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Mentally and physically exhausted HFA boyfriend - help!


New Member

I am new here. I have a lovely HFA boyfriend, and we have been together for one and a half years now. I am an NT myself, and we are both middle aged having bad marriages behind us. The relationship has been wonderful so far. I have never felt being loved this much before. My boyfriend is tender and kind and very interesting to talk to. He's very intelligent and has a wide knowledge of various topics.

Recently he has been really exhausted and his ability to express love has diminished. When he's not tired, he's a wonderful and caring boyfriend. It is difficult for me to accept that he's not able to behave in a similar manner, when he's tired. I know we all, both NTs and Aspies, do get tired from time to time, but his tiredness doesn't seem to go away. He says he's tired because of his work, and I believe this is the case. He talks about residual tiredness.

I love my boyfriend very much, and I feel I'm just being selfish when I raise this issue, but if his tiredness goes on for a long time, I'm afraid it might influence our relationship. Is there anything I could do to help my boyfriend recover sooner? Has anyone else faced this kind of situation before? What would you suggest I could do?
Welcome to Autism Forums! My suggestion would be for him to talk to his doctor about his fatigue issues. There is a lot of things that could cause this, some of them serious.
I know in my own case this could easily happen. Where I run out of emotional resources at home, largely because of such demands at work. Where the responsibilities of a particular job along with all the social interactions that may go with them may simply be subtracting from his life at home.

Many people on the spectrum find themselves at one time or another, or even perpetually having to "ration their emotional energy" just to get through the day at work. Something that may sound foreign to most Neurotypicals, but there you have it.

Where by the time we get home we're simply drained with nothing left to give, even to a loved one. With the nature and status of their job perhaps determining whether this is a long or short term concern. In essence to understand that many of us inherently "juggle" our finite emotional resources in ways NTs may not.

And indeed, it's something which can potentially put our relationships at risk.

Though this doesn't rule out the possibility of something pathological that needs attention from seeing a qualified physician.
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You have to understand that most aspies have to expend twice the energy both physically and mentally as an NT to accomplish the same tasks. By the end of a work day we can be emotionally & physically drained and just want to eat & sleep. It is nothing personal against the ones we love, it is just the way many of us are.
It is nothing personal against the ones we love, it is just the way many of us are.

Good points raised here. It's critical to understand that it truly is "nothing personal" towards a person in a relationship. It just comes down to a limited ability to manage social interactions, whether they be critical and difficult at work, or blissful at home. They all can drain us dry if we don't "manage" them.

A dynamic that makes the Neurodiverse quite different from Neurotypicals. Where positive social interactions can be every bit as draining as the most negative ones. It may not make any sense, but it is what it is for so many of us.

Though if in the event his job is taking up so much of his emotional energy, it may be only fair for him to at least explain it to you in terms of whether this involves something of a lengthy duration, or just something that will eventually pass in time.
Where positive social interactions can be every bit as draining as the most negative ones.

Thank you all so much for your insights. They are really helpful. Actually my boyfriend has said to me that I'm the most tiring thing in his life but still worth all the effort :)

My next question is how do you want your loved ones interact with you when you are drained? I try to give my boyfriend space to recover but it is not always easy if I feel affectionate and want attention at the same time.
I can only speak for myself but I always liked a nice home cooked dinner, showering together, quietly watching a movie together while cuddling and being spooned while lying in bed.
The best advice I have is to ask what works best for him.
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