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Argument with my BF who has AS

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Kapwned, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    (Posted this on another website so if this seems familiar to any members of both sites... hello again!)

    Before I start I'll mention my boyfriend and I are in a semi long distance relationship. I also acknowledge that yes I screwed up and I could have handled this differently. So I really do not need to be lectured about that. I am here because I acknowledge this and I want to learn how to handle this in the future for him.

    So toward the end of the week my boyfriend and I sort of had a fight that stretched into Saturday. The source of my frustration occurred Thursday, the conflict took place Friday.

    The tension and anger continued into Saturday even though we kind of spoke like usual minus any affectionate choice of words. Then at some random point in the early evening Saturday he told me that I had put him in a difficult position and that it felt like our relationship was in a sort of limbo and he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. I figured it was probably best to just drop it and give him some space. So on Sunday I didn't bring it up at all. I talked to him like usual and I could sense he was still feeling bitter. He wasn't affectionate and he didn't give me our standard greetings (we'd always say good night, sweet dreams, I love you, etc.) but he did talk to me like usual.

    I want to get through this, resolve our original issue, and learn how to address my concerns in the future without him feeling threatened or like I am trying to start something.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maybe not crucial information but if you're curious about how things unfolded...

    He and I have always talked and got us time via Skype calls, ever since before we were evening dating. But a few weeks ago Skype started messing up on him and he started to avoid using Skype and making calls. He said he was getting tired of it and probably just going to get rid of it. I was concerned because it's our primary form of communication. We hadn't really used any other means of communication. He doesn't have a cellphone and I don't get international calling (he's in Canada and I the US). He didn't show much concern about it though.

    And eventually Skype started crashing his computer and we started using Facebook. I offered to find him a fix and proceeded to link him a bunch of different possibilities. He didn't really respond much to them. I'd ask him how it was going and he'd give me really vague answers. But he did state he was fed up with Skype. So I started looking for alternatives for us to use for our calls, but he didn't seem very receptive of them or he had an excuse for why he didn't want to use them.

    I have my own issues with panic anxiety disorder paired with other conditions which can cause some sensitivity (hormonal imbalances) which got to the better side of me and thus I began to take it a little personal and began to wonder if maybe one of the reasons he wasn't all too eager to find a solution was because he wanted space. So I decided to inquire about it and he got mad at me. He then got onto Outlook which has Skype calls, called me and proceeded to gripe at me, saying I was accusing him of avoiding me, which I wasn't. I just felt it was a possibility given how routine our relationship was with the calls for the past 7 months. He may have grown bored of the routine. And when I told him I wasn't accusing him he just said "You were insinuating it!"

    He's really bad at assuminf and mind reading, and anytime I am upset he assumes it's at him, and he is almost always wrong... and he fails or stubbornly refuses to acknowledge this. I always figured it was maybe part of his condition and tried to be patient. But at times it does get frustrating, especially when it's affecting the way he is perceiving me.

    Anywho, I apologized and asked if we could move on. But then I screwed up a little again. When we were saying good night I said I love you and he didn't say it back. I asked if he would say it back and he said he wished I wouldn't force him to say it. I accidentally pushed another button I think.

    The next day, Saturday, I could really sense the bitterness. I had gotten up and left him a message on Facebook apologizing. He never really responded to the stuff I said other than "o___o wall of text." He started messaging me and we spoke like usual. But then at some point in the early evening he said I had put him in a difficult position and he wasn't sure what he wanted to do because I had pushed our relationship into a state of limbo. And that was when I decided to definitely back off.

    Sunday was a little bit better. He wasn't affectionate and I understand. But we did converse and did a lot of small talk. Today was the same. He told me good morning and we spoke like usual, again no signs of affection.

    I feel there needs to be some sort of closure to the issue and find a compromise that can work for both of us but I'm not sure when or how I should go about this.
     
  2. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How about you think of it as a part of his personality instead? That way, at least, you won't be making assumptions about people who aren't your boyfriend.

