Showing posts sorted by relevance for query marriage. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query marriage. Sort by date Show all posts


Marital Stress and Parenting Kids on the Autism Spectrum: 20 Tips for Spouses

Becoming a parent of an Aspergers or high functioning autistic (HFA) youngster changes your identity forever. There is a balancing act between (a) caring for the needs of your “special needs” youngster and (b) putting time and effort into the maintenance and growth of yourself and your marriage.

The kind of stress that raising a "special needs" youngster often entails can affect relationships at their weakest points. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47% of first marriages fail and 57% of all marriages end in divorce. Although the findings are inconsistent, there is general consensus among professionals that, while the divorce rates are comparable, there appears to be more reported marital distress among families of kids with special needs.

Some areas that will be impacted in your marriage are:
  • Finances
  • Future planning
  • Parenting style
  • Recreation
  • Self-esteem
  • Sexuality
  • Social life
  • Spirituality

Moms and dads of kids on the autism spectrum often face a life very different from what they had originally imagined. The needs of these young people are often complex and illusive. Searching to find the cause of the youngster’s developmental problems - and the best treatment for it - can be a long hard journey. When the diagnosis is made, powerful emotions may surface - and may put the marriage on trial.

How can couples understand each other in the wake of such a challenge?

Challenging life events can serve as catalysts for change. Some families disintegrate while others thrive despite their hardships. Parents can emerge from crisis revitalized and enriched. Hope for relationships really can spring from the crises parents experience when their youngster has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

If you and your spouse are parenting an Aspergers or HFA youngster, here are some suggestions to help your relationship:

1. A major key to coping with stress and change is to try to accept it and to regularly express your feelings and thoughts to one another. Of course a diagnosis does not destroy your marriage – but it will shift the balance in your marital relationship. You and your partner will be adjusting in different ways, and often at a difference pace. Sometimes your partner will want to talk about the situation, and then other times may need time alone.

2. Allow friends and family to provide extra support, or seek professional help if your marriage is in jeopardy.

3. Although your marriage is forever changed, the change doesn't have to be negative. Many partners share their sense of joy, awe and thankfulness as they speak about their special youngster. Because they were able to communicate and openly share with one another, their marriage is also enriched.

4. Be patient with one another.

5. Celebrate each milestone.

6. When an individual is in pain, he/she may withdraw or become frustrated and angry. It’s hard to talk about something we have no power to change or fix. At times the reactions of partners can become polarized or opposite (e.g., one partner may notice problems in the Aspergers or HFA youngster and tend to worry and feel negative, while the other partner holds hope and optimism that - in time - everything will be fine). Try to consider all of your feelings toward your youngster - both positive and negative - and discuss issues in ways that will help both of you feel understood and find solutions to problems.

7. Develop a strong family support network.

8. Look at what professionals believe make a strong family. The list includes communication, listening, affirming, respecting, trusting, having fun and a sense of humor, and knowing when to seek help. These strengths need to be worked on in a couple's marriage relationship, too.

9. When possible share the responsibilities at home by working together on chores, childcare, and education. It is helpful when partners both work to learn about their youngster’s disorder, prepare for and attend IEP meetings, etc. Get involved in the special needs community if you can. There’s so much to manage everyday that reaching out to your spouse, relatives or friends can help lessen the burden.

10. Reaffirm your marriage commitment to one another.

11. Realize that children on the spectrum will disrupt the course of your marriage now and then. It simply comes with the territory, but can be easily worked out.

12. Remember to take care of your relationship. Make time for the two of you to be alone every day – even if it is a walk around the block. Some time away together is important also.

13. Sometimes a mental health professional can be helpful to you in understanding the needs of Aspergers and HFA kids, yourself, and your marriage. Some parents are reluctant to take this step, but if it becomes hard to function from day to day, this kind of help may be in order. Just as you would consult more than one specialist for your youngster if necessary, do likewise for yourself. If your spouse is too discouraged, then start by yourself. Sometimes a change in one spouse changes the chemistry of the situation for the better.

14. Sort out what is important and what isn't important to the two of you. Really look at your values and your hopes and dreams for your life together. Discuss what you can – and cannot - accomplish.

15. Your youngster has a condition that may require lots of care and supervision in the early years. In the struggle to advocate for your kid’s needs, your own needs as a parent and as spouse may get lost. Many spouses stop focusing on their marriage, but this never helps. As hard as it may sound at first, start to think about taking care of yourself and adding some fun and enjoyment into your life, even though it can take a long time for this to feel okay.

16. Take time to pursue the things that renew you as individuals.

17. Talk openly about problems and issues when they occur.

18. Together, learn all you can about your youngster's disorder.

19. Family life can be a test of love and resilience, so taking good notes and working to understand each other's wants and needs are vital to the success and survival of an intimate relationship. Life has veered-off a bit from what you had expected it to be. Try not to blame each other for the situation. It takes time to sort this stuff out. Be kind to yourself and each other when the going gets rough.

20. Prayer and meditation are useful tools for many parents of special needs children.

Highly Acclaimed Parenting Programs Offered by Online Parent Support, LLC:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.


Aspergers and Marriage

Parents of kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism) often look into the future and wonder if their youngster will ever be able to marry. The answer is yes. A man or woman with Aspergers can develop personal relationships and become a life-long partner.

Marriage Partners and Aspergers—

A person with Aspergers will normally marry someone who does not have the condition. In spite of their difficulties with social skills and expressing emotion, an Aspergers spouse can be a good marriage partner. This is especially true if he or she is aware of their diagnosis and have worked on it with therapists. Their natural strengths serve to enhance the marriage and in some cases, this is enough to carry the relationship through difficult patches.

