Asperger/ASD Wife

Asperger/ASD Wife. Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often face unique challenges due to differences in how their symptoms manifest compared to males. Historically, ASD has been predominantly studied in males, leading to under diagnosis and misunderstanding of the condition in females. Here are some key points about females on the autism spectrum:

Asperger/ASD Wife
  1. Masking and Camouflaging: Many females with ASD engage in masking or camouflaging behaviors, where they mimic neurotypical social behaviors to fit in. This can lead to delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, as their symptoms may not be as readily apparent. They may expend tremendous energy trying to navigate social situations, which can be exhausting and contribute to mental health issues.
  2. Social Challenges: Despite their efforts to camouflage, females with ASD often struggle with social interactions and forming friendships. They may have difficulty understanding social cues, interpreting nonverbal communication, or engaging in reciprocal conversation. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  3. Special Interests: Like males with ASD, females often develop intense special interests. However, these interests may differ in nature, sometimes aligning more with stereotypically feminine topics such as animals, literature, or art. Their passion for these interests can be a source of joy and fulfillment but may also lead to social ostracism if misunderstood by peers.
  4. Sensory Sensitivities: Sensory sensitivities are common among individuals with ASD, including females. They may experience heightened sensitivity to sounds, textures, smells, or visual stimuli. Coping with these sensitivities in everyday environments can be overwhelming and may contribute to anxiety or meltdowns.
  5. Co-occurring Conditions: Females with ASD often have co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, or eating disorders. These conditions may overshadow the underlying ASD symptoms, further complicating diagnosis and treatment.

It’s essential to recognize and support the unique needs of females with ASD. Increased awareness, early intervention, and tailored support services can help address their challenges and empower them to thrive. Additionally, more research focused on understanding the experiences of females on the autism spectrum is crucial for improving diagnosis and support systems.

For more information please text me your email address or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

 

Self-Care For Cassandra Syndrome

Self-Care For Cassandra Syndrome. Cassandra Syndrome, named after the Greek mythological figure who was cursed to prophesy true predictions that no one believed, refers to a condition where individuals experience chronic stress, anxiety, and frustration due to feeling unheard, invalidated, or misunderstood by others. Managing Cassandra Syndrome requires a holistic approach to self-care that addresses the psychological, emotional, and physical aspects of well-being.

Self-Care For Cassandra Syndrome
  1. Validate Your Feelings: Acknowledge and validate your emotions without judgment. It’s essential to recognize that your feelings are valid and deserve attention, regardless of whether others understand them.
  2. Seek Support: Connect with trusted friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide a supportive environment where you feel heard and understood. Talking about your experiences can help alleviate the sense of isolation that often accompanies Cassandra Syndrome.
  3. Set Boundaries: Learn to set boundaries to protect your emotional well-being. It’s okay to say no to commitments or situations that exacerbate your stress levels or make you feel invalidated.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to ground yourself in the present moment and cultivate self-awareness. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and enhance your ability to cope with challenging situations.
  5. Engage in Self-Compassion: Be kind and compassionate toward yourself, especially during moments of self-doubt or criticism. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend in need.
  6. Find Creative Outlets: Channel your emotions into creative outlets such as writing, painting, or music. Creative expression can be therapeutic and provide a healthy way to process your experiences.
  7. Prioritize Self-Care Activities: Make self-care a priority by scheduling regular activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath, going for a nature walk, or indulging in your favorite hobbies, carve out time for activities that nourish your soul.
  8. Practice Assertiveness: Learn to assert your needs and communicate them effectively to others. Assertive communication can help prevent feelings of resentment and frustration by ensuring that your voice is heard and respected.
  9. Limit Exposure to Triggers: Identify triggers that exacerbate your stress or anxiety, whether it’s certain people, environments, or situations, and take steps to limit your exposure to them when possible.
  10. Celebrate Your Strengths: Focus on your strengths and accomplishments rather than dwelling on perceived shortcomings or failures. Celebrate your resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

For more information please text me your email address or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Neurodiverse Marriages Can Work

Neurodiverse Marriages Can Work. Life never ceases to amaze me. Growing older and wiser I am still in awe of couples who are able to manage the highs and lows of marriage. Marriage isn’t easy. There’s ongoing hard work needed to manage the worst of times and thrive in the best of times. When you’re in a neurodiverse marriage there are even more challenges to manage than traditional ones.

Neurodiverse Marriages Can Work (available on Amazon)

You’re in pain. You’re confused and frustrated. You married someone who was kind, generous, calm, and brilliant. Sure, your partner was reserved. Maybe a little aloof. But over time, that reservation started to hurt. That aloofness twisted into self-centered actions. You feel alone. Neglected. You try to communicate, but it feels like you’re speaking different languages.

This ongoing emotional suffering results from distressing interpersonal relations with your Asperger/ASD spouse. He doesn’t understand, empathize with or validate your pain. This ongoing traumatic relationship syndrome is known as Cassandra Syndrome. You feel isolated and helpless to change your partner’s behavior.

In my own marriage of over 25 years, I can relate to such suffering. I often times asked the question…”should I stay or should I go?” It took many years of research and development to acquire tools for communication and emotional connection.

There are many resources out there to help neurodiverse couples. It’s essential to recognize, understand and treat the challenges. As a neurodiverse couples counselor, I know first hand that traditional marriage counseling is not effective as my husband and I went through that process to no avail.

