How to Love Someone on The Autistic Spectrum.

Via Alex Myles
on Dec 11, 2014
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Romantic relationships can be complicated and frustrating for a lot of people, let alone those on the autistic spectrum.

One of the main reasons behind this is that those on the spectrum will most likely experience major difficulties with understanding and expressing emotions, especially romantically.

I have been diagnosed with high functioning autism, previously labelled as Asperger’s. I hate labels with a passion, so, I very rarely tell people about this diagnosis. However, in not telling people, it has caused numerous problems as others have failed to understand me properly, and I them.

Love, affection and communication can be puzzling for everyone, but for those on the spectrum it can feel impossible.

Here are a few things that I have found along the way that have helped me and will hopefully be of help to others too.

  1. Hugging can feel claustrophobic. You may find that hugs and cuddles are not very often forthcoming. It is not that cuddles are not welcome, it’s just, and I know this may seem insensitive, but they have to be given at a time where the person feels comfortable and at ease to give or receive them. If they are in the frame of mind to snuggle, they may never want to let you go. If not, you may notice they are tense or back away slightly.
    ~
  2. Communicating loving words may not feel natural. A person on the spectrum may not understand why the words have to be spoken—actions speak stronger than words. If they have told you they loved you once, they may not see the need to continually repeat it, instead thinking that, of course, you must know. They would tell you if something had changed—and they really would!
    ~
  3. Highly sensitive. You will probably notice very quickly they have very tender hearts. They may take things you say literally and become hurt over jokey behaviour or innocent comments. Issues surrounding breaking trust and loyalty can be deal breakers. They may be offended easily and also become upset or emotional very quickly about things that may seem trivial or not as upsetting to anyone else.
    ~
    There used to be a myth surrounding autism that it meant people had no empathy. This is not true, they are more likely have much higher empathy as they feel things for others as though they were experiencing it themselves. If an animal or person is in danger, they will only be able to imagine how they would feel in that situation and not from the other person’s perception. This means they will suffer the pain similarly. Whatever the emotion, they will feel it deeply. Comforting words and gentle actions at these times will work wonders in easing the pain.
    ~
  4. Social situations may be deliberately avoided. You may find that any excuse will be made not to attend family, friends or work social events. You can accept this and understand that these gatherings will cause high anxiety levels, or you can take a few steps to encourage attendance by making the experience a little less stressful. I find that before I go to any outside event, I need to feel calm and in the right frame of mind to go. If any arguments or tension has arisen prior to the event (usually by me causing a little drama to prevent me from having to attend) it will be almost impossible for me to enjoy and relax and socialise naturally.
    ~
    Just by understanding that socialising causes anxiety, can help the person to feel more relaxed immediately. Before my partner and I go anywhere that will involve meeting other people we have a kind of mini briefing. Discussing who will be there, a guide to dress-code (something someone on the spectrum may struggle with), suggestions of appropriate things to talk about and also outlining an approximate length of time you will be there, will all help to ease the situation. Just knowing that my partner will be keeping a loving eye on me is usually enough to give me the security I need when in these environments.
    ~
  5. Small talk is not a speciality. Quite the opposite. You may find that social niceties and chatter about matters that are of no particular concern to your partner are not engaged in. They will struggle. However, bring up a subject close to their heart and you will find that it is almost impossible to draw the conversation to a close. People on the spectrum can become almost obsessive about their special interests and find that talking about anything other than something close to their heart is bland and uninteresting. It can appear as a selfish trait, however, it is easier to try to accept that it will be a struggle for them to hold their concentration when discussing things that do not capture their attention.
    ~
    You may find that they talk almost one-sidedly when it is something they are passionate about. Allow them to talk, but a gentle reminder that a conversation is a two-way thing will also be beneficial. Sometimes, they just need a jolt to remember that they need to listen more too. It is possible, it’s just something that does not feel natural. Facts, figures, the universe, reality—all of these things and more will capture their attention. Fictional dramas, or the latest gossip about other people’s private lives will very likely fall on deaf ears.
    ~
  6. Eye contact. One of the most known traits with someone with autism is that they will probably struggle to maintain eye contact. It doesn’t mean they are not concentrating, lying about something or that they just don’t want to look at you. It just means that they find eye contact quite intrusive and that they feel more at easy not looking directly into the eyes when talking. I tend to look at the person’s lips when someone’s talking or at their body language rather than focus purely on the eyes.
    ~
  7. Dates may not be significant. If birthdays, anniversaries or other important events are over-looked or forgotten, try not to take it personally. For someone on the spectrum they may not understand the importance placed on particular dates. If they want to buy you a gift, they will buy you one, they may not feel the need to buy or celebrate just because a date specifies that they should.
    ~
  8. Honesty. You will probably find that they will be brutally honest. They will most probably say what they think, exactly how they feel and be unfaltering loyal. And they will expect the same in return. Game playing and manipulation will not be their strongest points, purely, because they won’t understand them. If they have something to say, they will say it and often be entirely bewildered if they have spoken out of turn.
    ~
  9. Changing plans. Bewildering and confusing to someone on the spectrum. Usually they will have been thinking about and planning for an event in their mind long before it happens. Then, when things change, they may find it difficult to cope with the sudden plan change. Just break the changes gently and offer up similar options, if possible. Otherwise, just try to be patient and calm and understand that a simple plan change can feel like dramatic and major changes to someone who has autism.
    ~
  10. Heightened sensory perception. Lights, noises, temperatures and numerous other variables will affect the mood of someone with autism. Keep noise and lighting soft and gentle, anything harsh may cause slight anxieties. Things like the cinema, supermarkets and nightclubs can all feel traumatic to the ears and eyes and can result in tempered frustrations and irritable behaviours. If they need to leave, understand. It is not that they are being awkward, it is just these environments can feel extremely volatile and the effects on them can last for hours afterwards.
    ~
    If they need to lie down and have some space when returning home, then allow them to. Do not aggravate things further by becoming angry or resentful if you feel that an occasion has been ruined. They will likely already be feeling terrible enough and will require loving and soothing actions to counteract the hostility they have felt. Sensitive reactions to outside influences are impossible to avoid, however, avoiding or reducing them wherever possible will alleviate the tensions they cause. Unfortunately, this is not something that will get easier over time, the only thing that will get easier is finding out what causes the discomfort and where possible, reducing the exposure to it.
    ~
  11. Meltdowns. Meltdowns, however big or small, will likely take place from time to time when in a relationship with someone on the spectrum. The way someone handles having a meltdown will differentiate person to person. Internally though, they will suffer similarly. Meltdowns usually appear after a build up of tension or frustration. They can be purely emotional or can also be anger fueled tantrums and majorly traumatic. They can accelerate quickly and can come from nowhere. The most loving thing you can do at this time is to soothe, calm and hold them. They need to know they are safe. Engaging in any kind of argument or confrontation at this time will very likely be futile.
    ~
    Talk things through with your partner when things are calm and discover mutually agreeable ways of dealing with meltdowns so you can be more prepared. Find out what they need most during this time and what you can do to help. How situations like this are handled will be defining for your overall relationship. If you are supportive and caring it will bond and build trust between you both, fueling things with provocative behaviour in return will likely bring resentments.

