Aspie/Aspie Relationship Issues

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Graelwyn
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15 Jul 2011, 9:12 pm

Anyone else here been or is in a relationship with another aspie?

Have you experienced any problems with communication ?

I have, for better or worse, been seeing an Aspergers man for the last 4 and a half months.

When things are good, they are brilliant and there is a great closeness and warmth.

But every so often, we hit communication difficulties, and where I react by withdrawing, going silent, and later hurting myself through sheer frustration, he reacts by going home, then the next day, basically ranting on about how emotions come about because of computers, films and music, and about how I am not normal for reacting as I do over such small things (the last time, I got upset because when I ventured to ask for a kiss, he basically refused me and it took me a lot of effort to reach a point of asking and i didnt feel like eating or talking so neither of us ate and he went home)

He basically tends to, whenever I get upset, bring up how he has been physically attacked in the past, and almost died, and how the abuses I have been through and how my problems are nothing in comparison.

I honestly don't want to walk away( in spite of the past advice of a few here, as he has said terrible things in the past...sorry, there has been enough good that it is very hard to just turn my back, i hope you understand), as he is far better than he was initially (22 years alone seems to make an aspie man very difficult to deal with, especially when he was born at a time and in a place where it was not dealt with), but I am finding it incredibly difficult to cope with this constant invalidation of my feelings and my past, and I dont understand why he reacts this way to it. He is wonderful until I show any sign of being upset or distressed by things he has said. Then he gets funny, and goes on these rants about the state of the world out there and how people kill over just words, and how he has been through all this crap and doesnt care anymore, and doesnt care that no one else cares.

Is he afraid?
Does it make him feel threatened?

It makes no sense to me as a lot of times, he is gentle and seemingly loving and listens better, then he gets these days where he rants on about the negativities in the world, and where he seems to plant me in the midst of all the ills of the world. I can never know what is really bothering him, or why he is reacting this way, or why, even when I try to explain my own reactions to things, he trivialises it all and says I am over reacting.

Can any male aspies relate to this behaviour ?
Or is it purely that I am over sensitive ?

Why is there such a difference between him and myself at this level, when in other ways we are so alike?
He can stay cool and calm at things, yet I totally meltdown and become destructive when things confuse me or upset me and get caught up trying to analyse and work it all out.
I dont understand it. Maybe I am just totally emotionally unstable and messed up on top of the ASD.

How can I make him understand that it is not only physical pain that is valid ?
Can any of you older, longterm, alone aspie males shed any insight ?

PS - please be gentle :oops:


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bucephalus
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15 Jul 2011, 9:40 pm

this is a tricky situation. you need to tell him that he needs to listen to you more, if you haven't told him already. This doesn't seem to be an AS related problem. I know lots of neurotypical people that fail to listen and have to trivialise people's problems with their own 'bigger' ones. every single time. tell him he needs to take turns when listening to each other's problems and that you need his emotional support too


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technical_cat
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16 Jul 2011, 3:58 am

I think I've been here as well. He could be reacting violently and defensively to what he percieves as critisism of him.

Unfortunately it could mean that you are unable to communicate your feelings when something goes wrong, or when something he has done or said has upset you, without him blowing up defensively - and the blowing up then means that there is no further discussion or resolution for you on the original issue.

I've been trying to work this one out for a long time, a year now, with an undiagnosed aspie male. I cannot get an answer to it and am as stuck as you are I think.

What I have most difficulty with it trying to figure out if this behaviour is AS related or just plain bad, bullying behaviour.

I understand that he doesn't get why things might upset me. I am constantly suprised when I upset people, I get caught up in what I'm thinking without ever thinking of the effect of what I'm saying on the other person - I understand that very well. But when I do realise that I've upset someone, even when I didn't mean it, I try everything I can to put it right if I want to keep that relationship.

I've read enough anecdotal evidence now of other aspie/aspie relationships where once they realise that thier action has upset someone, at least try to make an effort to resolve it, or understand how to react in a different way (even if they can't do it), and are remorseful that something that have said or done has upset thier partner or friend.

In my case there never is any apology, my feelings are just not valid at all, there is nothing but a hostile response to what he percieves as unfair critisism, and as long as I never "complain" about anything things are great, better than great from his viewpoint.

I apologise constantly for what I feel is an unfair reaction to something that I've said, but I understand that this is essential if I'm going to keep people that I like around me.

The question is, do you carry on harbouring silently your pain at things he says and does, or at best try and develop coping strategies and always turning to yourself, your work, interests or if you're lucky a platonic friend for comfort when you're upset by him because you accept that it will only make things worse if you try and resolve it directly with him - do you keep trying to make him see, or do you end it ?

