Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Partners with Aspergers

The partner with Aspergers (high functioning autism) can manifest a wide range of varying behaviors with varying intensities. However feedback from their partners in marriage suggests there are many common threads in their experience of marriage.

Below is a list of some common characteristics of the marriage experience and of the partner with Aspergers, as described by members of

• A tendency to correct and instruct those around them.

• After marriage the partner with Aspergers often seems to lose motivation to keep working on the quality of the relationship as though the wedding day has “completed” their pursuit, allowing them to pursue other interests.

• An essential need to have things done in a prescribed manner or order.

• Apparent evidence that the partner with Aspergers is not “reading” situations or people intuitively and is consequently behaving insensitively or inappropriately for the circumstances.

• Interests and hobbies of some partners with Aspergers tend to take on an obsessive characteristic at the expense of all other needs, duties and relationships around them.

• Seeming to be experiencing “normal” situations differently, noticing different things and having to deal with different priorities which often prevent co-operation and teamwork, leading to frequent conflict. As a result the relationship and communication deteriorate quickly. Efforts to reason and resolve situations often result in partners feeling that they have been dug in deeper. They often feel that their efforts have been fruitless and even worse, have increased the level of complication.

• Social isolation may result for the family if the partner with Aspergers is consistently avoiding social situations. On the other hand, some partners with Aspergers can seem like the “life of the party” and keep everyone entertained or “engaged” (willingly or unwillingly) by sharing a great deal of expert knowledge on favorite topics of interest.

• Some partners with Aspergers may be very controlling and unjust with the use of family finances, or on the other hand, avoid any financial responsibility within the household completely. They can quickly run the family into financial crisis by spending excessively on special interests, collections or hobbies.

• The partner with Aspergers can behave intrusively.

• The partner with Aspergers may “shut-down” if they don’t know what to say or how to behave. They may disengage with partner or family indefinitely.

• The partner with Aspergers may have great difficulty cooperating with others or working as part of a team or unit. They may seem focused only on what’s going on for them, and unaware of what’s going on for those around them.

• The partner with Aspergers may take roles seriously, to the letter of the law, especially as “Head of the Home” in a family with religious beliefs or tendency to traditional roles.

• The partner with Aspergers may appear to have an air of superiority or even arrogance and an apparent lack of respect for the knowledge, credibility, expertise or authority of others. They may have high intelligence or gifted abilities in some areas but seem to lack basic “common sense” or “know-how” in other more commonplace situations.

• The partner with Aspergers may not recognize the effort their partner is constantly contributing to the relationship to try to sustain it. They may be extremely sensitive and easily upset - and may take issue or be offended - over small matters which in turn can seem to jeopardize the stability or quality of the whole relationship.

• The partners of people with Aspergers will often feel as though they should and need to “repair” social faux pars created by the Aspergers partner.

• The spouses of partners with Aspergers claim that their spouses often do not appear to read the needs or notice the emotions of other family members, and they don’t inquire or reach out to them. However, when they do notice a need or “we tell them about our needs, they don’t seem to know instinctively what to do to make us feel better, and they will often do nothing and remain disconnected”.

• Their courtship style is almost “too good to be true”.

• There is frequently a tendency to hostility, defensiveness and retaliation if the partner with Aspergers is challenged or thwarted.

• They may also “melt-down” or have episodes of rage and aggression when they don’t know how to deal with circumstances, or they don’t want to discuss, negotiate, compromise or resolve situations.

• They may be very controlling.

• They may hold to a single acceptable method or opinion in many areas of daily life.

• They may insist on predictability in others and in household activities, but seem to “live on a whim” themselves leaving the family feeling uncertain all the time.

• They often have difficulty coping or adapting around the daily “happenings” within a family situation.

• They often seem to over-react to efforts to talk over matters with them and may perceive such efforts as a personal attack.

• Verbal combat around “technicalities” or “order” of a situation rather than the “spirit” or “essence”.