The easiest way to love someone on the spectrum is by learning to accept them. Trying to change them will not be possible, even if they do change slightly they will be extremely unhappy on the inside and will be living a life that does not feel natural to them.

Also bear in mind, you will probably never understand how their brain ticks. My partner jokingly refers to my brain as being wired upside down. However, I think my brain works perfectly, just differently.

I see things from an entirely different perspective to him, which allows us to challenge one another and learn alternative ideas and thinking. We contrast, but then we fit perfectly together as two pieces of a jigsaw slotting into place. We intrigue one another and it keeps a certain amount of mystery alive.

We’ve found we don’t need to fully understanding the exact ticking of the other’s mind. We are happy in the knowledge that he is completely himself and I am completely myself. We were not put together to be the same as one another. Quite the opposite—where is the fun in being exactly the same?

The reason I love my partner so completely is because he loves me in the same way. He accepts me as I am, and doesn’t try to push my autistic buttons. He celebrates them, smiles at them, soothes them, comforts them, allows them and would never try to alter who I am.

The key to really loving a person on the spectrum? Feel blessed that they have come into your life to offer you an entirely different way of viewing the world. Know that they will appreciate all the tiny things that you do to offer a safe and loving space as the world around them can already seem harsh enough.

Let go of everything you thought you knew about relationships and love and relearn it all from the beginning again. Forget societies expectations and judgements. They are of no importance.

