Modifying behaviour to fit better in relationship?

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RustyShackleford
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19 May 2008, 1:48 pm

Just wondered whether anyone has ever had much luck teaching themselves how to be less aspie like in a relationship capacity?

I know this is probably a fairly unproductive way to think about it but my girlfriend at the moment is perfect in so many way apart from one biggie: My social oddness, neediness, quirky behaviours and the fact that I don't spot the majority of jokes drives her steadily madder by the day.

It's gotten to the point where neither of us know what the answer is. She seems to think I have a lot of growing to do as a person (I am 27) and I really freaking out because that person I have been trying to grow into isn't getting any closer and probably isn't going to. I have been promising I will try and improve a long list of things I can't even remember and I am so depressed I just feel absolutely hopeless but I have no idea what to do.



Tim_Tex
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19 May 2008, 1:49 pm

I don't bother with. I don't feel that I should have to pretend to be someone else.


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abram
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19 May 2008, 2:04 pm

maybe you two should go to a counselor



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19 May 2008, 2:05 pm

Nah, I still prefer not.


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LoveableNerd
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19 May 2008, 2:09 pm

The only reason to improve in any of those areas is for yourself, if you feel this other (less aspie) person is truly what you want to be. But doing it for someone else will never work, and all you will be doing is pretending to be someone else for her benefit. Eventually pretending will fail: it takes a lot of mental energy than can be better spent in other areas, and even if you can hold on to the facade for months, eventually you are going to hit a low period and your aspiness will come out. Ultimately, she is going to have to accept you for who you are, or it just isn't going to work in the long run.


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Last edited by LoveableNerd on 19 May 2008, 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tim_Tex
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19 May 2008, 2:11 pm

LoveableNerd wrote:
The only reason to improve in any of those areas is for yourself, if you feel this other (less aspie) person is truly what you want to be. But doing it for someone else will never work, and all you will be doing is pretending to be someone else for her benefit. Ultimately pretending will fail: it takes a lot of mental energy than can be better spent in other areas, and even if you can hold on to the facade for months, eventually you are going to hit a low period and your aspiness will come out. Ultimately, she is going to have to accept you for who you are, or it just isn't going to work in the long run.


Very well put. The model citizen approach is the one I want people to see, because it's the real me.


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Aspie_Chav
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19 May 2008, 3:42 pm

I don’t believe that it has to fail. I also believe an aspie can become more NT like. Neural pathways are not set in stone; they do change if you exercise the right part of your brain. To succeed you need to practice being NT like most of the time. It is the battle you fight outside the ring.



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19 May 2008, 3:48 pm

Aspie_Chav wrote:
I don’t believe that it has to fail. I also believe an aspie can become more NT like. Neural pathways are not set in stone; they do change if you exercise the right part of your brain. To succeed you need to practice being NT like most of the time. It is the battle you fight outside the ring.


I am already borderline AS/NT.


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lelia
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19 May 2008, 5:15 pm

I'm sorry, I don't see this relationship working. All relationships require adjustments to each other, but if yours involves a major re-do as it seems she requires, I think she should start with someone much closer to whatever her ideal is instead of constantly poking and prodding you.
When you find someone who can accept you the way you are and is annoyed by only a few things (and I don't mean throwing plates against the wall annoyed), you might carry a note card with her desires to consult every so often.

And for you male aspies out there, here's a clue. Every woman wants her man to tell her he loves her EVERY DAY and to be non-sexually hugged every day (unless she has sensitivities, of course). Every single day whether you think it's needed or not. I need to remind myself of that with my husband. I could go days without touching him, but he would feel deserted if I did that.



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19 May 2008, 5:20 pm

I didn't even mean pretending to be NT. I meant pretending to be in a certain clique, or selling our souls, or sacrificing good character.


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merr
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19 May 2008, 10:46 pm

Try to work on the neediness but the other things you shouldnt have to change.



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19 May 2008, 10:50 pm

Yeah, but being an unemployed, 28-year-old hipster living in Texas is the worst possible situation a guy can be in--even though the unemployment is because I am a full-time college student.


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20 May 2008, 12:30 pm

I believe it's a must. While you can never expect someone to be untrue to themselves or to pretend to like things that they didn't, both people in a relationship must try hard. A large part of it is what us aspies find difficult: controlling your emotions, for example. Arguements can kill a relationship and the slightest change of tone of voice can make all the difference in preventing one; oftentimes the worst ones are ones that are needless and about incredibly stupid meaningless things that aren't worth arguing about. It's not a matter of being untrue to yourself; it's about keeping control of yourself for the sake of the person you love.



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20 May 2008, 2:24 pm

If it's driving her mad now...hate to say it...after a few years of marriage she could go insane, and you could grow pretty miserable trying to please her.

Not trying to sound cruel...just someone who's been down this road.

There are things you can change... and as a result of changing grow as a person and an individual, but there are things you can't or that are impossible to change on a "permanant" basis because they are just part of the way you are "wired", and you need to be aware of yourself enough and honest with yourself enough to know the difference between the two.

If she is unable to accept the things that you "can't" change...then in an essence she is unable to accept "you"...and that's not your fault or hers, but it's time to start asking yourself some hard questions and maybe find someone who can accept those things in the future.


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20 May 2008, 2:46 pm

lelia wrote:
I'm sorry, I don't see this relationship working. All relationships require adjustments to each other, but if yours involves a major re-do as it seems she requires, I think she should start with someone much closer to whatever her ideal is instead of constantly poking and prodding you.

My thoughts exactly.

Quote:
And for you male aspies out there, here's a clue. Every woman wants her man to tell her he loves her EVERY DAY and to be non-sexually hugged every day (unless she has sensitivities, of course). Every single day whether you think it's needed or not. I need to remind myself of that with my husband. I could go days without touching him, but he would feel deserted if I did that.

Maybe I really do have Asperger's. I would feel uncomfortable if I got that sort of thing every day; once or twice a week is enough for me.