Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

dating a man with aspergers

Posted by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:01 PM
  • 12 Replies

I am a fifty year old single mom and I've been dating a man with aspergers syndrome for over a year now. He is only twenty five years old. I'm five foot one and he is six foot eight. We've worked together for the past eight months on our relationship, seeing a therapist since he had never really received much help with his situation and couldn't figure out why he felt like such a freak with women. He is much more confident now and says that he loves me and wants to continue a relationship with him but I have seen him change a lot in the past year. He is maturing, of course, but has become more confident so now I'm afraid he's going to leave me for someone younger. He says no but I have seen that he's chatting up women more, aware that women find him attractive, etc. I feel slightly betrayed and angry and wondering if its the aspergers making him be a jerk or if its just him being a guy and trying to say that the relationship is over. its all so confusing ! I truly love him - like most men wtih aspergers he is sweet, kind, funny but not much into intimacy or sex unless I go overboard with the initiation of it and I'm fine with that. He says that he loves me and that I've helped him tremendously. how can I tell whats going on in that emotional closet of his??

by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:01 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
A_McCool
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

It is suspected that I have Asperger's Syndrome/HFA, and I have been married for 7 years so I'm aware of the issues that can arise. However, I must say I'm confused by this scenario.  Nothing that is written here makes him sound like a jerk, but it seems you are very insecure.  It seems he is becoming more secure in who he is, and you somehow feel threatened by that.  It doesn't sound like it is his issue at all.

amonkeymom
by Amy on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Wow, he's really young.  It definitely could be that he's really noticing women more now that he's gained some confidence.  (((hug)))

smarieljlee
by Sara on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Good for him!  I wouldn't let it get you down. Be happy he is gaining the ability to reach out to others. Maybe woman are just easier for him to talk to.

lady_katie
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:48 PM
1 mom liked this

Hey there, I have Asperger's and so does my husband so maybe I can offer some "insider insight" heh. 

1) He probably means what he says. So if he says that he wants to continue the relationship, he probably means just that. AS men are "what you see is what you get", for the most part (generally speaking). 

2) Often times people with AS have what's called alexithemia, which means that it's difficult to know or make sense of what we're feeling. I personally believe that this is largely due to suppressing feelings or needs that we're embarrassed of because they're unconventional. I find that the more my husband and I try to just be ourselves, the less we're affected by alexithemia. 

3) My husband insisted for years that there was nothing going on in his "emotional closet", but I thought he was full of it, and I was right. The way I got in was by asking him constantly about what he's thinking and feeling. For months and months the answer was always "I'm feeling happy", but sooner or later he would fess up that he had a bad day at work or he was stressed or this or that. He eventually came to tell me that the reason he pretended to be "fine" all the time was because he was trying to avoid confrontation. He learned that "fine" and "happy" were non confrontational, so he hid behind them. 

4) Beware of executive dysfunction. I know that you didn't bring this up, but a lot of people who date/marry people with AS eventually run into problems in this department. Executive dysfunction is the ability to live independently. Many people with AS have issues with this in one area or another, and the only way to work through those problems is to work around them. So for example, I have trouble remembering to eat sometimes, so I have to schedule meals and eat them at the same time every day. That's not that big of a deal, but when you have a case of a person who cannot remember to check their bank account before paying the bills, then you have a real problem. 

5) In my experience, people with AS give off vibes that they do not want to communicate much, but the truth is that we need even more communication. There's a lot of room for error, with the language disorders and what not going on, so I find that extra communication is helpful (if I didn't "get it" the first time, maybe I will the second). You might want to try written communication (email or instant messenger) to see if that's a better method. Sometimes email allows for more processing time, which is helpful. 

Hope that helps!! 

rosielafay
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:57 PM

you're probably absolutely right since he is half my age and a very handsome man

kajira
by Emma on Dec. 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM

i don't agree with everything, but as an adult with autism - I agree with the majority of this.

I'm autistic and my spouse is NT - I can't live/work a normal job, but I do really well as a stay at home mom with in a structured environment. It works well for our family, but if my husband expected me to work 40 hours a week, plus be a wife and a mom - that's just too much for me. 

Priorities, I have to pick and choose which are important to me, I only have so much brain juice each day to handle things with out shutting down and needing long breaks - so to be functional, I don't work and focus on our family... 