I've tried so many different approaches to this with him. He's reacted violently to every different approach, and yet after the fact, he always says that all I need to do if there is a problem is talk to him, or that if he realised that what he was doing was upsetting me then he wouldn't have done it. Yet the next time when I try to communicate that something has upset me, he freaks out again and becomes abusive, hostile, defensive - I can only conclude that what he is reacting to, despite what he says, is the mere fact that I have suggested that something that he has said or done has upset me. CATCH 22, CHICKEN and EGG......



I know why he says and does the things he does, but also I cannot ignore the anecdotal evidence from other relationships where behaviour has been modified, even with no real understanding of why it should be modified, to be less damaging following the willingness of BOTH people to improve the relationship and inetraction. I've tried the social story approach, I've tried the "usually in relationships people do this" approach, I've tried telling him clearly and directly, explicitly word for word what I need him to do, this is the advise given out, he really blows up then and shouts that he's not going to be told what to do - he flatly refuses, and then says he's refusing just on the principle that he's being told what to do, whether he wants to do it or not, he won't because he's been told.

I have had a very small degree of success when I have used an example of when he felt the same way (upset) when I did something similar - but he will still maintain that my feelings aren't valid, that he has nothing to apologise for. But that his feeling are valid.

I myself have modified my behaviour, which is so difficult for me to do, so that I don't counter-react violently with him and spin down into that never ending verbal abuse cycle. So I know that it CAN be done. I have apologised for things that I DON'T think I have any reason to be sorry for, I've apologised because I understand that that is the way to make someone feel better about something that you did however innocent the motivation for that thing was. I am having difficutly deciding whether he does not get this or not, whether it's an AS thing or just bad behaviour.

It is very frustrating when I have many similar probelms, but it seems that as in male AS/ female NT relationships, in aspie, aspie relationships we are still as women experiencing many of the same issues as NT women, even though we are not demanding or need any where near the same kind of interaction, emotional sharing, empathy, communication........................


sorry for the long post, hope some of it helps a bit.



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16 Jul 2011, 11:49 pm

communication difficluties.....yes...
in the early phase of our relationship I wanted him to know everything about me. I was really excited..I was very enthusiastic about everything about him...but then it seemed like he stopped noticing me...
I started feeling as though he was "put off" by me, but didn't want to say anything..He also can't say "I love you" and has a hard time even kissing me....it made me feel lonely.
I internalize all of my upset tho..
When I tried to talk about things, his reaction was so extreme that it frightened me out of feeling comfortable about talking about anything at all having to do with our relationship. When we are together, we are together...no talking about it. When we are apart, we are apart.....We IM, but otherwise we don;t talk about it....He sidestepped any effort I made to try and talk about it. I still have strong feelings for him...but that road can be a lonely one.

Other ASish guy I have dated...very volatile...intense...but we were able to talk about everything...and he with AS honesty, would talk about things that would upset me..but...at least we could talk about stuff regarding us. He could say "I love you"...I feel as tho current boyfriend cannot say it because he does not. I have told him that I would not hold it against him..he is under no obligation..I would not get mad at him for not loving me..if he can't he can't..I enjoy having him in my life. I would hope that he would miss me if I was gone, but it is hard to be beholden in a situation like that.



Graelwyn
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17 Jul 2011, 4:36 am

technical_cat wrote:
I think I've been here as well. He could be reacting violently and defensively to what he percieves as critisism of him.

Unfortunately it could mean that you are unable to communicate your feelings when something goes wrong, or when something he has done or said has upset you, without him blowing up defensively - and the blowing up then means that there is no further discussion or resolution for you on the original issue.

I've been trying to work this one out for a long time, a year now, with an undiagnosed aspie male. I cannot get an answer to it and am as stuck as you are I think.

What I have most difficulty with it trying to figure out if this behaviour is AS related or just plain bad, bullying behaviour.

I understand that he doesn't get why things might upset me. I am constantly suprised when I upset people, I get caught up in what I'm thinking without ever thinking of the effect of what I'm saying on the other person - I understand that very well. But when I do realise that I've upset someone, even when I didn't mean it, I try everything I can to put it right if I want to keep that relationship.

I've read enough anecdotal evidence now of other aspie/aspie relationships where once they realise that thier action has upset someone, at least try to make an effort to resolve it, or understand how to react in a different way (even if they can't do it), and are remorseful that something that have said or done has upset thier partner or friend.

