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Featured Anxiety, Fear of Disappointment, and Sex as an Aspie...

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by silvrsurfer, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. silvrsurfer

    silvrsurfer Active Member

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    Could use some help, assistance or advice either from fellow AS or NT's. Please forgive me as I am new to the whole posting forum and really sharing in general, so be prepared because this may get a little long.

    Lately seems as things are just spiraling out of control and am finding myself in very unfamiliar territory. As a man with AS happily married to an NT for the past 8-years (2nd marriage for both of us) up till now I thought all was great. Started out as co-workers, grew into a blossoming friendship, and than husband and wife, purchasing a home, raising our two furry Labs, and love.

    However, the "elephant in the room" for us is that our sex life has increasingly diminished and over the past several months specifically been for the most part non-existent. To the dismay of my wife and increasing frustration. The problem lies in (and if this gets to descriptive for anyone my apologies ahead of time--but SPOILER ALERT!) that I admittedly have had difficulty sustaining and holding an erection during sex. :-(

    Yes I have tried but Viagra and Cialis DO NOT work because in my wife's eyes, "It takes the spontaneity out of having sex". So if I can't, why bother is my wife's thinking. Which in turn drove her to self-doubt for a while and thoughts of, "is it me...do you not find me attractive...maybe he's gay (which is by far not the case I can reassure you)".

    I am one for research (LOVE IT), finding any help I can, articles and books to read, etc. Recently came across a book entitled, 'Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with your Partner' by Cindy Ariel, PhD (Author), Stephen Shore, EdD (Foreward). While a good read, takes things from our (the AS) perspective to try and help NT's hopefully better understand as well as suggest that it is NT that MUST change in order to deal with us. That is when and where the switch was flipped and my wife lashed out!

    It upset her to think that in order for us to have a conversation going forward she (her career is as a Corporate Trainer by the way) would need to diagram everything, create pie charts, create lists, phrase things on a higher level, and all of the blame and fault was the NT's for not being able to understand. Her previous self-doubt and thoughts have now turned its focus than on me, countless arguments (which we never used to have), frustrations, and her wondering whether perhaps: Is it a physical issue (ED, PD, etc.)?

    Or, if because I am AS and she is NT if we really ever had anything in common, is something she wants to truly invest her self another 50 - 60 years into a loveless marriage, a complete waste of time and energy, or we should just get divorced and part ways. In the past we have always worked together no matter what has come our way or speed bumps lie before, and overcome them--TOGETHER! Now things have more or less become a very singular and selfish point of view for her. Not wanting to do anything together that we used to love (not needing anyone else to compete us--Yes, we have mutual friends and family that we would get together from time to time, but very few), talk, or...her feeling that perhaps it would be better and easier, as previously mentioned, if I find someone or another AS that can make me happy and she can in turn find someone to make her happy (someone who can give her what she needs--not love, just sex).

    For me, I REFUSE to give up and throw in the towel (again)! If I did not love her I would not have agreed to see both a Therapist and a Marriage Counselor (which only seems to stir the pot and make things even more tense!). Striving for answers and a way to fix "US', have done my research, seen urologists, and still attempting to make things better. Do you think I suffer from performance anxiety, fear of disappointment, or just to much in my head? Yes, I am a methodical person. Thoughts, insights, advice, your perspective (either fellow Aspie or NT) would be very much appreciated!
     
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  2. Schism

    Schism Authentic Alien

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    Can I just ask how old you are roughly? You call yourself a silver surfer, both you & wife on second marriage & married for +/- 8 years or so & at the worst case scenario, expect another potential 50-60 years of a sex-less marriage? I am sort of confused by that?
     
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  3. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    OP says he's 48 on his profile. I suppose one might live to 108. And one may feel concerns about doing so in an unhappy relationship?

    I hope any therapy you have is with someone who understands the potential issues for an NT and ND in a relationship. Worth checking. If you are in the UK, sex therapy from the NHS could also be helpful. Again, with the right practitioner. The sexual issue you describe is a common one, experienced by many couples, and has all sorts of causes and solutions.

    I would also say, think about underlying issues, as the question to think about is, why is this so tough for us to sort out? Usually the answers to that lie in people's levels of security in relating, based on their personal and family histories, and current stress levels etc., aswell as what's going on at present at work, and in their lives. Neuro diversity adds another layer.

    I hope you get support and find ways to talk this through.
     
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  4. Schism

    Schism Authentic Alien

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    Optimistic then expecting a sex life until then! This has nothing to do with ASD/NT & more general aging. Hormones back down, Viagra & the like just enable blood flow. The mind has to be willing. To accuse his wife of just wanting 'sex' I feel is callous & passing off his own insecurities, labelling her as successful etc. She most likely feels as anxious & insecure as he does.

    Try communicating more, intimacy is more important than actual sex, I would bet she isn't feeling too great about the situation either & wants it to work too. Other people are not the answer here. The grass may seem greener but would require a lot of new lawn care & effort that maybe better spent on nurturing what you do have already.

    Edit: I will just add, male menopause happens alongside the female. It's just termed 'mid life crisis' for men. Weather it out together & both will sexually perk up after a few years! Source: life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  5. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't count on that. "Use it or lose it."
     
