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mind blindness - does anything really work? - Page 2

post #21 of 27

Not an easy road, is it?  Make sure you don't give up on letting your DH know what you need.  Tell him "I'm too tired right now to make you lunch, can you do it today?"  You might have to admit that you'll need to ask him because that's how his brain works, but you shouldn't resign yourself to thinking you have to do everything and never have breaks.  Assert your needs, schedule them on the fridge if you have to.  I go through this particular issue with my DH due to his ADHD, and I can remember people asking how I could put up with needing to remind him of everything.  But, he does give me what I need because I don't accept less, and I literally schedule it (he gets a list). I have my own schedule to make me work, he's no different. And in fairness, lots of spouses of NT men have similar complaints on the personal growth board.  Lots of men aren't raised in a culture of "This is what just needs to get done" outside of their paid work, so they need to be told.

 

If you are telling him and he's still not helping, be really clear that it's not something you feel you can handle over a prolonged time and you need him to work on this for you to have a relationship that works.  Make sure he gets in the habit of using words, too, instead of just expecting you to be a certain way.  Words are great!  They clear up all kinds of misconceptions!  Just make sure you word things in terms of "I need or I feel" instead of "you are being..." or "you never/always": that just gets hurtful and confusing.

post #22 of 27

Make sure he works on recognizing his own emotional needs too.  If he doesn't know he has emotional needs, he can't see them in other people either. 

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

Make sure he works on recognizing his own emotional needs too.  If he doesn't know he has emotional needs, he can't see them in other people either. 



Really good point!  I think this is why my DS has problems recognizing people's needs, and I hope we're able to help him grow through this before he might, one day, have a significant other.

post #24 of 27

The emotional needs of aspies/ auties can vary tremendously, of course, but, at least for me, what I need to feel good emotionally is: very, very little.

 

Pretty much, if you tell me you love me, I assume that to be true until told otherwise. Acts of affection feel smothering, because, yeah, I know. You love me. I get it, now stop pawing at me.

 

The way I usually explain it is that everyone has a vessel that represents the amount of love/affection/attention, all the emotional stuff that they need to thrive. Most people have a really big vessel that needs constant refilling, but they're also able to *give* a lot to others. Me? I have a Dixie cup. It's really easy to keep it full, which is nice, but it's *EXTREMELY* difficult to give enough to others.

 

I have 2 little girls, and their dad and I are getting divorce, almost entirely because I'm not capable of giving him what he needs emotionally. Logically, I need to give everything I have to the girls- not in a martyr-y way, but in a they MUST have love from their mother, and I have a limited store. It's what's best for all of us at this point, and things are going pretty well. I don't think that needs to be the end result for every ASD marriage, but, let's be honest. It's hard to be in love with someone who has to google "emotional intimacy," and still doesn't know what it means.

 

So, long stupid story short, please don't get your hopes up for radical change, but also don't let your loved one sell him/herself short. For most of us not-so-neurotypicals, we're as good as we're going to get right now today, but we are capable of change. We might be more compassionate, more empathetic, over the years, as we learn new coping skills, but today? You're seeing the highest functioning Me possible. 

 

EDIT: I was diagnosed at 30, after being thought of as being *just* a "quirky, gifted, ADHD nerd," which likely has a lot of bearing on my level of connected-ness and functioning. Your ASD kiddos may very well have a TOTALLY different outcome, and I hope they do, if they want. I'm actually really happy to be "alone," and look forward to my life as a celibate single person. It makes others sad to think of me being "alone," but I like it. So, you know. Grains of salt, etc etc.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post

The emotional needs of aspies/ auties can vary tremendously, of course, but, at least for me, what I need to feel good emotionally is: very, very little.

 


Emotional needs go far, far beyond social interaction.  I'm talking about ALL the stuff going on in a person's head.  The more in touch a person is with all of their own secret mental stuff, and have a trusted partner they are able to share it with, the more they can see it in other people.  Give your partner what you want back.  Ask them to show you all their favorite 'mental' places.  Ask your partner to take you with to their secret hideouts. 

