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...

Recent Poll on the Divorce Rate Among NT Women and AS Men

We polled 40 “neurotypical” women who are (or where) in a marriage with an Asperger’s husband and asked the following question: “Were you married to man with Asperger’s and are now divorced?”

Their responses fell into 4 general categories: (1) married with no plans for divorce; (2) married, but one or both spouses are making plans for divorce; (3) divorced; and (4) married, but separated.

Here’s the statistical outcome of the survey:
  • 28 women stated: Married with no plans for divorce (70%)
  • 6 women stated: Married, but one or both spouses are making plans for divorce (15%)
  • 4 women stated: Divorced (10%)
  • 2 women stated: Married, but separated (5%)

In summary:
  • In this survey, the divorce rate was only 10%.
  • 70% of these women are married (many of which stated they are “hanging in there,” but “dissatisfied” with the marriage). 
  • 30% are in some state of marital difficulty, or have already divorced. 

We also did a related poll in which we asked both men and women (43 participants total) in which one partner is affected by Asperger's or high-functioning autism the following question:

What is the current status of your relationship with your partner?
  1. Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  2. Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship
  3. Still together but considering separation or divorce
  4. Planning for separation or divorce
  5. Already separated or divorced 
  6. Other
Here are their answers (anonymously):
  1. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy in large part due to weekly couples counseling with a therapist who specializes in Adults with Asperger's
  2. Anonymous said…Still together after 29 years but considering therapy to combat loneliness and frustration in the marriage.
  3.  Anonymous said… Married 18 years and happy but sometimes lonely.
  4. Anonymous said… Not happy. 20 years. Considering separation.
  5. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  6. Anonymous said… Still together as roommates and companions. Serious thought to divorce
  7. Anonymous said… Haven't had a partner for 5 years and very happy with that
  8. Anonymous said… Divorced for many years and very happy with my relationship with him now after many years.
  9. Anonymous said… Been together 1 year and happy 98% of the time
  10. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. We are engaged and have been dating for 5 1/2 years.
  11. Anonymous said… Married for better or worse 26 years ago. Many rough patches but still together and mostly happy 😊
  12. Anonymous said… Happily together since 1992, married since 2007. For the most part things are good but we have major work/life balance issues. We are DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids)
  13. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship xx
  14. Anonymous said… ` Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  15. Anonymous said… Celebrated 21 years of marriage two weeks ago. Mostly happy after at least 10+ years of very hard work and two separations, one for 2 months and the second 2 years later for 9 months. There were years I wished desperately I had left.
  16. Anonymous said… Still together - separated, but not legally.
  17. Anonymous said… was married for 16 years and now divorced for almost 10 years.
  18. Anonymous said… Still together 34 years and 75% happy?
  19. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. I have learned how to deal with all his quirks and when to just let things go. We have been married 23 years. It is just a "different kind of relationship" that works for both of us! I think most NT's would have divorced one another.
  20. Anonymous said… Still together 15 yrs married and 5 knowing him. Mostly happy. Sex isn’t there. But he’s fine with an open relationship. So I have options.
  21. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. *WITH SHORT BURSTS OF ABSOLUTE HIDEOUSNESS
  22. Anonymous said… Still together. Happy for almost 7 years. The last year has been a roller coaster.
  23. Anonymous said… Still together (married a little over a year), planning to stay together & find a way to be mostly happy, but not quite sure how yet . . .
  24. Anonymous said… Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship,together 11years with 4 children
  25. Anonymous said… Seperated, after 13yrs of marriage.
  26. Anonymous said… 33 years married and miserable.
  27. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. 27 years and counting.
  28. Anonymous said… Married 18 years, divorced
  29. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy we have our struggles but I love is pulling us through where patience fails
  30. Anonymous said… 6 months married and mostly happy 💜
  31. Anonymous said… Still together and very happy
  32. Anonymous said… Still together and been married nearly 31 years. Mostly happy now but certainly had some challenges like all relationships and tend to feel lonely now and again.
  33. Anonymous said… Married 37 years to a wonderful man who tries very hard to be present, loving and considerate.
  34. Anonymous said… 30yrs. Still together and mostly happy with the relationship.
  35. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy. 16 years and going strong ❤️
  36. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly deliriously happy, sometimes miserable. 😄
  37. Anonymous said… Still together but somewhat unhappy with the relationship, still trying though. I'm neurotypical and he's hfa
  38. Anonymous said… Separated but still in specialized therapy so we can co-habitats and co-parent together. Thank god we have a little guest house out back. I no longer feel like a hostage in my own home. This took 4 years for me to get to. Both of us committed to making this work for the kids. 8 more years to go!!!
  39. Anonymous said… Already divorced but not due to the autism issue - that was diagnosed afterwards for the child
  40. Anonymous said… Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship.
  41. Anonymous said… Divorced and trying to coparent
  42. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. (13 years
  43. Anonymous said... other

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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

Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adults: What Partners/Spouses Need to Know

Is it possible that your partner or spouse who has Asperger's (or high-functioning autism) also has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)? The answer is: Yes!

