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Featured Mixed ASD/NT Relationships

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by sisselcakes, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think my codependency ruined my relationship. Yes, we had struggles because of the different way we view the world, but in taking a step back, and looking back at my other relationships, I realize I did the same thing. I just think this time it was more pronounced because I focused so much on his needs because of the (suspected) ASD. I lost sight of myself, my own failings, my own responsibilities.

    I was wondering if anybody else had this similar situation where they overfocused on their partners issues and overlooked their own. Or were you the person who was focused on? How did you resolve it?
     
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  2. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    My boyfriend (NT) and I (Aspie) have always struggled to find a balance. We both have codependent tendencies and both have our own issues (ASD, bipolar disorder, possible ADHD and addictive personalities). We talk A LOT to make sure neither of us is overlooked and both of our needs are getting met. It takes a lot of work and we’ve had some really rough times that almost lead to us breaking up.
    We are currently in a good place together, but we know that realistically we will hit rough times again sooner or later. I think that as long as we keep communicating, we will figure it out.
     
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  3. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    My husband is an NT and it is difficult for both of us. Now, he would say ( and with heavy sigh, have to agree) that the focus has been on my issues, but that is because really, he does not have that many issues and does not like to talk about the ones he does have. However, saying that, he has often complained that it is all about me and that is besides having aspergers.

    Recently, in a text to someone, he said that due to my many phobias etc, such and such would not happen. I would dearly love to contradict, but unfortunately, I do have an awful lot going on.

    Currently, I can only deal with him and my friend (even though we only text; when we see each other, I never suffer anxiety), but as for everyone else, I just have shutdown from wanting to see anyone.

    My husband and I have been married for 28 years and actually, I would say that my diagnosis is helping my marriage to improve and surprising ( or maybe not so), he is trying very hard to deal with me being on the spectrum.

    I would just like to add, that I do not go out of my way, to make things about me.
     
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  4. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hey there. Thanks so much for responding with your experience. I’m kind of at a juncture where we are broken up but he still wants to get back. He isn’t willing to wait indefinitely though, and has started to date other people which freaks me out. One comfort I have is he says that I really understood him and he’s not meeting other people he can say the same about


    Up until my realization about my role with the codependency the thought of getting back together caused me intolerable anxiety. Now that I’ve had this awareness, I’m wondering if there’s a way for us to work this out. I don’t want to jump back into it because i’m still on shaky ground.
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Bolletje hit the nail on the head as far as my experience goes. Good and frequent communications is the key. At times we have scheduled a weekly time out together just for that purpose and bring notes, etc. :D

    But of course it must be underlaid by a real and enduring love.

    Wife NT, me ASD, just about 34 yrs together.
     
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  6. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Notes :

    That's a nice dress.
    Your face doesn't look stupid.

    Feel free to borrow or add to mine :)
     
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  7. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    Date night works wonders for us too, picking a night where both of us cook a fancy dinner and just spend time talking about whatever is on our minds. Sometimes we dine out on such nights because it means more time spent together.
     
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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think it's quite a common situation in relationships, indeed sometimes I quip that that's what partners are FOR - to focus on and ignore our own stuff... But I do recall also that sinking feeling when I realised the common factor in my relationship history was me and how I handled things, and that sent me on a quest to work on myself in therapy.

    It definitely helped, all that therapy, in lots of ways, and in the end, most of what was left was the different Aspie brain, which I discovered latterly and after trying to change aspects of myself that still didn't seem to improve, such as my sociability and confidence in social situations.

    It helped me in relationships to have done work on self development, as I became more secure in myself, and I think that helps cope and not be over reactive to a partners behaviour or how they are.

    Maybe you could focus on yourself for a bit?
     
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  9. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for writing. I suppose any relationship can fall victim to codependency, as obvious from my past ones with NTs. I think my tendency toward codependency was heightened with my bf’s traits bc it was something I could fixate on, making it easy to ignore myself. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what made him tick and how to interact with him. Honestly, it’s embarrassing. I didn’t treat him as a capable person. Guess that what happens when you are a hopeless caretaker.

