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lowfreq50
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26 Jun 2006, 6:11 am

There have been a few posts by wives of AS men lately asking what can be done about the husbands.

My question is . . . if the man is ice-cold, or always absorbed in his obsession, or never talks . . . why did you married him in the first place?!?!? How do you date someone like that, much less turn it into a marriage?



riley
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26 Jun 2006, 6:27 am

The relationships probably don't start out like that.



SheDevil
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26 Jun 2006, 6:39 am

LF50,
I came to this forum and other message boards to try and understand my Aspie better. I have logged hours of reading about AS/NT relationships. My observations make me believe the AS men become complacent in the relationship, and in these cases, cease any further development in the relationship. Literally, the men stop all growth in the relationship.

That said, I also have read that many Aspie men continue to work hard in their relationship with the NT wife. They openly acknowledge the differences in the way they think and continually find ways to avoid misunderstandings. It takes far more energy to make something work, than to just exist.

Still reading,
SheDevil



Popsicle
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26 Jun 2006, 7:30 am

As I wrote in my posts... He simply hid who he was.

I'm still unsure how conscious that was, but, in the cold light of day it's not looking that good.



Sundy
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26 Jun 2006, 11:48 am

I read in a book called Aspergers and Long Term Relationships (a great book and I'm not even in a long term relationship), that one AS husband said to his NT wife when she asked him why he isn't the guy that he was when they were first dating. "You didn't expect me to keep it up forever, did you?" was his response. It sound harsh, but it's the truth. In order to get a date, not only do we have to act like NTs, but we also have to be fake-NTs performing the mating dance. Once we get comfortable, our true personalities come out, just like they do in an NT-NT relationship. Our personalities can be so different from the dating personality that once we're in a long term relationship, our partners can be surprised at how different we are. It's not complacency, it's necessity. If an Aspie is acting like an Aspie, then you've got a happy Aspie. That means that they are comfortable with you. Unfortunately, we don't see the opportunities for growth in the same way that an NT does. We see it as a threat to the predicitibility we have worked so hard to achieve in the relationship.



Rosacoke
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26 Jun 2006, 12:26 pm

Please note: ALL close relationships require nurturing. When two people become partners, they should make a commitment to help each other enjoy life, learn, and grow. If not, why be partners? I don't know any married couples, NT, Aspie, or other, who really knew the other person (and what they were getting into) when they got married. But if you love that other person and value their companionship, you will probably have to put some effort into the relationship.

Some aspects of relationships are certainly more difficult for Aspie and NT partners, due to the differences in communications and needs. But part of being in a loving relationship is giving - doing things for the other person that you wouldn't do otherwise. Or adjusting your expectations to allow them to be who they are. It requires talking and listening to find out what the other person wants, and letting them know what you are able to give. It sometimes means stretching yourself, but if you love the other person, and they love you back, it's worth it.



Iammeandnooneelse
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26 Jun 2006, 12:55 pm

Maybe they managed to act NT for that short period of time then after the papers then slipped back into neuroatypical after the papers were sorted?



Mjeanee
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26 Jun 2006, 1:19 pm

SheDevil wrote:
LF50,
I came to this forum and other message boards to try and understand my Aspie better. I have logged hours of reading about AS/NT relationships. My observations make me believe the AS men become complacent in the relationship, and in these cases, cease any further development in the relationship. Literally, the men stop all growth in the relationship.

That said, I also have read that many Aspie men continue to work hard in their relationship with the NT wife. They openly acknowledge the differences in the way they think and continually find ways to avoid misunderstandings. It takes far more energy to make something work, than to just exist.

Still reading,
SheDevil




Eloquently stated!! :wink:



Mjeanee
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26 Jun 2006, 1:24 pm

lowfreq50 wrote:
There have been a few posts by wives of AS men lately asking what can be done about the husbands.

My question is . . . if the man is ice-cold, or always absorbed in his obsession, or never talks . . . why did you married him in the first place?!?!? How do you date someone like that, much less turn it into a marriage?




I can't speak for anyone else but in my case, when I met my husband, he only said that he had a bit of a temper of which he was making progress. So he had a bit of a temper, so what?! So do I initially! That coupled with the effort most people make when they are courting (the attention, gifts, etc.) couldn't have even begun to reveal just what I'm dealing with 13 years later.

It's funny, my husband has jokingly claimed that the sex became less frequent once we got married to which I replied, so did everything else he "teased" me with while we were courting. :wink:



aspiesmom1
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26 Jun 2006, 1:28 pm

I'm "NT" and my husband has AS, we've been married over 12 years.

Part of what attracted me to him was his open, honest demeanor. We met and were married within about 4 months - everyone said it would never last. He was who he was, and I loved that person. I still love that person today, and yes, he has changed going into his forties, getting a little more rigid, the OCD is becoming a little more pronounced, but there's been a few changes on my end that he's quietly put up with as well!!

