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Am I just a grump?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by OrangeSquash, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. OrangeSquash

    OrangeSquash New Member

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    Hi all - bit of a long one here...
    My girlfriend and I seem to be having a rough patch right now and I thought I'd share my feelings for a bit of a canvassing of opinion.

    Background:
    Her: 46, female, NT, appears very socially competent and always wanting to be on the go
    Me: male, 33, self diagnosed - assessment pending
    Relationship: 5 months old - live in the same town and stay over at each others 3/4 times a week.

    Sooo...
    My feelings that I have/am ASD have been with me for a few years and coincidently I started approaching the NHS about this at the same time that our relationship formed. I explained things to her and she was and is incredibly supportive.

    When I am stressed, I don't tend to deal with everyday life particularly well - things like making a decision about what to have on my porridge, where to go for an afternoon walk - literally the simplest of things I find incredibly stressful to decide upon. I also find that I am incredibly sensitive to touch - like uber ticklish on a good day - but when I'm stressed she will stroke my leg or back or something and it will feel like I am being electrocuted; and eye contact, which I can usually just look at the bit between the eyes but on a bad day can feel like we are actually touching brains.

    My career change is proving much more challenging than I had anticipated in terms of head space from my old career to concentrate on my new career, the intense nature of my new career/business, the amount of studying I am trying to do - and thus becoming stressful, not to mention money concerns.

    Whilst I don't want to remind her of my suspected neurotypical situation (I have dyslexia and dyspraxia too) all the time (I guess I don't want to feel like I am hiding behind it) I find that i'd like her to be a little more understanding and patient at this at times. I am not sure how to broach this though.

    I wondered how other people deal with this sort of thing with a NT parter?
    Does anybody else find that ASD traits/symptoms are worse when in times of higher stress than usual?

    Do I seem odd or grumpy when I say I really don't care where we go for an afternoon walk? (TBH, I'd rather just stay in - at least I don't have to try and appear normal when I'm in my own place or at her's) Or what I have on my porridge? (it tastes the same no matter what goes on it to me!)

    How to I explain that when I am not talkative its that I am just no talkative? I'm not grumpy, or upset, I just don't have anything to say.

    I love her very much, and she does to me - but I feel things are a bit rocky because of me. I can't stand the thought of instigating an honest conversation about this sort of stuff as I just want to please her.

    Thanks all
    OS
     
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  2. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    Your last sentence about wanting to please her was a sad one to read. That's not a healthy relationship mindset. And keeping stuff from her, like your innermost thoughts and feelings, isn't going to please her in the long run, anyhow. Most likely, she will end up frustrated and confused, whilst you will feel misunderstood and hurt.

    I personally think that having a relationship with a NT can be, to use a lazy analogy, like having a relationship with someone where neither of you are fluent in each other's languages. The only way it's going to get better is to really get down to communicating in the most straightforward way you can about how things are for you. Even NTs, with their slick social skills, aren't mind readers. All your girlfriend has to go on is her own language (that of the NTs, to whom overwhelm and sensory overload aren't in such common parlance as among us autistic folk), so she may not understand what's going on for you. You need to tell her, to make it easier on both of you.

    I think in the long run she will be a lot more pleased if she feels like her relationship with you is actually working and she understands you better.
     
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  3. GreenerGal

    GreenerGal New Member

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    Communication is the key and also the hardest thing to master for both NTs and ATs.
    Touch: "it doesn't feel comforting when you stroke my back but if you could (fill in the blank) that would be nice"
    Going out: "I'm really feeling like staying in today how about we go out for half the day and come back and spend the rest of the day at home?"
    Food choices: "I know lots of people have favorites but I really don't mind what's on top of the porridge. Surprise me, I promise it'll be perfect LOL"
    Try to compromise when you can, as both partners should. When it's a day that you truly don't feel like you can leave the house, just be upfront and honest and kind. Being abrupt with your NT partner can make them feel like they've done something wrong which makes them incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes even makes them feel unloved. And when it's someone you're in love with their feelings matter. And if their feelings don't matter to you then perhaps you're not with the right partner.
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I agree. She's the one you need to say these things to. You need her to understand you and vica versa.
     
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  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You sound almost exactly like my spouse. I understand everything you've mentioned that seems to disconcert at times. I stopped asking him many years ago where he wishes to walk, and sometimes he will say although it's rare.

    As for your porridge, well, it simply takes someone to put things on the table like fruit or nuts rather than confront you with making an immediate decision. Simply say, put it there (or point) and you can take your time in deciding. The exact same thing happened this morning to my husband and he could not decide so he opted to look at it for awhile. Porridge is difficult unless there are already things in it, like apples or raisins.

    As for other things, you might indicate that she needn't be so quick with you, that you need more time to think.
     
  6. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Most of us find that our less desirable traits become more pronounced when we are busy, stressed or run down. It's perfectly normal. My NT wife knows this and is more forgiving of me at such times. She tries to give me some more space, cut me a little more slack, just as you need.
    She can only do this because long ago I explained to her, calmly & lovingly whilst acknowledging that it may be stressful on her when I am in that state. She appreciates me doing her the courtesy of telling her when I feel like this too, rather than me trying (and failing) to act like my usual self and leaving her guessing.
    I know it can seem like it at times, but NT people are NOT mind readers and they need a helping hand, cos they often can't read us right when we're fine and dandy.
     
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  7. Bronzelincolns

    Bronzelincolns Active Member

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    those of us on the spectrum have hard set routines and we don't like when these routines are interrupted.

    being in a romantic relationship necessitates these interruptions.
     
  8. OrangeSquash

    OrangeSquash New Member

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    Hi all, thanks for all the comments and advice.
    The comment of "we're not fluent in each others languages" hit home for me - that's the analogy I used with her last night. She understands that I don't really car what is on my porridge she doesn't want to feel like shes not asking me for my opinion. (the porridge is just an arbitrary example)
    We had a talk last night and things seemed to go okay - but i'm not convinced we have longevity in our relationship which is a shame.
    Thank you once again
     
  9. OrangeSquash

    OrangeSquash New Member

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    Hi all.
    By way of an update - I split up with my girlfriend last night. It was the hardest thing I've done ever, we both cried (i'm usually not a crier) but i'm just not sure I've done the right thing.
    We have texted this morning and to cut a long story short - she suspects that a friend of mine (of the opposite sex) and I have romantic feelings for each other - which is simply not true.
    Is it safe for me to assume that i'm not the first person to have a female friend as my closest friend aside from my significant other?
    How could I convince my (ex) significant other that she is just a friend? (the thought of having a relation ship with her makes me feel sick TBH)
    I can't help but feel a bit of resentment against her for thinking this. But, to be fair, she has been cheated on before, so unfortunately she is the norm for her - perhaps the saddest thing of all here - but that then means that she rates my values as the same as her ex's. Which they aren't.
    Thanks all.
     
  10. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can be a bit of a grump when I have many things to juggle too.

    I don't have the head space to remember to be 100% people friendly while working through 6 or 7 other things.
    I might get to 30% people friendly, take it or leave it :)

    Mr Gracey and I have been together so long, I rarely need to ask for space, or to take a minute any more. He picks up on this and understands,

    In the same way I have learned to understand him and his quirks and idiosyncrasies.

    You don't have to be afraid to be yourself.
    Acting and masking is just more work for you.
    (on top of everything else)
     
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  11. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I think you’ve done all you can with regards to convincing your ex-girlfriend you don’t have romantic feelings for your friend. If she chooses not to believe you, there’s nothing much you can do about it.