    And, well, calls are unpleasant in general (so much sound and white noise!) to me, anyway, and social pressure isn't exactly a walk in the park either, even though you were entitled to ask him to say it back.

    I don't know how you should go about it.
     
  3. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    I do think of it as part of his personality. And he never had any issues with calls before. He's initiated many of our calls and we've been doing this for 7 months. White noise isn't an issue on my end I know for sure because he's mentioned my mic is really quiet. I could have family members standing 6 ft away from me yelling and he can hardly hear them.

    I only came here because often a person with AS may require a certain understanding and need to be approached in a way that is different from someone who is neurotypical.
     
  4. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Our most standard issues are sensory issues. If he has anything else (comorbid) that is causing his behaviour, you'll want to check up on that instead. Also, you might want to consider taking his behaviour completely literally, and acknowledge that you are drifting apart.

    Those are suggestions, not advice.
     
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  5. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    Take it or leave it. You can explain yourself, you can say that you didn't mean to hurt his feelings or whatnot, you can say that the relationship between you 2 is important to you and then give him some space. If you're important to him as he's to you, he'll come around. Just give him some time to process it all. If not - you're better off. In relationships we all can spin things out of control, in the end people in good relationships talk about it (if necessary), and move on. If he's not able to move on then think how he's going to deal with more complex difficulties. .. and you're fine, no need to blame yourself for misunderstanding or misinterpreting something, or for trying to help :)
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You have to take him at his word there...and just remain in a holding pattern. As others have posted, let him process this on his own time. If you force the matter, you'll likely kill the relationship. Something that has happened to me more times than I really want to admit when it comes to relationships with NT women.

    It almost sounds though like you may have stated what I call a "dealbreaker". Something that profoundly left him questioning the foundation of the relationship. Something not of a trivial nature at least to him. Sure you want to know...but pushing the matter right now could be a disaster for you. Be patient.
     
  7. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    Loaded reply, sorry in advance.

    Sounds like you guys might work the way he does so I'd really like your opinion on how to address the issue and perhaps learn how to approach issues or avoid fights in the future. I think I owe it to him to try.

    I decided to leave him alone for a few days but we continued talking. I just did not bring up what happened and kept it casual and light hearted. Today I asked him what it was that he wanted or needed me to do in order to make everything okay again. He told me he needed time to think thinks through, so I will continue to give him some space and not push or pressure him. I was almost certain he'd break up with me over the weekend, but he didn't. I don't consider myself out of the woods yet but I hope there is still some hope for me if he hasn't quite done it yet. After our small talk today he's been a bit more talkative with me. I don't know how I should take it, I hope it's a good sign.

    Also, what do you think I could do to convince him that I am serious about making changes? I suppose I could ask him but again I don't want to push him and I am making the changes as we speak. I have a few conditions which affect my mental health. I suppose from my NT perspective it's not a big deal, but it may be to him. I experience anxiety which makes me irritable and emotional at times and I sometimes project it onto others. The anxiety is caused by my hormones being off balance due to PCOS and Hypothyroidism. My medication keeps my hormones balanced and thus my anxiety and emotions in check.

    I've told him I have started the steps it takes to straighten out those issues (I made a doctors appointment), I told him I'd get back on my medication and make conscious effort to not let my emotions get a hold of me and project them onto others. I am confident my medication will make my attitude and emotions overall better because when I was on them I was indeed better. I was off of my medication for a year thanks to financial issues, but now I am able to get back on them. I guess I am just afraid of how he'll perceive me. I'm afraid he'll think "Oh great, this one has to be on meds in order to be normal," and not want to bother.

    I was thinking of, should I ever have to defend my case, saying something like "We argue because I get emotional and project them onto you. I get emotional because of my conditions which mess up my hormones. When I am on my medication my hormones are balanced out again, therefore if you can wait for me to get on my medication, the arguing will most likely stop."
     
  8. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That last bit sounds like it might work. It is straightforward and informative.

    Also, if he is really one of those guys who won't bother just because you need meds, then he is not worth your time. Though from what you've written that bit is probably a manifestation of your anxiety, and not necessarily an accurate prediction about him. I worry a lot about what people will do, too, and they are usually nicer than I expect.

