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Aspergers Hubbies - is there an opposite condition?

(111 Posts)

Have a lovely husband. Really, a lovely man. Everything I suck at, he's great at, and vice versa - we should have the happiest marriage because we complement each other perfectly...

...only, he's sooooo Aspie it's astonishing - and I am, well, the opposite.

It's all come to a head (after ten years and three kids) and I started looking into separating, the lack of affection and refusal to compromise has worn me down, and I gave up trying. But, by Jove, that did the trick!!!

So, now, he's actually listened to me, to what I need and how I'd like it if we were a team. We sat and talked for an hour, instead of him going and buying compost, which is what he wanted to do. Seriously, that's a first! He said he loves me, that he wants me and he will do anything to sort it out - he's genuinely not realised how unhappy I have been. Which is remarkable symptomatic.

I persuaded him to take the AQ test - he scored 37, anything above 32 suggests aspie tendancies. Average score is 16. He challenged me to take the same test - my test result is 4.

So, he's one end of the spectrum, and I am the other. He says that is a disorder just like aspergers, only sregrepsa...

It'd be bloody marvellous if there is a "label" for being opposite of aspie, he'd really understand that!

Anyone heard of anything as bonkers like being TOO empathetic?

Am chuffed to bits, I really love the eejit man.

foolonthehill Sat 19-May-12 13:18:40

this is why we hate it when angry abusive men are accused of being Aspie...because a man with Asperger's type traits is capable of love, of learning the ways to please his (or her) partner and responding to direction....the abuser may understand but does not care...

I am soooo chuffed for you my baby, and I think you should name the opposite of aspie after yourself "mybabyweight" syndrome!!

I hope that you can continue your dialogue. As you help him understand you, and you continue to gain insight into communicating with him I hope you will go from strength to strength. Just remember you will have to keep telling him what you need...he won't be able to "read" it. He is not you....

MushroomSoup Sat 19-May-12 13:22:43

Lol my son is Aspergers and my friend once worked with an Aspie man. He was great - he understood his own condition so well that at his job interview he said "I have Aspergers. I don't read social cues and I have no empathy with anyone! But I'm a bloody hard worker and I will do whatever you tell me you want doing. If I do it wrong, you must tell me directly. If you want something different doing, tell me directly. Don't think I will be able to tell what you are feeling by a veiled conversation or eye rolling. Be blunt with me - it won't sound rude to me, it will make sense."
Boss says he is one of the best employees he's ever had!
Your post made me think of him - maybe that's how you need to deal with DH? If he knows what you need/want he's more able to do it.

Thanks for the messages!

I do feel really uplifted, for years and years I've been banging my head against a brick wall with him. He's a good and kind man, just Doesn't See Emotional Stuff.

We had an "incident" a couple of days after our third kid was born. I wasn't very well, and collapsed in the shower, falling out the bath and onto the floor. I came to, to find him stepping over my naked, unconcious body to get toothbrushes for the kids...for a long time I seethed about that, turned out I had a bit of retained placenta - but, if I'd been having a stroke...if I'm honest, I still haven't quite managed to forgive him. NOW I understand that he didn't know what to do - so, he did what he DID know, which was get the kids ready for school.

So, I've spent the last four years trying to make it easy for him - I wrote him a Standard Operating Procedure For Your Wife ("if I say this - I mean give me a hug) but he thought it was self indulgent twaddle.

However, there does come a point where the conclusion must be drawn that this clever man, who can learn to do anything with ease - is using sheer stubborness to Not Try To Meet Me Halfway.

I've boiled it down to 1. greet me before the children. 2. make me a cup of tea in the morning 3. give me a minimum of five minutes of conversation, where you ask me questions and initiate chat, a day 4. accept that I am more sociable and need to go out once a week, not necessarily together 5. date night on a Friday.

That's not worked. He's ignored it. Until today!

garlicfucker Sat 19-May-12 14:52:37

The "opposite of Asperger's" is sometimes said to be Williams Syndrome. It's a very rare chromosome deletion disorder. It comes with a certain face and assorted physical defects. You'd know if you had it!

Your AQ score is really low - I'm envious! All it means is you're very social, disorganised, etc. Are you artistic? Good of you to plug away with DH training, imo - no reason why it shouldn't work unless he is an arse as well as an Aspie. Good luck smile

Lizzabadger Sat 19-May-12 15:24:03

I am sure you don't have Williams Syndrome! smile ASD and Williams Syndrome are sometimes described in the literature as opposites but this is based on caricatures of the two conditions, really, and breaks down when you look in more detail. You can certainly see autistic traits in some individuals with WS.
You might want to look at Simon Baron-Cohen's work on extreme male (systematizing) and female (empathising) brains. He wrote a popular book called something like "The Essential Difference"

edam Sat 19-May-12 15:29:28

No idea about the answer to your question but it sounds like you are making huge progress with your dh so ruddy well done that woman.

