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Does my partner have Aspergers?

Svalbard

Active Member
Obviously I can't take a quiz on his behalf, but I don't want to confront him with my suspicion in case I am wrong. Recently I looked up Aspergers online and suddenly a lot of things made sense.

His personality traits:
- can't do small-talk, often doesn't wish to talk about how his day was
- my need for communication is often unmet; he rarely asks me how my day was, doesn't ask me how I'm feeling, seldom compliments me - yet I know from his actions and loyalty that he is committed to the relationship
- doesn't pick up on subtle body language or flirting
- often offends people with untactful remarks; can be vocally critical of others
- highly focused on a couple of personal interests
- very logical, focused on problem solving
- seldom expresses or dwells on emotions; comes across as detached and emotionless
- sometimes socially inappropriate - e.g. eating too quickly, borrowing items without asking
- low sex drive
- romantically clueless, I take the lead initiating dates and intimacy
- difficulty sustaining attention while reading long texts (unless they are about his fields of interest)
- inappropriate behavior during childhood - e.g. urinating in public, skipping class, not doing homework
- obsessive collecting during childhood, e.g. collecting stuffed toys (no longer collects things now)
- above average IQ; especially good at mathematics and computer science
- sensitive to loud sounds; hates going to loud dance clubs, always covers his ears during fire alarms
- amazingly good at remembering phone numbers, names, dates, locations
- good sense of direction
- has plenty of acquaintances, but very few close friends
- sensitive to touch, easily ticklish, does not derive any pleasure from massage or sensual touching
- sometimes thinks obsessively about an ideal or someone he admires, but it's usually a phase that passes

However he also describes himself as extroverted, and enjoys large social gatherings.
He is articulate with above average vocabulary, and good at public speaking.
He learns new languages quickly.

Does this sound like Aspergers to anyone?

I must also add that many of these traits are those for which I originally fell in love with him. As much as I have trouble understanding him sometimes, I wouldn't wish to change him. If anything, feeling certain that he does have Aspergers would make it easier for me to accept him for who he is.
 
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I don't know that anyone here is qualified to render a diagnosis for your partner. It does sound like he has many traits which could be linked to being on the spectrum-- but the thing of it is-- is that all of those things are just symptoms. They could be symptoms of something else or may just be related to his personality. Really the only way to find out would be if he would take those tests, do the research and maybe even seek a professional diagnosis. That'll really only be the only way to find out.
 
Most aspies avoid/dislike social situations because they feel very uncomfortable in them, but there are exceptions, the fairly rare extroverted Aspie. Otherwise he certainly sounds very Aspie-like.
 
Well, almost text book diagnosis lol for a male aspie!

I can certainly understand the hope that he is, so that you can accept him, otherwise it would be unacceptable his behaviour; rather ironic eh? But that is life.

We have an expression on here: you meet one aspie.... you meet one aspie.

My husband always complained about the lack of touching I did and I assumed it was related to child abuse, I suffered, but since coming to know about aspergers, wham it hit hard!

Yep, I am terrible with being asked how my day was. But it is because it is never straight forward and I guess this is where I fail at small talk, for I could just go on and on about what I did lol

I am always been moaned about that I never ask after people.

And other things!!!

But yes, he certainly does sound as if he is an aspie!
 
I don't know that anyone here is qualified to render a diagnosis for your partner. It does sound like he has many traits which could be linked to being on the spectrum-- but the thing of it is-- is that all of those things are just symptoms. They could be symptoms of something else or may just be related to his personality. Really the only way to find out would be if he would take those tests, do the research and maybe even seek a professional diagnosis. That'll really only be the only way to find out.

I have to agree with nyxjord. While it is certainly possible that your partner is on the spectrum, we're not qualified to say whether or not he is. I would encourage him to get tested.
 
Also I wouldn't 'confront' him with your suspicions. Maybe you could purchase a book and leave it out.. Maybe he'll check it out and you could start an open conversation about autism. Maybe he will confess that he related to many things in the book. Maybe he won't. What I'd recommend is to not push this at all. He may have already considered the possibility that he is on the spectrum but has not spoken about it due to the social stigma and negativity surrounding it. But I'd get something like a book and let that open your conversation. Oh and he may not be comfortable speaking about it either- and you have to be prepared for that possibility too.
 