Potential Problems in Aspergers Marriages—

Courtship and the early days of marriage often go well and males with Aspergers often come across as the strong silent type. Problems may arise as time passes and weaknesses come to the surface. These include emotional immaturity, the inability to socialize and the inability or reluctance to show affection. The non-Aspergers partner ends up feeling lonely, neglected and affection-deprived. This is often hard for the Aspergers partner to grasp as he or she will express love more practically than physically.

An Aspergers adult is often attracted to a marriage partner who is the organized or mothering type. He or she recognizes that they need someone to watch out for them and keep them focused in the right direction. This can also lead to problems between couples.

Women in particular may attract predators and as their social skills are weak, they do not realize that the man is not good for them. They may marry and be subjected to a life of misery with an abusive man.

Strengths that Aspergers Adults Bring to Marriage—

Adults with Aspergers have many positive traits. They have strong moral values and will be faithful to a marriage partner. They are also honest, reliable, determined and kind. While their marriage may lack in hugs and affectionate words, the Aspergers spouse is in it for the long haul. This combined with marriage therapy is often the saving grace of the relationship.

Adults with Aspergers do marry and many of their marriages are long-lasting. While they have weaknesses, they also bring strengths to a relationship and with understanding and counseling, they often live long happy lives alongside their non- Aspergers spouse.

=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


Married To An Aspie: 25 Tips For Spouses

If you are about to embark on a marriage to someone who has Aspergers (high functioning autism), there are a few things that you may need to know (some good, and some not-so-good, perhaps):

1. Although Aspies (i.e., people with Aspergers) do feel affection towards others, relationships are not a priority for them in the same way that it is for neurotypicals or NTs (i.e., individuals without Aspergers).

2. A relationship with an Aspergers partner may take on more of the characteristics of a business partnership or arrangement.

3. Although he genuinely loves his spouse, the Aspie does not know how to show this in a practical way sometimes.

4. An Aspie is often attracted to someone who shares his interests or passions, and this can form a good basis for their relationship.

5. An Aspie needs time alone. Often the best thing the NT partner can do is give her Aspie the freedom of a few hours alone while she visits friends or goes shopping.

6. An Aspie often has a particular interest or hobby. While this may border on obsessive, the NT partner would do well to show interest in it. It may even become something they can do together.

7. An NT partner needs to understand her Aspie’s background in order to work with him on their marriage. She will need patience and perseverance as well as understanding that he functions on a different emotional level to her.

8. Aspies do marry, and while NT partners can be frustrated by their lack of emotion and physical contact, their Aspergers spouses do bring strengths into the relationship. If there is open communication, the NT partner can help her Aspie to improve in areas of weakness and encourage him in the things he is naturally good at.

9. Aspies often has a specific area of weakness in marriage. They often do not feel the need to express love, and the NT partner can help them understand that this is important. Discussions about how to display affection, holding hands in public and buying small gifts can be beneficial, but don’t be surprised if the results are amusing.

10. Aspies typically mature later than NTs. As young adults, they are often emotionally immature and have poor social skills. As time passes, however, they can develop to a point where they are able to enter into a relationship with the opposite sex.

11. Because Aspies tend to talk and act differently to NTs, they commonly attract a specific type of partner. Their spouses are often caring and nurturing and have strong protective instincts. In many ways, they become a link between their Aspie and society.

12. Because the Aspie does not have the same relational needs as the NT partner, he may be unable to recognize instinctively or to meet the emotional needs of his partner. Marriages can thus form some dysfunctional relationship patterns.

13. For NTs who had normal expectations of the mutuality of marriage, there may be a sense of betrayal and a feeling of being used and trapped while in a relationship with an Aspie.

14. In marriage, the Aspie often displays great devotion to his partner and is reliable, honest and faithful.

15. In the privacy of their relationship, the NT partner may become physically and emotionally drained, working overtime to keep life on track for both of them.

16. It’s important to look at the Aspies’s motives rather than his actual behavior.

17. Lowering expectations will make the marriage more predictable and manageable, if not easier.

18. NT partners may begin to feel that they are entirely defined by the role they fill for their Aspie partner. There can be a sense that there is little mutuality, equality and justice.

19. NT partners may feel that they are daily sacrificing their own sense of self to help fulfill the priorities of the Aspie partner.

20. NT partners may resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the Aspie partner.

21. Positive traits such as faithfulness and reliability are bonuses, and the NT partner can encourage her Aspie by praising him for these.

22. Sometimes a relationship with an Aspergers partner ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the Aspie than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the NT partner.

23. The Aspie can sometimes be emotionally and physically detached and become focused on a special interest to the exclusion of his partner.

24. The NT partner may unwittingly fill the role of “personal assistant” rather than being an “intimate-romantic partner.”

25. Your Aspie partner may seem to be more focused on a particular interest, project or task than on the people around them.

=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


Traits of Partners/Spouses 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 our website:

• 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—

Many grown-ups 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

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


Aspergers Adults and Relationship Difficulties


My son and my husband both have an Aspergers diagnosis. My husband and I no longer live together, and the diagnosis came a year after we separated, following my son’s. My husband no longer wants to work at the relationship and has given up (in my opinion). The divorce paperwork has been initiated.

1) How do you handle a spouse who refuses to accept the diagnosis and its impact on the marriage?
2) How do you handle extended family that refuse to accept the diagnoses (of your child/your spouse) - and continue to blame and lash out at the partner for all problems.
3) What do you do in the case of tactile sensitivities and no interest in sex? How can a spouse handle this?


