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alphabetsoupp

Confused on actions/future regarding boyfriend with Asperger's

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alphabetsoupp

I apologize this is a little long, I’m just very lost. I posted about the initial phase of this a few weeks ago (it has gotten even more confusing), however, the original post is very long/detailed, so here is a summary:
 

I am an NT, been dating guy with Aspeger’s for 8 months, things were going really great. Two months ago, he tells me he loves me and I have nothing to worry about in our relationship, I return the sentiment (we live together, but I have my own room).  Three weeks later, I bring up how I’ve been feeling a little sad/lonely lately (he seemed a little distant). He didn’t seem to fully understand, but he tried to, it was a little heavy. I asked how invested he was in this relationship, he said 7.5/10 (10 being getting engaged, according to him). The next day everything was fine between us and I left to spend the night at a friend’s house for her birthday. That night, he apparently thought I tried to break up with him over text (I explained the misunderstanding), however, when I get home the next morning, he nonchalantly broke up with me, but said we could still be friends and I could still live there. When I told him doing that would be hard for me, he got really angry.  Later that night, he said he’d be willing to talk more, however, when I brought it up, he asked for a “few days to get back to normal.” I gave him space (not touching him/contacting him too much), but we still hang out. We still spend a lot of time together, but it’s not couplely like before (he used to hug /kiss/cuddle me all the time). He did make it a point to come into my room and hug me goodnight every night. He also invited me on a 2 week-long trip he’s taking with a friend in December and to a family member’s wedding in October. After a few days, I ask what is going on, he says he still needs a few more days. No problem, I respect people’s need for space, however, this goes on for 3 weeks.
 

Part one (3 weeks later): I tell him we need to figure out our situation, I’ve been really patient. He explains not liking the boyfriend/girlfriend title, but also doesn’t want to date anyone else. When I say it sounds like he just wants to be “sex buddies,” he says that sounds harsh, he just wants us both to get what we want. I explain the title of a relationship doesn’t matter, a good relationship comes from both parties being on the same page (how invested they are, where their future is going, ect). He then gets upset, saying he wasn’t ready for this conversation (even though I gave him 3 weeks) and goes to bed.
 

Part two: 2 more weeks pass (5 weeks since his original, “I need a few days”), so I tell him we need to resolve this, I don’t want to be stuck in limbo anymore, I’m very confused/hurt. We have been getting along really well, spending all our time together, went away on a weekend trip, still having sex, yet still no cuddling, no hugging/kissing, no spending the night with each other, only hugging before bed. That night, he says, nonchalantly, “I don’t want to talk about it, but I’ll get back together with you,” and when I mention we really should talk about it, he responds, “I don’t like having heart to hearts, we are back together, there is no point in talking about it.” The next day he asks why I’m upset, I explain I’m frustrated he won’t ever talk to me and he instantly agrees to talk that night.
 

The talk: I explained why the past 2 months were confusing for me, said stuff about my lack of experience with Asperger’s (I told him I posted on a forum weeks prior to gain some insight), ect, - he didn’t say anything. I asked why he broke up with me, he said, “you were being annoying with problems that weren’t real and I just didn’t want to deal with it.” I asked why he didn’t tell me this then, he responded, “it wouldn’t have made the situation better.” I mention him telling me I had nothing to worry about, then breaking up with me 3 weeks later, right after saying he was very invested in our relationship, but again, he says nothing.  I ask why “a couple days” turned into weeks, he said, “because I don’t like talking, thinking about stuff takes a lot of energy and I had things going on I wanted to focus on much more than that.” This makes sense, the second time I asked why he needed more time he said he didn’t really spend any time thinking about it.  I ask what thought processes lead him to wanting to get back together, he said, “because I felt guilty we were still banging without actually being ‘an item.’” This response makes me feel he doesn’t actually care about me anymore.  I asked, “do you actually want to be with me because of me and not because you feel guilty or because you want to keep having sex,” and he said, “yes (in a hostile way).”

I asked a couple more questions/said a few more things, all responses were basically barked at me and when I inquired about his anger with every response, he repeated his hate for talking and asked, “Are you done now?” Then he just acted like everything was normal, per usual. I cried a little, some friends came over and left, he immediately asked why I was still pissy, I said I wasn’t pissy, he asked why I was upset, I said I felt sad about this entire thing, he said, “well, that doesn’t seem like anything I can help with” and went to bed.
 

This was a few days ago, and it’s still the same status quo. I have no idea what to make of this (half his actions contradict the other half) and what I should do.  Part of me thinks he’s pushing me away or is scared, but part of me thinks he just doesn’t care about me anymore given the recent responses to my questions.  It’s not like he has always had trouble sharing his feelings, there have been many occurrences in the past where he’s told me, unprovoked, how he felt (he was the first to say he had feelings for me, first to say I love you, used to compliment me, used to mention missing me). Since he won’t tell me any more of what he thinks, and I sure as hell can’t ask about it right now, I’m not sure if I should try initiating affection, if I should give him more space so he can process and get back to “normal” (his words) or if I should just give up. He has no reason to lie regarding his responses to my questions, however, if he didn’t care about it, I don’t see why he would go through the “trouble” of getting back together with me.  I do love him, and prior to this our relationship was really great and progressing nicely. I'm just lost on what is going on and what to do from here. 
 

