Asperger's Syndrome & Romantic Relationships: A Different Kind of Love

Loving An Aspie

I just got out of an eight year relationship with an Aspie. No, it's not some alien on Star Trek or even Star Wars, although sometimes his behavior could have been considered Spock-like. I'm talking about a person with Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's is an autistic spectrum disorder...already that sounds complicated, doesn't it? It is and it isn't.

Like A Rainbow..But Not!

A spectrum disorder means that there is no typical, one-size-fits-all behavior in the world of autism. People with autism can range from those who are completely non-verbal to ones who are highly intelligent and functioning well in daily life. Asperger's Syndrome falls into that category, although again there is a scale of behavior even among people who have Apserger's.

My love interest was neurologically atypical, his wiring was not like the "normal"' person. attractive, extremely intelligent, and completely maddening in so many ways. But totally fascinating! (Highly illogical, Mr. Spock!) He delighted in calling himself "above normal" and he was that and more.


Mr. Fix It

He could repair anything. It was a matter of pride with him that if he didn't know how to fix something, he would learn. While I was reading female instruction manuals like Glamour and Cosmo, he was reading How To Repair Anything. And he did. He built an amazing bedroom set when he couldn't find one he liked, he built incredibly intricate crown moulding for his home, he rebuilt cars from the ground up.

But when it came to nurturing a relationship, it was a struggle. And that is typical of adults with Asperger's. Their lack of empathy and social understanding inhibits the forming of close personal relationships with others. Although there are many people with Asperger's who are married and have been for years, there are many, many others who are not married or in a relationship, because they can't form and sustain the depth of connection that's needed in a relationship.

Like most people with Asperger's, he had hobbies that he devoted himself to, to the detriment of our relationship. People with Asperger's tend to develop a few narrow interests and their fascination becomes intense. Think hobby on steroids! The hobby consumes their time and thoughts and efforts, so a relationship with you could become a sideline.


Let Me In!

Many of the interests of my guy were also interests of mine...classic cars, water sports, marine life. But he had been alone so long, he had no idea how to involve me or inclination either. When he became focused on a hobby or task, that was it, I was history until he mastered the task or moved on to the next hobby. However, some hobbies of people with Asperger's become full blown obsessions where they find it hard to compartmentalize and spend a huge amount of time thinking and dwelling on all aspects of them.


Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat...YES!!

People with Asperger's are brutally honest, so be prepared for inappropriate, although not intentionally mean-spirited comments about your looks, body, etc. They are just observations, not cut downs! However, if you try to mingle your guy with your friends, beware! Chances are he will end up offending someone and you may be out a friend. I spent many years trying to help my friends understanding my guy's behavior. They couldn't understand why I put up with it, I must have really low self-esteem, etc., etc.

If you value capable, highly intelligent men, then a man with Asperger's could be a good choice for you in a relationship. However, if you long for true, romantic love where the other person cares intensely for you and can empathize with your needs and desires, you will more than likely be crushingly disappointed.

Deal Breaker

In the end, it was from sheer exhaustion and frustration that my guy and I ended. He was frustrated that I couldn't understand him and his ability to shut out all distractions, including me, and I was exhausted from trying to understand him. I'm not sorry that I spent the time, I don't consider it wasted. I had times with him so intense I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I would advise a typical woman to think long and hard before investing a lot of time and emotion in a man with Asperger's. The love that you have for him will never be reciprocated in the way that you hope for it to be.

As he told me one time, he was tired of making me cry.

And that pretty much sums it up.

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Comments 46 comments

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

I feel your pain. My daughter has this and I wonder how she will do in a relationship. She has a hard enough time with friendships.

I've often thought Spock is a perfect Aspie as well as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Absolutely! When all my friends had crushes on Captain Kirk, I always loved Spock, it must have started way back then! As far as your daughter, don't give up on her. There are resources out there like wrongplanet.net that let Aspies communicate with other Aspies...kinda like match.com for people with Asperger's!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

I hadn't heard of wrongplanet.net. I'll check into it. She is only 16 and right now I'm not too worried about it but just wondered how she will work around her outspoken opinions late on. As you know they can be a challenge.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

That's an understatement! My Spock was an ultra conservative and used to listen to talk radio all the time which just fueled his fire! Whatever he felt, he said. But you know, that's not a bad thing...kind of healthy!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I've bookmarked it for a future read--about midnight right now. :)


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

We must be on the same time schedule, Denise!