Regardless of what anyone says, most people with high-functioning autism will tell you, it’s not a disability. They feel entirely happy with their curious, analytical, creative, alert and intelligent minds. They wouldn’t change you and try to put you on the spectrum, so don’t try to change them.

Celebrate the differences and love each new thing you will both learn about each other. You have something rare and if you treat it that way you can pretty much guarantee it will last you a lifetime, it will be challenging but the rewards will most definitely weigh more.

~

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Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Tele Chhe/Flickr

 

 

 

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About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. To purchase Alex’s paperback book or ebook please click here or click here to connect with her on Facebook, or click here to join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people to connect.

Comments

21 Responses to “How to Love Someone on The Autistic Spectrum.”

  1. Guest says:

    Think twice before you enter a relationship with someone with Asperger's. Yes, they want love too, but the nature of their developmental disorder (as which it is classified in DSM-IV) is that they have difficulty putting your needs or the kids'needs before their own. This can cause hurtfull and even dangerous situations. They can not see things from an other person's view unless they were taught that specific situation. This means very often, even when you communicate it very clearly, your needs are not met. Because they do not pick up the communication (even when you put it in writing) or because they don't understand why it would be important, or because it interfers with their own needs.
    The black and white thinking makes your either the perfect partner or. when things are getting a bit rougher, an evil witch. Even when you try to please your partner in every way, and do everything perfectly, they will still misunderstand something or see something differently then you do and one minus is added to your score card. Many aspie partners keep this list of what you did wrong, or what they perceived you did wrong. And in the end you can't win this. They will see you as not perfect, meaning you are evil.
    Meltdowns are harmful to you and the kids. They do not mean to meltdown but the consequences are that you and the kids have to live with someone that yells, blames, shouts, throws things around, threatens maybe even/ Afterwards they are sorry, but the words are said and the damage done. Sadly.
    There are many more issues that make a relationship, especially longterm, very difficult. Most partners suffer in some way or another, missing out on "normal" stuff, longing to do or have what other people do or have. I have been a partner to my Asperger husband for 26 years. I am emotionally drained by this, completely empty from always giving and getting very little back. I feel like I am more his caretaker then his equal partner. Sadly. If I had known about his condition and the consequences, I wouldn't have married him. My Asperger husband didn't mean to, but he caused damage with me and the kids. And I even think he would have been better off if he never had been married. Married life and being a dad of 3 is too much stress and responsibility for him.

  2. pumpkinsworld13 says:

    Thanks for reading and for responding. I think we need to remember that everyone is different. I appreciate you sharing your experience here, however, not all experiences with an Aspergers/Neurotypical relationship will be as harmful as what you have talked about there. I do not throw things, call my partner evil neither would I threaten him. And I am a social observer, I don't just see other's points of views, I try to see as many different perspectives on a situation that I can.

    There are scales on the spectrum and obviously, everyone fits into a unique spot. I don't think it is fair to say that all people will behave in the way you have described above. I certainly would never. AlsoI have a few friends also on the spectrum who have extremely healthy and positive relationships and are very much in love. They understand and support one another and would not throw things/threaten/call them evil/cause dangerous situations or similar.

    And although parenting my daughter has been extremely difficult for me due to my Asperger traits, I have always made sure her needs would come before mine and that she was my utmost priority in life, always.

    We each have our own path which has it's own difficulties along the way, however, this article was purely so that those not on the spectrum could understand those on it a little better when it comes to the very basics. I think each person's difficulties within marriage and relationships come down to individual choice and behaviour. I personally have done a lot of work, read a lot of books and fully understand myself and my partners needs. I communicate well with him and vice versa so we know exactly how we are feeling to avoid any major misunderstandings. This is the point I wanted to get across. When we stop to live a few moments in the shoes of another, we can appreciate further what they go through and how they feel. Maybe from a Neurotypical point of view you could write about your experience as the partner of an Asperger husband?

    Thank you again for your comments.

