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To think my new partner might be Autistic

(73 Posts)
Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 09:47:04

I have been seeing my new partner for nearly 2 years. I love him very much and he can be very considerate and kind to me. He has told me others in the past have thought he may be on the spectrum.

He is very interested in Politics and the Environment and will talk for hours about these subjects. He is very knowledgeable on these subjects. He has great will power with exercise. He also says he doesn't like humans very much and doesn't really need them. He lives alone and only really sees me. This is unusual because he is very popular and always invited out in his work.

I care for him deeply however sometimes he can make very blunt and hurtful comments. Things like you have a very big forehead or what's this... Poking at a little weight gain. He seems genuinely suprised when I express hurt and is very apologetic.

He likes to disappear into a book or computer game. When stressed he cant see anyone for a whole weekend.

I really care for this man and genuinely don't think he wants to hurt me with the occasional hurtful comment. Could this be undiagnosed autism?

OP’s posts: |
Sparklfairy Thu 14-May-20 09:48:49

Does it matter if it is? You won't change him.

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 09:50:42

It would because I have previously been in a very abusive relationship. I would work on being less sensitive to hs comments if I thought it was autism rather than abusive. I don't really have a very good filter.

OP’s posts: |
Sloth66 Thu 14-May-20 09:51:40

Can you cope with his behaviour?
His never seeing any other people would concern me regardless of any possible diagnosis.

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 09:54:19

I can cope with that aspect its just the hurtful or should I say truthful if not blunt comments that sting.

OP’s posts: |
NearlyGranny Thu 14-May-20 09:55:49

If you're a sociable, sensitive person yourself, he might not be a good match for you. Beware of settling for someone who only looks good in contrast to an abusive ex. Your bar may be set a little low.

What makes him so attractive? He doesn't sound much fun, boring on for hours and making uncalled for personal remarks, and that's without the disappearing for days on end.

I suspect you could do better...

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 09:58:09

I don't have high self esteem so perhaps you have a point. He was kind when I met him when I was leaving an abusive marriage. He was a safe place to be.

OP’s posts: |
Speedqueen2 Thu 14-May-20 09:59:43

Equally, if he is on the spectrum, he is also able to adapt his behaviour. I teach autistic teenagers and we have to teach them what is and isn't socially acceptable so there's no reason that he can't learn that blunt observations can hurt people and he needs to think about them before he says them. But yes, for your own sake, working on being less sensitive is also a good idea. The amount of times I've been 'insulted'by blunt comments at school is quite funny and you just learn to laugh them off when you realise they weren't meant in that way.

DefConOne Thu 14-May-20 10:00:20

Autism is no excuse for being rude. My 12 year old can be very blunt and lacking in filter but she has been taught good manners even though she doesn’t see the point of them.

Your partner might be autistic and rude. The two things may not be related. You don’t have to put up with it.

SuperSharpShooter Thu 14-May-20 10:01:05

From experience... it doesn’t get easier knowing it’s because of autism. Eventually being their only friend is draining. They’ll still find away to disappear- even when you have kids.
If you can deal with all of that long term, Crack on. It nearly broke me sad

Sparklfairy Thu 14-May-20 10:01:53

I get what you're saying OP but making allowances for him because he "might" be autistic doesn't help you. Even if by some miracle he tried to get diagnosed, autism is a spectrum, which to some extent most of us are on depending on how you interpret it. It's not a case of he either is or he isn't. I suspect you'd get a woolly "has autistic traits" opinion which both lets him off the hook and leaves you at risk of this behaviour continuing/getting worse.

If he hurts you, and you tell him, and he continues, it's up to you to decide whether you want to continue. You deserve more than someone who makes you feel hurt.

BabyLlamaZen Thu 14-May-20 10:02:27

Maybe you could have a discussion, like tell him there are certain set of sensitive topics e.g. weight gain he should not make comments about or ask if if it's ok to say.

Does he act like he cares for you and has he said this? I'm sorry about your past

Shoxfordian Thu 14-May-20 10:04:12

Why does it matter if the effect is the same? He's still making unhelpful comments and being unkind

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 10:09:53

Thank you all all good points to consider. He does act like he cares for me. He is the only person to have ever made me feel cared for. I find safety in some of his more unusual traits I guess. My ex dh was the life and soul very flirty cheated and was very physically abusive. My new partner is normally more sensitive apart from the stinging comments. I find him funny and sweet. I don't have much experience in relationships as I was married for so long before. I'm in love with my new partner so yes on paper I would rather he didn't say hurtful things but it would be hard to lose him over this.

OP’s posts: |
Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 10:11:11

I have told him very clearly these comments are hurtful and not allowed and he seems to understand. I just find it unusual that he would need telling

OP’s posts: |
monkeycats Thu 14-May-20 10:11:14

You’ve obviously been quite hurt by his comments OP and, to be honest, who wouldn’t be? It’s so confusing for you that you’re looking for an “ism” to try and explain it.

Be careful about falling into a mentality if excusing his behaviours at the expense of your own wellbeing.