NateSean profile image

NateSean 5 years ago from Salem, MA

Alex of Wrongplanet.net is a great spokesman for Aspies. Much better than Autism Speaks. (Please do not support them and don't get me started on those people)

I was diagnosed at fourteen and I'm always willing to answer any questions about my own experiences. One thing to keep in mind, especially to Pamela in Red, is that Aspergers' or not, your daughter is an individual with a mind of her own.

It's just like Barry T. Brazelton's views on potty training. In the end, it's got to be the child's decision when he or she is ready. The same is true of relationships and friendships.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks so much, NateSean for the comments. I love getting the persepective from the other side. And by the way, Mr. Spock and I made up...once again! I will definitely check my links for AutismSpeaks, but think Wrongplanet is awesome.


recommend1 profile image

recommend1 5 years ago

My sister was married to an 'Aspie' and he was seriously good guy and they loved each other to death - but she thinks nobody understands why he appeared such an a$$hole when in fact most of us don't think that at all. Perceptions both ways huh !


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

True, Recommend. And we're in off mode again. I try to understand, but perhaps NateSean is right. I gave it my best shot.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 5 years ago from Sydney

I was a Spock fan too! I notice you call it an autistic spectrum disorder - I'm no expert but I read Baileybear's new blog and then started browsing around the net, and there seems to be some sensitivity in the Asperger's community to calling it autism?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Marisa, there is controversy now about not classifying Asperger's as a separate disorder and doing away with the name Asperger's Syndrome, but some of the mental health communnity has balked at that. The suggestion is that Asperger's just be called a mild form of autism, but many Aspies aren't happy about that. Seems many of them like the fsct that their diagnosis has a name and just isn't lumped in with autism. So the debate continues.


loneparentgiggles profile image

loneparentgiggles 5 years ago from GONE

And in the few minutes it took to read this I finally worked out why none of my relationships ever worked and why my current one is even more difficult than the others... two people with AS... OUCH!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

That IS tough, my heart is with you on that one, loneparent.


loneparentgiggles profile image

loneparentgiggles 5 years ago from GONE

I was never diagnosed, but the more I read the more I see of myself, one hub said about AS as often being diagnosed as anxiety disorder, been there and been diagnosed with that... but it just doesn't fit. Even when I see descriptions of children with AS in schools I can totally sympathize... That 'wierd' kid who had difficulty making friends and was totally and utterly obsessed with english lit and lang who hated crowds... She was me, through and through.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Loneparent, please go to wrongplanet.net and read some of the articles on that site. I find it to be really helpful. I urge you to see someone else who perhaps specializes in spectrum disorders. I think too many doctors like to throw out that blanket term "anxiety disorder", because they don't want to dig deeper into the real cause of the person's issues. And you're not weird...you're "above normal." :)


loneparentgiggles profile image

loneparentgiggles 5 years ago from GONE

Thankyou! I'd love to know how parents with AS cope with their children, because I struggle a lot... But haven't found any documents or hubs with that info in.

I saw a psychiatrist a year or two ago and she just diagnosed me with depression and anxiety... Then again, she got all the things I said wrong in the report... my mum divorced when I was nine and remarried when I was thirteen... but apparently I'm wrong... the psychiatrists report says my mum divorced my dad when I was thirteen lol.

I think what hurts though is realizing there was a reason I was the way I was at school and yet no-one noticed it... We're only talking six years ago!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Loneparent, you just gave me a great idea for another article! However, until then...parent like those without AS...with a lot of patience and a lot of love!

