Infidelity Deception and Delusion in Relationship

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FemmeFatale
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10 Oct 2010, 9:45 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
[I haven't started a relationship since I discovered my autism a year or so ago, so I can't have been guilty of deliberately hiding the fact. Even so, looking back, it seems clear that my behaviour always became more Aspie once the relationship was past the "honeymoon stage."


But is it really Apsie behavior or just more relaxed behavior?

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During early courtship I'd just feel very strong and positive - probably because at last I was getting good evidence that somebody actually wanted me, and that would have energised me greatly. And in that state I found myself capable of amazing things. Then, once the initial frenzy had abated, I lost those powers. It would have looked for all the world as if I'd consciously done a scam, to make the lady think I was a better catch than I was, but at the time I really believed I'd permanently risen above my usual "introverted" nature.


What causes the loss of these "powers?" It would seem that we would settle in and "be ourselves" with no thought that the partner expects performance.

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I think it's true of most people, that they make a special effort when making new friends and partners, then they "relax" when they feel more sure of them.


Is it really a deliberate effort when meeting new people? I make a poor first impression (I have been told that by people who told me that they like me better as they got to know me.) Is there an awareness of relaxing with our friends? I'm not sure that a person who is false is really aware that they are deliberately deceiving people.

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The whole mainstream mating game seems to be shot through with deception from the start, as nobody wants to blow it by being too candid about their downside....much as an advertiser will talk up their product with no thought for the long term when people will find out they've been duped.


I'd almost take the approach that I'd disclose my faults early so that my partner can decide early whether he wants to continue with me. No wasting time for either of us.

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Once you know about your autism, you have the option to reveal that to any potential mate. Like I say, I've never been in that position so I don't know what I'd do.


I remember when my late husband became aware of my "difference" and I remember how disappointed he was that I would never be the wife he really wanted. That made me feel bad for him. (I never thought I had been deceptive about myself.) I wanted him to be happy.

I disclosed to my current partner after about a year of miscommunications - we were hurting each other's feelings. I didn't think he would understand what it is like to be autistic, but I wanted him to think about whether he could live with my personality (I also appear hyper and ADD which is really annoying to some.) I also wanted him to know that I never mean to hurt his feelings and I would have different ways of showing him I care about him. He knew then that I would always be asking questions in order to understand how to communicate better. Sample conversation:

Him: I didn't like what you said. (or) I didn;t like the way you said that.
Me: What did you hear in my voice or comment that you didn't like?
Him: (Explanation of his perception of my comment) Then "OK Stop the psychology. : )

Of course, I learn much from the feedback I get from him and others. We can learn to communicate better even though we will constantly make mistakes and tick someone off. And it is helpful if a partner asks for the type of affection he or she wants - a hug, a kiss, flowers for an anniversary, etc. Most of us are willing to show the affection that is wanted but we can't read minds. Judging from the relationships of my friends and family, non-aspies cannot read minds either.

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I like to think I'd be honest, and I don't feel my condition would usually be a deal-breaker - after all, the other person is likely to judge me mainly on the behaviour she's seen from me, and like I said there's not usually much of a problem at first. I'd like to think I'd follow through with a warning about how my behaviour could slip once we'd been involved for a while,


Probably a good reason that an Aspie should have a partner who is non-judgmental.

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One strong theory of mine is that a new couple will, for a time, pretty much seal themselves off from the rest of humanity, as if they had a membrane around themselves as a couple, and then they dissolve that membrane and reduce the intensity of their friendship.......I think the way that membrane is dissolved can make or break the whole relationship - if it's done gradually and mutually, things should remain good. If one partner just rips the membrane up unilaterally, or if they try to keep the membrane in place for too long, things will go wrong. Mostly my relationship failures can be explained in these terms.


Trying to follow this membrane theory. Can you elaborate more on this?

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But I've also noticed that I have the most difficulty with eye contact with the people who are closest to me - my wife and my son.


Some of us actually have the opposite problem. I am fascinated with eyes so I have to consciously avoid eye gaze because I am likely to stare. This scares people.

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If it were just my wife, I'd think it could be because of the breakdown of trust and the disappointment from finding out that she's not as caring as she seeemed when we first met, but I've never felt that way about my son.


But then perhaps that is not really due to failure on your part but more a matter of her unrealized expectations. Lowering our expectations for others' behavior helps us get along better with others. Is it wrong to take this attitude?



ToughDiamond
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11 Oct 2010, 6:59 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
[I haven't started a relationship since I discovered my autism a year or so ago, so I can't have been guilty of deliberately hiding the fact. Even so, looking back, it seems clear that my behaviour always became more Aspie once the relationship was past the "honeymoon stage."


But is it really Apsie behavior or just more relaxed behavior?


I don't know. Seems to be associated with the shock of realising the partner has a negative side. I guess the two reasons for not noticing it before are that I was loathe to see anything bad in a new partner, and that the new partners were loathe to do anything bad at first.

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During early courtship I'd just feel very strong and positive - probably because at last I was getting good evidence that somebody actually wanted me, and that would have energised me greatly. And in that state I found myself capable of amazing things. Then, once the initial frenzy had abated, I lost those powers. It would have looked for all the world as if I'd consciously done a scam, to make the lady think I was a better catch than I was, but at the time I really believed I'd permanently risen above my usual "introverted" nature.


What causes the loss of these "powers?" It would seem that we would settle in and "be ourselves" with no thought that the partner expects performance.

Again, I don't know. Those powers have always deserted me eventually, and it's always associated with unexpected, disappointing behaviour from the partner.....I've never had a serious relationship in which the partner has continued to behave as well towards me as they had initially, so I have no personal evidence that it would happen whatever the partner did.

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I think it's true of most people, that they make a special effort when making new friends and partners, then they "relax" when they feel more sure of them.


Is it really a deliberate effort when meeting new people? I make a poor first impression (I have been told that by people who told me that they like me better as they got to know me.) Is there an awareness of relaxing with our friends? I'm not sure that a person who is false is really aware that they are deliberately deceiving people.

I don't think it's usually deliberate deception. When people first meet, they seem to automatically make a greater effort with them than they would with people they know well - they'll take more care not to hurt their feelings, they'll come over as somehow brighter and more attentive....I guess it's because they don't feel so sure of the new person so they're anxious to impress them, assuming they're that interested enough in the first place.

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The whole mainstream mating game seems to be shot through with deception from the start, as nobody wants to blow it by being too candid about their downside....much as an advertiser will talk up their product with no thought for the long term when people will find out they've been duped.


I'd almost take the approach that I'd disclose my faults early so that my partner can decide early whether he wants to continue with me. No wasting time for either of us.

I'm sure that's the wisest approach, and it makes perfect sense to me. But if they expect the standard "man-chases-and-romances-woman" thing then that's going to get in the way terribly.

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Once you know about your autism, you have the option to reveal that to any potential mate. Like I say, I've never been in that position so I don't know what I'd do.


I remember when my late husband became aware of my "difference" and I remember how disappointed he was that I would never be the wife he really wanted. That made me feel bad for him. (I never thought I had been deceptive about myself.) I wanted him to be happy.

I take it you were undiagmosed when you first met? What were the main things he was disappointed about?

Quote:
Him: I didn't like what you said. (or) I didn;t like the way you said that.
Me: What did you hear in my voice or comment that you didn't like?
Him: (Explanation of his perception of my comment) Then "OK Stop the psychology. : )

Seems strange to me.......somebody makes a complaint and then doesn't like to focus too hard on a detailed analysis of the events leading up to the complaint. I suppose that's the NT mind expecting that you'd just know how to fix it without analysis?
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Of course, I learn much from the feedback I get from him and others. We can learn to communicate better even though we will constantly make mistakes and tick someone off. And it is helpful if a partner asks for the type of affection he or she wants - a hug, a kiss, flowers for an anniversary, etc. Most of us are willing to show the affection that is wanted but we can't read minds. Judging from the relationships of my friends and family, non-aspies cannot read minds either.

Sadly, it seems that for a lot of people, being able to give them what they want, without being explicitly told to, is a key part of their reassurance that the other person "really cares" about them. If they have to explain exactly what they want, they feel that they're making it too easy....they seem to want that mind-reading. Of course it must be great when somebody happens to work out what you want and give it to you without being asked.......but I never knew that happen to me, so I have a hard time understanding how anybody can find it such a deal-breaker when they don't get it.

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I like to think I'd be honest, and I don't feel my condition would usually be a deal-breaker - after all, the other person is likely to judge me mainly on the behaviour she's seen from me, and like I said there's not usually much of a problem at first. I'd like to think I'd follow through with a warning about how my behaviour could slip once we'd been involved for a while,


Probably a good reason that an Aspie should have a partner who is non-judgmental.

Yes non-judgemental is a must for me with close friends and partners.

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One strong theory of mine is that a new couple will, for a time, pretty much seal themselves off from the rest of humanity, as if they had a membrane around themselves as a couple, and then they dissolve that membrane and reduce the intensity of their friendship.......I think the way that membrane is dissolved can make or break the whole relationship - if it's done gradually and mutually, things should remain good. If one partner just rips the membrane up unilaterally, or if they try to keep the membrane in place for too long, things will go wrong. Mostly my relationship failures can be explained in these terms.


Trying to follow this membrane theory. Can you elaborate more on this?

Well, I've always noticed that a new couple will be very heavily into each other, seeking privacy together at every turn, almost worshipping each other while the rest of the world takes a back seat. That's the "membrane" of which I speak. It's never absolute - the couple still turn up for work, talk to their friends etc., but the relationship has a very high priority, as if it were a matter of life and death. There's an urban legend that couples normally move out of that into a "deeper kind of love" - and many people say that they begin by being "in love" and end up not being in love, but they love in a deeper way. It's also sometimes called the "honeymoon effect":
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... id=5043381
On the other hand we sometimes hear of old couples who are said to be "still in love" after many years, so there's clearly an abuse of terminology going on.