Re: How do you handle an Aspergers spouse who refuses to accept the diagnosis/ and its impact on the marriage?

Accepting the diagnosis is not all that important really. What is important is that he understands that he has some areas of weakness (as we all do) on his end – regardless of the origin. So the new question could be, “How do you handle a spouse who refuses to see his contribution to the relationship difficulties.”

In that case, you really only have three choices: (1) continue to try to change him (good luck with that one), (2) take more responsibility for the relationship than he does (not recommended), (3) move on.

Re: How do you handle extended family that refuse to accept the diagnoses (of your child/ your spouse) - and continue to blame and lash out at the partner for all problems.

Don’t do the same thing (i.e., don’t blame them for not accepting the diagnosis). The more you try to convince them that it’s the “diagnosis” fault – not yours, the more you will strengthen their conviction that you were (are) the problem.

Let’s say for sake of argument that they ‘came to their senses’ and agreed that “Aspergers traits” have contributed largely to the relationship difficulties. What will they do with that information? If he’s not willing to work on the relationship, that information is rather useless. The Aspergers traits are not really the problem here – rather it is a spouse who is unwilling to work on the relationship.

Re: What do you do in the case of tactile sensitivities/ and no interest in sex? How can a spouse handle this?

To answer the first question, you may be assuming the lack of interest has to do with tactile sensitivities. This is not always the case. Here are some of the reasons men are not interested:

• I am angry at her
• I am depressed
• I am interested in sex with others, but not with my wife
• I am on medication that lowered my libido
• I am too tired
• I am/was having an affair
• I decided I’m gay
• I don't have the time
• I have difficulty achieving orgasm
• I lost interest and I don't know why
• I no longer find her physically attractive
• I prefer to masturbate, but not online
• I prefer to watch pornography online and masturbate
• I suffer from erectile dysfunction
• I suffer from premature ejaculation
• I wasn't interested in sex to begin with
• I'm bored
• She doesn't seem to enjoy sex
• She has gained a significant amount of weight
• She is depressed
• She is/was having an affair
• She isn't sexually adventurous enough for me

So his lack of interest could be any number of things.

Here are some things to consider about sexless marriages (which you may already know):
  • It is often the man who loses his sexual interest – in fact, women complain about sexless marriages far more than men do.
  • Sexless marriage doesn't mean zero sex – it can also mean very infrequent sex.
  • Sexless marriages are very common – it is estimated that in the U.S. alone there are millions of couples who are living in a sexless marriage.
  • Sexless marriages occur for a variety of reasons, and are usually the result of deeper relationship issues between husband and wife.
  • Sexless marriages occur with couples of all ages, not just older couples.
  • This may be common, but it's not something which has to happen – it's up to the couple to make sure it never happens.

Surviving a sexless marriage is very hard. The feelings of rejection are intense and build up over time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you will be able to “get him in the mood.” (If he were interested in working on the relationship, I would be giving you a bunch of suggestions to “get him interested.”)

So, move on (easier said than done, but you really should move on). Save your time and energy for a relationship worth keeping.

=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


Spouses with Aspergers


My husband was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. He graduated from college, but his self-absorption, social awkwardness and rigid behaviors have negatively affected our marriage. Is there hope for our relationship?


If there is one word that describes the reaction of a family member to the diagnosis of Aspergers (high functioning autism) in someone you love, that word is loneliness. Certainly it is not easy to bridge the communication gap that exists in the everyday life which you describe. It is important to look at the history of your relationship. You must have had good times together and shared positive feelings about each other. Try to recapture whatever glimmers of that you can of what brought you together. You may benefit from consultation with a mental health professional who is experienced in helping people in your kind of situation. Even if your husband won't go with you, you may gain some insight into the relationship that will help you regain some hope, and possibly change the chemistry of what is happening right now in your relationship.

It is often both a major relief and a major disappointment to be diagnosed or married to someone who is diagnosed with Aspergers. Your hopes may be dashed and it may feel worse right now, but the truth is your spouse is still the same man you have loved and married. There is no way out of the Aspergers diagnosis, but now that you and he know more about him and his sensitivities and behaviors, it is finally possible to find ways to compensate and learn and change and grow.

People can change. Since your husband functions at a high cognitive level, he will be able to use that to learn social behavior that is less awkward and rude. In order to work on this it will be important for him to accept his diagnosis. That is the next hardest step. After that, you and he can work on overcoming the hurdles and progress can be seen. He can change.

Once the diagnosis is made and then accepted, adults with Aspergers are able to move forward – not quickly and easily perhaps – but slowly and steadily. It takes patience and perseverance. You will both have to change some of your current understanding and expectations. In every marriage couples must make some sacrifices and compromises that they did not expect, and this often brings couples to a deeper more mature place in their love, marriage and commitment to one another.

In a marriage it is common for a husband and wife to have some disagreements. They may find little things that get on each others nerves. They may often misunderstand one another, but usually a couple can find a way to work things out in a healthy relationship. However, a couple affected by Aspergers may have larger issues. A wife may start to see a particular pattern in the actions of her husband or the way he avoids confrontation. She may not understand why he doesn't remember things or offer to help her around the house. She may wonder why he doesn't catch on to her hints for affection or let her finish a conversation. At first she may pass it off as laziness or stubbornness. For a couple not knowing of the possibility of Aspergers, it may soon lead to frustration, anger and hurt feelings.

Once husband and wife accept that Aspergers is going to be part of their lives, there are steps they can take to make their relationship work. They may have to accept the lack of spontaneity. They must realize they need to be more direct in their communication. It may be difficult at first, but there are many support groups and self help ideas that can be found on the web.

