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Featured I need help with my relationship

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Lena_131309, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    We are located in Germany, where, due to the corona virus pandemic, majority of external facilities are closed. I discussed that with my AS partner and it seems that he is not dealing with the situation too well...His daily routine is interrupted completely (he was always following the same schedule, going to work in the morning, then either going to the gym, every second day or meeting his friends after work). I tried to understand how this "lockdown" would influence him, asking if he can replace gym with running for example, and his reply was somehow suggesting that it's much more complex problem, than I anticipated. He cannot go to work, as his working place is closed for 2 weeks. He cannot go to the gym and he can hardly meet any friends.

    He replied "I have to go! It is not good for me to do nothing...I can have a weekend of not doing anything, but then I really fast go into very bad mood. I need a reason in order to get up everyday!".

    Since two days he is very quiet, going to be bed very early and I guess he is not in a good shape...How could I help him? What does his words exactly mean? Is he getting depressed?
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Point taken. While many of us can handle isolation itself, this still amounts to a potentially massive change in routines on so many levels. Which can be problematic for we on the spectrum.

    Sounds like he's slowly going into a shutdown. If so, there's nothing you can or should do. You just let him handle it on his own terms without interference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  3. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    Hi Judge, what does it mean that "he is slowly going into a shutdown"? I do not know if this is very problematic for him, but from what he wrote me, I guess it can be...
     
  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Shutdowns for autistic people amount to a temporary, but deliberate withdrawal from people and sensory issues to recover and heal based on a perception of bad things happening.

    Give him space, if even just a room away in quarantine. He'll come out of it, but it has to be on his terms- not yours.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  5. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    Thank you very much for your response and video, it made it much more clear for me...My first reaction was actually to leave him alone and stop contacting him, to give him space to deal with the new situation, but, on the other hand, I do not want him to think that I do not care how he feels and deals with it...The situation will stay like that for at least 2 more weeks and I do not know how bad his shutdown can be, as he is alone at home...Shall I, despite that, avoid contacting him?
     
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  6. Giraffes

    Giraffes Member

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    I believe the balls in his court as a person of structure and routine who's also social it's a difficult time.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You just give him as much space and time as he may need. Let him initiate any response. You need only not to approach him for the timed being. He'll figure it out. Keep in mind it's a temporary state he'll emerge from.
     
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  8. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    thank you very much, I will do that....I’m getting crazy being „locked“ for almost one week, I cannot even imagine how he feels....this is so difficult. But I will definitely follow your advice, and let him deal with it on his own. He knows he can reach out to me anytime.
     
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  9. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    Indeed. His routine consist strongly of his social meetings with friends from work (during and after), so it’s even harder for him....strange times. I hope we will get over it soon.
     
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  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    At least in this case he's not alone. This is going to rough for all of us before it ends.
     
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  11. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I deal with routine changes in two ways:

    1) Make a conscious choice to accept change. When a routine change is forced on me, I have to consciously choose to accept it. Once I do that, it becomes my decision to change, not something that I feel like I have to fight because it was forced on me.

    2) Replace an old routine with a new one. Sometimes, I'll grow tired of a certain daily comic or weekly TV show and stop. But then I have to replace it with something. A new show, a new daily puzzle, etc. It doesn't take me long to become as dependent on the new routine as I was on the old one.
     
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  12. TS3

    TS3 New Member

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    i think what Nervous Rex has said is very good.

    i am heavily reliant on my routines to cope with alot of things and the isolations have affected me alot. accepting the change might be the hardest part and especially if its a significant routine. i personally find that if the change of routine is on my terms its alot easier, its less i have to more this is what im doing now... if that males sense.
     
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  13. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    It makes me wonder sometimes if routine is about control. My routine is something in my life that I have control over - and that's why being forced to change is hard because it's giving up control, but changing it on my own is easier because I still feel like I have control.
     
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  14. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    I knew conflicts will come and we will have to face them at some point, but it appears that we are both not prepared for it. This is our first conflict (3 months relationship / me, NT and my AS partner) and we simply got stuck and it seems we both don't know how to approach it.

    We are located in Germany, where, due to the coronavirus lockdown, since 1 week, any social interaction is very limited. I am working from home and not seeing anyone from the "outside" world. I know that the situation is very difficult for him so I gave him all the necessary space (as advised by you here, for what I am really grateful for), not reaching out to him for the last 2 days. Yesterday, he wrote to me, asking how I feel and if everything is fine, and then we "talked" for the next few hours, mostly planning what we are going to do when we meet next time. It was very pleasant conversation and we were laughing and joking a lot...So, encouraged by that, I asked him, when does he have time during this weekend and his response was...."Oh, on Friday I am meeting friend A to cook something (they always do it during the weekend) and on Saturday I am meeting my sister, I am sorry, I didn't expect you would have time during this weekend because of the cv situation....". I am puzzled...it’s a bit of grotesque, I’m asking AS guy to ask direct questions instead of making assumptions...It’s the first time when I reacted so direct with him.

