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AS ex-boyfriend wants to talk

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Falcon, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Falcon

    Falcon New Member

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    Follow-up to this thread thanks especially to @Judge, @Tom, @MrSpock, and @AloneNotLonely for their responses.

    My ex-boyfriend and I last spoke in April. In the conversation, he expressed doubts about our relationship. I was hurt and I responded by saying that I didn't know what else there was to talk about if he was so unsure. Then I assume that he had an emotional shutdown because:

    - he didn't answer when I tried to call him twice
    - he sent me a breakup email asking to be friends
    - I emailed a gentle reply to say that I couldn't ignore my feelings and maintain a friendship
    - he replied again to say that, if not a friendship, he would still like occasional updates from me

    He has not heard from me for exactly four months now. His latest email expresses how much he misses me, thinks about me every day, and wants to hear my voice. After much thought, I replied to ask him to be straightforward about what he really wants from me.

    His email was all about his feelings. He seems to have no concept of how much he hurt me. His feelings always came first in our relationship - I always, always, conceded to his needs - and to read his latest email has caused me pain. I always felt that he never understood my feelings because he never prioritised my emotional needs. I tried so many ways to explain to him what I needed from him and the compromises I was willing to accept, all the while careful of not hurting his feelings, because he would shutdown if he misinterpreted my requests as criticism. It was exhausting to always suppress my feelings to make him happy - to be dumped so suddenly was a shock to experience.

    I still love this man dearly and I wish that he was able to love me back. I would greatly appreciate feedback from anyone who can relate to my situation. I don't expect to read his mind, however I hope to hear similar stories so as to identify possible themes. Thank you all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can't remember the details of his condition, but unless he did some serious self improvement as in a year or two of professional autism therapy I wouldn't touch it.
     
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  3. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    If he has no sense of responsibility or guilt then you can't do anything with him.
     
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  4. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    If you feel that a relationship with him, friendship or otherwise, won't be able to fulfill your needs then move on from him. All relationships have to have a mutual give and take. Unbalanced relationships are both unfair and exhausting, not worth it.

    It seems to me you two just aren't compatible. This doesn't mean you or him are bad people, just not meant for each other. Sometimes that's how it goes when an NT and an aspie go into a relationship. The aspie is too set in their routine or mindset to be more flexible with the NT and vice versa.
     
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  5. jamie5136

    jamie5136 Active Member

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    I was in a 2 year relationship with someone online that involved friendship/online sexual things... it got pretty intense and we fell in love. We knew it was not feasible due to age. So, he wants to remain friends. It is very unbalanced with me doing most of the communication. I told him I simply could not remain friends with these lingering feelings. He almost insisted on a friendship. It's just not working. I dream about him, etc. I told him it's making me upset. He still insists. I'd just not do it... IMHO, the NT/Aspie relationship is strained.
     
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  6. Savvy

    Savvy Member

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    @Falcon I can completely relate. I was involved with a sweet, super intelligent & kind (aspie) man. We saw each other a few times a week over a 2 and a half year period. He is divorced & has a high powered job, I am a full time Carer for my mum & do voluntary work. We both wanted to end up in the sun when he retires in a few years.

    Twice there was a lapse in our relationship based on a withdrawal or shutdown from him. One was work related & due to stress, the second was to do with me which I had no clue about until he finally answered the phone after ignoring me for weeks & after much probing from me he said I woke him up at 4am(?) actually his arm landed on my face so he woke ME up and after having no luck trying to gently move it away I called out his name. He also expressed concern about our relationship but agreed to meet & we smoothed things over. I didn’t know about aspergers at this point but remember thinking that his reaction was odd & I was baffled by his lack of communication skills & sulking like a baby.

    Your ex seems to be fairly communicative which is a definite positive. I came to realise my ex also has alexithymia(unable to express feelings) plus he has deep wounds from his childhood (father died, mother put him in foster care when he was a baby) his wife left him as did 2 other significant women. As time wore on he started snapping at me if I did anything that affected his routine or schedule, normal things such as once not wanting to go to bed the same time as him, asking (once) to change a sheet on his bed, he was apopleptic & punished me by sleeping in his boy’s bedroom. Next morning he acted as though nothing had happened.

    The crunch finally came this past June when on a warm summer evening I wanted to sit outside & he said he felt cold. I then responded & said ‘it’s actually not that cold’ he snapped my head off, even the bar man looked shocked. Tears sprung to my eyes & I blurted out that I thought he had aspergers & we need to talk about it as I want the relationship to work. It all seemed to go over his head, he didn’t react. We drove to his place & I thought it best to go home & let him get his rest. He looked dazed & confused.