Aspergers and Marriage—

Over the last decade, many people would be aware that there has been an upsurge of awareness and diagnosis of Autism and Aspergers. Most of the cases being identified are children. Their behaviors are often exposed and uninhibited, allowing for ready identification and appropriate intervention and assistance to take place. Improved behavior and communication patterns in turn enable more successful adjustment into adulthood.

What many people will not be aware of is that there is a second wave of identification taking place within the adult population. For adults with Aspergers, their behaviors since childhood have gone "underground" and layers of coping strategies and defense mechanisms greet the social world. These behaviors often give the impression of someone quite "together" - perhaps a little eccentric or odd - but passable because of their high intelligence, impressive knowledge, high integrity and particular flair or gift in an area or career, such as engineering, telecommunications, computers, art, religion and politics.

Many adults with Aspergers do marry and have kids. Marriage often follows a period of "ideal" courtship. However the experience of the partners and children are quite different to what most partners would experience and expect.

Partners of an adult with Aspergers often have awareness early in the marriage that something is not right but they can’t work out what. They often speak of being aware that something, like a piece of a puzzle, is missing.

  • They may not be aware of or anticipate situations of danger or neglect when caring for a youngster.
  • If a parent with Aspergers chooses to take an interest in their youngster they can be very attentive and go to great lengths to assist them in practical ways.
  • On the other hand, they may have trouble reading their youngster’s needs or emotional state and may either respond inappropriately or not at all, leading to the possibility of neglect or mishandling or abuse.

The Experience of the Non-Aspergers Partner—

Partners living in a marriage or long-term relationship with an adult with Aspergers report feeling a deep impact in their lives in the following ways:
  • Alone
  • Being disbelieved by others, including professionals
  • Burn-out
  • Changes in personality in order to cope with Aspergers partner’s behavior
  • Confusion
  • Constantly criticized and blamed unreasonably
  • Depression
  • Efforts to build and sustain relationship constantly sabotaged by pedantic requirements of Aspergers person
  • Feeling like partner won’t cope without them (if we separate)
  • Frustration
  • Hopefulness dashed
  • Hyper vigilance to prevent chaos and relationship breakdowns
  • Increase in feelings of anger
  • Isolation
  • Like a single parent
  • Loss of sense of self
  • Neglected emotionally
  • Often betrayed by lack of loyalty and kindness from Aspergers partner
  • Often feel in damage control or crisis management
  • Powerlessness
  • Sense of being a mediator and interpreter at home and outside the home
  • Sense of sadness at unrealized potential in themselves, Aspergers partner and other family members
  • Shouldering responsibility for most household matters and well-being
  • Trapped
  • Unsupported
  • Verbally, psychologically and sometimes physically abused

The Benefits of Attending a Support Group—
  • Being with others who “know”
  • Help us heal
  • Information and feedback about other helpful services and professionals
  • Learn strategies to help us cope and manage better
  • No longer alone
  • No need to explain, prove or justify ourselves or our experiences
  • Opportunity to gain more understanding of Aspergers
  • Reassurance of our own worth and sanity
  • Regular opportunities to hear professionals speak
  • Special Events give us opportunity to promote awareness of, and learn more about Aspergers
  • Validation of our experiences

Click here to search for a support group near you! 

Comments from Partners/Spouses in an Asperger's Relationship:

My husband is an Aspie. I love him for being kind, supportive and loving me for who I am. I am the only "girl" he has ever kissed or dated. For us, the key was wanting to not play games and finding a best friend. Aspies tend to not play dating games and value honesty. Find a friend with the same interests and you will fall in love. Then they will have the patience they need when you mess up emotions.


