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

 

 

 

Date Night With My Aspie Husband

Date Night With My Aspie Husband. Date night is important for couples as it maintains emotional connection. Date night is challenging for some as the details of life, including parenthood, keep couples in a transactional rather than romantic relationship. Without regular bonding couples can become dreaded roommates. If you are in a neurodiverse relationship like myself, (neurotypical wife and Asperger Husband) date nights can be even more challenging as emotional connection is not a strength for someone on the Spectrum. Socializing in general is sometimes difficult for my husband and when the venue is especially loud his sensory issues can make him appear aloof and distant.

Date Night With My Aspie Husband

Before we knew about my husband’s Asperger’s date nights were not that enjoyable. We’d go to dinner, eat, have little conversation, and sometimes he’d be in a what looked to be a bad mood because of the noise or the waiter said something to which my husband would reply in a rude way. I am a social and personable person. I can banter with wait staff and bring humor to the interaction. My husband would appear matter of fact and couldn’t exchange pleasantries. I would become upset and think he wasn’t having a nice time during our time of bonding. I would keep the conversation going for many years during these dates and finally became very tired of keeping the proverbial “ball” in the air. Half the time we’d go on dates he wouldn’t get dressed up. He wear the same clothing he’d wear around the house indicating to me he lacked effort in preparing for our time together.

One time on our way to La Jolla Playhouse my mother commented as we dropped our daughter off for child care, at the way my husband was dressed compared to the way I was dressed. I was a little embarrassed and made excuses that he needed to feel comfortable. Come to find out people on the Spectrum have sensory issues which include touch and sound. T-shirts and jeans were the norm whether he went to the office, hung around the house, or going on a date. After awhile this became really old and I did not appreciate the lack of effort.

Years later when we came to understand and accept Asperger’s everything made sense. In developing our system to become more relational we talk about what we want and what we don’t want. We talk about what the expectations are for anything we are participating in. Dates included. He tends to plan the dates and sometimes I change those plans. He is more interested in me being happy and content so most of the time I suggest where we go and what we do. He dresses up so he looks attractive to me and I tell him how much I appreciate him and how hot he looks in certain attire. Positive feedback helps him want to be more relational. We still have challenges as we are not perfect. Being explicit with what we want and what it looks like really helps make for an enjoyable night out.

We also utilize tips for managing our relationship and use tools to be more conversational. After years of implementing these tools we have so much fun being together. He has learned how to keep the conversation going. As a marriage and family therapist specializing in neurodiverse couples counseling, I emphasis the fact that you will always have to ask questions and get clarity when needed and reframe from wanting him to read your mind. It never diminished a request just because you ask for it. Having Asperger’s is like speaking a different language. Learn to speak each other’s language and any situation, including date nights are welcomed.

For more information on Asperger Husbands, neurodiversity, making your date nights more enjoyable please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or go to my website CoupleCounselorSanDiego.com

Why I Work With Neurodiverse Couples

Why I Work With Neurodiverse Couples. High functioning Asperger’s is receiving a lot of attention. Asperger’s is a developmental disorder affecting the ability to effectively socialize and communicate. With access to online dating, individuals on the autism spectrum are able to connect with people developing relationships that could lead to developing families. Asperger’s/Autism is inherited so the need to provide services for Neurodiverse Couples is imperative. Counseling with a neurodiverse couples counselor brings peace of mind, satisfaction, and happiness within relationship.

Why I Work With Neurodiverse Couples

Not all Marriage Counselors have the expertise to work with Neurodiverse Couples so often times neurodiverse couples come to see me as their last resort. When a neurotypical woman (NT) is married to a man who has behaviors associated with Asperger’s, she will most likely experience gradual loss of her sense of self and feel invisible. A lonely and hurt former self emerges that she can barely recognize. She experiences Cassandra Syndrome as she starts to feel crazy and misunderstood.

As a Marriage Counselor working with women married to Asperger men this story by Sarah Swenson, LMHC says a lot about what life becomes:  https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/married-with-undiagnosed-autism-why-women-who-leave-lose-twice-0420164

This article hits home for me because I am a neurotypical woman married to an Asperger husband. As a Marriage Counselor, certified to work with AS/NT couples, my role is to be an AS/NT translator, with the goal of helping both partners understand the world as seen through a Neurodiverse Lens.  It’s not easy to understand and overcome the puzzling challenges of neurodiversity in romantic relationships. Traditional marriage counseling is ineffective as there are specific tools to help neurodiverse couples understand one another.

Neurodiverse couples counseling can be addressed in couple’s counseling. With a skilled counselor, experienced in AS, both spouses in the AS marriage will be able to gain awareness of their own individual patterns of behavior, and learn how they can make both attitudinal and behavioral adjustments to get the more out of their relationship. A counselor can also facilitate conversations, and help both partners learn better communication skills. The counselor can also help the couple brainstorm, strategize, connect emotionally, and problem-solve around sensory integration issues, meltdowns, and co-morbid conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Being married to someone on the spectrum is a life-long challenge.  For more information about Neurodiversity and being able to move forward in your relationship, please contact me at (858) 735-1139.  I know I can help.

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