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Devastating breakup - Did he hide the Asperger's?


Well-Known Member

You haven't provided much information about your ex yet.

I think there are several things you should clarify if you want advice, and some you need to consider. It's not possible to cover this in a post (it requires a dialog, which may never bene possible between us), but here's one of each.

Something to consider:
It's clear you didn't understand your ex as well as you thought. This is normal for NT-ND relationships ... but it's not necessarily symmetrical: ND's have a narrower and (IMO) a somewhat different emotional register, but we're accustomed to dealing with NT's - at least from his own perspective, your ex may have understood you better than you understood him.

Something that needs clarification:
You've said that early in your relationship you both shared that you were open to finding a new life partner. Was this ever discussed again between then and the breakup?


Sorry for all the pain you are going through.

I am neurotypical, my husband is autistic.

I once said something that had to do about our relationship, a milestone, something symbolic. It backfired. Turns out he had planned already in his head when the time was for this and by me bringing it up he thought it was a way to criticize him why he had not done it yet. That I was let down.

It taught me something. I realized if I wanted our relationship to go there and when I wanted it to go there I could have or more correctly I should have been the one to bring it up with him as me being the initiative. I was taken on my hidden expectations on him and that he was not doing this my way. I was wrong to do that.

Another time, not so serious, I told my husband that I would love for us to get matching tattoos and that too backfired. But then he told me everything about it and it wasn't gonna happen. He had completely missed that from my view I was wanting us to do something that was romantic. He did not look at it as romantic.

Hope things work out or that you are able to move on. I know someone else who is autistic and this person will get really irritated about something someone else does that can be seen as a mistake and will then cut that person out of it's life. I've tried to tell that someone that think of all the other good qualities this person has and if you can sort it out by talking. It instead retreats into ways of doing the silence treatment and when and if it think that is done with it may or may not reach back. This is mentally tearing on someone else. I have tried to tell that someone you will ruin this relationship for good, you are taking a great risk here that when you try to reach out again, when you feel you are done with your silence treatment the other person might just be fed up with your immature behavior and not take you back. I know this person has had regrets years later what it has done. I think it is more hard on this person as it can not see the difference between someone who is manipulative and other dangerous things (and those should be cut loose) and these others so they sort of go into the same bowl. This person gets so rigid and only see what the other person has done wrong and do not see the bigger picture. This person too has a self esteem issue.

Please do not take on his responsibility. He is a grown man. He is a father. He has to sort out his own communication skills and not shut you out like that. It must be a terrible shock for you to be cut loose like that.

I don't think it is so important actually if he is autistic or not, of you bringing that up, if he knows he is or not. I only think it may make it worse. What could help is if you find a technique on how to communicate, as in you knowing he is autistic, but other than that I would not bring it up. I think he is very sensitive to criticism and his way of coping is to take defense and to cut that person out of his life and please may I remind you that he too is loosing something, someone who use to be very important in his life I take it by doing this to you. But he has to come to that realization himself and work on himself.

Him writing that you should be with someone else who measure up to your demands, expectations is a self esteem issue with him, and I do not think it has to do with him being autistic or not, other than a result from his life experiences and not measuring up which can happen to people who are not autistic as well naturally. I know of some other guy who I do not think is autistic who has replied that to his girlfriend several times, that she should go with someone else then who may be a better fit, it is all self esteem based and should not be projected over to her but unfortunately is.

