How Social Is Your Asperger Husband? It takes a lot of work to make a marriage a success. And when one partner has Asperger’s, the relationship can be even more challenging. Asperger’s makes emotional connections and social communication extremely difficult, it’s no wonder that a partnership between a person with Asperger’s and someone without it (neurodiverse couples) can be filled with stress, misunderstandings, and frustration.
How Social Is Your Asperger Husband?
As my own husband has Asperger’s I know first hand how difficult it is to socialize with family and friends, let alone with the general public. I’m very social and an extrovert while my husband is quiet and an introvert. There were many events where my husband appeared antisocial as his demeanor was standoffish with limited words in any interaction. Before we knew about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s my friends, family and colleagues thought he didn’t like any of them. They later shared with me his odd behavior was disconcerting and made them feel uncomfortable.
Some people with Asperger’s tend to mask. Masking can be a way of “camouflaging” to fit in. I have a neurodiverse couple whose Asperger husband did a lot of masking while they were dating. The neurotypical wife said her Asperger husband appeared “normal” until shortly after they were married. He became rigid and controlling which leads to the discord in their relationship.
Because ASD is a spectrum, every individual with autism differs from another. People with autism do not all share the same mix of traits. People can be anywhere on the spectrum, sharing some traits and not others, but most people with autism are labelled as either high-functioning or low-functioning.
As well as social anxiety ASD (Aspergers) includes levels of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD), and sensory challenges. Being in loud and crowded spaces can created overwhelming feelings where they tend to shut down or act out inappropriately creating drama for themselves and the people they are with.
Learning how to self-soothe can help manage the over stimulation. Understanding one’s triggers can help prevent melt downs or manage them so getting back to homeostasis is possible. Talking about expectations for any event or social situation can help diffuse unforseeable challenges. Knowing what to expect manages anxiety. When I’d like my husband to accompany me to a house party we talk about his expectations and I talk about mine. We agree upon a time of arrival and time to leave. We talk about what happens if he feels too much anxiety and needs to leave earlier than agreed upon. He can leave by himself or we can leave together. If it gets too loud or crowded for his comfort level he can go outside for a time out and return. We continue to communicate about whether or not he’d like to stay. Communication is the key to managing any difficult situation.
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.