Trying to understand an Aspie Breakup

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raindropsinjuly
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06 Jun 2022, 7:50 pm

My "boyfriend" (term used loosely as we never used labels but were exclusive), and I had an amazing weekend together. Three days actually. We live a couple hours apart. On the Monday that I went home I ended up finding out I had the next several days off so I had offered to drive back over to give him something that he was going to be borrowing. He replied saying he'd hate for me to drive all that way. but he was ok with it and it was totally up to me.... I SHOULD Have just said "ok I'll drive over tomorrow"... but instead I reacted and said "the drive isn't that far and since we are in a relationship of course I don't mind driving over anytime to do something nice for you and to bring this to you, and to see you for any amount of time.".... he didn't know how to respond and said "I don't know how to respond to this".... to which I replied via text and tried to explain to him... I should have just called. But whatever my response was -mixture of my own confusion, set him into a shutdown and he stopped responding and wouldn't take my calls. The next morning I said hey as soon as I am done with my appointment I'm gonna drive over and drop this off and so we can talk. He asked me not to. I replied that it was important that we talk to sort this out and I was driving over anyway. He again said please do not. I tried texting to talk to him, but he didn't respond because he was shut down and of course in my desperate attempt not to lose him I drove over anyway. He was pissed (which I understand now I broke a major boundary - one I didn't understand fully existed). We literally just spent the weekend very happy, talking about how happy we were, and I even met one of his kids. We made future plans. It was amazing and so this shutdown over what I felt was a HUGE miscommunication could have easily been resolved with talking (I do understand he needs time to process, but I didn't understand how much this incident upset him).... Well not only did I drive over, he refused to answer the door and I left the said item anyway and he got pissed about that...... so he didn't talk to me for 13 days. I tried reaching out about 4-5 days in and apologize and say that I realize that I crossed a boundary and ultimately disrespected him but I didn't mean to. He never responded. I left him alone. Every day he checked my facebook stories (you can see that). I assume also looked at my profile. Also during this timeframe it was the anniversary of his brothers passing and he went to his grandpas funeral on day 12. On day 13 I sent him a couple facebook messages and he did not read them, but he did all of a sudden, without a word UNFRIEND ME. I haven't heard from him since. Today is day 15. I think he ended things with me and must be very, very angry at me.

We have had shutdowns before in our brief 5 month relationship. But he's always come back. Usually as friends for a day or two and then we got back to being us. In fact, we had a shutdown at the very beginning of May over him realizing how much he hurts me with talking to me/flirting with me but backing off anytime I wanted to find out if we were dating again or not and he said he wasn't going to hurt me anymore and stopped talking to me. Well that time I drove over and knew we would either get back together and have a talk or we wouldn't. That time he let me in, we had an amazing talk for a few hours and got back together. We talked about how we would handle situations that caused him to panic/shutdown - he was supposed to ask for time to process (specifically say that not just blow me off) and then I was supposed to give him space....when we got back togehter it was amazing and we really communicated well for those few weeks and really were happy. So I guess that made me think I could drive over again and we would be ok.

Clearly I couldn't. He has never unfriended me before so I know somehow this time I really messed up. I fell in love with this guy and I understand he is most likely autistic - that is based on him telling me from the beginning he has trouble expressing/showing his emotions (working with a therapist), very rigid, black and white thinking, mind blindness, and these shut downs. My son is autisic and my son in law is autistic, both highly functioning so more "aspergers". I told this man how understanding I am and would be patient but I did need him to communicate with me he needed time to process so I didn't panic and react and we both had agreed when we have shutdowns we wouldn't just end the relationship. We would come back to each other and talk.

So the fact that this one lasted this long and the fact that he unfriended me without a word - not only hurt very very much, and is very disrespectful in my mind (though I probably deserve it because he probably feels I disrespected him by driving over). I'm very very sad. I love him and want to be with him. I know and understand how hard a relationship between an NT and an ND (aspie) is. But I still want to be with him. Of course I know I don't have a choice and know there isn't anything I can do.

