Any marriage will not always be smooth sailing. Marriage will always involve hard work, love, respect, and perseverance to withstand the test of time. Challenges faced by married couples may be harder when one is with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC, wrote in her blog, “If you are in a relationship with someone with AS and you are experiencing distress as a result, there are things you can do to ease the relationship. There are ways you can grow together in support of one another. AS does not go away, but you can learn behaviors and methods of interaction that increase the odds that you will reach mutual understanding on various aspects of your life together.”
Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong, developmental disorder. The following common traits may be exhibited by individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome:
- They don’t pick up on social cues and hints.
- They have sensory issues. One or two senses is/are either hypersensitive or hypersensitive.
- They do not pick up other people’s intentions, feelings, or thoughts.
- They have difficulty in starting a conversation (especially in a big group), and to keep it flowing.
- They develop an interest in a borderline obsession.
- They are straight to the point.
- They love routine. Individuals with Asperger’s may seem adventurous, for instance, in their food choice during dinner dates. However, when left alone, he will order the same dish again.
There are many characteristics that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome have in common. However, the surest way to know if you have it for sure is to get diagnosed.
Encourage Him To Get A Diagnosis
The first step to being able to appreciate your husband is to encourage him to get a diagnosis. Knowing your partner’s condition is crucial in understanding the feelings he has, and his understanding of the situation. Through this, you may be able to look at things from his perspective, therefore eliminating blame, frustration, and guilt.
According to Eva Mendes, LMHC, “A diagnosis can be important to acknowledge ASD traits that might be causing marital problems. Understanding how ASD traits affect the relationship can remove the blame, frustration, shame, pain, and confusion felt by one or both partners.”
Learn To Accept The Result
Whatever the result, learn to accept it. It may come as a challenge to have a husband with Asperger’s Syndrome, but there are ways to be able to cope and eventually accept. Joining support groups with women with similar cases may help.
Acknowledge His Disorder
It is essential for both of you to acknowledge that the disorder is there and that it will affect your relationship with each other. It is equally important to understand that how it affects your relationship will also depend on yourselves. Once you acknowledge that Asperger’s Syndrome is there, it is time to make adjustments and improvements on how you will tackle this issue.
Learn The Positive Traits Associated With Asperger’s
Having a partner with Asperger’s Syndrome has some advantages too. Focusing on the positive traits of your significant other is crucial. More often than not, neurotypical individuals attract them to their AS partners because of these qualities.
- Intellectual or Artistic Interest
Individuals with Asperger’s tend to exhibit interest in a particular intellectual or artistic field. Wolfgang A. Mozart is an AS individual who developed his passion for music even from an early age.
- Focus and Motivation
Those with Asperger’s can focus on a task longer than the neurotypical individual. They may go unsupervised when doing a particular work. Their motivation is also internal. They take pride in completing a job for their pride and accomplishment, and not because of external factors like money or promotion.
- Logical and Analytical
Though women may not outrightly admit it, they are more emotional than men. Having a partner with Asperger’s will provide the balance in your relationship.
AS partners are blunt and straightforward. They are bad liars. They say what they mean, and do not expect their words to be sugarcoated.
Always Communicate With Each Other
“Aspies may not understand why something is important to their loved one,” explains Kathy J. Marshack, a licensed psychologist. “But learning to make the effort, the gesture, represents good intention and love — just a different kind. If you want to build more romance into your ASP/NT marriage so that both partners feel loved, you have to be willing to openly and frankly talk about what you need,” she continues.
It cannot be emphasized enough how communication is important in this kind of relationship. Since individuals with Asperger’s have a harder time picking up signs or signals based on actions, communicating what you want through words will prove to be the most effective to get what you want from the relationship. It always starts with communication, then understanding, and eventually, compromise will follow through.