In my case there never is any apology, my feelings are just not valid at all, there is nothing but a hostile response to what he percieves as unfair critisism, and as long as I never "complain" about anything things are great, better than great from his viewpoint.

I apologise constantly for what I feel is an unfair reaction to something that I've said, but I understand that this is essential if I'm going to keep people that I like around me.

The question is, do you carry on harbouring silently your pain at things he says and does, or at best try and develop coping strategies and always turning to yourself, your work, interests or if you're lucky a platonic friend for comfort when you're upset by him because you accept that it will only make things worse if you try and resolve it directly with him - do you keep trying to make him see, or do you end it ?

I've tried so many different approaches to this with him. He's reacted violently to every different approach, and yet after the fact, he always says that all I need to do if there is a problem is talk to him, or that if he realised that what he was doing was upsetting me then he wouldn't have done it. Yet the next time when I try to communicate that something has upset me, he freaks out again and becomes abusive, hostile, defensive - I can only conclude that what he is reacting to, despite what he says, is the mere fact that I have suggested that something that he has said or done has upset me. CATCH 22, CHICKEN and EGG......



I know why he says and does the things he does, but also I cannot ignore the anecdotal evidence from other relationships where behaviour has been modified, even with no real understanding of why it should be modified, to be less damaging following the willingness of BOTH people to improve the relationship and inetraction. I've tried the social story approach, I've tried the "usually in relationships people do this" approach, I've tried telling him clearly and directly, explicitly word for word what I need him to do, this is the advise given out, he really blows up then and shouts that he's not going to be told what to do - he flatly refuses, and then says he's refusing just on the principle that he's being told what to do, whether he wants to do it or not, he won't because he's been told.

I have had a very small degree of success when I have used an example of when he felt the same way (upset) when I did something similar - but he will still maintain that my feelings aren't valid, that he has nothing to apologise for. But that his feeling are valid.

I myself have modified my behaviour, which is so difficult for me to do, so that I don't counter-react violently with him and spin down into that never ending verbal abuse cycle. So I know that it CAN be done. I have apologised for things that I DON'T think I have any reason to be sorry for, I've apologised because I understand that that is the way to make someone feel better about something that you did however innocent the motivation for that thing was. I am having difficutly deciding whether he does not get this or not, whether it's an AS thing or just bad behaviour.

It is very frustrating when I have many similar probelms, but it seems that as in male AS/ female NT relationships, in aspie, aspie relationships we are still as women experiencing many of the same issues as NT women, even though we are not demanding or need any where near the same kind of interaction, emotional sharing, empathy, communication........................


sorry for the long post, hope some of it helps a bit.


Hi, that is the essence of the problem I have, that I cannot communicate my feelings. I struggle with that at the best of times, but to have them disregarded and walked over when I do display them or try, is proving to be a terrible stumbling block, the result being that I get upset and go silent and hide away, he ends up staying in the other room then going home, I end up melting down and acting out and he then reacts badly to that, not understanding the impact of his words on me.

It is a pattern that keeps repeating, and is a shame as outside of that, we can be very close, considering we are both on the spectrum.

I must admit, it is hard for me to know when I upset him as he doesn't really express it... he will simply go on a rant days later which will be about all manner of things, but what might actually have bothered him. I have managed to deduce that much. He never had any intervention due to the era he was born in, so he basically, does not even seem to have any awareness of emotions in himself, and claims to not even have any, lol. This makes it even more difficult for me to understand where he is coming from. In ways, we are too alike, but that doesn't seem to help with the communication difficulties.

He does sometimes ask if I am sad or happy, but never of any other emotions. I tend to not respond truthfully because he has shown no understanding when I have expressed how I am feeling or what is bothering me, so it has become safer to simply not tell him.

He isn't violent or anything like that, but he is very forceful in his opinions and words, which can leave me feeling voiceless and cornered.
If I start crying, he still carries on talking as if totally oblivious.
He tells me to just tell him to shut up, but that isn't in my nature, and I am sure if I did do that, he wouldn't react well.

Things go well as long as they are kept non serious and happy.
But as soon as any sadness or upset on my part is shown, things go badly wrong.


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Graelwyn
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17 Jul 2011, 4:42 am

poopylungstuffing wrote:
communication difficluties.....yes...
in the early phase of our relationship I wanted him to know everything about me. I was really excited..I was very enthusiastic about everything about him...but then it seemed like he stopped noticing me...
I started feeling as though he was "put off" by me, but didn't want to say anything..He also can't say "I love you" and has a hard time even kissing me....it made me feel lonely.
I internalize all of my upset tho..
When I tried to talk about things, his reaction was so extreme that it frightened me out of feeling comfortable about talking about anything at all having to do with our relationship. When we are together, we are together...no talking about it. When we are apart, we are apart.....We IM, but otherwise we don;t talk about it....He sidestepped any effort I made to try and talk about it. I still have strong feelings for him...but that road can be a lonely one.

