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2by2
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21 Jan 2017, 8:24 am

I have a question for couples who recieved an autism diagnosis during a long term relationship.

How did an it affect how you viewed your partner if you are NT and how did it affect your relationship if you were personally diagnosed. Did it have any significant impact?



kraftiekortie
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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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Location: Queens, NYC

21 Jan 2017, 8:49 am

I am childhood-diagnosed.

My wife doesn't understand my autism, and thinks my symptoms can be alleviated through appeals to "common sense" and restraining myself.

I sense this scenario is quite common.



ArielsSong
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21 Jan 2017, 10:06 am

It didn't affect our relationship negatively at all. But, I do think we are an extremely easy-going couple, in general.

Since my diagnosis, my husband has worked hard to understand my issues at the same time that I've been learning to understand them myself. He helps me to find accommodations, talks through things with me, does the things that I find very difficult.

There have been difficult times, of course, though it's eased off significantly. For the first few months there was a lot of me explaining my thought process or why something bothered me, whilst I never had before. I think he struggled with me suddenly putting everything into my 'autistic framework' and him slowly starting to understand all of the things I'd always done, and that sometimes frustrated him, and to know that they were autistic things that I couldn't necessarily control. But, we are now in the position where he understands autism completely, so if I'm acting 'autistic' he identifies it, knows why and knows how he can help, which is fantastic and makes me life so much better.

I think, from his perspective, it's also improved things. He understands me better. And, by helping with the bits I struggle with, he has helped me a lot with my 'unlocked potential'. Things I didn't have the energy to do before, because every day was an exhausting struggle. I now have a lot more energy, which means that I'm able to be more productive and attentive, which is a huge thing for both of us.

I perhaps make myself out to have been a terrible wife before. That's not the case. It's just that there was so much we didn't understand, and it was having a huge negative impact on me that I just didn't recognise or appreciate. I thought my constant exhaustion was normal, for example - I did go to the doctor to ask about a possible physical cause, but they did a blood test and confirmed I was absolutely fine. And just understanding has improved things for us both.