'm going to spin into an OCD funnel of depressive thoughts? Every relationship I've ever been in has been with a neurotypical person, and they just, don't, understand. They can't relate. They try, I give them that, but at the end of the day we break up mostly because I'm high maintenance, or too much work to be with. Well, hate to break it to ya, Aspies feel the same way about NT's. I see things black and white because that's comforting to have answers to my brain. It shuts it down for me. Otherwise if I had to swim in grey I would go crazy. Anywho, I'm rambling, like most Aspies with thoughts flooding in from every direction all at once. I just hope someday I can see myself how other people see me, and find a true love that understands me." 
 
 
~~ "This is so helpful. Especially how you get right to their vulnerability, which can be hard for others to recognize when they are acting like petty, professional victims. Good work Mark. I am going to show it to my Aspie right away and refer to it myself next time I think he is operating out of bad faith."

Subtypes of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The “Loner”

There are 3 basic subtypes in adults with ASD [High-Functioning Autism]:
  1. The Actor: This individual desires inter-personal relationships with others and has learned enough social skills over time to pass as a “neurotypical” (i.e., he or she can “act” like someone who is not on the autism spectrum).
  2. The Outcast: This individual desires inter-personal relationships with others, but has difficulty finding and maintaining friendships due to a lack of social skills. This person really wants to “fit-in,” but usually gets ostracized from “the group” due to his or her “odd” behavior.
  3. The Loner: This individual does NOT desire inter-personal relationships (except with a very safe/close family member or friend) and could care less about “fitting-in” with “the group.”



In this article, we will look at the “Loner”…

The “Loner” displays a persistent pattern of detachment from social relationships as well as a restricted range of expression of emotions in inter-personal settings. He or she: 
  • (a) almost always chooses solitary activities,
  • (b) appears indifferent to praise or criticism from others,
  • (c) has little interest in having sexual relations with a partner,
  • (d) lacks close friends other than first-degree relatives,
  • (e) neither desires nor enjoys inter-personal relationships (sometimes including being part of a family),
  • (f) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affect, and
  • (g) takes pleasure in only one or two (solitary) activities.

“Loners” often engage in a rich, elaborate and exclusively internal fantasy world. They are frequently (but often unintentionally) standoffish, cold and unresponsive, which causes relationship problems. These individuals have trouble expressing their feelings in a meaningful way and may remain passive in the face of unfavorable circumstances. 
 
 
Because of their lack of meaningful and intimate communication with others, they are not able to develop accurate images of how well they get along with people. Such images are important for the individual’s self-awareness and ability to assess the impact of his or her own actions in social situations.

When the “Loner’s” personal space is violated, he feels suffocated and feels the need to free himself and be independent. He tends to be happiest when he is in a relationship in which his partner or spouse places few emotional or intimate demands on him. It is not “people” per say that he wants to keep away from, but emotions, intimacy, and self disclosure. 
 
As a result, the “Loner” tends to form relationships with others based solely on intellectual, occupational, or recreational activities (as long as these modes of relating do not require the need for emotional intimacy, which the “Loner” will reject).

“Loners” are sometimes sexually apathetic. Many of them have a healthy sex drive, but prefer to masturbate rather than deal with the social aspects of finding a sexual partner. Their preference to remain alone and detached may cause their need for sex to appear to be less than that of those ASD adults who do not have “loner tendencies.” 
 

Treatment—

Unfortunately, the adult on the spectrum with “loner tendencies” rarely seeks treatment, because her thoughts and behavior generally do not cause her distress. When treatment is pursued, psychotherapy is the form of treatment most often used. Treatment focuses on increasing general coping skills, improving social skills and interaction, communication, and self-esteem. 
 
Because trust is an important component of therapy, treatment can be challenging for the therapist, because autistic adults with “loner tendencies” have difficulty forming relationships with others – including a therapist!

Group therapy is another potentially effective form of treatment, but it generally is not a good initial treatment. Although the “Loner” may initially withdraw from the therapy group, he often grows participatory as the level of comfort is gradually established. Protected by the therapist (who must safeguard the “Loner” from criticism by other members in the group), the “Loner” has the chance to conquer fears of intimacy by making social contact in a supportive environment.

Medication might be prescribed, but usually only if the ASD individual also suffers from an associated psychological problem (e.g., anxiety, depression, OCD, etc.).