I first got the idea - that the way this transition is managed can make or break the whole relationship - from a book called "What Do Women Want?" by Suzie Orbach and Louise Eichenbaum. The idea resonated with my own experiences, e.g. in my first serious relationship - we'd been doing very well for a few weeks, then I noticed my girlfriend had begun to cool off in subtle ways......she was less keen on cuddling me in public, she imposed a new way of holding hands that allowed her to easily slip her hand out of mine so that she could easily break our tie if she happened to notice someting or somebody that interested her, and she began to give other people more attention than she was giving me. I tolerated it for a while, then I calmly explained that her behaviour was hurting me, she said sorry and that she'd sort it out, but nothing changed, in fact it got worse because she started wanting jobs with antisocial hours that would keep us apart, she was doing all kinds of things that I wasn't going to be allowed to go to.

Eventually I lost patience and we fought like cat and dog over it for a couple of years. Eventually she sort of complied, and stopped accusing me of possessiveness, and we seemed to reach some kind of compromise, but in the process she'd become to seem to me like a thoroughly disappointing partner......I became more passionate about my old special interests than I was about her, because there I could succeed, while with her I was just failing all the time.....she whinged about my interests but never seemed particularly upset by them, until we got married, when the extent to which I'd shut her out of my life became impossible to ignore. She panicked and tried to force me to pay her better attention, and I'd never had a clingy partner before so it just sent me further into my shell. People told me that I could probably rescue it by giving a little ground, but it was such a scary thought, to open the door to somebody who was banging on it so hard, that I feared an avalanche and I was driven further and further away. Around that time, I began to realise that I was starting to feel attracted to other women.....now if we'd only handled the dissolution of the membrane in a gradual, mutual way, we could have probably saved all those years of heartache.

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But I've also noticed that I have the most difficulty with eye contact with the people who are closest to me - my wife and my son.


Some of us actually have the opposite problem. I am fascinated with eyes so I have to consciously avoid eye gaze because I am likely to stare. This scares people.

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If it were just my wife, I'd think it could be because of the breakdown of trust and the disappointment from finding out that she's not as caring as she seeemed when we first met, but I've never felt that way about my son.


But then perhaps that is not really due to failure on your part but more a matter of her unrealized expectations. Lowering our expectations for others' behavior helps us get along better with others. Is it wrong to take this attitude?

I guess children have their expectations shaped for them from the moment they're born, so if the parents aren't perfect, they won't see those shortcomings because they've always been there and they don't know any different. But adults seem to have a whole set of expectations for partners. Whether or not to lower the standards is hard to know. If the expectations are unusual or against the prevailing social wind, it's tempting to try, but if those expectations are very deep-rooted (and sometimes you don't find out what they are until you've had them denied), it can be impossible. I didn't even know how to articulate clearly what I found unacceptable with my first serious partner. I knew there was something horribly wrong (from my point of view) and I fought against it with everything I had, but I couldn't put a name to it.

Also there are some bottom-line expectations that most people can't lower, and I think that's usually a good thing that they can't. For example, if partner A's behaviour is destabilising the relationship, then partner B might challenge that just for the sake of the kids........with childless couples I suppose it's entirely up to the individuals involved, so they could go for an "expectation-free" relationship, though I can't see why anybody would want a partner like that, as it's no different from the relationship between mere acquaintances. I'd love a relationship with somebody who was just completely right for me from the start, with no need for us ever to challenge each other, but it's not something I've known in the real world. In my experience, we all have lines for each other and we all cross them sometimes.

For me, it's paramount that if partner A feels really strongly about something, then partner B must take it seriously and do all they can to resolve the problem, without trying to belittle the intensity of A's needs or otherwise demoralising A. Whatever it is, however silly and irrational it seems, if one partner feels gutted about it, then it's the responsibility of both of them to work out a good fix. Of course if A uses this button too often, while B seems to have few complaints, the power balance will be skewed.....I guess B could then say that they feel very strongly that A is calling too many shots, and then A would need to take that on board and be a bit less gung-ho with the objections.



FemmeFatale
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12 Oct 2010, 6:26 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
[I haven't started a relationship since I discovered my autism a year or so ago, so I can't have been guilty of deliberately hiding the fact. Even so, looking back, it seems clear that my behaviour always became more Aspie once the relationship was past the "honeymoon stage."

(is it really Apsie behavior or just more relaxed behavior?)

I don't know. Seems to be associated with the shock of realising the partner has a negative side. I guess the two reasons for not noticing it before are that I was loathe to see anything bad in a new partner, and that the new partners were loathe to do anything bad at first.

Again, I don't know. Those powers have always deserted me eventually, and it's always associated with unexpected, disappointing behaviour from the partner.....I've never had a serious relationship in which the partner has continued to behave as well towards me as they had initially, so I have no personal evidence that it would happen whatever the partner did. .


So it's not really relaxation, it seems to be a sense that our partners are treating us badly, just as our former-friends-turned-bullies from childhood treated us. Is that right?

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I'm sure that's the wisest approach, and it makes perfect sense to me. But if they expect the standard "man-chases-and-romances-woman" thing then that's going to get in the way terribly..


And of course, women 'who do too much" suffer when we cannot keep up with the expectations of the first days of the relationship. I have a friend who explained his rationale for sexually cheating on his wife, this way:

When they first met and moved in together, she ironed his shirts, did the housework and generally couldn't do enough for him. But one day she stopped ironing his shirts! He sensed that she no longer cared about him so he was forced to have sex with another woman (who apparently cared? - but at least she didn't have to iron his shirts or clean his house, did she?) He seemed suprised though when she threw him out of the house and filed for divorce when she found out about the affair.

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I take it you were undiagmosed when you first met? What were the main things he was disappointed about?.


It is difficult to really explain although I completely understand it. When we met, he thought I was shy and probably just a bit different. He probably felt years later (when he noticed me stimming) that there had been a bait-and-switch. Although I don't have a diagnosis, I had told him about my childhood and various labels (autistic, retarded) that had been placed on me. He chose to ignore it just as my parents had ignored it - because I was a good student and highly motivated person. I worked full-time, cleaned house, took care of the pets, cooked meals, etc. and when he lost his job and went through a major depression, later illness as a result of the depression and even later, terminal illness, I stood by him and protected him and never made demands of him. I am a real work-horse. But he needed more than that and reminded me of it. Told me which of my friends he would have married if he had not married me, looked for attention wherever he could get it, etc. He tried to start arguments hoping I would respond by yelling back at him. But I couldn't yell at him. (He seemed very happy though if he could push me into making a playful sarcastic remark when he yelled at me.) But I never complained. I knew that the depression and his illness were affecting him. I believe in the last few hours of his life, he realized that I cared for him - I have a different way of showing it. But it really was never enough for a person who was highly sensitive and needed emotional attention. I am sorry that I couldn't give him what he really needed.

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Sadly, it seems that for a lot of people, being able to give them what they want, without being explicitly told to, is a key part of their reassurance that the other person "really cares" about them. If they have to explain exactly what they want, they feel that they're making it too easy....they seem to want that mind-reading. Of course it must be great when somebody happens to work out what you want and give it to you without being asked.......but I never knew that happen to me, so I have a hard time understanding how anybody can find it such a deal-breaker when they don't get it.


And what is really interesting, is that Aspies (as well as non-Aspies) also want reassurance in a relationship. It is wrong to assume that we have no feelings or needs - but we don't know how to communicate them to our partners. A language barrier.

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One strong theory of mine is that a new couple will, for a time, pretty much seal themselves off from the rest of humanity, as if they had a membrane around themselves as a couple, and then they dissolve that membrane and reduce the intensity of their friendship.......I think the way that membrane is dissolved can make or break the whole relationship - if it's done gradually and mutually, things should remain good. If one partner just rips the membrane up unilaterally, or if they try to keep the membrane in place for too long, things will go wrong. Mostly my relationship failures can be explained in these terms.

Well, I've always noticed that a new couple will be very heavily into each other, seeking privacy together at every turn, almost worshipping each other while the rest of the world takes a back seat. That's the "membrane" of which I speak. It's never absolute - the couple still turn up for work, talk to their friends etc., but the relationship has a very high priority, as if it were a matter of life and death. There's an urban legend that couples normally move out of that into a "deeper kind of love" - and many people say that they begin by being "in love" and end up not being in love, but they love in a deeper way. It's also sometimes called the "honeymoon effect" .


One of the mistakes we probably make is assuming that behavior will remain constant throughout the stages of a relationship. Fortunately, I do not experience the "honeymoon effect" or "infatuation" for a partner. (But sometimes I wish I could experience it.) We will not always have the same interests, friends, work, lifestyles, etc. over the long term and as they say of those who are in the passsionate phase, "you can't stay in bed forever," Real life does get in the way of romance. I am much better in a relationship where I am with someone I can share my life with as a partner, but it is not necessary to be joined at the hip. A common purpose as well as having a best friend (and better than a friend) who will never abandon me. Is that too much to ask?

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I suppose it's entirely up to the individuals involved, so they could go for an "expectation-free" relationship, though I can't see why anybody would want a partner like that, as it's no different from the relationship between mere acquaintances.


I guess I could say that I have no expectations but I would probably be lying about that. : )



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13 Oct 2010, 4:05 am

The wife was in the wrong.



FemmeFatale
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13 Oct 2010, 5:30 am

Chronos wrote:
The wife was in the wrong.


Please share your thoughts on this. At what point was she wrong? When she stopped ironing his shirts or when she threw him out after having an affair?



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13 Oct 2010, 9:47 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
So it's not really relaxation, it seems to be a sense that our partners are treating us badly, just as our former-friends-turned-bullies from childhood treated us. Is that right?

I'm hoping so......if I ever find a partner who treats me consistently well for the first 3 months, and I "relax" on her, then I'll know it's really all my fault. I guess it all depends on what I mean by ill-treatment.......I've often felt very guilty about feeling such strong disappointment in my partners, and wondered if I could just be way too sensitive about small issues, such as minor emotional infidelity, not being there for me enough, or failure to engage in respectful dialogue about such issues, but sensitive is all I know. Aspie perfectionism might well be a factor, though I seem to be able to temper that in all other aspects of my life, so it's hard to see why perfectionism alone could be responsible for all my relationship woes.

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When they first met and moved in together, she ironed his shirts, did the housework and generally couldn't do enough for him. But one day she stopped ironing his shirts! He sensed that she no longer cared about him so he was forced to have sex with another woman (who apparently cared? - but at least she didn't have to iron his shirts or clean his house, did she?) He seemed suprised though when she threw him out of the house and filed for divorce when she found out about the affair.