I wish the best for you. I think it will help simply by realizing there are lots of others out there just like you...good luck! Drop me a line ever so often, I'd like to know how you're doing.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i have aspergers, but my obsession is understanding humans, so by my ripe old age of 55, my obsession has cancelled out my asperger's. occasionally, i'll still catch myself staring or being too honest, but i'm generally careful as the honesty thing cost me my medical license.

i married a neurotypical fellow over two years ago. we have a great relationship. he always says i have a big heart. his biggest complaint: i don't smile enough. i don't think those of us with aspergers lack empathy, just the skills to show it. i've always cried at sad movies like schindler's list, for example. i've even learned small talk for my current social work job. as a doc, i'd just dive into the deep serious stuff, where i was comfortable, ignoring the social grease of small talk that makes the relationship wheel run smoothly.

thanks for the website wrongplanet.net. i'll pass it along to my nephew who also has aspergers. we think my dad had it, too, but it's hard to diagnose now that he's passed.

in the social work field, we don't call people by their diagnoses. no one's an aspie. we're PEOPLE with aspergers.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks for your comments...and I'm taking them to heart and giving this article a little edit very soon. Good point. And bt the way, I'm still in there slugging. :)


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i tried to follow you, but couldn't find the button for it. is this just my problem, or is there something new with hubpages?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

I have no idea...things change around here faster than I can keep up sometimes. I'll check.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

took your suggestion about wrongplanet.net aspergers community. first impression is good. easy to use. hepful and interesting topics. it's also for parents of children with aspergers, maybe for significant others, too. i'll check and get back to you.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

no, not for SO's, though i think it should be.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

I think we need our own site!


writinginalaska profile image

writinginalaska 4 years ago from southeast Alaska

i have a brother that has it and i wrote a hub about it too. makes for a frustrating relationship with him if none at all. :( lvh


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

I completely understand. Its tough going for us who are NT's and for those who are NA's, it's probably not so hard since they can't really relate to why we get so frustrated with them! But hang in there, he's your brother, this isn't something he asked for. Now I'm off to read your hub!


inlovebutfustrated 4 years ago

I have been with an Aspie guy for almost 7yrs and I read your story that is us to the T. I am at the end of my rope. he has told me that he is tired of making me cry too. :( this is hard bc I adore him so much and many have told me that he has come around a lot in his social skills bc of me and my family, they all love him but see his Aspergers syndrome full force at times and they understand but I just don't know what to do anymore. :(


Justsayin' 4 years ago

I am a 45 y old female who has been recently formally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm finding that I am disappointed with a lot of the information available to the public regarding AS. Be it from the wikipedia site or others. I feel that the focus has been placed on putting the spotlight on the negatives of AS. Also, the wording of many of the negative traits is misleading, thus potentially resulting in a greater misunderstanding of AS. Some of the points I personally disagree with are that we supposedly are incapable of feeling empathy, the chance of having a reciprocal romantic relationship with someone who has AS is virtually non-existent, and that the majority of us are not interested in sex. Those are only a few points. The three that I mentioned are important to most people. To put those in a negative light for us is unfair. It then acts as a deterrent to someone who could otherwise have been interested in one of us. Meaning, not wanting to go through all that trouble and personal investment.

Speaking for myself, I do have deep empathy, passionate love, deep compassion, and a voracious appetite for sex with the right person. It's just that I have no idea of how to express what I feel. It all comes out the wrong way and makes a shambles of everything. And I am probably just as hurt and frustrated as past partners have been, because of the loss of the relationship, the loss of dreams, and the pain that I've both caused the other and that I feel. So, in my despair of reading about so many negatives, I googled "what's positive about Asperger's Syndrome. To my delight, there is a lot of material relating to that. It turns out that we are wonderful and extraordinary people with a lot of greatness to offer. So, I wish that there was more emphasis placed upon the positive traits of Asperger's. That is what will do us justice in the eyes of the Neurotypicals.


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Very well said 'just saying'. I too have Aspergers and was diagnosed at 38, several months after my three year old son was diagnosed with Autism. I agree totally with you when you say we have loads of empathy we just don't know often know how to show it appropriately. I am just like that, my husband spent years thinking one day I would change and be a NT wife until I eventually realized why I am like this and now thankfully he accepts me as I am because he knows as I do that this is just me and I can't be someone else. I think discovering I have AS helped me to come to terms with my son's diagnosis a lot i.e. if I am autistic too and I have come this far then there is every reason to be full of hope for his future too. Although I think he is more classically autistic than me he has support and I have knowledge about how to help him that was never there when I was growing up. Like you I am now trying to look at the positive side of my AS and now I accept myself totally and am quite happy to be me. Every autistic person deserves the right to know who they are and I don't believe in this notion that labeling my son has destroyed his potential instead I think expecting him to live a lie would be a much more major problem and I am glad now that he will never have to do that. Lets have more positive feedback about being autistic so our children can flourish. Please check out my hubs and my FB sometime where I write a lot about the issues that concern me. Thanks to DIYWeddingPlanner for article too.


