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I think my partner may be autistic, what do I do?

(169 Posts)
ididntmeanit Fri 15-May-20 13:24:26

I've only been with him for 6 months.

In the beginning I found it hard to connect with him but he told me he understood but to give him chance.

It turned out that this was wise advice because we soon fell deeply in love smile

We are generally happy but having encountered a few stresses in our lives, I've started to see that some of the things he does, which he says he genuinely doesn't mean to hurt me, he doesn't mean but are because he may not be NT.


When we first got together, he plonked himself into my life, said He had made up his mind he was having me, and that was that

He has to ask me if I'm upset. Many times he has just left the room, gone to work etc while I've been crying blush

He can't think outside the box, for example, I was having an operation and it simply did not occur to him that he may be able to get a few hours off work to support me shock

He has never paid me a compliment ever...but says he always thinks nice things about me, just can't get it into words.

He has never bought me flowers, done anything romantic

He is obsessed with wether appliances are working or not, like really obsessed.

He is unable to give me comfort or reassurance other than solid practical advice

He does have meltdowns which are completely out of character and it's always when he is tired.

The reason I am writing this is that I am in love with this man, he has a lot to give and gives all he can to me. But having being through a very difficult time recently, I feel very let down. I feel like he hasn't supported me, that he's just watched me cry sometimes. When I do cry he just says Stop crying. There is zero tenderness.

I'd just like to know anyone's thoughts, if anyone has experienced similar and how we can work around things...

OP’s posts: |
ekidmxcl Fri 15-May-20 13:28:49

My teen is autistic and knows better than to behave as you describe. Autistic people might not automatically know things that NT people instinctively know but they learn those things instead. Autism is not an excuse or reason for the behaviour you describe. Your partner just doesn’t sound very nice.

ididntmeanit Fri 15-May-20 13:38:13


Do you think I'm making excuses? Love can be blind, I know sad

OP’s posts: |
CodenameVillanelle Fri 15-May-20 13:39:28

Many times he has just left the room, gone to work etc while I've been crying

Why have you been crying many times with him throughout a 6 month relationship?

category12 Fri 15-May-20 13:49:35

You need to be very careful about diagnosing him as something when you're not an expert.

Also minimising his outbursts as "out of character". No. They're part of the deal, they're not separate from him.

What do you expect to be able to do about it, even if he is on the spectrum? Does he think his behaviour is problematic? Is he interested in strategies to improve things? It's not something you can do for him.

Sodamncold Fri 15-May-20 13:50:12

What would I do?

Walk away.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 15-May-20 13:53:11

This relationship will never, ever make you happy. It is doomed to fail. I would be running for the hills.

ididntmeanit Fri 15-May-20 13:54:53

The crying has been because I've been through some difficulties of my own and he hasn't acknowledged my hurt sometimes, just gone into autopilot to get ready for work etc

I hadn't thought about asking him to consider strategies, that's a really good ideasmile

He IS good and loyal and solid, he would DO anything I asked of him. But it's the fact I have to tell him and ask him that I struggle with.

OP’s posts: |
JudyGemstone Fri 15-May-20 14:01:10

He might well be autistic but there is nothing you can do about it.

You have to either accept him as he is or leave him, there is highly unlikely to be a 3rd option where he magically changes into someone else.

BertiesLanding Fri 15-May-20 14:02:37

A very close family member is autistic, and is very responsive to the feelings of those he loves when they're expressed as openly as you're expressing yours. In other words, you cannot simply chalk this up to neurology, particularly because he hasn't been diagnosed.

mamasiz Fri 15-May-20 14:06:34

What’s to love about him OP? What qualities does he have that are making you happy or that you admire in him?

PickUpAPickUpAPenguin Fri 15-May-20 14:30:59

You can't do anything about the fact that he may be autistic.

If he is autistic, you need to change your behaviour to include what you think is "obvious" You have to say "I'm having my operation on Wednesday. Please can you take the day off." or "I'm upset about X. Can you cuddle me for a while and let me vent?" " I like it when you buy me flowers/plan a spontaneous date/whatever you consider romantic. I would like you to do this again sometime"

Meltdowns being "out of character" is an odd sentence. If he's autistic then it's very common.

I'm not saying that an autistic person can't be supportive but they need you to explain what actions you find supportive or not because it may not be something that they know automatically. For example in Big Bang Theory, Sheldon (possible person with autism) has been trained by his mum to make a hot beverage like tea and listen to the other person's problems if they come round to his apartment and are upset. You can tell it's not what he would do if it were his choice but he respects that there are rules around friendships and goes through the motions anyway.