But I guess that is why I am here. His birthday is on the 16th. I have a small gift for him. Should i mail it? Or would that be a violation of him wanting nothing to do with me? Should I just leave him alone and make peace with the fact that he hates me and doesn't want anything to do with me? Or should I someday reach out? Is there any possibility he will get over this. In past shutdowns (where he verbally ended it at the end of his shut down but didn't unfriend) he usually realized through the help of his counselor that he overreacted. And he also could never get me out of his mind and thought of me constantly. In fact he has often said "there is just something about you that I can't get you out of my head even when I want to". When I was there for this amazing weekend he had even told me he's never been as comfortable with someone as he is with me, other than when he's with his children. We are both about to be 48. So I don't understand how he can just be done, especially over something that started over a miscommunication (though I realize he probably ended it because he felt I disrespected him, which I wasn't trying to do but understand that it was).

Help. Is there any way to reach this man? Is there any possibility he could come back on his own? Should I just let go and move on? I'd hate to have him WANT to come back but be too ashamed to reach out on his own. I miss him so much and am so sad (and admittedly hurt and mad over how he did this but I am trying to be understanding).

Open to any thoughts.



rse92
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07 Jun 2022, 9:40 am

I recommend you move on.

Given that he has gone full radio silent and actively taken steps to cut off communication, and without assigning blame to either side, you have to ask yourself whether someone who would cut you off like this is someone you want in your life. Even if he comes back you will be always walking on pins and needles.



technologyfan936
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07 Jun 2022, 8:23 pm

I am so sorry for the breakup. I would suggest to move on, like the other person said previously.



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08 Jun 2022, 5:19 am

At first, I saw boundary breaking, routine disruption, combined with the fact that he only thinks of you when he runs away and hides, eventually comes back, and the specific things that set him off (things that will upend his routine), as quite prototypical Autism. But, you mentioned he has kids. Autism that's moderate enough to show what he does, usually won't get to that point to begin with. :?

Then I thought, maybe he was in an abusive relationship with a Narcissist that constantly broke his boundaries and disrupted his routine, combined with milder Autism (people with Autism are targets for such). This may fit if he truly only thinks of you when he's gone and always comes back. So maybe trauma + Autism is at work. Bad memories and he fears the same of you when you do something that remotely resembles what scares him.

If he has Autism, he'll tell you he doesn't want to be with you and it's over, explicitly (I doubt he hates you regardless of anything). If he says nothing, then he's overwhelmed, afraid and confused if it's just Autism (along with trauma).

Generally, those who go silent when you've had relations in person or something longstanding in other ways without Autism, are Narcissists (punishing you or they've used you up), Borderline PD (the devalue stage), or Avoidant PD (they're afraid and overwhelmed). "Normal" people will tell you their intentions.

If Autism, he'll probably come back at some point in time. But, you have to think of yourself if this is the case, as it's not really fair on your emotions, but if he does and you want such, then I'd see a therapist with him on this so he doesn't run away and hide again. Well, it makes sense.

As for the gift, I dunno. Mail is quite distant, though.

(I sorta ran away and hid from a longstanding friend that I loved dearly for various reasons when romance was an option. I always thought of her when I was gone. She likely thought I rejected her, disliked her, but that wasn't the case. It's my fault, though. I apologized as best I could, as again, my fault.)



raindropsinjuly
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08 Jun 2022, 11:04 am

Thanks for your feedback. I found out last night he got back together with his girlfriend from before me. He and I both live in Oregon, she lives in California and close where his family lives. He went to his grandpas funeral on day 12 of our shut down, day 13 he unfriended me, all still without a word. Last night I looked at his profile, saw he added a friend, saw it was his ex girlfriend, called them both out on it and they blocked me. My friend looked and his profile shows he is back together with her. So he dated me the last 5-1/2 months, Plus another month of talking before that, and then just dumps me after one minor communication/routine/blah blah, without a single word and gets back to her without a single word. So yeah, maybe not autism or just autism, because this is VERY cruel behavior and I'm cast aside as if I mean nothing. I don't think hes capable of real emotions and anyone that can be in a serious relationship, building trust and talking about everything and as intimate as we were, and all the things he said to me, shutdown or not, you don't just get back with your ex without a word. He is cruel and heartless. So cutting the cord and moving on.



klanka
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08 Jun 2022, 1:04 pm

That sounds a bit like narcissism, they use the ex to torture the current partner and idealise the ex when the current partner seems to give them even the smallest slight.



rse92
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09 Jun 2022, 3:43 pm

I suggest again you move on. And keep in mind the chain of events that resulted in him going radio silent on you so that you may learn something.



