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Honestlyme
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16 Apr 2021, 1:29 pm

I suspected my boyfriend has aspergers a few months into our relationship. He never told me (directly), but he has all the stereotypical hallmarks. We never discussed it and I have ADD, so I genuinely just forgot about it.

Now two years later, we're going through a pretty huge crisis involving a breach of trust. On both sides, if I'm honest. I could go into the details, but I don't want to if I don't have to.

We've gotten as far as to decide not to break up. The trust between us is smashed to bits. We've agreed to rebuild. I'm hyperfocussing and I want to get to the bottom of what happened yesterday rather than tomorrow, but it's like banging against a wall. He needs tiiiiime, he doesn't know what to dooooo, he doesn't even know what he wants, by my assessment. To think about it, I've seldom heard him make a future plan that didn't involve his special interest.

He won't discuss what happened for even a second, saying it's about the deepest part of him that he absolutely refuses to talk about. I don't think we can advance unless we discuss the aspergers, but I don't want to be the one who says "hey, you think you might have aspergers?" I don't know how he'll react, but I suspect badly. I think this deepest part is in fact the aspergers itself.

I go around and around for solutions and I keep coming back to having to bring it up. But how?



kraftiekortie
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16 Apr 2021, 1:38 pm

Tell him that you've read an article about Asperger's, and that you find it interesting.

Do you know anybody else who has Asperger's, or autism?



Honestlyme
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16 Apr 2021, 1:54 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Tell him that you've read an article about Asperger's, and that you find it interesting.

Do you know anybody else who has Asperger's, or autism?


That's a good idea. I don't want to put you out, but could anyone recommend an article to use? Most articles make autism sound rather sh :?: t and I want to give off an accepting aura.



kraftiekortie
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16 Apr 2021, 3:20 pm

Any article by Tony Attwood would be good for Asperger's. He is one of the main advocates for Asperger's.



Honestlyme
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16 Apr 2021, 6:18 pm

Thanks. I've decided I'm scared to death of bringing this up. I'll sit on it for a day or so.



The_Face_of_Boo
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17 Apr 2021, 12:38 pm

That won’t cure the breach of trust.


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17 Apr 2021, 1:24 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
That won’t cure the breach of trust.
I agree. The two of them both assuming or even him getting diagnosed by a professional & told that he has Aspergers will NOT magically fix the issues. It seems fairly common for NTs in struggling relationships with suspected Aspies to think that things will just suddenly get better as soon as the Aspie would just understand that he has Aspergers. Both of them simply knowing what is going on will not change anything. The Aspie will still be an Aspie weather he knows that he has Aspergers or not. They will still both have a very difficult time dealing with the other until they both work on their various issues together. It can take quite a bit of time & effort for an Aspie to really grasp the full scope of themselves having Aspergers & it can be very difficult for the NT to really grasp that the Aspie is the way he is & to not take the Aspie personally. I know I'm sounding harsh & I'm not really trying to be, I'm just trying to be upfront about this stuff. That stuff said, Aspies & NT couples can have great relationships with each other but they both need to be willing to make the investment into making their relationship work. They both need to try to understand themselves & each other & try to work together as a team. Good communication is essential. As a side-note it is common for us Aspies to have problems understanding our feelings & problems expressing our feelings. It can take quite a lot of time & effort for some Aspies to be able to get what is going on with them & their relationship. Then it can take quite a lot more time & effort for the Aspie to figure out how to express & explain it to their partner & that can be much harder to do when the couple has broken each other's trust. Pressuring the Aspie to discuss & decide things rite away can cause the Aspie to get overwhelmed & lead to more misunderstandings & cause the Aspie to make a rash decision which could end their relationship or make things much worse. It can take a lot of patience to deal with an Aspie & it can take a lot of patience to deal with someone who has ADD. I have both, my 1st girlfriend had bad ADD & my current girlfriend has ADHD along with lots of other various things including autism or LOTS of overlapping issues at least. Things can be quite difficult sometimes but they can also be very rewarding for both of us. I wish you the best of luck with whatever you do & whatever happens.


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17 Apr 2021, 1:31 pm

Yes it's a bit like the NT wants to say, "look. The problem IS you."



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17 Apr 2021, 1:44 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
That won’t cure the breach of trust.

That's a good point. Valid explanations aren't necessarily valid justifications.