Now that's what I call perfectionism! Kind of hard for me to understand, as I've generally had the opposite problem - some of my partners have just assumed that cleaning and ironing "for me" was going to make me deliriously happy, and they've been quite offended when I've explained that I don't really go for ironed shirts and wouldn't love them any less if they didn't bother. For me, half an hour of quality time with a partner is worth more than all the ironed shirts in the world. That guy must have been rationalising - nobody in their right mind would see shirt-ironing failure as a license to be unfaithful. I wonder if he even tried to find out why his partner had stopped ironing, or if he just quietly thought "good, an excuse at last!"

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But he needed more than that and reminded me of it. Told me which of my friends he would have married if he had not married me, looked for attention wherever he could get it, etc. He tried to start arguments hoping I would respond by yelling back at him. But I couldn't yell at him. (He seemed very happy though if he could push me into making a playful sarcastic remark when he yelled at me.) But I never complained. I knew that the depression and his illness were affecting him. I believe in the last few hours of his life, he realized that I cared for him - I have a different way of showing it. But it really was never enough for a person who was highly sensitive and needed emotional attention. I am sorry that I couldn't give him what he really needed.

Whoever would have thought that not losing one's temper would turn out to be a bad thing in a relationship? But it's surprising how people will feel something is wrong.......when my first wife and I were in counselling, they said they could see that my wife was trying to get me to show some anger and that I was undercutting those attempts by remaining the soul of tranquility...she'd get angry, I'd just look vaguely surprised and ask "why are you shouting?" and she'd be practically banging her head on the wall in frustration at this. Of course by this time I was pretty much emotionally detached from her, so it would have been almost impossible for her to anger me.

There's also some evidence that I tried to get my second wife to stand up to me - her manner was always very deferring and "sugary sweet," which began to annoy me, but I think that was because it was a false persona - she did a lot of things that seemed to show that she had no interest in anybody but herself. And curiously, she would always collapse into a soggy heap if I so much as raised my voice to her - I'd taken the old counselling message to heart and had become convinced that I needed to learn to express my anger in a healthy way, and I had good grounds for being angry, but she forced me to bottle it, and then when it did erupt, it was too strong. It was as if she saw only two possibilities - she could cry until I felt too guilty to complain, or she could cave in and do exactly what I wanted, but with no reassurance that she'd seen the sense or validity in the original complaint. I've often wondered since, if she may have been autistic, and whether knowing that would have made me any more sympathetic to her, but whatever she was, she was rather dangerous because of her weak habit of having affairs rather than tackling the issues or simply leaving. It's very scary to know that the first sign you'll get of a partner's grievances is when they go off and sleep with somebody else.

Back to your story, any partner of mine telling me about past friends they might have chosen instead of me would have incurred my wrath, though I hope if they were as ill as he was, I'd try to appreciate that pain can make a monster of anybody. It's amazing what the politest people can do if they have something as common as a hormone imbalance, and the usual rules of fair play have to go out of the window. Doesn't always ease the hurt it causes though.

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Aspies (as well as non-Aspies) also want reassurance in a relationship. It is wrong to assume that we have no feelings or needs - but we don't know how to communicate them to our partners. A language barrier.

True.

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One of the mistakes we probably make is assuming that behavior will remain constant throughout the stages of a relationship. Fortunately, I do not experience the "honeymoon effect" or "infatuation" for a partner. (But sometimes I wish I could experience it.)

It's a great feeling when it all seems to be going my way, but I hate the way it blinds me to their shortcomings, and the way it sneaks up on me so that one little setback can feel like the end of the world for hours. But it's kind of fulfilling to experience strong feelings even if I can't hope to separate the good ones from the bad.

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We will not always have the same interests, friends, work, lifestyles, etc. over the long term and as they say of those who are in the passsionate phase, "you can't stay in bed forever," Real life does get in the way of romance. I am much better in a relationship where I am with someone I can share my life with as a partner, but it is not necessary to be joined at the hip. A common purpose as well as having a best friend (and better than a friend) who will never abandon me. Is that too much to ask?

I think it's important to make time for being together....though obviously if you need to separate so that you don't starve to death, survival has to come first. Quite how people come to agreement on separation for non-essential (but quite desirable) purposes, I don't know. How much money do people need? How much job-related success? It's been a point of disagreement with my estranged wife, who seems to think that a weekend together every 4-6 weeks is enough....though she spends most of that time doing her own shopping and cooking, cleaning and ironing "for me." I also experienced the other extreme when I was both living and working with my second wife.....that was a big strain, so I know that spaces are very important. My first wife, after a year or two of courting, said she thought all couples end up bored silly with each other and that we'd be no different. I don't think I'd want a partner at all if I believed that.

Back to your story - I think that common purpose is absolutely critical to the success of any group, so of course it's not too much to ask - in fact no kind of alliance makes any sense without it. I guess a promise to stay for life is rather more difficult.....nobody really knows how long a relationship will last - people can change over the years. I think I'd settle for a strong and genuine intention to stay. Probably best to stick to partners who know themselves reasonably well......when I met my first wife I was so "committed" to her that thought it would be good if there was an injection that would cause one partner to die if the other died, so we wouldn't even have to worry about the grieving survivor. 8O A few years later all I wanted was a new partner. That's how well I knew myself.

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I guess I could say that I have no expectations but I would probably be lying about that. : )

Hmmm......it's sometimes hard to know what they are until somebody takes them away. Back in the early 1990s I would have felt very shy of owning any expectations at all....I felt that expectations were unseemly things that must be burdensome for the expected parties. I was rather against couples having much control over each other in those days, and certainly felt that the average marriage was too clingy to be healthy, with all its implied duties and rules. I met one couple who weren't doing very well, and they kept arguing about "what we'll do/where we'll go"......I simply thought "why does it always have to be we? Why can't you do things on your own sometimes? The irony was that they didn't even seem to like each other, but you see they were a Married Couple so they had to Do Things Together. My thinking always seems to become a lot clearer when I ignore the fact of marriage or the declarations of undying love, and just see them as two people together, with all the good and bad feelings that their association produces.

But I mellowed later, and now I'm somewhere between the two extremes. I could list my expectations but it would mostly be a history of the things previous partners have done/failed to do that have caused me what I'd call unacceptable pain. Then there are hard and soft expectations - I have things like infidelity on "zero tolerance" level, and there are also softer expectations like not yelling at me - as an occasional aberration it's acceptable but it must not become a way of life.



FemmeFatale
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14 Oct 2010, 9:47 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:

[I'm hoping so......if I ever find a partner who treats me consistently well for the first 3 months, and I "relax" on her, then I'll know it's really all my fault. I guess it all depends on what I mean by ill-treatment. and ... wondered if I could just be way too sensitive about small issues, such as minor emotional infidelity, not being there for me enough, or failure to engage in respectful dialogue about such issues, but sensitive is all I know.


Even those of us who are not that sensitive tend to take on the guilt for failures in a relationship. I think it is useful to think about what worked and what did not work and hope to improve in the next relationship.

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Some of my partners have just assumed that cleaning and ironing "for me" was going to make me deliriously happy, and they've been quite offended when I've explained that I don't really go for ironed shirts and wouldn't love them any less if they didn't bother. For me, half an hour of quality time with a partner is worth more than all the ironed shirts in the world.


It would be very liberating to find that my partner does not expect all of those things. And that takes communication.

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That guy must have been rationalising. I wonder if he even tried to find out why his partner had stopped ironing, or if he just quietly thought "good, an excuse at last!"


Yes, he was rationalizing too much. But he also seemed to have abandonment issues so any change in attention or routine from his partner would give him concern.

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Whoever would have thought that not losing one's temper would turn out to be a bad thing in a relationship? But it's surprising how people will feel something is wrong.......when my first wife and I were in counselling, they said they could see that my wife was trying to get me to show some anger and that I was undercutting those attempts by remaining the soul of tranquility...she'd get angry, I'd just look vaguely surprised and ask "why are you shouting?" and she'd be practically banging her head on the wall in frustration at this. Of course by this time I was pretty much emotionally detached from her, so it would have been almost impossible for her to anger me.


This was a problem in pairing personalities with different upbringings. No one in my family yells (well my Mom does a good job of it when she is pushed to the limit! Sorry Mom) but his family was fiery and had a need to argue and yell even about minor issues. I had no skill in this area and no interest in developing that skill. But in his mind, if I cared about him, I would yell at him. Didn't make any sense to me though.

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I've often wondered since, if she may have been autistic, and whether knowing that would have made me any more sympathetic to her, but whatever she was, she was rather dangerous because of her weak habit of having affairs rather than tackling the issues or simply leaving. It's very scary to know that the first sign you'll get of a partner's grievances is when they go off and sleep with somebody else.


I still have a problem understanding the concept of sexual infidelity as a way to deal with lack of affection or other problems in the relationship. Sex and love/affection are not the same thing. For example, I doubt the person who pays for sex feels any affection or love for the sex worker. It seems that sex with a stranger (or a friend) outside the relationship would not provide much fulfillment other than sexual release.

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Back to your story, any partner of mine telling me about past friends they might have chosen instead of me would have incurred my wrath, though I hope if they were as ill as he was, I'd try to appreciate that pain can make a monster of anybody.


Emotional pain, as well as physical pain, seems to cause people to say things that they should never say to anyone.

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It's a great feeling when it all seems to be going my way, but I hate the way it blinds me to their shortcomings, and the way it sneaks up on me so that one little setback can feel like the end of the world for hours. But it's kind of fulfilling to experience strong feelings even if I can't hope to separate the good ones from the bad.


While I can't feel limerence, I do have the ability to feel strong attraction for a person that seems to progress as time goes on. It does not blind me to their flaws. It is up to me to decide how I should feel about something that bothers me but it is not always necessary to attempt to change the person.

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My first wife, after a year or two of courting, said she thought all couples end up bored silly with each other and that we'd be no different. I don't think I'd want a partner at all if I believed that.


