Aspbergers syndrome

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Aspbergers syndrome
9
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 2:55pm
Hi, I've been dating a gut off & on for 6 years. We've now been living together for 1 year. I'm completely baffled sometimes by his behavior & am desperately trying to understand it. Despite all the things I love about him, he seems very able to criticize me yet not take any from me about him, very anal about details, and pretty egocentric.
After doing some research I really feel he might fit the descriptions of Asberger's syndrome of autism. Has anyone here been able to continue a relationship with someone like this?? I don't want to give him up, but need some guidance on how to deal with his ways.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2006
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 3:41pm
Wow, before jumping to a conclusion like that, have you tried talking to him about this? Maybe he's the type that just wants to be in control.




dscf4525_border.jpg picture by nhgal2006



"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest,
It's about those who came and never left your side ...."
Unknown



28999825.jpg picture by nhgal2006

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 8:17pm

Carol, I haven't had an Aspy partner, but I do have an autistic son, so I know where you're coming from. Sadly, I know only divorced or single Aspy adults.

Anyway, the first rule is to throw out all your knowledge of how to negotiate in relationships. Because those rules only work for those of us who aren't on teh spectrum. Things such as "I statements" (When you do X, I feel Y) will sail way over the top of his head.

Instead, you have to be very clear about your expectations. Don't rely on hints or be overly tactful because it won't work.

I know you're talking about adults, but let me give you a childhood example of how to speak to an aspy. In the classroom, many of the children are sitting on the floor where they should be. Teacher says "Look, Johnny is sitting on the floor. Well done Johnny". The NT kids pick up the clue and sit down like Johnny. But the Aspy kid looks and Johnny and thinks "yes, Johnny is sitting on the floor". If the teacher wants the Aspy to sit down, she needs to say "X, sit on the floor until we are finished this activity".

Don't expect him to be able to learn to be naturally considerate of your needs. Sure, you can teach him by rote to ask you before he books you into something. But he won't be able to translate this action into being considerate in other areas. Each area and your expectation will have to be dealt with separately.

Understand that if he's Aspy, then he doesn't have good empathy. Even if he sees you crying, he may not understand how you're feeling or why you feel that way. He may also be confused (and display signs of anger) if you're upset and not know what he did or how to make you feel better.

If he talks too long about one topic, it's OK to say "You've spoken enough about that for now. Let's talk about something else". If this is too vague, try "that's enough for today, we won't speak about it again until tomorrow".

Grab some autobiographies written by Aspies. Temple Grandin, Wendy Lawson and Liane Holliday Willey spring to mind. It will give you some real insight for the Aspy mind.

Have you suggested to him that he might be Aspy? Have him read the diagnostic criteria and tell you what he thinks. One of the biggest things which would help you is having him accepting that there's a reason he's like he is and a reason that you get frustrated.

Having said all this, I recall you said that he won't take any criticism from you. What type of language do you use when you talk with him about a problem? Can you give an example of something he does and how you'd address it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 8:24pm

Nhgal, are you familiar with the diagnostic criteria for Aspergers? It's not something which one "jumps to a conclusion" about. It's quite detailed and involves many personality traits....it displays as far more than an individual wanting to control their environment. A person who was simply was dealing with a control freak would not relate to an Aspy description.

You see, for most people who are dealing with Aspergers, reading the critera is like a lightbulb moment. It's an "OMG, this explains everything" moment. And a lightbulb moment is obviously what the OP has had.






Edited 9/20/2010 8:30 pm ET by true.blue.strine
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 9:06pm

Ha, I tell a lie. I DO know an Aspie who is in a defacto relationship.

Anyway, I've found some links which may help. The first one is an article about the early stage when a person recognises Aspergers in a partner. The second on is an online support group for Aspies and their partners.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article3416502.ece

http://www.experienceproject.com/groups/My-Spouse-Or-Partner-Has-Aspergers-Syndrome/168826

I would strongly advise you to talk to people in specialist Aspy support groups...they will really 'get' what you're going through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2006
Tue, 09-21-2010 - 7:41am
Thank you. I do understand that. But shouldn't it be properly diagnosed before trying to figure out how to deal with it? Wouldn't a physician be able to help you do that?




dscf4525_border.jpg picture by nhgal2006



"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest,
It's about those who came and never left your side ...."
Unknown



28999825.jpg picture by nhgal2006

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 6:17pm

No, not really. Formal diagnosis is expensive and has no real practical advantage. The majority of adult aspies out there are self diagnosed.

However, I do believe that to be in a relatively healthy relationship, the individual must come on board with being Aspergers. As in, research and relate to the condition - as well as accepting that his 'normal' isn't everyone else's 'normal'.

Both parties in the relationship also need to accept that they will have to work harder at understanding the POV of the other and be more flexible.

There are loads and loads of books out there which an aspie adult can read. As well as social skill workshops and online resources.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2006
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 9:09am
Thank you. I didn't realize that.




dscf4525_border.jpg picture by nhgal2006



"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest,
It's about those who came and never left your side ...."
Unknown



28999825.jpg picture by nhgal2006

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2011
Tue, 12-13-2011 - 12:24pm
Its a struggle, if he is aspie the chances of getting divorced is 80%. But that i take as a challendge, my husband and i have been together 8 years and 3+ kids, we are making it work.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Tue, 12-13-2011 - 2:34pm

I have a very good friend with Asberger's he has been in a LTR for almost 8 years now, they have lived together for 6. It is not something I could ever do, everything in the relationship is his way, nothing is hers. She is completely submissive to him, buit that is what works for them. For example, he will never get married again, she wants nothing more than for them to get married. If she wants to stay with him, then it is status quo. He will disappear