Social consequences (e.g., family disruption, damaged relationship with co-workers, loss of employment and housing, etc.) are sometimes disastrous for the “Loner.” Comprehensive treatment, including services existing beyond the formal treatment system, is vital to improve symptoms and assist in recovery. Self-help programs, family self-help, advocacy, and services for housing and vocational assistance supplement the formal treatment system.

==> More information on the traits of Asperger's and high-functioning autism - and how they may impact relationships - can be found here...

More resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism  

==> Online Group Therapy for Couples and Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

 ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

 

Recovery from Cassandra Syndrome - Renee's Story

 


I would like to talk about the most important aspect in the process towards recovery from depression due to having a partner with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This depression is called Cassandra syndrome.

When a partner has ASD, the other partner often becomes depressed due to the inability to form an emotional bond. Since I learned about my husband's ASD, I have read a lot of books to improve our relationship. Every book I read had similar content in the end - and I was desperately trying to follow the same advice exactly, but it did not work.

I thought I was not putting in enough effort, so I tried even harder, but it was impossible. The problem was that I was looking at the wrong person. I had to first look inside me rather than him. I thought that every issue we were having was because of his ASD symptoms. I also had a strong “victim complex,” so I thought that if he did not change, our relationship would not improve.

Neurotypical (NT) partners tend to become caregivers of their ASD partners. Over time, these NTs can get tired. Often, they feel like the partner with ASD doesn't really comprehend the amount of work they are putting in to helping them with their anxiety, depression, or managing other comorbid conditions.

The partner with ASD can feel wronged when the NT stops giving the support that she once did. The situation, over time, can become very drastic with the NT feeling more exhausted and like she is unable to continue in the care-taking role.

If the NT doesn't keep it up, then when “NT therapists” come into the equation, they often recommend that the NT starts taking better care of the spouse with autism. Again, this doesn't always work because, by the time the couple gets to the mental health professionals, the NT is too tired to keep going. Oftentimes, she has done more than her fair share for many years.

Now, with the new awareness of neuro-diverse marriages, she comes to an awareness that she has been in a relationship that requires mixed neurological communication.

During the online counseling sessions I was having at the time, Mark Hutten often asked about my self-talk. That is when I started to think deeply about myself. Why do I want to change him? Why can't I feel happy with him, and why did I become interested and marry him in the first place?

Of course, I knew he had his own weaknesses. He had to improve for our marriage to work. However, I also realized that I had to address personal weaknesses that I had in my heart before I met him. Then, little by little - and over a long period of time - I unwound the threads that were entwined in my heart.

The most important aspect of recovering from Cassandra syndrome is to know yourself. If you try to understand someone else without first knowing yourself, you will want to change the other person - and it will not work.

I am the only person who can improve myself by being aware of my motivations inside that also apply to the other person. I do not have to carry my husband’s burden, and there is no need for him to carry mine.

~ Renee S.


More resources:

 
 

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

 

COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said…Alexithymia is difficulty in recognizing and labeling emotional states in yourself, but I tend to use it to stretch it to physical states in yourself also, because I feel like a something that often happens. Will you know you'll make a weird face for a long time and not know you're, making a weird face, and that's you know a lack of self-awareness.
•    Anonymous said…An autistic person, a forest is a collection of trees and either it won't occur to them that there is such a thing as a forest or, if you're explaining it to them, it still is just a collection of trees. This is one reason why autistic people are famously bad at summarizing things or being concise, because autistic people process and explain in units of detail instead of in a big-picture way. This is a good thing when it comes to learning complex information, or you know, dealing with a kid who's asking why, over and over again I'll always have an answer ready, because I can break things down small forever. It'S a bad thing. If you know you're telling a joke from memory or you're trying to give directions to somebody, but I like that something Temple Grandin sometimes says, is that she believes this is why autistic people have such a natural capacity for expertise that she says.
•    Anonymous said…I've encountered a lot of autistic people who describe themselves as emotional sponges, and this is you know, I think the reason why so many autistic people respond to emotionally charged situations by shutting down. You know if you're yelling at your spouse and they're shutting down it's not because they don't care it's because you know they're an emotional sponge.
•    Anonymous said…I feel that a lot of the disabling aspects of autism, especially in situations where you have someone you know, can pass for normal, but still struggles, our environment expectations. Things like this that can be connected to these traits things that aren't as much of a problem when it's two autistic people talking but can become a huge blow up when someone involved isn't autistic.
•    Anonymous said…I feel that all too often, the burden of relationships in our diverse couples is placed on the autistic person to understand the world to adapt and communicate better, whereas really like Kristen David Finch, we're talking about it's about coming together and understanding each other. non-autistic people have just as much trouble empathizing with autistic people as autistic people do empathizing with non-autistic people.
•    Anonymous said…I personally worked really hard since my diagnosis to compensate for these types of empathy deficits, I've learned to continually check in with myself and overcome my self-awareness problems with emotion, and I try to analyze and check in on The people around me and watch if there's something I should be picking up on and I have gotten a lot more empathetic. At least you know using that rote memory conscious manual transmission, brain to empathize with people, but I still have a really hard time correctly.
•    Anonymous said…Sensory issues can cause a lot of tension in relationships because they're so hard to understand from the outside that you know they're not constant for one and they can cause a sense of flux in you know your sensitivity to something in your functionality, so something that's not Necessarily, a problem might be an overwhelming problem, the next day or whenever. So this is something that can be hard for ASD people to empathize with, say you know in relationships with neurotypicals I've had this would be very confusing for them that I'm a very talkative person and if I'm really tired and overwhelmed, I won't be able to talk As effectively or I won't be able to talk at all so like once.
•    Anonymous said…So, as a child, I assumed that relationships were something that just happened: pop culture cartoons and such taught me that you know you have two main characters: they'll eventually end up together. Somehow that romance to me was a product of proximity. I believed that you know you encounter your complementary character, foil and exists near them until they fall in love with you, and then you live happily ever after with no effort forever.
•    Anonymous said…The burden to communicate correctly is often placed only on autistic people, and I feel this isn't accurate or helpful, and really I feel that neurologically mixed relationships, romantic or otherwise - can be compared to two conflicting cultures trying to interact. So you know, while this stuff is hard in relationships between two autistic people, it can sometimes be even harder when only one is autistic because of this culture clash aspect, it's important for non-autistic people in the autism community to understand that we live in a neurotypical culture. Our dominant society is neurotypical as the normal, and so you know that's where you know we teach autistic people to adapt to our neurotypical culture.
•    Anonymous said…To autistic people won't often notice that they have social problems or sensory problems because of this lack of self-awareness, alexithymia, I didn't know. I had sensory problems that were different from normal until I started researching autism like I always knew that I was really sensitive to lights and you know my friends turn up the radio to loud. I would like jump and be in pain, but I didn't know that that was abnormal.
•    Anonymous said…We all know inherently that autism effects relationships. Autistic people often have to work harder than non-autistic people to navigate social situations, social relationships and romantic relationships. I'Ve found, though, that autistic people can learn to do things that come naturally to not autistic people through rote memory and effort, though it takes self-awareness and that level of work, though, I also want to say that autistics aren't the only ones with problems in relationships, and It takes to to communicate and to to have a communication problem.

*    Anonymous said... I'm totally convinced that I'm suffering from Casandra's Syndrome. I'm really devastated, and I have started therapy in order to cope with my feelings. I feel isolation evwn when I'm with my partner. No one knows he's Asperger, just me. I've been dating him from 6 years and we have also moved together. I love him very much, but I just can't avoid feeling lonely and detached from my family and other people, since it is uncomfortable to me to meet and socialize with others when I'm with my partner. He's so "shy" and I'm always aware of him, is he ok? Is he having a good time? The worst of all is that find it extremely difficult to tell the way I feel to others because I have to explain a lot of things and it's tiring....I don't know what to do.. I don't want to hurt him by making him feel that I'm not truly happy by his side, just because I can't find the way to really bond with him.

The Angry ASD Spouse: Tips for Husbands on the Autism Spectrum

Many adults with ASD [High-Functioning Autism], by self-admission, have an anger-management problem. Also, in my years of counseling couples affected by ASD (usually in the cases where the husband has autism and the wife does not), I have received literally hundreds of emails from neurotypical [NT] wives describing horrific outbursts and meltdowns exhibited by their husbands on the spectrum.