Just sayin' 4 years ago

Actually, I am NfromFL as I used this on another post to comment on. Well said to you too thewritingowl. I commented on another site linked to this one is that this is an Autism Spectrum Disorder, key word being "Spectrum". It is important for all to remember that. I'm glad that you enjoyed my post and am happy to know that there are more out there who feel the way I do. AS doesn't have to be a curse. Especially for those of us who are highly intelligent, or, high-functioning. I am single right now by choice, as I am not into one night stands. The reason a relationship doesn't work out isn't always the Aspie's fault. People are people and romance can be difficult for anyone for a myriad of reasons.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

So glad this has inspired input from the other side of the house! In no way was I implying that all those diagnosed with Asperger's are alike or incapable of feeling. I saw firsthand that the person I was involved with could feel both anger and jealousy. It's how he expressed his feelings (in inappropriate manners) that set him apart from NT's. He was "above normal." He was gifted, highly intelligent, and could be funny, although sometimes his humor bordered on cruel. And yes, Asperger's is most definitely a spectrum disorder, so no two people would share the exact same characteristics just like anyone else. However, problems with social skills does seem to be a common characteristic, as well as empathisizing with the feelings and needs of others. But thats not true of every NA. It certainly is not a "one size fits all" disorder and I hope that as it become more widely known, research will be able to help those on both sides of the fence learn to cope with one another.


Justsayin'/NfromFL 4 years ago

I will visit your site, writingowl. I think that it is a blessing for your son that he is in an environment in which he will be well supported by his family. Awareness is everything. Like you, I am happy to finally have an answer. Now I can make sense of it all. By being aware, I can now "grab the bull by the horns" and deal with this. Your son has an advantage that you and I didn't have. He should have a successful outcome.

Personally though, I want to become an advocate for people with Asperger's that takes the slant off the negatives and brings the more wonderful and positive attributes into the spotlight.

DIYweddingplanner, thank you for your comments and for opening up the conversation. It is so true, many of us, and I'll go out on a limb and say all of us with AS have very deep emotions. Just not the tools to express that appropriately. Speaking for myself, it isn't so much about anger as it is frustration that some of my former partners couldn't always tell how deeply I felt for and loved them. And I have to admit, I have to really work to express those feelings. I DO NOT want my significant other to feel shut out. That would also hurt me, as I feel tremendous joy in their happiness. It tells me that I'm getting something right, and that's a great boost to my self-esteem. Sounds like there was a lot of greatness between you and your guy...

Growing up-I was also attracted to Mr. Spock!!-lol-and later on, Captain Jane Way of Star Trek Voyager, and other women of strength, independence, and

determination.

Anyway, I hope to be among those whom change the attitude about people with AS from negative and leary to educated, understanding, and embracing.


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Very well said. I would agree with you in saying all people with AS feel very deeply but we just don't know how to express those feelings appropriately until I have a huge momentous meltdown and I ask myself was that really about the fact that I stubbed my toe off the door or was it really about all those other feelings I never expressed. Such is our lot in life but knowledge is such a help.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

I think a very delicate part in the balance in the relationship between NT's and NA's is the ability to read cues from one another. Things that I would take for granted as far as body language and eye contact were simply not there. I never knew whether I was making him uncomfortable by something as simple holding his hand. He was intelligent enough to have developed some skills at interpreting my cues, although I don't think that made him any less comfortable with me. If researchers could target the neurological and social aspects of what it means to a person with AS and offer therapy and counseling for both sides, it would certainly be helpful.