This is something you must approach with a very very delicate touch. Otherwise he won't open up about it- or I wouldn't anyway.
 
Thank you for your responses.

I will not reveal my suspicions to him - it seems unnecessary to do so. He leads a stable life. There is no real problem.
As said before, entertaining this possibility allows me to accept his shortcomings as natural. I will try to refrain from unfairly pressuring him to meet my expectations.

Lately I have been unhappy with his lack of affection. I have greater needs for intimacy than he does.
I wish that he would meet me halfway, but whenever I apply pressure, it makes him withdraw even more.
The "positive reinforcement" strategy (praising him whenever he meets my needs) is very slow, since he does not naturally shower me in affection unless I ask him to - and then it seems forced, because I asked him to do it.

I am straying onto a different topic now, but I wonder if anyone could offer some advice for encouraging him to be more affectionate. Not just physically, but verbally.

You see, we are in a long distance relationship at the moment, and I am really having a hard time feeling close to him. Often I feel neglected. He will seldom text me good morning or goodnight, and asks me "how are you" maybe once a week if I'm lucky. When we Skype he is quiet and prefers silence over small talk. I have told him how much it would mean to me if he texted me good night every day - but he will do it once or twice, and then never again. I don't want to keep asking, it shouldn't be forced.

By pressure, I mean politely asking, gently suggesting... not really pressure by my own definition. But it seems to be received as pressure to him, when I ask him to change his habits and put in more effort. He doesn't like to feel obligated to do things. He will express affection when the desire to do so is genuine - which is too seldom for me.

Our relationship is secure and wonderful when we are together (almost 3 years now). This is just typical of him, he's not big into texting or chatting about mundane things, and he has always been emotionally reserved.
 
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It really sounds like he does.

The question is how to approach the subject with him. As his partner, you probably know him better than anyone.

Also, how might he react? For me, learning what I am at 26 was the single biggest shock of my entire life, like my whole personality I've been building all my life was suddenly voided and I had to start again, but in the end it turned out to be one of the most positive changes of my life.

But I've spoken to other people for whom it was a dreadful gut punch and has put them into turmoil (more negative turmoil than what I experienced, which was six months or so of not knowing how to act, and a very gradual coming to terms).

You know him well, so you will know how best to approach it, though it might be rocky. He might ask why you wanted to bring it up, thinking maybe you think it's a problem, or be offended that you might think he needs help, but again that's just a personality thing and you'd know better.

It's good of you to pay attention and care like this. :) My wife was the one who pointed it out to me, and I quickly went through skepticism, shock, devastation, and then a long period of confusion, but she was very supportive.
 
Sounds like not a very fun person to be around, yeesh, I am glad I didn't turn out that way lol
 
Suiseiseki, your comment is unhelpful and insulting. You have not met this person.

As said before, I will not confront my partner about this. He leads a normal, high functioning life, so I cannot see the benefit of doing so.
 
Welcome to AC.

You sound very supportive and the type of partner many here would wish for. You've received some helpful comments above already I think.

You may consider getting a book about the 5 love languages as that might help him understand your needs, and give him ideas on how to show his love.

If you want to know more about Aspergers and the likelyhood he has it, feel free to hang around the site. I'd also highly recommend Tony Attwood's "Complete guide to Aspergers."
 
In reply to the OP, he sounds almost exactly like me, I have about 15 of those, but I am not extrovert in any way shape or form.

So given there in an indication I have a mild form of Aspergers, it would suggest he might do too.

Be very careful how you broach the subject, it is very sensitive, and I have been on an emotional roller coaster over the past 3 weeks, in some aspects I think my entire life has been a lie. (Now 41)

Try to make allowances (not a carte blache cover all) for him to do if he does have Aspergers, and sometimes spell out in clear terms things he does differently. But you already sound very supportive of him. Hope things turn out OK.
 