Anger is triggered by people, events, or circumstances that make us feel vulnerable in some way. However, anger is a secondary emotion. In other words, your anger distracts you from other emotions that you are feeling. You can also think of anger as a surface emotion. In other words, it is the emotion that people see, but the anger exhibited is really a cover-up for a primary emotion. 
 
Anxiety, depression, grief, guilt, helplessness, powerlessness, shame, uselessness, and worthlessness are all very common primary emotions that hide behind anger. These are also very common emotions found in people on the autism spectrum – especially anxiety and depression.

You lash out in anger to prevent others from becoming aware of these vulnerabilities. But, once your anger has run its course and you return to your rational state of mind, you are left to deal with the repercussions of whatever situation triggered your anger. In the world of the autistic, sometimes these repercussions are grim and life-changing (e.g., job loss, separation, divorce, etc.).



What’s really behind your anger? Let’s take a look:

1. Anger hides anxiety: Our bodies interpret anger as a threat to survival, and as a result, will release adrenalin and nor-adrenalin to help us cope. These hormones act as an analgesic. In effect, anger makes us feel better in the short-term – it numbs our emotional and physical discomfort. But, this is not a healthy long-term solution. We, as adults on the autism spectrum, should not allow ourselves to get addicted to this kind of painkiller. If we do, then outbursts of anger may become a way of life. And sad to say, for too many of us, it has already become a way of life!

2. Anger hides emotional vulnerability: Some people with ASD use anger as a way of distancing themselves from their spouse (partner). Perhaps we feel safer if our spouse is held at arm’s length. Maybe we find it hard to express our true personal needs and desires. Learning to relate positively to your spouse, to allow yourself to be vulnerable to her – and to trust her to respect your feelings – are key steps you can take to a healthier relationship.
 

3. Anger hides grief and depression: Some people on the spectrum respond to grief and/or depression by getting angry. This can be our way of coping with the pain we are feeling. We yell and lash-out verbally instead of seeking comfort, or instead of offering comfort if our anger is on behalf of someone else.

4. Anger hides hurt: Admitting that we feel hurt is too much for some of us. Better to explode in rage than to show we care or that we are upset by whatever has happened. Hurt hides behind anger when you feel unloved, rejected, or criticized (remember the high school days and all the teasing, harassment, and bullying?).  If we think our anger is hiding hurt, we should focus on learning to love and accept ourselves.

5. Anger hides low self-esteem: An guy on the autism spectrum who has been experiencing anger-control issues for many years may admit (to himself if not to others) that he sometimes struggles with self-esteem issues. He may have internal dialogues that revolve around themes such as, “Any minute now, somebody will see that I’m useless/stupid/a complete fraud/not good enough/etc.” These internal dialogues can occur even in someone who leads an outwardly successful life. Sometimes those dialogues are what drives the person to achieve; anger for him is an indication of the stress he experiences as a result of the gap between his internal and external life.

6. Anger hides powerlessness: If we go through life feeling weak, hopeless, helpless, overlooked or undervalued, anger often hides these feelings of powerlessness.

7. Anger hides fear: The most common feeling that hides behind anger is fear. But, unless we are developing a habit of “mindfulness” (i.e., making ourselves aware of our emotions as they arise), it can be difficult to identify the emotions lurking beneath our anger. Our best indication of what those emotions may be is to consider how we feel about ourselves at the times when we are not feeling angry.

We should find ways to ask for what we want (or don’t want) instead of acting-out in anger and rage. Some of us have sought assertiveness training and/or worked with a counselor or psychotherapist to help us learn to appreciate our own worth and manage our anger. Maybe you should consider following our lead.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


Comments:

