How Asperger’s Affects Marriages. The impact of Asperger’s on a marriage is substantial and can cause a great deal of pain for both partners especially when the condition is not understood. The relationship typically involves a neurotypical wife (NT) and an Asperger Husband (AS). Because neurology matters, it’s important to work with a neurodiverse counselor as they help couples using a neurological lens bringing understanding and change to the differences in the way both think and communicate. As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor, I act as translator for the behaviors of the AS partner to the NT partner and vice versa.
How Asperger’s Affect Marriages
Before I met my husband, I dated many men who claimed they held women with respect and equality when, really they bought into a system of society where males held the power and women were largely excluded from it. Feminists mainly use the term to describe the power relationship between men and women. So, more so than not, I dated a lot of narcissists and experienced a lot a drama. They can create self-doubt by playing on your insecurities and weak points. Instilling self-doubt and gaslighting (a patterned, repetitive set of manipulation tactics that makes someone question reality is abusive and certainly doesn’t feel good).
How Asperger’s Affect Marriages
I had been divorced for seven years before meeting my husband who has Asperger’s. When I met him he was very kind and generous. Unlike, narcissists, he didn’t have an agenda to control or manipulate me. He was intelligent, attractive, and seemed grounded enough as he was calm during my bouts of emotional reactivity. Because there was little drama and I was ready to remarry, I believed he would make a good partner. At the beginning he seemed social enough, although I observed some social anxiety and communication that seemed rather odd. His quiet personality was refreshing and helped me become a little more calm in stressful situations.
After ten months of dating we married. The first ten years were quite nice but were filled with confusion for me. I noticed he wasn’t as communicative, didn’t seem to desire an emotional connection, and our communication was more transactional than relational. I felt as if I was losing my sense of self. I felt lonely, angry, frustrated and depressed. Later, I came to understand my feelings stemmed from ongoing relationship trauma, also know as Cassandra Syndrome.
Aspergers, which is now referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can affect marriages in the following way:
- Personal challenges can create ongoing conflict which could lead to detachment from each other for both partners. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address anxiety and personal challenges. Psychoactive medicines can manage anxiety, Attention deficit disorder (ADD), Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. Aspergers can appear like Narcissism when in fact the bad behavior isn’t intentional.
- Social interaction is limited and can be seen as aloof, not personable, and arrogant. Social skills training classes can help with conversational skills and understanding social cues.
- Volume of voice and pitch can create miscommunication and discord. Speech therapy can help with voice control.
- Clumsiness and awkward movement can create limitations to physical activity and sex. Physical and occupational therapy can improve coordination.
Of course, this is just a few ways Asperger’s affect marriages. I know first hand how the differences of NT and AS partners can either make or break a relationship. I also know AS husbands can make good partners. Learn more about ASD and acquire the necessary tools to keep your marriage safe from yet another divorce statistic.
Contact me via my website: CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or text me your email address for information to get started.