Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners

Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners. Marriages or partnerships with a person on the Autism Spectrum (AS) are often very challenging, with mental health challenges for both members of the relationship, for their children, and for extended family. Neurotypical women (NT) may appreciate that her AS partner marches to a different tune and does not exhibit some of the negative social or interpersonal attributes that she may have encountered in other potential partners or previous ones. Women may be attracted to men with AS because they appear safe, are highly intelligent, gentle, appreciative, interesting, creative, well read, unusual, quirky, and loyal.

Asperger husband in IT profession
Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor/coach, I tend to see couples who present with neurodiversity at its worst. Couples come in complaining about communication, lack of emotional connection, and time management to name of few. There are many strengths that enable an AS man to be highly functional. Because an AS husband and NT wife speak different languages neurology matters. I work with my couples through a neurological lens or Asperger profile. Traditional marriage counseling is not effective and can sometimes be detrimental to moving forward.

Strengths include:

According to Myhill and Jekel of Asperger Association of New England (AANE), people with ASD can be good partners. The women’s choice to marry someone with AS is not intrinsically a bad one. Some women aren’t aware they are entering into a neurodiverse relationship until enough time goes by where they notice communication is more transactional than relational. The women are often the ones who seek help as they are confused and don’t understand why their relationship seems different than others’. With the appropriate resources Asperger marriages can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as other happy marriages. Yes, there is work to be done, but just like anything else, if you do the work it should pay off. With putting systems in place, acquiring relational tools, and implementing the process you can have the relationship you want. All marriages have challenges. If two people who care about one another truly want to move forward, they can.

I am married to a man with Asperger’s. My Asperger marriage will continue to have its challenges. We are grateful for what we have learned to be able to say our marriage works for us. I look forward to working with neurodiverse couples because I know firsthand of the many challenges. I also know every couple has their strengths and I help them look for them.

If you would like more information about moving forward in your Asperger marriage please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit 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.

Loneliness With An Asperger Husband

Loneliness With An Asperger Husband. With all the men in the world to marry, I ended up with a man who is on the Spectrum. Asperger syndrome, or Asperger’s, is a previously used diagnosis on the autism spectrum. In 2013, it became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5). ASD is just that. It’s a spectrum of characteristic traits that can make their individual lives and marriages challenging. There’s nothing wrong with being on the Spectrum. I don’t like using the word “syndrome” because it pathologizes and fails to acknowledge the many great traits a person with Asperger’s possess.

I am accustomed to and fondly use the word Asperger’s in providing information to neurodiverse couples. My husband and I are a neurodiverse couple. I am the Neurotypical, NT and he has Asperger’s AS. Neurology matters in that if you don’t understand, recognize and treat the neurodiversity, you’ll never speak each other’s language to communicate or become relational.

Before we understood what we were dealing with life was very hard. My asperger husband realized I was suffering from Cassandra Syndrome aka Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or Affective Deprivation Disorder. The curse of never being believed became a source of pain and frustration throughout Cassandra’s life. My ongoing psychological and emotional trauma was minimized or ignored when I shared what I was experiencing and feeling in my marriage as my husband is a kind and generous man. I thought I was going crazy and was losing my sense of self. Feeling alone and miserable I started acting out by hurt, anger, disappointment, resentment, and frustration. I had weekly meltdowns where poor self care hurt myself and people I love dearly. I barely recognized myself after years of marriage. I sought individual counseling and was thankful medication managed my anxiety and mild depressive symptoms. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I am not immuned to the pain and struggles of relationships. I believe in putting in the effort to save a marriage and in maintaining it.

Loneliness With An Asperger Husband

If there is one word that describes the reaction of a family member to the diagnosis of autism in someone you love, that word is loneliness. Loneliness is disconnection when connection is desired. It is different from the solitude of choosing to be alone. It is a frustrating state related to not being seen, heard or understood. Women talk to me about their loneliness. They talk about the deep awareness that the intimate connection they sought when they married has not only not come to be, but is not possible. This existential shock is met with grief and loss as these women love their husbands but feel the sense of isolation from them knowing they will not have the relationship they expected. The Asperger husband also feels a sense of loneliness. One main difference between the NT and AS lies in the realm of understanding the implicit emotional and cognitive experience of another person. The ability to show empathy and validate another person’s perspective is limited with the AS and is a crucial in feeling emotionally connected.

Managing the feeling of disconnection and loneliness is possible. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t put all the blame solely on your husband
  • Learn as much as you can about Asperger’s
  • Reframe your husband’s behavior so you put a positive spin on it and don’t take things personally
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Be very explicit about what you need and want – telling him what that behavior looks like for you is very helpful to Asperger husbands
  • Talk about how you would like to connect with each other – go for a walk; watch a show on television; listen to music, etc
  • Talk about weekend expectations – if he’s up for it great; if not, go on and do them without him
  • Have a supportive group of friends you can see monthly
  • Treat yourself to a “self-care” day
  • Don’t neglect your passion – if you don’t have one….find one!

As a Marriage and Family Therapist and wife of an Asperger husband who has managed the feelings of loneliness, I share my insight, positive attitude and strategies for successful relationships. As a Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor, I specialize in working with couples where one partner has Asperger’s, AS and the other is Neurotypical, NT. Together they learn to accept each other’s different approaches to life and find ways to overcome their problems and misunderstandings.

For more information on overcoming loneliness with your Asperger husband please call me at (858) 735-1139 or go to my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Think Your Husband Has Asperger’s?

