Cassandra Recovery

Cassandra Recovery. If you’re married to a man on the Autism Spectrum (has Asperger’s) the lack of adequate psychological nurturance from him feels like a form of emotional neglect. Being unable to engage in your feelings and his own make for a lack of emotional intimacy. As a result of his mind blindness you tend to feel more like roommates than romantic intimates as communication tends to be more transactional than relational.

Cassandra Recovery

Neurotypical wives who chronically feel affection-deprived may exhibit the  following symptoms:

  • Feel a loss of sense of self
  • Feel like they are going crazy
  • Are more lonely
  • Can feel empty inside
  • Are frustrated, resentful, angry; feel guilt
  • Feel rejected
  • More likely to experience depression, anxiety and fatigue
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Thinks there is something wrong with themselves
  • Have difficulty to find ways to “self-soothe”

  • Have social problems
  • Feel like they are doing all the work in the relationship
  • Tend to yell at their husband and other family members
  • Tend to self-medicate with alcohol
  • Not sleep well

I’ve been married to my Asperger husband for over 20 years. For years I thought I was losing my mind, as well as my sense of self. I kept telling myself I was a licensed clinician trained to study human behavior and interpersonal relationships. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I started to see couples in my practice suffering from the same disconnectedness. I had empathy, as well as compassion for the “Neurotypical” wife. I related to what these women were saying.

Recovery from Cassandra starts with accepting the fact that your Asperger husband is not going to meet your emotional needs to the extent that you need him to. Developing an independent life outside of the interdependent relationship (marriage) is key to moving forward.

Managing Cassandra can include:

  • Self-love and self-care
  • Identify own needs and take steps to get them
  • Develop a support system to include friends and people with your same interests
  • Develop a hobby or volunteer
  • Make a list of things that make you happy and do/get them
  • Understand that recovery is an ongoing process and doesn’t happen overnight
  • Cognitive – Behavioral Therapy can help if you choose counseling

For more information about my services and fees please text me at (858) 735-1139 with your email address.

 

 

How Social Is Your Asperger Husband?

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.

 

World Autism Awareness

World Autism Awareness. April is the month for Autism Awareness. Autism Speaks is an organization who focuses on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

World Autism Awareness

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor, I tell my clients, “we’re all on the spectrum to some degree.” When working with couples where one or both are on that spectrum, neurology matters. What are the odds of being on the spectrum? In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to 2018 data. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
These children will grow up needing tools to become more effective communicators. Being able to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and assertive enough to ask for what they need is crucial to being in any relationship. Being more relational and less transactional makes for the intimacy required to distinguish between romantic partners and roommates.

As a neurodiverse couples coach, I am often asked if getting a diagnosis is important. It’s not that important for adults to get a formal diagnosis. Minors tend to receive one as it supports their need for community resources. Working with adults I don’t place labels on anyone who may be on the spectrum, rather, I help both partners acquire tools to become more relational rather than transactional.

Being on the spectrum is a challenge to the ASD individual, as well as their families. It takes a lot of love and effort to get the help needed so all can enjoy what life has to offer. Differences can make some people feel uncomfortable. These people can act out their prejudices, fear, ignorance, etc.

Autism has been receiving more attention than the last couple of decades. Understanding and being curious about ASD beats being judgmental and critical. Learn how to talk to someone on the spectrum. Neurotypicals and ASD individuals speak different languages. These differences don’t make one or the other any better. Just different. I grew up with the notion that different was bad or wrong. No, it’s just different. As soon as we understand and respect other’s differences and their perspectives can we live in a world that is more embracing of the diversity that is our reality.

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.

 

Asperger Husband Have Alexithymia?

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.

 

Asperger Husband Need A Diagnosis?

Does Your Asperger Husband Need A Diagnosis? In 2013, the term Aspergers became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) renamed bv the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5). There is currently no specific test or diagnostic criteria for diagnosing Asperger’s in adults.

Tablet with diagnosis Aspergers

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor and coach, I inform new clients it’s not that important to get a formal diagnosis. Minors tend to receive one as it supports their need for community resources. Working with adults I don’t place labels on anyone who may be on the spectrum, rather, I help both partners acquire tools to become more relational rather than transactional. We’re all on the spectrum to some degree. Emotional connectedness is what everyone wants.

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.

Asperger Husband Need A Diagnosis?

Couple with an emotional connection

Those who are interested in taking a self-assessment test or looking at an Asperger’s profile (AANE.org) may do so to see where on the spectrum one falls into. Although this is not a diagnosis, it may provide important insights that a person can discuss with their doctor or neurodiverse counselor/coach.

As Asperger’s is no longer diagnosed as a condition in and of itself it is important to see couples through a neurological lens as neurology matters helping each partner understand how they process information and how it effects their communication. A partner with Asperger’s has different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. They also have problems with social communication and interaction with some restricted repetitive behaviors that can hinder their ability to connect with their neurotypical partner (wife). These characteristics can make relationships challenging.

My work with neurodiverse couples consist of putting a system in place, acquiring tools for initiating conversation, sharing thoughts and feelings, and asking for what they need and want. I act as a translator for what may be construed as unkind and rigid behavior, as well as differentiating between spectrum behavior and narcissism. Believe me your Asperger husband isn’t doing hurtful things on purpose.

For more information about my services and fees please text me at (858) 735-1139 with your email address.

 

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