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Can't let go of destructive relationship because of the change


New Member
I couldn't post in intro plus I'm nervous even on a forum so 1 is enough for me.
I'm in the process of getting official diagnosis, my mental health worker thinks I'm almost definitely a high functioning autistic person, I score around 70-80%+ on all tests, plus it explains my whole life. I'm a 41 year old woman by the way.

I'm in a 5 year relationship after a handful of failed relationships where I just fell out of love really quickly and I needed to be on my own again. This time it's different, I have stage 4 cancer and (think of this what you will) we have a dog together who is like my child. No kids or ability to since cancer treatment.

I am more than ever feeling asexual, gone though premature menopause which makes it worse but I've always fizzled out quickly. I can't engage in the kind of relationship my partner wants and he's pretty needy when in comes to affection and being told he's loved etc.

This is making life unbelievably much more difficult than it already is, I've never been with anyone who challenges my coldness and lack of eye contact and interest in one thing over everything else and inability to see their upset/feelings. My partner challenges all this and more, he's got his own mental crap and I spend my time away from him happy enough, and with him is 70% bad.

Has anyone with Asperger's or HFA any experience with not being able to let go because of the change it would involve? I think that's the reason I'm not letting go, I can't really figure out my emotions for him (no surprise there) and wonder if the thought of changing my whole life, and what will happen with my dog, is what's keeping me in this place of hurt.

I'm being tested very soon and I think he's not going to like it, I think he wants me to just be this cold evil thing that he can say 'see, you are just a nasty person, now you have to change'. But honestly, if I don't have HFA I'll eat my dog because my whole life will make no sense to me whatsoever.

Hope I made sense, I'm actually pretty successful in writing my thoughts, ask me to tell you...nope.

Thanks, Jo
I'm being tested very soon and I think he's not going to like it, I think he wants me to just be this cold evil thing that he can say 'see, you are just a nasty person, now you have to change'. But honestly, if I don't have HFA I'll eat my dog because my whole life will make no sense to me whatsoever

As first messages go, that seems very HFA.
Your dog will not be eaten.

I hate change.

For me, there are times when I should have left. I didnt.

It kinda worked as I changed what I said and what I thought.

It may not work for you, but if you make the change you either progress together or dont.

I .journalled and made notes of the stressful situations, which tend to repeat and follow patterns.
You can break the pattern by saying different stuff each time.
By rehearsing and learning to react differently.
No guarantee it will be better as it still depends on him but the 70% may reduce.

We can own our own reactions and cultivate a separate space in our mind.
If you get diagnosed maybe that is his chance to step up.

Is it your house?

Is it a civil partnership?

Is he the type to want the dog to spite you?

Will he go to counselling ? He sounds more the objectionable type.

I guess the cancer is a nice little extra bonus. Doesn't make things any easier.
Who will care for you if you need it? Him?
I also had cancer, which resulted in complete hysterectomy. The entire process put me into such depression and emotional turmoil to begin with. I was fired from my job prior to surgery. I just could not deal with anything. Some partners just cannot deal with the cancer issue...especially “stage 4” either.

Please do NOT “eat your dog!” Yikes. Did you really mean this, or were you speaking metaphorically? You can give your dog to a good shelter, or a friend. With stage 4 cancer, you should be putting every part of your estate in order anyways, just in case you go downhill. This would mean a safe home for your dog too. Start researching places that could take your dog, unless your partner can provide for it.

Know that sex is very important to most men (and a lot of women too). Not having that closeness can be a game changer for some. Not sure if having the official HFA is really going to change anything as far as the relationship goes. Be prepared to move on.

Can you get some therapy/ counseling to deal with these important issues?
I was stuck in a bad relationship for way too long because the thought of everything we had to change was overwhelming. However, I was so unhappy. After 5 years together (3 of which in limbo) I cut ties and was so much happier for it. Yeah, separating brought a lot of chaos, but not all change is bad change.

I had to leave our cats with my ex. It hurt like hell, but I did not have accommodations for them, and he loved them just as much as I did. After the breakup, I visited twice to make sure they were being cared for, even though I knew that to be the case.
@Fridgemagnetman, I take your comment about my first post seeming very high functioning as a compliment because I find it hard to put my point across verbally and so I've written a lot over my lifetime, it's been my only outlet a lot of the time and I suppose I've become pretty good at it. Thanks :) I guess I'm lucky I can write well.

I know it's a predominant part of the AS, change, I freak out and shut down if I get cancelled on being taken to the supermarket, I've had to prepare for the outing and then it changes. So yes, if I separated from my partner there will be a lot to contend with but I've been through it before. This time the difference is our dog and cancer. I like to think I'd look after myself as I hate being made a fuss of (pretty hard to avoid with cancer) but I have family for when that's impossible. We live apart because I needed my own space after a few meltdowns and realised how hard it was to live with him, anyone in fact. So no mortgage or marraige, but he wants to marry me, we're technically 'engaged' but it's just a ring on my finger. I know this is hurting him but he has no patience and I need time to get myself sorted, if that's even possible.

He's actually wanted to do relationship therapy for a while and it's me who is not really interested. I'm not convinced that I can change in any significant way, not enough to make him happy.
He wouldn't want to spite me with the dog, I don't think so anyway. Part of me would feel OK letting him have her anyway.
Ok, not sure how to end, so thank you for your reply and advice.
@Mary Anne, no I absolutely would never eat my dog, it's a phrase that's got stuck in my head which I've used a few times, I've no idea why. Now I say that I can hear how murderous it sounds. I love her :)

As for my estate, a few people have said that to me, but I have nothing of any value, live in rented accommodation and a long line of family members who would love to have my dog as their own. Cancer is a really rubbish time, everyone around me is dealing with it much worse than I am. I wonder if my partner feels guilty about leaving someone with stage 4, but he's said that's not true so I have to believe him.

As a woman who's had little sex drive for all of my life this is a hard situation to be in. I've often thought I should be alone but get into relationships with men who persue me, much too easily. He needs sex and at the moment I can't even do that if I wanted to as I'm physically unable due to radiotherapy damage, which honestly I'm glad about.

I think I do need to prepare to move on, I just can't see how things will be the 'normal' he's looking for. I've never felt part of the human race, and even less so now.

Thank you for your reply.
@Bolletje, your comment rings true to my situation. I think I've been 3 years or so in limbo also. It's the biggest change I could make right now, and as you mentioned with your cats, I think maybe my dog would be better off with him anyway. I rarely take her out on my own due to my fear/anxiety around the human race and I'm hardly managing my own self care, it's difficult to look after her. Although I do, I would never neglect her and she goes walking twice a day, she has a good life, is attached to me (which is rather hard sometimes) and is well loved.

I've survived big changes before and been happier afterwards like you, I think this time is different as I haven't got to that hateful place where I can't stand to be around him whatsoever. As a person with little to no social interaction it's nice to sometimes have someone I can be myself around, at least as much as I'm prepared to share for now. Only my dog sees the unabridged version of me :) Thank you for your reply.

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