LTR Breakup with an amazing Aspie Man, what to do?

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tweets
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28 Jul 2022, 12:10 pm

This is my first post here, I sought this forum out in hopes to understand why certain decisions were made that ultimately ended our relationship of nearly 4 years. He (33M) broke up with me stating he just didn't feel happy, not necessarily because of me solely - just with life, work and stresses and of course our relationship was a big part of his life.

Some quick (LONG) background, we met and work in 2018 and during our "courtship" he was the sweetest, most caring and thoughtful guy i've ever had pursue me, and to note the first one a genuinely fell in love with. It took about a year for us to get super serious, we took it slow but spent a lot of time together. We worked together so afterwork, weekends, trips etc. We had decided to move in together to take that next step in February 2020.... cue covid lockdown. To note, throughout our relationship he was relatively honest about his aspergers and other issues from childhood that stemmed from this etc. He explained his tendencies after I mentioned a few things just out of curiosity and we more or less got along just fine. Occasionally awkward silences and chippy back and forths here or there but we were able to communicate enough to move past the small things.

Back to covid lockdown, moving in together for the first time was nerve wracking but the first two months before covid, and even the few months after it all went down were great, we bonded and were inseparable by no choice of our own. He went back to work relatively early in July 2020 and I did not. It was the period between August 2020 - April 2021 when i went through some terrible anxiety and depression related to the pandemic and some past stressors. In May 2021, I went back to work and most of those symptoms and episodes left entirely. When we spoke about the reasons for the break up he noted that my anxiety during the pandemic practically made him fall out of love with me a little bit. (i understand, loving someone when they are more or less at their worst is NOT easy, but we still stayed together for two more years with little to no mention of this)

Over the past year we have travelled the country going on trips and cruises and even seriously looking at houses to buy for investments in our future, got qualified for mortgages etc. In May 2022 we got back from a vacation and things slowly started to deteriorate, he was out drinking everyday after work, being distant, didn't want to make plans for the future/weekend, anything. I could tell he was stressed as it's not his style to show emotions with words. He has admitted he drinks to quell his anxieties (and he drinks daily, but want to note he has never been belligerent, rude, angry or abusive with his drinking) but he shows irresponsible behavior when he does this, multiple times blacking out and waking up on a park bench/ or a friends couch with no contact with me whatsoever. When I starting really bringing up this behavior he would retreat more.

Fast forward to July 2022, he is being very distant. We get into a conversation after we had both been out drinking separately, he knew I was not fully there and chose this time to bare his feelings that he wasn't happy. I didn't recall the conversation at all so when i asked him about it the next day he said he want to break up. I of course asked him why he could only tell me this things when im not capable of processing them. He said it's the only time he has the courage. We ended up speaking that evening, we did not break up but spoke alot about the issues. Cut to a week later, he blacks out on a bench again, I see him the next morning and just cry and go to work, come back that evening he is out again drinking - comes home and just says we need to break up. No real conversation, at this point i can tell he's battling back and forth with this and there is no use to fight it. I'm devastated, but know him well enough that if he's made up his mind it's very hard to change it.

It was after this event we sat down and had about a two hour conversation about breaking up, he mentioned issues with my anxiety, we do bicker back and forth (normal amount in my experience, less than most), we both need to be right (but we know that), blah blah - the list seems very petty and small things to throw away a 4 year relationship over. There were conversations about children, of which my stance has changed to no children since dating him (he is pretty adamant about not wanting them, but in the beginning he spoke about being a stay at home dad?), i'm also from the west coast and he's convinced thats where I want us to end up and it's a no go for him, again i've never said that i need to live on the west coast, just mentioned it - so these issues aren't real, just things in he can't unhear.

After this, I signed up for therapy for the first time the next day because i'm not about to fall down a rabbit hole again. We still lived together for a month but now he is moving just two blocks away in nyc, staying legally on our current lease, keeping me on his health insurance until i can enroll in mine in December... and we have some hard conversations over the past month, honestly the most open communication we've had in a while. To the point that if he hadn't signed a new lease in nyc (he's very cheap, i know this is killing him) we probably would have tried to make it work with therapy etc.

We both very much still love each other - we have said this doesn't feel right but it still might be best. We know we need to work on ourselves to be happy for anyone (or maybe even each other) in the future. But this is pure torture. I care for him deeply and he still wants to keep in regular contact for emotional support for both of us but I dont know if that is good for either of us. I selfishly do not want to let him go entirely, if there is a chance we can work it out. I've read numerous books on ND relationships and I was working hard to adjust to what he needed, I don't think he ever felt that support and i know he did not provide some emotional support i felt i needed as well. I feel he needs to go to therapy and work on his issues as well but will staying in contact stop his healing/personal progress as well as mine?

Any advice on how to make this easier for him without ruining everything we had? I've read on other boards that it is possible to salvage a relationship with an aspie with work if both want to, but I also know that once he finds a new routine I might just be completely forgotten hinders my drive to comfort him and just focus on myself no matter how much it hurts.



rdos
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29 Jul 2022, 3:00 am

I'm a bit curious about books about ND relationships? Are there actually any that make sense? Particularly given that NDs themselves appear to have a pretty poor understanding of this, even NDs that are in relationships with other NDs.

As for your situation, there are limits as to how much NDs & NTs can adapt to each others, and it requires both sides to be willing to make some compromises. Thus both people need to compromise & "work on the relationship" (a terrible term, but anyway) and accept that certain things just won't work. One thing that seldom is possible to fix is the emotional stuff. NTs expect more emotional sharing & support than most NDs are able to provide. NDs, on the other hand, expect emotions to be transferred "mind-to-mind", which won't work between NTs and NDs, and so will also feel lack of emotional support. To make things worse, many NDs dislike flatter, but some might be able to adapt better and accept it as a valid way of providing emotional support. In fact, NDs can poke each other with happy feelings, which is a very effective replacement for NTs talking about feelings and flatter. However, it won't work without a strong ND-ND bond.

To me, it doesn't look like he is willing to do this part, and so it probably won't work unless he changes his mind. His drinking habits makes it worse.



IsabellaLinton
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03 Aug 2022, 6:38 pm

Nothing you wrote indicates that the breakup is related to his Neurodiversity.
It's a normal breakup that doesn't need special examination.



Raleigh
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04 Aug 2022, 6:09 pm

Relationships end.
I think the best thing would be to let him go.
He's said he doesn't feel happy.
Dragging out a relationship with him would be counterproductive.


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Mona Pereth
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25 Aug 2022, 2:07 pm

rdos wrote:
I'm a bit curious about books about ND relationships? Are there actually any that make sense? Particularly given that NDs themselves appear to have a pretty poor understanding of this, even NDs that are in relationships with other NDs.

Or at least the understanding of most ND's, "even NDs that are in relationships with other NDs," differs from your understanding -- which (unless it has substantially changed since the last time we interacted on this issue) is based on some highly idiosyncratic premises.

rdos wrote:
As for your situation, there are limits as to how much NDs & NTs can adapt to each others, and it requires both sides to be willing to make some compromises. Thus both people need to compromise & "work on the relationship" (a terrible term, but anyway) and accept that certain things just won't work. One thing that seldom is possible to fix is the emotional stuff. NTs expect more emotional sharing & support than most NDs are able to provide.

That does seem to be true.

rdos wrote:
NDs, on the other hand, expect emotions to be transferred "mind-to-mind",

I don't think most ND's actually expect this. If anything, NT's are the ones who expect other people to be able to read their minds, i.e. to pick up on subtle hints.


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