Female Aspies: Attracting abusive relationships

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feelingforsnow
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07 Oct 2012, 9:48 pm

Every boyfriend ive had has been abusive. Now married to verbally abusive man.



Verdandi
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07 Oct 2012, 11:14 pm

We don't attract abusers. Abusers choose us because they perceive us as easy targets.



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07 Oct 2012, 11:45 pm

I have had two bad relationships and then I met a great man. I can see how a woman can make the same mistake again and again when it comes to this. Each guy is different so they will all have different red flags and you have to keep learning them all and using them against the next person you meet and learn to be judgmental when it comes to dating.


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08 Oct 2012, 12:00 am

Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never had an abusive boyfriend. I think I'm just not attracted to the sort of person who ends up being that way. So I'm not sure it is an Aspie thing to attract abusive relationships, but perhaps some other trait that may be more common in Aspies than NTs...some trait I don't have.



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08 Oct 2012, 12:06 am

Verdandi wrote:
We don't attract abusers. Abusers choose us because they perceive us as easy targets.
Agreed. I don't think women with AS "seek out" abusers out of some sort of need to be mistreated. We'd have no reason to do that; we might have weird neurology, but autism doesn't make you paradoxically "want" to be mistreated.

We just tend to look like good victims. Socially isolated, naive, often willing to think the best of everyone; easily manipulated and easy to lie to; often financially dependent, sometimes even having been taught to be compliant by people who called themselves "therapists".

I do recommend that people with AS learn to recognize and escape from abusive relationships; it should be a standard thing you learn in school or in therapy, just like they should teach you how to identify and deal with bullying and abuse by professionals (therapists, caretakers, aides, etc.). But just because we can protect ourselves, reduce our vulnerability, does not make us culpable if we get caught in an abusive situation anyway. The blame lies with the sociopath who decides that we would make good playthings, and possibly with the person who taught us that we didn't have the right to be treated with respect.

That said, OP, do you have a way out of your own abusive relationship? You say "verbally abusive", so I am assuming you are not in physical danger, but verbal abuse can wear on you and can be very painful--in the long term, more damaging than simple physical blows. Do you have a counselor you could talk to? How about a spiritual leader or a mentor? A friend? Do you have someone you could stay with if you had to? Please plan how to protect yourself. Keep an overnight pack--if he asks, it's for you to grab in case you have to evacuate (fire, for example). See if you can hide away some money with a friend. Make sure anybody dependent on you has somewhere to go--pets and children especially. Just don't get yourself trapped. Always have an escape route. Cover your tracks on the Internet so he doesn't know you're talking about him online. Abuse is abuse, even if he isn't hitting you.


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08 Oct 2012, 3:27 am

All but one of my relationships were with a guy that was in my circle of friends and acquaintances. The only time I did go out with someone who was outside of that, a relative stranger so to speak, I ended up in an abusive situation. He didn't abuse me, but he stood by and let his family members physically attack me. The suggestion by my counselor that I could perhaps have Aspergers came soon after and I realized that my disorder put me at risk of such a situation happening again. Since then I have stayed close to my circle of friends and acquaintances in seeking relationships. I don't know if this would be effective in the long term, perhaps it's just a conclusion I reached from over simplification of my dating history, but I feel better doing this. The only downside at the moment is that the only ones in the circle I would date are either taken and/or have no interest in me. I would rather stay single than risk that I would end up in such a situation again.


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08 Oct 2012, 3:55 am

yellowtamarin wrote:
Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never had an abusive boyfriend. I think I'm just not attracted to the sort of person who ends up being that way. So I'm not sure it is an Aspie thing to attract abusive relationships, but perhaps some other trait that may be more common in Aspies than NTs...some trait I don't have.


Or maybe you've been lucky so far. A tendency for predators to prey on people who are socially vulnerable doesn't mean every socially vulnerable person will get preyed upon.

I had a long period of time where I had to learn with each individual personm I knew whether they were "safe" to be around or not because they were different people, as League_Girl pointed out above, and would have different red flags. One thing about such people is that they're often very good at presenting one front at the start of a relationship, but dropping it later. I can guarantee that I am not attracted to abusive people but I have been attracted to abusive people because they didn't act like what I thought an abusive person would act like.

