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how do people with ASD usually deal with jealousy?

anon843723

New Member
I had a confusing experience with my girlfriend today. I broke off my relationship with my ex some time ago, and she called me today, while my girlfriend was present. Over the phone, I told my ex I didn't really want to have any contact anymore.

My girlfriend, who is on the autistic spectrum, got very quiet and it seemed to me, upset. I didn't understand her reaction as there was no unusual content in my phone call with my ex or anything I said about it.

It seems to me like my girlfriend is feeling jealous (or unloved.) How do people with ASD usually deal with jealousy? What should I know about how to relate to my girlfriend if situations like this occur?

I assured her she is my girlfriend and that I'm not seeing anyone else.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Perhaps this is more of a female thing,...I am not sure,...and may or may not have anything to do with an ASD. The reason I suggest this is that, in my experience with my wife, there is often an underlying "low self-esteem" issue at play. As her husband, it's a difficult thing to relate to,...I just have to deal with it as best I can. There are some women that grew up as young girls, teenagers,...probably saw themselves as "ugly ducklings", awkward, not that popular,...whatever. Now, this same person could have grown up to be a "beautiful swan",...but what they see in the mirror is that same "ugly duckling". When I was younger,...at the university,...on the football team, in the gym,...sure, I had girls coming up to me,...talking to me,...touching me,...coming on to me. Girls would do this even when my girlfriend,...now wife,...was within feet of me. Really bold. My wife would never gotten up into their face about it,...she was more concerned with how I was reacting to the attention. She even got a bit pissed off at me for "letting" them come on to me. Keep in mind,...I didn't know I was autistic,...I wasn't reading all the signals,...and these interactions "just happened". Sure, I was a horny 18-19 year old guy,...a part of my brain was quite flattered with it all,...but I never gave her reason to question our relationship,...I never acted upon any of those advances.

For the better part of our 35+ year marriage, all I have done is support my wife, tell her daily how beautiful and smart she is, I lift her up all the time,...but there is still this low self-esteem girl in her. I don't think that will ever go away.

I think, perhaps,...what you are describing,...may be more a consequence of a low self-esteem and a "potential threat" to loosing a relationship,...real or imagined,...likely imagined. The ASD variable,...may play into it if she has difficulties with the "theory of mind"/perspective taking,...and she is imagining this other person as a real threat to the relationship.

All I can say to you,...actions speak louder than words,...but supportive, loving words every day also help.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don't. I literally do not experience jealousy or envy. I can see it in others, but never experience it myself. Which might sound desirable, but has actually gotten me on occasion into trouble with girlfriends.

And I have no idea if this is related to autism or not.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don't. I literally do not experience jealousy or envy. I can see it in others, but never experience it myself. Which might sound desirable, but has actually gotten me on occasion into trouble with girlfriends.

And I have no idea if this is related to autism or not.
Personally, I think I might be in a similar situation. I think when I was in high school, I was more prone to what appeared to be jealousy,...but I was also an intensely insecure and competitive person, so any guy could be perceived as a threat around my girlfriend. However,...it's been years,...a lot of years of maturity and marriage,...it's just not something I have felt in nearly 40 years.

You know,...this kind of sounds weird,...but given my wife's self-esteem issues, I am totally OK with other men giving her attention. I am thinking that she thinks I give her attention because "I am supposed to" and not because she is actually attractive,...which really sucks and is kind of sad. If some other guy gave her some attention,...she might think I wasn't so full of BS,...that maybe she might feel better about herself. I don't know,...just the way my mind works,...I could be totally off base.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
You know,...this kind of sounds weird,...but given my wife's self-esteem issues, I am totally OK with other men giving her attention.
Not weird at all to me. However it's exactly what could and would get me into trouble from time to time. When understanding can backfire, appearing like emotional indifference.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Not weird at all to me. However it's exactly what could and would get me into trouble from time to time. When understanding can backfire, appearing like emotional indifference.
It could for some people. I would never come off that way, though. However, I am thinking I would have some degree of fun with it in a humorous way. You'd have to understand our relationship a bit more, but from time to time I will catch her looking at another guy,...and my typical response is to catch her, give her a bit of a smile,...of course, it embarrasses her,...then we have a laugh. I don't ever want to make it a negative thing from a psychological perspective,...she's a human being,...she's married, yes,...but not "dead". If you know what I mean. I think it's a healthy thing for a woman to express a bit of her sexual side,...at least be in touch with it,...most especially if she's older and married. Too many times, I think women get to "a certain age" where they put up all these walls, as if to say, "I'm done being a woman."...which I think is absolutely tragic.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Maybe ask her what she was feeling about the ex? Feeling a bit threatened by you having an ex you talk with isn't the same as being envious or jealous. It can be hard sometimes to think abouta partner's past relationships, some people may feel or wonder about ways they could be inferior to the ex. Plus, insecure. The ex is an ex. Might you move on from them too? Then, also they could be conflicted to hear you say you don't want the ex to contact you, perhaps glad but also feel guilty for being glad? You could ask, but without pressure on her, about her feelings. Shows concern for her comfort, she is your partner and the other person is not.
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
I set fire to their underpants drawer.

Seriously, I am clueless on how to handle these situations in any diplomatic fashion. It's difficult for me to gauge emotions let alone why someone is displaying said emotions. Hence, WD40, a lighter and their underware. ;) (please don't set anyones underware on fire...I'm using humour to deal with something I have difficulty in dealing with)
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I set fire to their underpants drawer.

Seriously, I am clueless on how to handle these situations in any diplomatic fashion. It's difficult for me to gauge emotions let alone why someone is displaying said emotions. Hence, WD40, a lighter and their underware. ;) (please don't set anyones underware on fire...I'm using humour to deal with something I have difficulty in dealing with)
Having your partner walking around without underwear,...that might end up with some mixed results. ;):p
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Give her time, but if she can't trust you, then time to break off the commitment. You simply said that you wanted to break contact off, right? About the only other thing is that you hang out with your current girlfriend and the ex at the same time in public places together only unless your current girlfriend feels comfortable otherwise.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
My ex got jealous of an imaginary woman, so she assumed I was successful at hiding all the evidence, and left. I didn't see any point in repeating the truth and getting in more arguments about it on other matters as well.
 

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