Here are some helpful relationship tips:
  • Ask your spouse to ask questions when he is not sure of nonverbal cues.
  • Be accepting of each others dislikes, quirks, or calming activities.
  • Communicate with your Aspergers spouse precisely and directly. Since Aspergers adults have trouble reading non-verbal cues, you will need to give full and complete messages. Do not speak ambiguously. Try different forms of communication, such as letters, lists and email.
  • Establish routines and plans agreed on by both partners.
  • Find help for yourself. Get involved with a support group for spouses of Aspergers adults. If you become depressed, don't hesitate to get medical assistance.
  • Prepare yourself to take on the majority of the parenting responsibilities. Many men with Aspergers have difficulty relating to children. It is usually up to the non-Aspergers spouse to provide a nurturing and consistent environment for children.
  • Recognize the traits of the disorder. Aspergers adults frequently have a lack of empathy and an inability to consider the viewpoints of others. They often prefer rigid routines that others find difficulty to follow. Do not see any of this as a personal attack -- this is part of the disorder.
  • Respond instead of reacting. This can be difficult when you're frustrated with your Aspergers spouse, but if you force yourself to remain calm, you will have a more positive interaction.
  • Seek on-going professional help for your spouse.
  • Set up times to openly listen to each other.
  • Set up to do lists, calendars, reminders.
  • Talk openly about finances. Aspergers adults frequently have poor money management skills. An Aspergers husband may want to spend lavishly on his hobby, yet be critical of normal household expenses. Using a third party, such as a financial planner, may be helpful.

Married couples affected by one or even both partners with Aspergers can have a happy, loving, and successful relationship. It may take a little work and a little extra effort, but it is possible and it is worth it. Couples that truly love each other can and will make their marriage work.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples


COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Sept., 2016]

 Do you need some assistance in parenting your Aspergers or HFA child? Click here to use Mark Hutten, M.A. as your personal parent coach.


My daughter is 16 and was adopted at birth. Chloe was diagnosed with aspergers around 5th grade. Since then the psychiatrists and therapists say possible ADD, depression, anxiety and the latest was bipolar 2. She was on many different meds that seemed to just not make her feel any better. She never had real friends. Now that she is a teenager all hell has broken loose. She hates us and blames us for “screwing her up” because WE made her take the medications. She is convinced she wants to live with the birth mother. She has spent some weekends with her and her 2 daughters (single mom). We think  the adoption is playing a big part in all this.  She has gotten so much worse over the past 2 years. She thinks she is fine and there is nothing wrong. Like it’s ok for her to talk to us like she does and act out. Her doctors said she needed  to be in a treatment facility. She was in one for 1 week and another for 9 days. It was awful there. Now she blames us for ruining her life even more. Thanks doctors!  Now she refuses to try any meds, runs away, and won’t talk to us unless she needs to tell us to “Fuck Off”. I am scared!!!!! She gets so angry and you can see the anxiety and hate in her eyes. She throws things. We even had the cops come one time thinking she would get scared. Nope. She has been to different schools from small charter, private, and now public high school. She actually got into fights at the end of her sophomore year. She does not do drugs or drink alcohol, but I know that’s the next step. We are now broke and our marriage is totally going downhill. There is so much more . . . we have tried to do what your book says but I know she needs more help. It seems like nobody really cares what happens to her – doctors, schools, therapists. They all talk a good game but no real answers. Health insurance is a joke. When you really need help they don’t cover it!!! We love her so much but she just says we are so fake! I pray all the time for a better tomorrow?!


Dear Mark,
We (parents of 15 year old boy diagnosed with aspergers and BPD) recently downloaded the ebook on how to deal with meltdowns and behavior problems.

In the last week, it seems like he had had a manic episode as per the doctors
we went to and he has performed an act in a social gathering that has caused
a lot of shame and suffering to him as well as to us. This is related to sexual
behavior, doctors mentioned that in a manic episode, he can tend to react impulsively without caring for consequence.

In that respect, would like to hear from you, can a child with aspergers and BPD behave carelessly in matters related to dealing with people, either elders or peers of the opposite sex. He has tried to touch his co-student in an objectionable manner. Please advise on whether such symptoms exist and how to deal with those, your guidance based on any similar cases you dealt with earlier would be of immense help to us.


Mr. Hutten,

I have recently resigned from my full time band director position and I have taken on private students.  One of my guitar students is only 7, and according to his mom has a "reading problem."  She is considering getting him evaluated for where he may be on the Autism spectrum.  He doesn't identify any letters yet; he is homeschooled and they follow the "unschool" discipline of home schooling.

I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some resources that would help me teach him.  I am usually adamant about learning to read notated music with my students as it allows them to become independent musicians.  But I am having trouble getting him to use the printed music.  He can identify a note by the fret and can sometimes tell me a letter name (we're only on the first string, so he's only identifying 3 notes).  But as we play a series of notes, he is relying on his memory and watching me instead of tracking with the music.  I'm hoping to use guitar and reading music to help his reading skills, so any techniques you may have or resources I can access would be so helpful.  And I am open to rote teaching since he is a little young, if that is an avenue I should consider.


Our 16 year old son, a Jr in high school, is flunking a couple of class that he has always gotten a B and an A in.  He refuses to do homework.  We have tried everything to motivate him, rewards, consequences etc...  We get along well and spend a lot of time together.  He is respectful, fun and pleasant.  He says he wants to go to college but doesn't do what he knows he needs to do.