Your former wife's comment would have concerned me. Perhaps one of those opinions that would have been better kept to herself? I briefly dated someone who broke up with me and told me that I bored him. This confused me since he showed a lot of enthusiasm for me. I'm glad he found me boring early on though since it would have hurt me much more to continue on and accept his poor treatment of me. But I am sensitive now to the thought that I must be boring. I care very much for my partner and hope that he would never leave me out of boredom.

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I think I'd settle for a strong and genuine intention to stay.

This would be acceptable to me as well.

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I simply thought "why does it always have to be we? Why can't you do things on your own sometimes? The irony was that they didn't even seem to like each other, but you see they were a Married Couple so they had to Do Things Together.


Doesn't the constant togetherness contribute to the boredom in a relationship? I want to be with my partner as much as possible but I don't need to be with him all the time. I have as little interest in hanging out with him and his guy friends at the pub (well, maybe once in while!) as he would have in tagging along with me at a craft fair or any other activity in which he has no interest and would make him miserable.

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But I mellowed later, and now I'm somewhere between the two extremes. I could list my expectations but it would mostly be a history of the things previous partners have done/failed to do that have caused me what I'd call unacceptable pain. Then there are hard and soft expectations - I have things like infidelity on "zero tolerance" level, and there are also softer expectations like not yelling at me - as an occasional aberration it's acceptable but it must not become a way of life.


I think I'd place fidelity (sexual, financial and emotional) and not being yelled at high on my list of expectations in a relationship. However, I can't really think of other expectations I should have. But it seems that people have a lot of expectations for their friends and partners and not sure whether the expectations are reasonable.



ToughDiamond
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15 Oct 2010, 7:54 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
Even those of us who are not that sensitive tend to take on the guilt for failures in a relationship. I think it is useful to think about what worked and what did not work and hope to improve in the next relationship.

Yes that's a better way of seeing it.....I'd also like one day to make a positive list of what I want, rather than it all being a list of dont's. But a wounded animal is naturally mindful of protecting itself from being wounded again, and given the level of emotional cruelty in so many relationships, maybe defensive is the only option, until I get it through my head that not everybody is lining up to give me another dose of poison.
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Some of my partners have just assumed that cleaning and ironing "for me" was going to make me deliriously happy, and they've been quite offended when I've explained that I don't really go for ironed shirts and wouldn't love them any less if they didn't bother. For me, half an hour of quality time with a partner is worth more than all the ironed shirts in the world.


It would be very liberating to find that my partner does not expect all of those things. And that takes communication.

Well, I think attitudes about these things can sometimes be so fixed and far apart that no amount of talking can fix it. My estranged wife just can't imagine a marriage in which the wife didn't iron Hubbie's clothes......she would doggedly insist on ironing alone rather than spend a bit of time with me, even when our time together was severely limited. Seems to me that she used it as an excuse, ironing being a lot easier than learning to share. But when I''ve suggested that, she hasn't seemed to want to listen. To me it's a strong sign that she's got some autistic traits, needing to get away from social anxiety, and maybe the ironing is a form of stimming for her. I've suggested our problems may have a lot to do with her autism but she hasn't replied, but complains that these heavy ideas of mine are causing her to lose sleep and threatening her performance at her job.

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That guy must have been rationalising. I wonder if he even tried to find out why his partner had stopped ironing, or if he just quietly thought "good, an excuse at last!"


Yes, he was rationalizing too much. But he also seemed to have abandonment issues so any change in attention or routine from his partner would give him concern.

I suspect there are a lot of men who would rather come over as old-school sexists and say it's all about requiring their dinner on the table when they get home from work etc., rather than admit that the wife's liberty is making them feel insecure and lonely.

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This was a problem in pairing personalities with different upbringings. No one in my family yells (well my Mom does a good job of it when she is pushed to the limit! Sorry Mom) but his family was fiery and had a need to argue and yell even about minor issues. I had no skill in this area and no interest in developing that skill. But in his mind, if I cared about him, I would yell at him. Didn't make any sense to me though.

Politeness expectations can indeed be very different from one family to another. The yelling in my family was frequent but never really seen as healthy....it always led to ill feeling and none of it was ever resolved. Probably explains why I have such a hard time expressing anger now. I know it's sometimes appropriate but I always feel dreadful about my anger, as if I'm doing permanent damage to my relationship.

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I still have a problem understanding the concept of sexual infidelity as a way to deal with lack of affection or other problems in the relationship. Sex and love/affection are not the same thing. For example, I doubt the person who pays for sex feels any affection or love for the sex worker. It seems that sex with a stranger (or a friend) outside the relationship would not provide much fulfillment other than sexual release.

I suppose it would be downright dangerous for a man to allow himself to have any deep feelings for a sex worker. I knew a guy who had tried to turn one into a girlfriend - she'd been beaten up and was in hospital.....of course her confinement stopped her from plying her trade, and all went well until she was recovered, then she went back on the game and he couldn't cope with that. His opinion of sex workers took something of a tumble....I guess that was the only way he could hit back for getting so badly hurt by one, to damn them all. That way, he didn't have to face his own tender feelings, he just converted them into bigotry and hate.

I know a lot of men seem quite able to have sex once and get away, without seeming to feel anything remotely romantic.......I suspect that they would get emotionally involved if they went back for more. There are some men who have to end relationships as soon as they start to feel serious, because they can't cope with the emotional challenges of commitment. I sometimes wonder how many more failed relationships I'll have to go through before I feel the same way, but for some reason I've always felt fresh hope every time, even though the evidence says there is very little hope. It's very unlike me to have faith, and normally I don't understand the term, but I don't know how else to explain why I'm still so interested in making a relationship work.

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Emotional pain, as well as physical pain, seems to cause people to say things that they should never say to anyone.

And it causes them to do things they shouldn't do to anyone. My promiscuous, alcoholic partner probably hurt me more than anybody else ever did, and it would have been neat to condemn her as a conniving tyrant, but she was in more pain than I was...naturally her terrible habits always blew up in her face, and she died a few years ago while still in her early 50s, as a direct result of poisoning herself to feed the addictions she couldn't control. With my knee-jerk reaction to infidelity, it's almost unheard of for me to feel any sympathy for the unfaithful, but she couldn't really be held responsible.

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While I can't feel limerence, I do have the ability to feel strong attraction for a person that seems to progress as time goes on. It does not blind me to their flaws. It is up to me to decide how I should feel about something that bothers me but it is not always necessary to attempt to change the person.

I don't think I ever changed any partner in a way I wanted, though I often tried very hard to. I think the basic personality of any person is pretty much immutable. So I have to be very careful about noticing those flaws........hopefully these days I'd be able to challenge them before I was too involved, and we could maybe work something out, or at least part in peace knowing that we just weren't suited. Doesn't have to turn into force or blaming - we can simply agree that we have different needs and let each other go while we still can.

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My first wife, after a year or two of courting, said she thought all couples end up bored silly with each other and that we'd be no different. I don't think I'd want a partner at all if I believed that.


Your former wife's comment would have concerned me. Perhaps one of those opinions that would have been better kept to herself? I briefly dated someone who broke up with me and told me that I bored him. This confused me since he showed a lot of enthusiasm for me. I'm glad he found me boring early on though since it would have hurt me much more to continue on and accept his poor treatment of me. But I am sensitive now to the thought that I must be boring. I care very much for my partner and hope that he would never leave me out of boredom.

Yes - I'd completely forgotten that she'd said that until I was thinking about her the other day....I tend to blame myself for our failure because of my unfaithful tendency at the end of the relationship, but when I look at the details of her manner with me, it's not hard to see how her insensitivity could have been the problem all along. But in those days I didn't have enough emotional intelligence to understand what was hitting me, I just felt gutted by her comment but without any clear idea why an honest opinion could upset me.

As for boring, that was a dreadful way for him to explain himself. There is no such thing as a boring person in absolute terms. A has certain interests. B has certain interests. When they overlap, they call each other interesting. When they don't, they call each other boring. But the only truth is the degree of overlap. Yet people say these things, cleverly leaving themselves out of the equation so they can fob off all the blame onto somebody else.

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Doesn't the constant togetherness contribute to the boredom in a relationship? I want to be with my partner as much as possible but I don't need to be with him all the time. I have as little interest in hanging out with him and his guy friends at the pub (well, maybe once in while!) as he would have in tagging along with me at a craft fair or any other activity in which he has no interest and would make him miserable.

Yes.....paradoxically, spaces in a relationship are vital as quality time together. You have nothing new to bring to a relationship unless you separate occasionally. John and Yoko didn't turn out to be very good role models as partners, did they? And they blamed a lot of their woes on living in each other's pockets too much, though at the time they would have defended it with their dying breath. I think it's very important for any budding couple to agree roughly how much time they feel they need to spend together, because it's surprising how different people can be on that one, and I don't think it's easy for anybody to give much ground there, once they've committed to each other.
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I think I'd place fidelity (sexual, financial and emotional) and not being yelled at high on my list of expectations in a relationship. However, I can't really think of other expectations I should have. But it seems that people have a lot of expectations for their friends and partners and not sure whether the expectations are reasonable.

I'm fairly happy to leave financial fidelity in the lap of the gods, because it's the only type that can't be transgressed without my consent, though after my experiences I'd want to warn them they might find me a little untrusting about money. Sexual fidelity, yes that's a must. Emotional infidelity is still a little too new a concept for me to know quite where I stand......certainly discussing a partner's shortcomings with a potential sexual rival in private would usually be seriously wrong, though it's not always clear who is a potential sexual rival. I'd want to take the definition further as well, and websites like this one are food for thought:

http://www.allaboutlove.org/emotional-infidelity.htm

It's great to see that somebody out there thinks that so many of these "little things" that have scared or hurt me should be taboo, when I've experienced so many of them and felt (or even been told) that I'm just being possessive or paranoid to raise objections. But it's also worrying to think that all I might end up with is a long list of draconian rules that nobody in the real world could stick to. I don't want to be divorced for failing to avoid walking past a pornographic billboard. The website also seems to be implying that a partner should completely avoid being in private with potential sexual rivals.......I must confess it's always scared me when my partners have been open to that, but surely it's very controversial these days to call for avoiding it? Or are they right - is it just too dangerous to allow it?



FemmeFatale
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16 Oct 2010, 4:13 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
[But a wounded animal is naturally mindful of protecting itself from being wounded again, and given the level of emotional cruelty in so many relationships, maybe defensive is the only option, until I get it through my head that not everybody is lining up to give me another dose of poison.


