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