NfromFL 4 years ago

Yea, I will agree with you that I struggle with reading body language unless it's made very obvious. I usually have to be "hit over the head" with it. Or I'll "get the drift" later after it has sat on my mind awhile. By then, the moment has been missed. So to deal with that, I ask a lot of questions, and if I am comfortable enough and feel safe with the person, then I may take a chance and act upon what I think may be a come-on. But that wasn't always the case. I've only been willing to take chances as I strive to embrace and understand and deal with my Asperger's. I only found out thus past April that I have it. So, though I haven't acted yet, I am willing to now. I want to be part of life, not let it pass me by anymore. But, I tried for the first time to pursue someone I am really into, and got shot down hard after getting what were to me, mixed signals. It hurt, and was a setback. So, I have more wound tending to do.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

NfromFl,

I know it hurts to get shot down, but look at it this way, it's the most "normal" thing in the world. All of us struggle to understand each other's cues and form relationships, so don't feel alone! At least you are smart emough to realize that is a weak area for you, so you do try to compensate for it by asking a lot of questions to try to interpret your partner's interactions with you. That's more than a lot of people do, with Asperger's or not!


kellet59 profile image

kellet59 4 years ago

Hello, DIYWeddingplanner...I was googling for info on aspergers and relationships and found your article. It felt like I was reading about my own relationship. I have been on and off with my aspire guy for over 13 years. Right now we seem to be in that rocky boat part of the cycle - everything I do or say seems to get him angry or upset or makes him go cold on me, or silent or just go home! When he is like this I long to have the courage to end the relationship, but time has taught me that without him in my life I am miserable. We can't live together and we can't live apart. My kids have all left home now but I recently bought a house with my elderly mum as I am her full time Carer - this has put a big strain on our relationship and he told me the other day that he doesn't like the decisions I have been making recently. He hates change, be it how I do my hair or if I buy something new for my home. I just got a new TV, he hates it and has moaned about it for days and it put him in a massive grump. Then I feel like he is punishing me for displeasing him. Sometimes he talks about selling up and making himself a room in the loft for a study/bolt hole, then again he will tell me he doesn't want to live with me because he needs his space and his own things around him. I feel permanently like I'm on a roller coaster with him and its exhausting and makes me depressed. Yet I love him so much. Is there any way forward or out of this tangle of happiness then sadness?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Kellet59, I wish I could tell you that there was or that I finally got my "happily ever after" with Mr. Spock, but we finally ended our relationshop due to some of the very same things you mentioned here. A haircut was too much for him to handle and led to a very upsetting conversation that was only resolved once he realized that I would grow it back and my decision to take guardianship of a young child was the death knell. Children and animals are just not part of his level of understanding at all and he barely tolerated either. So I feel your pain! This is a decision only you can make. If you think you can't be truly happy without him in your life, then you've made your own decision. But you need to think hard about the quality of your life with him, particularly now that you have your mother in your life. I wish you luck!


Macushla 4 years ago

Thank you for this article. Like you've heard in earlier comments: I could have written it myself. I am still in my relationship, for 8 years now, but we have known each other for about 20 now. There are so many wonderful things about an Aspie. He too is highly functional (in many ways) highly intelligent with numerous higher degrees and teaches in a prestigious college. He's also a musician and very attractive man! Dreamboat, right? Almost completely lacking in empathy though. He is seeing a counselor, but does not see the point. He has no desire to understand other's point of view, but rather to have them assimilate to his. We have stayed together this long because I choose to give up and let things go, but it is really hard. Really, really hard sometimes to sustain a relationship when you are not supposed to take things personally (this is my life! how do I not "take it personally"?); find your emotional support from outside the relationship (us...whaaa??); and be prepared to be the caretaker and planner and constant emotional support for another person and have them simply unemotionally take it as their due. These are all things counselors have told us. That's great as it reinforces his stagnation and has given him an excuse to point to, while placing 100% of the onus on the NT partner. There has to be a better way than this. I can't believe there are not better ways to learn for us both to adapt. Right now I just feel that there is SO much out there about letting the Aspie be who they are and how they want, knowing that someone will come along to enable and take care of them ( I am not being harsh calling it that: I "enable" with the best of them!) that though I love my partner so dearly and absolutely - I still long for it to be even a tiny bit easier. I wish every day that there was an acknowledgment that sometimes reciprocity and compassion and yes, returning the love you receive, IS the best practice, and that if you want a relationship, you have to contribute something emotionally. Nothing is really 50/50....but I resent the prevailing attitude that a relationship with an Aspie is going t be 70/30 or 80/20 and there is nothing to do about that. My partner for instance, reads every bit about AS he can get his hands on and pulls out the bits like that as uses it as an excuse: "See? This says that I can't give more than that. " I have to add, he has wonderful moments, and expends his passion (for teaching and for life, as well as his empathy quota) on his students and feels that as we are in a relationship, I should understand that he has nothing else left for me. This is not a mental illness per se, but rather a different wiring. Wiring can be adjusted, you learn, you adjust, you learn some more. I am exhausted.