This happens in friendships as well as romantic relationships, and I had one friendship with an extremely abusive person that ended up causing a lot of drama, abuse, and frustration across multiple social circles.



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08 Oct 2012, 4:47 am

Just last Saturday, I got physically abused by my partner for the first time, after 9 months of verbal abuse when she was drunk, and at least 3 serious attempts on my part to end it. She is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: quite sweet (although very 'present' and demanding) when she's sober, but once she's been drinking, she becomes this psychotic monster who plays with my mind in the most horrible of ways... It would always go the same way: she'd come home drunk, come bursting into the bedroom and harrassing me every five minutes, and saying she didn't want me anymore. I take people at their word, and when she says she wants to leave me, my automatic reply is to tell her to go then. Apparently, that is not the right answer, I am supposed to plead, fall on my knees, but I just can't and won't. Then it seems she forgets she broke it off with me, and she becomes enraged because I am - once again - telling her to go, "like a dog"... This will go on all night, and I've frequently found myself unable to go to work the day after. As a matter of fact, I'm on sick leave now, partly because I couldn't cope with work related stress anymore as a result of being emotionally and physically exhausted.
Saturday, she threatened to kill me, I panicked and tried to shove her out of the door and we fell. She had a bruise on the back of her head and I hurt my knee real badly. Finally, I left her outside of my appartment door and went to stay with a friend. Now, she's threatening to file a complaint, but I have recorded part of her insults on my iPhone's dictaphone, and have a previous complaint to back up my case. But I just wish it would just disappear, and I wouldn't have to go through the ordeal of police and stuff.
I don't know why I just didn't kick her out permanently the first time she abused me, but my emotional memory is short, I tend to blame myself for things and I always give people second chances. And thirds and fourths :-(... I think this may be due to my AS, but I'd like to know why, in what way this condition makes women more vulnerable... My life is wrecked right now, with a job I can't possibly return to, two kids to raise on my own, and all this emotional turmoil I'm not sure I'll ever recover from.



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08 Oct 2012, 8:29 am

Its terrible to hear what has happened to some of you *hugs*.

I think the fact that depression is often comorbid with autism could also have a large effect, at least on staying in an abusive relationship. Those with depression may blame themselves for their situation, and always feel guilty or worthless, leaving little to no room to realize that the abuser is at fault, and they are not being treated they way they deserve. And the tendency to feel hopeless could prevent someone from seeing a way to escape.


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08 Oct 2012, 8:47 am

It's not just AS women that have problems with attracting abusive people.



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08 Oct 2012, 9:40 am

Yunilimo wrote:
Just last Saturday, I got physically abused by my partner for the first time, after 9 months of verbal abuse when she was drunk, and at least 3 serious attempts on my part to end it. She is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: quite sweet (although very 'present' and demanding) when she's sober, but once she's been drinking, she becomes this psychotic monster who plays with my mind in the most horrible of ways... It would always go the same way: she'd come home drunk, come bursting into the bedroom and harrassing me every five minutes, and saying she didn't want me anymore. I take people at their word, and when she says she wants to leave me, my automatic reply is to tell her to go then. Apparently, that is not the right answer, I am supposed to plead, fall on my knees, but I just can't and won't. Then it seems she forgets she broke it off with me, and she becomes enraged because I am - once again - telling her to go, "like a dog"... This will go on all night, and I've frequently found myself unable to go to work the day after. As a matter of fact, I'm on sick leave now, partly because I couldn't cope with work related stress anymore as a result of being emotionally and physically exhausted.
Saturday, she threatened to kill me, I panicked and tried to shove her out of the door and we fell. She had a bruise on the back of her head and I hurt my knee real badly. Finally, I left her outside of my appartment door and went to stay with a friend. Now, she's threatening to file a complaint, but I have recorded part of her insults on my iPhone's dictaphone, and have a previous complaint to back up my case. But I just wish it would just disappear, and I wouldn't have to go through the ordeal of police and stuff.
I don't know why I just didn't kick her out permanently the first time she abused me, but my emotional memory is short, I tend to blame myself for things and I always give people second chances. And thirds and fourths :-(... I think this may be due to my AS, but I'd like to know why, in what way this condition makes women more vulnerable... My life is wrecked right now, with a job I can't possibly return to, two kids to raise on my own, and all this emotional turmoil I'm not sure I'll ever recover from.

