Some individuals with Aspergers (high functioning autism) will choose to stay single …others will marry … some will have kids …some will have happy marriages and families …and some will not. An important factor in determining their chances of happiness is “awareness” – awareness that there are two different languages of two different worlds being spoken in the home.
Anger, resentment, depression, grief, rejection, confusion ...all are experienced by both partners – unless they (a) come to the realization that each is speaking a different language AND (b) learn how to translate for each other.
Empathy and emotional intimacy are often lacking in a relationship with an Aspergers partner. This doesn't mean that love is lacking, though. People with Aspergers “love” just like anyone else, but they do not understand the need for expressing love, and they don't know when and how “expressions of love” should occur (unless their non-Aspergers partner is willing to teach them).
Teaching the “in-and-outs” of intimacy can be very helpful to an Aspie, and the “instruction” needs to be concise and concrete (no hinting or hoping he will just "pick up on it"). Aspies don't pick up on innuendos any more than color-blind people can see when a stop light turns to red.
Both partners may be in for far more than they had bargained for and certainly have had no real assistance from experts until just recently, as research has come to light.
A diagnosis of Aspergers may seem like “bad news” initially. But for the Aspie who has spent his life bumping up against misunderstandings, anger and rejection for reasons he couldn't begin to understand, such a diagnosis can bring a sense of liberation. And for their non-Aspergers partner, there is finally a sense of comfort and a knowing that she is sane after all. There was something different at play all through their relationship, and it had nothing to do with lack of love, selfishness, insensitivity, etc. Rather it had to do with a neurological disorder; a very real disconnect right in the middle of the relationship.
Now, thanks to the research and media attention, partners affected by Aspergers have a chance to bring new methods of communication and understanding to the relationship.
Living with an Aspergers Partner: Relationship Skills for Couples Affected by Aspergers