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Hi there, I'm borg, I'm allistic, but have a whole host of other psychiatric diagnoses and am also disabled. My wife is Autistic, no formal diagnosis as of yet, she's at the beginning of her journey in coming to terms with her autism. I have a number of autistic people in my life and strive to better understand them so I can be a better family member, friend, partner to them.

My partner and I have been together for almost five years, married for a year and a half. Finding out that she's on the spectrum has been hugely eye opening – especially in how I view our conflicts. I've had therapists and friends say to me that I'm in an abusive situation, but to me it has always been very clear that her actions and the way she communicates isn't intentional. We're hoping to start couples therapy with someone who is knowledgeable about autism.

My partner currently has an OCD diagnosis. She is wondering if that could just be her autism or if she may have both. Which brings me to my main question for today. Her need for complete control over her environment and our shared life is causing major issues in our relationship. I have been in abusive relationships in the past and get very triggered when I feel that someone is trying to exert control over me. Inability to control her irritability and anger are two of her biggest struggles. It usually manifests in angry outbursts and mean comments. Recently, she told me that our pitbull is a major/main source of stress for her. She has asked me to give her up in order to lessen the amount of stress for her in our home, saying that things will get better if our dog is no longer around. This obviously caused major conflict in our relationship as this dog is a main source of joy and happiness in my life and she is a part of our family. I'm wondering if I'm being selfish or unreasonable for not agreeing to this. My worry is that she will still have these feelings and that it will just be directed at someone else in the home, because that has been the case in the past, before we had this dog. I've tried suggesting doggy daycare so that she doesn't have to deal with the dog during the day while I'm at work, but she doesn't seem interested in a compromise.

Any advice or resources are super appreciated. Thanks so much.
Hi and welcome. This is tricky to answer, because although you see your partner's behaviours as unintentional, they still may be potentially not in your interests, especially if your partner can't or won't discuss this with you. Relationships are not very comfortable sometimes if they are one sided, and I guess the dilemma you now have is an example of this.

Your partner feels the need to not have a dog, but you feel the opposite. How did it go when you decided to get a dog, was it a joint decision? Or did you have your dog before the relationship began?
Can you tell her that dealing with her anger is difficult and the dog helps you with this. Can she try some homeopathic remedies for OCD? My friend was bipolar, and l dealt with anger everyday. It took a good year for me to feel okay to be happy when we split up. Anger is very hard to be around. Control issues are also difficult to deal with. You have a lot going on right now. Maybe if the counseling is successful, she will tolerate the dog better? Does the fur baby have access to a yard and a doggie door?
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The only times I became controlling and rigid was when I had a lot of anxiety about things. Is it possible that her responses are displaced anxiety about other things that she cannot easily communicate about?

Communication is critical for healthy relationships and perhaps something you both can work on in therapy. It is going to be a lot of work for both of you.

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