As many parents can attest to, ODD is not an uncommon comorbid disorder in children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Most kids with ODD outgrow the disorder by age eight or nine. But, about half of them continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. These people report feeling angry most of the time, and about 40% of them become progressively worse and develop antisocial personality disorder.

Adults with ODD often feel mad at the world, and lose their temper regularly (e.g., verbal abuse, road rage.) Constant opposition to authority figures makes it difficult for them to keep jobs and to maintain relationships and marriages. They are particularly quick to anger, are impatient, and have a low tolerance for frustration. They usually feel misunderstood and disliked, hemmed in, and pushed around. Also, they often defend themselves relentlessly when someone says they’ve said or done something wrong.

Signs of ODD that may be apparent at work include:
  • Commonly feeling oppressed by office rules
  • Has meltdowns during meetings or annual reviews after receiving constructive criticism
  • Near constant arguments with a boss or coworkers
  • Previously fired for inappropriate behavior toward coworkers in heated moments
  • Purposely engaging in behaviors that irritate coworkers
  • Sanctioned by human resources for violating company policies
  • Passive-aggressive behaviors

Signs of ODD that may be apparent at home include:
  • Leaves his dirty clothes on the floor just because he knows it annoys his partner or spouse
  • Involved in physical altercations in public
  • Has a hair-trigger temper (the littlest thing can set him off)
  • Continues to fight against authority figures and society
  • Cited for disorderly conduct by police
  • Always needs to win the argument with a parent or spouse
  • Passive-aggressive behaviors

Are some ODD behaviors more serious or severe than others?

Any behaviors which would cause an adult to move from job to job or have serious difficulty in relationships with others (especially spouses) could have strong, negative consequences.

Are there any other conditions that can be associated with ODD?

Yes there are. Sometimes conditions like diabetes, ADD, serious health conditions or learning disabilities create a “hiding” place for oppositionality and defiance. In these cases, ODD behaviors “hide” behind the primary condition, which provides an “excuse” for noncompliance. (Example: an ODD spouse refuses to work, continually claiming he is being treated unfairly by his boss.)

Can an ODD adult be diagnosed as both ODD and ADHD?


Exactly what is ODD?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a diagnosed condition of negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior that includes symptoms of low frustration tolerance, argumentativeness, defiance, noncompliance, oppositionality, provocation, blaming, spitefulness, irritability, resentment, anger or vindictiveness. (Not all of these symptoms need to apply for a diagnosis to be made.)

How is ODD diagnosed?

ODD is diagnosed by an appropriately certified or licensed health service professional that assesses a client and makes the diagnosis as it pertains to established criteria. The most commonly used criteria are found in the most current edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

How much do external events and circumstances play into ODD?

They can easily make the ODD much better or much worse.

I find my husband is defiant toward some people, but not others. Why is this?

ODD behavior is highly reactive to the environmental situations and circumstances. This certainly includes differences in authority figures, how they relate to the ODD adult, and how they "package" their expectations.

My ODD husband went to a counselor and was told after one visit that there was nothing wrong with him. I was totally frustrated about the whole thing. Why would a counselor say this?

The ODD adult, for awhile, can look perfectly fine in every regard. This is why a good therapist or counselor puts more stock in the “hard” facts about the client, not what the client is saying or doing in early visits.

If my ODD husband is depressed, what can be done to help him?

The depression needs to be evaluated and treated. It is common for oppositional and defiant behaviors to lessen as the depression is addressed. Sometimes medication helps.

Is lying a typical behavior of ODD?

It certainly can be. Usually, behaviors like lying differ from one individual to another as they become more severe in their behaviors. Many professionals believe that lying and stealing often go together.

Is ODD inherited?

Although there probably isn't an "ODD gene," characteristics like disposition and temperament can probably be inherited.

Is there any connection between ODD and the use or abuse of drugs and alcohol?

There probably is a connection, but not necessarily a direct one. ODD behaviors can occur in adults who are unhappy. Alcohol and drugs are one kind of "self" medication.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

I've heard that many ODD adults are depressed? Is this true?

Yes. About half of them also met the criteria for depression.

