Does Your Asperger Husband Have Alexithymia? What is Alexithymia? Alexithymia is a Greek term literally meaning “without words for feelings.” It is the inability to express or describe one’s feelings. Individuals with Alexithymia typically display a lack of imaginative thought, have difficulty distinguishing between emotions and bodily sensations, and engage in logical externally oriented thought. Because Autism is a spectrum condition, symptoms and their severity can fluctuate among individuals with Alexithymia.
Does Your Asperger Husband Have Alexithymia?
As a neurodiverse couples counselor and coach, I assess for incapability factors when teaching communication tools to couples needing emotional connection and effective communication. The spouse on the spectrum, typically the husband, is who I find have more difficulty utilizing some of the tools and implementing the process to achieve the goal of feeling more relational.
In romantic relationships being able to share thoughts and feelings is important to developing and maintaining intimacy. Some Asperger husbands are not able to express how they feel and sometimes say they don’t understand their wives’ feelings. This “mind blindness” can create a major disconnect as the process of sharing feelings is crucial to being an intimate partner versus just being roommates.
Signs of Alexithymia include:
- Difficulty expressing and identifying emotions
- Difficulty with introspection
- Logical thinking (more black and white)
- Emotional distance
- Confusion about others’ emotions
- Limited creativity
- Difficulty coping with stress
- Aches and pains from stress
- Infrequent dreaming
I work with a neurodiverse couple whose husband claims he cannot relate to feelings and needing to be expressive of them. He further states during sessions he is distracted by his thoughts of building and rebuilding computers, machines, and concentrating on household matters, while trying to take in the the tools and relational process being asked of him. We develop a system where their plan is more concrete and structured so he is able to follow through with the tools behaviorally for becoming more relational and hopefully feel the ramifications of his effort (feelings). Doing this helps his neurotypical wife feel some kind of connection with him.
Not being able to identify and express feelings can be very challenging for the person on the spectrum and the neurodiverse relationship. Strategies are different for every couple so it’s important to talk about what can present as helpful in the brainstorming.
In working with my neurodiverse couples we put a system in place where both learn how to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and ask for what is needed and wanted. These relational tools set the foundation for long term success.
My husband has Asperger’s so I can relate to what neurodiverse couples go through. Surviving an Asperger Marriage is possible. Learning each others’ love language is a start to establishing that intimacy. For information about my services and fee please text me your email address at (858) 735-1139.