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alphabetagamma
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26 Jul 2011, 3:41 am

I am a male NT (21+ y.o.) he is an AS male (26+ y.o.) [undiagnosed AS]. We recently took a long trip to Europe and since we came back I have just not felt the same way towards him. I love him very much but I do not think he is capable of living a "normal life".

To start off he is constantly "job hopping" and blames it on sub-par companies going under that hire him, he further claims that those are the only places he can become employed at due to his GPA, etc. I counter this by saying he just sets himself up for failure by picking to only apply to sub-par companies and then accepting their low ball offer when they pose it. He also has had employers mention, "Why did you not come in at 6:30am today for the meeting?" After being asked this several times I started to tell him he needed to start showing up early and if not he was going to get in trouble. He was eventually fired and on his letter from them explaining why one of the reasons was showing up late for work several times.

When they fired him and they said that in the letter his response to my inquisitiveness regarding it was, "Well it obviously is not true, my boss never said 'Please come in earlier next time.', he just made several comments on what time I got in."

:smacks head against wall:

No one would really talk to him at work either and I tried to encourage him to socialize with others at work to make friends in his dept. but he said he does not like making friends at work.

In the relationship dept everything has come to the point where I can no longer tolerate his odd/rude/unacceptable behavior.

At first I thought I thought that perhaps his behavior was to blame on a personality disorder or other psychological Axis-II disorder (d/o). He would refuse to hold him self accountable for getting fired at any of his past jobs.

I have tried offering to pay for dinners or drinks when going out (which is a rarity in it self because he hates bars or anywhere there are loud noises) but he will not let me do so, ergo I have just given up this past month going out.

He was diagnosed with NVLD (Non-verbal Learning Disorder) as a child and has very awkward patterns of speech, some body movements and understanding of social rules. NVLD is not in the DSM-IV TR nor will it be in the DSM-V. (I know I am going to get backlash for even mentioning the DSM on here but, w/e.)

His freakouts have and can result in the following based on me and his family dealing with him: spitting, punching, saying mean things on impulse due to perceived verbal assault, physical assault due to perceived verbal assault and refusal to follow verbal, written or visual directions.

I digress, I can no longer take his aspie freakouts, his avoidance of going out because of his perception of financial/sensory issues, constant rigidity regarding his "routine" (he refuses to eat after 9:00pm and if I change my mind about what place we are eating at or even worse, what time we are eating at, he will FLIP out.) Usually his flip outs are in my apartment so I can redirect him and get him to not act like an idiot in public, but sometimes it happens in public and then I have to deal with weird looks from other humans watching him refusing to enter a restaurant or something of that sort, acting as if he was 4 years old.

He does not understand that he has to consider what will happen if he changes his mind and how it effects his direct family or myself. His mother just seems to have given up on ever getting him to understand this concept that he has to make decisions in check with how it may effect other people and I now understand why she has done so. My central issue with him is his rigidity which correlates in a positive fashion strongly with his level of anxiety. He said he once did have a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapist) he use to see when he was in his early twenties and a recent grad out of undergrad. He stated it seemed to help but he has been very resistant to going to see someone due to cost, even though there are low costs clinics in the area but he seems to really have no way of figuring out how to find them.

Something as simple as washing dishes is painful for him, he really does try what appears to be his hardest doing the task but then I look at the dishes on the drying rack and they are still covered in food matter and oils that he did not remove when washing. I have pretty much given up trying to teach him and at this point I am tired of having to have a child-man as a bf.

I recently had just reached my breaking point regarding my tolerance for him and expressed to him that I did not want to date him any longer. He of course started freaking out after about a week because he realized what a large change in his routine it would cause, even though initially he said "The break up will not make me sad, but do you want me to be sad?" to which I replied, "I do not want you to be sad and part of the reason I waited so long to do this was because I had to prepare myself for your lack of a reaction to us breaking up."

He now says he still wants to date and does not wish to separate. I have a difficult time giving him a second chance at this point at time because we both agreed he could talk to a therapist or psychiatrist (his choice of which he picked) to reduce his level of anxiety and therefore reduce his unacceptable behaviors) about nine months ago once I realized that he most likely has AS. He is citing financial reasons as a major part of his reluctance at this point in time but at the same time spends money on massages and on buying baseball tickets (one of his S.I.). I feel like I am more just here for convenience and that he will never change.