My first marriage was to an NT man who wasn't at all who he said he was. He turned out to be nasty and abusive.

It took me 10 years to start dating again. All marriages take work. Ours isn't perfect, but it works, as long as we both commit to working at it. It was much harder in the beginning, when we didn't know about AS, and didn't know what it could cause.

Now, with a son on the spectrum also, I've been able to learn so much that I know how to work within this relationship, how to talk with my husband and son so that we all come away from the table understanding the same thing.


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Popsicle
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27 Jun 2006, 2:33 am

Sundy thank you for the insights into how you view relationships. I am struggling to understand my husband. He seems to like his routine a lot... which is OK to me to a point... the hard part is that it's not simply being tolerant of differences, but that in a marriage everything one spouse does in some way impacts the other. There is a saying "One person unhappy in a marriage = both persons unhappy in a marriage". I tend to think this is true. Even if he thinks he's fine and it's all me having the problem... he's at the very least unhappy with my bugging him about my needs... which I wouldn't have to do if any were met, of course. Lol. Sooo... really in the end it behooves both people in a marriage, to TRY to make the other one happier.

Those who are saying these are teh same issues in any relationship are right. I still am wondering why it is that even afer being told, or asked, as the case may be... nothing changes. Yet he claims to love me and not want to divorce. But at the same time... he says "get some help" to me, and says that after that, basically, things will be OK again. He doesn't get it - I've reached my own breaking point in the marriage and things have to change for me to stay.

By things... I mean basic needs of a marriage. Nothing big. I don't expect world travel or diamonds or furs... or him to rent a billboard to say he loves me... Just the basic things one craves so that one marries to start with. Being cuddled when I feel sad or my muscles ache would be nice. This isn't so different from being single only I lost privacy, and options. He's very vocal with me, the thing is he doesn't seem to think that goes both ways.

I ordered the book you mentioned and others yesterday... I hope they can help too. I really hope he will go together, to a specialist in AS.

Now I want to say something positive since I have been saying so many things about problems etc.

What attracted me to him? Well he had traits I didn't think other men had as much of... he has a gentleness about him at times. He smiled at children and dogs (now I wonder though, was that fake too?) so I thought he's a family type. He seemed accepting of people and is low key. In other words I was raised with a lot of expectations on me, and just to be able to relax and not be scrutinised around someone... was nice. He didn't seem to notice a smudge on my face or if my tag was showing on my shirt. I think some of my previous boyfriends had been narcissistic and always picking apart me and my appearance. It got so I wondered if any men were just good guys/not superficial. This is why I think people like him so much as a friend. He accepts people as they are. Including people who might be made fun of by others for their lack of social graces etc. Now I wonder if he actually just plain doesn't notice any of that? But at the time it was refreshing - he did not seem superficial.

By the same token he could be very judgmental of people in the abstract He once made me cry at some things he said politically sort of. I again shelved it thinking he just was nervous dating and said things that were kind of goofy. He seemed very sorry about it, so, I chalked it up to that.

It seemed as if when he said something, he meant it. He woudl tell me I'm pretty etc. He did also tell one woman "you look terrible" when she arrived for a tea room appointment with us. I quickly told her she was dressed perfectly and looked great (the truth to me). She lit up again. She had wilted when he said that... I could tell she had paid particular attention to accessories etc. He hadn't noticed her reaction.

Another plus for me is simply his openness about wanting to get married. He pulled no punches, he was looking for a wife... I was used to men who played 'games' and had a problem with marriage, etc. I thought I'd never get married at all at that pace, and had not been looking any more, when I met him. Also he appeared to be someone compassionate for those in need of charity... he shared my religion... etc. There are a lot of reasons people end up together.

Sundy I"m really of the opinion that no one should change to date. I know everyone does it, puts on their best self so to speak, for a while... but in a case this extreme I think no one should change who they *fundamentally* are just to find someone. I know how tough it is out there dating - but that is a good way to end up with the 'wrong' person for you. In my opinion. Maybe taking computer classes or meeting other AS of the opposite gender is the answer. I dunno. Shared interests types of groups might help, or maybe going to Mensa meetings, etc.

Hearing that hubby might be happy if he's letting his hair down and being his (possibly) Aspie self, is very poignant and a tender thing to say. Thank you. (Whether you knew that or not, I felt it was) I didn't tihnk of it that way. He doesn't seem happy. But maybe he is 'content' - he really seems convinced the problem is all mine. To me though, that's the wrong attitude in any marriage, no matter what (unless married to a total monster or something?).

Anyway those are some thoughts on what attracted me to him... oh and also, he pursued hotly. That is flattering to any female, I think. Looking back I think he didn't want to let me get away. Not so much 'me' as 'this one'. But probably a key attraction was his lanky goofiness coupled with his being so easygoing. I thought this is a guy I can lean my head against and just exhale.



