NT just started a relationship with an Asperger [Advice]

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myglobs
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13 Jul 2019, 6:25 am

Question in short:
What can a NT-Partner do, to help an AS-Partner?

Background:
- I'm 35 years old and started to date a woman with Asperger 2 months ago.
- She is 36 and has been diagnosed with Asperger when she was 19.
- She is the first person with Asperger that i know.
- Until now, I've read a Book about Aspergers (22 things a woman with aspergers wants her partner to know) and watched a few youtube videos about aspergers and ASD in general.
- I'm not her first relationship with an NT, so she explained what the difficulties were in the past (eg. lack of honesty the NT, very specific communication)
- Those relationships were very difficult for her and also left some open scars (eg. trust issues)

Current Situation:
Two days ago, we had actually a very beautiful day together. The morning was spent in bed (talking, cuddling, sex), i made breakfast, we then spent some more time in bed and then in the afternoon we went to Ikea because we both need stuff. I needed stuff to make my flat a bit more Aspie friendly and she simply needed some stuff for her flat. On the way back, in the car, i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior. So I'm now working through my part, to find out what the insecurity is and how to tackle it, and she is recuperating from that terrible exhausting sequence.

Advice Needed:
In the two months, she has done a great amount of good things for me on an emotional basis. I understand myself a lot better then before. But that really cost her quite a lot of energy. She has done all that without me ever asking for it. But now, after the thing that happened, she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.
So what can an NT do for an Aspie to help her in her in daily life, to feel better and have more energy to deal with her life.

I really feel very strongly for this woman and any advice is tremendously appreciated. Thank you very much! :heart:



Amity
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13 Jul 2019, 6:51 am

Some ideas
Work on language in general most importantly allow time to get comfortable with a different type of communication, ie very direct, not rude, but short questions and answers.
Identify by yourself first, the areas she has difficulty with, then check with her about your observations. You mention having done some research, fair play.
Maybe have a refresher look at the triad of impairments and ask her if she has research on the female experience of Autism that she could share with you for reading.
Together develop strategies (to cope) and routines (for prevention) that work for both of you, equal compromises work best imo.
Work on your own challenges, such as the frustration and other things that you can be in control of.



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13 Jul 2019, 7:37 am

myglobs wrote:
Question in short:
What can a NT-Partner do, to help an AS-Partner?

...i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior.


Yeah.

Don't blame being NT on whatever issues you have. NT people who are well-grounded and considerate of others don't say terrible and demeaning things to their partners. Honestly, if I were her, I would consider your verbal attack a sign of someone with control issues and a deal-breaker.

If you were an as*hole to her, own that and work on that. Don't place the blame on her shoulders. You've framed this question on what she needs "help" with, when in reality, it sounds like it's you who needs to get some therapy or something and work on your s**t.


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Amity
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13 Jul 2019, 7:49 am

Luhluhluh wrote:
myglobs wrote:
Question in short:
What can a NT-Partner do, to help an AS-Partner?

...i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior.


Yeah.

Don't blame being NT on whatever issues you have. NT people who are well-grounded and considerate of others don't say terrible and demeaning things to their partners. Honestly, if I were her, I would consider your verbal attack a sign of someone with control issues and a deal-breaker.

If you were an as*hole to her, own that and work on that. Don't place the blame on her shoulders. You've framed this question on what she needs "help" with, when in reality, it sounds like it's you who needs to get some therapy or something and work on your s**t.

I think he is coming from a place of self awareness on this one?



SaveFerris
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13 Jul 2019, 7:50 am

myglobs wrote:
she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.


This seems like a strange question to me. It could have two meanings imo

1. She wants to see if you understand what her struggles are

2. She wants you you to come up with things that help her struggles.

As you have posted here , the answer to number 1 is you don't have a clue.

I have no idea what the answer to number 2 is , everyone is different , you should ask her how you can help her in life.


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Luhluhluh
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13 Jul 2019, 8:06 am

Amity wrote:
Luhluhluh wrote:
myglobs wrote:
Question in short:
What can a NT-Partner do, to help an AS-Partner?

...i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior.


Yeah.

Don't blame being NT on whatever issues you have. NT people who are well-grounded and considerate of others don't say terrible and demeaning things to their partners. Honestly, if I were her, I would consider your verbal attack a sign of someone with control issues and a deal-breaker.

If you were an as*hole to her, own that and work on that. Don't place the blame on her shoulders. You've framed this question on what she needs "help" with, when in reality, it sounds like it's you who needs to get some therapy or something and work on your s**t.

I think he is coming from a place of self awareness on this one?


Maybe, but I detected quite a bit of blame shifting in his post.

Okay to be fair OP, you want to help her. ASK her and listen to what she says. Then do it.


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SaveFerris
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13 Jul 2019, 8:18 am

myglobs wrote:
i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior.