Have other gay NT's had this same issues regarding dating AS males? Has anyone else found a strong positive correlation between aspie meltdowns and overall anxiety level? Lately all he does is pay attention to his SI's (sports, excel and politics) and then is applying to jobs on the side which has yielded a few interviews but he usually blows those because of his strange vocal intonations and bizarre mannerisms.

I realize I have to give him a lot of time with his SI's and everything but at this point in time I just want a person in my life who I can pick up from work and surprise with a vacation in the city and not have to prepare for nuclear war as the reaction to my actions.

What do I do?



visagrunt
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26 Jul 2011, 11:36 am

As you well know, none of us can give you the correct answer to this problem--only you and he know your relationship and know whether you can make it work.

Is there any prospect that he can be the kind of partner with whom you can build a lasting relationship? That, to me, is the test.

If the answer to that question is, "yes," then you can give him his second chance, and set down some reasonable expectations from him in the relationship. If he can make progress towards reasonable expectations then there is hope. You can put up with the things that can't or won't change, in return for the things that can improve.

On the other hand, if the honest answer is, "no," then you are helping no one--least of all him--by perpetuating a relationship that has no prospects for durability.


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26 Jul 2011, 12:55 pm

All I can add to that is that I can relate to your description of him more than I'd like to admit, and I don't know how I am put up with sometimes.



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28 Jul 2011, 3:41 am

First, the really important bit: you indicate that he has physically attacked you at times. Frankly I find this quite shocking. It is also a bit disturbing that you lump this in with the rest of what you perceive as his autistic traits and don't seem to see it as a major problem on its own. People with autism are no more likely to be violent than anyone else, so there are clearly other issues here, and they need to be addressed. This behavior is not healthy for him and it is not healthy for the people around him. Relationship or no relationship he clearly needs help learning to react to perceived negativity in ways that do not involve physically harming other people.

Now, if we put that to one side, I think the truth is that he cannot be the kind of person with whom you want to be in a relationship. It would be unfair to him for you to expect him to be someone he is not, and it would be unfair to you for him to expect you to remain in a relationship with someone who is not capable of satisfying you. In light of that there is really no saving the relationship.

His autistic traits (if indeed he is autistic) are probably not going anywhere -- I am not saying he is forever going to be the person he is at 26 but he is not likely to go from being someone with an extremely strong need for routine to being someone who thrives on spontaneity. If you are the kind of person who finds having to adhere to strict routines maddening, you are probably best off not being in a relationship with someone whose life is controlled by a need for routine.

If you were to be in a successful relationship with him you would have to really understand and accept that things that may seem absolutely trivial to you are extremely important to him, and he is just wired to value those things much more than you do, and that you have to respect his needs just as you would expect someone to respect your needs for the things that are of the greatest importance to you.

But I don't think that is going to happen. It sounds like you are leaning towards not getting back together, and it sounds like that is the right choice and would be even if it were not for his violent tendencies. I don't know how to convince him that it's over but it seems like it is.

Now, it does sound like you care about this person. If you do not revive your relationship, do you still want to be a part of his life in some way? You do not indicate whether or not you have told him you think he's autistic and if so if he is amenable to being assessed for it or for that matter any other issues he may have (and from your description of him it certainly sounds like he has some).



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28 Jul 2011, 5:11 am

Zen wrote:
All I can add to that is that I can relate to your description of him more than I'd like to admit, and I don't know how I am put up with sometimes.

Same. Except I don't tolerate violence.



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28 Jul 2011, 9:55 am

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to say in response to this, because of the part about violence.

If it were not for that, the OP's boyfriend's autistic traits would make him a pretty sympathetic character to me (though my answer to the original question would probably be the same -- that is, it does not sound like a continued relationship can work here, unless the OP is willing to change his expectations) but violence is repugnant to me and it makes me feel bad for seeing anything sympathetic in him at all.



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28 Jul 2011, 10:19 am

dougn wrote:
violence is repugnant to me and it makes me feel bad for seeing anything sympathetic in him at all.

