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Hi! NT girl with autistic bf

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by NT-seaside-blues, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. NT-seaside-blues

    NT-seaside-blues New Member

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    Hi! I posted this originally in the relationships forum but it might get a bit more response here- I really need advice.

    I know this website is aimed at autistic people and I don't want to infringe on your safe space, but I really need some kind of relationship advice and this community will be more understanding than any NT relationships advice page.
    I am an 18 NT woman in a relationship with a 21 (nearly 22) y-o autistic man. We have known each other for around 10 months and have been together for around six, with a break up in the middle for complicated reasons I won't go into here. For the entirety of the time we have known each other, he has been a physically affectionate person and has made an effort to contact me, texting me all throughout the day etc. Although this isn't really in-keeping with typical autistic traits, I didn't think much of that- the autistic spectrum is so varied that you can't say someone is 'more' or 'less' autistic, or that there's a typical autistic person.
    But now he has suddenly withdrawn. He rarely touches me and I always have to text first. I have discussed this with him and he says that, in reality, physical intimacy has always been uncomfortable for him, and that he finds texting less essential now because he knows me. In spite of this, I'd like to know that he is thinking of me from time to time, and is interested in my life.
    I keep trying to remember how much effort it takes for him to even interact with me on a regular basis and how much effort he must have put in to be that physically and emotionally close to me at first, but it's hard. If we lived together I would care about it a lot less, but as we don't, it feels like he doesn't see me as an important part of his life, which hurts my feelings. If this is the real him, I wish he had acted like this from the start so I could get used to it. Because of our previous break up, I am always anxious that something like this is a sign of our relationship going south.
    I've discussed this extensively with him, as I think communication is really important. He's explained why he does these things to me, but has shown no sign of changing or any sign of compromise. I am moving away in a few months, so I'm worried that our limited texting will result in us leading entirely separate lives. I don't want to discuss it with him anymore, as I don't want to put unnecessary pressure on him or make him associate my company with stressful emotions.

    The thing is, I don't feel like we are putting in the same effort level into the relationship, but I'm also not aware of what goes on in his head, how much effort it takes for him to just be what is considered by society as 'normal'. How much should I make allowances for? Where is the line between me being considerate and not having my needs met? All I want is to be appreciated, and to be shown that I am appreciated, that my company is actually half enjoyable for him. At the moment, I'm just not happy, because it just feels like he doesn't care. I'm sure he does, but I need reassurance now and then.
    I never feel like I am settling for him, but currently I feel like I'm 'settling' for his lacklustre behaviour- I deserve him at his best, and I deserve to know that I am loved, surely. I didn't want to ask a regular relationship forum because everyone would just presume he's being an a**hole, which I don't think is the case.

    TL;DR- I need an aspie opinion: should I be asking more from him? How much effort does it take for you to interact with your loved ones? Is he being inconsiderate, or is he meeting me halfway and I just can't see it?

    Any advice greatly appreciated xxx
     
  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    One question. Is he getting much less time alone for whatever reasons?

    I can withdraw like that if I get overwhelmed whether with voluntary or involuntary socialization. That if I don't get sufficient time to "recover", this has happened to me somewhat. That it's essential for those of us on the spectrum to get a sufficient amount of solitude on a regular basis.

    It's something that's all about us as Aspies- not reflective of you as an NT significant other. Of course if this is the case, it may be a challenge for you to not take it too personally. But we can withdraw from even our most intimate relationships at times if we aren't getting enough time by ourselves to "recharge our batteries". I have done this in all of my relationships with NT women and it ultimately cost me because at the time neither of us knew I was on the spectrum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
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  3. NT-seaside-blues

    NT-seaside-blues New Member

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    I'm not 100% sure- I don't know what he gets up to during the day because he never texts me! He is unemployed ATM which means he doesn't have to interact with people in that sense, but now I think about it he has been going to see his grandparents almost daily, and many other family members (mostly so they can all nag him to get a job).
    Also it's probably partially my fault- maybe I'm crowding him out of my concern for his changed behaviour. The problem is, I really want him to see how his texting habits need to change a little to insure we can maintain a long distance relationship, but I don't want to nag him or socially drain him. But if I leave it then it's going to hang over all our conversations as its unresolved.
    Thank you for your perspective on things though, even as an NT extrovert I can understand the desire to 'recharge', I just need a lot less 'charging time', if that makes sense!
     
  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it's feasible that he's being socially drained by others. And that yes, it negatively impacts his relationship with you. That by the time he gets back to you, there's nothing left for him to give. That he's spent emotionally and maybe physically too. And that it gets worse if we aren't allowed to recharge.

    For me, it didn't take much to throw me off socially and intimately with a significant other. It happens. We're much more sensitive than NTs can sometimes understand. It's just very sad when innocent people get caught up in our "social crossfires" at times.

    Then compound it all with the stress of seeking another job. A nightmare for me personally. Always has been. :eek:

    When everything is going well socialization is possible. Where we might even be able to "maintain an even strain". If not, socialization can be a form of mountain climbing. Exhausting and perilous for those of us on the spectrum of autism. When existing relationships can degrade or even crumble, through no fault of your own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
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  5. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I answer in the only way I can and this about how I react.

    My husband says I am hot and cold; when in the mood, I can be so affectionate that my husband's eyes are starry eyed, but then I can feel so cold and can't be bothered with affection and more so, even forget to be affectionate and it is only my husband mentioning it, that I then make the effort.

    I personally feel that if you are tending to invest a lot into this relationship, it is best to walk away, because, otherwise, your emotions are going to be torn apart and that is not fair on you!

    What could have happened, was he got in to an obsession with being loving and then, sadly it wore out.

    If he is autistic then he really cannot change how he is; but if he has aspergers, he can learn to adapt ( sorry about slanting typing; I do not realise it is happening and so, not sure how to turn it off). So, basically if he truly does have feelings for you, then he will listen and try to be more affectionate and if he is not, he won't care and thus, it is a good thing if you go away, because then you will get your answer.
     
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  6. NT-seaside-blues

    NT-seaside-blues New Member

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    That 'hot and cold' description is pretty much perfect, I think he might just need some space right now. He used to say he had Aspergers and he seems more 'aspie' but now he refers to himself as autistic so maybe his diagnosis changed? The physical affection is less of a problem for me, because I know he is trying but just finds it very difficult at the moment- I've learned to deal with that a little better. It's the lack of texting that now bothers me, and I just don't think he understands why. I will give him some time to himself and then I will ask him to make more of an effort to text me because it is hurting my feelings. Thank you!
     
  7. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I beg to differ with you on this...
    I am truly autistic and Asperger's is only a historical reference to a past diagnosis now.
     
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  8. NT-seaside-blues

    NT-seaside-blues New Member

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    That is the belief that I've most often agreed with, he sort of 'came out' to my drama group as having Aspergers but in reality he uses the autistic label far more often because they are sort of the same thing
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Hi & Welcome,
    Quite a few people join who are in the same situation as you. The medical community says autism is four times as frequent in males as females. I have my doubts that the difference is that great, but certainly there have been 20-30 women like yourself posting here in the last few months with similar questions. The best advice I can give is to study HFA online. Look at many medical information sites on the subject. Any one site can give a slanted picture, but by looking at many you should get a clear picture. Its not something learned in a day. You really have to invest of yourself and investigate the condition. Understanding is an important key to success. And it can succeed. I am an Aspie and am married 30 years to an NT woman.