Need Asperger Relationship Tips? I’ve been married to a man with Asperger’s for 23 years. The first 13 years were consumed with frustration, heartache, and thoughts of whether I should stay or leave the marriage. The symptoms I experienced are what is known as Cassandra Syndrome or Ongoing Traumatic Relationship syndrome. This is my second marriage and I had some serious doubts about its ability to survive let alone thrive. As a Marriage and Family Therapist and relationship counselor, I believe we all are on the Spectrum to some degree. Some more so than others which creates a major communication problem for neurodiverse couples.
Need Asperger Relationship Tips?
There are strengths and weaknesses in all marriages. But living with an Asperger husband is challenging. There are good days. There are bad days. It all depends on whether the communication is being processed and received. As a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor certified by Autism/Asperger Network AANE, I help couples recognize, understand and treat the overt and covert ways of communicating. Asking for what we need and want and sharing thoughts and feelings are easier said than done, but in a neurodiverse relationship both partners speak a different language and therefore, need to learn each other’s language.
To create the desire to want to grow old with your Asperger husband I recommend some of the following tips:
- Pursue a diagnosis; even if the diagnosis is not formal. (My husband appreciated the informal diagnosis as he was able to put a name to the problem that he was experiencing all his life)
- Understand how AS impacts the individual. (Education and counseling can do that)
- Manage depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Sometimes medication can manage that)
- Self-exploration and self-awareness
- Create a Relationship Schedule. (When you know what to expect anxiety decreases)
- Meet each other’s sexual needs. (Talk about what you like in and out of the bedroom)
- Cope with sensory overload and meltdowns. (My husband needs a lot of time alone – quiet time- so he can recharge and re-engage with me)
- Expand Theory of Mind – limited ability to “read” another person’s thoughts, feelings, or intentions. (Talk about expectations and what they look like so there are minimal surprises which increase anxiety)
- Improve communication. (Learn to speak each other’s language by acquiring tools the tools I know are effective)
- Manage expectations and suspending judgment.
- Co-parenting strategies. (Put a system in place which includes who does what with the children and on what day)
Need Asperger Relationship Tips?
Because every couple is different and have their unique set of circumstances I provide other resources for stability and harmony. An indicator a neurodiverse relationship can survive is the Asperger husband’s willingness to learn from couples counseling and providing effort while the neurotypical wife manages her emotions about the process in appropriate ways. Meaning she doesn’t act out her impatience, frustration, resentment, and anger in ways that negatively reinforce her husband’s effort.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. Call me and see how communication can become your new realty.