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Just realized my BF might be "on the spectrum"

is my boyfriend on the spectrum?

  • yes

    Votes: 4 100.0%
  • no

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4

magicpony1

Active Member
I am a widow who has reunited with a man I was in love with when I was 17. I broke his heart back then because he was too clingy. We kept in touch over the years until I married 30 years ago. Now I am in love with him again--- he lives 4 hours away and calls me every day but only wants to see me every 6 weeks or so.
He is brilliant, funny and socially charming. He has some peculiarities that I am just beginning to see as "being on the spectrum". He is very rigid about scheduling, has lots of self-made rules he follows, has huge collections of books, carefully catalogued, (like, thousands of books) and 5000 movies---every Tuesday he goes to the DVD store for new releases and he has to be there precisely at 9:00. 9:01 is no good. He has hundreds of games stacked in his room, most still in the shrink wrap but he keeps buying more. He will only go out once a day and keeps his door closed and locked even in summer when it's 100 degrees. He keeps lists of everything, like everything he got for Christmas for the past 50 years.

He does not like to kiss. He has never said he loves me. He will never talk about emotions and sees it as "torturing him" if I get upset about something and go silent. He gets so absorbed in a particular pursuit that it becomes all he wants to do or talk about. His intellectual interests are wide ranging. He is extremely creative. He cries at emotional movies yet never speaks of any emotions to me. It took him a year to say "I miss you" when we are apart, and a year for him to hold my hand. Sex has been great but the last time I visited it was different---I had to ask him to put his arm around me. we have been seeing each other for 2 years and I think he's not as excited about the sex anymore.

He has lived in the same apartment for 30 years. It is so filled with stuff there are only narrow paths to walk around.

He gets me lovely gifts and says things like "I hate talking on the phone, except to you" and "you are the only person who has ever heard this song I wrote" and he calls me his girlfriend.
But I feel unimportant and am starting to realize that he will never want to be closer to me, and I think he is drawing away. I sent him a surprise gift but he rarely acknowledges any cards or gifts I send---I have to prompt him.

I think he may be "on the spectrum" and nothing I do will get him to love me. Am I right?
 
He has a heavy dose of OCD, which could be co-morbid with autism or could account for his behavior on its own.

His ability to love you or not has nothing to do with his being on the spectrum. People on the spectrum can love.

I don't think you have given us enough information for a differential diagnosis - not that it's possible to do that online, anyway.
 
Agreed - not enough information to speculate, and speculate is all we can do. Certainly OCD in the mix by what you say.
As for your closing statement, perhaps you should watch this...

 
Have to agree that there's just not enough information to even speculate on a differential diagnosis.

Perhaps it would be best for the OP to work with what they already know or suspect. That the more she presses her significant other over that which upsets him, the greater possibility that she will inevitably drive him away. A dynamic that would not likely change even if he was formally diagnosed. After all, self-awareness is no guarantee that one wants to or can change to a degree to accommodate a Neurotypical partner.

At this point in time under the circumstances, perhaps you should be considering what you can do to accommodate him sufficiently to keep the relationship going. Conversely you should also consider whether such a sacrifice is truly worth such an effort.

Not everyone is capable of sustaining a mixed relationship between one who is Neurotypical and one who is Neurodiverse. Where it may be unrealistic to expect that both parties can consistently contribute emotionally on a 50-50 basis to sustain the relationship.
 
I think you are pretty much in WYSIWYG territory. As far as if he is on the spectrum, he'd have to see professional medical folks to determine that. But HFA can be difficult to pick out from other conditions, even for professionals. It is not unheard of for older folks to get diagnosed. They weren't very aware of it when we were younger. And that does not mean there will be changes. Only that more is explained as what some behaviors might be rooted in.

But if you must have an answer today, I have a friend that might be able to help. If you are willing to pay the donuts up front that is. I give you, Mysterio the ALL seeing.

crystal_ball.jpg


Price List

Answer you want to hear - 4 Dozen Donuts
Answer he wants to hear - 2 Dozen Donuts
Answer nobody wants to hear - Special Today Only! - 1/2 Dozen Donuts & an Apple Fritter.
 