My husband walks half a block down the street to help a senior citizen bring in her groceries, but he won't ever take out the trash at OUR house? Why is this?

First of all, he wants to look like a good, kind and caring man. But consider that the job of helping the lady with her groceries is essentially a one-shot deal. Taking out the trash at home could last for years, not to mention the fact that we are much more direct in our behaviors of resistance and refusal with those who already know us well.

Sometimes it seems to me that my husband actually enjoys it when I become upset with him. Why is this?

He has gotten the satisfaction of knowing he has gotten to you. This “trap” is one of the toughest ones for spouses to deal with.

What about "passive-aggressive" behavior? Is that the same as oppositional defiant?

“Passive-aggressive” behavior is a term that was used to describe both children and adults before there ever was a classification of ODD. Specifically, passive-aggressive behavior is but one type of oppositional and defiant behavior. Persistent and problematic passive-aggressive behavior in adults is more properly diagnosed using adult classifications, often falling under the general category of "personality disorders."

What are some of the signs that a child might become Conduct Disordered?

Things like family history, especially parents and siblings having trouble with the law, the activities of a child's "friends," a history of abuse or severe neglect in the home, use of alcohol and drugs, and a youngster's level of regard for others could all be indications.

What happens when ODD children become adults?

They can take their problems with them, causing difficulty in their relationships, marriage and work. The divorce rate, employment difficulties, and the abuse of alcohol or drugs is usually higher in this population of young adults.

What is the difference between an ODD adult and one who is just stubborn?

Stubborn people know when to give it up. They don't continue with their stubbornness to the degree and point that it creates serious hardships for them. Stubbornness can even be an attribute, such as a resolve that can shine through in tough times. Not so with ODD, which, by nature of being a disorder, works against the person's best interest.

What is the difference between ODD and ADD?

ODD is a psychological condition that, favorably or not, is responsive to external situations and circumstances. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is brain-related, a neurological condition or immaturity that causes a person to have difficulty focusing on tasks. The condition of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) states that the person is additionally hyperactive and impulsive.

What is the likelihood that an ODD adult will become more severe in his or her behaviors (aggressive and anti-social)?

Here we're talking about serious, acting-out behaviors that could involve the law. Current data indicates about one in three ODD people will move on into a more serious disorder.

What would happen if an ODD adult is depressed, but the depression goes unaddressed or untreated?

Both the ODD and the depression will continue to worsen to the detriment of the individual. Self-injury or even suicidal attempts are a possibility.

Is there any hope if my husband has this disorder called ODD?

Most wives of ODD husbands find that the parenting strategies used with ODD children ALSO work with ODD husbands. Why? Because ODD adults are very immature for their age. You may have a husband who is chronologically 35-years-old, but emotionally more like a 21-year-old. So, yes there is hope!

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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

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


•    Anonymous said...  I am also wondering this. Married 25 years and have had enough as it seems so much worse now such a rollercoaster. I dread waking up now as it all starts again day in day out. Tried a few times of asking him to leave but always feel so guilty so we are still carrying on. Friends say i have Stockholm :(
•    Anonymous said...  this sounds just like my AS husband. Only we're still married with a two yr old. I wish I could leave. I'm miserable.
•    Anonymous said... Hmm, I'm dealing with somebody like this. I was looking for how pyrroles treatment is tricky in people with Tourette's, and my eye was drawn to this term as one of the conditions often associated with pyrroles. Sure enough, it seems it applies to my freind. He is nearly 80 and since gotten more well is back to this stuff. Oppositional to reason when it doesn't suite him, and difficulties in accessing things. He opposes authority in a way he is not content unless he is expressing authority/superiority over other people. His history is like what has been described here. The thing about ODD ending abruptly when you are 18: As the term doesn't mention childhood, it should persist throughout life.
•    Anonymous said... I can't leave because I am on social security. Life is upsetting wirh him every minute if everyday. No cooperatiin the blaming nme fir stupid made up stuff in hus mind. Belittling me . I say blue he says green. Can't have an adult conversation discuss solutions to problems with him. He thinks he is right about everything.
•    Anonymous said... I have a boyfriend he has all the signs and symptoms of O.D.D. he told me he has ADHD. We were at a restaurant he got upset and started rage yelling the manager was going to call the cops.I was so embarrassed and ashamed. I have tried to end our relationship he always begs me not to leave. We love each other it's very exhausting. I told him he needs to get help If this relationship will work. He says he wants to change. He needs to show me. I've caught him in so many lies.
•    Anonymous said... I have an aspie husband I think has odd… my child has odd just diagnosed I'm about to throw in the towel I can't handle it double dosed. What support can I find for me to cope better and not get overwhelmed
•    Anonymous said... I have been living with an aspergers spouse with undiagnosed ODD for 26 yrs. Is it possible that the condition worsens with age?
•    Anonymous said... I have had enough of being an ODD parent to my husband - I am exhausted!
•    Anonymous said... I was told recently by my current mental health RNP that ODD is only a kid thing, and that I couldn't possibly have it because I am an adult. SO FRUSTRATING.
•    Anonymous said... last few days our class held a similar talk about this subject and you point out something we have not covered yet, thanks.
•    Anonymous said... My adult son has ODD. A Lifetime of struggles. Refuses therapy, self meditates with weed, unable and unwilling to live on any kind if budget, spends all his money on good times and weed, puts no priority into meeting his financial obligations first, always pressuring me into helping him financially. Always angry, emotional outbursts on a regular basis, he is a Terrible Son,also a terrible Father, drove wife away and 2 years later continues to obsess about her, refusing to accept it's over and blames everyone else for his plight. My feelings for him go from love to hate and wanting him to go away forever....but he won't, and no hope for change because he refuses to accept his condition or get any therapy. Went to family counseling for 8 years as a kid and never got help because HE REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE. Finally letting him move into a house I own 2000 miles away in hope that our relationship might improve. I'm over 60 years old and I'm exhausted with this.....dont I have a right to some peace and happiness without having some guilt trip put on me or some havoc being created to prevent me from living my life????? HELP!!!!!