  3. Dear Sandra,

    I am a clinical psychologist and see clients that are on the autistic spectrum, and I have two nephews that are also autistic. I thought your article resonated with my knowledge of autism as well something that I would give to someone who is in relationship with another with this diagnosis. Thank You.
    John Shinavier, MA

  4. Guest says:

    Please be aware that females on the spectrum behave very differently to some males on the spectrum. Especially when there is no acceptance of a diagnosis and not a wish to be diagnosed at all. When people deny there is a problem and there very obviously is spmething going on, I see that a lot of male aspies tend to blame everyone and everything around them but themselves. The mindblindness, the lack of theory of mind, the lack of empathy because of that, the lack of common sense ("Couldn't you see that would be happening if you did this?" and the Aspie answers with a bewildered "No ?!"). It is VERY challenging to be a partner to an Asperger husband. Just rea the stories on some support group pages. Many women tell the same thing. He doesn't see her needs, or think they aren't important, or belittles her for having such needs. Even when they are very clearly communicated. Meltdowns, even when not throwing things, are harmful, no excuse for that. Children seeing one parent totally lose it, is not a safe environment. Lack of initmacy between partners because the partner has sensory issues or because he lost interest. Stereotypical behaviour, predictability, never spontaneous, rigidity, lack of reciprocity, lack of flexibility, completely being submerged in a special interest and not wanting to put it aside to spend time with the family. These are all very common. Yes, there are a few aspies that are different and are in a more or less good relationship, mostly female aspies do a lot better then males. But there are also a lot of aspies that do not know how to maintain a relationship. These stories are heartbreaking. Don't pass it off as an occasional bad aspie and the rest is good. I know of a lot more AS-NT relationships that do not work then I do of those that work. Sadly.

  5. pumpkinsworld13 says:

    All of this can also be said for NT/NT relationships. If a partner chose to be damaging in a way that affected me or my child so negatively, it would be the first sign to break away – autism related or not. I don't think any child should be subjected to a parent losing it and not being in a safe environment. Where there is serious destruction happening, it is time to get outside support and remove our self from the danger, whether that person has autism or not.

    The issues you are mentioning are aside from the article. The things I have mentioned in my article are the basics. If a NT can see there are serious problems with their relationship, (from all that I have learned these are very evident signs from the beginning – as a person with autism cannot hide who they are very easily) they should seriously reconsider before getting deeply involved. And I mean this also about getting involved in relationships with NT's too. I have been in relationships with people without autism who have very well hidden their destructive behaviours until later on, so it is not fair to say think twice with an aspie. Think twice, three, four times with ALL relationships. If they show signs of danger or destruction- then we all have the option to leave.

    Your comment is like me writing – think twice about a relationship with someone who is Neurotypical (without autism), it is not fair to group everyone as harmful as a lot of people with aspergers/autism are deeply sensual, sensitive and loving partners. These comments are part of the reason as I explained above in my article, why I struggle to tell people about my diagnosis. Because the judgements exist as a lot of people base a few experiences on how they think everyone with Autism is. There are just as many harmful non-autistic relationships out there too.

  6. pumpkinsworld13 says:

    Dear John

    Just want to thank you for reading this article and commenting. I am so pleased to hear that you think this article may benefit others. If it can just help one person, then it has been worth it. It is often difficult to communicate and understand our needs and requirements fully, and so, a little understanding can go a very long way in resolving difficulties.

    Thank you once again, it is very much appreciated.

    Alex Sandra

  7. Michelle says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this Alex, I found it to be very acurate in regards to what can and should be expected when an NT is in a relationship with someone who has Aspergers. I do however just want to address something that was written in the comments
    " If a NT can see there are serious problems with their relationship, (from all that I have learned these are very evident signs from the beginning – as a person with autism cannot hide who they are very easily) they should seriously reconsider before getting deeply involved"
    I think this is actually inaccurate. Although Aspies, in general, are not able to adapt their behaviours or hide their 'true selves' they do most often have an infatuation and even obsession with their partner in the early days. As a result of this, many of the traits that may later have a negative impact on a relationship (isolation, lack of connection and empathy, meltdowns and self-centred behaviors). In the early days, which may last a number of years, they are generally very attentive partners as a result of the infatuation. To say that an NT should see the signs before the relationship becomes too serious and remove themselves is putting far too much responsibility on the NT, and honestly, far too little on the Aspie. The NT may not see any of these signs until after the couple have committed and had their first child. Meltdowns are incredible destructive and painful and i also believe that putting the responsibility for thos on the NT is unfair.
    I admin a group for NT in a relationships with Apsies with 200 members. I myself have been with my wonderful Aspie for almost 10 years. The story i have described re the initial phase of infatuation, without many of the traits being evident, is typical of myself and the vast majority of those in the group. In fact, most in the group would not be with their aspie if they had known then what they know now, by most i mean almost all unfortunalty.
    All that said, i did enjoy your article and wish it was given to everyone entering one of these relationships. Unfortunately, most adult male aspies are undiagnosed and it is not until they are in deep do the couple know that they are even in an NT/AS partnership. These relationships take more work then most, especially when the aspie is a male. Also i think the meltdowns are different from the aggression that happens in other relationships because the Aspie really has no control over it most of the time and no insight.
    We need more articles like this and more support for these relationships and these families. Thanks for taking the time and all the best to you x

