Living with an Aspergers Partner/Spouse


Anonymous said...

Yes we experience many issues between my spouse and I as well as dealing with the child who has the disability and my other son who has been dx with ADHD and my four year old. It is HARD!

While some don't like the forum that I put this story on, I did so because I have told everyone I know to tell to present date and I wanted to tell the public. I have put links on every single social network that I belong to. I have notified Disability law, Legal Aid, The ACLU, TN Dept of ED, US Dept of ED, Congressman, Senators and numerous other individuals who proclaim to represent children. To date resolution has been avoided. It did happen to my child and it was investigated by Child Protective services they sided with the school because they didn't say " Oh we beat up a disabled kid because I the principal didn't like his disciplinary record. My son's are the victims as they have lost their right to education because of Educators who are unwilling to educate themselves about the needs of students.

The Investigator for the Office of civil rights is Mrs. Steadman her phone number is 404 974 9375 The Complain is #04-11-1012

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/morristown-tn/T58LS6EL6GUU9INF7/p8 My comments start at #168 and YES I HAVE TOLD EVERYONE my name is BLUNT on the forum!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the heartfelt email. I have a feeling that I will be contacting you soon. SO many pieces to the puzzle are falling into place, and I feel both a sense of grief, as well as an overwhelming sense of peace. I bet you know exactly what I mean. I am looking forward to devouring this book. I am deeply thankful to have found it! Talk soon....


Anonymous said...

Hello Mark

My name is AnneMarie. I am 42, and live in Melbourne, Australia. Quite by accident, I have stumbled across your website tonight, regarding your book "Living with an Asperger's Partner" and have found myself in floods of tears. I'm not even sure what has compelled me to write to you, but I feel the need to. Please do me the honor of taking time to read my story, I have no expectations, other than some hope that sharing with you may help me understand someone I love very much and find some forgiveness and healing.

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 wish you well with your journey, and hope your book gives hope and help to those who deserve the understanding.

Yours Sincerely


Anonymous said...

I am a wife with Aspergers and my poor husband is at his wits end. I read your book and it has a lot of great points that will be very useful if I can get my husband to read it. He's not generally for getting help. There are many very lucid passages in your text that describe our situation to a tee and you make reasonable and potentially solvative suggestions.

Your book has mostly information about husbands with Aspergers, some of which is applicable to our situation, too. Can you point me in the direction of some resources for men married to women with AS? I understand that usually the situation is reversed, and so that there is less research and less market share in helping situations with female AS sufferers.

My father likely had AS. My son also has AS. I was involved with several abusive men before my current husband, who is not abusive, but is on the controlling/OCD edge of NT.
I have several professional careers and have a PhD, all based on special interests. Ranging from art, natural science, to computer programming. I currently juggle three part time jobs, one in each of these disciplines. All of my jobs I do from home so I don't have to interact with people.

Early in my current relationship I would enter prolonged shut downs when overwhelmed. My husband did not like this and begged that I try to give him my thoughts, and stop internalizing. I did work on this, but the result is that now have these ugly mean shouting fits that end in me feeling quite empty, exhausted, ashamed. Everyone else in the house is left feeling bad. I think internalizing is better and am going to try to go back to that approach. I don't seem to be able to find that appropriate middle ground of expression, however self-aware I am and hard I try.

I am extremely emotionally sensitive to animals. Driving by roadkill can ruin a week for me and I still have photographic/vidographic images preserved in my mind of driving past unsightly roadkills. If I read about endangered species, I become deeply depressed for weeks on end. I have to shelter myself from the news as a result. In one of my jobs, I help with climate change issues so I feel that I am doing my part.

I have no tolerance for teasing, even friendly jabs, sarcasm, or mimicry. My primary connection to the world around me is through my computer and my beagle. I have two friends outside my marriage. I don't see them often, but knowing they are there helps at times. I love logic, puns, patterns, complex mechanical devices (currently into accordions, used to be typewriters) and music that has self-similarity like Bach.

I am quite comfortable talking to one person at a time or presenting in lecture form to large groups. I struggle with anything in between.At dinner with two good friends at once, I will say nothing. With only one I chatter on.