kellet59 profile image

kellet59 4 years ago

my partner is undiagnosed. At times, when I read certain things about Aspies I think that maybe I am wrong and he is just being a 'man!'

Then he will go cold on me or have a fit of the 'blue meanies' (my little euphemism for his black moods, and I think 'no, I've got it right!' He can be kind when it suits him to be, and then he can flip at something so inconsequential to us ordinary folks...he then beats on about it until we are both exhausted with it all.

I have grown accustomed to his foibles, like you grow accustomed to a sore finger! He dislikes bright lights, eating fat or sweet things, he doesn't understand when he raises his voice to a shout that it is upsetting. he is oblivious to the fact I may be trying to listen to what is on TV as he takes umbridge at something he has seen or heard and continues to rail at the TV and me...and even if I ask him to shush as I'm listening he won't!

He refuses to let any workman do a job he knows he can do better himself and will keep at a job until its perfected. His skills know no bounds but is not comfortable with praise. He can ring me up on the phone and when he has exhausted all he has to say, sit in silence rather than say goodbye. He can just up and leave me to go home when he feels 'irritable' or when the need arises for him to just be home alone to potter.

He often hates it when I put the TV on, and yet often has the TV on as well as the radio when he is at home alone. Books rarely satisfy him and the precious few he loves will be read time and time again. The same for films - he loves a few and regularly watches them again and again...it took me years to realise that a few of his chat up lines, his stance on life and his favourite expressions are 'borrowed' from heroes of his in films he loves.

He once told me that he gets nothing from a hug - I found that, and still do, one of the saddest things I'd ever heard. If I am in tears he never hugs me to offer comfort, but will stand wretchedly by, not knowing what to say or do.

He shows his love by cooking me a meal or making me something, or mending something. I could never be satisfied with a mere mortal after my guy. I always tell him that I am like a stick of rock (candy) his name runs through the middle and there's nothing I can do about it!

I can never count on him to be supportive, because sometimes he just isn't. Sometimes he gets so angry when I need his kindness and then at other times he amazes me with his support. Most of his weird behaviour I have finally learned to live with...but it is the awful and dreadful yo-yo effect that cripples me. The coldness and total withdrawal after a period of happiness. It always takes me unawares, even after 13 years. Just as I begin to relax and forget he is different and begin to believe we finally made it, something will tip him over the edge and he'll be off and running.

This can be him going home or worse, sitting in a room with me ignoring me, glaring at me and snapping at me when he does speak. It feels like I'm at primary school again being sent to Coventry by a best friend (ignored on purpose to wound). This behaviour is usually out of the blue, and leaves me feeling heartbroken, and asking 'what did I do this time?'

But it's usually just him i think, suddenly into emotional or sensory overload and needing to bail out of life for an hour or two, or a day or two. When he does this I either try to accept it or try to resolve to move on with my life...in the past I've left him, met new guys...but it was always useless because the love I feel for him is massive and after him with his contours of black and white and grey ordinary men are pale equivalents!!

So now, I try to stay busy and just get on with my life until he comes round....

exhausting, stressful, soul destroying at times....but probably no way out, for me at least.


