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Eli

Aspie Couples

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Eli

I'm curious if anyone else here is part of an Aspie couple. I've heard people speak of NT spouses more often, and this forum is the only place I really talk to other people with Asperger's, so as far as I know I've not met anyone else in my position so I'm wondering if there would be any parallels.

He is the first person I've ever been with who was not NT, and it has been an entirely different experience from day one; there are still ups and downs of course. I would say the difference there is that the ups have been more extreme, as have the downs. For the first few years, it was sort of an emotional roller coaster.

We, of course, became very attached to one another very quickly. I think it has been a huge blessing that while my husband was, at one time, more severe in his lack of social skills, he is now more highly functioning than me. He has spent years and years learning how to be an effective communicator, and he reads me so well that it seemed like witchcraft to me in the beginning. When he met me I was in a low place, and not even attempting to recover from trauma. He understood the things I was feeling and helped me practice talking and explaining things. Sometimes it pissed me off tremendously. There were times in the beginning of our relationship where he would literally make me sit down and talk to him about things, things I didn't want to talk about and had no idea how to talk about. It made me so mad that a few times I thought about breaking up with him, but then when I calmed down I had to reason with myself that he was trying to help me, and might actually be somewhat equipped to do so.

Anyone I've dated has gotten on my nerves. Hell, for that matter, everyone will probably annoy me, eventually. Unfortunately, it's kind of just a matter of time. But with my husband, the things he did or said that irritated me were always, in retrospect, things I'd later realize were things I did. It has been rather eye-opening, and I can ever really get so mad at him, because it would be so hypocritical. It made me have to think about my choices. When I consider the times I've done something to someone that he does to me that's irritating ( such as being dismissive), it never occurred to me that they were getting irritated or hurt, and even if I did manage to notice, my reaction was sort of like, "Eh, they'll get over it". If they didn't get over it immediately, I would consider it a great inconvenience. I never realized how selfish I was until I lived with someone like me. Has this made me less selfish? Honestly, I don't think so, but it has made me more patient and compassionate, in a way.

When he says or does something that's annoying, I think back to the times I've done the same thing, and wanted them to just not get offended, because being offensive had nothing to do with my words or actions. So, that's what I would do, I'd just get over it. I'd think, what's are you going to do, get a divorce because he wont take your suggestion or because he's been rambling on the phone for an hour every day lately while he drives home and you want that extra hour of "me" time? Of course not, because he's your favorite person in the world. And what would an argument do? It would only create a real problem, one that wasn't there, before. So I just smile, shake my head and move on with life.

So, in a lot of ways, being with another Aspie has been like looking into a mirror, and it shows both the good and the bad, with some quirky differences that keeps things very interesting. I do sometimes feel guilty, or to be totally honest and accurate, I feel that I ought to feel guilty about the fact that since we've been together I barely talk to anyone else. The truth is, there were never very many people in my life to begin with because that's how I like it; the more people in my life there are, the more complications and obstacles that aren't worth the trouble. The few people in my life were either family members, or one of the two close friends I have, both of whom are NT and know what I am, and accept me. I talk to my family less, but that has been because they are excruciatingly irritating to me, and for me to keep them in my life at all, I need them to be in the peripheral, because that's all I can take of them. Basically, my human contact needs are met 100% by my husband, which I am well aware that in the NT world, is immediately classified as negative, wrong or unhealthy in some way. I know that when I was younger before I was diagnosed, that's what I would've thought, too. But I feel pretty confident in saying that healthy lifestyles can vary to an extent depending on the individual, as I have tried to exist happily with an common sort of NT life, and found it to be a living hell.

As a married adult, I've only recently begun to live the life that pleases me, and sometimes that pisses people off, which is always a sign to me that they may be even more selfish than me, and don't know what love is. My husband is the only person I've ever known to see me whole and to understand me, and that has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. Even if he is a sh*t sometimes, like me. :P

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Soloist
1 hour ago, Eli said:

I'm curious if anyone else here is part of an Aspie couple. I've heard people speak of NT spouses more often, and this forum is the only place I really talk to other people with Asperger's, so as far as I know I've not met anyone else in my position so I'm wondering if there would be any parallels.

I'm glad your marriage to another Aspie has worked so well for you. :) I was married to an NT woman but I'm not currently in a relationship. I can relate to your not needing or wanting many social contacts. I didn't have friends when I was married and then after we got divorced I didn't have any social contacts at all really. Now I've got used to being on my own it's hard to imagine sharing with anyone at all. Like you, I can get irritated by others and need my own space.  Also, with hindsight I can see how I might have been inadequate to my partner's needs. Maybe another Aspie would be an option!

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HalfFull

Aspie-Aspie relationships can be tricky at times because one may be poor at empathy when the other is very anxious and sensitive and needs lots of support and reassurance which of course is in short supply from their partner, or other Aspie traits might clash. Where this is not such an issue, things can be wonderful between two Aspie partners. There are plenty of Aspie-Aspie partners out there. I guess its inevitable that most partners of Aspies will be NT simply because there are more NT's than Aspies. For some Aspies that'll work better, and for some it won't. 26 Aspies have compiled a book out next month on their relationship experiences, and some of their partners are Aspie too. I'll post the link when the book comes out.

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Eli

Yes, I can definitely see how that would be true. I mean, any relationship can be really tricky, whether it's NT-Aspie, NT-NT, or Aspie-Aspie. And like any relationship things work a lot better if both parties are willing to compromise, be supportive and communicate. But I will say, I probably lucked out. It could have been a disaster. :P

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AspieFox

I was in a relationship with an NT for 8 years until she broke up with me (I think she has undiagnosied PTSD and hasn't sought help for it - apart from her becoming very religious, which might help her personally, but has only driven her further from me). 

Anyway, she was a NT scientist and so quiet rational day to day (before the event that may have triggered PTSD, as her personality changed). I observed that an NT that is very rational and logical, is less likely to rely on non-verbal communication, dropping hints, or socially playing other people - things that Aspies aren't good at, so it helps to have a rational more transparent mind working with yours.

However, there were times when my bluntness and direct approach was taken by her to be arrogant and rude. All my family are NT too, and they are a nightmare in terms of how their brains are so socially complex, which confuses me and causes so many misunderstandings and arguments.

I'd feel much more comfortable with a fellow Aspie, I believe - less explaining, less feeling not part of the NT world/part of their's, less misunderstandings verbally, etc etc. Of course, there are sensory issues and other aspects, like @HalfFull mentions to balance up.

 

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