  8. Emma says:

    Thank you. Love this. My son (12) is a high functioning Aspie. While I know there's a while to go before there's relationships and marriage, I hope he can find someone that gets how amazing he is. He's such a sweet, empathetic, caring kiddo, and I hope that carries over to him being the wonderful man I know he can be.
    He has Oppositional Defiance Disorder, so his fight or flight switch (as I call it) doesn't work like everyone else's. But in the same way I can tell when i'm pissing my NT husband off, I can 99% of the time tell when my kiddo is about to meltdown. Relationships take mindfulness no matter if you're NT or not.

  9. Insert Name Here says:

    Just wanted to post here to say BANG ON, this article hits the nail on the head. I'm only self-identified as an Aspie – part of me worries about complications if I ever got formally diagnosed – but my very best friend is fully diagnosed as Aspie. He's the most textbook-typical Aspie I know except that when he's not avoiding eye contact, he'll stare most intently at one's eyes (a habit he may have taught himself in order to "fit in"). And he's completely convinced I'm Aspie as well. As a means of gaining understanding from NTs without using the A label, I've been telling people I'm an introvert. To that end, most of the tips in your article also apply well to introverts.

  10. Thank you very much for writing this piece. I have recently entered into a relationship with someone who definitely fits the profile of someone on the autistic spectrum according to every point you listed in the article. Our relationship over the last year or so has gotten really frustrating because I've been in a bad place emotionally with issues unrelated to his participation in it, and his natural reticence, as I call it, has been leaving me feeling neglected and unsupported. My shame is that I haven't defended him against my friends' opinions or my own of his lack of nurturing during this difficult time. This article really centered me and given me a foundation for improving my attitudes about our relationship.

  11. Ladybug2 says:

    Hi, apologies for coming to this late. I only recently found the article. I just wanted to say that the things you have mentioned in here have helped me better understand a friend who has Aspergers tendencies, particularly how things that might appear to be a sign of rejection/the friendship not being important to the person may not actually be. And that it would help to stop trying to either understand the 'behaviour'/reading things into it that might be the case for NT people, and instead just focus on acceptance. If you did have any further things to add/share on engaging with people on the autism spectrum as friends (if it is even different from what you have written: I guess we can 'love' our friends too, as per your article, it doesn't just have to relate to partners) I would be most interested.

  12. Ladybug2 says:

    Michelle – just wanted to say that I have experienced first hand what you said about the "normal-appearing" early stages of a 'relationship' with someone with Aspergers that later becomes more typical Aspergers behaviour. In my case, it happened with a friend, rather than with a partner, and that was difficult enough to handle – the change, literally overnight, from someone who wanted a lot of contact and would share a lot, to someone who gave every impression of not being at all interested in the relationship anymore and not sharing anything, even though they said (and indeed continue to say) everything was/is fine. And, from the article here, it is quite possible that it indeed was/is, from their perspective. I just didn't know how to handle the change, as it didn't align with anything that I would do if I cared about someone….

    My heart truly goes out to anyone who has had to cope with these feelings of intense "rejection", particularly from a partner but also more generally, even if it was never intended as such by the person with Aspergers, and everything looks okay to them…..it is soul destroying and makes you question not only your relationship with them but also yourself and your value/worth, unless you are very strong.

  13. Will says:

    Incredible piece. Thank you so much. We've left you the "life changing" $3 tip. WRITE ON!

  14. Natalie says:

    Michelle,
    I don't know if you're allowed to share your group for NTs in a relationship with Aspies but if you are allowed and willing, would you please share it? I'm looking for a group. Thank you.

