AS and holidays/birthdays/special events

Page 1 of 1 [ 16 posts ] 

thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 7:39 am

Hi, I'm new and had good sucess in the love&dating section that I thought I would try here. I am an NT and my bf has Asperger's. He says to me often "I don't do holidays". But he is the same with birthdays and other special events. But, here's the kicker--it seems like only with me.

He sent out a mass "Merry Christmas" email which surprised me because of how he told me he feels about it, and for my birthday he sent an email, no present. We have mutual friends and he has made really big deals about their birthdays. For his birthday he wanted nothing, and kind of withdrew into himself. Valentine's day he completely disappeared but was there bright and early the next morning.

Am I right to think he does this because he thinks other need 'the show' ? Do others with Asperger's dislike holidays?

**Just wanted to add that when I mention this he says I am acting jealous, most of our mutual friends are women. He also is more openly flirtatious with them than he is with me but he says 'it's just flirting' and I believe him but it hurts my feelings anyway.



Zonder
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,081
Location: Sitting on my sofa.

11 May 2008, 7:53 am

I have a lot of trouble enjoying holidays, especially if I am expected to give a gift or there is a part with unfamiliar people. Part of the problem of gift-giving is disappointment - I don't like being disappointed by a gift because its not easy to hide disappointment and then the giver's feelings can be hurt. I also don't like disappointing because I can often tell when I disappoint. And I don't like feeling obligated. Maybe he makes a big deal with friends because he isn't obligated and there aren't expectations. I'm kind of rambling here, but reciprocity can be difficult for someone with AS, and it seems to be based in a dysregulation of the emotions.

You're boyfriend's actions sound a lot like mine, quite a gift-giving, holiday-loving catch!

Z



bookwormde
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 3 May 2008
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 127

11 May 2008, 7:57 am

Just remember that for the most part these are social contrivances, so for many aspies they seem very superficial. What is the real difference if you are 364 or 365 days old. As to the differential between you and his friends I can only guess it is a situation of unfamiliar expectations, but this is only a guess

bookwormde



Lightning88
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Aug 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,890

11 May 2008, 8:07 am

That just seems kind of weird to me. AS or not, he is still your boyfriend and the least he can do is show how much he cares for you on those special days.



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 8:13 am

Yes, he has real issues with obligations. In arguments he has said things like 'and you expect me to talk to you everyday' and I think what?? Don't you want to talk to me if you like me? I also think he projects these expecations onto me as 'girlfriends want these things' more than that I am asking for/want them.

But I guess I am jealous. I mean....for another one of our friends he sent a mass email with a picture of flowers inside. I didn't even get that. I'm sure half of our friends are convinced that he doesn't even like me. And I realize they don't matter...but sometimes I think he doesn't even like me too. Which is I guess a different topic to this ha.



Lightning88
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Aug 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,890

11 May 2008, 8:19 am

How long have you two been together? If it hasn't been long, that is really cruel of him to say and do. If it has been a little while, it's still rather rude. Have you tried telling him exactly how you feel? I know I wouldn't tolerate that behavior if I had a BF.



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 8:38 am

Lightning88 wrote:
How long have you two been together? If it hasn't been long, that is really cruel of him to say and do. If it has been a little while, it's still rather rude. Have you tried telling him exactly how you feel? I know I wouldn't tolerate that behavior if I had a BF.


We've been together for a while, I have told him I don't want to put pressure on him etc. but he doesn't believe me. He says people always say that but do. I know he's trying, but ...sigh. I mean, he'll say that about talking to me everyday....and then talk to me everyday ha.



Zonder
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,081
Location: Sitting on my sofa.

11 May 2008, 8:40 am

I can't offer any advice as to whether he really loves you or not. I just know this about myself: the more someone is disappointed in me and pushes me to change, the more I shut down, even if I love the person.

Z



Lightning88
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Aug 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,890

11 May 2008, 8:40 am

Has he been going through any tough times lately? Has there been anything that's really been stressing him out?