I still require some help keeping the house up and cleaning - but I can handle just about everything else, even when shit hits the fan because of having a supportive environment - and the ability to ask him to help me catch up on hosuework if I get behind so I don't get so overwhelmed with the little day to day stuff.

It makes it much easier to handle the bigger stuff because he'll step in if I need him.

Because of my wiring, I would be unable to date someone like me.

Quoting lady_katie:

Hey there, I have Asperger's and so does my husband so maybe I can offer some "insider insight" heh. 

1) He probably means what he says. So if he says that he wants to continue the relationship, he probably means just that. AS men are "what you see is what you get", for the most part (generally speaking). 

2) Often times people with AS have what's called alexithemia, which means that it's difficult to know or make sense of what we're feeling. I personally believe that this is largely due to suppressing feelings or needs that we're embarrassed of because they're unconventional. I find that the more my husband and I try to just be ourselves, the less we're affected by alexithemia. 

3) My husband insisted for years that there was nothing going on in his "emotional closet", but I thought he was full of it, and I was right. The way I got in was by asking him constantly about what he's thinking and feeling. For months and months the answer was always "I'm feeling happy", but sooner or later he would fess up that he had a bad day at work or he was stressed or this or that. He eventually came to tell me that the reason he pretended to be "fine" all the time was because he was trying to avoid confrontation. He learned that "fine" and "happy" were non confrontational, so he hid behind them. 

4) Beware of executive dysfunction. I know that you didn't bring this up, but a lot of people who date/marry people with AS eventually run into problems in this department. Executive dysfunction is the ability to live independently. Many people with AS have issues with this in one area or another, and the only way to work through those problems is to work around them. So for example, I have trouble remembering to eat sometimes, so I have to schedule meals and eat them at the same time every day. That's not that big of a deal, but when you have a case of a person who cannot remember to check their bank account before paying the bills, then you have a real problem. 

5) In my experience, people with AS give off vibes that they do not want to communicate much, but the truth is that we need even more communication. There's a lot of room for error, with the language disorders and what not going on, so I find that extra communication is helpful (if I didn't "get it" the first time, maybe I will the second). You might want to try written communication (email or instant messenger) to see if that's a better method. Sometimes email allows for more processing time, which is helpful. 

Hope that helps!! 


Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

VioletsMomTown
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I guess you could just wait and see, like any other relationship. Either you trust it or live your life full of doubts. Let it go and hope for the best, you might get your heart broken, or you might not. You can't psychoanalyze him or he'll feel like you're his mom and not his girlfriend.

lancet98
by Bronze Member on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I think you have to realize that he is not obligated to continue to date you just because he has aspergers and you helped him.

Many women also feel that if they help a man, he is obligated to stay with her.

This is wrong.   You should not help someone with a disability and then expect them to stay with you because you helped them.   You don't own him because he has aspergers OR because you helped him.

People with disabilities have just as much right to choose who they want to have relationships with as anyone else does, and dating relationships with men with disabilities are just as likely to be temporary as relationships with anyone else.

Years ago a male acquaintance I kne had a very peuliar fascinating with mentally ill women.   I finally asked him why.   He said that if he was nice to them, they would be so grateful that tey wouldn't leave him.   If he wanted to leave them he could, but they wouldn't have the option of leaving HIM.   He liked that kind of control.

No, aspergers is not a mental illness, but you have to be careful - yu are dangerously treading into the world of codependency - helping someone and then believing that gives you the right to tell them who to be involved with.

Be careful.

Help people because you want to help them,  not because you want to tie them to you even if they are interested in someone else.

Seek counseling or a codependency support group -

stop worrying about what HE is thinking and start worrying about what YOU are thinking..  

TheJerseyGirl
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:27 PM
I agree!

Quoting smarieljlee:

Good for him!  I wouldn't let it get you down. Be happy he is gaining the ability to reach out to others. Maybe woman are just easier for him to talk to.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Unicorn1110
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM

  One day my sons therapist said- my son would have a problem with relationships and communication-I replied he is a guy so how is he any different than most men? At 25, your guy, is just now maturing as most men of that age.

Just because you love so one does not make them obligated to love you back or even stay with your for the rest of your lives. Don't hold on to him or hold hin back because you don't want to be alone. At 50 your in a different stage of your life than he is. Your kids can't be that much younger than him either. You don't marry or stay with your first lover or serious relationship usually any how without or with Aspeagers. I don't see what your heights have to do with any thing.  He most likely does love you but that does not mean its a forever one.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)