•    I hide most of my anger within usually until i am alone then I explode like a nuke , this article helps me a lot Thanks.
•    I'm the spouse that's experienced many angry outbursts and other demonstrations of my husbands anger. I think this article does a great job illustrating the effects of Anger on the Person who's angry, their marriage, & their family life. Very insightful ~ I've already referred friends & family to this page. Emotional Safety is critical to healing.
•    Emotions are irrational and therefore illogical. I have no need for emotions
•    Sure emotions can be secondary, and the seven points are relevant. However, it seems a bit sought to say that "anger is a secondary emotion" and a "surface emotion", whereas "anxiety is a primary emotion".  Anger is the "Fight" option of the "Fight/Flight" response; the brain's reflective reaction to perceived threatening situations. Anxiety is the "Flight" option. There are sure situations where anger covers up different emotions eg. anxiety, but there are also likely situations where other emotions cover anger, eg anxiety where the underlying emotion is anger.  That is highly likely the case, since anger is one of the least socially acceptable emotions, and people tend to deny/cover unacceptable emotions when they are able to.
•    Once I was diagnosed, I made the decision to change direction in business (no more deadlines — way too stressful) and to refuse to accept stress from anyone else. That was 15 years ago and I rarely experience anger, anxiety or other forms of stress. As an added benefit, it's helped me to become a very effective negotiator. :)
•    I have learned to express myself and then I get angry when the person isn't understanding or taking what I say serious.

Post your comment below…

ASD Traits That Contribute to Relationship Difficulties in Adulthood

We took a poll of 86 women who are in relationships with men on the autism spectrum (level 1). The question was: “What is the #1 trait that your Asperger's partner or spouse exhibits that seems to be the most problematic to the relationship?” Here are their responses:

  1. A sing-song "ohhhHHHhhh" is all I get and that's ONLY because in marital counseling she told him he needs to acknowledge when I'm speaking even if he won't look up from what he's doing. I get the same response for "I like this song on the radio" as I do for "my dad took his life eight weeks ago and I am absolutely distraught."  😢
  2. Although him and I are not married he is the same way. Not with the lack of touch, but in his mind if he has already told me he cares or how he feels (which is never upfront, he beats around the bush and I have to figure it out) he feels like he shouldn't have to say it anymore. Once it’s said, it’s done and time to move on.