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  6. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't quite see how pie charts would help. Kinda sounds like you opened a can of worms inadvertantly. If we could rewind to the time the problem first surfaced I would say still continue to satisfy your partner and keep the intimacy going while you work on you (not her).
     
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  7. Magpie

    Magpie Member

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  8. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    This is the easy part to address. Do what works for you, regardless of what some book says.

    The autism spectrum is a very broad spectrum and one way of doing things won’t work for everyone. There may be some autistics who need others to accommodate them and their way of thinking. I bet that every single one of us has at least one subject or topic in which it would be a whole lot easier if the whole world bent to our needs. But that doesn’t mean that “NTs must accommodate NDs” is a universally correct rule.

    If trying to do it the book’s way isn’t working, toss the book out.
     
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  9. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Some random thoughts regarding ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

    1) See a doctor and see what can be done by both them and you to help reverse things. This could include managing stress better, getting enough rest, exercising, reducing your blood pressure, etc.

    2) Possibly try figuring out what times work best for you physically - middle of the day, middle of the night?

    3) Try increasing your non-sexual expressions of affection. Hugs, kisses, holding hands, putting your arm around her, a soft touch as you pass by her in the hall, etc. These may or may not help stimulate you, but they will go a long way toward making your wife feel loved and wanted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  10. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    4) Put aside the expectation that sex should revolve around your penis. Explore non penis-centric sex i.e. using fingers, mouth, toys, use of a cock sleeve or strap-on if penis-in-vagina sex is very important to you both.
     
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  11. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Ok I can see why that would upset her. Are you saying that you didn't have any good communication or understanding of each other before the sex problems started? Expecting one partner to put in all the effort for communication and understanding is ridiculous, that sort of thing has to go both ways. Since this can of worms has already been opened I think seeing a relationship therapist would be a good move.
     
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  12. Autistamatic

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

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    Communication is a two way process, so the NT party must always give as much as the autist if effective communication is to function. That will never change, so if you are to find a solution to your difficulties she must accept that there must be give and take.
    As to ED - it can happen to any man at any time of life and for countless psychological and physical reasons. Being autistic likely has little bearing on the problem unless anxiety is at the root of it. If it IS psychological then communication is the only solution.
    I went through a period of it myself in my mid 30s due to anxiety following the breakup of a 7yr relationship. Meeting my now wife, who treated me as an equal and met me halfway in communication, cleared it up in no time.
     
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  13. silvrsurfer

    silvrsurfer Active Member

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    **Again, being very new to this form of 'putting myself out there' appreciate the feedback and advice in regards to my post (whether positive or negative).
     
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  14. silvrsurfer

    silvrsurfer Active Member

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    That used to be the case, but as of late unfortunately her frustration has reached such a peak that even the thought of doing anything romantically linked is "revolting" (her words not mine) or "no longer appealing". Thus the drought! :-(
     
  15. silvrsurfer

    silvrsurfer Active Member

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    Thankfully communication has never been an issue with us and have always been very open. But since reading that book her whole perspective has unfortunately changed and she now has ultimately shut down any form of romantic communication. Just good friends. :-( We have been seeing a therapist over the past several weeks, but again that only seems to make things worse, stir the pot, and pour salt into the wounds.
     
  16. silvrsurfer

    silvrsurfer Active Member

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    Affection is only a precursor to sex in her mind and wants nothing to do with any of it. She has never truly been an affectionate or cuddly person to begin with.But when she was getting what she wanted she was a little more. Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.
     
  17. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Why did you feel the need for the book if communication was already good?

    My completely anecdotal second hand understanding is that relationship therapy can often make things worse to begin with as thing all come so the surface then get better later. I hope things work out for you.
     
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  18. Punchr0ck3r17

    Punchr0ck3r17 New Member

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    I too struggle with intimate relations in my marriage. My husband and I have been married for almost a year now and our sex life is definitely far from what I would call normal. There's a lot more conversation and planning that goes into having that kind of intimate relationship with the man I love because for me, sex is actually an overstimulating activity. As a result, I find that having that kind of intimate connection with my husband is less than pleasurable. In fact, it can even cause anxiety for me. Like you though, I don't want to just give up, so I make it a point to be open with my husband and we've worked together to figure out how best to proceed. Our solution (not saying this will work for you) was to communicate and plan ahead when we are going to have sex so that I have time to mentally prepare which helps to keep my anxiety at bay. We also talk extensively, probably more than most do, about our intimate relationship because as we all know, Autism is very complex and can change from day to day. Our sex life is still not by any means normal, but we have been able to have one now. I don't know if this helps any, but I thought I'd at least share that you are not alone in struggling with the sexual side of a marriage. Hope you discover the solutions you're seeking and best wishes!
     
  19. Miagar

    Miagar New Member

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    OP doesn't seem to have been online for the last month so this is just for anyone in a similar situation.

    I would highly recommend listening to the podcast "Where Should we Begin? with Esther Perel", particularly the episode titled "Impotent is no way to describe a man".
     
  20. Schism

    Schism Authentic Alien

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    Perhaps our input helped? That would be nice to know...bit of postive feedback like?