Getting The Relationship You Want

Getting The Relationship You Want. Knowing What You Want Gets You The Relationship Of Your Dreams. Becoming The Right Person Gets You The Right Person. I’ve been working with this young women who is an attorney, on and off for a little over five years. She had been married for three months. Her husband left her a week after their wedding. Needless to say, she was blindsided. Confused and disheartened she started the process of understanding what she needed to do and how to do it. Being young and in love, she wanted to save her marriage. Her husband, a nice enough fellow, eventually came into counseling and the three of us talked about what they wanted from each other to reconcile. Neither one of them had ill intentions. A substantial amount of time went by and they chose to move forward developing a relationship they thought would work for them. After a trying couple of years they were not able to meet each other’s needs and separated. My client went through many changes, personal and professional. She learned about herself while dating where that process proved to be quite challenging as it is difficult to find the right person. She learned to be strong and more assertive. After months of unsuccessful dating she decided to concentrate on what made her happy and did things she was interested in.

Getting The Relationship You Want

As she developed a greater sense of self she became more grounded and was able to set clear boundaries and limits to manage any codependency behavior. She met and fell in love with a man and is creating a life with him. She shares her insight about her new relationship:

“Being in a conscious and non-co-dependent relationship with an actual mature adult man is fucking challenging. I’ve realized there was a really good reason why in the past, I was unable to find the type of love I desired, with the type of man I desired… it’s simply because I wasn’t fucking ready for it. Being committed to someone who is really, truly invested in ME and my growth as well as his own… in building a solid, functional and fun relationship with me… in dreaming and planning with me around houses, children, businesses, vacations… and in co-creating a magical life on this earth together… is not for the faint of heart. It has required me to expand my capacity to give and receive love… to take radical responsibility for my bullshit, stories, triggers, actions, and reactions… to up-level my communication skills which were nowhere near as good as I thought… and to take a good, hard look in the mirror at the dark, scary parts of me and the parts of me that need to shift in order to be my best self, and then take actions to address those parts. At times, it’s felt painful, gut-wrenching, devastating… and IT IS SO WORTH IT. I am loved, held, seen, heard, understood, cherished, provided for, and protected by a man who knows who he is, what he’s about, and what he stands for and against… a man who knows what and who he wants in his life and acts accordingly… who communicates his needs, wants, and feelings honestly, clearly, and frequently… who puts in consistent effort to understand and support my needs, wants, and feelings to the extent he is able… and oh yeah, who calls my dog “the love of his life”. 🥰😂 Need I say more?! Like, seriously… I am so beyond blessed.” – Chelsea Y.

Getting The Relationship You Want

Happy Me Happy We

As a marriage and family therapist, I help women understand their needs are just as important as their counterpart. Developing and maintaining a healthy sense manages those codependent behaviors. In my book,”Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship” lays out the process of individuation and differentiation. Which basically means becoming the individual you are to become and becoming more different from all your relationships.

My client did just that. She has become more confident, self-assured, and assertive. She understands we all have the right to ask for what we need and want. We may not always get what we ask for, but, being able to ask is empowering. Knowing what she wanted for herself made selecting the appropriate life partner more than just a possibility….it’s a reality.

Whether you’re looking to find the right partner or trying to improve a relationship that is not working for you you need to know what you want for yourself before anything else. Contact me at (858) 735-1139 or through my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information.

Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film

Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film. If you know anything about patriarchy and gender roles you may have the understanding that men are suppose to do one thing and women are suppose to do another as it pertains to their gender. Some of you behave according to how you were socialized. If that’s working for you, more power to you. If not, you may want to change your thinking about what those fairy tales are telling you. Happily ever after isn’t always the reality. Patriarchy is a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line where women are largely excluded from it. My naive young self thought there was a prince out there for every gal who felt like a princess. Let’s face it, some little girls did feel like princesses as they had adorning fathers.

Life Isn’t A Disney Animated Film

As modern marriages continue to undergo a revolution people want more from their relationships.Women want more emotional closeness than what many men have been raised to give. The lack of relational skills leave both sexes feeling frustrated and unheard. Tools from the twentieth century are no longer effective in the twenty-first-century.

While entering the twenty-first-century, Baby Boomers are wanting more of what the Millennials are requiring in their relationships. They no longer adhere to the code of patriarchy. Both sexes are equal, gender roles are what they determine it to be, and emotional intimacy is expected. Just as women expect to become professionals with higher degrees men can choose to be “stay at home” parents. As a Marriage Counselor who works specifically with couples, I find this refreshing and empowering.

As fun as it was to watch the older Disney movies where the hero rescues the damsel in distress, as a little girl that’s what I thought life was all about. The guy saves the gal from whatever is ailing the gal. It apparently sent the wrong message as many couples I see as a Marriage Counselor are not in healthy and happy relationships. Their happily ever after stopped after the expensive wedding and party they put together.

There’s a lot of work to a good relationship. Happily ever after is an ongoing process where both parties have to put in that hard work. Being able to communicate and initiate conversation, share thoughts and feeling, asking for what you need and want, and being able to have some good conflict resolution skills to just that.

 

Need Asperger Relationship Tips?

Need Asperger Relationship Tips? I’ve been married to a man with Asperger’s for over 20 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.

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

Asperger’s Has Its Strengths

Asperger’s Has Its Strengths. Saturday Night Live (SNL) had Elon Musk guest host during Mother’s Day weekend. Musk cofounded the electronic payment firm PayPal and founded the spacecraft company SpaceX. He is chief executive officer of the electric-car maker Tesla and is the one of the wealthiest people in the world who has changed the way we live. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 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. We’re all on the Spectrum to some degree. I dislike using the word “syndrome” because it pathologizes and fails to acknowledge the many great traits a person with Asperger’s possess.

Asperger’s Has Its Strengths

Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

As a Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor I look at strengths through an Asperger profile lens. Here are a some of those strengths:

  • Intelligence
  • Special Interest
  • Focus
  • Good memory
  • Detailed oriented
  • Unique humor
  • Honest
  • Fair and just
  • Desire to connect

Some common challenges looking through an Asperger profile lens:

  • Theory of mind
  • Hidden cirriculum
  • Social pragmatics
  • Self advocacy
  • Flexible thinking
  • Central coherence
  • Executive Functioning

As a marriage counselor, specializing in Neurodivere Couples Counseling, I say it’s all about perspective. Each and everyone of us has a perspective and each perspective is correct for that inidividual. Working to help couples recognize, understand and treat their differences is part of the process of acquiring tools, implementing them and utilizing the system we put in place for effective communication to ask for what we need and want and share thoughts and feelings. Moving forward is a beautiful experience when you stop fighting about your differences and appreciate them.

For more information on Asperger’s and how to better your neurodiverse relationship call me (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Subscribe to get relationship tips and insights by being notified when new blog articles are published