Like NTs some HFA/Aspergers are quite capable of maintaining close relationships with other people on the spectrum or even with NTs. Just like NTs some are better suited to this than others. People on the spectrum can vary enormously and some may have a higher emotional intelligence than others and allow for socializing and forming closer bonds. Others may just prefer to be alone and there is nothing wrong with that. I myself have two boys on the spectrum and of course am a fully fledged aspie, lol I have been married for 30 years to an NT. Like any other marriage we have had times when we have had to work hard, but generally we understand each other and support each other. I do know other autistic people who have children and have good, warm and loving relationships.

Remember that autism does not define us, condemn or damage us and we are not diseased. So there is hope for many and especially for those who have a diagnosis and develop a sense of self awareness and acceptance. My advice to anyone in these mixed relationships of autistic/NT to be patient, accepting of each other and make adjustments if possible. Maybe it will be hard sometimes, but like with our kids, always rewarding in the long run.


My husband has Aspergers and we have a great and intimate relationship. There are some differences: I typically drive, I typically talk to waiters, he often doesn't look me in the eyes, and sometimes I have to pose an important question to him and then walk away so he has time to think about it. He can't always just respond on the spot for important and/embarrassing topics. We'll have been married for five years this May!


There is nothing "normal". Everyone has some type of issues or needs. It is all about learning different tools and having patience. I really struggle with my husband sometimes and I constantly have to remind myself that his process isn't going to be the same as mine.


I have AS and I was married for 13 years before getting the diagnosis. We have a happy marriage although it has become easier now that there are explanations for my sometimes eccentric behavior or unusual mood swings. However my non-AS hubby has many issues of his own. I know there are loads of undiagnosed AS people out there who are in relationships and I think they have the same chance of success as NT relationships provided you are with the right person.


Total honesty. You have to become as brutally honest as he is - it will feel awkward but will open up all kinds of doors. "Giving me a rose, every now and then, makes me happy..." and then explain the symboism.  Or, "when we are intimate - can you touch me here or kiss me there, it feels good."  Or, "I know that it isnt something you would normally do, but when you do this - it reminds me that you love me."


It is definitely isolating to have a husband and son on the spectrum. I feel like I concede daily to my happiness and needs because I'm too busy putting out fires. I said to my husband last night "I just wish there was one day where one or the other of you weren't mad at me." And by mad I mean taking their anger, frustration etc. out on me. I have virtually no friends now because I'm sick of the "better you than me" looks. I love my family very much and am trying very hard to keep us together. However, a little acknowledgement of how hard I work to keep our ship righted would be appreciated. I'm feeling very isolated, under-appreciated etc as a result of being married to an AS spouse and having a AS son. I work very hard to cover all of their needs and as a result have lost myself.


You're not along, its okay to grieve and part of the grieving process is anger. Its a rough road, especially at first, but it can be worked with. Just as I do not give up on my son, I do not give up on my husband. My husbands family appears to all be ASD as well, and that gives me the belief my son will be fine too - better even, because we acknowledge ASD in my son, and get him the help and support he needs (whereas my husband and his family deny ASD). Grieve, breath.... it will all be okay.


As a woman with AS who has been happily married for almost 30 years to a man with AS, the mother of a daughter and four sons who are all on the spectrum, the grandmother of little Spectrumites and as a fully human being with a complete range of emotions I would like to say that it is the mis-match between different neurologies that causes most of the problems. Oh, and I'm the daughter and grand-daughter of Spectrumites too. I have dropped my non-AS 'friends' over the years as I was unable to meet their expectations that I should change to be more like them. They never tried to understand me, yet expected ME to understand THEM!

I have great Spectrum friends and we have fortnightly family get-togethers that are huge fun. Socializing with other Spectrumites is easy. We understand each other’s body language; eye-contact is not a problem nor is bluntness and honesty in conversation. We make allowances for each other's sensory difficulties and can tell if the other is uncomfortable, and why.


My AS husband had a diagnosis 3 years ago and now that we have this framework to understand his behavior we have been able to 'save our relationship'. Pre-diagnosis, it was often difficult for either of us to make sense of many of the things that he did. His diagnosis gave him a new way to understand himself and gave me the necessary information to try to support him with his challenges. We have also been able to begin to change our expectations of how our relationship can be successful. It was a very difficult time emotionally for us both but we found some support online - services for adults in the UK are very few and far between. Sharing helps - so a big "thanks".