    Lastly, try to be careful with his SPD. It can be quite painful.
     
  9. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    You have a point there. I personally feel he owes it to me to be understanding and patient. I am doing what it takes so I am unsure of what more he could want from it. He has his own conditions which can affect our relationship and have at times, but I've tried to be understanding and patient and I feel like I deserve the same in return. But that might be easier said than done. Not sure how he'd view that. He may just tell me his conditions never caused arguments while mine did, but that might be because I've been patient with him... despite my occasional emotional spurts which have brought me here.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You may be right. But I wouldn't be scornful about it. Not everyone (NT or Aspie) is emotionally or otherwise prepared for what may or may not amount to a "high-maintenance relationship". Certainly not what most of us want to hear, but it's a truth we sometimes encounter.

    (I'm certain I've been dumped a few times on that premise. Although I suspect NTs took my low-maintenance as a form of high-maintenance if that makes any sense. I just needed to be left alone at times...and little else.)

    I'm not saying her boyfriend outright fits this category, but he might. It may be the "dealbreaker" I spoke of.

    Ultimately I suspect it isn't a matter of Kapwned adjusting to her boyfriend's issues, but whether or not he can adjust to her issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  11. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't even really call myself high maintenance, but I guess I can be at times when my emotions are high. I think for him it also stems from his own misinterpretations so what feels like an occasional bump for me comes off as a constant issue to him. Though most of the time it has nothing to do with him. If I am in a bad mood of course it may show in my tone. I'll sigh a lot, give short answers, not talk much, and I think he often assumes I am upset with him even though I always reassure him I am not. I have probably been upset with him twice in the seven months we've been together. But on days when I am upset with a class, work, family, or just having an all around bad day, my attitude makes him think it is him and thus when we actually do have a conflict he takes the few conflicts we've had plus the fact that he has often felt like my negative emotions are because of him and he feels that the problem is bigger than it is.

    Yes, there is a problem, but I don't think it is him or us, It is my anxiety which makes me sensitive and often affects my mood and emotions, and that is going to get fixed.

    I suppose I should have tried to get it out there sooner, but it really does stem from my conditions with a lack of medication. Not to mention I'm in college right now reaching the end of my program and last semester was very stressful. I came out at the top in my class with various honors and awards. Then I went straight into a very stressful internship and my internship is about to end. This upcoming semester will be much easier on me. I am only taking two classes and they're studio art classes. And I am about to get back onto my medication so I suspect things will be much much better and I won't really be considered high maintenance.

    How should I approach conveying this information to him? I want to without obnoxiously pushing the topic. How could someone bring this up to you without you feeling pushed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You've already shown that it's much more about him than yourself. Stands to reason that whatever crucial move to save this relationship must likely come from him and not yourself. The challenge is for you to let him arrive at a conclusion without pushing him.
     
  13. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    So it's just about stepping back and letting him do his thing. I wish there was more I could do but I think you might be right. I haven't pushed him at all. I've tried to avoid the topic. I've made sure to be nothing but positive. I've let him rant to me a few times over the past few days (he's had some drama with family) and I've acted supportive and tried to keep things light hearted. He's been talking to me just fine so far and this morning he linked me to this comic which is quite reminiscent of our relationship prior to our current issues, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Maybe he misses it, maybe that's how he still views us, I don't know.
     
  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I've been there a few times. Where I needed my space and they just wouldn't back off. They ended badly. But then at the time neither they or I knew this was relative to my neurology. I would have handled it differently had I known at the time.

    Yes, give him his space...let him work it out.
     
  15. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I don't know if he is aware of how he works and what his AS could be contributing to entirely. He just knows what he wants and needs and as long as he knows that and is willing to tell me (eventually) I am okay.

    Sorry for badgering you, but when you say they wouldn't back off. Do you mean pushing the issue or topic at hand and not letting it go? Just asking because as I said I did stop bringing it up. The fight occurred Saturday, then I calmly brought it up Tuesday, which he told me he just needed time to think things through. I haven't brought it up since and I don't have any plans on it. But I haven't ceased talking to him. I don't push or bug him, I keep it casual,. But usually at least once a day at some point he comes around and talks to me. I hope that isn't perceived as not backing off.
     