OCD?

I have little stuff and am disorganized and cuddle my wife so if your basing your findings on speculation I could be an example of the opposite traits.
 
I think you are pretty much in WYSIWYG territory. As far as if he is on the spectrum, he'd have to see professional medical folks to determine that. But HFA can be difficult to pick out from other conditions, even for professionals. It is not unheard of for older folks to get diagnosed. They weren't very aware of it when we were younger. And that does not mean there will be changes. Only that more is explained as what some behaviors might be rooted in.

But if you must have an answer today, I have a friend that might be able to help. If you are willing to pay the donuts up front that is. I give you, Mysterio the ALL seeing.

View attachment 55889

Price List

Answer you want to hear - 4 Dozen Donuts
Answer he wants to hear - 2 Dozen Donuts
Answer nobody wants to hear - Special Today Only! - 1/2 Dozen Donuts & an Apple Fritter.

He has the look of a man who enjoys his crystal ball a little too much.
 
Thank you for the responses. I love him very much but in my marriage I gave a lot and received less in return (my husband was a recovering alcoholic and we had some tough times) , and I don't feel I can survive getting my heart broken again. But my sweetie is the only man I want. He is beautiful. I hide my true emotions from him and never press him about anything and never ask for anything, but I always hoped for a future with him. Now I am seeing that that may not be possible, as he cannot abide change. (and maybe emotional closeness scares him? Maybe he has fears too?) I try to totally accept him the way he is and I try to pretend not to be needy. (which is a deception on my part) He is such a beautiful person and I want him in my life. But I have read that after the initial "honeymoon period", "Aspies" inevitably draw away. That's what scares me. In a way I was relieved to read that he "checks all the boxes" for high-functioning Aspergers, because that made me think, it's not that he doesn't love me, it's just that he is wired differently and does not express love (although he did when he was 18. After I broke his heart was when he turned to absorbing himself completely in various esoteric hobbies and pursuits) I am not asking him to change---- I just want to know, is this why he only wants to see me every 6 weeks? I felt it was because he didn't really love me. But does a person call someone every day for 2 years if they don't love you? Even my best friends don't call me every day!
I don't want him to get a formal diagnosis or do anything differently (except I wish he wanted to spend more time with me) I am just afraid this relationship will fade as the excitement of "new" sex (even though it's been great for 2 years) gradually dissipates. I need him, but I feel like he doesn't need me because he has his games, puzzles, songwriting, creative stuff, and enough friends where he is that he will never need me the way I need him.
Being with him has been pure pleasure (when we first reunited, we were both so euphoric--- having known each other since our teenage years it feels like home) but since the last visit (we did get into our groove after awhile but it wasn't as intense as it used to be) but I'm afraid it will go away. And the more I worry about it, the more likely that is what will happen.
Again, thank you for responses from folks who know so much more about this than I do. I do not want to lose him. He is unique and makes me laugh every day. But after a couple friends jokingly asked "is he on the spectrum" when I mentioned his peculiarities, it got me thinking. I was so hurt that he did not acknowledge the gift I sent. But maybe I sent it hoping to get a response, not just as a pure unselfish gesture. He has one surviving family member, his brother, whom he sees twice a year and does not tell him he loves him.
Thank you for any further insights you can offer. This possibility was a revelation to me and while it might be sort of a relief to know this is why he won't kiss me or say he loves me, I am scared the whole love affair will slowly fade away.
 
It was interesting to see the word "enemes". It helped me, to research and find out about that. This is new territory for me so I appreciate all the help (and tolerance for my previous ignorance.) I don't understand the reference to "a man who enjoys his crystal ball too much"?????
I have been working so hard to heal myself of the trauma caused by an emotionally abusive/recovering alcoholic husband who suffered so much, and I still can't get over watching him die of cancer ... so this is tough. Thanks for trying to help me clarify things in my mind and heart.
 