This is not NT behaviour , it is human behaviour. If you think some Aspies are incapable of this , think again.


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myglobs
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13 Jul 2019, 9:05 am

Luhluhluh wrote:
myglobs wrote:
Question in short:
What can a NT-Partner do, to help an AS-Partner?

...i went full NT on her caused by a insecurity of mine. I really said some terrible things to her in a very demeaning, indirect and hurtful way. Consciously i wouldn't do that, but something triggered that really bad NT behavior.


Yeah.

Don't blame being NT on whatever issues you have. NT people who are well-grounded and considerate of others don't say terrible and demeaning things to their partners. Honestly, if I were her, I would consider your verbal attack a sign of someone with control issues and a deal-breaker.

If you were an as*hole to her, own that and work on that. Don't place the blame on her shoulders. You've framed this question on what she needs "help" with, when in reality, it sounds like it's you who needs to get some therapy or something and work on your s**t.


You are absolutely right with what you are saying. And I'm trying to work on my stuff. If it came across as I wanted to shift blame on her, then let me be more precise. The whole thing is my fault! And I really know that, and it hurts!



myglobs
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13 Jul 2019, 9:10 am

SaveFerris wrote:
myglobs wrote:
she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.


This seems like a strange question to me. It could have two meanings imo

1. She wants to see if you understand what her struggles are

2. She wants you you to come up with things that help her struggles.

As you have posted here , the answer to number 1 is you don't have a clue.

I have no idea what the answer to number 2 is , everyone is different , you should ask her how you can help her in life.


I think you kind of already helped me with that splint in two possibilities. She wants me to understand what her struggle is, so that we can work on number two together.

I was so caught up in my own stuff at the moment, that I'm to much of an idiot right now to not understand such things myself.

Thank you!



SaveFerris
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13 Jul 2019, 9:24 am

myglobs wrote:
SaveFerris wrote:
myglobs wrote:
she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.


This seems like a strange question to me. It could have two meanings imo

1. She wants to see if you understand what her struggles are

2. She wants you you to come up with things that help her struggles.

As you have posted here , the answer to number 1 is you don't have a clue.

I have no idea what the answer to number 2 is , everyone is different , you should ask her how you can help her in life.


I think you kind of already helped me with that splint in two possibilities. She wants me to understand what her struggle is, so that we can work on number two together.

I was so caught up in my own stuff at the moment, that I'm to much of an idiot right now to not understand such things myself.

Thank you!


You've only been together 2 months , it will take time to find each others boundaries and limitations. If you really love this girl it will mean compromise and potentially modifying your expectations to fit within their limitations. e.g My partner took for granted that we'd go on holiday abroad when we had the money but over the years it became clear to her that it was not something I could do - now she just holidays with friends.


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myglobs
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13 Jul 2019, 10:02 am

SaveFerris wrote:
myglobs wrote:
SaveFerris wrote:
myglobs wrote:
she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.


This seems like a strange question to me. It could have two meanings imo

1. She wants to see if you understand what her struggles are

2. She wants you you to come up with things that help her struggles.

As you have posted here , the answer to number 1 is you don't have a clue.

I have no idea what the answer to number 2 is , everyone is different , you should ask her how you can help her in life.


I think you kind of already helped me with that splint in two possibilities. She wants me to understand what her struggle is, so that we can work on number two together.

I was so caught up in my own stuff at the moment, that I'm to much of an idiot right now to not understand such things myself.

Thank you!


You've only been together 2 months , it will take time to find each others boundaries and limitations. If you really love this girl it will mean compromise and potentially modifying your expectations to fit within their limitations. e.g My partner took for granted that we'd go on holiday abroad when we had the money but over the years it became clear to her that it was not something I could do - now she just holidays with friends.


We have talked a lot about her limitations, and found a few ways to deal with some of them.
But I come to realize, that I didn't know my boundaries when it comes to things like really direct criticism of myself. She often asked me if it was alright, and at that moment it felt like it. But the more I think about it, the more I understand, that my limit was probably reached and I snapped. Having said that, the blame is on my side, that I didn't reflect enough about it before giving her an answer.



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13 Jul 2019, 1:43 pm

You mentioned lack of honesty in her past relationships, I think it's good to be honest with her completely, she will know when youre lying or just trying to be nice [or itll make things harder for you two] and adore you when youre humble and honest and when you know youve made a mistake and acknowledge it. Even for small things. Notice she knows what's true much more than you sometimes are aware of, one place to start is to notice your behaviour & feelings and question what's behind them.

After the rough episode I think she's exhausted and more exhaustable, as well as with enhanced trust issues. Maybe she wants you to back yourself up and show reliance, compassion and strength. She might be more depressed/heading toward depressed times and needs a space she can relax in and be herself without constantly masking. Masking is exhausting, and it involves her not being blunt with you and possibly offending you without intending to, with the purpose to understand you more at your true core and help you understand yourself too. Honestly seeing you matters a lot to her. Try to understand and accept her quirks, she is wired differently and will never learn how to be someone else, even if she can try to act normal for a while.