Even if my husband would take defense and so on he was stubborn as hell to sort it out so he has not ever cut me loose. He will get intense about it, it can take days, or well us fighting will take days before we are at the finish line. So there is that version too. Today he has better self esteem I think and he does not get defensive as easily at all, he's grown. I would also be the one telling him that him taking defense made things worse and pushed me further from him and he would say he did not know why he acted the way he did but that he did want me closer but seemed did everything to push me further away instead and then got even more like that when he could tell I had withdrawn, was hurt. He has worked on himself regarding that. He still has the autism - but he does not have that defense mechanism due to low self esteem issue. Before he did not realize that is what it was about. It may very well be that your ex does not know that either. Don't take on his responsibility. Try to love yourself in the meanwhile no matter how this works out, do things that are fun, be with people who you feel loved with. You could write him a letter and explain everything and see if that helps turning him around. I would write letter to make my husband see things from my view without interruptions or him taking over. As for the tattoo thing I would tell him could you not recognize that my motive for suggesting that was from a romantic view, because you are so important to me? He said no, he could not but now he did, and he smiled and thanked me. But still- no tattoo and I don't need it either. What is important is what is behind the tattoo and/or what was behind the other thing we had this crises about, and that is love. Me saying you are so important to me so I want us to do this, but I learned the hard way not to say it like why have you not done this before and now I have to bring it up - that is what he heard. I wanted us to go there and thought I was helping him out by saying it but he saw it as me giving critique why he had not done it already. Your man has to have enough self esteem though to still stay in the fight, and that is where I think my husband had despite lack of his self esteem. I still think the way I presented it was the wrong way and now I know not to do that again and take my own responsibility for doing that. I think there is a lot of hidden agendas, expectations on guys to be the leaders and God forbid if they do something wrong. For someone who is autistic these hidden expectations must work like a minefield of some kind. What you said to him may have been a reminder of his ex in some sort of situation and could have triggered his entire system because of it. I know myself I have this issue, and I will seek help for it, where I am triggered of what an ex have done to me when I see my husband by accident, not intent, do it. I try now not to overreact on it.
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Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Since your relationship was very serious with him, and he didn't seem to know how to close one up or was too embarrassed to do it properly because he knew how superficial he was being, you certainly are within your moral rights to ask him for more specifics if he hasn't attempted to tell you anything. You mentioned reconciliation- so you can't be in a state where you're going to be mistrusting of him doing this again if you want to attempt to truly reconcile. You're in your right to feel this way, but it sounds like if you understandably don't want to risk going through this kind of situation again, you would have to move on at this point. Your time with him wasn't a waste, but just things changed in a way that no longer works.

We don't have much of a background on your former partner. So, hard to say if there is more to this that we need to know about. The way you describe it, it makes it sound like nothing was wrong and that it was probably for superficial reasons he decided to stray. Or, maybe, he didn't want to have a full-on commitment and didn't realize it and just wanted to be in a more non-committal stage. Maybe he doesn't want kids but can't express these things or doesn't really know.

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It's so tough for me. The person l care about is hesitant to contact me and l don't know what to do. He is ND. He is anxiety/avoidant so it makes it extremely difficult because l have pretty much the same traits which means we scale the Great Wall of China. I need him to contact me instead of leaving me in the contact suit only.
I have got to agree that such behavior is hard to handle and leads to a lot of self doubt. My spouse felt used when, hoping for a relationship, and after being intimate, the guys disappeared. How cruel! I thought the few connections that I made were so special that I enjoyed follow-up and communication. Serial monogamy? After our trip together NOTHING was going to stop me from communicating with my future spouse unless she called it quits.


New Member
Honestly what good would finding out that he had Aspergers do? Would it help you with closure? Would it be a means to try and rekindle the relationship and “fix” him? Would it be used as weapon to blame him for the relationship demise? That Ah-Ha-light bulb moment does nothing but cause continued grief. The whys will consume you. I have 10 years experience with an aspie bf and when I tell you that emotional roller coaster ride to the depths of absolute confusion is a doozy…believe me.


Well-Known Member
I think you're the first person who understood what this thread was about :)

I hope you stay on the site for a while. There are very few (perhaps zero) NTs with real experience of NT-ND relationship(s) here, so you can probably provide very useful insights.

Re this thread:

I've always seen "closure" as a weird and (perhaps unreasonably) quite annoying NT protocol.
It should be enough for NT's to ask if it's over, and simply accept the answer. Instant resolution with no need for expensive therapy or alcohol detox.

My guess as to what happened, for you to comment on if you like:

I applied Aspie-style "Occam's razor", and came up with:

* OP was "friend-zoned" (probably with cause, possibly very early on), and missed the signal
* OP came here looking for the "find someone to blame as long as it's not me" variant of NT "closure"

But of course you're right - knowing what happened doesn't seem to help the NT.
And FWIW talking about it is likely to be unpleasant for the ND,
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