I think he rotates his eyeballs up to read the cheat sheet he writes inside his eye sockets.
Do you mean that he tries to do what a NT would do? I'm new to this and have read that a person will mimic what they see as "normal" behavior, so as to seem NT. Is this what you mean?
 
Do you mean that he tries to do what a NT would do? I'm new to this and have read that a person will mimic what they see as "normal" behavior, so as to seem NT. Is this what you mean?

Nah, it was just a joke. Mostly inexplicable :)

Back to ememes - something worth thinking about as it highlights the differences in communication from both sides.
 
My wife is NT and has depression, anger issues and severely needs a volume control knob. Human traits can't be assigned exclusively to group A when they exist in both groups A and B. Every human and every relationship between any two humans is different. Be careful where you look up your information, any site that stereotypes any group of people most likely has bias against said group for nefarious (Look a word with every vowel in the English alphabet in it) reasons only they can know.
 
Look, you broke things off with him once because he was too clingy. So now he makes a point of not being too clingy or clingy at all, and that bugs you equally much. He's going to be very confused, hurt and angry if you break it off due to him being too distant.

Maybe you could discuss these things with him? Although a 40-50 year habit of hoarding is pretty hard to break.
 
Thanks a lot Mr. Donuts for making light of something that is breaking my heart. Maybe I am stupid to worry that if he is HFA it means we will not stay together.
Others' comments that it is impossible to diagnose or categorize on the basis of a few peculiarities, now that is more helpful.
I guess it doesn't make any difference really.
 
You keep on mentioning HFA and similar terms @magicpony1 so maybe there's another video you should consider watching. I care about what you're feeling but it worries me that the way you describe his possible autism is based on way out of date information. You seem to have picked up on some heavily deficit based information that is a good 20 yrs beyond it's usefulness. Where is it coming from?

 
Thanks a lot Mr. Donuts for making light of something that is breaking my heart. Maybe I am stupid to worry that if he is HFA it means we will not stay together.
Others' comments that it is impossible to diagnose or categorize on the basis of a few peculiarities, now that is more helpful.
I guess it doesn't make any difference really.
Don't feel bad about Mr. Donuts. The truth is, many of us lead pretty difficult lives, and we try to inject a little humor now and then. If it doesn't get you laughing, just move on to the next comment, OK?
 
You keep on mentioning HFA and similar terms @magicpony1 so maybe there's another video you should consider watching. I care about what you're feeling but it worries me that the way you describe his possible autism is based on way out of date information. You seem to have picked up on some heavily deficit based information that is a good 20 yrs beyond it's usefulness. Where is it coming from?

I just googled, and started reading, and did watch some videos from the above site. I don't know much about autism vs aspergers or anything...I just accepted his peculiarities as peculiarities. But my observation that his behavior was slowly changing to be solely focussed on himself without any idea of the effect it had on me, led me to sites which identified these characteristics as "being on the spectrum". Then his behavior and habits checked so many of the boxes, that I felt it could be this diagnosis. And I became very upset that we would never have a really reciprocal relationship. I still am utterly adrift---I don't know. I myself became obsessed with figuring it out because I feel rejected----his solitary absorbing interests seem to be more important to him than love. Or is it just me? He has not had many lengthy relationships, by age 67, so maybe he's just shy and guarded. How can he not need me the way I need him? I am just trying to understand, not to label.
 
Do you mean that he tries to do what a NT would do? I'm new to this and have read that a person will mimic what they see as "normal" behavior, so as to seem NT. Is this what you mean?
They are talking about Mysterio, the All Seeing, not your boyfriend in that paragraph.
 
What you said sounds like it could be enough things for an autism diagnosis. Theres a lot to read about the new diagnosis criteria and its dizzying and not a fun read, never had the patience to make a scheme of it. He reminds me of my boyfriend who is on the spectrum.
 
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