We our at a loss and worried he is going to want to quit school.
He refuses to talk about it and gives us the silent treatment.


My Teen is 18 years old but likes to act like he is 10. He calls himself an adult when it suits him and says he is too young when he wants me to do something for him.

He did not make it thru high school as his anxiety level was too much. He dropped out and only has about 7 credits left to go.

With that said, he is unmotivated to do anything except for play his guitar, XBOX and talk about his favorite metal group which is Motionless and White. He mainly discusses the guitar player Ricky and tries to look like him dress like him and pretty much be him. The guitar players name is Ricky Horror (stage) Jake's name is Jake Horror (tells everyone)

When i give him rules he says he will do it later or he wont do it all (Chores etc) He does not work nor does he go to school. He sleeps all day if i let him and then gets up does not eat until later so he eats dinner (when i make it)

Jake stays up all night (calls himself a vampire and like i said sleeps thru out the day.
Does not like to associate himself with Asperger's or kids with Asperger's as he only looks for friends that are like him. He calls himself goth. he has black long hair wears black clothes wants tatooes and has a piercing. Likes to wear dark eye makeup and paints fingernails black (like Ricky).

As you can tell he is not a typical Aspie. His dad and him do not get along his dad calls him names and yells alot this does not help the situation. I bought your book because i need help he is afraid to work and to be honest i don't know if he is capable because of his anxiety level.

He does not appear to want to do anything and he argues alot. I would like to find him a home to live in sometimes because he is hard to deal with. When we go out to eat he likes to order more food than he can eat and bring it home. Of course this does not sit well with his dad so there is another argument.

I have a hard hard time cutting the strings because im worried if i leave him in bed he will sleep all day then get up in the evening with no food and lose weight. I have to remind him to brush his teeth and to clean up his room.

when we have family day (going to fair etc,, he wants to go and does go but never seems to enjoy himself. Always wants to stay with dad and i instead of walk around with his foster brother. (same age)

Anyway i don't know what the next steps are but i don't want to have him around if he is going to act like a vegetable. The kid is smart but does not use his talents or his brain to do anything constructive.

I need guidance and wisdom as i am at the end of my rope.


I found your website while looking for information on how to help me 6 year old who has Aspergers with his melt downs. My son is 6 and he is having a hard time keeping his temper under control at home but mainly at school it has become a major issue. I want to help him but it has been very hard to find away to help him he also has pica. When he gets upset/frustrated he lashes out and swears somethings he will hit/bite people. I really need to find a system that will work for him and help me to help him. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you so all your time.


Dr Hutten,  I am extremely interested in your support services,  in fact I am going to subscribe (or whatever you call it) because my family is in distress and has been for quite sometime.  You seem to have knowledge and a level head and we really need the help.   I am the grandmother to a great child with Asperger's and also,  I am pretty certain,  mother the a daughter with the same LD.  I point of fact,  i often wonder if I myself may have this disorder.  It looks to me that this is a family issue and I want so much to stop the crazy cycle of this family dynamic and have tried to hard to provide my daughter with tools to help her understand her own daughter and help her to thrive in school and social settings.  My daughter, Natalie,  is pretty stubborn and just doesn't seem interested in reading the literature,  watching the videos,  or hearing much of anything I have to say about the subject; however, she recently told me that she is going to get my granddaughter into counseling which is great news.  I feel that it could only help if she were also able to have the support of your website and your experience in this area.  In any case,  I want her to be able to have someone to talk to.  I am sure you stay busy but if you have time an email would be great.  Thank you,  and thank you also for your great website.  It has helped me quite a bit.


Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to join.

I would just like to ask something which i am batteling a lot with at the moment. My eldest son is nine and was diagnosec with Aspergers about a month ago.  I need to sit with him and his brother to work things through so that they both understand what  and why he is different in his reactions, meltdowns etc. I just have no clue where to start and how to say it.. he is already such an anxious and emotional child. Please help me.


I kind of suspect my husband and my son may have aspergers-- we live in a rural area with no easy way to diagnose-- my husband is also the main caregiver-- is there any way he would be able to learn from it and use it with my son?  I notice a lot of times they set each other off so to speak.


I found you through Youtube searches about Asperger’s and marriage.  I have struggled and am struggling in my marriage.  We have read a lot of different books we sought marriage counseling.  Nothing seems to fit quite like what your audio files and e-book describe.

My challenge is that it’s an awkward fit.  I was an only child raised by a single mom that had supernatural empathy.  With her help, I overcame so many of the challenges associated with Asperger’s.  I even found courage to tackle my weaknesses head on.  For example, I took a job in high school that forced me to talk to strangers and build comfort with it.  In college I took on a sales job that forced me to cold call people and present product in their homes.  As an adult I started teaching an adult Sunday school class.  Through these steps I have become a fairly gifted public speaker, and even in an engineering role I can be a tremendous asset to my company’s sales team.

In addition to conquering challenges normally associated with Asperger’s, my mother’s supernatural empathy rubbed off on me.  I developed a gift for imagining the world through other people’s eyes, and in my home I’m generally considered the most sensitive and empathic one in the family.  At work my direct reports and colleagues often come for comfort and wisdom.

But… I married a choleric woman that grew up in a home with no concept of accountability or forgiveness.  She is extremely confident, and she seems to utilize your entire checklist of how not to fight fair.  My self-esteem has been on a steady decline for 16 years with her, and I continue to slip deeper and deeper into the habits and traits of Asperger’s.  All of the social skills and empathy that I have learned have been replaced with a sense of terror that I might say or do the wrong thing, which is unforgivable with consequences that are eternal.  Resentment seems to be one of her life’s passions.