Many auties see the literal sense of words, so try to use such and see her input for the literal sense to better understand. Ask for clarification, don't jump to conclusions if in doubt. Explain your feelings and needs directly and calmly when you feel yourself getting angry, or excuse yourself and remove yourself from her and later on discuss your feelings when you're calm and can think clearly. Many auties can't deal with shouting and angry talk and may take longer to process their feelings and recover.


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13 Jul 2019, 4:15 pm

Everyone is different. Would it help if instead of thinking of her as an aspie, think of her as a person who you are madly in love with and little by little, learn her ways, desires and needs and help her learn your ways, desires and needs? Would it help to think of her quirks as her character? Quirks can be good or bad. For example, One has an old 1980's car which still has a choke. One has to learn the exact place the choke needs in the morning to help it start. You love the car because it is soo unique and oodles with character. The longer you own the car for, the more you learn about its individual needs...
Now I do not know if I have asperges or not. I know have asperges traits. I have recently come to find this out. I always thought these traits were just me. My character. I never would have thought they had anything to do with asperges or autism. Now until I joined this site, I assumed I was totally unique in the ways I think and feel. I felt as if most of the world seemed to be against me at times... Little did I know that it may have something to do with my reactions to the world!
Now my character... When I knew nothing about the autistic spectrum, I just thought I am a bit of a loner. I prefer quiet places. I often "Acted thick" to fit in if I was in a group, or i would keep saying jokes as my way to fit in. When I ran out of jokes, I went more serious and withdrawn. (When the jokes wore out my mask came off). Now I related this to my character.
In a same way, it might help for you two to not think so much in differences between being on the autistic spectrum or not, but think of it as what do I need to do to help my loved one cope through the day... And she will be thinking the same.
Be open and honest... If she keeps asking you "Do you love me?" why not gently (If she is one who likes hugs. Some don't) give her a hug. This will show her without the "Of course i love you" each time she says it. A hug in the right place ay cover any insecure feelings she may have. You could say "Do you need a hug?" instead. It is a different angle of approach which may suit her character better.
All it basically is, is to learn to find the things that work for her and she needs to find the same with you, as love and relationships go both aays so both of you will need a little patience.

Now my advice may or may not work. I do not know. I don't have much experience of dating, though my last girlfriend had asperges though there was nothing sexual between us as in a sexual relationship, as I am one who prefers to wait to marry first.

Don't blame yourself for mistakes. Just say "Sorry" and learn from them. We all make mistakes and feel guilty. I think you are very open and honest to admit you are not perfect. If only everyone was like this! And it does not mean we won't occasionally repeat those mistakes. Sometimes we may repeat them a few times before we get it right. Have patience and remember love. :) Love is patient. Love is kind... (Remember the Bible verses?) They may help. :)

I hope what I write has been useful. If it has not, then ignore it. :)


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13 Jul 2019, 4:55 pm

Just to add. My thoughts about thinking about character rather than thinking about asperges or NT are to prevent you two thinking along the lines of being different. Yes you both are different, but by labelling the differences in ones mind may make building bridges between you two more difficult. I hope this may make sense as I am not saying not to research asperges. Of course. You have a desire to understand. You may find the odd trait you can relate to so you may begin to understand...
Think of it this way. (Assuming here that I am diagnosed with asperges as I have yet to be assessed). In school especially, and in my life I have been struggling. But though I knew I was struggling, I assumed everyone struggled. I didn't know any different. If I had been diagnosed at an early age it may have saved me a lot of frustration and pain BUT on the other hand, I may have realized I was struggling which could have made things worse. So on the one hand I would find life tough but not think I was as it was part of life (E.g. being withdrawn and being picked on etc) but on the other hand, if I was labelled I would be more of a victim from those who would use the label as their way of amusement and make things worse, and I would have felt worse.
Sorry. My thoughts maybe going off on a tangent to try to explain things...


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14 Jul 2019, 11:30 am

myglobs wrote:
But now, after the thing that happened, she is asking me to think what I can do for her to help her in her life. And i find myself struggling with the question. If she were a NT, I feel like I know intuitively what to do. But her being on the Spectrum, I'm quite unsure.
So what can an NT do for an Aspie to help her in her in daily life, to feel better and have more energy to deal with her life.

She's the only one who can answer that question. It's good you're studying up on autism/Aspergers in general, but we're not all clones of each other. We are highly individual; we differ from each other in many ways, much more than NT's differ from each other.

There are lots of web tutorials on how to give and receive constructive criticism. Perhaps both you AND she should study such tutorials in the interests of learning to communicate with each other more clearly yet also more diplomatically.


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