I feel the same way about violence, but I don't think there's anything wrong with seeing good in other people. :)



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28 Jul 2011, 10:56 am

Indy wrote:
Zen wrote:
All I can add to that is that I can relate to your description of him more than I'd like to admit, and I don't know how I am put up with sometimes.

Same. Except I don't tolerate violence.

Agreed.



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28 Jul 2011, 11:11 pm

Indy wrote:
I feel the same way about violence, but I don't think there's anything wrong with seeing good in other people. :)

I guess you have a point.

I think my problem is that I know I probably wouldn't find him at all sympathetic if he didn't seem autistic, and that bothers me.

Or to put it another way:
If I read the same thing but without reference to violence (i.e., just a post from a guy fed up with his autistic-seeming boyfriend), I'd mostly sympathize with the boyfriend.
If I read the same thing but without references to autism/autistic traits (i.e., just a guy trying to separate from his boyfriend who physically attacks him) I'd certainly sympathize exclusively with the OP.
The combination of the two makes me feel uncertain about my reaction.



Indy
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29 Jul 2011, 6:39 am

dougn wrote:
If I read the same thing but without reference to violence (i.e., just a post from a guy fed up with his autistic-seeming boyfriend), I'd mostly sympathize with the boyfriend.
If I read the same thing but without references to autism/autistic traits (i.e., just a guy trying to separate from his boyfriend who physically attacks him) I'd certainly sympathize exclusively with the OP.
The combination of the two makes me feel uncertain about my reaction.

That seems normal to me. I have mixed feelings about most people.

I've spent 55 minutes trying to find words to say what I mean, because although I hate violence, two of the kindest people I've met were violent. I don't know how to say this properly, but I don't like being around violent people, although in my experience all the violent people I have met (including the ones that attacked me) have good things about them.

People are complicated.



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29 Jul 2011, 10:44 am

With respect, I think that this focussed attention on violence is misplaced.

There is no excuse for violence, and all people are entitled to be of from violent behaviour from their partners, regardless of other circumstances. But if the violent reactions were a deal-breaker, I wouldn't have expected alphabetagamme to ask the question that he did.

The freak-outs, the anxiety, the job-skills and all the other behaviours that alphabetagamma mentions are part of the whole package that is his boyfriend. And alphabetagamma is asking the question about whether to give his boyfriend the second chance that his boyfriend is seeking.

There are numerous negative traits listed in the original post, but there must be some positive ones, otherwise the question would never have arisen. Only alphabetagamma can assess whether the positives are strong enough to outweigh the negatives. And maybe the occasional physical freak-out is something he can live with if, for example, his boyfriend makes some progress on his job issues.


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30 Jul 2011, 3:28 am

Indy wrote:
I've spent 55 minutes trying to find words to say what I mean, because although I hate violence, two of the kindest people I've met were violent. I don't know how to say this properly, but I don't like being around violent people, although in my experience all the violent people I have met (including the ones that attacked me) have good things about them.

People are complicated.

Yeah. I suppose nearly everyone has some positive attributes, but I generally don't feel too positively about violent people. Or at least not people who commit acts of violence against non-violent, non-consenting victims.

visagrunt wrote:
With respect, I think that this focussed attention on violence is misplaced.

There is no excuse for violence, and all people are entitled to be of from violent behaviour from their partners, regardless of other circumstances. But if the violent reactions were a deal-breaker, I wouldn't have expected alphabetagamme to ask the question that he did.

I don't know how to say this without sounding incredibly condescending but I guess while he may not think they are a deal-breaker I am suggesting to him that he rethink that. If a friend of mine were in a relationship with someone who physically attacked them, I'd be pretty upset and I'd want them to leave it. Alphabetagamma is of course not my friend, he is a total stranger, but he is asking for relationship advice and as he does have a partner who physically attacks him I cannot help but respond in the same way.

I did also say that even putting aside the question of violence this did not sound to me like a relationship that could work. Of course the only people who can really know if it can work or not are him and his boyfriend, but his remarks suggest to me that in order for him to be happy in this relationship his boyfriend's autistic traits would have to be reduced to a degree that is probably not realistic.