I love my wife and my daughters (one of which has Asperger’s), and I don’t want my marriage to fail.  All of your strategies and recommendations seem practical, and I’m going to try them all.  It just feels so hopeless.


Dear Mr. Hutton,

What if the partner who might have high functioning ASD symptoms refuses testing and is angered by the conversation?

Also I appreciate your Web site and YouTube videos. We have a seven-year-old who was diagnosed with Social Communication Disorder last year. It's mild, but if he's struggling to process social thinking issues, he gets anxious, depressed. His father and grandfather share symptoms that after researching, in my opinion look like high functioning something. They're very passive, very focused on one thing, very book smart but can be socially awkward.

I've listened to three of your videos and taken notes and the information has helped me to understand my son and how I can help him. Trying now to get his seemingly avoidant, workaholic father on board, and wondering if his resistance to helping might stem from something other than a cold heart. Our youngest NT son is suffering from separation anxiety too, so it's my goal to try and make peace with the state of our family. I feel, though, a diagnosis would help.

Initially my suggestion to get tested were considered, but after talking to a private psychiatrist, my husband decided against it. I'm curious, then, to know if the resistance or anger to the diagnosis idea is seen in adult, Aspie-ish males.

Thank you for any thoughts.



I'm wondering if your coaching could help, or if there was a female coach in your team that might better understand where I'm coming from.

I'm a single parent. Ethan is 4 years old. His dad left when I could start walking again after a bad cesarean surgery, about 4 months after surgery.
His dad sees him seldom. Twice Weekly for short visits at his childcare.

I had surgery again may 2015 to correct the original one and still recovering. It's been challenging and being nurturing to a child with aspergers isn't always coming naturally.

Main frustrations includes when he doesn't want to go the the bathroom. I need the remind him and sometimes force him to go every 2 hours - or deal with the clean up.
Negative attention and hurting himself if I don't let him do things he play instead of eat dinner etc..
Oppositional. If I ask him to close a door gently or put his dishes in the sink...he slams or throws them.
If I go up or down the stairs and don't let him go first....I get a meltdown. We only have 1 bathroom at the top of our stairs. If I go pee on my own. Meltdown.
He hurts me if I annoy him instead of using his words. Later I can ask what he wanted and it's usually something simple I would have done if he asked, like turning down the volume on my iPad.

Having him sleep in his own bed is a struggle.

I'd really like to turn this behaviour around and encourage using his words, learning to ask and listening to his body when it needs to go to the bathroom.

I want to enjoy spending time with him, and not be on guard, reminding and having to repeat boundaries constantly. I want to relax when I'm home as well. I work part time. And I am trained in compassionate communication, often giving him empathy and doing my best to recognize his needs and options to get them and mine met.

However, I'm finding that I'm struggling and needing to calm myself more than I enjoy.


Dear Mark,

I have not had an official diagnosis but it confirms our suspicion of me being the ASPIE partner in the marriage. My father has similar traits like me too. We have been married for almost 22 years. We have three children, age 19, 18 and 15. The 18 year old has definitely signs of ASPIE traits as well.

Because of my situation, our marriage is facing lots of challenges which has posed a heavy toll on my wife and which has impacted her physical and mental health (depression  and auto immune thyroiditis for the last 9 years) and she has started building up resentment as she feels I am not doing enough to rectify our relationship issues. We are still in love and not prepared to give up the relationship so easily.

I do not have close friends, never had, but that is not my main issue. I want to have a marriage in which we are both happy. I am very active in sport, I am a former (national team) triathlete and before marriage I have gone on cycle trips around the world ranging from 2,000 km to 11,000km at a time (mostly by myself as you can guess).  Needless to say, cycling is my interest/hobby and sport is my passion. I am also a focused employee (accountant) of my company.

I acknowledge that I need help to change my behavior. We agree that in addition to intimate conversation, my communication and social skills need to improve. I have to improve skills (or better say, to learn) to have intimate conversation with my wife. I struggle with knowing how to meet her emotional needs. Also I have difficulties in having a one- to- one conversation with an acquaintance, friend or stranger. Specially if it exceeds 30 minutes, then I am desperately searching for topics to avoid periods of silence.

You may have possibly dealt with similar characters like myself and wish to share some material or advise to help me with my marriage relationship.

Hi  Mark,

I  have a very bright, kind , overindulged son. He is 17,a senior, and a very talented golfer. He is one of the captains of the  team  and they need him. He is capable of straight A's and wants hard classes but won't go to school because he won't do his homework and is not prepared for class. His dad used to help him (and sometimes do his homework for him). His dad now works in S.C. and we live in IL.  I told him yesterday he couldn't go to tonight's meet if he didn't go to school. He says he tried all night to get his homework done but couldn't do it.. I was up until 11pm with him. He was started on Focalin xr 5 mg yesterday, an ADHD drug. He says it made him overexcited, sweaty and he couldn't do his work. I am a pharmacist and guess this is possible. What to do??? Make him miss the meet? I have had him to psychiatrists who say he is depressed and anxious. He takes an antidepressant. Maybe I shouldn't have given him an ultimatum but he has to go to school. What do you think I should do?


Good Afternoon Mark,
My son Richard who is now 30 had just finally been diagnosed with Aspergers or Autism Spectrum Disorder as I believe it is now defined. We were in the process of learning everything we could but within a few months she was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer and unfortunately passed a year later aged only 56. Since her passing I have dedicated myself to learning and helping Richard our beautiful son. We moved to the USA from England in 2002 to expand my business and I am still CEO of the company. I have been dealing with complicated grief and have zero family or support structure but with my strong constitution have been making progress in baby steps. As you can imagine the devastating loss has only supplemented the daily issues and I welcome your experience and guidance.