Thank you for reading this, it means a lot. 

 

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Echo

Without knowing him, it's hard to tell what's actually going on. "Once you've met one Aspie, you've met one Aspie" etc...

 

He might still be having great difficulty processing the initial misunderstanding with the text message. If he, an Aspie, has made up his mind that it means something specific, it can be very hard for someone else to change his mind and might still be highly troubled by this, not understanding exactly how he feels about it or what he is feeling. Despite the love we have for logic, our behaviours/ideas are not always logical in NT's minds, especially when dealing with other people and emotions (what they want to hear, what their reaction will be, how to communicate what I'm trying to say correctly to the other person without being misunderstood, emotions are too strong and too complex to explain in words...).

I believe it was Tony Attwood that presented the topic of faulty logic and Aspergers (especially in times of high anxiety presented by possible routine changes), although I could be wrong; I have short and long term memory problems :) He needs to find the logic himself, doesn't mean that you can't help though. You need a system that works for the both of you. 

 

The Asperger Couple's Workbook: Practical Advice and Activities for Couples and Counsellors is a good book :) 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Asperger-Couples-Workbook-Counsellors/dp/1843102536

 

 

Instead of asking a load of questions at the same time, which could possibly overwhelm/overstimulate/confuse him, pushing him further into himself and his obsessions where he feels safest, have you tried using the number scale of 1-10 (what certain points mean can be decided by you) or another system to ask him how he felt about the text message? It seems like the most logical place to start, at the beginning. Once you have clarified that you are both on the same page with all of it, move on to the next thing that happened; on another day or the next week. One step at a time. 

 

Remember 

  • One question at a time. Wait patiently for an answer, he can even write it down if it's easier, use a number scale or colour chart. 
  • Not too many questions in one night. Observe his "stimming" behaviour, if he's too anxious etc. stop, but make sure you set another time to discuss it when he's calm. 
  • Always make sure that both of you are calm beforehand.
  • Have a specific dedicated time for when you are going to do this. For example, at 7pm tomorrow night we are going to do this for 15mins, have a written reminder in a highly visible place for him. Discuss together when will be the most appropriate based around your routines. 
  • Make sure that you complete a number scale/chart/list on how "it" made you feel too.
  • Repeat if necessary for all the happenings leading to this point in the relationship - if you both feel that this system works for you.    
  • Keep a folder that contains all you both write down. Perhaps just do a rating scale one night and wait a few nights before discussing them. idk 

I've not done this, but I have read about a similar method used in the book previously mentioned. I'm sure that there are other steps too, I've forgotten what they are though - a check list of what you want to resolve over the course of a certain number of weeks, a column for you to tick and one for him...make sure that you are both ready to move on? I really can't remember. 

 

I'm not saying that any of this will work, but it's worth a shot. More logical and less emotional. A strictly emotional approach may be too much for him. 

 

If you're in the UK, perhaps Action for Aspergers might help https://www.actionforaspergers.org/

They used to do couple's counselling specifically geared towards NT/Aspie relationships

 

He's obviously confused about how he feels and what exactly is going on; from what point in the course of your problems, needs to be clarified in some way. That's why there's no continuity in regards to what he's saying? Idk, this is all assumption at this point.

 

I really want to help you, but I'm not exactly sure how. Perhaps others on here have a better solution, but like I said above, there is no "one size fits all".

 

:)

 

Good luck 

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Nesf

I would also suggest that you write to each other, rather than talk face to face, because people with AS often find it hard to deal with emotional issues directly, and can become overwhelmed. You could write a couple of questions, and let him know that you would like an answer in the next day or so, to give him time to process and think about his answer. Aspies are generally better at communicating through writing than through talking.

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alphabetsoupp

Thank you both for responding. Regarding writing him, I almost did this, but then for some reason, got it in my mind that talking face to face was a better method. I realize now, the message is what is important, now how it comes across. However, since I have already brought this stuff up to him, I feel if I write him about it now, he's just going to view it as me "bringing this up again" and find it unnecessary/annoying. I did forget a few things I wanted to say originally, and of course I didn't say what I wanted in the most eloquent way, so I would like him to know these things. I'm just stuck on whether he will view this as me not leaving an issue alone or find it informative. I will definitely try the "less questions all at one time" approach next time though.

Thanks again.

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Echo

It's hard to find a way that works, but it is crucial for this not to come across as a criticism for him either :)

 

Make sure that you include your positive experiences with him in it too - letter, list, whatever you decide to do.

Perhaps, avoid talking about what's been going on for now, or at least bringing it up. Say/write that you have been thinking about how you miss "the good old days of your relationship" and ask whether he can help you find your way back to how you were together back then? Again, Idk 

 

As you gathered, writing is easier than face to face, but there's no reason why you can't work together to find a solution/structure etc...

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alphabetsoupp

Thanks, that's a good idea, to put in the good stuff. He's actually going away this weekend (coming back Sunday), so I am thinking about writing him the things I forgot to share, and maybe a better explanation of the things I was trying to say, along with the good stuff. I guess I run the risk of him thinking reading it will be a waste of time. Right now it seems he does certain things because he feels he should, where before he did them because he wanted to. But again, who knows. 

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