Tenebrae Fri 15-May-20 14:43:00

Honestly, if you are only six months in with no ties, DC etc, I would leave. This relationship will bring you much heartbreak, possibly interspersed with moments of joy, but predominantly much heartbreak.

OldLace Fri 15-May-20 14:48:57

He may have traits of autism, or have enough of those for diagnosis
but you don't know that he does - it may just be his 'character'.
Either way, you cannot change him.

You obviously don't feel he is very empathic.
You can bluntly say: 'this is what I need' and see if he responds well.
If he does, he might be a 'keeper' ASD or not.
If he doesn't, then you are best to walk away, imo.

rvby Fri 15-May-20 14:52:39

Having autism or not is immaterial.

The question is, does this person meet your needs, fit well with you, make you happy and support you when you need it?

If the answer to that is no, then no amount of love will fix anything and you need to end it tbh.

Windmillwhirl Fri 15-May-20 14:55:10

I suppose it's about accepting this is who he is and asking yourself will you be happy with someone who:

Is insensitive
Has 'meldowns'
Is not romantic
Offers no compliments, ever
Has unusual quirks
Wont comfort you in times of personal crises.

Do you think that is best you can do for yourself?

SeriouslySoDoneIn Fri 15-May-20 15:00:32

You’re not describing autism, you’re describing shitty behaviour. And I say that as a mother of an autistic child. Even my 8 year old wouldn’t walk away when someone he cares about is crying, he knows that means they’re upset and need comfort. Autistic people aren’t heartless or uncaring, just because they’ve trouble recognising some things doesn’t mean they don’t know what “sad” “happy” “hurt” etc is.

SeriouslySoDoneIn Fri 15-May-20 15:02:08

Also meltdowns are normally when an overloading of the senses occur - not simply because of tiredness (though it can contribute to it). And adults with autism have normally learned to control their outbursts, they learn just the same as everyone else that their behaviour isn’t acceptable and they need to cope in another way. If he is being violent to you then he is an abuser and you need to leave.

ididntmeanit Fri 15-May-20 15:04:13

This makes me so sad though. And it's even sadder that he doesn't mean to behave like this sad

What he does give me is...

Solid when I can be emotional and flighty
Devoted and loyal
Very practical, he will fix anything
Very good in bed, the best I've ever had blush
Despite the behaviours, this man is 40 years old and I have never met anyone with a heart so pure
He is amazing with my children (they're old enough to cope with anything that may be appropriate)- the things they find hilarious, he does too 😐
I don't think he has the ability to play mind games

So he gives a lot, maybe not what I need, I just wondered if there were any ways around all these things...I just don't want to ever get to the point where I'm tempted to start because he doesn't meet my needs

OP’s posts: |
Tootletum Fri 15-May-20 15:08:42

Take him as you find him. Why he behaves the way he does is rather secondary to how you perceive it and how it therefore affects your relationship. I went out with a guy like that and he was quite definitely not autistic. If I cried when we were having some hideous argument he told me I was pathetic and self pitying. He told me I was stupid all the time (eg. If I didn't finish a sudoku ...). Doesn't really matter why someone is a wanker.

VerityB1 Fri 15-May-20 15:13:21

Has he been diagnosed professionally? His behaviour sounds more controlling and selfish rather than autistic which is more sensory overload and communication ... but a huge range with everyone different.

Six months and you are feeling like this. Suggest running fast in the opposite direction!

Windmillwhirl Fri 15-May-20 15:24:44

I'm betting you haven't had many happy, healthy relationships. Of course he has some good points, most people do.

If you ask me the bad far outweigh the good. How often fo you need him to fix things? Surely a friend could help you if needed.

What do you mean by a heart so pure? Leaving you crying sounds very far from pure, as do the meltdowns.

ButteryPuffin Fri 15-May-20 15:28:07

I'm also seeing 'he had made up his mind he was having me, and that was that' as worrying.

WickedlyPetite Fri 15-May-20 15:29:51

Between your 'many times' of crying his meltdowns, it sounds like a dramatic 6 months.

Are your kids witnessing all this high drama? Has he moved in with you already?

Candyfloss99 Fri 15-May-20 15:32:44

He just sounds selfish. An autistic person knows that if you're crying you are upset and asks if you are ok. A shitty person thinks they can't be bothered with your crying and runs off to work. He sounds more narcissistic than autistic to be honest.

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