My ex is an Asperger's man and so is our son. I could not deal with it but it was mostly because of my own personality. I am extremely outgoing and very much a people person. I thrive on volunteering, being with friends, etc. My ex did not and got upset if I wasn't at home with him. I am also highly kinesthetic (I process through my feelings and emotions more than through visual or audio clues). Many Asperger's tend to 'lack affect'--not show emotions very well and tend to not be as affectionate. I am the opposite so on the whole we were just a bad match. Everyone is different however. Some 'normal' (heck who is really normal? I mean non-asperger's people here) people are naturally not so outgoing or strong people-persons. Some tend to not be as emotional. Some don't like as much affection.

There are plenty of those out there who CAN deal with the aspects of asperger's. I think it is also easier if you are a woman. It has been said that Asperger's is like being overly male. That on a spectrum men tend to be a little further away from social, etc. than women and that asperger's syndrome people tend to take that a step farther. So the average man is sort of a bit closer to the asperger part of the spectrum than the average woman--making it a bit easier for a asperger woman to find a man than an asperger man find a women. The thing is, humans are all over the spectrum in every trait. There probably is someone out there for everyone--probably several someones to be honest. It may be a bit harder if someone is farther towards one end of the spectrum or the other, but it is quite possible.


Being married to someone with AS is so lonely. I feel that all my time is spent on how I can make things better for my husband to cope with life. Yet I am the one that has to handle everything and there is never someone there to help me. I agree about being fin/soc ind. For a long time I pushed aside my friends when it came to social outings since my husband always seemed so awkward at these events. I have started going to things by myself which may sound rude but at least I feel alive!!!! To have another adult to talk to is worth more than anything.


I agree that living with an Asperger's person is not easy, but the marriage can be manageable and happy if the two talk about the challenges and work through them. It is only natural for a person with any difficulty to choose someone who complements them to be their partner. Reading this article gave me a very negative feeling about people with Asperger's Syndrome; but this is not accurate. Beneath all that "oddness" lays a very vulnerable person who is easily overwhelmed and overloaded. The "selfishness" is just a means of coping with that. The partner can be happy as long as he/she lower their expectations and look at the other half of the cup.


 I don't feel that being married to a person with Asperger's is the worst thing in the world. Would you just up and run if your partner developed cancer or was seriously injured in a car crash and need care all the time? My husband has Asperger's and OCD. We have been married for 6 years but together on and off for 13 years. We have 5 kids together, two of whom also have Asperger's. My daily life is VERY exhausting mentally and physically caring for my children and my husband especially since they all have their own set of challenges to tend to but I wouldn't trade my family for anything in the world!!

I think as long as you (the neurotypical spouse) have some outlet to keep yourself balanced it is very doable. I know my husband loves me with all his being. It may not always be perceived that way because all his love can seem small in comparison to a "normal" relationship but I know that he is giving all he can and that means something.


For many years I had no idea what the reason was for the strange, nearly indefinable problems we had in our marriage. Now I realize that there must be many exhausted, isolated, deeply sad women out there trying to cope with a very difficult situation alone, because so few understand. My husband is a beautiful, gentle, intelligent individual but this does not prevent my suffering. Denying one's self and sacrificing all basic emotional needs every single day, giving up the most important personal desires bit by bit as the years go by is so damaging. I wish support was better organized for partners of Aspergers. Many of us live in a trap, denying ourselves more and more as times goes by but finding it unacceptable to abandon a good and in a way helpless person who is the way he is out of no fault of his own. It is enough to make one crazy and there is no help around.