Lesleysherwood 3 years ago

This sounds like someone very close to my heart. Thank you for sharing your experience!


kellet59 3 years ago

two days ago I ended my relationship! How do I move on and get over him now he's out of my life? I got tired of the black and white, the intense then the total nothing of it all...and the carrot that one day he'd commit to me and live with me...but oh how I will miss the good times. :-(


Dved 3 years ago

wow, I feel like I have read my story over and over here! I was left so abruptly 3 weeks ago, I had no idea it was coming. One minute I was making him breakfast, and he was as loving and kind as ever, as he always is. We were planning on going to the movies that night, and then within 5 minutes, he told me was not happy, not feeling it anymore, and leaving me. We had been together 2.5 years, living together for over a year...I thought we were on a marriage track. I have spent so much time these past 3 weeks trying to figure it out..and then yesterday I googled why to people rock back and forth, and up came Aspergers...and a HUGE light went off..I seriously think this is it. I always wondered on the rocking..it did seem like some self soothing thing...TOTAL engineer, works all the time, not really empathetic, socially can be awkward, has a professor quality, which I now learn is a buzz word for these people! Knows things, like all about road signs, or other things I never thought about..often withdraws without any warning, doesn't like sad things, or loud voices, doesn't talk about feelings, if an important conversation on relationship, can only go 5-10 minutes and then seems to be leaving it, rigid routines, doesn't like change, hoarder of things, and I could go on and on..I just thought these were all his idiosyncracies! sp..? Wow. I feel like I did 4 years ago when I found out my ex husband was a narcissist, I did not know that was a syndrome either..and I would say he is a bit of an Aspie for sure too..oh god, I must attract these and being kind and nice all the time to make people happy, I have no idea what I am getting into. Let me say, I adored this man..he was everything to me. We got along great for 2.5 years, until one moment on a Saturday when he was gone... I never saw this coming and never wanted him to go. But now that I see and read all this, it kind of makes sense and I wonder if he really can be in something for the long haul/..now I see why he had been such a loner and private person for so long, it makes sense. I am heartbroken with what has happened, and at the same time feeling exhausted with my detective work..I feel like I have no radar to distinguish who is really able to be in a relationship and who really isn't. I still love him so much, but not sure if he will come back..althought the thought is he will..that he has run away for now..but if he does, and I want to work on it, I have to bring this up..

thank you for this forum...


Sam 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing all your information and stories here. It helps me in making a decision. I've been dating a guy with (signs of) Asperger for 8 months now. You could say that my personality is opposite of Asperger. Always been very, very compassionate, feeling, understanding towards other people. Probably too much. I read somewhere that woman who tend to have "love-addiction"or longing for approval, could be drawn to men with asp-tendencies. It's probably true for me. For me it feels that I put more and more energy and love "inside"the relationship to "receive"something, which will not happen. I don't (want to) blame my date. He truelly is an awesome person. He's not the one who needs fixing, it's me. Sad thing is that in my case, i feel like the fixing is done by leaving this person. I don't know how to and probably don't want to change my personality or character structure to get this relationship going. It's better to be connected to yourself and be alone, then to be connected to someone else and feeling alone on the inside.


hoplesslyinlovewithanAS 18 months ago

It's nice not to be alone in my plight to get through to my man. I've known Frank for 10 years. He is such a kind hearted man...that's what stole my heart! We dated for 2 years and were married in 2007 We were together for 2 yrs. In those 2 yrs. so much happened that I did not understand. He would leave my house and go to his mother's to take her shopping and come back 4 days later with no phone call or anything. He has a very innocent, child like quality about him that makes you melt when you're around him but he can turn his emotions on and off like a faucet! That is disturbing to a non AS spouse. After 2 yrs. of marriage, I had no idea that he had AS. I had never heard of it. I was at my wits end! I sent him packing back to his mom's house and he left. What I could not understand was how content he was at his mom's house. It was as if I never existed- Four years passed and I would see him periodically at parties and church. He was excited to see me and my son, who he had helped raise. It has taken me a couple of years to let go of the anger that built up when he was living with me. One day recently, I decided to get on the computer and figure out what he had. I found AS and it changed everything- I have read a lot of material- I now understand why he did the things that he did! He never knew he was hurting me. I just wish I had known earlier. I called him, told him what he had, brought him material to read and he is reading it. I think he is relieved to know what it is because he always knew he was different- I am learning coping skills and want our marriage to work. I told him that I would take care of him, the finances, and his needs. I know he can never be on his own. I just want him to be a partner in life and to make memories with him. AS's can make great life partners if you are aware of their condition and can understand how to respond to their emotions. I'm hanging in there for now! :)

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