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aspergers and dating

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for the past 8 months, i have been dating a man with minor asperger's. he was diagnosed at 14, and although i have known throughout our relationship that he has asperger's, it has never bothered me nor embarassed me. recently, however, our relationship has been "on the rocks" if you will, and he has had some doubts about whether or not he can have a stable relationship or if he is simply meant to be alone his whole life. i love him VERY much and am willing to do anything it takes to help or make things easier for him. does anyone have advice?




Hi...I'm 58 years old. In 2003, I was dx'd as being AS. It all came about cuz my son was dx'd as well and my ex-wife researched AS and said I had it. I went to a psych and got dx'd. But, to the point...my wife of 10 years knew I was different..a lot of people, including me, knew I was different. I knew it all through childhood and into adulthood. However, back in those days, no one knew of AS and it certainly was not being dx'd like it is now.


Because I was different I learned to compensate by mimicing others behavior that worked for them. It worked for me until I came to the end of a script..then I didn't know what to do. I have been married 6 times..2 were rebound marriages. I have three children..all grown and on their own. Two of my children have AS, ADHD and other problems...it skipped my youngest daughter. I have grandchildren dx'd with AS..PDD..ADHD...etc.


I could not keep friends..girlfriends were just temporary to say the least..nothing long. I took on a profession that made me learn how to read faces..how to read eyes..how to read body language...but I still have problems with the eyes and some facial expressions. I had to learn to look people in the eyes when I talked with them. It was uncomfortable and still is to a degree, although I can do it.


However, all the failed relationships had a huge blow to my esteem, ego, and my caring about "me". I am and have been separated from my current wife for over a year. But the mere fact I keep trying says something. Any normal person would have committed suicide..but I continue to try. I will divorce this lady and I will look again...you see, I hate to give up to failures...I want to succed at something. My career lasted 31 years and I retired. Come to find out, a person with AS should not have gotten into the career I was in....but I thank my lucky stars and all those people I worked with for their patience and understanding.


I still have my ups and downs about relationships. I still feel I am a failure to a degree. I miss the closeness that comes with a relationship. Your boyfriend needs (oooops! that's a controling word)...to realize that what he has is not his fault. He needs to know he is smarter than most NT's, just we, who have AS, sometimes don't do well in the social graces.


My IQ is above average in the sciences, computers, arts, music, and so on...but low in socialized skills...but oh well.......Kim Peeks (the real Rainman) said that "You don't have to be handicapped to be different....we are all different." It's not my fault I have AS and an overlap of Bipolar and ADD...I have chemical embalances I cannot control.


I just bought a book called "Pretending To Be Normal"...and that's what I have been doing all my life...and it doesn't work. I am me..I am "gifted"..I am smart...I just have some social skill problems that can be worked on and overcome...but maybe not all of them in this life.


Keep giving him encouragements. Keep him off his "pitty-pot" as much as you can. Let him know (and I'm sure you do) how smart he is, how sweet or nice he is, and how goodlooking he is. We all, men and women, like hearing positive inputs..heaven knows we all hear too many negative inputs. If you feel you need counseling, make sure you get a counselor that knows a lot about AS. You cannot have "general" counseling like two NT's get...but a counselor that has a lot of knowledge in AS can counsel both of you.


Don't let him give up on himself..and remember, if he has AS, he probably has overlapping disorders as well. The most common are ADHD, ADD and Bipolar. When I was growing up, I wanted to be alone. Everyone would go camping and I would stay home and clean the house and mow lawn. There are times I like being alone, but I also want companionship. I want to be alone and don't talk when I get depressed...so I try doing things that will keep me busy and not fall into depression. It is a lot of work and sometimes it can be very discouraging..but I tell myself over and over again..it's only temporary and I will soon feel better.


Well...good luck. There are some good books out there... "Aspergers in Love" by Maxine Aston; "Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships", by Ashley Stanford; and "The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome" by Maxine Aston; and "Pretending to Be Normal...Living with Asperger's Syndrome", by Liane Holliday Willey. Oh..one more..."Beyond the Wall" by Stephan Shore.


All these books are agreat help..along with continual encouragement.


Bye :)

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I just wanted to jump in and post a success story. I have been married to my husband, who has Aspergers, for 20 years. It was difficult for some years until one of our children was diagnosed with Aspergers and then I started to understand my husband better. I often took his silence personally. I still do sometimes but then he does something that reminds me how devoted he is. He is the steadiest man I have ever known. A great dad in his own way. Not much of a baby person but once the child could talk, he was hooked. I have always hogged the babies to myself so this worked out fine.


Don't expect him to discuss his feelings. Don't expect him to enjoy small talk or visiting with your friends or family. Mine does not care for anything unexpected (He would make a great hobbit). If I want a lot of conversation, I have to make sure I have lots of friends to talk to because my husband is pretty self-contained. But he is helpful and sensible if I need to talk something over with him, as long as the TV isn't on.


Hope this helps.



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