I have no trouble with making eye contact unless confused by a person, then I will look at the floor, ceiling, or to their side. I can fake it if I need to, only by pretending that I am watching the conversation from a camera above the room. Generally no one suspects I have AS unless I have told them except my family.

In my sculpture I do portraits, and I do forensic reconstructions, so I have learned mechanically in detail how to produce and read expressions. It is work for me and I am still not very good at it, but it naturally became a special interest of mine early on, my first portraits being produced when I was 12 years old. My work has been shown and commissioned nationally.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the repeat Mark, but your book is the best I have read,
and I have read many... It is extremely practical, immensely Helpful..
I am finished and planning to read it through, several times.. As you
probably know I think in terms of pictures and the book builds them sufficiently
for me to understand... Usually when I read about emotions, there are no
pictures in my mind and I am left without any reasoning ability, so I get
stuck and cannot progress... Going to a conventional marriage counselor
was pure hell, I was left in the dark for much of the conversation and I felt
very stupid.. Luckily we figured out I had Aspergers through a book on
animal behavior I was reading... The lady was autistic and was explaining
how her brain thought, I kept thinking, "heck, everyone thinks like that" until
finally the light came on and I realized I thought like she did and I was autistic...
I was about 60 years old when I discovered this and wow, was that enlightening as it
explained the strangeness I knew I had and fought to mask my whole life..

God bless Mark!!!


Mark said...

You are a cut above Ken ...most men are not willing to (a) admit to a diagnosis or (b) work on their weak spots. Sounds like you have a very open mind. Good for you... and I am very proud of you for doing the tough work of self-exploration and self-disclosure.

Good man!


Anonymous said...

My husband is undiagnosed, but he fits the description on so many levels. We have been married for 41 years and our struggles seem fruitless at this point. Is it important that he seeks diagnosis? I think he would be highly resistant to the idea. I am afraid to even mention aspergers to him as he might think it is just one more attempt on my part to criticize him. Can I make progress if I apply the principles on my own. I have felt so alone for so long, but still have a glimmer of hope.

Mark said...

Re: Is it important that he seeks diagnosis?

Yes. My bias is that it is better to know than not to know. If he has Aspergers and doesn’t know, it affects him anyway; if he does know, he may be able to minimize the negative impact and leverage the positive. Without the knowledge that one has Aspergers, one often fills that void with other, more damaging explanations such as failure, weird, disappointment, not living up to one’s potential, etc.

Re: Can I make progress if I apply the principles on my own.

Absolutely. Be sure to apply the "Fighting Fair" principles.


Anonymous said...

I highly suspect, in fact, I am certain my fiance has Asperger's. I also highly suspect his 9 year old daughter does too. I suspected her first and after reading about it, and coming across articles about Aspies and relationships, I then realized he is also and Aspie.

After a year of living with him, and we were both on the verge of calling it quits, I told him I think he has Asperger's. He laughed at me while I was sitting there bawling my eyes out. I told him I don't care if he seeks a diagnosis but that him being aware of the traits and how it affects a relationship would be immensly helpful to our relationship. That day he told me he's not happy with our relationship and then last night, three months later, he said he still isn't happy but wants to figure out what we can do to be happy again like we used to be.

My problem lies in that he refuses to believe he's an Aspie and takes offense that I labeled him and that it's him who has something wrong. He suggested that I fix myself before trying to fix him. I told him that I am more than willing to have a psychological evaluation done on me but he said he will not do one for him. He also said he's not willing to go to counseling because he doesn't want to put that much effort into a relationship. He believes relationships should "just work" and that you shouldn't have to try, it should just come natural like it does in the beginning. He says he was perfectly happy when it was just him and his daughter and they could do what ever they wanted, when ever they wanted. No rules, no responsiblity to anyone else.

The other problem is that he has routines with his daughter but no rules. He and his ex wife (whom is clearly an Aspie) set rules and teach her manners but do not enforce them. Mostly because they are preoccupied and don't notice most of the time. Then I come along and start enforcing and she starts having more meltdowns in the form of uncontrollable crying for half hour or more at a time. This is also putting a strain on our relationship because he does not like to see his daughter feeling pain. He will console her until he feels she is ok. I think this is due to the awful treatment he received from his father growing up, most likely because his dad didn't understand him and that he was/is and Aspie. He also doesn't think she's an Aspie so he believes the meltdowns are her just upset that I am asking her to have manners when before there were no rules to follow.