Other ASish guy I have dated...very volatile...intense...but we were able to talk about everything...and he with AS honesty, would talk about things that would upset me..but...at least we could talk about stuff regarding us. He could say "I love you"...I feel as tho current boyfriend cannot say it because he does not. I have told him that I would not hold it against him..he is under no obligation..I would not get mad at him for not loving me..if he can't he can't..I enjoy having him in my life. I would hope that he would miss me if I was gone, but it is hard to be beholden in a situation like that.


Like you, I wanted him to know everything about me. He didn't stop noticing me, he just didn't want to know all about me, and viewed it as emotional stuff. He reacts particularly badly to any references to my abusive past. However, he does kiss me, he initiated that actually, and there is no problem on that side of things, considering he is aspie, he is actually fine with touching me and vice versa.

I totally relate to not being able to talk about us, I feel unable to as he doesn't like to take anything in life too seriously anymore, thus we never talk about our status, what we are, where we are going etc. Anything emotional is basically off limits, unless it is positive and happy. I can also relate to the AS honesty, there is little held back here, and yes, often the words really cause me upset, but he cannot understand why.

I am sorry your own situation is difficult. It can make one sometimes wish they had less emotions.


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Graelwyn
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17 Jul 2011, 4:44 am

bucephalus wrote:
this is a tricky situation. you need to tell him that he needs to listen to you more, if you haven't told him already. This doesn't seem to be an AS related problem. I know lots of neurotypical people that fail to listen and have to trivialise people's problems with their own 'bigger' ones. every single time. tell him he needs to take turns when listening to each other's problems and that you need his emotional support too


I tend not to express such things to him, as he really seems to hate anything serious, especially anything that is causing me upset. I don't know if it is because he doesn't know how to help or what. But yes he does tend to not see that other people have suffered also. He has been through a lot in life, it is true, but so have I in my own way, and without his being willing to respect that, it is hard to trust.


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17 Jul 2011, 5:26 am

I am sorry but I think there's not much scope for your relationship to grow if you're unhappy about not being emotionally understood. If that's important to you, you either move on or discuss about this very problem with him.

Quote:
Is he afraid?
Does it make him feel threatened?


I'm guessing insecure or too cynical to believe you're being nice to him after being alone for so long. He's being protective about himself and selfish.. not a good sign.

It's entirely upto you. If you want to stick longer I think you should be heard!



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17 Jul 2011, 5:37 am

Graelwyn wrote:

It makes no sense to me as a lot of times, he is gentle and seemingly loving and listens better, then he gets these days where he rants on about the negativities in the world, and where he seems to plant me in the midst of all the ills of the world. I can never know what is really bothering him, or why he is reacting this way, or why, even when I try to explain my own reactions to things, he trivialises it all and says I am over reacting.

Can any male aspies relate to this behaviour ?
Or is it purely that I am over sensitive ?

Why is there such a difference between him and myself at this level, when in other ways we are so alike?



According to my experience...once upon a time, for 10 months, and several times shotter experiences...

Their emotions are inconstant, but I have never 'venture to ask...', they needs these things more than myself...

I can stay cool and calm at things but pretended not sometimes...I trvivalise things also...But I am sorry for that I am a young female..

One of them has shown similar things as you said, but it was because I was so young at that time, and he did not want to take that much risk...

I agree with this

Quote:
I'm guessing insecure or too cynical to believe you're being nice to him after being alone for so long. He's being protective about himself and selfish..


Would he come back if you leave him alone??

But it sounds so cruel...



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18 Jul 2011, 10:06 am

He sounds like my last ASish boyfriend..the one who WOULD actually talk about things. That improved....after I left him. It is easy to get taken for granted in relationships..very easy...



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18 Jul 2011, 10:07 am

I mean, he stopped factoring me in as one of the evils of the world..and such



Graelwyn
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18 Jul 2011, 8:42 pm

poopylungstuffing wrote:
I mean, he stopped factoring me in as one of the evils of the world..and such


Haha, that does resonate with my situation. When we have misunderstandings, he does tend to relate my reactions to misunderstanding him, to the situations out there in the world, when someone only has to say the wrong thing to get stabbed or shot. It does become frustrating, especially as we are, in essence, mirrors in that sense...