Think Your Husband Has Asperger’s? I’ve been married to my husband for over twenty years. From the beginning I thought he might be on the Spectrum as he displayed and exercised some odd behavior that negatively affected our interaction. We are all on the Autism Spectrum to some degree but those who suffer from the syndrome show signs of severe debilitation which affect social interaction, behavior and communication. What exactly is Asperger’s? Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder, characterized as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In 2013, it became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5). There’s nothing wrong with being on the Spectrum. I don’t like using the word “syndrome” because it pathologizes and fails to acknowledge the many great traits a person with Asperger’s possess.

Think Your Husband Has Asperger’s?

People with Asperger’s, affectionately known as Aspies, are high functioning, have no problem with basic speech, are quite capable and highly intelligent.

Common traits of Asperger’s include:

  • Not being thoughtful – despite any ill intent, the impact may appear rude or callous
  • Have memory problems – forgetful
  • Have a lack of theory of mind (Mindblindness) – incapable of putting themselves into someone else’s shoes – cannot conceptualize, understand or predict knowledge, thoughts, and beliefs, emotions feeling and desires, behavior, actions, and intentions of another person
  • Little self-awareness
  • Time management problems – lose track of time as they can become involved in restricted or special interests
  • Have a narrow range of interests – hyper-focused on one (often very specific) hobby
  • Show little to no empathy

  • Have sensory problems – sensitive to light, loud sound, skin to some clothing, smell and taste sensitivities
  • Repetitive behaviors – they like routine, have little tolerance for change, inflexible
  • Struggle for small talk
  • Limited relational skills
  • Conversations can be one-sided
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Have awkward moments and mannerisms
  • Little eye contact
  • Childlike (naive) behavior when initiating sex

As a Marriage Counselor married to a husband with Asperger’s, I work with Neurodiverse Couples (a couple where one partner has Asperger’s; AS and the other does not, referred to as the Neurotypical; NT) to help them recognize, understand and treat focusing on problem-solving, developing coping strategies, acquiring relational and communication skills to put a system in place that works for both.

My husband is a kind, generous and intelligent man. I didn’t want to leave the relationship so I educated myself on Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s) and acquired coping skills to manage the emotions that come from living with a partner who has limited relational skills. I’m a very social, loud, and outgoing person. My extrovert personality is a strength that became damaged as I was suffering from Cassandra Syndrome. Feelings that led to losing my sense of self. As traditional marriage counseling is ineffective, I empowered myself by becoming certified through the Asperger’s/Autism Network (AANE) as a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor. I see couples through a neurodiverse lens helping them to recognize, understand and put systems in place for effective communication, as well as feeling more emotionally connected.

For more information on Asperger’s and whether or not your husband may have it, please call me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

How Do You Know Your Husband Has Asperger’s?

How Do You Know Your Husband Has Asperger’s? Being married to a man with Asperger’s has its challenges. But, like anything else, there are strengths and weaknesses to every relationship. I’ve been married for over 20 years. The first 13 years were frustrating to say the least and I felt alone most of the time. My husband is a kind and generous man so I wondered why he could look and act like a jerk. There were times when he seemed thoughtless and showed no consideration or regard to my existence. Being a strong and confident person I developed Cassandra Syndrome aka Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome where I lost my sense of self. Not being seen or heard left me a shell of a person. My best seller on Amazon. “Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship”

How Do You Know Your Husband Has Asperger’s?

I cried a lot, had major meltdowns where I ordered him out of the house and threatened divorce on a monthly basis. Of course, I never wanted a divorce or for him to leave. It was the fight/flight mode where being exhausted from fighting one fantasizes leaving. An acting out way of displaying emotions that most certainly undermines relationships. As the years went by the clinician in me, and my strong gut feeling said there is definitely something going on with his odd behavior.

We went to marriage counseling where we found no relief. As there were little resources to help Neurodiverse couples such as ourselves, I became Certified as a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor through the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) to help those who are truly suffering in their relationships. Your Asperger husband wants to meet your needs and make you happy, but needs the tools to do so.

Here’s a checklist to see if your husband may have Asperger’s:

  • Conversations are fact based and more transactional than relational – doesn’t feel personal
  • Awkwardness in social situations you used to think was shyness but now appear strange
  • Memory problems
  • Time management issues
  • When it comes to sex he initiates in a childlike manner where it appears and feels awkward
  • Not able to show empathy
  • Incapable of validating your perspective
  • Seems thoughtless where the lack of consideration and regard for you can make you feel as though he doesn’t have your back
  • Family and friends say his behavior is odd and may not take a liking to him or they think he does not like them
  • Not able to console; lacks compassion
  • Has special interests like computers, astronomy, cars, etc.
  • Sensitivity to loud sounds, light, crowds, and certain types of clothing
  • Can appear selfish and/or Narcissistic

As it is a Spectrum the combination of characteristics will vary from one individual to the next. Typically, adults with Asperger’s feel a sense of relief once they receive a diagnosis. Because it is a Spectrum I don’t like placing a label as much as I want to help them acquire tools for communication and becoming more relational. My husband felt that sense of relief with his undiagnosed Asperger’s. It made a lot of sense and was the turning point in our marriage for moving forward.

I appreciate the ability to recognize, understand and treat Asperger’s as it pertains to relationships. I help couples put systems in place, acquire the necessary tools to be able to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and ask for what you need and want. I always loved my husband but now I can say I actually like him again.

For more information on developing a functional and harmonious relationship please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or at my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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