My husband definitely is Aspie. He has a lot to learn in the social department. Luckily, he likes to be physical and that is a plus for our marriage (i actually told him I can't marry him unless we have sex at least 3x's a week ;o) haha Yes, I'm a woman! LOL He is not very romantic but he has allowed me to open some doors and travel places I don't think he would have without me. He has been more flexible and so I believe the balance has helped him. I insist on Intimacy. Luckily, this is not uncomfortable with him.

The biggest problem is him being a work horse and "shutting him down" almost like a computer FROM the computer and him learning to "realize" that it's "too much" He needs to check in to Life, the kids, me Things he once felt was important (and still does) I guess it's the transition. I don't like the emotional detachment (like i feel he could have sex with someone else and it wouldn't be a BIG deal) and so yes, I feel he would be more likely to "wander" but he does know the difference right/wrong and hopefully he will keep to his vows/promises. I know he loves me and the kids. He's just a bit "impulsive" and so that sometimes makes me worried that it will ruin our marriage. We've been married for 10 happy years though and I feel we both compliment each other, though I'm not on the Spectrum. I love that he's a very logical thinker and he is more involved with the kids activities than most men. He also is not into sports so that frees up some time for the family. I love my Aspie husband and I like that he sees/knows he has weaknesses (isn't arrogant) and knows he has much more strengths.


I am a 50 year old Aspie woman. I have had to admit that I am emotionally unavailable. I find being in a couple difficult, and I am infatuated with another man who is also emotionally unavailable (and he infatuated with some lover he had years ago, long gone). So what I say is this: Emotionally unavailable people are drawn to one another. If you are with someone who cannot show you love and tenderness, then there is a reason within yourself for that. Easier to focus on the partner's inability to love than your own (I know this because I have done that myself). We choose each other. We have some need, some craving, for the pursuit of someone who can never truly be with us. All the focus goes on to "if only s/he'd change, I'd be happy". Not true. It's a bitter, repulsive fact that people like us love each other because of the guarantee of coldness and distance. I have come to believe this is all part of Asperger's, not lack of self esteem, childhood trauma etc (though being Aspie, we are rich in both those things). He can't love? Nor can you. Nor can I. I want to face this miserable, hurtful truth. I suspect some partners of Aspies are also on the spectrum, or have some other condition that draws you to us. There's no right, no wrong and (short of domestic violence) no victim and no villain. We can't love as we'd wish to love. What now? Accepting that is the first step, for me. Not that I know what comes after that.


My husband has not been officially diagnosed, but has taken the online test and we have suspected he has Asperger's ever since our daughter was diagnosed.

I actually have found that knowing what I now know, I have become much more understanding and less peevish. What used to drive me crazy with frustration is now just a part of life with the man I love.

The most important thing I have found to remember is that the things that drew me to my husband in the first place and the things I love about him have not changed with the diagnosis. The only thing that has changed has been the day-to-day dynamics. I now know to communicate with written messages and notes rather than blast him with a long list of verbal expectations. I am more sensitive to "zone out" times and understand why he has them and why he sometimes needs them.

Knowing doesn't remove challenges, but it helps my creativity kick into gear and it actually enlivens the marriage - we aren't just any other boring couple. We get to go about life and marriage in a new way with new little twists and in the end we will be closer and stronger than ever before.


I am married to a man with aspergers. We have been married for 45 years. He was only diagnosed 3 years ago. When we met most couples did not live together before marriage. If we had I do not think I would have married hemi also have 2 adult children with it. One has out going/assertive a/s [like her dad] with severe mental health problems. The other one has passive a/s. [like her paternal uncle and cousin.]SO YES A/S PEOPLE DO MARRY. Once you have a diagnosis things get a little easier. P.S. Most of my families have good careers they all have some connection to their obsessive hobby.


My a/s husband just carries on in his own sweet aspergers way. He will not discuss it or read up on it. He is so stubborn. I think if he read up on it, he thinks he will lose face by admitting he has it. And of course they do not like change, and to make a move to change his behavior will mean change. Why should he change? He has the life he wants, it may make me happier, but that may mean I am more affectionate to him. And he can’t stand that. I think we have to change, not them.