Is there an easy way to trust again? It does not help to go into a new relationship with a sense of mistrust.

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My estranged wife just can't imagine a marriage in which the wife didn't iron Hubbie's clothes......she would doggedly insist on ironing alone rather than spend a bit of time with me, even when our time together was severely limited. Seems to me that she used it as an excuse, ironing being a lot easier than learning to share. But when I''ve suggested that, she hasn't seemed to want to listen. To me it's a strong sign that she's got some autistic traits, needing to get away from social anxiety, and maybe the ironing is a form of stimming for her. I've suggested our problems may have a lot to do with her autism but she hasn't replied, but complains that these heavy ideas of mine are causing her to lose sleep and threatening her performance at her job.


It seems that she can't explain how your ideas are causing her to lose sleep. Perhaps she is not very introspective. If she could express her feelings, can you deal with her issues?

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I suspect there are a lot of men who would rather come over as old-school sexists and say it's all about requiring their dinner on the table when they get home from work etc., rather than admit that the wife's liberty is making them feel insecure and lonely.


Yes, women get very confused. We know that men want dinner and a clean house and now they are asking for emotion too!! ! (sarcasm.) The aspie woman can burn out very quickly having to multi-task to meet all of her partner's needs (most of them unspoken, by the way.) Better communication skills from our partners,perhaps? Instead of "You never listen to me" perhaps one should say, "I feel cared for when you listen to me." Change from negative to positive and give her an opportunity then to initiate those actions to make our partners happy.

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Politeness expectations can indeed be very different from one family to another. The yelling in my family was frequent but never really seen as healthy....it always led to ill feeling and none of it was ever resolved. Probably explains why I have such a hard time expressing anger now. I know it's sometimes appropriate but I always feel dreadful about my anger, as if I'm doing permanent damage to my relationship.


I always believed that if two or more people are yelling at each other at the same, then no one listening to each other, therefore, there is no opportunity for resolution. It is just then a simultaneous rant.

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I suppose it would be downright dangerous for a man to allow himself to have any deep feelings for a sex worker. I knew a guy who had tried to turn one into a girlfriend


He had difficulty separating sex from love, just as a woman who becomes angry when she realizes that the man she has had sex with does not love her. In these cases, the partners have not communicated their values on sex and love to each other.

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I know a lot of men seem quite able to have sex once and get away, without seeming to feel anything remotely romantic.......I suspect that they would get emotionally involved if they went back for more. There are some men who have to end relationships as soon as they start to feel serious, because they can't cope with the emotional challenges of commitment.


I'm not sure that they had planned to get serious and are quite suprised when they realize the seriousness of the situation. There was no probably no attempt at deception on their part.

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I sometimes wonder how many more failed relationships I'll have to go through before I feel the same way, but for some reason I've always felt fresh hope every time, even though the evidence says there is very little hope. It's very unlike me to have faith, and normally I don't understand the term, but I don't know how else to explain why I'm still so interested in making a relationship work.


I am currently in a relationship I did not intend to begin. My failures in earlier relationships have made me wary of entering another one and I know I don't need one to be happy. I care very much for my partner though and am committed to making our relationship work because he is an important part of my life and I don't want to be without him. However, I still believe that a person does not need a relationship to be happy in life. And I really don't understand those who are constantly seeking someone (and it seems that anyone will do) to complete their lives. I don't think they know how much energy is involved in properly caring for someone.

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I don't think I ever changed any partner in a way I wanted, though I often tried very hard to. I think the basic personality of any person is pretty much immutable. So I have to be very careful about noticing those flaws........hopefully these days I'd be able to challenge them before I was too involved, and we could maybe work something out, or at least part in peace knowing that we just weren't suited.


I wouldn't want someone whose personality needed to be changed - then he wouldn't be the person I originally fell in love with. Sometimes the flaws make the personality very interesting. Sometimes the partner will discover his flaws on his own and will be more likely to change them without being nagged to do so.

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Yes - I'd completely forgotten that she'd said that until I was thinking about her the other day....I tend to blame myself for our failure because of my unfaithful tendency at the end of the relationship, but when I look at the details of her manner with me, it's not hard to see how her insensitivity could have been the problem all along. But in those days I didn't have enough emotional intelligence to understand what was hitting me,


I hadn't had the thought before that it is my lack of emotional intelligence that makes me stop and analyze each odd comment that comes out my partner's mouth. His friends may tell him that the comment is inappropriate but I haven't yet realized the meaning of the remark or its intent. But intent is more important to me than the unfortunate words. And although I am the daughter of a master of sarcasm, I still have trouble sometimes knowing whether the comment was meant to be hurtful. Usually I find that the remark was not intended to hurt my feelings. And so I am forgiving.

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As for boring, that was a dreadful way for him to explain himself. There is no such thing as a boring person in absolute terms. A has certain interests. B has certain interests. When they overlap, they call each other interesting. When they don't, they call each other boring. But the only truth is the degree of overlap. Yet people say these things, cleverly leaving themselves out of the equation so they can fob off all the blame onto somebody else.


I think sometimes we don't pay enough attention to what our partners say about their past (or previous partners) and then we are surprised when they treat us the same way as their previous partners. Yes, he told me that he gets easily bored and hasl dumped girlfriends because of boredom. I didn't think at the time that he would do that to me. After he broke up with me, we kept in contact for a short time and I (unfortunately) had to hear stories of his new girlfriends (who also didn't last long) who seemed to have severe psychotic behaviors and he had to dump them when they stopped taking their meds and started sleeping around. Then I realized that he must be one of those men who is attracted only to women with serious mental issues (or extremely extroverted party girls) who seemed really exciting (they never bored him) until he could no longer deal with their issues. Yes, it was his problem, not mine.

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Yes.....paradoxically, spaces in a relationship are vital as quality time together. You have nothing new to bring to a relationship unless you separate occasionally. John and Yoko didn't turn out to be very good role models as partners, did they? And they blamed a lot of their woes on living in each other's pockets too much, though at the time they would have defended it with their dying breath.


I hadn't thought of John and Yoko but they are a good example of this problem - they annoyed each other - as well as the rest of the world - with their very public incessant togetherness.[/quote]

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It's great to see that somebody out there thinks that so many of these "little things" that have scared or hurt me should be taboo, when I've experienced so many of them and felt (or even been told) that I'm just being possessive or paranoid to raise objections.


I'm certain that many people think of these things but it is very hard to discuss these matters. I find that having this discussion has helped me think more about some of these things. I wonder if there are others on this board though who have different experiences?

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But it's also worrying to think that all I might end up with is a long list of draconian rules that nobody in the real world could stick to. I don't want to be divorced for failing to avoid walking past a pornographic billboard. The website also seems to be implying that a partner should completely avoid being in private with potential sexual rivals.......I must confess it's always scared me when my partners have been open to that, but surely it's very controversial these days to call for avoiding it? Or are they right - is it just too dangerous to allow it?


I think the real problem is having a partner who would impose these rules because they generalize that "all women are _____" or "all men are ______." We all have our insecurities but we cannot blame everyone for the bad behavior of a few people we have known. I think that if I tell my partner that I would not like it if he slept with other women or engaged in other relationships (or friendships) in order to replace me as a partner, then I have to trust him that he won't do those things. I think I would have trouble positively identifying a potential sexual rival unless she made her interest in my partner very clear to me. However, if he relayed a conversation (that I found to be troubling) with me that he had had with a female friend, I would encourage him to continue to talk about it so I can then decide if the friendship bothered me. I would not tell him not to have the person as a friend, but I would tell him what concerned me about the conversation.



ToughDiamond
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18 Oct 2010, 11:36 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
Is there an easy way to trust again? It does not help to go into a new relationship with a sense of mistrust.

I don't know of an easy way. I've imagined that I do trust new partners and then found out that I don't. If any of the psychoanalytical stuff has any truth in it, we are most of us full of deep-rooted fears that we are hardly aware of. Most NT counselling that I've known of seems to work my encouraging the clients to examine their deeper emotions and to find out how their life experiences have caused these things.....the theory is that once the stuff is brought into consciousness, the client usually works out a solution. Unfortunately psychoanalysis can get very complicated and bogged down unless the guru is really on the ball, and even then it can be very slow, and Aspies have particular difficulty in identifying their feelings.

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It seems that she can't explain how your ideas are causing her to lose sleep. Perhaps she is not very introspective. If she could express her feelings, can you deal with her issues?

I'd like the chance to find out.....I'm sure she's expressed a lot of them already, but only in distorted, destructive, or competitive ways, and I like to think that I'd be a lot more able to listen and respond appropriately if it were done more gently and directly. A few years ago she described herself to me as shallow (I couldn't quite see how anybody really shallow would even know that they were shallow), and she's certainly not used to looking at her feelings and experiences. Since her complaint about my ideas interfering with her sleep and job, I haven't felt much like bringing the matter up again. She had also cut off all communication with me for a week, apparently to protect herself from more insomnia and job anxieties, though it's hard to see why it was necessary to go that far - a simple moratorium on the subject for a few days would have been just as good......given that we've never been out of communication for that long since we met over a decade ago, it struck me as having an element of punishment to it, but it could be that she really felt that scared and panicked......an Aspie failure to put herself into my shoes could be the reason for what looks like an attack.

I suppose I should be proactive and ask what she wants to do about the subject matter she's shelved, but I'd rather wait until this workplace inspection she's expecting has been and gone - she did rather give me the impression that it was an important part of her reason to clam up, and that it was scheduled to happen during the week that we were out of touch, but when I asked how it had gone, she said it wasn't, and that they were still waiting for it. I'm sure that's the truth. I also think we're both rather afraid of getting into another argument, as we both seem to feel that the previous one was rather harmful.

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Yes, women get very confused. We know that men want dinner and a clean house and now they are asking for emotion too!! ! (sarcasm.) The aspie woman can burn out very quickly having to multi-task to meet all of her partner's needs (most of them unspoken, by the way.) Better communication skills from our partners,perhaps? Instead of "You never listen to me" perhaps one should say, "I feel cared for when you listen to me." Change from negative to positive and give her an opportunity then to initiate those actions to make our partners happy.