  15. Alex Rogers says:

    Thank you so much Will, sorry for the delay, only just noticed this comment! You've inspired me to write more on this subject, which I've been meaning to do for a while! Thank you!

  16. Alex Rogers says:

    Hi Ladybug2, You can connect with me on my Facebook, I'm intending to write quite a bit more about this subject, thank you for your comments, Alex

  17. Alex Rogers says:

    Thank you so much! I've learned a lot about myself, and I hope by writing about my experiences it reaches out to others too, both Aspies and those in a relationship with one. Appreciate your comments. Alex (And yes, I'm an introvert too!)

  18. Alex Rogers says:

    Thank you for your comments Emma, it is so true, mindfulness is key!

  19. Robert says:

    I have high-functioning autism, and none of these apply to me. Weird, huh?

  20. Quasita says:

    As someone who is ASD, having known many men on the spectrum who have had long-term and successful marriages, I can't help but find this comment questionable at best. One must first and foremost consider the introduction of the refusal to acknowledge a diagnosis, or to be diagnosed at all. To me, that would immediately spawn the question of, if there is a refusal for diagnostic testing, how can one be sure that ASD is the root of the issue?
    There are a number of psychological disorders that can have similar problems as described in this comment, that have nothing to do with living with autism. Without a proper diagnosis and care from a professional, one cannot simply assume that because a person has stereotypical tendencies that align with ASD, they must be autistic, as opposed to being a sociopath, schizotypical, bipolar, or even living with issues like avoidant personality disorder.
    Most "Aspie" men… mind you, I dislike the use of that term for a variety of reasons, the biggest being that Asperger's is no longer considered separate from ASD, and people who use it typically demonstrate (to me anyway) that they are generally unaware of the current psychological community's opinion on ASD… do indeed show different tendencies than high-functioning ASD women, but the conclusion that they have less ability to be healthy in relationships is pretty ridiculous.
    I see this more as incompatibility of partners, than inability to relate. The important thing we have to remember is that partnering requires both people to understand the abilities and needs of the relationship. Expecting an ASD individual to have exceptional empathy and social skills, to inherently understand NT emotional needs, is unfair. The worst stories are when a person thinks, my ASD partner knows me now, so they should know what I need and therefore I shouldn't have to guide them anymore… Assuming that simply their love will somehow overcome the hardwiring of the ASD brain.
    However, such assumptions occur regardless of whether a person is ASD or not. We all assume we know things and that our partners know things, and we get hurt when we assume incorrectly and blame said partners, rather than looking at the assumption.
    I would say that, if you have a partner that is saying "My doctor says I have Asperger's but I think he's full of shit" then that should be a big sign that perhaps that is not a partner to pursue intimacy with at this time. If you choose to move forward with that person, you accept the responsibility that comes with their refusal to accept the Dx and also accept the fact that they are not choosing to adjust their lives accordingly.

    Me, as I have learned more about how to adjust and accept rather than try to squeeze into the NT expectations of the world, I have become a much happier and settled person on the whole. My NT partner is quite happy with me, and often considers my perspectives as a source of awe and "I never thought of/saw/heard it that way" which brings us a greater, deeper understanding of the world we enjoy together and build together.

    Personally, I encourage NT/ASD relationships, because I know my relationships with NT people have ultimately pushed me to grow more, and to become more comfortable. I suffer from incredible levels of social anxiety, but my NT friends and partners have been a huge part of my moving from classic agoraphobia-type behavior to branching out and even being able to attend a modest number of social events without a safety net. Having the assurance of people who do not have such an aggressive sense of anxiety is really really important…

    So I would say, that for anyone, regardless of spectrum status, if you are looking at a relationship, make sure the person you are looking to partner with is ready to share their life and grow with you. If they aren't, then no amount of arguing and wishing is going to change that.

  21. Shirley says:

    I’m confused on how to talk to my husband about empathy. I believe he may be on the spectrum but never diagnosed. Only with recent diagnosis of our son as being on the spectrum, high functioning autistic, have I been seeing similar things that my husband does or doesn’t do. He is very rational…not very emotional. Says he understands but he doesn’t really. If i have a health issue and need to be picked up he says, “I’ll call you a cab…!” I see this as lack of empathy. THis is very hard on our marriage. Very little affection, communication, and his lack of making me a priority…please someone help