Do You Know What You Want In A Partner?

Do You Know What You Want In A Partner? When your relationship is in trouble, it affects every part of your life. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept things as they are — or give up and walk away. Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship is all you need to be in a healthy relationship.

Do You Know What You Want In A Partner?

You can have a healthy, happy relationship. It starts with taking charge of your own thoughts and actions, and learning to be your own person. With a better understanding of self, a firm foundation of healthy communication skills, and the insight to make better choices, you’ll know how to interact positively with others. You’ll be able to create the healthy, loving, supportive relationship you know you deserve.

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Me-We-yourself-relationship-ebook/dp/B08KKLX3BB
#marriages #relationships #couplestherapy #couples #wellbeing #happiness

 

Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality?

Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality? When a couple is aware that their relationship is affected by autism it can be quite difficult to decipher what traits are caused by personality and what are due to being on the autistic spectrum. I’ve been married to a man with Asperger’s for over 20 years. During the first 13 years he displayed some behaviors that looked pretty much like he was being a jerk. His lack of consideration and thoughtfulness made him appear self-centered and self-serving. Not all differences are due to your partner being on the autism spectrum, and not all personality traits can be attributed to or blamed on autism.

Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality?

I’m working with a couple whose Asperger (AS) husband is talkative with anyone and everyone. He is also quite flirtatious with the ladies. He flirts with waitresses, grocery store clerks, and women at the bank. He states he just wants to be personable and doesn’t mean anything bad by it. This bothers my neurotypical (NT) client (his wife) as it is a trigger for her due to trauma from past relationships where there was cheating. With tools they’ve acquired during counseling he shows her the empathy needed so she feels seen and heard. Some think people with Asperger’s have a difficult time with filter and being impulsive when interacting.

I have another client who discovered her Asperger husband had been having an affair for the past eight months. They were in counseling with me during that time which makes it even more horrific and disappointing for this neurotypical wife. Her husband states he thinks he’s a sex addict and manages his anxiety with other women. He blames his Asperger’s for his inappropriate behavior. I point out being unfaithful is not a trait caused by being on the spectrum.

Traits caused by being on the autism spectrum:

  • Highly focused
  • Single minded
  • Obsessive
  • Clumsy
  • Logical

  • Rigid/inflexible
  • Reactive to noise
  • Reactive to smell
  • Reactive to touch
  • Reactive to taste
  • Reactive to light
  • Pendantic

 

 

Traits not caused by being on the autism spectrum:

  • Flirtatious
  • Unfaithful
  • Inhibited
  • Frigid
  • Promiscuous
  • Verbally abusive
  • Boring
  • Reliable
  • Emotionally withdrawn
  • Withholding
  • Unsympathetic

  • Stingy
  • Unhygienic
  • Unkempt
  • Intuitive
  • Passionate
  • Irrational
  • Impulsive
  • Defensive
  • Critical
  • Opinionated
  • Religious
  • Political
  • An unloving parent
  • Forgetful
  • A loner
  • Generous
  • Extravagant

When a couple is aware that their relationship is affected by autism it can be quite difficult to decipher what traits are caused by personality and what are due to being on the autism spectrum. Not all differences are due to the partner being on the autism spectrum, and not all personality traits can be attributed to or blamed on autism. Knowing whether a trait is caused by having autism or personality is confusing for both in a relationship, especially the neurotypical partner. It’s confusing because everyone on the spectrum is different, that’s why they call it a spectrum. All will have their own unique personality with their own childhood history. We are products of our upbringing which has moulded who they are now and will have encouraged certain beliefs, behaviors, and opinions.

When working with neurodiverse couples in neurodiverse couples counseling, I emphasize any kind of abuse is not a trait of having Asperger’s. Sometimes bad behavior is just bad behavior and should never be tolerated. I work with the couple through a neurodiverse lens where I help them recognize, understand and treatment the problems in their relationship. When we are able distinguish what is an Asperger trait versus a personality trait, both can see more clearly where the work needs to be done.

For more information on neurodiverse couples counseling please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s. What exactly is Asperger’s? Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that impairs development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. The precise causes of autistic disorders have not been identified, although an inherited (genetic) component is believed to be involved. Supporting this idea is the fact that Asperger’s syndrome has been observed to run in families. Based on my clinical observations of my husband and his parents, he may have inherited it from one or both of them. Does your husband ever display these types of behavior. I know mine does.