@OP: Why do you believe that bringing this up will help amend things? I'm not downright saying it won't, but without further context, it does seem unlikely.


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Honestlyme
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17 Apr 2021, 1:47 pm

It's not the revelation that I think will magically fix things. The problem is the fact that I'm observing him beating himself up about it and trying really hard to hide it, which is hindering our communication about the actual matter. He thinks he did wrong because of who he fundamentally is and he can't explain that to me, because he hates it.

In his mind, what happened is wrapped around the fact that he has aspergers and it can't be untangled without untangling that fact. It's honestly not the main issue. It's everything else we can't discuss because we'd have acknowledge that before we get to the real problem. But I'm gonna just beat around the bush really well and have that go over his head for as long as I can stand.



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17 Apr 2021, 1:55 pm

Honestlyme wrote:
But I'm gonna just beat around the bush really well and have that go over his head for as long as I can stand.

That sounds less than auspicious, to be honest...

I wish you good luck anyway.


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Honestlyme
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17 Apr 2021, 1:59 pm

It might actually be something else. It's just the way he alludes to some hidden part of himself in relation to why he can't talk. He's definitely on the spectrum, but he might have something really wrong with him that warrants him hiding it. We'd have to talk about it to find that out too...



Honestlyme
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17 Apr 2021, 2:03 pm

threetoed snail wrote:
Valid explanations aren't necessarily valid justifications.


! !! !! I completely agree. There have been neither explanations nor justifications though :hmph:



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17 Apr 2021, 4:18 pm

Honestlyme wrote:
It's not the revelation that I think will magically fix things. The problem is the fact that I'm observing him beating himself up about it and trying really hard to hide it, which is hindering our communication about the actual matter. He thinks he did wrong because of who he fundamentally is and he can't explain that to me, because he hates it.

In his mind, what happened is wrapped around the fact that he has aspergers and it can't be untangled without untangling that fact. It's honestly not the main issue. It's everything else we can't discuss because we'd have acknowledge that before we get to the real problem. But I'm gonna just beat around the bush really well and have that go over his head for as long as I can stand.
Him knowing about Aspergers may not help him feel any better about who he is. There's been more than a few active posters here on WP(during my many years here) who hate themselves for having Aspergers. Sometimes knowing about Aspergers can actually make the Aspie feel worse because they suddenly realize that they will never be able to stop being who they fundamentally are. Him knowing about it can potentially help him feel better about things but it will NOT suddenly give him a high sense of self-esteem. The way others in his life are acting or reacting & treating or mistreating him can be major factors to him accepting himself or not. I'm NOT accusing you of making him feel worse. It may be his family, people at school, work colleges, or issues with people in his past. It may help a lot if he tried to learn & find ways to function better within his own limitations. Doing things in moderation instead of pushing himself very hard, taking on less or different responsibilities, taking time for himself to wind down & destress, making environmental changes like making his home more sensory friendly, & making other various coping mechanisms might help him feel more relaxed & functional which could help him feel better about himself. Also just being there & making him feel loved, supported, & needed for the way he currently is with less pressure to conform can help a lot as well. As a side-note, us Aspies tend to be horrible about picking up on hints. Beating around the bush tends to majorly confuse me & stress me out. I don't know the real point others are trying to make & the misunderstanding causes conflict & stress for us & others in our lives. I really need people to be upfront, straightforward, & direct with me.


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Honestlyme
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27 Apr 2021, 10:32 am

Hi, I'm back. Apparently "for as long as I can stand" wasn't a very long time and I broke up with him, right before telling him I think he has Aspergers. He immediately became very forthcoming, but it turns out he had no idea he might be autistic. People have suggested it to him over the years, but he hasn't taken it seriously. He did now and took the autism self assessment, but got a very low score. Lower than I get when I take the test. There's some ADD/autism overlap. We will go over the questions together, cause there's been some indication he didn't quite understand them. I wonder if I might just be seeing autism everywhere where there's none, due to the situation. He's going to go to therapy due to there being trouble no matter what you call it. I want to go too, but can't afford it. I will discuss joining as a couple.



threetoed snail
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27 Apr 2021, 1:19 pm

Honestlyme wrote:
I wonder if I might just be seeing autism everywhere where there's none, due to the situation.

The story so far is too fuzzy on the details either way, but yeah, "seeing autism where there's none" doesn't sound unlikely.


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