Yes that positive, diplomatic method is a lot more likely to get results than mixing it with aggression. I'm quite good at putting my case calmly but I seem to unwittingly say things that are taken as hurtful. And frankly some of my resentments run pretty deep, so I can't always bring matters up without my anger getting in the way.

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I always believed that if two or more people are yelling at each other at the same, then no one listening to each other, therefore, there is no opportunity for resolution. It is just then a simultaneous rant.

I'd go further and suggest that if just one person is yelling, mostly neither of them are listening. I can just about hold on if somebody yells and it's not at me but at the situation or about something external, but if it's at me, I feel forced to withdraw, and rather worried about the likely effect of rewarding them by trying to deal with it....like I said above, the positive, diplomatic method is more likely to get results, and that's up to the partner as well as me.

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He had difficulty separating sex from love, just as a woman who becomes angry when she realizes that the man she has had sex with does not love her. In these cases, the partners have not communicated their values on sex and love to each other.

I think she felt something for him, because he was looking after her emotionally while she was in hospital, when nobody else seemed to give a damn. She had little choice but to be "faitfhul" to him during her confinement, and he probably never realised that she'd be any different when she was out. Suddenly the helpless lady with nobody else to talk to was back in her own element.

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I know a lot of men seem quite able to have sex once and get away, without seeming to feel anything remotely romantic.......I suspect that they would get emotionally involved if they went back for more. There are some men who have to end relationships as soon as they start to feel serious, because they can't cope with the emotional challenges of commitment.

I'm not sure that they had planned to get serious and are quite suprised when they realize the seriousness of the situation. There was no probably no attempt at deception on their part.

I think sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't. I've often thought that it must be much easier to acquire one-night stands than appropriate, longterm partners, because there's no need to spoil a good persona with the truth. But it's wise to check which type you've got these days, and hopefully most people would be straight about it.

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I am currently in a relationship I did not intend to begin. My failures in earlier relationships have made me wary of entering another one and I know I don't need one to be happy. I care very much for my partner though and am committed to making our relationship work because he is an important part of my life and I don't want to be without him. However, I still believe that a person does not need a relationship to be happy in life. And I really don't understand those who are constantly seeking someone (and it seems that anyone will do) to complete their lives. I don't think they know how much energy is involved in properly caring for someone.

I don't know if that's common or not. But certainly for me I don't quite feel complete while I'm partnerless. And my expectations can seem quite lofty compared with the likely mundane realities of living together longterm. Yet I had no great problem tolerating my wife's annoying ways for many years, until she went a step too far by moving out. She's been very loyal sexually, so I suppose that goes a long way with me, and I tend to see all other issues as much easier to live with.

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I wouldn't want someone whose personality needed to be changed - then he wouldn't be the person I originally fell in love with. Sometimes the flaws make the personality very interesting. Sometimes the partner will discover his flaws on his own and will be more likely to change them without being nagged to do so.

The Relate people used to say they couldn't really tell me anything, and that all they could do was to help me find out for myself, and I think that's a much better way. I never found significant flaws interesting exactly - more like disappointing problems I could do without. But I'm apparently a surprisingly liberal person once I feel the basics are in place, so possibly I wouldn't see flaws as flaws, unless they threatened me so severely that they also depressed me. I suppose in the end there are no absolute flaws, just things that happen to hurt because of both people.

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I think sometimes we don't pay enough attention to what our partners say about their past (or previous partners) and then we are surprised when they treat us the same way as their previous partners. Yes, he told me that he gets easily bored and hasl dumped girlfriends because of boredom. I didn't think at the time that he would do that to me. After he broke up with me, we kept in contact for a short time and I (unfortunately) had to hear stories of his new girlfriends (who also didn't last long) who seemed to have severe psychotic behaviors and he had to dump them when they stopped taking their meds and started sleeping around. Then I realized that he must be one of those men who is attracted only to women with serious mental issues (or extremely extroverted party girls) who seemed really exciting (they never bored him) until he could no longer deal with their issues. Yes, it was his problem, not mine.

I usually keep well away from ex-partners so I spevifically don't have to cope with jealous feelings when I'm not really over them. And I'm never really over them until I've found somebody else, which suggests more of an envy element than simple jealousy. I don't think I'd want to hear that a partner I'd just failed with had formed a really good relationship with somebody else. But you seem to have been spared that. I can see the attraction for "exciting" women the guy had.....it would be hard to settle with a sane, reliable, "nice" partner after that, but clearly choosing excitement didn't work out for him either.

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It's great to see that somebody out there thinks that so many of these "little things" that have scared or hurt me should be taboo, when I've experienced so many of them and felt (or even been told) that I'm just being possessive or paranoid to raise objections.


I'm certain that many people think of these things but it is very hard to discuss these matters. I find that having this discussion has helped me think more about some of these things. I wonder if there are others on this board though who have different experiences?

Hope so. It would be interesting to hear from people with different opinions on what level of emotional fidelity they'd expect or be prepared to give.

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I think the real problem is having a partner who would impose these rules because they generalize that "all women are _____" or "all men are ______." We all have our insecurities but we cannot blame everyone for the bad behavior of a few people we have known. I think that if I tell my partner that I would not like it if he slept with other women or engaged in other relationships (or friendships) in order to replace me as a partner, then I have to trust him that he won't do those things. I think I would have trouble positively identifying a potential sexual rival unless she made her interest in my partner very clear to me. However, if he relayed a conversation (that I found to be troubling) with me that he had had with a female friend, I would encourage him to continue to talk about it so I can then decide if the friendship bothered me. I would not tell him not to have the person as a friend, but I would tell him what concerned me about the conversation.

I think with me it's not so much blaming as a deep-rooted fear that the same thing will happen to me again, which of course logically implies the assumption that all partners are somehow the same, though it isn't really that. It's probable, I think, that Aspie have a lot of trouble in noticing the nonverbal cues that a real sexual rival would give out (hence my interest in emotional infidelity, because it seems to set out certain behaviours as being signs of danger) - without some kind of touchstone, the Aspie would quite likely get concerned over harmless and innocent things, while not noticing actual dangers.

But I do seem to have some kind of radar......men would occasionally visit my promiscuous partner, and I would nearly always feel very suspicious of their motives, and I had a hard time with that suspicion because all they seemed to be doing was visiting. But although I was initially very skeptical when she said that a gay friend of hers would be visiting (she'd been known to lie about that before), when he did arrive I seemed to sense that he was no threat, which was strange because he wasn't particularly camp or effeminate....just some subliminal chemistry that wasn't there. So I was able to feel non-possessive, which was very refreshing at the time, because it showed that I wasn't just objecting to her friends for the sake of it, but because of the very real threat that many of those men posed for my relationship, a threat that was always played down because I couldn't explain how I "knew" what was really going on.

Don't know about explaining to new partners that I don't like infidelity. Ideally I would mention it, but I wouldn't want to take all the blame if I happened to forget to say it - if they hadn't already picked up that most people want sexual fidelity, they'd already be way too socially naive for me, I think.



FemmeFatale
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21 Oct 2010, 8:56 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:

[and she's certainly not used to looking at her feelings and experiences. Since her complaint about my ideas interfering with her sleep and job, I haven't felt much like bringing the matter up again. She had also cut off all communication with me for a week, apparently to protect herself from more insomnia and job anxieties, though it's hard to see why it was necessary to go that far - a simple moratorium on the subject for a few days would have been just as good......given that we've never been out of communication for that long since we met over a decade ago, it struck me as having an element of punishment to it, but it could be that she really felt that scared and panicked......an Aspie failure to put herself into my shoes could be the reason for what looks like an attack.


And each of us deals with the introspection differently. I would likely tell my partner that I needed some time to think about a particular issue but I wouldn't withdraw from him. I know I wouldn't like it if he did that to me. I would feel as if I were being punished by him.

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I think sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't. I've often thought that it must be much easier to acquire one-night stands than appropriate, longterm partners, because there's no need to spoil a good persona with the truth. But it's wise to check which type you've got these days, and hopefully most people would be straight about it.


I'm not sure that both parties would understand that the meeting is only a one-night stand until after the fact.

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I don't know if that's common or not. But certainly for me I don't quite feel complete while I'm partnerless.


I'm sure that I am only one of many who feels no need to be part of a couple. When my husband died, I had no desire to find another partner. However, single people are not always welcome at many events so I thought it would be nice to have a companion to spend time with. As it turned out, I became more and more attached to my current partner and was surprised when I realized his importance in my life. (And I am still ashamed at how long it took me to appreciate him.) I now think less of 'me', and more of 'us."

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I never found significant flaws interesting exactly - more like disappointing problems I could do without.


I should have referred to them not as flaws, but as quirks. I don't think I've been with anyone whose flaws I couldn't live with.

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I can see the attraction for "exciting" women the guy had.....it would be hard to settle with a sane, reliable, "nice" partner after that, but clearly choosing excitement didn't work out for him either.


I think this type of person may not be looking for someone for the long term - no matter what he says - relationships are usually most exciting in the early days.

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Don't know about explaining to new partners that I don't like infidelity. Ideally I would mention it, but I wouldn't want to take all the blame if I happened to forget to say it - if they hadn't already picked up that most people want sexual fidelity, they'd already be way too socially naive for me, I think.


I know it seems that someone shouldn't have to have the importance of fidelity explained to them, but since many relationships end due to infidelity, it seems that the idea of fidelity may not be part of basic human nature. I'm sure I'm wrong about the last statement, but I don't know how to explain it otherwise.



ToughDiamond
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22 Oct 2010, 8:04 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
....She had also cut off all communication with me for a week, apparently to protect herself from more insomnia and job anxieties, though it's hard to see why it was necessary to go that far - a simple moratorium on the subject for a few days would have been just as good......given that we've never been out of communication for that long since we met over a decade ago, it struck me as having an element of punishment to it, but it could be that she really felt that scared and panicked......an Aspie failure to put herself into my shoes could be the reason for what looks like an attack.

And each of us deals with the introspection differently. I would likely tell my partner that I needed some time to think about a particular issue but I wouldn't withdraw from him. I know I wouldn't like it if he did that to me. I would feel as if I were being punished by him.