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s:

  • Is your husband not thoughtful?
  • Is he forgetful?
  • Does he appear to have no self-awareness?
  • Tends to be late all the time?
  • Shows little to no Empathy?
  • Seems Antisocial?

My husband is a kind, generous, and intelligent man. We’ve been married for over 20 years. Often quiet in his demeanor and less animated than myself, my friends thought we were an unlikely match. I know now what I didn’t realize then is my husbands’s comments and behavior offended some and made others feel uncomfortable. As the years went by I started to observe and experience a dynamic between us that consequently lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and irritability. He behaved in ways that were almost hurtful and rude.

Situations I now understand:

  • We were in Bora Bora on our Honeymoon. After a long flight, we were escorted to our beautiful over-the-water bungalow. As we were settling in I heard a knock at the door where room service brought my husband a refreshing Mai Tai cocktail. I asked where mine was and he said he didn’t order me one. I thought that was strange and nicely called him out on it. He said he didn’t think to ask me. (Aspie’s are often times not thoughtful)

  • When our daughter was 5 years old he forgot to pick her up from school after being reminded several times. (Memory problem)
  • Whenever I had a conversation with him he wasn’t able to show empathy and continued to talk about what was of interest to him. (Lack of Theory of Mind or Mind Blindness)
  • He could go on and on about a topic that was of interest to him and fail to recognize facial expressions denoting I was becoming uninterested or even bored. (No self-awareness)
  • He can go MIA (missing in action) for long periods of time working on his computer and not realize it and is often times late. (Time management problem)
  • I made a lovely Brunch one day and when we sat at the table to enjoy it he didn’t talk much and appeared troubled. I asked him later what was up as I was angry, more hurt, actually as I was expecting him to appreciate my efforts. He later told me the sun was brightly shining and hurt his eye. (Sensory Issues)
  • Unable to show compassion. My dog was bitten by a rattlesnake and the Vet said he may not make it. (No motion to comfort me as I was breaking down crying)
  • Doesn’t like change. Our daughter was part of a carpool. When parents made changes to the schedule, which benefited my husband he would become aggravated and unappreciative.

As a Marriage Counselor who is married to someone on the spectrum, I work with Neurodiverse Couples (one partner has Asperger’s AS and the other does not, Neurotypical NT). Because I’ve lived with my AS husband for over 20 years, I am able to help women who suffer from what is referred to as Cassandra Syndrome where the NT partner experiences psychological trauma from attempting to have a close personal relationship with a person who has deficiencies in interpersonal relationships, in areas such as reciprocity, compassion, empathy, recognition of facial expressions, putting themselves in another’s shoes, and a constellation of features known as “mind blindness.”

During the first decade of our marriage, I was experiencing psychological and emotional distress. The daily trauma of living with an AS can best be described as ongoing traumatic relationship syndrome (OTRS) aka known as Cassandra Syndrome. Even if someone comes into a relationship with a strong sense of self-esteem, it can still be demolished by a partner who has difficulty showing empathy. During the years before we obtained an unofficial diagnosis, I was quite troubled. I was so unhappy I wanted to leave the relationship. I didn’t like the way I felt as I was acting out emotions where I was angry, unreasonable, hurtful and verbally abusive. There was either something terribly wrong with me or there was some psychological challenge with him.

As I didn’t want a divorce I started to educate myself on this syndrome and acquired coping skills to manage my emotions more appropriately, while getting my husband the tools he needed to be more relational. We acquired a process and put systems in place for better communication. With the commitment to moving forward, I can honestly say I am so much happier. There was never any doubt I loved him but the Asperger’s was making for too many challenges to want to stay. 

For more information on being able to move forward with your Aspie husband please contact me at (858) 735-1139. I know I can help.

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce. It takes a lot of work to keep a marriage going. After the honeymoon stage, life is one big conflict resolution stage. If you don’t have coping skills for good conflict resolution you may end up divorce whether you want it or not. As a marriage and family therapist, I’ve worked with couples for over 25 years. There are those who can acquire communication skills and those who cannot. Those who cannot, possess a reality of their own which is not conducive to healthy relationships.

