How I Manage My Cassandra Symptoms. I’ve been in a neurodiverse marriage for almost 25 years. The first ten years were quite challenging as I was frustrated and feeling like I was losing my mind. Being a licensed marriage and family therapist, specializing in couples work, I was confused and irritated that my own marriage was deteriorating.
How I Manage My Cassandra Symptoms
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 aka Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or Affective Deprivation Disorder and abbreviated as CADD, OTRS or AfDD.
- low self-esteem
- loss of sense of self.
- have thoughts of “going crazy”
- social phobias
- are easily overwhelmed or discouraged
- are generally in worse health
- are more lonely
- feel empty inside
- feel like there’s something missing
- have a feeling of being “numbed out” or being cut off from one’s feelings
- have a lack of clarity regarding others’ expectations and their own expectations for themselves
- have a pronounced sensitivity to rejection (becomes hurt more easily)
- are less happy
- have less social support and lower relationship satisfaction
- feel like they are on the outside looking in
- secretly feel there is something deeply wrong with themselves
- have difficulty managing their emotions (acts out in inappropriate ways – yelling, name calling, substance abuse,)
- have difficulty finding ways to “self-soothe”
In establishing boundaries for oneself, Cassandra can be managed to the degree it makes your Asperger Marriage bearable. All marriages have their strengths and weaknesses. Asperger husbands can make good partners. When the weakness outweigh the strengths where you feel more withdrawals than deposits into your personal and relationship needs is where a downward spiral begins.
Tips for managing Cassandra:
- Develop and maintain a strong sense of self
- Be more independent in your interdependent relationship
- Identify needs and take steps to meet them
- Have a personal life of your own outside the relationship
- Develop and maintain support system (friends, family, therapist)
- Self care – be gently with yourself; Meditate; work out; don’t be so hard on yourself
- Therapy – who understands ASD and neurodiversity
- Learn more about neurodiverse relationship to be able to appreciate the challenges
- Take medication if necessary to mange your own anxiety and depression
- A good sex life helps (talk about other options if not)
- Remember that recovery from emotional deprivation is a process – it takes time; be patient
- Support groups
Managing Cassandra is a gradual, ongoing process. It didn’t happen over night, so it won’t get better overnight either. I sought individual therapy for years and didn’t get the help I now know I needed. With not being able to find the right therapist….I had to become that therapist. I became a certified neurodiverse couples counselor through the Asperger Autism Network (AANE.org). My training and experience has helped many neurotypical wives not only survive their Asperger Marriage, they are thriving as individuals, as well as partners. It’s important to find the right therapist as your marriage is counting on it.
I hope I can be that resource for you. Please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information.