I know this "we're giving second chances" thing by first hand. Somehow we are taught to be patient with other people, for obvious reasons. We often don't understand why do people things that upset us (or why upsetting things happen all the time). We can't anyway but we are at least taught to ignore their effect. Then there's the propensity of the autistic mind to get stuck with an emotion or a person, especially when the emotion is directly tied to a person (the loved one). In addition, autistic people tend to be more out of their designated gender roles, more somewhere in-between, not to mention typically having a delayed emotional development. The female looks less feminine in her partner's eyes, the male looks less masculine in his partner's eyes, all look a bit immature or even childish. A constant source of dissatisfaction for such a partner.

What I feel is something like this. I feel emotionally stuck at a younger age. I feel uncertain, anxious, less masculine and more feminine than a typical man. I instinctively look for a partner who will help me out, whom I can trust, who's more confident than I am. I look for confidence in others as a general rule as I somehow think that their confidence will help me to feel more secure and perhaps to feel more confident myself. The sad thing is that eventually it offers nothing to help me with my low self-esteem. Quite the contrary. Some people only disguise themselves as confident (and nice, for that matter). Especially those with traits of personality disorders like for example narcissistic PD. For them, we are easy targets, hands down. We can't notice we are being used / played with in time.

I think all the above contribute to the likelihood of falling to an abusive (romantic) relationship. A typical unfortunate set of circumstances. Of course females are more likely to suffer from an abusive relationship but males can be a victim of it too, only it's less likely in comparison (and more verbal rather than physical).



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08 Oct 2012, 10:03 am

OJani wrote:
I know this "we're giving second chances" thing by first hand. Somehow we are taught to be patient with other people, for obvious reasons. We often don't understand why do people things that upset us (or why upsetting things happen all the time). We can't anyway but we are at least taught to ignore their effect. Then there's the propensity of the autistic mind to get stuck with an emotion or a person, especially when the emotion is directly tied to a person (the loved one). In addition, autistic people tend to be more out of their designated gender roles, more somewhere in-between, not to mention typically having a delayed emotional development. The female looks less feminine in her partner's eyes, the male looks less masculine in his partner's eyes, all look a bit immature or even childish. A constant source of dissatisfaction for such a partner.

What I feel is something like this. I feel emotionally stuck at a younger age. I feel uncertain, anxious, less masculine and more feminine than a typical man. I instinctively look for a partner who will help me out, whom I can trust, who's more confident than I am. I look for confidence in others as a general rule as I somehow think that their confidence will help me to feel more secure and perhaps to feel more confident myself. The sad thing is that eventually it offers nothing to help me with my low self-esteem. Quite the contrary. Some people only disguise themselves as confident (and nice, for that matter). Especially those with traits of personality disorders like for example narcissistic PD. For them, we are easy targets, hands down. We can't notice we are being used / played with in time.

I think all the above contribute to the likelihood of falling to an abusive (romantic) relationship. A typical unfortunate set of circumstances. Of course females are more likely to suffer from an abusive relationship but males can be a victim of it too, only it's less likely in comparison (and more verbal rather than physical).


I feel the same way, OJani... Emotionally stuck at age 17, some days a lot younger. I've been with older, presumably 'maternal' partners my whole life, probably in some subconscious attempt to be cared for in a 'safe' way, to be taught all the things I cannot seem to muster on my own... This is the first relationship I can really call abusive, but previously, I already noticed that no other human being, after childhood is over, can be expected to care for you in that unconditional sort of way. That's part of the reason why I tolerate so much, because I keep trying to be self-sufficient and not to expect the nurturing that I would want in a perfect way. Just trying to be an adult, but since I have no idea of how to do that, I find myself accepting so much more than any of my NT friends would... it's like I somehow 'miss' this danger-monitoring skill and blame myself for anything that goes wrong. And yes, I feel I am depressed, have been for so many years, so that is clouding my judgment, too. I've had 3 relationships over the last 5 years, and in each one of them, I suspected my partner to be at least partly autistic - when oftentimes, they were just blatantly narcissistic. Showing me around as some trophy, but degrading me in private. I just don't know whether a relationship is possible for me, as I seem to start off on the wrong foot to begin with... Sigh.