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 8:56 am

Lightning88 wrote:
Has he been going through any tough times lately? Has there been anything that's really been stressing him out?


Yes, he's generally stressed about work and that has gotten worse, but his behavior seems to be the same. It's like he likes me but is having trouble finding a place to put me. He was also badly burned by his ex so he is is afraid. All of which I get. I'm just not sure how to cope. Most of the time he's great.



craola
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 260

11 May 2008, 8:57 am

Do you talk about it a lot before hand and have a big build up etc?
Because with birthdays etc I struggle if people are forcing it on me and reminding me constantly.
Maybe he finds others birthdays easier because its just on the day and thats it.
Im not sure if that makes sense.



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 9:04 am

Zonder wrote:
I can't offer any advice as to whether he really loves you or not. I just know this about myself: the more someone is disappointed in me and pushes me to change, the more I shut down, even if I love the person.

Z


That sounds very much like him. What would you suggest is a good way to say "You hurt me when you do that or can you whatever?" without being disappointed when I AM disappointed? In order to deal with someone with Asperger's should I abandon all hope of having my feelings be as important as his? I ask that without sarcasm or pissiness.



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 9:11 am

craola wrote:
Im not sure if that makes sense.


That makes sense and no I don't do that specifically because I thought he may be pressured to do something--and most of those happened before I knew he had Asperger's.



Zonder
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,081
Location: Sitting on my sofa.

11 May 2008, 9:25 am

thatone wrote:
Zonder wrote:
I can't offer any advice as to whether he really loves you or not. I just know this about myself: the more someone is disappointed in me and pushes me to change, the more I shut down, even if I love the person.

Z


That sounds very much like him. What would you suggest is a good way to say "You hurt me when you do that or can you whatever?" without being disappointed when I AM disappointed? In order to deal with someone with Asperger's should I abandon all hope of having my feelings be as important as his? I ask that without sarcasm or pissiness.


It might be in the approach. Part of what I think happens is that in emotionally charged discussion, sometimes the ability to comprehend the other person's perspective shuts down. It is usually doesn't work to point out problems immediately, but to wait until the emotional level has come back down. Then have a discussion. Its actually easy for me to have an emotionally detached discussion where I talk about my emotions, but next to impossible to have a discussion about feelings when my emotions are elevated.

Your boyfriend might actually care a great deal about your feelings, but shuts down in an emotionally-charged argument, and then can't find a way to make it better. What he might need to know is that it is OK that he responds to things differently than you do, that you love him just the same, that there are things that you need to feel good about him and yourself, and let him know what those things are. It is kind of a negotiated love, and it doesn't sound so romantic, but it might be worth the effort.

Z



Rainbow-Squirrel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Dec 2006
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,093
Location: Siena, Italy

11 May 2008, 9:35 am

I've always had troubles with birthdays.

When I was a kid my (NT) father used to organize big parties for my birthday, with a lot of kids, but it seemed the one who enjoyed them the least was me...
When going to other kids' birthdays I just couldn't connect with my peers.

Right now it's pretty much the same.
Case in point, next sunday is my birthday, and I'm still trying to decide what to do. I have two groups of people I'm acquainted to. Celebrate ? With which group ? I have still a week to decide :wink:



thatone
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 18

11 May 2008, 9:43 am

Zonder wrote:
It is kind of a negotiated love, and it doesn't sound so romantic, but it might be worth the effort.

Z


Thanks for explaining it to me...this is probably the biggest issue in our relationship, his belief that I'm trying to change him/control him when my wondering why, if he likes me, he is not wanting to do certain things. I need to understand that there's just a difference.

But even when we aren't upset I get the impression that he bristles at my reactions. He'll say things that mean this is me, I'm not going to change...which is separate from Asperger's I think. I'll keep working at it haha.

He is a really wonderful man, he's worth the effort.