 

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post


Emotional needs go far, far beyond social interaction.  I'm talking about ALL the stuff going on in a person's head.  The more in touch a person is with all of their own secret mental stuff, and have a trusted partner they are able to share it with, the more they can see it in other people.  Give your partner what you want back.  Ask them to show you all their favorite 'mental' places.  Ask your partner to take you with to their secret hideouts. 

 



I'm autistic.

I don't have secret emotional needs and it's a struggle to get enough alone time in my head as it is. 

It's not like all of us are NT somewhere deep inside. Autism is a pervasive disorder because it impacts every part of a person. Inside my heart of hearts, I'm still autistic and I just want to be in my own head, by myself.

 

These two books should be extremely helpful, though not all that cheerful as a lot of the advice is to, pretty much, give up on your needs being recognized and met, for those married to partners with AS/ASD.

The Other Half of Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships

 

I hate to be all Debbie Downer, but AS is a disability. Just as no one would push their loved one with epilepsy to just stop seizing already, or push their partner who, for whatever reason, can't walk without assistance to run, no amount of love and talking is going to create a need or ability for deep, meaningful emotional relationships. It sucks for the NT to go unfulfilled, and it sucks for the aspie to always know that he/she is falling short, despite giving all there is to give.

 

To put it another way, the aspie has $5. No matter how badly you need $100, or $50, or $6, you're out of luck. You can have that $5, but after that, there's just no more money. And it's a shitty feeling all the way around.

 

For example, my relationships are very meaningful and deep for ME, but not for the other person, usually. Having very base, simple needs means it's easy to have those needs met, but very difficult to meet the needs of NTs. 


Edited by ErinYay - 2/3/12 at 7:53am
post #27 of 27

There's a big range for autistic people in what their emotional needs and awareness are.  I see it daily with the kids I work with.  (Even though I sub, I've had a long term assignment with the same kids and they happen to all be on the spectrum).  It's not a matter of  being  "NT" deep down, just variances like everyone else.  I agree that a certain amount of acceptance of the AS partner just being who they are is necessary.  In fact, expecting people to change instead of accepting is one of the main causes of relationship break-up with all relationships, not just those involving special needs partners. 

 

Also, part of being an autie/aspie is that most people have a hard time knowing what their emotional needs are.  My son is one of those rare kids on the spectrum who is excellent at reading faces (he had really extensive testing with this this year, he's way above average at reading faces) but because he doesn't know what he needs to feel better, he doesn't know for other people need.  So he does very inappropriate things to cheer people up or show affection.  Even though he knows a certain face means "angry", he has no clue when he's angry, or what would help him not be angry.  That doesn't mean he doesn't have needs, he just can't tell what they are (although I totally believe him he never has felt lonely, but that's just one type of feeling)

 

Also, I know NVLD isn't quite the same, but I know from being around people on the spectrum that this particular is.  As a kid, everyone told me I hugged "wrong" and my Mom even told me to stop hugging because I obviously didn't like it.  My MIL told me this year that it was the first time I had ever given her a hug without being stiff as a board.  Then I got,"It's OK, I've figured out by now you're just like that".  Anyhow, there's always been times I wanted a hug, it just felt like too much at the same time.  I can manage a "real" hug for DH and my kids, and even then, if I get unexpectedly hugged or hugged if I'm overwhelmed, I can't stand it.  But that's not the same as not needing a hug, or not needing to give a hug (although personally, I'm not so bad if I initiate the hugging).  Anyway, I know my son still needs hugs, too, even though his hugs are not like my other kids' hugs.

 

Anyway, I don't know what the OP's husband's range is when it comes to feelings and needs.  A diagnostic label doesn't tell me that.  Yes, it's not fair to expect him to change more than he can.  But if he's open to wanting some help, it won't hurt to try to help him notice what his emotional needs are and try to help him get them.  Maybe what might really help is him finding a therapist he's comfortable with.  And if he's not comfortable with that, that's OK, too.

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