This kind of thing can chip away over time.

You can’t control someone else’s behaviour patterns, but you can control your reactions to it - this may include walking away.

He “needs” to isolate himself sometimes and this and that. Well you need to be trust him not to needlessly hurt you.

Isn’t this called “negging” when they lull you into a certain sense of security and then knock you down with insidious cruel comments? Eventually, you become conditioned to base your self esteem on their “honest” feedback.

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 10:14:02

Your reply monkeycats is spot on too. Maybe I need to get some more counselling or something. Negging is something I shall look up thank you

OP’s posts: |
Pandemiccrisismode Thu 14-May-20 10:15:55

I think you need to look at what you want from the relationship long term.

If it's children then he will most likely need lots of space from them and that will put a larger burden on you.

Travel and holidays could be difficult depending on interests etc

Whether he is autistic or not, no one here is qualified to say. You need to look at what you want and need versus what you are likely to get and weigh up if it's enough.

planningaheadtoday Thu 14-May-20 10:16:42

This is so difficult. I was married to a man with high probability of autism for decades. He was abusive and he couldn't see why. It was his way of trying to control his environment so his life was predictable and stable. This included an element of controlling me as I was a less predictable element.

If he is autistic it doesn't make him an abuser. It does make the way he sees the world different.

Two of my children are autistic, one is now an adult the other is nearly an adult.

I'd say my daughter takes after her dad And has to control her environment at all costs, she's demand avoidant too so it's jolly hard work.

My eldest son on the other hand is able to embrace the world in his own way. He's less disabled by his diagnosis of Aspergers. At times I even question his diagnosis until something out of the ordinary happens and he has a melt down.

I would say a few things to my former self, this is my reflection.
These are generalisations and won't fit all!

Someone with autism will love very very deeply to the end of their days.

They will be loyal, trustworthy and predictable.

They do not have the social filters I have so a blunt comment will be the truth, without thought to a kinder comment. I celebrated when my eldest learnt to socially lie as it's a life skill.

They will endeavour to control their environment to prevent change.

They can struggle with showing affection.
They can struggle with eye contact and physical contact.
They can struggle with smells and textures.

They can struggle with peoples faces and recognition. My exH relied on number plates and would be cross if someone changed their car.

They can become very depressed living in a world that is a constant stress.

So much to balance. You are in the early stages, I think if I was back in that place I would want to have a friend for life, and support that friend, but I don't think I'd have married and had children.

Mesomeplace Thu 14-May-20 10:22:52

Thank you planning ahead. Many of your comments rang home. The security of being loved for life and loyalty perhaps that is what I am so attracted to. Not that anyone can be sure about that ever

OP’s posts: |
Vellum Thu 14-May-20 10:23:30

I think that you are rebounding from an unpleasant partner who was, as you say, flirty, outgoing and the life and soul of the party, and you are finding the fact that this man is a recluse consoling. I think you are likely to find this less so as time goes on. There are many support threads in the Relationships forum by women who have autistic husbands, and they make very sobering reading. I have two friends married to men whose lives are severely curtailed by their autism.

Kickanxietyinthebeanbag Thu 14-May-20 10:23:48

My dh has autism
Married 27 years .
He’s loyal and faithful and and a great father .wonderful with animals
But no friends ,ever .
So no best man at the wedding
So he never drinks or rolls home from pub pissed ,I always know where he is .works hard at work ..would drag himself to work half dead
Did mean he didn’t take time of work for my pregnancy scans
Swings and roundabouts
The plus out weighs the negative for me .
Each to their own ..I’m probably on the spectrum too,so perhaps that why we last ,I don’t know .

MereDintofPandiculation Thu 14-May-20 10:46:27

Isn’t this called “negging” when they lull you into a certain sense of security and then knock you down with insidious cruel comments? No, that's deliberate. OP isn't suggesting the negative comments are deliberate intended to be negative.

Gawdsake2020 Thu 14-May-20 10:47:57

I’m married to my partner who has autism. I also have autism myself. I can relate to this post. Don’t know if that answers your question as obviously we can’t say yes or no just by a post.
But it’s probably likely he is.

BlankTimes Thu 14-May-20 10:57:21

autism is a spectrum, which to some extent most of us are on depending on how you interpret it

Absolute rubbish.
Why should some random interpretation of autism by someone not qualified to do so define whether someone is autistic or not? It's a medical condition, diagnosable by professionals after comprehensive testing.

OP, each person with autism is just that, a person with autism. Just because one person with autism behaves a certain way, it's unlikely that another person with autism will behave in exactly the same way.

By all means, look into autism, this is a good place to start understanding what the autistic spectrum means.

NAS diagnostic criteria for adults
The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but in order for a diagnosis to be made, a person will usually be assessed as having had persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests (this includes sensory behaviour), since early childhood, to the extent that these 'limit and impair everyday functioning'.

Please note the bit about since early childhood and to the extent that these 'limit and impair everyday functioning' because that's very important.
People whose lives and everyday functioning are not impaired by those persistent difficulties are not autistic.

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