John and I met in 2002. He was 39, I was 35. Neither of us had children and we’re now 'ready' for a relationship. We met at, of all places, a personal development course. After the 4 month course ended, I approached him and asked him out. I was attracted to his quiet, gentle nature, his intelligence and his warm heart. We developed a beautiful relationship. We were quick to start physically, but emotionally were very slow. John is a principal of a primary school, and I, a nurse. We established a routine very quickly, of my coming to his house Wednesdays to Sundays, and being apart in between. We had fun together, laughed, shared our love of football and fine dining, and got to a point of saying we loved each other. Every now and again, John would become very distant, particularly if I became clingy or intense. He would need time apart, which was often very painful, and eventually come back to me, saying that I 'meant the world' to him.

After a year together, John broke things off. He could not really tell me why, he just said, he couldn't 'do it anymore'. I was devastated as I loved him very, very much. After 6 months, we were back together again, and I asked him if we could go to couples counciling, which he very bravely agreed to. We had 4 sessions together, which mainly centered around him, which was ok for me, but I'm not sure if it was the correct process!! After that, John did not want to go back, and he ended our relationship again. This time it was very painful for the both of us. I saw him cry for the first time, and once again, he was unable to tell me why. I felt like he loved me, the best way he could, but he said he didnt know what to feel. I felt like I had died. It was horrible. We would catch up for coffee from time to time, usually ending up kissing or going to bed together, and now this too, has stopped. I've not had any contact for 4 years now.

I went to see our psychologist, soon after we broke up, who told me she felt John had Aspeger's. Now, she may be incorrect, but a lot of what I've read fits John. I don't love him any less, in fact, if this is the case, I love him more, as I can understand him more. I wish I had your book back then (2003-2005). I may have been able to be more supportive and less demanding. I may have found some skills to manage things differently. Things may have worked out between us. Neither of us have had a relationship since, we are both still single.

Now, I totally acknowledge I have some stuff going on here too. It was a 2 way thing! And our relationship was, at times, a struggle. There were times he was emotionally unavailable, and I sometimes felt lonely. And am sure there were times where my 'stuff' got in the way too. But the good outweighed the bad, and I wish I could turn the clock back and have been a more understanding partner.

John was never, to my knowledge, officially diagnosed with Asperger's, but if it is the case, I wish I had known at the time. I would've fought harder, and loved him more.

Thank you for listening to my story, I just felt the need to tell someone who would understand. You don't need to reply, I feel better just telling you. And maybe, somewhere, sometime, John and I might get another chance.


I'm a 30 year old woman and I've been dating my partner, Dave, who has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome for nearly a year now. At times we talk about marriage and children and I know this is what he wants. I too want this.

We met quite by chance and it was during the very early days of our relationship that Dave disclosed to me that he had diagnosis of AS. To be perfectly honest, I had next-to-no understanding of what this was and promptly dismissed it from my mind. I thought he 'speaks funny' and is 'bizarrely smart' neither of which bothered me too much (I work as a Mental Health Nurse in Remote Australian Communities - and in my mind a person has to significant difficulties functioning for there to be a problem. Sharing an interest in the human rights and health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has been a great strength of our relationship... but thats another story).

To my naive mind, I thought that Dave can’t have been that severely Asperger-ed, he's a solicitor and great at his work. He ‘functions’. We have been living together for the past 2 months, its temporary (Dave will be working in another community 5 hours north in another month) but they have been challenging +++. And when I search online for some help and discover that 80% of marriages, where one partner has AS, end in divorce… I'm not exactly filled with hope. We have never yelled or sworn at one another, but we have some terrible arguments that never seem to end… the fact that we both have a tendency to ‘over-think’ everything, doesn’t help! But I love this man and I hope that he and I can have a family and all that we both dream of, and while we are still in-love I want to give our relationship every possible chance.


