Valentine’s Day With My Asperger Husband

Valentine’s Day With My Asperger Husband. I use the word “Asperger” in the most endearing way despite the DSM-5 making the change to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). What distinguishes Asperger’s Disorder from classic autism are its less severe symptoms and the absence of language delays. Many professionals believed Asperger’s was a more mild form of autism, leading to the origin of the phrase “high-functioning.”

Valentine’s Day With My Asperger Husband

Valentine’s Day is a holiday when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has expanded to express affection between relatives and friends. Being married to my husband for over 20 years I’ve had the pleasure and heartache of the some nice and not so nice Valentine’s Day. Prior to recognizing my husband’s Asperger’s the not so nice Valentine’s Days were filled with disappointment and hurt. Similar to Holidays and gift giving occasions, Valentine’s Day could hurt the most because of the symbolism of it all. Notwithstanding the commercial hype of this day, Valentine’s Day represents expression of love.

In working with neurodiverse couples, nuerology matters. I emphasize the need to explicitly communicate what is needed and wanted. Neurodiverse couples not only speak different languages and process information differently, having polarized perspectives. Both perspectives are correct but how do you manage conflict in relationships? Being able to make your intentions and expectations clear enables effective communication.

That being said, the not so great Valentine’s Days’ did not meet my expectations. They didn’t meet my expectations because I didn’t state them. I relied on my husband to make plans and in him doing so, thinking much different from me, he missed the target. I wasn’t looking for epic greatness, however, recognizing the day and being thoughtful about it by saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day” without me having to remind him would have been a good thing.

Whether holidays, special occasions, planning your weekend, planning your week, it’s helpful to talk about what the expectations are so the two of you can have a discussion about it. As a certified neurodiverse counselor and coach, I help couples understand meanings and motives behind their behavior. The behavior of someone on the spectrum can appear and feel selfish, inconsiderate and rude but often times there is no malicious intent.

Neurodiverse couples counseling/coaching is very different from traditional marriage counseling. I work with couples through neurological lens and help translate for one another so both can feel seen and heard. Being able to show empathy and validation is key to any relationship and acquiring tools to do that is key to successful partnerships.

Contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information about acquiring those tools.

 

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