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M36 - Not Diagnosed and not sure what it is


New Member
Not sure exactly where to start. I am a M36 and to many I appear to be “normal” but I’ve always experienced this a little differently. I don’t want to jump on a bandwagon but a lot of the experiences posted on social media about ADHD/Autism resonate quite a bit and have caused strain in my 13 year marriage.

I’ll give a few examples:

1) I take things quite literally. At one point when we were dating I told my now wife that I couldn’t live without her. She corrected me and told me that was not true. That I could live without her and should make promises like these. Comments like these from others to me feel very “confrontational” and I feel like I’m doing/saying something wrong and they stick with me. Later in life there have been instances of conflict she has asked me if “said conflict” would ever happen again. Of course she wanted to hear “no this will never repeat itself”. But, my brain reverted back to the time where I shouldn’t make “promises” of such degree. To me I was saying: “no I do not want this to repeat itself, I will do everything in my power, but I am only human and cannot guarantee that it will ‘never’ happen again.” To her it sounded like I didn’t care and was okay with errors repeating themselves.

2) I have hard time knowing how to react. I feel like my expressions don’t always match what I “should” be feeling. I’ve caugth myself many times when people are giving my bad news such as someone getting sick, accidents, etc. and I feel like I have a smile on my face. Smiling is my default. Since I was a boy everyone has always commented how I always seem happy and smiling. Even if internally I am not. So now I conciously think okay I should keep a “worried/sad” facial expression when they tell me this or that. I also catch myself being concious of how I should stand, hold my hands, walk etc.

3) I tend to hyperfixate on things. If something interests me I go all in. I research every detail of it. I’ve always been really into baskteball, volleyball, tennis, billiards. At periods when I hyperfixate I can spend hours without end doing such activity and lose track of time. There was a period when I was really into collecting music and have an enormous collections of music categorized by Artist, Genre, Star Rating, etc. My finances are very organized. I have spreadsheets with all my monthly expenses and budgets. I can go back 20 years and pretty much tell you how I spend every dollar that entered my bank accounts.

4) I am an extreme people pleaser. I truly enjoy helping others. To me it feels like giving to others what I never felt I had. I don’t want them to feel the emptyness that I have felt. This in a way has caused issues in my marriage as it has caused resentment on my part. Because I hear my wife wanting something and I try my best to fulfill it. Often at the expense of my wants/needs. Because I also have RSD I hardly ask for anything in return. When I muster up the guts to ask for something and I get a “no” it really messes with me. By the time I ask for something I have played out a million scenarios of her saying no and it makes my relationship feel one sided.

5) My need to act like “normal” people has also infiltrated in my personal life. Growing up I never felt like everyone else. I developed Paruresis as a young kid. I was very fearful of being judged for not performing properly for something as normal as urinating. I gauged my stream strength, how long it would take me to start, if I could hold a steady stream, you name it. When I got married this jumped over to our intimate life. I questioned myslef if I was doing things right. If it was big enough, if it got “up” on command, am I moving like other men move. Am I feeling like other men feel. When I get in my head things go south very quickly and as you can image it not only makes me feel awful but also my wife feels rejected.

I know it is a lot and this is only the tip of the iceburg. But I’m just trying to make sense of it all.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hi and welcome. I hope you will join in discussions and share your experience of things, and hopefully you will find useful ideas and input from others on some of the issues you've discussed here. From what you have said, I should think ASD 1/high functioning autism is likely a potential diagnosis. Try some online tests for autism perhaps? Some of us self diagnosed after research, others get a medical diagnosis. Whatever fits for you.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
HI and welcome @John408

Do read some of the current and older threads and see if anything there resonates with you and makes sense for you. You might get a perspective on things


Admin/Immoral Turpitude
Staff member
V.I.P Member
welcome to af.png


Random Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome! Your third and fourth points resonate with me. On the first point, I've learned over time to better recognize and understand metaphors and sarcasm.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome to the forums, John.

I can relate to taking things very literally.
Others don't understand and think I'm being a smarty pants or just dumb.
Take a look around and ask questions.
This is a good place to begin your search.

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