Strangely, when my partner phoned for the first time after that mysterious "suspension," she expressed a lot of concern over the fact that I'd recently cycled to my son's house, as if I were in some significant danger and should stop doing it. Don't know what that means, but I keep wondering if there's some kind of (unconscious?) power issue going on. I'd love to know what a psychologist would say about the way we interact, but there's never one listening in when these things are happening.

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I'm not sure that both parties would understand that the meeting is only a one-night stand until after the fact.

That's why I think it's important for couples to hold off on sex until they've had time to find out about these things. Conceptually it's not hard to just bring it up in conversation, "I do/don't go for one-night stands," without spoiling the romance or that "thrill of the chase" which seems so important to some people.

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I'm sure that I am only one of many who feels no need to be part of a couple. When my husband died, I had no desire to find another partner. However, single people are not always welcome at many events so I thought it would be nice to have a companion to spend time with. As it turned out, I became more and more attached to my current partner and was surprised when I realized his importance in my life. (And I am still ashamed at how long it took me to appreciate him.) I now think less of 'me', and more of 'us."

I went through a phase where I felt I was pretty independent and happy to be partnerless, but looking back, my happiness was very dependent on the signs some women were giving me that we could end up as partners. It was easy for me to tell myself it wasn't so as long as those signs were there, but I always became unhappy when there was a setback....I didn't fill my head with thinking about those women when they weren't around, but that awareness that I meant something to them was quietly propping up my mood all the time. I'm sure you're right that many people aren't like that, so it must be hard to understand.......I really related to a comment by one lady who said that she felt she needed a partner so that she could feel free to be independent - it's quite a paradox, but feelings are like that - for me, partnerless = somehow incomplete, and when I have a partner I'm proud of, it has a huge effect on my emotional well-being, even when they're not around, so that all I do seems better.

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I can see the attraction for "exciting" women the guy had.....it would be hard to settle with a sane, reliable, "nice" partner after that, but clearly choosing excitement didn't work out for him either.

I think this type of person may not be looking for someone for the long term - no matter what he says - relationships are usually most exciting in the early days.

I've heard that fear of intimacy (not necessarily sexual intimacy) is a common unconscious problem which leads to people making all kinds of weird excuses and gambits for keeping people at bay. I particularly don't trust an excuse of "boredom" - I told a counsellor that my first wife had become boring in bed, and she suggested that what had happened was that the sex life had stopped developing. I didn't take much notice at the time, but later I started to think that her way of putting it was a lot more objective and healthy.

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I know it seems that someone shouldn't have to have the importance of fidelity explained to them, but since many relationships end due to infidelity, it seems that the idea of fidelity may not be part of basic human nature. I'm sure I'm wrong about the last statement, but I don't know how to explain it otherwise.

I think that fidelity is a learned response, and that if we were all brought up in a society that used group marriage as the main thing, we'd not think infidelity was wrong. I like to think that a couple who are getting on well together would never feel any temptation, but maybe it depends on the level of the temptation, and our society doesn't seem to try very hard to reduce that. Society is swamped with sexual images and ideas, and very little of it seems to be a serious attempt to discuss the subject like adults...mostly it seems to be hedonistic escapism.



FemmeFatale
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23 Oct 2010, 7:29 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Strangely, when my partner phoned for the first time after that mysterious "suspension," she expressed a lot of concern over the fact that I'd recently cycled to my son's house, as if I were in some significant danger and should stop doing it. Don't know what that means, but I keep wondering if there's some kind of (unconscious?) power issue going on. I'd love to know what a psychologist would say about the way we interact, but there's never one listening in when these things are happening.


Although you felt that you were suspended or being punsihed by her, she probably did not have a sense that she was treating you any differently. She would not have shown concern if she did not care about you. I don't think it is about power. But that is only my understanding of what you wrote.

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That's why I think it's important for couples to hold off on sex until they've had time to find out about these things. Conceptually it's not hard to just bring it up in conversation, "I do/don't go for one-night stands," without spoiling the romance or that "thrill of the chase" which seems so important to some people.


This is a good idea. But sometimes the approach of holding off on sex causes confusion. "He/She doesn't like me because he (or she) is not trying to have sex with me." So sometimes having the conversation about sex can ease one's mind about the other person's interest and intentions.

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I went through a phase where I felt I was pretty independent and happy to be partnerless, but looking back, my happiness was very dependent on the signs some women were giving me that we could end up as partners. It was easy for me to tell myself it wasn't so as long as those signs were there, but I always became unhappy when there was a setback....I didn't fill my head with thinking about those women when they weren't around, but that awareness that I meant something to them was quietly propping up my mood all the time.


I've never looked at any friendship with a view to become more than friends with them. My partner and I are friends but the attraction was there from the beginning and I (too) slowly realized I had more than a friendship interest in him. But generally I have no interest in more than friendship with my friends.

As for your comment, was your interest in these women dependent on these "signs?" In other words, would you have made the approach without the signs? I, as an aspie, don't give signs so I must be very perplexing to anyone who meets me. What signs would cause you to move from friendship to relationship?

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for me, partnerless = somehow incomplete, and when I have a partner I'm proud of, it has a huge effect on my emotional well-being, even when they're not around, so that all I do seems better.


Although I am content to be alone, (now that I have a partner) I am happy that I have someone to care for. Having a partner does not provide me with better self-esteem but thinking of my partner throughout the day makes me feel happier (even when the days are not so good.)

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I've heard that fear of intimacy (not necessarily sexual intimacy) is a common unconscious problem which leads to people making all kinds of weird excuses and gambits for keeping people at bay. I particularly don't trust an excuse of "boredom" - I told a counsellor that my first wife had become boring in bed, and she suggested that what had happened was that the sex life had stopped developing. I didn't take much notice at the time, but later I started to think that her way of putting it was a lot more objective and healthy.


But do you think that the issue was only that of boring sex? Perhaps one or both partners become exhausted in finding creative ways to care for each other. A relationship requires constant nurturing. Many people (aspie and non-aspie) do not have the stamina to keep a relationship going. But there is little reason to expect a partner to provide all of our entertainment to avoid boredom. If a person has sufficient interests (hobbies, etc.), then that person should be able to allow their partner to also pursue their interests or relax (even if it appears boring) to help keep the relationship alive. Partners cannot be expected to do everything together. Does that make sense?

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I think that fidelity is a learned response, and that if we were all brought up in a society that used group marriage as the main thing, we'd not think infidelity was wrong. I like to think that a couple who are getting on well together would never feel any temptation, but maybe it depends on the level of the temptation, and our society doesn't seem to try very hard to reduce that. Society is swamped with sexual images and ideas, and very little of it seems to be a serious attempt to discuss the subject like adults...mostly it seems to be hedonistic escapism.


I feel no temptation to be with another person while I am with a partner. I don't know if that is because I believe that infidelity is wrong or because I don't allow society's views on relationships and sex to have any influence on my relationship (or any of my views for that matter.)



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25 Oct 2010, 7:33 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Strangely, when my partner phoned for the first time after that mysterious "suspension," she expressed a lot of concern over the fact that I'd recently cycled to my son's house, as if I were in some significant danger and should stop doing it. Don't know what that means, but I keep wondering if there's some kind of (unconscious?) power issue going on. I'd love to know what a psychologist would say about the way we interact, but there's never one listening in when these things are happening.

Although you felt that you were suspended or being punsihed by her, she probably did not have a sense that she was treating you any differently. She would not have shown concern if she did not care about you. I don't think it is about power. But that is only my understanding of what you wrote.

Yes, it might well be nothing to do with power plays at all. She can be remarkably impulsive and will take sweeping decisions without appearing to understand the consequences....which is a common Aspie trait. Also her difficulty in putting herself into my shoes (another common Aspie trait) would contribute to the surprising nature of some of those decisions. So it could simply be that she didn't appreciate the magnitude of her action, and maybe her (presumably overblown) anxieties about me were a result of her having had time to realise what she'd done.

She visited me at the weekend and things were pretty cordial......we didn't discuss our problems, possibly out of fear of getting into a bad argument again, though I'm not too unhappy about that because I think the most important thing we need to work on is to learn to relate better, and we seem to have gone some way towards that. We did argue a little when she brought up her idea of my moving to her place (and/or to another much more distant place that she has hopes of living in), I calmly but wearily reiterated my position that pulling up my roots would be a huge step for me (don't want to lose my job or be so far away from my friends and family, etc.)....she still hasn't acknowledged that I have any kind of a valid point there, which astonishes me, but it didn't blow up into a bad fight.

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That's why I think it's important for couples to hold off on sex until they've had time to find out about these things. Conceptually it's not hard to just bring it up in conversation, "I do/don't go for one-night stands," without spoiling the romance or that "thrill of the chase" which seems so important to some people.


This is a good idea. But sometimes the approach of holding off on sex causes confusion. "He/She doesn't like me because he (or she) is not trying to have sex with me." So sometimes having the conversation about sex can ease one's mind about the other person's interest and intentions.

Yes. If they get told why sex is off the menu for a while, they're less likely to think it reflects on their acceptability. And if they don't like the real reasons, they need to move on.
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I went through a phase where I felt I was pretty independent and happy to be partnerless, but looking back, my happiness was very dependent on the signs some women were giving me that we could end up as partners. It was easy for me to tell myself it wasn't so as long as those signs were there, but I always became unhappy when there was a setback....I didn't fill my head with thinking about those women when they weren't around, but that awareness that I meant something to them was quietly propping up my mood all the time.

I've never looked at any friendship with a view to become more than friends with them. My partner and I are friends but the attraction was there from the beginning and I (too) slowly realized I had more than a friendship interest in him. But generally I have no interest in more than friendship with my friends.

As for your comment, was your interest in these women dependent on these "signs?" In other words, would you have made the approach without the signs? I, as an aspie, don't give signs so I must be very perplexing to anyone who meets me. What signs would cause you to move from friendship to relationship?