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08 Oct 2012, 10:43 am

I think I'm a very good judge of character and, so far, I've been right about people, after my first impression. I use caution and tend to steer clear of certain people, if they give me that uneasy feeling. I met my husband when I was 16 and I really only had two boyfriends before him. He is a very good man and I know I made the right decision, when I decided to go out with him. Despite the rugged exterior he had, he really is a softy and very protective. I know some women get trapped in abusive relationships, but I can't imagine getting myself into that sort of situation. If a man hit me, I think I'd probably do a Lorena Bobbitt on him. I think abusive men would realise I'm not the type to put up with it, so would give me a wide berth anyway.

My aunt was in two abusive marriages, when I was a child. She died fairly young, partly caused by an alcohol addiction, which was probably due to what she was dealing with. To be honest, I think I would have snapped, under those conditions. That said, I don't think I could have gotten into those relationships in the first place. I think I would have known that they were untrustworthy men.


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08 Oct 2012, 10:43 am

Yunilimo wrote:
OJani wrote:
I know this "we're giving second chances" thing by first hand. Somehow we are taught to be patient with other people, for obvious reasons. We often don't understand why do people things that upset us (or why upsetting things happen all the time). We can't anyway but we are at least taught to ignore their effect. Then there's the propensity of the autistic mind to get stuck with an emotion or a person, especially when the emotion is directly tied to a person (the loved one). In addition, autistic people tend to be more out of their designated gender roles, more somewhere in-between, not to mention typically having a delayed emotional development. The female looks less feminine in her partner's eyes, the male looks less masculine in his partner's eyes, all look a bit immature or even childish. A constant source of dissatisfaction for such a partner.

What I feel is something like this. I feel emotionally stuck at a younger age. I feel uncertain, anxious, less masculine and more feminine than a typical man. I instinctively look for a partner who will help me out, whom I can trust, who's more confident than I am. I look for confidence in others as a general rule as I somehow think that their confidence will help me to feel more secure and perhaps to feel more confident myself. The sad thing is that eventually it offers nothing to help me with my low self-esteem. Quite the contrary. Some people only disguise themselves as confident (and nice, for that matter). Especially those with traits of personality disorders like for example narcissistic PD. For them, we are easy targets, hands down. We can't notice we are being used / played with in time.

I think all the above contribute to the likelihood of falling to an abusive (romantic) relationship. A typical unfortunate set of circumstances. Of course females are more likely to suffer from an abusive relationship but males can be a victim of it too, only it's less likely in comparison (and more verbal rather than physical).


I feel the same way, OJani... Emotionally stuck at age 17, some days a lot younger. I've been with older, presumably 'maternal' partners my whole life, probably in some subconscious attempt to be cared for in a 'safe' way, to be taught all the things I cannot seem to muster on my own... This is the first relationship I can really call abusive, but previously, I already noticed that no other human being, after childhood is over, can be expected to care for you in that unconditional sort of way. That's part of the reason why I tolerate so much, because I keep trying to be self-sufficient and not to expect the nurturing that I would want in a perfect way. Just trying to be an adult, but since I have no idea of how to do that, I find myself accepting so much more than any of my NT friends would... it's like I somehow 'miss' this danger-monitoring skill and blame myself for anything that goes wrong. And yes, I feel I am depressed, have been for so many years, so that is clouding my judgment, too. I've had 3 relationships over the last 5 years, and in each one of them, I suspected my partner to be at least partly autistic - when oftentimes, they were just blatantly narcissistic. Showing me around as some trophy, but degrading me in private. I just don't know whether a relationship is possible for me, as I seem to start off on the wrong foot to begin with... Sigh.

Oh yes, it all makes sense...



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08 Oct 2012, 10:57 am

Apart from my Gender Identity Disorder, that's the other reason that I don't wish to be in a relationship with a man.

I also apologize for what you're going through.

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08 Oct 2012, 11:23 am

I have an auntie who seems to attract abusive men. She's in her late 40s and still hasn't seemed to learn her lesson. I'm 22 and I'm already wary, and I haven't even had a proper relationship yet. I think she does have Aspie traits though.

I seem to attract abusive friends.


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