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs that a couple is likely to divorce:

  • Any abuse – physical, verbal, emotional, psychological
  • Infidelity
  • They give each other the silent treatment (or other inappropriate acting out behavior) – likely due to inner child issues which need to be identified and resolved as immaturity blocks success
  • They have contempt for one another – contempt is acting as though your partner is beneath you or not worth your time. It’s disregarding someone else’s thoughts/opinions or actively displaying scorn for them. (beyond angry)
  • Their sex life is vanilla – sex is important and healthy in romantic relationships; “missionary” position all the time (lackluster sex life) and/or no sex for years.

  • They don’t have much in common – night owls and early birds tend to make unlikely bedfellows; opposites due attract but there needs to be something that keeps them connected.
  • Their careers come before the family – workaholics; low priority on spouse and children make for breeding contempt.
  • They don’t respect each other’s love language – Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages are game changers with troubled couples.
  • They are not honest about their spending of  money – little transparency on how money is being spent and saved. Not being honest about purchases.
  • They never fight – when couples are conflict avoidant they create conflict; expressing oneself in a relationship is healthy utilizing conflict resolution skills.
  • Overall immature behavior and unwillingness to resolve conflict in appropriate ways.

 

Throughout my years as a marriage counselor, I am happy to say I have worked with couples who have beat the odds for divorce. These couples have the desire to love and make each other happy. When things get tough they manage their acting out behavior and understand that consensus and compromise is key to growing old together.

For more information about my services please visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or contact me at (858) 735-1139

Are You A Woman Of Substance?

Are You A Woman Of Substance? “A woman of substance is not only a woman of independent means but an individual who manages her inner child appropriately.”- Sarah Ruggera  There is a level of developmental maturity in both professional and personal life. Chronological age does not necessarily mean you show up in a mature manner when things get tough. On the contrary, you can be 50 years old and act like a 7 year old when you don’t get what you want.

When raising daughters it’s important to teach them that developing a sense of self is the most important thing she can do for herself. Secondly, it’s important for women to maintain that sense of self so she has good boundaries to meet her needs, as well as the needs of others she cares about. As women we are socialized to be the caretaker, homemaker, default parent, etc. If we choose to have a career it somehow adds stress to the harmony of a household. The professional women I work with who bring in substantial resources say they feel like they are doing everything to keep the family homeostasis. Some woman lose their sense of self (identity) when they couple up with a partner who is still stuck in the 2oth Century. The new rules for marriage are quite different in the 21st Century as there is more equitability between the sexes. Both in the job market and at home. Relationships come with an expectation of being less transactional and more emotional. Being companions is elevated to wanting more than meeting goals. Emotional connectedness is a big part of couples being able to choose to grow old together.

Are You A Woman Of Substance?

In past generations, women married for security, having children, and maintaining the household. Men married for procreation, as well, having a partner to caretake the family household, and sex. This sounds chauvanistic, however, past generations were brought up in a Patriarchy society where women were once considered property.

A woman of substance conducts herself with:

Patience

Honesty

Integrity

Awareness that life consists of more than money

Peacefulness

Love

steadfastness

A woman of substance possesses virtues that make others around her notice that she is not shallow

Knowledge is empowerment. Besides virtue and other character qualities, a woman of substance has knowledge. This does not mean just knowledge about makeup or hairstyles, but knowledge about subjects of interest to others. A woman of substance will educate herself fully about current issues. She will know about crises and concerns within her city, state and nation. She will want to take action to do all she can to help, whether by writing a letter to the editor or running for office. She will be aware of and participate in the political process.

A woman of substance has an independent life outside of her interdependent relationship. Her happiness is not entirely wrapped up in her job or her significant other/husband. She finds enjoyment in hobbies such as reading, writing or sports. She enjoys nights out with friends who share her same interests.

A woman of substance values her family highly. She cares about building a firm relationship with her husband if she is married, not a shallow relationship based on first-attraction feelings. She knows that love is built through the challenging and good times, and she does not quit when things get rough. Her children respect her for her kindness and firmness. She tries to spend time with her children and be there for their school and extracurricular activities. But never puts all her energy in one particular interest. There is work/life balance