It was a long time ago.....the signs I noticed were things like smiling at me for longer than women usually do, or anything that showed some kind of unusual level of interest in me. It's long been a theory of mine that in most cases, unless there's a reason why sex wouldn't take place (incest taboos, wrong sexual orientation, huge age difference etc.), then if we're clearly becoming fairly close and spending time together in private, it's highly likely that it will become sexual. It's never absolutely certain, but in the vast majority of cases it's a strong possibility. There would seem to be an unspoken rule that people who are "spoken for" will keep their contact with the opposite sex at a lukewarm level. So the "signs" were really no more than indications that the lady in question seemed rather more fond of me than normal - normally it feels as if most women slightly cold-shoulder me. I very much do the Aspie thing of liking anybody who likes me, as long as their general behaviour seems reasonably in keeping with my own expectations......if anybody indicates even vaguely that I'm not wanted, I just kind of write them off as having no taste, and move on.

It's exactly the same for women, men, and for musicians I'm interested in associating with. Another way of putting it is that I notice that they're giving me a lot of (positive?) attention. Frankly I've had very few female friendships that haven't become sexual, and even those that haven't, had some curious features that made me wonder if it was really just a friendship in their eyes. They have, for example, complained about their existing partners to me (when they've already had partners). Other times I've heard from mutual acquaintances that they've admitted they want me. Another lady was surprisingly annoyed whenever I mentioned anything I was doing or thinking that might have brought me closer to another woman, though she once sent me a letter in which she said categorically that she felt nothing for me whatsoever - which seemed a ridiculous thing to say considering that she would often seek out my company, which from all outward appearances she thoroughly enjoyed.

Not that I'd necessarily move from friendship to relationship purely on account of signs. That would just be one thing that had to be right. Though while partnerless or in a "dead" relationship, I would feel a lot of temptation to find out whether the signs were real or not, by making an advance. Really it's only my understanding of the likely bad consequences of such actions that would stop me.

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I've heard that fear of intimacy (not necessarily sexual intimacy) is a common unconscious problem which leads to people making all kinds of weird excuses and gambits for keeping people at bay. I particularly don't trust an excuse of "boredom" - I told a counsellor that my first wife had become boring in bed, and she suggested that what had happened was that the sex life had stopped developing. I didn't take much notice at the time, but later I started to think that her way of putting it was a lot more objective and healthy.


But do you think that the issue was only that of boring sex? Perhaps one or both partners become exhausted in finding creative ways to care for each other. A relationship requires constant nurturing. Many people (aspie and non-aspie) do not have the stamina to keep a relationship going. But there is little reason to expect a partner to provide all of our entertainment to avoid boredom. If a person has sufficient interests (hobbies, etc.), then that person should be able to allow their partner to also pursue their interests or relax (even if it appears boring) to help keep the relationship alive. Partners cannot be expected to do everything together. Does that make sense?

No, even at the time I knew that sex wasn't the only issue. The prevailing view at the time was that most couple problems had their origins in the bedroom - probably a hangover from Freud - I don't see why it can't just as easily happen the other way round, i.e. a problem in the general relationship has repercussions in bed. But back then, I was feeling very guilty about having married somebody and then wanting to leave when she'd committed herself to me, so I found it impossible to come out with anything critical about her to counsellors.....there's also the problem that the things she did that hurt me were rather subtle, so either I couldn't see those behaviours clearly, or I thought the counsellors would say I was just being silly.

Looking back now, I'd say it was her insensitivity to me that was the main issue. She didn't seem to value our quality time together anything like as highly as I did, her expectations of life as a couple were rather low (apparently happy to think that we'd practically hate each other after a few years), she would flirt with my friends, and though I don't think any of that behaviour was a serious sexual threat, she never once acknowledged that I had any kind of a point when I complained to her about it. I also felt awful about having had to overpower her so often in order to command any respect from her.....I don't think I ever got over that - it always seemed to me that the right partner would have just given me most of that respect in the first place, and that I should never have had to get so tough about it. I was taken for granted until I turned nasty about it, and I had no confidence in my right to have any expectations, so the whole mess made me feel like a green-eyed monster. I never shared our problems with friends or family, because I thought they'd say I was wrong......but my feelings didn't care whether I was right or not, they were very strong, and in hindsight there was a lot more substance in my grievances than I'd thought there was at the time. Feelings were at the time almost a complete mystery to me. And she was my first serious girlfriend.....the first cut is the deepest.

I don't know how much stamina it takes to keep the average relationship working. I guess it depends a lot on the individuals. I think it's another of those things that people should talk about before making a commitment - how much time they want to share with each other, how much responsibility they expect the other person to take for their well-being.

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I think that fidelity is a learned response, and that if we were all brought up in a society that used group marriage as the main thing, we'd not think infidelity was wrong. I like to think that a couple who are getting on well together would never feel any temptation, but maybe it depends on the level of the temptation, and our society doesn't seem to try very hard to reduce that. Society is swamped with sexual images and ideas, and very little of it seems to be a serious attempt to discuss the subject like adults...mostly it seems to be hedonistic escapism.

I feel no temptation to be with another person while I am with a partner. I don't know if that is because I believe that infidelity is wrong or because I don't allow society's views on relationships and sex to have any influence on my relationship (or any of my views for that matter.)[/quote]
Must confess I've never been influenced much by what the mainstreamers get up to either. I can't even see people as friends who advocate or practise cheating on partners. To me they seem as bad as bullies or pedophiles.



FemmeFatale
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: 1 Jul 2010
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 91

26 Oct 2010, 8:30 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:

Yes, it might well be nothing to do with power plays at all. She can be remarkably impulsive and will take sweeping decisions without appearing to understand the consequences....which is a common Aspie trait. Also her difficulty in putting herself into my shoes (another common Aspie trait) would contribute to the surprising nature of some of those decisions. So it could simply be that she didn't appreciate the magnitude of her action, and maybe her (presumably overblown) anxieties about me were a result of her having had time to realise what she'd done.


Do you feel that you and your partner have opposite Aspie traits or are you both unable to see how you affect each other? Seems to me a good Aspie/Aspie couple would be one impulsive type and one over-analyzer - the overanalyzer to keep the other grounded and the impulsive type to help the overanalyzer learn to relax and enjoy life. But neither one would fully understand the other (no matter the type) but would learn acceptance.

It seems that your partner though makes these decisions based on her own self-centeredness (and I don't mean that in a negative way - most people are self-centered - not many are honest about it though) and not with a sense of consequence to both of you as a couple. There is also sometimes a lack of experience to draw on in acting as a couple. I was very clueless as a young person (no good role models as couples) but I began to pay close attention to the relationships of those that seemed to work. I learned a lot and it helped in my marriage - although I always seemed to make mistakes anyway. But my husband knew I was trying.

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It was a long time ago.....the signs I noticed were things like smiling at me for longer than women usually do, or anything that showed some kind of unusual level of interest in me. It's long been a theory of mine that in most cases, unless there's a reason why sex wouldn't take place (incest taboos, wrong sexual orientation, huge age difference etc.), then if we're clearly becoming fairly close and spending time together in private, it's highly likely that it will become sexual. It's never absolutely certain, but in the vast majority of cases it's a strong possibility. There would seem to be an unspoken rule that people who are "spoken for" will keep their contact with the opposite sex at a lukewarm level. So the "signs" were really no more than indications that the lady in question seemed rather more fond of me than normal - normally it feels as if most women slightly cold-shoulder me. I very much do the Aspie thing of liking anybody who likes me, as long as their general behaviour seems reasonably in keeping with my own expectations......if anybody indicates even vaguely that I'm not wanted, I just kind of write them off as having no taste, and move on.


Sometimes the signs are not that clear. The L&D forum is full of questions such as "does she like me because she smiled/talked/(fill in the blank0 to me?" I have been criticized for being too friendly to people that I meet. My husband was always cautioning me about talking to (or smiling at) strangers. But of course, no respectable Southerner would ignore a person passing them on the sidewalk without a smile or hello! And I do get odd looks when I chat with the cashiers at the stores, at first they are alarmed and then they seem to relax. Since I have no ability to flirt, I can never really be accused of making an approach. Although I have a partner, I tend to go out alone (shopping, etc.) and constantly talk to strangers ( to make small talk or ask for help) and I sometimes get the feeling that my intentions are misunderstood. I make a quick retreat when I sense that a stranger has misunderstood my friendliness. Sometimes a smile or hello is just a smile or hello.

It can only be hoped that a woman would not allow herself to be in a situation where she spends a lot of private time with a man in whom she has no romantic interest. But perhaps she is naive about his intentions.

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......if anybody indicates even vaguely that I'm not wanted, I just kind of write them off as having no taste, and move on.


Why do aspies do this? It only makes sense to detach from people who are not interested in us - but it is seen as odd or antisocial to show this indifference to others.

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Not that I'd necessarily move from friendship to relationship purely on account of signs. That would just be one thing that had to be right. Though while partnerless or in a "dead" relationship, I would feel a lot of temptation to find out whether the signs were real or not, by making an advance. Really it's only my understanding of the likely bad consequences of such actions that would stop me.


Previous bad relationship experiences would also stop me. I have an excellent memory about how I've been treated (and how I have treated others.) This makes me averse to being in a normal relationship. However I feel safe with my partner so I am happy with the relationship. I wonder then if it is normal to be "slow" in developing the relationship to allow for this comfort level. I know of no one who is slower than me. Lol.

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But back then, I was feeling very guilty about having married somebody and then wanting to leave when she'd committed herself to me, so I found it impossible to come out with anything critical about her to counsellors.....there's also the problem that the things she did that hurt me were rather subtle, so either I couldn't see those behaviours clearly, or I thought the counsellors would say I was just being silly.


And if the counselor did not take you seriously, would you think that you were suffering from Cassandra Syndrome? If the syndrome is real, it seems that it might occur frequently in aspie/aspie couples due to the constant confusion caused by both parties in the relationship.

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I don't know how much stamina it takes to keep the average relationship working. I guess it depends a lot on the individuals. I think it's another of those things that people should talk about before making a commitment - how much time they want to share with each other, how much responsibility they expect the other person to take for their well-being.


Some of the stamina is needed for the emotional matters (and that can be physically exhausting.) Constantly wondering what would make my partner feel loved (what to say and what not to say and providing response, how to react to problems or disappointments in a way that makes him feel that I really care, knowing when to back off and knowing when to nag him for his own good, etc.) This emotional connection takes a lot of focus for those of us with ADHD traits. But I don't believe that I am unsuitable as a partner and should be alone for the rest of my life because I have these challenges. I only need a lot more practice.