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10 Jun 2022, 1:58 am

raindropsinjuly wrote:
Thanks for your feedback. I found out last night he got back together with his girlfriend from before me. He and I both live in Oregon, she lives in California and close where his family lives. He went to his grandpas funeral on day 12 of our shut down, day 13 he unfriended me, all still without a word. Last night I looked at his profile, saw he added a friend, saw it was his ex girlfriend, called them both out on it and they blocked me. My friend looked and his profile shows he is back together with her. So he dated me the last 5-1/2 months, Plus another month of talking before that, and then just dumps me after one minor communication/routine/blah blah, without a single word and gets back to her without a single word. So yeah, maybe not autism or just autism, because this is VERY cruel behavior and I'm cast aside as if I mean nothing. I don't think hes capable of real emotions and anyone that can be in a serious relationship, building trust and talking about everything and as intimate as we were, and all the things he said to me, shutdown or not, you don't just get back with your ex without a word. He is cruel and heartless. So cutting the cord and moving on.
I'm very sorry to read this. He defiantly sounds like a humongous a-hole who did NOT take your relationship seriously at all. I also agree that there is a lot more than autism going on with him if he is even autistic. There are plenty of autistics who are very loyal partners who really try to make their relationships work. Dealing with the death of a close loved one can be very traumatic for some of us & when I was reading your 1st post in this thread I was thinking that could be a factor to his recent sudden shutdown & erratic behavior. However suddenly getting back together with his ex then makes me believe that he wanted to break up with you because he was getting back with her & instead of him being responsible & caring enough to talk to you or even send you a message, he pushed you away by acting & maybe also getting upset over nothing & then ghosted you. As for as the birthday present goes, he does NOT deserve it & I'm not sure what it is but if you still have it I would suggest keeping it if it's something you could use or give it away or donate it if someone else could use it, or you could try to destroy it to get out some of your anger :wink:

You sound like a very caring relationship partner & plenty of guys would be lucky & happy to have a partner who tried that hard. Try to think of this as you being too good for him & you dodged a bullet by your relationship ending when it did.


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14 Jun 2022, 1:50 pm

After reading this a couple of posts in, I'd already figured out what was going on and was going to give you the standard advice about moving on and how there's another girl involved...but reading further I see you've already figured that out.

I'll also throw this little bit in for free: When guys get like that, all private and raising all kinds of boundaries, like you just saw each other over the weekend and you're just dropping by, he's shutting down because he's with his girlfriend. You have become the side chick. As soon as someone "shuts down" or doesn't return your calls/texts, then you do this. You text and say, "hey, you aren't returning my calls/texts right now, and that's ok. I understand you have too much going on for a relationship right now. But any time you want to talk or you just need a friend, I'm here any time." There is a certain amount of satisfaction that you get from breaking up with a significant other. Not that leaving someone is always easy, but it's certainly better than having to deal with the void created when your bf takes the initiative.

And there's one thing that's also satisfying about being in your position. He was clearly cheating on you, and he's left you for the girl he wanted from the beginning. I've had to endure girls cheating on me before, sometimes with guys i knew. If I ever could have said anything to the other guy, I'd have said, "if she'll cheat with you, she'll cheat ON you." I've been on both sides of that, and admittedly I've once or twice been the cheater. It is true. In your case, remember that and take some comfort in knowing you dodged a heavy bullet.



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14 Jun 2022, 2:20 pm

^^^Your right AngelRho. Someone would make the time for you if they really wanted to have & maintain a romantic relationship with you. It's a matter of priorities. I can understand sometimes wanting & needing space from your partner like us autistics taking some time to ourselves to wind down & relax by pursuing our special interests & NT guys doing guy activities together without their partners or people just being temporarily busy with work, family, & household stuff; but someone who values your relationship would give an explanation about why they cant spend time with you & they would suggest when they would be available or reach out to you when they know. It's a MAJOR warning sign if your not spending a lot of time together & your partner starts pushing you away & gets freaked out & angry when you just try to spend the weekend together.