We had another 'situation' tonight.
I am the sort of aspie that takes things very literally. I cannot help myself.
He is the sort to 'tease' in a way I have never known anyone tease, and of course, he does it with a totally serious face, and serious eyes, but to me, his face appears hard and unfriendly when he does this.
Similarly, at times, he takes me literally when I say something, yet don't mean it seriously... this is a problem as at the time, neither of us can see that we are both taking some things seriously and literally. Or rather, he isn't seeing it and seems to forget it when I take him literally.


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20 Jul 2011, 10:30 am

Oh yeah...I have had super big problems with this in AS-AS relationships...and non....the mutuality of things being taken literally....yar..don't even feel like elaborate at the moment...gone over it enuff



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21 Jul 2011, 10:43 am

The first aspie / aspie relationship that I was in was a horrible experience that I wish never happened. This was an online relationship we never met in real life, he was needy as hell, all he wanted to talk about was sex and what he wanted me to do to him and what he wanted to do to me sexually which was really gross and he would always talk about how he was horny and that he was "playing with himself as he was talking about this to me. He would make me send him pictures of certain parts of my body so he could get off and he would tell me how he wanted to spank me so he would have me spank myself over the phone so he could get off which by the way was the only way that he would talk to me on the phone was if i promised to do that for him. He would say that he loved me but it was more like I love you for right now but as soon I things get hard I will bail and leave you alone, which he would do on a regular basis would turn around and say how sorry he was but then would turn around and do it all over again. I cut him loose ten months ago and haven't looked back.

My current relationship is aspie/ aspie as well but this guy is so different from the last one he truly cares about me and we he says I love you I know that he means it, he does so much for me and he makes me feel like real woman and not just some object like how my ex treated me. He is so unselfish and he puts me ahead of himself. We talk through webcams ( he lives in sweden and I live in the U.S.) and I don't have to convince him to talk to me and we talk about everything which is a lot of fun and he has admitted that he is addictied to talking to me and he is not clingy and needy like my ex. We are best friends and I feel so comfortable around him and I just love being with him. We have met in real life and that was the most wonderful experience for both of us we spent most of the time wrapped up in each other's arms and I can't wait for him to come back so we can to that all over again. I wrote this to say that all aspie / aspie relationships aren't bad it just depends on the aspies and level that each one is at and sometimes that can effect relationships as well. Me and my ex were at different levels he was way more inmature than me and has no self control and behaves like a spoiled child but me and my new boyfriend balance each other out were he is weak I am strong and were I am weak he is strong. Aspie/ Aspie relationships can work it just depends on the aspies involved.


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22 Jul 2011, 10:05 pm

Mine have been opposite extremes..
The first was very honest and intense....Extremely volatile.....we had been friends (in a distant, awkward, but sincere way) for years before we dated....We really got to know each other very very well during the course of our relationship...It is hard to explain...I didn't break up with him because I didn't love him, I broke up with him because I thought he needed his freedom and all this other stuff, and I was so emotionally involved with him that it made me have nervous breakdowns, cause I would take his tantrums very literally ...and I got sick of him being mean to me....though I still loved him...as a person and whatnot....there was overwhelming advice that I needed to move on.

The next...no talking about sex....a sense of heavy repression, or perhaps even asexuality and going thru the motions...even a repeated sense that perhaps he did not really like me...there is still no talking about anything...then again there is no yelling or rudeness or meltdowns or fighting....but a frequent sense of absence...I began to feel very lonely a few months into the relationship because I was not used to this kind of distance...and the lack of any communication about the relationship and whatnot...but he is a source of great calmness and stability in my otherwise chaotic and overwhelming life....and i have felt like I should be grateful to him for putting up with me...he is very structured and very right brained and a good deal smarter and "civilized" than I am...and I have often felt like he deserves better than me, and I have done the very best that I could by him, but have gone thru periods of intense loneliness and have had "adjustment" issues.....I hope I do ok....or I hope that I am appreciated somewhat..I make no demands on him, or very few....I do not drag him away too much from his interests, in which he is very very absorbed....but I have still not been the most ideal girlfriends, and have had the perception that he has higher standards that I am not able to live up to...and/or that his "internet life" special interests are more important than a girlfriend...but that it is validating for him to be able to have a girlfriend......and then I have have the notion that perhaps we have perceptions of our relationship that wildly differ...but there is no way of telling because we cannot talk about our relationship......the only context I have been able to bring it up in is when I gently brought up the prospect of our maybe breaking up because I felt like he didn't really like me......