Long story short....will these strategies help when I have so much opposition? Can I use them with my 9 year old step daughter? My fiance does love me and wants to work things out but on the premise that I fix myself. He does not see anything wrong with himself. I keep telling him there is nothing "wrong" but that he is different and we need to learn to deal with it as a couple. Then we are right back to him wanting me to fix myself first. I have been depressed over this and I know he sees and feels that but he doesn't understand why since there is nothing "wrong" with him.

Patty said...

Hello Mark,

I purchased your manual and I found it to be very helpful and insightful. It
has helped me have a better understanding of the Asperger's man in my life.
Asperger's Syndrome is very new to me and I am not ashamed to tell you that
it has been frustrating at times. My boyfriend has 3/4 of the symptoms and
behaviors that describe someone with Asperger's.

The area I am struggling with the most is my boyfriends lack of motivation
and drive. I have tried very hard to be supportive of his endeavors and his
"obsessions" however I worry that the trauma he endured from his failed
marriage almost two years ago is preventing him from moving forward. Steve
is very self-limiting and that can be very frustrating for me to see. I am
the total opposite. I see limitless potential in myself and him.

The assistance I am looking for is; how do I talk with him about this
without him taking it as a personal attack? Steve becomes very defensive if
I mention anything regarding his lack of follow through with his plans for
self improvement. Steve can talk the talk but he does not walk the walk he
usually trips and stumbles along the way. I love this man very much and I am
not giving up on him but I also want to see him succeed for himself so that
he can feel good about himself and be productive. Any assistance you can
offer me would be greatly appreciated.



Mark said...

Hi Patty,

Re: The assistance I am looking for is; how do I talk with him about this without him taking it as a personal attack?

Be sure to review the business on "reframing" ...that will come in very VERY handy here.

Having said that, I understand that one of your goals for him is to be more motivated -- BUT - is this a goal he has for himself?

If not, then you are treading on thin ice. If so, then he will have to get there on his own time.

IMPORTANT !!! Start reframing some of his "lack-of-motivation" behavior in a positive light. Turn it into a good thing (e.g., lack of motivation = carefully selecting one’s future tasks, objectives, and goals)...

...NO, this is not going to make him even more unmotivated. Rather, this gives him permission to be himself - and it gives him a sense that you accept him for who he is. Then - AND ONLY THEN - will he be "motivated" to work toward having more drive.

Then, when you notice him making small steps toward having more drive, reward that behavior with acknowledgment and praise.

There you go...


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,
I have been helped by your ebook, and I see that my husband is also making an effort to put some suggestions in place too. Our house has been more peaceful over the past week, with just a few tense moments here and there. There is still a lot of emotional arousal in both our minds which I am sure will take time to reduce.
There is one area that I am finding difficult to resolve. I decided many weeks ago to accept that he is not going to initiate or get involved with the heavier weekly cleaning in the house. I know that he dislikes it, and it just doesn't work out. I just get on with it now, and really am fine about him not doing any of it. But, because we did have rows about it in the past few months, he now gets very defensive about it when he sees me starting to do it. I have told him that it is fine, but he always jumps up and says the same thing 'Oh I was going to do that, I was going to do it later/tomorrow/when I got finished with this'.
I understand that somehow he believes that he would do it, but I know that this is not the case. I have gently explained on several occasions that I have moved past this issue, that I will do the cleaning, that I don't hold it against him.
How can I help him to move past it? Not cleaning doesn't make me angry, but him saying that he wants to do it does. This sounds so trivial. yet it is a sticking point and I need another view on it.

Mark said...

Re: How can I help him to move past it?

I would give him an assignment or two so that he can feel like he's helping. For example, you can start cleaning whatever ...then he'll say "I was going to do that" ...then you can say "O.K. I'll let you take care of that ...no rush." Then you go about your other business and let him attend to that particular chore whenever he gets to it. If he never gets to it - then leave it undone. That's his chore.

Alternatively, you can give him a couple assignments to complete -- on his time!

You may just have to leave a couple things undone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get it?

Good luck and let me know how this goes.

Anonymous said...