Hi Mr. Hutten;
I am a married to a man who clearly fits the Asperger's diagnosis. I have not yet told him but over 16 years I have known him and as a clinician always knew he had a personality disorder and recently confirmed from going to see a counselor myself for being unhappy with the marriage.
I want to tell
Him the right way and also am interested in your audio or e-book but didn't know how to purchase from your site. I also wanted to know if you have any recommendations for a couples counselor or individual counselor in the Columbia, MD 21044 area where I live.
I am in a situation where I was planning and trying to prepare to leave the marriage and feel like I would be the only one affected emotionally when this happens. We have 2 boys, ages 3 and 4, who will probably have a hard time in the beginning. My husband is not good with too much info and I don't think he will take the asperger's test. Do you suggest a good way of telling him I think he has asperger's. He has not wanted to go to the doctor for a check up but admits to having feelings of depression.
I am living with feelings of mistrust, neglected and I satisfied mentally and emotionally. He does thugs without communicating and I am left to ask or guess most of his actions with him feeling annoyed that I ask questions to understand him better.
Anyways, any feedback will be helpful.
I continue watch your lectures online.


My husband and I are desperate. I listen to one of your you tube videos on adult children with aspergers. Joe is 20 years old. He has quit school and work. He has been verbally abusive for years, but on the 2nd of the month he became physically abusive to my husband. It was bad and we had to get the police involved.  He is now at the county psychiatric hospital. We are afraid To let  him come back home. The social worker and the doctor are telling him that he will have to go to a homeless shelter. We are trying to get help for Joe. He now wants to go to the shelter. He has never been in a shelter. I have taken care of him all his life. You can imagine how I feel as his mother. I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I never thought that this would happen in my family. There is a lot more to this story but I don't want to take up to much of your time. Should we let him go to the shelter, or
should we rent a room?  My husband and I live on a fixed income so we can't rent an apartment.

Hi! I hope you are well. I appreciate you time and thoughts. My best friend is using your resource and it has changed her relationships with her husband and son. Both aspies. My husband had a couple of strokes 2 1/2 years ago that damaged his language and emotion areas. He can read and speak again but it left him with some aspie traits. How likely is it that the information will apply to brain trauma behaviors that are similar? I really appreciate you taking the time for this. Our family keep telling me I have a psych degree so of course I'll just figure it out. 


Dear Mark Hutten,

I came across your website after processing an eventful couple of weeks, where after 22 years of marriage I suspect my husband may have Aspergers.

Last week I went for a drink with a friend, whose teenager daughter is best friends with my daughter; they are both 14 years old. The mum has been really struggling and suspects her daughter maybe on the spectrum. As she listed the signs and behavioural traits of Aspergers, it was as if someone had switched on a light bulb. It described my husband.

For years I have struggled through all the emotions and processes described on your website. My husband has always been organised at his work with good results, but has been made redundant twice and recently forced to leave his managerial position with a payout; his longest stint has been 7 years in any given job title. This has been hard on us as a family having to move all the time with new schools and network for me and the children. When we move to a new location he makes one close friend, but does not keep in regular touch with old school friends or his best man at our wedding etc., (if he does it would be occasionally after years).

Over time I believe my husband has found it hard to bond with people in the work place. He is caring, gentle, fair (to the nth degree) and kind, but can come across as aloof, wooden, and emotionally cold. In conversation he can talk endlessly about facts (usually cycling), unaware that this may not be interesting for the other party. These are descriptions shared by close friends. A previous female work colleague of his spoke to me in confidence, concerned that he was isolating himself at work and not relating well to the workforce on the factory floor.

This week however, in his new job (by the grace of God we didn't have to move), he set about meetings of groups of 4 or less for the staff to give them an update on where the company was heading and what his supporting role entails as their boss. It seems he is working out strategies without realising? The female Director of the company he now works for, who is a church friend of mine, said she employed him because he was unemotional and a little cold and wanted someone in place who can get the job done well.

He doesn't mix in large social gatherings, which has been painful for me, as I'm very sociable and have felt we have not made any 'couple friendships' as a result. I have a large network of girl friends instead. We were at a big family fun day with our cycling club and he wouldn't join in the games because he had an important race the next day. He sat on the sidelines while everyone had fun (inside I'm thinking WHY?)

My husband is obsessive about cycling, he lives and breathes it. I cycle too and we both love sport, but on occasions where I needed him to be a husband or father for a special event he could not read my emotional need of quality time or support; daughter's first day on zone squad for windsurfing, all parents were there - went cycling, family holiday site seeing in Italy - too hot for sight seeing and went cycling, his brother's stag do - wouldn't join in because of the drinking (his other brother nearly floored him he was so annoyed).

He can be inappropriate at a meal with other couples with immature jokes where I cringe inside (this is a handsome, intelligent and caring individual). Now I accept it will happen every time. I've given up.

I don't even know how to broach the subject with him. There is a young lad who is part of their cycling group who has a high level of Aspergers, and I think my husband would be so upset if he thought I was putting the same label on him. I did share that our cognitive communication was completely different, he is more like a computer - logical, I'm sensitive to other peoples feelings and more emotional. He agreed. That's as far as I've got.

How do I go about a diagnosis for my husband so we can make our marriage work. I have been so close to leaving, but my faith has prevented me. At times this has been worse than the grieving of a loved one who has passed away, you can't move on but feel desperately lonely and no one else understands.