  3. Always the same face expression, no emotions, no need for body contact, no sex, extremely stressed when something unplanned happens, he comes first and he always think that everyone works and think like him everyone else are idiots. No friends and always in conflicts without seeing he made something wrong.
  4. Before kids I would have probably answered inflexibility. Once he sees or does things a certain way it is a real struggle to get him to change it. After having two children it is definitely him not automatically putting his children's needs over his own. Parenting is full of self-sacrifice, and he doesn't really have any of that.
  5. Black and white thinking
  6. blaming, he's never wrong, no empathy
  7. Bottling up his emotions until he erupts. His "meltdowns" include irrational thinking, self-sabotage, and verbal insults. They affect the entire family.
  8. Communication
  9. communication and others …also having to be careful what I say (walking on eggshells) in case it's misinterpreted and causes an argument as he's on such a short fuse most of the time.
  10. Communication and special interests!
  11. Communication by far, it goes hand in hand with not expressing any emotions.
  12. Communication issues as well: if he is right, he is right and he will talk my ear off until I agree
  13. Communication, moods, lack of coping skills, lack of empathy, inconsiderate. Sorry that's more than 1!
  14. Completely self-absorbed. I am at the point where I do not know if I can commit to being his "seeing eye dog" anymore. This is unbearable.
  15. Communication and his inability. To respond to urgent important issues.
  16. Constant struggle with depression but refusal to discuss meds.... he’s always right...
  17. Definitely the focus problem. If he's interested in something, it's to the exclusion of EVERYTHING else -- doctor's appointment, bills, promises ... Everything.
  18. denying that I said things to him. So hard to get him to register anything!
  19. Does he always appear rude? Mine does and when I tell him he is being rude he denies it.
  20. Emotional distance and celibacy is going to definitely be my chief concern. It's taking its toll and my fear is that this will be what kills my love for him someday soon. I have always been absolutely, madly in love with this man… But I feel it's slipping away and I am less and less interested every day. As I begin to learn to cope without him, I'm beginning to appreciate the time without him more than with him.
  21. Empathy, lack of support
  22. Foreign communication skills. It's like we speak different languages when we communicate. We truly do not understand each other.
  23. Grumpy/moody!
  24. He doesn't want me to go, and I don't want to. It's just unfolding in front of me. The longer I am ignored and pushed away, the less I find I want to be in a place where I feel ignored and pushed.
  25. he has done so much damage with the things he’s said. things I would never say or type just too vile to repeat. the threat, he’s never touched me but I don't know honestly if that would always remain that way. he pulled a knife on his mother at age 10… 
  26. He is most recently spending hours on coin collection. Hours. Lonely
  27. Hiding and lying.
  28. His defensiveness about everything I say and always needing to be right, so fragile
  29. His lack of desire to socialize. He never wants to go out anywhere. Part of it I think is because it doesn't interest him and it's a point of anxiety also I think. It can be very frustrating. Also, communication!
  30. His not acknowledging or caring about others' emotional needs (or at least not showing that he cares whatsoever).
  31. His reactions on the outside not matching the inside & not matching the situation. Ambivalence. Nothing is certain. Nothing is for sure. I'm so busy being baffled not able to process his words or behaviour or being in shock by it that there's no time for life.
  32. I agree about the lack of communication which leads to a myriad of other problems. I finally gave up.
  33. I dunno is the response to everything… and " I forgot!".
  34. I feel totally unloved, not cherished and so unimportant in his life. Not anywhere on his priority list which is a very different thing from the first 2 years together. Pulled me in, fell in love married had kids now lives like a hermit. Totally shut me out!
  35. I get 'yep' and 'ok'. That's about it. Usually punctuating my sentence after every word. Every. Single. Word.
  36. I have a rule now. 2 comments and it is over. The constant comments are defeating for everyone.
  37. I have that rule as well in texting. We also won't text each other in arguments. (Or try to but we are long distance) Doesn't help when we are in person, I’m a sucker for just shutting down and giving in. It's okay to agree to disagree but he sees conflicts as needing to be solved now!
  38. I make more money than him so financially he’s a joke he spends everything he makes
  39. I think loneliness is a major common issue for all of us. Right?
  40. I totally get this. He has used me as a scapegoat for the last few years and had almost ruined my relationship with my mum and his parents because he was so good at hiding/pretending. 
  41. I would say irritability/mood swings tied with unsaid expectations I'm supposed to follow
  42. I wrote a letter to my mum recently explaining everything and she now gets it. Such a relief! I'm at the point where I need to decide, knowing that it's not going to change unless he acknowledges stuff, whether I can stay, or if I need more. Take care x
  43. I'm just so done and I only suspect that this is the problem. But he has almost all of the traits.
  44. in the midst of nastiness toward me, he can turn to a child and speak kindly so I KNOW he has a choice in how he speaks.
  45. Inability to accept the situation if he thinks it should be a certain way, stays fixated and festering it which I call spiraling which leads to inappropriate behavior towards me such as name calling, sulking, anger outbursts, silence, melt downs etc.
  46. Inability to communicate on even a basic level about anything.
  47. Increased (now daily) alcohol use and mixing with his other medications leading to constant "forgetfulness", spending 99% of free time with his buddies in our attic or backyard and neglecting the kids (and me too). No affection/ no or little sex.
  48. Inflexibility, there is only his way of doing things, I can say "there is more than one way to skin a deer" but it's his way or the highway. Also obsessed focus he becomes so involved with something and everything else is neglected.
  49. Irritability
  50. Lack of affection, communication.