Iammeandnooneelse
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27 Jun 2006, 5:05 am

Popiscle from where I'm sitting, your big things would be easier than small things.



Last edited by Iammeandnooneelse on 27 Jun 2006, 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

melanie_me
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27 Jun 2006, 2:26 pm

My husband can be very distant at times and there is no chance in hell I'll get any PDA except on New Year's Eve at midnight!

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and have always been a complete social retard. My husband has some weird communication styles, but since we both struggle with social skills, we seem to tolerate each others' ineptness. But he has lots and lots of friends and is well liked, where as I have no friends.

The hardest part for me has been my husband's interests. He's really into cycling and snowboarding, and so am I, but he has a really hard time doing those things with me. He snowboards at one resort and I snowboard at another resort because he just can't let me in to his snowboarding world on a regular basis. And when it's time for him to go to the mountain or get on his bike, it's time to go to the mountain or get on his bike, no matter what! And watching TV with him can be annoying...hours and hours of the History Channel! And if he rents one more war documentary from Netflix I'm going to gouge out my own eyes!

But my husband still hasn't been officially diagnosed and grew up never knowing he has AS (except of course always feeling/knowing he was different from other people). And still won't look into the possibility that he has AS. And that is difficult, also.

I know he loves me...he just has a hard time. I can tolerate him and I'm desperately in love with him. But in the end, it doesn't matter how much you love somone, it's all about how much you can tolerate, so I think I have it covered.



Fuzzy
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28 Jun 2006, 5:10 am

Popsicle wrote:
He smiled at children and dogs (now I wonder though, was that fake too?) so I thought he's a family type.


It bothers me to see people say "fake smile". Of course such a thing exists, but under normal social contexts, its so incredibly uncommon.

There are many smiles, and some are what you'd call 'reflex smiles'. They look a little bit different that a 'shaped smile', which might be shaped, but its not fake. You can see a reflex smile by the eyes narrowing and twinkling. This is about as genuine as it gets. Its also not so likely to be a response to another smile, so if hes doing it to kids and especially dogs, I'd hazard a guess that its genuine.

Now a shaped smile is what your boss does to you. Its purpose driven, as if to say, "I value you", or "keep up the good work" or even "Dont be nervous around me. Aspies do this. Its at least partially conscious behavior, moreso in an aspie.

A fake smile... a genuine fake(I love oxy-morons), is a beast of another feather. It purpose is to mislead, which might seen as an aspie trait, but really, what we want is to fit in and "behave", rather than a desire to hoodwink or manipulate. It is the domain of the social climber with a disinterest in morals. They smile... "I like you" while they think "you suck!" or "I have to be nice to you, even though I dont like you at all!".

Some aspies can lie, but this goes against the common aspie mantra of "all people are equal", so you wont see too much of this in an aspie. If your aspie seems accepting of a wide variety of people, this is pretty unlikely behavior. That fake smile fools no one(but an aspie!), but social decorum dictates that you pretend its genuine.



AmeliaJane
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28 Jun 2006, 6:37 am

I've known mine for over 20 years, and we've always wanted to be together. His girlfriend got pregnant not long after we met, and it ruined his life. He stayed to bring up his kids but when we finally got together, everything I'd heard about his odd behaviour and rages I put down to him being very unhappy (which he had been).

He made a huge leap out of his situation when I reappeared in his life after several years (and 2 marriages to NTs, which were horrible!) and I expected him to adjust to the changes in the same way as NTs would. But he didn't cope at all. I couldn't understand why he was so miserable, depressed & angry and took it out on me, when he had what he said he's always wanted.

We had 5 years of that-he couldn't cope with work, meeting people, moving house, grocery shopping, buying furniture, in fact anything that NTs take for granted and just get on with. I stopped having friends & going out, I cut myself off from everyone I knew and was really scared of him at times. I took it all personally, and I was convinced he hated me and was trying to punish me for something I didn't know I'd done. We tried sending him to counselling, antidepressants, and everything we could think of. I made him stop working for a year as he couldn't handle it, and we got into debt.

BUT... I knew him. I'd known him for years. He was my best friend, and the only person I'd felt comfortable with when I was an insecure teenager. I loved him, and he was the only man I'd ever wanted. So I stuck with it, determined to find out what the problem really was, so I could help him.

The first positive thing was when he had surgery and was prescribed painkillers. He's been self medicating for years but nothing helped much. But these pills had the effect of lifting his depression and making him feel positive.

Then we found out about Aspergers. It was such a relief! We know why we couldn't communicate now, and we're sorting it out. He can tell me how he thinks without being afraid I'll think he's mad (he's always thought he was mad). I can tell him how I think, because before I assumed that he was understanding basic things so got frustrated when he didn't 'get it'.

So now we can get on with the rest of our lives. About time too! :wink:


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