I've already posted on this but I've had a few days to think about it. I think that it is definitely a good idea not to "confront" him about it. I do think it would be a good idea to discuss the possibility with him though. From my own experiences, I have changed dramatically (for the good) since I became diagnosed over a year ago. For example, from what I was when my fiance and I first got together to now, I have changed a lot and this is due to the realization of what I have. For example, before my diagnosis, I would just think that I am being a b*#&$ and having a crappy day-- so I'd be having a downer day. Other days, I would be feeling up and having a great day. I used to think I had bipolar. Now however, I might realize that I am having a downer day because I have not had any recharging time (am introverted and batteries drain quickly) or my sensories are being overloaded or something like that. And then for an up day, I might have had a lot of time to listen to music and charge my "batteries" so to speak. Also, I might have had a really good discussion with someone and say, made progress on a project I am doing. Or something like that. Does that make sense? I guess it just really explained a lot of things for me and my life that before, I had blamed on other things or just ignored. It really gave me direction and explained so much that bothered me. So maybe you should discuss it with him. You'd just have to be really really patient with him and not expect immediate results or for him to immediately agree with you. Best case scenario would be him admitting that he has either been diagnosed before or has considered the possibility. Worst case would be denial.
 
You see, we are in a long distance relationship at the moment, and I am really having a hard time feeling close to him. Often I feel neglected. He will seldom text me good morning or goodnight, and asks me "how are you" maybe once a week if I'm lucky. When we Skype he is quiet and prefers silence over small talk. I have told him how much it would mean to me if he texted me good night every day - but he will do it once or twice, and then never again. I don't want to keep asking, it shouldn't be forced
Dear Svalbard,
I can relate to this. My girlfriend and I have spent about four months apart with a five week spell together in the middle. This spell apart finally ends this week (hurray) and I'm currently trying to figure out whether or not she might be aspergic and work through how I can take things forward from there once she's back.
Anyway, while we've been apart I've noticed similar things. We may Skype message but don't often video chat. I'll usually be the first to message and if I don't message good night there's a fair chance we won't exchange good nights... Sometimes she will initiate the chat of course - and I know she misses me. But by and large I initiate.
I've handled it by coming to terms with the fact that what she gives she gives very sincerely, and it does mean a lot. All I can do is know that she's giving me what she can give me in her way just as I give to her in my way. This involves some negotiation on both of our parts. And to be honest it kind of makes our communication seem more heartfelt to me. She's trying really hard and so am I trying really hard :)
I've also come to understand something really important: in general I'm the one who initiates (even when we are together it will be I who initiates physical intimacy). However, just because she doesn't initiate doesn't mean she's not receptive or that she's not thinking about me. Many times I've deliberately not messaged or called thinking that because I haven't heard from her she may need space or just be busy, or perhaps that she didn't want to hear from me at that moment. But I discovered that she does want to hear from me, that if she's not otherwise engaged she'll be happy to chat and give me her time and really happy to hear from me.
In my relationship I've learned that just because she may not initiate it doesn't mean she doesn't want or care... The time apart, which is thankfully ending this week, has strengthened our relationship and in a strange way improved our communication. I'm starting to understand things a lot better.

I am not assuming our situations are the same beyond the superficial similarity that we've both had significant time apart from our partners recently. So forgive me if my message sounds presumptive or patronizing; it's not how I intend it. I'm not trying to suggest how you should view or respond to your situation :) I guess I'm just trying to say I've been through some similar concerns and in learning how to negotiate them I've ended I'm with a stronger understanding of the relationship and of my partner - and she, too, has gained a stronger understanding of me - and that I hope we can use this well in the relationship when we are together. So in my case thinking through this has actually been helpful when I'm in a relationship with someone who I might (or might not...) be aspergic.
Good luck! It sounds as though you know how you're handling what sounds like a really strong and loving relationship, and the strength of that and your clear sightedness are striking features in your posts in this thread :) I wish I had as much clear sightedness :)
 
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gemista2014 - I felt so reassured after reading your post. I connected with practically everything you have described. While I used to feel insecure about being the one who "loves the most", I have gradually realized that his lovely is simply less expressive. Thank you so much for sharing.

I should add that while I may appear clear-headed in my posts, often I have felt anxious. I have had to restructure my expectations for this relationship, and things were easier after that. But often it's hard, being the woman who always initiates, while my female friends are being pampered by their more assertive partners.
 
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