Hi Mark ;
I came across your info regarding couples and being in a relationship with an Asperger partner.  Do you have an online website that shows your upcoming workshops and conferences?
I live in Nova Scotia and have attended workshops foe ASD children as these are the only conferences available.  I recently researched “Aspergers and Cognition” as I realised the brain is so amazing and I wanted to understand more about how my husband thinks.  I found a link to your articles but not your workshops .
I am an Educator and had a student with Aspergers. When I was given some basic resource information by the specialist working with him; a light bulb went on for me. This happened after 35 years of marriage  and believing I was the one that was  at fault by expecting more in our relationship and more of my partner instead of me being the one to carry the relationship and 90% of the effort to hold it together. My husband fit the bill in every way for Aspergers. He was a great teacher and a brilliant musician.
Although we have been married for 46 years I am  very much aware that it is never too late to invest some time and effort to make our relationship more balanced.  I suffer everyday and struggle with keeping our relationship together and trying to keep things on an even keel with no meltdowns from him.  Without going into the details lets say his MO is classic and denial at times is part of that. I know that he can develop strategies. He is a smart man. I believe we would benefit by attending your workshop for couples. I need strategies ; he needs to be motivated to develop strategies and not just bury his head in the sand.
There are almost no resources here in Nova Scotia for Aspergers and the fact that it is now under the umbrella of ASD I do not believe that the difficulties of Aspies or high functioning Autism individuals are being met . The focus is on children in the education system. Few mature adults are still in the education system and thus their needs are seldom being met. Certainly adults  are not considered as these individuals are not so obvious to the various professionals that might be able to assist with the issues affecting them and their families.  It is the partners in the relationship and the children that are aware and bare all the issues and hardships of dealing with the individual.  As you say 80% of marriages with an Aspie partner end up in divorce.
I would really be interested in hearing more about your couples workshops.

Thank you for your prompt response. I really enjoyed your audio presentations and information regarding asperger's. 
I actually started speaking to my husband about the condition and convinced him to sit and watch the 6-7 min video presentation about your book. 
He is not accepting that he has this condition even though for the last 16 years, he shows every sign and symptom associated with it. He has a lot of anger toward me and me getting him to want to resolve anything is not working. We have gone through marriage counseling a couple of times. He thinks I have a mental problem and always criticizes my family as a reason for my behavior toward him. I even told him I am willing to look into my "problem" if he can just confirm with evaluation or just consider learning more about Asperger's. He is not a reader so I am looking to send videos to let him get a feel for what the condition is and how it affects life. Any suggestions will be helpful. 
Thank you for the list of practitioners in the area. I was working with a counselor who helped me confirm what my husband may have and was working with me of leaving the relationship. I am putting her on hold and going to read your book. 
It does "take two to make things right" so I am discouraged that he is not willing to consider anything wrong with him to make things work. 
Thanks again for your response and I really do appreciate it! 
Are you offering any lectures or courses in my area by chance to learn more? I am also a health care practitioner for the last 16 years working as a physical therapist and received my second masters degree in  rehab counseling. I am very interested in learning more about the condition for professional and personal reasons. 
Thanks again. 


Hi Mark

I just wanted to ask you please for advice as I refuse to make any decisions with my husband without researching further what our avenues are!

My husband and I have finished reading your e book and watched the workshops. We found them EXTREMELY helpful for both of us. We have both been really responsive and made positive changes, it has only been a week but it has been a great week.

My husband did however consult his cousin, who is overseas about our revelation and wandered what else he can do to help. His cousin is a psychiatrist and he immediately recommended a higher dose of the anti depressant that my husband is already taking as usually these meds are recommended in higher doses to people on the spectrum. I don’t believe he needs it but wanted to ask your opinion?

I have 2 boys with aspergers
Question numbe 1. My 18 year old had a hard time with graduation the cliser it got the more panicked he became. So d put him on Zoloft for anxiety. He seemed better he got a job at walmart in produce he seemed. To love it. Then they started switching his sechdule around back down the hill he went. He ended up quitting the. Job and now says he cant handle panic attacks so he just wonts to be left alone and locks himself in his room. I dont know how to help him
Number 2 my 6 year old is also on zolof 100 mg and ritilan 5mg 3x a daytho i dont see any diffrenc with or wih out the Ritalin. He is in kidegardn after doing a spec prek for 2 years and was doing fair as far as school when it first started now 3 months in he states and i quoat "i no longer wont to go to school its boring and of no intrest to me" his teacher said its just because he doesnt like tracing letters and to say its a have to thing. Yea because i said so doesnt work fo any kid much less for one on the spectrum. He randomly blurt stuff out in c lass and is unabl most days to sit in 1 spot. He also has choosen to walk himself to class and is constantly late because he doent wont to go sco he walks slowly.


Hello Mark

I'm Laura from Australia and I've found your book and would like to download it...

My partner was diagnosed with Aspergers about six weeks ago. I'm just tearing my hair out - the meltdowns seem to get worse. I have psychotherapy myself every week, and I have nearly finished a degree in the same. I love him and am at the end of my tether.

I try as best I can to own my part of the conflicts but sometimes I feel so defeated, so drained I'm almost suicidal. Feel trapped and like a complete idiot for making the decisions I have.

It would be great if I could purchase your book - could you send me a link please? I'm also wondering if Anthony would be open to therapy with you - I doubt it because he doesn't like doing stuff over the Internet for privacy reasons - but just in case, could you please send me some info to share with him?

I'm looking for a lifeline!!

Kind regards

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...