My oldest son was just diagnosed with Asperger’s and two different therapists of mine who have met my husband during my sessions have suggested that we might be looking at Asperger’s in my husband as well. The marriage described in your advertisement could be mine. I love my husband and I know he loves me, but after fourteen years, of trying to lift him up and twelve of those also trying to help my son, I am really struggling. I have tried to suggest it might be helpful for him to get tested to see if that is what we are dealing with, but I don’t know how to put it strongly enough that he sees he has a problem that we could maybe help him with. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

To cohabit in a fufilling way with an Aspergers sufferer the N/T would have to be prepared to sacrifice their needs and desires to the altar of Aspergers...The very nature of the Aspie demands that life is built around their rituals and desired activities.. much like that of a child... I want an adult/adult relationship.... Not a Parent/child one... I am 13 years older than my partner and i am led to believe that male Aspies often seek out older woman to guide them, and show them the way ..They need looking after, and they know it.

Anonymous said...

I was on your website trying to learn about Asperger disorder.
I am married to a man who I believe has Aspergers/
We have been married almost 27 years. We have been inseperate
bedrooms now for 8 years. He seems to think that is ok and normal.
We started Christain couceling about 6 weeks ago. i do not see how
very day couseling will help when the root problem is do deep.
We have 2 children together and I had 2 when we married.
I am not sure how to stay in a marriage to me that feels so dead.
Can you give me advise?

Anonymous said...

I think my husband has Aspergers and I would like to learn more about the disorder as well as betters ways to communicate with my husband. I am seeing a counselor to save my marriage, she thought he may have Aspergers. He won't go to counseling. Here are some of the key traits that made the conselor believe he has Aspergers

- He's not able to see things from my perspective.
- He isn't able to feel or demonstrate compassion. If he does it's seems forced or mechanical
- He has light sensitivities. In the morning, he gets ready by candle light.
- He takes words literally...like the word overboard makes him very angry.
- He's always complaining about how hot it is.
- He has skin sensitivities...some fabrics break him out.
- Too much stress takes a lot out of him and he becomes very depressed and down. He doesn't talk about his issues at work and holds everything in.
- He has a very hard time making new friends. For example, when we got married I suggested that was start hanging out with this other couple and his response was that he had enough friends and didn't need any more. Although when he does get out with other couples he can carry on a good conversation and have a good time.
- His hugs and kisses are empty and guarded.
- He's always guarded and gets frustrated very easily.
- He does things like, I'm going to my mom and dads this weekend. I'm suppose to know that by him telling me that that he's asking me to go.
- He appears sometimes very self centered and selfish but I have learned that his mind is just elsewhere and not focused on us or the family.

Don't get me wrong, there are many positives about him as well he loyal, hard working, intelligent in certain subjects, dedicated to his family...all wonderful traits but I need more. We are at our wits end and on the verge of divorce. We can't communicate, we never resolve issues and it's just getting worse.

Anonymous said...

I met a nice guy I will call PP that I ended up really liking… we became close friends and then later, he abruptly cut me off and became distant which puzzled me so much yet, I kept on being his friend because my daughter and I really love his kids. We stay friends but degree vallicates from warm to distant… I kept staying friends regardless… I could easily leave him but I just couldn’t because I care about him… and want to be there for him… he’s a such a sweet guy… I could tell he enjoys my company one on one but could not deal with me in public… ummm… now I know why… anyway…

Couple weeks ago, PP called to let me know that the school have informed him of their suspicion that his 11 years old son has Aspergers. Upon learning of it, I was not surprised from recalling past current behaviors I have been observing…

I also learned that Aspergers is a genetic disorder so after some time of intensive study on Aspergers… and my mental journal of my journey with that sweet PP… I came to a definite conclusion that PP has Aspergers too. I have the credentials of doing so as a former certified/licensed mental health counselor (I left my career many years ago) anyway… if I were a clinician therapist I would have gave him an official diagnosis of Aspergers…

Strangely, because of this I love him even more and want him to know that I am there for him and his kids. I looked back, I am surprised and in fact amused by the symptoms and especially the fact that love is the most confusing emotion… so… I have not given up on him. He repeatedly says things with us are confusing… I wondered what in the world did he mean by this and now I understand now… he said he has no feelings, no interest therefore he cannot consider deepening our friendship… he has been constantly looking for love but could not understand why he is not able to find it…