Please post your comment below…

The Dangers of Trying to “Fit-In” with a Neurotypical World

One of the reasons that adults with Asperger’s (high-functioning autism) do not make a strong effort to adapt to societal expectations is because – to one degree or another – they have been treated unfairly throughout their life. From a very young age – and even into adulthood – many have been rejected, teased, ridiculed, bullied, and in other ways discriminated against by “neurotypicals.”

Who in their right mind would want to participate in a “system” that only values a certain style of thinking – especially when you have a “disorder” that makes you a square peg that’s “supposed” to fit into a round hole. A valid argument could be made that, without the staunch non-conformists in the world, there would be no change within society.

On that note, here are some of the disadvantages of trying to “fit-in” with a neurotypical world:

1. Assuming you could if you wanted to, if you chose to conform to the neurotypical way of thinking, feeling and behaving, there would be a lack of diversity on this planet. If you – and all the other people on the autism spectrum – lived within the guidelines and belief systems of society, it would certainly be a very monotonous and unimaginative world.

2. Not all of society’s “rules” are just. If you try to follow every rule of society, you may actually be setting yourself up for failure. A blind belief in any system without question is a hazardous way to go through life – and is not even good for society as a whole. Some rules “should be” broken. If you refuse to break a rule just to “fit-in” and gain the acceptance of “the group,” you end up giving up too much of your own power to the *** powers in charge***.

3. Trying to fit-in means not questioning the status quo and putting a blind trust in how others think YOU should think and act. Giving over your power to others for the sake of conforming to their expectations can mean ignoring social justice issues – and can keep you from feelings of outrage and the need for action over social injustice (in this case, prejudice against people who “think differently”).

4. The neurotypical world is not always based on what is good for the “greater good.” Unjust actions by society is largely fueled by people who go to great lengths to “go with the flow.” It’s just plain dumb to go through life without questioning present circumstances that seem wrong or one-sided.

5. You may feel like a “cop-out” (i.e., feeling as though you’re grossly compromising your values and beliefs).  If you believe that you don't have the ability to go against the norm when you “know you should,” it’s a real self-esteem buster. How many times have you wanted to do something and felt afraid of what others would say about it? And when you kept your mouth shut in order to avoid “rocking the boat,” how did you feel about yourself? Conversely, when you stood up for yourself because in your gut you knew you were right, how did you feel? Enough said!

6. Your creativity will die a slow death. Look at all the famous artists that sold paintings worth thousands (if not millions) of dollars. If they operated by the “norms of artwork” (so to speak), they would never get outside the box to produce pioneering paintings, sculptures and drawings. Have you ever had a "crazy idea” – and you thought it was a good idea, but you didn’t pursue it for fear of ridicule and criticism from others? Have you ever wanted to suggest a risky idea to your employer that was against norms? How many times have you wanted to try something new - but bailed-out without even giving it a try?

7. As previously stated, conformists don’t make a difference in the world. Without people who “think differently,” there would never be change. People on the autism spectrum can offer a checks-and-balance system that can help to point out what is unjust in society. If you are a person with Asperger’s or high-functioning autism, you are indeed one of those who can improve the current state-of-affairs for the better.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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