It’s even more important to get the help needed for individual challenges as they can complicate the already difficult pieces to the ASD puzzle. As a neurotypical wife (NT), I had to examine how my behavior was affecting my relationship. Despite my cassandra symptoms I had to learn how to regulate my emotions and put a plan in place to remove myself when ASD situations came up. My daily meditation helped me stay on track to manage my acting out behaviors so I can be more present to utilize the communication tools. My ASD husband also learned how to regulate his emotions and slowly has been able to express his feelings. He continues to manage his social anxiety which I took personally, as I thought he didn’t want to interact with me or anybody else for that matter.

My husband stretches his limits and opens up more to people. He initiates conversation even when it is scary to do so. You don’t get better overnight, but you do need to start somewhere.

I’m here to help with that starting point. I start my process through education but, more importantly, I know you want immediate relief, so I like to introduce the tools sooner rather than later. It’s an ongoing process but if you don’t start somewhere you’ll never get your happy ever ending.

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

 

Neurodiverse Marriages – Tool To Answer Stay Or Go

Neurodiverse Marriages – Tool To Answer Stay Or Go. Some of you may not even know you are in a neurodiverse marriage. If you’re married to someone on the Autism Spectrum, you are in a neurodiverse marriage aka Asperger  Marriage. Your relationship is more transactional than relational and you can’t even remember what a healthy relationship looks like. You might have lost your sense of self suffering from Cassandra.

Neurodiverse Marriages – Tool To Answer Stay Or Go

I’ve been married to my Asperger Husband for 25 years and spent the last 15 years managing my ongoing Cassandra symptoms. We have many strengths, however, the disorder keeps the shortcomings extremely challenging. As a marriage counselor, I have given my couples many tools to not only survive their marriages, but thrive in them. When it comes to working with neurodiverse couples, it is essential to get the tools needed for communication and emotional connection. An essential tool for the Neurotypical Wife (NT) is to have an independent life within her interdependent life with her Asperger Husband (AS). Self-care includes having her own, hobbies, job, friends, etc. In making herself happy she allows room for the relationship to be “good enough.” Happy Me Happy We is a book I wrote to help understand what it is you want so you know what you want in a relationship.

Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want in your relationship, develop a two column list with 1) things you can tolerate in your marriage and 2) things you will not tolerate in your marriage. Understanding Autism is a developmental delay, there are things the brain cannot register and will make it difficult to interact with someone on the spectrum. Yes, there are tools for more effective communication and emotional connection, but the most important tool is taking care of yourself in the marriage. Because we NT wives tend to overfunction in our relationships, we are exhausted, resentful, angry, to name a few emotions. And this exhaustion leads to poor physical and emotional well being. Most Asperger husbands are good at heart, but can make interacting troublesome. In weighing the pros and cons, just like neurotypical marriages, it is important to know what are deal breakers.

Using this tool helps NT wives know where their boundaries lie. If you continue to make the intolerable behaviors acceptable then you know you’ve made a choice to remain in your marriage and should give up the “victim” status as you’ve made a choice.  Of course, you need to share with your husband what is tolerable and what is not. He does need to be given the opportunity to learn new ways to behave with you. Neurodiverse marriage counseling/coaching does just that. We all have choices when it comes to staying or going.

For more information please contact me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

My Neurodiverse Marriage – 4 Managing Cassandra

My Neurodiverse Marriage – 4 Managing Cassandra. Last week I shared I had a difficult and challenging week with my Aspie husband. He has been preoccupied with some estate planning and has been MIA for most of that week. We are like ships that pass in the night. He eats, drinks, and sleeps this preoccupation with things he has to take care of. Although I have lots to do during the week, I still want time with my husband. As I’ve shared in past blogs, it’s essential to have an independent life outside your marriage. A happy marriage is one where there is independence in an interdependent partnership. I have been working on developing a stronger sense of self so “acting out” emotions about feeling lonely, bored, frustrated or resentful are few and far between. My husband appreciates that.

My Neurodiverse Marriage – 4 Managing Cassandra

My husband has been out of town for the past five days. I thought this was going to trigger me (abandonment issues), but it didn’t. Actually the day he was leaving his ASD thing was irritating me. I snipped at him and asked, “when are you leaving?” My tone wasn’t nice and I apologized. I realized I was losing energy to do the neurodiverse thing.

While he was away I noticed I started feeling better with newfound energy. I tend to get alot of work done when he is out of the house. Just me and my dog. I slept better and woke up more refreshed. As much as I liked this, I did miss my husband. We prefer to text rather than talk on the phone as talking voice to voice brings about the ASD thing. lol

I place humor when I share because I can’t take things seriously anymore. We are who we are and we aren’t going to change. Meaning my neurotypical self is just that and his neurodivergent self is just that. I believe he was recharged being away from me, as well. Time away from each other is healthy in any marriage, but more so in a neurodiverse marriage. Recharge means something to the brain of someone on the spectrum.

Absence makes the heart grow more fonder. Meaning when people we love are not with us, we love them even more. With neurodiverse couples I recommend they carve out time to be together and carve out time to be away from each other too. May sound counterintuitive but it certainly works to their benefit.

For more information about neurodiverse marriages give me a ring at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com