    I know he didn't do that in purpose and it was not his intention to make me feel upset, but why he didn't simply ask me, if I want to see him during this, difficult for all of us, time. I didn't reply anything at first, but then I wrote him "I do not understand, you could have simply asked me, instead of making assumptions". He hasn't replied to that yet, and I am not sure if he understood, how upset I am because of that.

    I don't know how to solve that. I do not feel like I did anything wrong, maybe he thinks the same, so we are basically stuck here and nobody wants to step in....what shall I do?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Given the presence of the coronavirus crisis, perhaps it might be expedient to simply set aside your neurological differences and concerns, given that there is a much greater issue in play that can potentially damage or destroy just about any relationship.

    Stick to focusing only on the most basis issues and concerns, which inevitably all survival. Unfortunately not all of us are uniformly coming to terms with the perils of socially interacting with others at close quarters. It may take time. And admittedly there remains a significant portion of populations in every country who has yet to take this all seriously in whole or in part.

    Right now, this virus is a much bigger concern than your relationship. And it doesn't care which one of you is on the spectrum of autism or not. You have to accept that under the existing circumstances life is going to be both uncertain as well as preposterous at times. Where any sense of normalcy has gone out the window.

    Perhaps in time you will establish a more certain routine that works for the both of you. Until then, all you can do is to take one day at a time.
     
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  16. TS3

    TS3 New Member

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    possibly if you can control certain parts of your life then it makes the ones you cant control easier.
     
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  17. Lena_131309

    Lena_131309 Active Member

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    Judge, we all (or most of us) are aware what is the impact of the coronavirus worldwide. And I know that it is much bigger concern for everyone else than “my relationship”. I didn’t write anywhere “Everyone, forget about coronavirus and focus on my relationship”. We are locked down and stressed, but it doesn’t mean that regular life stopped behind those closed doors. People still laugh, cry and argue, and some of them not always know how to solve that conflicts. So, I’m sorry, I don’t really understand advise “Focus on survival, step aside everything else and forget about your concerns”. I don’t believe it works that way.
     
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  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It has to work that way.

    There is no choice, though admittedly at the moment there are a great deal of people across the planet who continue to assume they have a choice in the matter when they really don't.

    There's a whole lot of "adjusting" to be done in the near future. Most of us are simply not there yet.

    -But we will be.
     
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Lena
    Thank you for this post. It reminded me to be comfortable with the change in structure. At first there was some panic and then l realised l need to understand it's not forever. We also need to step back and realise that everyone responds differently - some of us isolate and we assume others do the same. Then some of us need to be with the one we are closest too to deal with uncertainty. It maybe he is stepping back but you are stepping forward to weather this storm with your close confident. He thinks you need time to yourself to handle this, you think he needs to have your presence- so do you get how different we all may be thinking right now?
    So being on the spectrum- l step back and find comfort in being alone and staying abreast of the current situtation.
    So can you step back and take a deep breath, and cast no blame, just realise that different thinking patterns result in different outcomes with zero right or wrong.
    You can politely discuss, you thought of him during this difficult time, but neither of you are obligated to babysit each other.
     
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  20. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    @Lena_131309, I can tell you how some of these issue affect me and how I react. That may or may not apply to your partner (because we're not all the same).

    I usually define my self worth in terms of the work I do and the goals I accomplish (I am working to change that to a healthier perspective). But one of the results of that attitude is that, if I don't go to work or have a goal to work towards, I feel worthless.

    My understanding is that this is not just an autism thing. It's most men in general. When two men meet, the first thing they ask each other is "What do you do?" because they often define themselves by what they do. Autism may make it worse.

    I see a few things here that relate to me. Again, this is me and my interpretation. It may not be true about your partner.

    1) I tend to deal with only one thing at a time. This means that when I am dealing with something big, like getting used to working at home, I drop everything else (e.g. relationships). When I start to pick up my normal life again, I often have to apologize to people that I let down while I was dealing with something big.

    2) I am slow to pick up social cues. Someone can ask direct questions and their real intent won't sink in until hours later. So, it sounds like I didn't want to talk to someone or didn't care, but later I realize and have to call them back and make it right.
     
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