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14 Jun 2022, 2:27 pm

What was this incident that made him upset that much?


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14 Jun 2022, 10:55 pm

What other people have said. This looks more like narcissism than autism on his end.
My feeling is that he was probably talking to her all along and you were plan B in case things with her didn't work out.
It sucks but I hope you can close that door tight and move forward because otherwise, you'll always be plan B.

Google narcissism and going no-contact. Lots of info out there.


raindropsinjuly wrote:
Thanks for your feedback. I found out last night he got back together with his girlfriend from before me. He and I both live in Oregon, she lives in California and close where his family lives. He went to his grandpas funeral on day 12 of our shut down, day 13 he unfriended me, all still without a word. Last night I looked at his profile, saw he added a friend, saw it was his ex girlfriend, called them both out on it and they blocked me. My friend looked and his profile shows he is back together with her. So he dated me the last 5-1/2 months, Plus another month of talking before that, and then just dumps me after one minor communication/routine/blah blah, without a single word and gets back to her without a single word. So yeah, maybe not autism or just autism, because this is VERY cruel behavior and I'm cast aside as if I mean nothing. I don't think hes capable of real emotions and anyone that can be in a serious relationship, building trust and talking about everything and as intimate as we were, and all the things he said to me, shutdown or not, you don't just get back with your ex without a word. He is cruel and heartless. So cutting the cord and moving on.



raindropsinjuly
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17 Jun 2022, 1:44 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
What was this incident that made him upset that much?


So we had just spent a lovely three day weekend together. We live two hours apart. I drove home on Monday and then found out I had the next 10 days off.... I offered to drive back over and bring him the AC he was going to borrow for his kids. He sent a message that said "I don't want you to have to drive all that way, but its up to you, I don't mind". So I wasn't clear on if I should drive over or not --- So I replied and said the distance doesn't bother me, of course I wouldnt' mind driving over to bring him this thing and see him again even if just for a little bit, thats what you do in a relationship." and he said he didn't know how to respond.... then shut down.... So yeah NO REAL conflict of any sort. So the next day I drove over because I thought, we are not talking over NOTHING, and he wouldn't open the door.... He wasn't with the other girl at this point, she is in California, he lives 11 hours away in Oregon. I believe that came later when on days 11-13 of our "shut down" he was in Cali in same town as her. So the intital shutdown was like any other hes had before where he takes days to process... but yeah, so it was a MINOR NOTHING, that he ended the relationship over....

At this point I don't care. I did not send the birthday gift and have not talked to him. They can have each other. He was very cruel in the end, not at all the person I believed him to be because a normal human doesn't do what he did. It was cold and heartless and cruel and we had not broken up and had already said before that shut downs were not breakups. So what he did is unforgiveable to me. I know I deserve so much better. It hurts when I think about it only because he wasn't who I thought and I invested alot of time and feelings in who I thought he was. But I am ok and much better off.



raindropsinjuly
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17 Jun 2022, 1:50 pm

[quote="H_Taterz"]What other people have said. This looks more like narcissism than autism on his end.
My feeling is that he was probably talking to her all along and you were plan B in case things with her didn't work out.
It sucks but I hope you can close that door tight and move forward because otherwise, you'll always be plan B.

Google narcissism and going no-contact. Lots of info out there.

I agree that it may be more narcissism (or both). I just didn't see that at first. Definitely never speaking to him again. Which I don't think is a problem as he is back with her and blocked me anyway. I'm sure he may try to find his way back when it doesn't work with her again (they were broke up since November until just getting back with her two weeks ago) and they live way too far apart and he struggled with our 2 hour distance. But I am not going to be here at all. Not playing second fiddle, second choice, whatever, and certainly won't be his narcissistic supply. I think I was just a rebound for him, or something until he had an opportunity to get back with her, I don't know, don't care. Dodged a huge bullet for sure. Still healing but I will be ok.