My questions: What is the best way to go… based on your years of experience…

1. How do I let him know he has Aspergers… (I believe he will be the one who will understand and want to find ways to deal with it better rather than denying it outright) As I shared with him what I know about his son’s Aspergers and how to deal with it… he truly appreciated my information sharing… yet I fully know he needed to hear that he has it also… because it would more positively affect his parenting with his children because what he does with them and especially his son is no longer effective or thereupatically appropriate… because that sweet kid needs EXPLAINING rather than being disciplined and rewarded externally for whatever…

2. How do I let him know that I really care for him for who he is and have no intention to change him because he is who he is… I am willing to adapt to accommodate to his mindblindness… to see that I am best fit for him and his kids as I am ready to deal with both guys with Aspergers- knowing it will not be easy at times… but love conquers all and I am willing to do whatever… ya know…

Anonymous said...

My situation is this:- my husband has been diagnosed with aspergers
(only recently) however I've known for a long time he had aspergers and it
just took some convincing him that he has it. I have worked with people
with aspergers and know the heart ache it can bring to families.

Anyway, a few questions- how do I keep on in a marriage when my husband says
he won't and doesn't want to change?
What frustrates me the most is his thinking that he is the 'King of the
castle' and everything is 'HIS'. The computer in the office is his, the
lounge is his etc. He won't allow my daughter sleepovers in the lounge just
in case he might want to use it. It's the best place as they won't disturb
anyone else (her brother or my husband) if they used the rooms upstairs. I
got so frustrated with his attitude about the computer I went and brought a
laptop of my own. However, it shouldn't be like this- things are for sharing
in families unless you are lucky enough to have more than one.
If I ask him to put some things in the dishwasher, or even wash up he does
it but moans and groans very loudly saying this is woman's work and I
shouldn't be doing this etc.
This is so frustrating for me especially as I also work hard doing almost as
many hours. I try to explain this but he still doesn't get it. He just
turned to me and said You should be at home doing the housework. He was the
one who wanted me to go to work! I can't win either way and I don't want to
be in a battle zone any more. It's affecting my emotional well being now.
He doesn't recognise my needs even if I tell him. If I explain how I feel he
still doesn't take any notice and he can't understand why it's important to
So, conflicts never get resolved as he can't understand why I need to talk
about them as he just forgets about them and moves on whereas I can't do
There has been domestic violence due to his meltdowns, but not for around a
year now. He is very controlling and even in the past has asked me to keep
a record of my time and what I do. He can't understand why I would want to
go to bed at a different time from him etc but won't accept my answers when
I try to explain.
I am so fed up of doing all the giving, yet he says he does a lot around the
house- he empties the bins once a week and unloads the dishwasher in the
mornings if I'm lucky.
and mends things.
We're Christians and he doesn't have a humble servant hearted attitude
towards his family and doesn't even think he's got a problem. He seems to
think he's a normal guy and I'm being irrational! He says hurtful words to
us such as tubby to my son (who was upset by this), no apology.
In the past he has called us pathetic among other names. He just laughs
these off as a joke.
He has a thing about woman and girls- and asked my daughter the other day to
walk behind him as girls should walk behind. Surely this isn't aspergers?
Trouble is , this is only evident to us mainly although a few friends saw
him in a temper (directed at me but towards them) in our home and he shouted
at them and told them to get out.
He rarely says sorry to anyone and even when I explain to him that he has
upset someone he refuses to acknowledge he's upset them and won't apologise.
That's a hard thing for us to live with.

I don't know how to distinguish between his aspergers and his
mindsets/character/or just being plainly unkind.

Please help as I am at breaking point and talking about separation. I can
cope with most things, but the meanness and attitude that comes out I can't
deal with.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Mark for such a valuable resource. It has made much more sense out of terrible confusion with my aspergers boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

My BF of almost 2 1/2 years has shut me out after my telling him I believe he has Asperger's. What do I do?