    In my case I also have depression which comes and goes. When I’m depressed I’m less likely to have to energy to cope with some of his things that stress me out (for example, his low tolerance for frustrating). Now I see I should have focused less on those incidents and just ignored them.
     
  10. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Notes:

    (to self) Don't hog conversation. Mostly listen.
     
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  11. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Before I read your comments, I had just thought the same - focus on myself. Good advice. We developed a very imbalanced dynamic and I need to reclaim a focus on my own wellbeing. It got so bad I think I relied on him for my sense of self-Worth so imagine how I responded when he said something I thought was rude or insulting, when he hadn’t intended to. I ruminated over it and couldn’t let it go
     
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  12. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    If you've met one Aspie ... you've met one Aspie.
    If you've met one NT ... you've met one NT.

    So... there is no prototypical NT/ND relationship. Too many variables.

    Some autistic people are actually pretty good at relating, but easily get exhausted, and need extra down time. But other autistic people are sarcastic and have frequent melt-downs, which makes relationships extremely hard.

    Some neurotypicals are good communicators and are accepting, thoughtful and kind. But so very many are not.

    I think it's really a wrong question to ask what makes ASD/NT relationships work or not work. Look at each relationship separately and ask what made it healthy or not. Was there a lot of animosity and blame? Did the partners completely avoid all conflict? Were they in the relationship because they mutually felt it was the best they could do, but didn't really like each other? These may be common fault lines in ASD/NT relationships, but they are also common in NT/NT relationships. Look at each relationship individually.
     
  13. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I was one the one focused on. We didn't resolve it. He left, and I attempted suicide. :)
     
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  14. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Oh, little duck... I'm glad you are still around. :D
     
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  15. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Thank you! :) Me too! :cool:
     
  16. Alexej

    Alexej New Member

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    As one on the spectrum I find it easy not to hog the conversation - and let my (NT) wife talk
     
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  17. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ha! I think that's why my ex liked to "show me off" when we went back to his home town. He can take me anywhere and I can easily hold my own. Also, if things get weird, I'm a pro at smoothing things over~
     
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  18. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Congratulations on 34 years and going strong!

    I've heard it suggested that couples should meet on a regular basis to touch base and review how things are going, so my curiously was piqued by your "weekly time out" comment. How does that work? Is it a semi-structured "meeting" to review things? The idea seems so business-like but I see how it could be helpful.
     
  19. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    Focusing on myself for a bit- yes, that's what I plan to do! Having said that, I'm really scared to let go of my ex completely and simply focus on myself at this time because I'm truly scared I'm losing a good thing. For someone as emotional and passionate as I am, he's a good stabilizer (in terms of a partner). Even though he can be moody, underneath everything, he is stable. He's predictable and it feels very safe.

    I feel like my focus on him and getting his approval was way out of whack. So, I need to work on that but I don't want to take a long reprieve from him for fear that some other woman will swipe him up. His follow through and reliability is very attractive in today's dating world. There are so many flaky guys who don't follow through. I also miss him terribly.

    It's embarrassing for me to admit, but I think I relied on him for my sense of self worth. He has made some comments that I've taken as critical. He's later told me that he wasn't intending to be critical (your typical aspie/NT communication issue); but I've not been able to let it go. It's silly, but two examples are him telling me he likes my hair down better and he doesn't think I look as good in dresses. How I interpretted these two things: "You're ugly". THAT'S NOT WHAT HE SAID, but he may have well said that because they've stuck with me and I can't get them out of my head. Do you see how pathetic that is? It's truly embarrassing to write that here, but just being honest.

    I really do appreciate you responding. I plan to see my therapist more often and to do some more reading and actually take action to care for myself. My focus has been completely and dysfunctionally skewed on him, his issues, his shortcomings, etc.
     
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  20. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One thing I missed in my earlier response to you - "overreactive" That describes me in my relationship!