Are you sure the AQ test is about a spectrum from 'opposite of Aspergers' to 'Aspergers'? It could just be a 'no sign of Aspergers' to 'Aspergers. The average human being might be at one end, not in the middle.

Lizzabadger Sat 19-May-12 16:24:31

The mean AQ score for neurotypical females is around 15, (standard deviation around 5 I think) so the op's score of 4 does indeed look like "opposite of Aspergers"/extreme empathiser.

garlicfucker Sat 19-May-12 16:33:37

Heh, we're all autistic in varying degrees. It's just that it becomes 'abnormal' at points where the individual's functioning is markedly affected. If you want to look at opposites, though ... another condition that's sometimes called the opposite of Asperger's is Borderline Personality Disorder. Again, PDs aren't standalone conditions - they're personalities with some aspects exaggerated and other aspects impaired.

As a meandering aside: I have no idea whether anybody's tried to correlate the criteria for BPD with those for Asperger's. Could be interesting - or a complete non-starter, I dunno grin

OP, you and H must be the original "Mr Chalk & Mrs Cheese"!

garlicfucker Sat 19-May-12 16:38:02

Lizzabadger, I loathe SB-C's characterisation of 'male' and 'female' brains. (I know he lavished it with caveats, but still.) Quite possibly because I score at the top end of 'normal' on AQ tests, but consider myself averagely female & empathetic! Grrr.

Yep, Garlic - I am disorganised, in that things get done but at the last minute and whilst there is a system, it's invisible to everyone but me. I am artistic, - I paint and draw and sew and knit and can turn my hand to pretty much anything. I am empathetic, to the point that watching the news reduces me to tears daily. And sociable, I like seeing people and I remember lots of details about their lives and have never had a problem recalling people's names.

I don't mean that I'm a wailing mess when I watch the news - but my eyes just sort of leak when I think about some people's situation, I'm not sobbing, it's just a sort of filling of my eyes. An old boyfriend once said "you just really like to feel people's pain" which was harsh, but fair.

I'm delighted with the new labels to read up on. Honestly, if DH gets to reference my behaviour to borderline personality disorder he'll be thrilled!

And, yes, we are chalk and cheese. Frankly, we have nothing in common and on paper we shouldn't be together.

He's a smasher though. Peculiar, but a smasher!

Lizzabadger Sat 19-May-12 18:05:58

Garlic - I hate it too and in general I think S B-C spins grand stories out of very little evidence. Thought it might be of interest to the OP though and am trying to be unbiased.

Fwiw I score at the top end of normal on the AQ too (I think being introverted gets me quite a few points) but I rely on reasonable levels of empathy to be able to do my job! The whole concept of autism (spectrum) is falling apart at the seams a bit, if you ask me, but that is a whole other discussion. Pat Howlin has done one or two interesting opinion pieces.

Lizzabadger Sat 19-May-12 18:09:47

Garlic- Hadn't heard BPD mentioned as opposite of Asperger's - will look into it. Not sure though - surely the opposite of emotional instability (~BPD) is emotional stability not Asp.

OP - you and your DH sound like you make a good team!

AmberLeaf Sat 19-May-12 18:27:22

Heh, we're all autistic in varying degrees

No, really we're not!

It's just that it becomes 'abnormal' at points where the individual's functioning is markedly affected

No it becomes autism at points where the individuals functioning is affected.

AmberLeaf Sat 19-May-12 18:28:14

Sorry OP;

Well done on the progress you and your DH have made. smile

HairyBeaver Sat 19-May-12 18:41:46

Hi everyone, I've just done the test on myself and scored a 30 does anyone know what that means??

mumblechum1 Sat 19-May-12 18:52:02

It's interesting, isn't it? I've just scored 9 which is surprising because I always think I have a male brain in a woman's body!

21YrOldMan Sat 19-May-12 20:35:42

Just to jump in here, as someone who dated someone who exhibited a lot of BPD traits, BPD is NOT the opposite of aspergers! And if you had BPD, trust me, you wouldn't have been in a relationship with him for more than 6 months. BPD sufferers have a tendency to push away their partners to "check" how much they love them. I don't see that working out in marriage if your partner has aspergers!

PooPooInMyToes Sat 19-May-12 21:28:14

Op you sound like me!

Id be interested to do the test if it you can link it?

HairyBeaver Sat 19-May-12 21:32:23

PooPoo just google aq test smile

PooPooInMyToes Sat 19-May-12 21:44:16

I got 5.

Taffeta Sat 19-May-12 21:55:58

I got 6.

PorkyandBess Sat 19-May-12 21:58:44

We have just done that test.

Dh got 14, I got 5.

PooPooInMyToes Sat 19-May-12 21:59:58

My dh got 26!

HairyBeaver Sat 19-May-12 22:00:04

I got 30 sad

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