I have been researching this for 6 months and he fits the criteria to perfection. His older brother is in a half-way house with Austism and mental retardation. He is an engineer doing sales for a major international software company, but struggling due to his social awkwardness. He exhibits almost all of the characteristics listed as common to Aspie's, yet he is personable, friendly, loyal, attractive, etc. Our relationship has been difficult due to his continued mind blindness--my experiences are perfectly reflected in your 25 Tips video. I am 48 and he is 45. He was married before, and it ended when she came out as a lesbian. I was divorced in 2007. No kids for either of us.

I approached the subject 6 months ago in a very gentle, positive-traits manner, to help him consider why he is the way he is. He took the suggestion calmly, but never spoke of it again, and I never brought it up again until this past Easter. We live in NY (separately, about an hour's drive apart) and had been planning for a year to spend Easter in New Hampshire with his father and stepmother (just as we did last year). We talked of this trip at least 5 times during the year, the last time in March when we took out the calendar to check the date. Then, a few days before we were to leave, I accidentally find out in an email from his stepmother that the trip was canceled by him. I calmly texted him about this. He texted back that work commitments caused him to cancel. I texted back "You forget I was invited?" He responded, "Yes! I forgot completely." I was devastated and angry (I had to do a lot of juggling to fit this trip in), but stayed calm.

Over the next day or so, by text and emails, he explains he forgot I was invited, then explains he thought I would not want to go, because previously I had expressed anger and frustration at spending so much time with his family and friends these last 2 years, coming to love them and consider them a part of my life, when he is still unable to decide if he wants a future together with me. We have been at a stand-still over whether to stay together or break up.

After this back and forth, he texted me, "This was a very big deal and I didn't even know it." It was then I decided to bring up Asperger's again. I sent him your 25 Tips video and another video featuring a clip from a documentary on a young man geologist and his experiences living with Asperger's that reminded me of my BF. I pointed out several examples of things he had said or done, or experiences he had as a kid, that all fit the definition of someone with Asperger's so that he could see why I feel this applies to him. He never responded. I waited 3 days and tried to call, but got only voicemail. Now, a week later, I texted him that I love him and know he's going through a lot, that I would like to speak to him when he is ready and would wait until he contacts me.

Problem is, I fear he won't contact me. I fear he has been looking for some excuse to end the relationship--not because he doesn't love me--but because a relationship is so confusing for him and difficult, hard work.

Should I just let go and wait, as I said I would?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark………Just wanted to let you know I downloaded your book and have read it. I actually cried for hours. That is my life.
I have been married for 44 years this week……….many struggles but my faith and belief in commitment to marriage sustained me. My husband came from a very dysfuntional family which is what I always blamed his behavior and actions on.
I finally sought counseling and she is the one who suggested Aspergers in my husband. Your book said so many things I have experienced. His anger….antisocial….the reason for 30+ jobs………..his resentment to our son and family. SO MUCH!!! But your book explains so much and I am trying to cope better. I have always thought it was me…………I should try harder…etc…etc.. I have worked full-time as a nurse for 44+ years and "carried the load as they say"………………but never understood and being an enabler I just kept going. Now my mother is quite ill…………I get no compassion really from my husband…………….makes it difficult. But now I know why.
Thanks much for your book and input. I will reread it I am sure….and continue to grow and enjoy the times we can together………..knowing I can't change him. And I am not sure if I can ever tell him. But I do know I need to keep doing the do the "right thing" as I see it.

Mark Hutten, M.A. said...

RE: "My main struggle is how not to take the behaviours of my partner personally..."

The following analogy would be highly offensive to your partner, so please make sure he doesn't see it:

Let's say you had a long distance romance with a man from another planet, and he finally decided to travel to planet Earth to see you in person. The two of you hit it off pretty well, and you decide to date. One thing leads to another, and you get married.

You have noticed that this man has some peculiar habits... he speaks differently... thinks differently ...behaves differently... and so on. But you know that this is simply they way people are on his planet. You don't take offense to it. In fact, you find his unique way of functioning very interesting.

Now this sounds like such a far-fetched analogy - doesn't it? But... this is exactly the type of man you are dating (of course with the exception that he was born on planet Earth). Would you be offended if he were diabetic and became very grouchy and disoriented when his blood sugar dropped dramatically? Would you take offense if he suffered from clinical depression and had episodes where the only thing he wanted to do was stay in bed all day?

Bottom line: You want him to "get it." That ain't going to happen! You can work around it, or let it hurt you.

Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...