 I have been married to an HFA for 29 years and never knew it. I have learned much of this by trial and error, but plan to read this several times and implement as many as I can. Josie, my husband lives in absolute disarray, but for many years his behavior could have been labeled emotionally abuse with expectations through the ceiling and rage to equal it. It's been a trip, but the think that has helped me most besides the Lord, is realizing I'm not responsible for his expectations, his unhappiness, or moodiness. I can approach the line of his behavior, but I will not enter into it and try to rescue him. That is just a rabbit hole you will never find your way out of. Try to see clearly what is his baggage and don't pick it up. Choose your battles carefully because most things just don't matter in the grand scheme. And remember, you are helping one of God's kids make it through this life, that is actually an honor though it may not seem so at times.


My husband and I were just discussing last night how he is constantly mis reading me and other situations. How he feels frustrated that he tries and tries, but still misses out, even in social settings. We have a LOT of communication issues. But since we have a son diagnosed with Aspergers, we at least have something we can hold on to. We understand what is going on, but fixing it is definately a challenge. Many evenings are usually watchign tv, working on the computer or flat out arguing Nothing in between. We have tried therapy, but my husband doesn't see anything wrong with HIM! He lives by the adage if it isn't squeeking, then it doesn't need the grease, so it doesn't get attention. WE just talk about it all night and then forget about it until the next time. WE have been married for 15 years this way. probably remain so for another 40 or so. Not healthy, but we are adapting.


Sending hugs to all dealing with an aspergers spouse. It was like emotional abandonment and verbal abuse for 19 years with denial on their part and receiving the constant reminder that we are the one with "emotional problems". One doesn't realize the toll it takes until they are out of it. Everyone makes a different choice for themselves and their relationships. Even just focusing on the positive may not be enough. Aspergers behavior finally resulted in divorce. Indirectly, I received what I needed for my emotional and physical well-being. Yes, ongoing stress can manifest itself in physical ailments. Life is amazing, even my kids have done better emotionally & academically since not living in the dysfunctional environment that unfortunately occurred.


I have been married to a man with Aspergers for 32 years! It's only been two years since we discovered this. For the entire duration of our marriage, until recently, I blamed myself for everything. I blamed myself for not being pretty enough; after all if I were he would be attracted to me, and would be I thought. And I blamed myself for not being interesting or smart enough; had I been he would communicate with me. I've been pained with such guilt feelings because rather than appreciating his good qualities, I wanted a marriage like my parents. I wanted a marriage like my friends have. So guilt is all I've known. But I realize now that all I asked for was the same "normal" marriage that every woman seeks and expects when finding a mate. It has been emotionally and physically draining being married to him. My health has suffered greatly from it. It takes me to such a sad place when I think how I spent all of my youth waiting for him to change; never realizing his ways will never change. It's been lonely for me. But although the road has been long and arduous, and I question if I even love him anymore, I won't leave him. My new journey now is to learn how to find happiness in this mother-child relationship. I need to desperately focus on his good qualities rather than dwell on what is missing. It's going to be very challenging, but I've made up my mind to fight for this with all I have.


I say my husband is "great" -- but it's just really fleeting and surface discussions, nothing deep and my taking care of him and everything else has just worn me out. I can't even consider another argument or discussion that goes nowhere. I find the resentment building and building. I fear I won't even want him as a friend is this keeps up. I get the selfish comment, whether it's intentional or not, doesn't make it ANY easier. How did you get out? I've spent our whole marriage protecting him and now I'm going to be the villain b/c no one really knows him. He has no real friends and can go days, weeks, months w/o intimacy of any kind. I mean not even your basic married talks, just his rants or "areas of focus". I will try to tell him something and I feel so degraded that after a dozen interruptions only then do I realize he has no interest in what I have to say. He can be so nice but he can be passively vicious too. It's all I've known, now I just want time to heal, time away. If he won't acknowledge it, if he just focuses on winning every discussion than what's the point when it's truly killing me? How do I get out, I don't want to hurt him, I just want time, I really am scared but I think I want out once and for all.