  51. Lack of affection, empathy, motivation, sex and the fact that I come last all the time.... yep he is definitely aspie  :(
  52. Lack of cognitive empathy, but lots of affective empathy, so I get no validation and don't see myself reflected back accurately, but others think he's really helpful and lovely!
  53. lack of communication specifically when he gets so frustrated in an argument that he resorts to verbal attacks such as name-calling (b*tch c*nt stupid ignorant mentally unstable) and threatening (ill have someone cut you, I’ll have your mother deported (she’s been a citizen for 40 years). and it’s not just attacking me it’s my close family members.
  54. Lack of emotion, empathy, communication.
  55. Lack of emotional support, communication
  56. Lack of empathy and real remorse. He repeats the issues then apologizes (does not excuses himself any longer)) but then redoes it in a few days. I have tried making lists and put them on the fridge, we signed agreements in point form and made handshakes, but nothing has worked. Now he just says "I am sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me". Since he has found out he has Asperger he uses it as an excuse to be like a kid, but not in a funny kid way.
  57. Lack of empathy for emotional hurts
  58. Lack of physical intimacy and meltdowns.
  59. Lack of proper communication.
  60. Lack of touch/not realizing that I need to hear he loves me. He says that he married me so obviously he loves me, he shouldn't have to remind me he loves me.
  61. lack of uninitiated loving touch, "shoulding" me all the time and lack of ability to have appropriate, inoffensive social interaction with friends and family
  62. Loads! The one the one that drives me insane. How he can make ANYTHING turn around and to be my fault. Then totally believe it’s all me.
  63. Mine irritated me earlier. He is away working and called to talk to the kids. Youngest is almost 2. She kept saying "daddy" over and over again. He kept asking what and then told her " talk to me". Uhh she IS! That's appropriate for HER age however his response was very inappropriate for HIS age.
  64. Mine is so child-like at times. I long for a true adult relationship.
  65. Mine is the opposite of a lot of women on here I feel.... his unhealthy obsession with sex and seeing me as an object. Not supporting my emotional needs either and inability to hold conversation when it is regarding me and my interests
  66. Name calling is SO hurtful to me too.  😥 The threat to "cut you" worries me. Does he mean "cut you off" financially or have someone physically stab or sever off part of your body?
  67. No need for relationships or emotional connection
  68. No reciprocity so I don't receive stimulation the way I would in order to regulate myself when having regular reciprocated conversation.
  69. Not taking responsibility/blaming equally with not understanding (believing) me about my emotions and also just not getting or reading me and not listening and failing to live up to previous agreements and and and
  70. Oh geez! Your reference to "shoulding" made me smile a knowing smile. I tell my husband all the time "stop shoulding me!" He has stopped using that word but still says "you need to do xyz" and thinks it is not a should!
  71. Oh man, mine changes moods like he changes clothes. We will be having a great convo an hour before we get home. And as soon as we get home it turns into "don’t touch me, I don’t want to be bothered"
  72. Oooohhhh fun, a poll!! I would answer these all day for you if it means we might get you to do a workshop real soon!! Mine is the inability to feel loved through physical validation - holding me in public, caressing me like he feels it instead of it being on his check off list, genuine and sincere touch that is loving and not just a hand on your back sitting there. With this of course is my husband’s asexuality. Thanks for this!
  73. Parenting. Treating a child's inability to cope in a situation where attachment and support is called for as deliberate misbehaviour and handing out punishments.
  74. Playing the victim
  75. Refusing to acknowledge mood instability esp when depression sets in. He sleeps 16 to 20hrs a day and is very hurtful or neglectful when awake.
  76. Right this moment experiencing a meltdown he is refusing to stop and take the medication that helps him to at least stop spiraling  😟
  77. Same here. Why even say sorry when you repeat the same thing over & over again. I can see if the first time you don't understand but when we take time to explain it & you are logical then the next time seems intentional even if it isn't. Agreements just like on Big Bang Theory.
  78. Selfish, inflexible, always others fault, keeps on talking about topics of his interest and not able to understand others not interested in or Listening just for being polite, gets in conflict all the time with others and do not understand his role, communication problems and problems in understanding simple instructions or messages (but you would think he understood until you see he did the opposite of what you said or meant), not being able to understand how you feel or think, fails affection in the relation, quite boring, not being able to hold on schedules, ruining finances, not keeping promises, prioritizing problems (less important more than important), focusing on unimportant than important (Even if you point it), not understanding others body language or understanding things wrongly and wouldn’t get convinced if you try to explain him ( keeps on believing what he himself thinks, kind of paranoid)
  79. Several: 1. Inability to decipher tone in the intended and expressed way. Always assumes I'm being mean or hurtful which leads to shut down and his very hurtful explicit outbursts to hurt me. 2. Attachment to electronic devices. Can't go a second of the day without some device in his hand - which leads to isolation and lack of conversation. 3. Unhealthy addiction to sex and pornographic materials. He said that it’s his means of distraction. I get that - but there are so many other options (read a book, watch tv, talk to me)
  80. so very rigid takes an act of congress to get the slightest change, and he's always right, while I am apparently an emotional troublemaker who is so hard to read. I am by nature on the shy side and pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve
  81. Special interests/collecting/hoarding
  82. Task management difficulties. I worry about how this burden might fall unequally on me as we progress in the relationship.
  83. The inability to communicate.
  84. Tone of voice.
  85. Tough one...lack of communication I guess but there are so many! 😭
  86. Unwilling to take responsibility for behavior

 



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