    After that we both cancelled a few dates & he then slowly started ignoring me again. The problem was we had a holiday booked in 3 weeks time (with his mum & 2 boys)

    Eventually I drove over to his house to confront him & he basically acted like I had never existed, cold as ice as though he had flicked a switch in his head. Told me the relationship wasn’t working for him & that I was very self centred!! When I asked why he said he was cold that night but I still insisted on sitting outside. I said ‘is that all?’ and he said he just didn’t think it was working. I asked about the holiday & he insinuated he had never invited me in the first place. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I actually thought this guy is not to be believed & it really put me off him. I just got up & left I was in total shock.

    All the while I had been seeing a therapist that specialises in aspergers & he told me aspies don’t realise & can’t help it when they snap. It could be a build up from their whole day & May have nothing to do with me. He also said my ex is very damaged & has major abandonment issues from the past & likely sees all women as difficult. That his radar is constantly attuned to women doing something to upset him or perceiving comment(s) as criticism. Said he saw the sheet incident as me saying ‘I don’t like you anymore.’ He told me aspies can maintain a facade for up to 2 years & then the mask starts to slip. I don’t know if my b/f cut me dead because I mentioned aspergers & he doesn’t want to deal with it or because I abandoned him that night & chose to go home. Therapist said it’s all about him & was projecting on to me when he said I’m self centred.

    Frankly I came to realise none of my emotional needs were getting met. Physically & mentally we had a great connection but if I (rarely) brought anything up about my day or life his eyes glazed over & there was no empathy. I started to walk on eggshells & the relationship was becoming very one sided. I highly recommend you read “22 Things A Woman Must Know if she’s dating a Man With Aspergers” by Rudy Simone. Extremely enlightening & the preface puts everything in a nutshell as to how attentive they are in the beginning then slowly things change & it’s more the NT keeping the relationship alive, how they vacillate between being kind & gentle to cold & distant. How we start to question ourselves & our behavior wondering what we’re doing wrong. I still love & miss the sweet, kind man I met but I know deep down I could never compete with his wounds & the asperger issues that he is clearly not willing to deal with.

    Wish you all the best & Please keep us posted on any developments......
     
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  7. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    You've mentioned an email in which you wrote that you couldn't maintain a friendship and ignore the other feelings. If you still feel that way then I suggest you keep your distance. Maybe you'd still want to do the odd update, I don't know.

    I've fallen in love and then maintained a friendship with that person while they dated others. It can be rewarding and worthwhile, but it can be difficult too and maybe for the same reasons that made the romance not work. Romance and friendship both require many of the same elements to work well in the long run. If there really was a lot there that was good, it might be a worthwhile friendship - if a lot that made it bad, it could be a difficult and negative 'friendship'.

    Whatever you decide to call what is between you (and there's no rule saying you need to call it anything in particular) it's up to you to weigh the costs and benefits. A friendship, if that's all it is, won't present the same set of issues exactly, although it will contain some.
     
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  8. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    It seems you two have feelings for each other, but it's not working out. Both of you can stay open to talking. I'd suggest a couples counselor or someone where you can try to work on your issues together. It takes two to make a relationship and even a friendship work.
     
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  9. chocoholic

    chocoholic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    He sounds like a narcissist to me.
     
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  10. Falcon

    Falcon New Member

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    He hasn't replied to my request asking him to be straightforward. It really seems to me as though his claims about missing me are meaningless.

    I'm feeling tired and depressed about having responded to him.
     
  11. chocoholic

    chocoholic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Falcon

    Have a look at Melanie Tonia Evans' vids on You Tube and see if they resonate with you. If so, join her narcissistic abuse recovery program.
     
  12. Falcon

    Falcon New Member

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    He has made a grand gesture by asking me to holiday with him, and to join a separate vacation with his family.

    He hasn't apologised for ending our relationship, nor has he expressed an awareness of how his actions hurt me. I don't want to prompt him to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions, towards me. Surely he understands breakup actions > consequences > hurt feelings. Such basic communication shouldn't be this fraught.

    The videos resonate. Although I know that he isn't deliberately selfish, the end result is still someone who doesn't imagine my feelings to be equal to his.

    :'(
     
  13. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    Time to move on then. I don't think he really has the awareness to have healthy relationships. I don't want to say it's a matter of not having empathy, because I really don't know. Many people on the spectrum have tons of empathy, but lack the awareness to really utilize it. Until he works on that, it's going to be pretty hard for him to have relationships that aren't one-sided.