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Please help - suspect DP has Aspergers(7 Posts)
We've been together for just over two years, and I love him dearly. He's mostly kind and thoughtful and very loving. He's very clear that he loves me very much, and that he wants to be with me, and that when the dc have left home in a couple of years, he wants us to move in together. We have lots in common and a lovely time together when things are going well, but when they aren't things are very tricky.
When he's frustrated or irritated - usually when he perceives something to be irrational or illogical or not in line with what he'd expect or want - he snaps and then retreats for variable periods of time and won't communicate. I don't deal well with this - I know this, but am working on it. Part of this working on it has involved reflecting a lot on me, but also on him, and I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that he may well have undiagnosed Aspergers Syndrome, based on what I've read. I've come close to ending it on a couple of occasions, but think perhaps if I can try and understand his perspective more, we might be able to find a more constructive way of moving forward.
I don't think he is a perfect "fit" for AS as in some ways he's quite emotionally literate. But he does fit an awfully large number of the criteria that I've read about. I think he would resist hugely any suggestion that it was the case - partly because he works with a large number of people who are so clearly a better fit for what one might think of as "on the spectrum" given his field, whereas in may ways he is quite well adjusted socially.
In some ways, I think even thinking there is an explanation like this - even if we never put a label on it explicitly - could help me quite a lot with working out what is reasonable and not reasonable in terms of my expectations of him. And possibly I need to be a lot more explicit about what I want, rather than expecting him to guess - previous partners have been much more attuned to that (albeit much less bothered about actually giving me what I want than he is!). My life is complicated, with elderly and not very well parents to think about, three dc with various different teenage needs, a job that is very emotionally demanding as well as stressful, and a house that is always on the verge of falling down. His life is pretty simple by comparison - work, work and me. So there's a big difference in terms of experiences and day to day life that I find very hard to bridge sometimes without being tiresomely detailed and explicit about it.
Sorry this is long - it's helpful to write it all down, and I would be really interested to know what people in a similar situation think or would recommend.
I also have a partner who can snap, retreat and not communicate. It's helped me to understand that this is just his way of dealing with conflict and that my method (trying to talk everything through and resolve it immediately) is just as annoying to him, as his is to me. I don't think it is necessarily anything more than different communication/conflict styles.
I agree we have wildly different communication styles and I am very like you; I need and want to talk about things and sort them out straight away. So hard, isn't it?
There's a lot more to it than just that - he's very very logical, super intelligent, strong preference for routine and things being done a particular way, irritated by loud noises or certain smells, etc. And often seems completely bemused by the idea I might be feeling unhappy or stressed if he hasn't factored it in to his way of thinking about the world. I'm not sure that knowing there is a name for the way he is will change much but I think it might help me explore some coping strategies.
I have been part way through an assessment for Asperger's some years ago (never got to the end of it as my mental state was too 'distressed' at the time - whatever that means!) as well as other mental health assessments. From my point of view, I've no idea if I have Asperger's or not; to me it seems possible or probable but no official diagnosis (DH thinks I don't). A lot of what you describe rings true to me. In addition, I have a number of quirks, I'm a bit odd and I can be very difficult. My DH is totally different and I'm so very lucky to have such a wonderful, patient, understanding, caring man in my life - if he felt he needed 'coping strategies' I would hope he would leave me and find someone he could be genuinely happy with. Honestly.
You shouldn't need coping strategies with someone you love. Your lives and personalities either fit or they don't - compromise is one thing, coping is another. A label makes no difference - he is who he is and you can either be happy with him or not. No label makes a difference or an excuse.
Thank you, that's very honest and helpful. I love him so much, and I want to be with him. I have wondered if we would be better off apart but I dont think that is the case.
Perhaps compromise is a better way of thinking about it than coping; I want us both to be happy, and my reactions to his behaviour don't make either of us happy. In the past I've had awful relationships (this isn't one) and I'm hyper-sensitive to the possibility that I'm being treated badly. I think this makes me prone to over-react to relatively small things. And he is, if I am honest, "odd and a bit difficult" whilst also being deeply lovely in many ways.
you have to decide whether you can live with his method of dealing with stress or not. does not matter if he is aspie or not, you can either live with it or not. not shame in not being able to live with it. people chose or reject partners for all sorts of reasons.
You sound like you have a v demanding life. His sounds v simple in comparison. Why is he getting so stressed? Why is he waiting to commit more to you once your children have moved on? Does he not look to support you now and make you life easier now?
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