  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    That's ok. Some of the NT girlfriends I had just wouldn't let it go. I suppose they were worried that whatever was wrong would fester. But instead they just kept at me...usually pushing me in a very negative direction.

    It was just sad that at the time I could never process it all...just assumed I was weird and incompatible with some people. I could have likely worked things out had I known so much more. Of course this is no guarantee that you might have that outcome. It really depends on what's truly eating at him...and whether he wants to deal with it or simply end the relationship.
     
  17. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's why I came here. To see if I could learn to understand how he may work in his head and what I can do. You've been a great help.

    Even if he doesn't understand himself fully, maybe I can make some effort to make it easier on him so we don't have more of this if he chooses to stay with me. At my core I am a very patient person, I have just been going through a hard time over the past year. I realize I'm not out of the woods yet with him, and I don't want to push him, but I figured if what I could do was try to learn about him, Aspergers syndrome and how it may contribute to him as a person and how he views romantic relationships.
     
  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    One thing to say. Some Aspies like myself absolutely NEED solitude at times. When it happens, try very hard not to take it personally. It's never about you are anyone else....it's just about US.

    I'm just not sure how that might translate in any long-distance relationship, but it did occasionally cause problems for me in real life. But as I said, I didn't even realize it at the time, not being aware of my own autism. Being online comes somewhat easy for me, perhaps because in real-life I tend to live in relative isolation.
     
  19. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that was one of my concerns from the beginning and I guess I expressed it poorly. Skype was about 95% of how we communicated. We spoke on Skype every day and I figured he never had a problem with it seeing as he never said anything or sounded annoyed. And when Skype broke I started to wonder if maybe that's what he wanted - space, solitude, time to himself, and he didn't know how to express it or was maybe afraid to tell me out of fear of me taking it personal, so I decided to inquire about it and he took it the wrong way.

    That's why on Tuesday I came to him and simply asked him what he needed or what he wanted. If there was something he wanted or needed I'd do my best to respect it. But who knows, that may not have been it. I probably just got emotional, jumped the gun, and pushed a few buttons that night and I have backed off.
     
  20. Kapwned

    Kapwned Well-Known Member

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    And one more thing. This is something that always struck me as odd and I'm wondering if it's because he's sort of failing to look at the big picture and put two and two together. At one point during our initial period of arguing he said something like "Honestly it seems like all we do is watch movies, and that's not what I signed up for." So later on in the evening I asked "Would you like it if we more played video games together?" because that's originally what we did together quite frequently and I remembered him saying he liked couples gaming. He replied with "Depends on my work load and energy."

    So he's getting bored with the things we do together.
    We don't do as much together anymore because he gets caught up in other things (work or getting dragged into games with his friends)
    Lately (before the argument) when I'd ask him if he'd like to do something together he usually only had the time or energy to watch a movie.
    But I'd still continue to ask if he wanted to play a game with me in hopes we could do something different because that's what I like doing with him and it's what he likes.
    Yet all he focused on was 'all we do is watch movies' as if I haven't made any effort to do more with him. I ask if he'd like to play a game with me all the time. And I think he's failing to see why we don't do more together as of late. When everything is said and done he either has no energy or time or his friends have gotten to him before me and claimed him for some game time. It almost feels kind of redundant and it most definitely isn't my fault (not that I'm blaming him either).

    That's why I also grew fond of our Skype calls. He usually goes from one thing straight into another and when we were in Skype calls he could do that while getting some time with me.

    Should I point this out to him at some point when he starts coming around? I was doing research on AS and read that when dealing with an issue an Aspie can focus in on the individual accumulating facts and not look at the bigger picture as a whole and I wonder if that's what he's kind of doing here. He's focused in on the fact that we don't do much together anymore but failing to look at the other factors such as why it is that way and the fact that I have tried to change that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014