I'm with an aspergers man now for 13years, married for 8 . It's my 3rd husband and I loved his gentleness after an abusive previous marriage. I'm now 69 so no chance of leaving as anyway I'm the beadwinner and he couldn't manage alone. He's an alcoholic which bothers me more than the the aspergers. I work really hard all day but in the evening I have no companionship. I think he loves me but I don't think I do any more. I didn't know he had it even though I raised his son for 10 years . His son is now living on his own in UK but in charge of the state. My husband has worked and still does a bit . I mistook his engineering ability and his past history of the hospitality industry to mean he was whole. I gradually started to see his complete dependence on me for most things and his jealousy of my friends as he has afraid I do run him down but mostly because of the drinking .


I am the 3rd wife of an Aspie classical musician. Although my husband will never admit he is affected by this syndrome the lightbulb came on when our granddaughter was sent to occupational therapy for her Aspie behavior (hand flapping, grimacing, self-mutilation at 4 yrs. old) It all SUDDENLY clicked.

When we met my husband seemed so calm (LOL - passive aggressive, I now realize); so many quirky non-caring things have happened; like the time he left me behind at Nordstrom's while he drove home without me; will not respond to any comment I make unless its a direct question (says "your comments don't merit a response -- ask a question if you want a response.")

Because he's a professor he thinks he's smart about everything -- except remembering my birthday, of course. He is PERFECTLY happy in this marriage because he has NO needs - none whatsoever (except to be agreed with and then left alone) - which leaves me 80% intellectually, emotionally, sexually lonely.

Yes, I'm in therapy -- if you're married to an Aspie, you probably should be too.


I am married over 25 years to Aspie man and I am exhausted, depleted, lonely and I fear my resentment will not abate. I have always gotten the counseling and been the one he blames yet he is a textbook case and in total denial. "Askmollybeauty", you just described my husband, but I'm just broken and fear I can't do it anymore and he claims he wants to be w/me but just fights to win (what?), I too describe him as utterly selfish and he used to be a good Dad but not anymore so much. Kids are grown and it's just either me trying not to talk, him interrupting and seeking me for whatever HIS needs are and no talking other than what TV show to watch. I've watched our friends solely go away and I'm tiring of this life. I can't believe all of these women believe we should continue being sick and sad forever. I too am sick and it's time for someone to show me empathy and support. I feel like I'll always be his mother and so many of the wives are sick, has to be connected. My husband is of little to no support on that front either, the loneliness and building resentment is unbearable. I think it's wrong to tell us we should stay, this is our life, they can't help it, etc. I'd rather be alone than feel alone w/a man that takes no responsibility and just piles it on me. He left me alone through serious illness & has no friends & as a result I'm losing mine too. No one is comfortable around him & all he wants to do is blame me and make no changes. I can't imagine never knowing what it is to live w/o all of this stress and oddly, I want that for him too. Why don't they admit they would rather be alone, is it the change b/c he can go so long w/o noticing me, of course that is unless HE needs or wants something. If you aren't married yet, run, it will destroy you, they can't cope w/anything and you are always wrong and they are reclusive and lack all introspection and empathy except on the rarest of occasions. I'm scared, but I really think this time I'm done. I just wish he could let us be friends, maybe more, just can't live w/it day in and day out. I wish you all so much happiness and support.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples


Anonymous said...

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

Anonymous said...

I got to this page following links from a google of "adult temper tantrums" - my partner engages in them. In wanting to find a reason behind a situation - in my case for my partners tantrums - it is easy to make associations between the items in the lists on this page and the situation. My advise is to be ruthlessly honest in reviewing the lists. For myself, I consider that there are some items in the list that apply - not favourably - to myself, as well as some to my partner. While I don't think that either of us has Aspergers, the lists make a useful relationship checklist. I found the blog to be helpful.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content