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madeline

Aspergers and Relationships

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Aspergers and Relationships

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for some perspective, advice and understanding. I am in a relationship with someone who has Aspergers, I don't really want to go into detail about what this means, but I am hoping there is someone out there who understands what this is like. The duality of beauty and pain in this kind of relationship is incredibly difficult. All relationships are difficult but this add a whole new level of miss understandings and miss communication. I love him, I love him because he is unique and special ( his mind is rare and beautiful), but I am left feeling isolated and unseen often. 

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Hello Madeline!

It is very beautiful that you love him even though he is like that. I am pretty sure i get the picture because i had almost all asperger symptoms when i was younger and especially a small child. It was pretty extreme sometimes

There is nothing i would tell you in order to relieve the isolating feeling you have. Instead make space for him to come closer, assuming he also loves you, and in that intimate space be purely honest without expectations. Tell him how you experience his behavior in a way that makes it obvious you do not judge or condemn him.

Assuming that there is no emotional abuse i will advise you to experience all of it fully and let that pain open you up and transform you, again only if there is no purposeful neglect or emotional abuse.

Your mind will try to find solutions but the more intense the feelings, the more the mind becomes chaotic and the desperate need for clarity, solution and answers will make you waste precious vitality and in the end drive you into thicker jungle of despair

I can assure you that no mental conclusion or explanation can ever bring you relief. Only the grace of an open heart can help you conprehend the situation, which is multi-dimensional and cannot make sense to the physical mind

Surrender the need for answers and clarity and let your experience unfold. Life is flawless in it's mysterious way of unravelling us and showing us who we truly are

I wish you much ease and joy!

Edited by Matei
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Hey hey! Like Matei, I showed all the signs of Aspergers as a kid (eh, well, Autism nowdays, since the DSM V got rid of Aspergers and folded it all into Autism Spectrum Disorder). It's taken many, many years of hard work, but by now I've managed to compensate for the vast majority of issues that come up from the condition. I'd love to help, but let me know if I'm getting too... whatever.

Where to start? It's complex. Where are things at for you guys? Where are the issues currently happening?

Here's something that's very common though: Communication is one of the most fundamental issues that comes up.

There are lots of things going on, but one big one is the general idea that people with Autism have strong implicit expectations... but simultaneously, very little emotional insight into their own expectations. That creates a problem: strong feelings, but not really knowing what'll set them off. A common way of dealing with that is called 'Snipping', which is kind of how it sounds: snipping out bits of one's awarness, to reduce the mental load of emotions. Autism comes with a lot of duality around emotion: it's often too much, or not enough. 'Snipping' is kind of like the concept of 'Fragmentation', but a bit more autism-specific; it means snipping emotions away.

Upset that you don't know how someone wants you to respond to something they've said or done? Snip. Don't know how to control your feelings about intimacy? Snip. Don't know what you want out of a relationship? Snip. It's very common for Autism*, and if someone does it for long enough, it becomes automatic and subconcious. The only way around it is to spend time thinking about it, and putting those feelings and expectations back into words. Which can be really, really hard and time-intensive to do.

Turning those implicit expectations into explicit ones is a vital step for emotional communication to happen. They have to be put to words, and negotiated. Directly and without judgement. Saying those expectations out-loud is vital to start working towards figuring out how to meet them. This does need to be a two-way street, though, because it's a relationship after all: you need to work towards meeting his stated expectations, and he needs to work towards meeting yours. The most important thing though, is working out what they are, and putting them to words first.

Everyone has to know what the rules are, and agree to them, to play the game. Even if that means making up new rules and negotiating over them as you go along.

...Anyway, I hope that example's relevant to your situation!

 

I would suggest this blog/website, which has a lot of very practical explanations and ideas on how to understand and approach Autism. The lady who writes it has extremely good insight into the interpersonal dynamics involved, though she's not updated for a while. Definately worth checking out though, as a partner of anyone with Autism. Or anyone with Autism. http://www.aspiestrategy.com/

 

If you want to, please ask questions. I'd probably do better answering questions than trying to operate in a vaccum here, heheh.

 

*It's actually very common for a lot of things, but that's a much, much bigger discussion.

Edited by Done Now

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One comment on one of the posts from that site I linked said this, which I couldn't ignore:

Quote

Thanks so much for all the work you do for the Community and all you share Cary !!! I feel the wall you've hit to my Core !! Knowing and understanding and making sense of a lifetime of experiences helps A LOT !! The now what, stage is where we all inevitably end up and for my part I think the answer is in finding like minded individuals, closed communities with strict social codes where exploiting others is socially taboo, The Myers Briggs Type Indicator MBTI, the perspectives of Carl Jung and Looots of re-framing !!
I have noticed that 99% of the Aspies I have surveyed are Intuitive or N Types on the MBTI and the perspectives from MBTI are amazing !!! I have a Theory that Aspies are just Intuitives that were raised by Sensors who are maladapted to a World built for Sensors. Joining Intuitive MBTI Groups on Facebook has been great !! Hopefully this is another avenue you can pursue to assist your patients and gain new insights into what is happening in their inner World ! MBTI has been a great way for me to re-frame coming from a standpoint of "disabled" is very dis-empowering so another system of categorization always seems to be more motivating enabling and life giving !! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones and thank you sooo much for your selflessness and empathy ! The dignity you extend is very touching and I will always treasure or exchanges on Twitter 😉

The part about Aspies tending towards "Intuitive or N types" is something that anecdotally matches up from my experience too. Intuitives vs Sensors is something I'm just re-learning about recently... it would fit my personal experience to say that Aspies could be natural Intuitives who weren't able to develop as Intuitives, but were pidgeonholed into being Sensors, which would've caused a faira deal of mental damage during development. My wife is a Trauma specialist: she suggested a few weeks ago that a lot of the behaviours of High-Functionioning Autism (or Aspergers... man I wish they hadn't changed the name...) are shockingly similar to those that arise from Complex Trauma. The complex Trauma cases are more extreme, but have extremely similar underlying mechanisms. Which is what I kind of meant when I mentioned in the post above that 'Snipping' is common for more than just Autism...

...Anyway, sorry, heh. Point is, It might be worth trying out their suggestion and checking out some social media groups around Intuitive MBTI personality types. I would never have thought of that. I'm tempted to look into it myself!

Edited by Done Now

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