A forum for partners of those with Asperger's Syndrome and who are looking for ways to cope and overcome the difficulties that as brings.
442 messages in 23 discussions
Latest 7/5/12 by barneysmom52
1158 messages in 68 discussions
327 messages in 34 discussions
4 messages in 4 discussions
565 messages in 36 discussions
165 messages in 27 discussions
1984 messages in 142 discussions
1170 messages in 73 discussions
12341 messages in 800 discussions
928 messages in 96 discussions
1509 messages in 86 discussions
191 messages in 53 discussions
235 messages in 43 discussions
87 messages in 29 discussions
Do I have what I need to exist in a neuro-diverse realtionship (NT/AS)? If not, how can I get it?
This is a question we all ask ourselves, and come to forums like this one, to seek the answers.
I recently wrote this post as I was gathering my thoughts on the matter.
Do you have the emotional make-up to live with someone who feels and communicates emotions differently than you?
Can you fill at least some of your own emotional and social needs independently? Do you have the means to do that?
Do you have the intellectual curiosity to learn the facts about autism and make sense of your relationship from what you have learned?
Are you willing to learn about some of your childhood issues which may be triggering your strong response to your partner?
You may be this kind of person, and you may not be. Just think about yourself gently and uncritically as you ask these questions of yourself.
Obviously there are many more issues to consider when making choices about a relationship. I thought this post would serve as a good discussion-starter.
Please add your thoughts.
Reply from carolbied on 9/29/07 regarding NT/AS: What does it take?
As the NT: (apologies re: gender sensitivity, but I'm writing from the female NT/Male AS perspective)
Do you have the ability to be a strong enough parent for two (sometimes), and let go of preconceived notions about what family life looks life?
Do you have the tolerance it sometimes will take to deal with others behavior and comments directed towards your AS significant other, and clueless comments directed towards you: it's just guy behavior; I know people with AS, and your's couldn't be AS; why don't you just tell him what you want; he's so smart, I'm sure you're just not understanding him....... You get the jist.
Is your sense of humor intact?
Can you remember to take care of yourself, especially when the going gets tough?
Do you have a good support system, and if not, can you build one?
Reply from Chris regarding NT/AS: What Does It Take?
I'm glad you started this thread as well. As I said earlier, I think your questions are exactly the right ones that need answering. I think that something about loneliness and being unable to get emotional support in times of emotional crisis also needs to be said. Although I'm still not too happy about wording, perhaps these could also be questions.
Are you the type of person that is able to get through recurring periods of loneliness?
Are you the type of person that can get emotional support from people other than your partner in times of emotional crisis?
As far as the AS side of things go, I'm not sure that very many of us are very self aware heading into a romantic relationship. I know I certainly wasn't, in the few I had. For us, I think history, rather than answering introspective questions, might be a better predictor of whether we might do well in a romantic relationship. Here are some sample questions I thought of.
Did your parents have a long, stable and happy marriage? (I think we model behaviour. A good model to follow would be a big help.)
Have you had stable, long lasting friendships with either males or females as you grew up? (This can be in elementary, secondary or high school, university, or in jobs. The ability to sustain any relationship for a long period of time I think will increase the odds a lot.)
What is the longest period of time you have stayed in one job? (Staying a long time in a single job means that you have the capacity to form some types of relationships, regardless of how casual. If we act, and then get found out, we can tend to leave jobs when this happens. Multiple job changes over relatively short periods of time can be a bad sign.)
Have you completed college or university? (This is obviously not a requirement, but does indicate a good level of social adjustment, intelligence, and the ability to stick with something and complete it. It will also help in supporting a wife and family.)
While you were romantically involved with one woman, have you ever slept with other women? (Once we form a pattern, of any sort, it is very hard to break. If we have a pattern of monogamy, we're likely to keep it. If we have a pattern of "open" relationships, we're likely to keep that pattern too.)
What is your view of NT's? (Many people with AS have relatively negative views of NT's. This is obviously not a good sign for the long term outlook, willingness to change, and compromise, in someone with AS starting a relationship with an NT partner.)
Is the person you're starting a relationship with someone who is strong, independent, warm, caring, and compassionate? (I think we have a much lower chance of being able to sustain a relationship with anyone who doesn't have these qualities.)