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Featured Need advice. Help please :)

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Lilybell, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    1. Hi there,

      I'm new here and looking for a little advice. I started dating a man four months ago. He very quickly told me he was unemotional, yet I didn't really see that. In the beginning he would call me then say he's calling me too much. He very quickly said things like what if I fall in love with you and I could fall in love with you. He's very affectionate with cuddles but doesn't really kiss. He is very literal and has some odd habits. He buys things in excess. He currently has 14toothbrushes. He said he likes them and he might not be able to get them so stocks up. He does this with other things.

      One night we were watching tv and he just got up and went to bed. He didn't say anything. I carried on watching tv and around twenty minutes later he said aren't you coming to bed?

      He doesn't seem to have a filter and says inappropriate things which are embarrassing but he doesn't seem phased by it.

      My confusion at the minute is, he calls me everyday a few times and texts a lot. We see each other every other day mostly, but his daughter who is six has ended up in hospital whilst abroad with pneumonia, so understandably he's flown over. He hasn't called me once and it's been four days. I know he will be concerned but it is also unusual for him to not call. Most of the time I can tell he cares a lot about me but other times he seems detached. I sent a text to ask if everything was ok with his daughter two days ago and he did reply but it was very brief. He was meant to be back yesterday and I have his flat key but I've heard nothing. I'm a little confused why he hasn't been in touch. It's not like him.

      A few other things I've noticed with him:-

      He won't walk on grass
      He can't eat fat on meat, even thinking about it makes him gag
      He has said he thinks he's weird and different
      He once said I'm lonely and I like it
      He said he doesn't really have many friends and doesn't want them
      He asked me what polite meant
      He doesn't know what implying means
      He says he can't read facial expressions and sometimes he doesn't understand things people say.

      He is very sweet and kind and loves cooking me dinner.

      I think it's just difficult that he can be this lovely sweet caring person one minute then detached the next.

      Sorry it's so long, I just feel like I'm going mad and wondered if anyone could maybe offer some advice.

      Thanks in advance xx

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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    He sounds very much on the spectrum of autism, IMO. The truth? In many instances it's who and what we are. And yes- it can be as perplexing to us as it is to you. That we emotionally ebb and flow with no real consistency or conformity to Neurotypical standards of behavior other than what some of us can fake for limited amounts of time.

    The only thing you really have to navigate such a relationship as a Neurotypical is your tolerance and understanding. And if you feel compelled to bail out of such a relationship, don't feel too badly. It's simply not for everyone. Where you may or may not have to give more than 50% at any given time. There are no guarantees .

    But if you like the notion of being a partner's "wingman" in helping us to navigate an often confusing and frustrating Neurotypical world, your role can potentially be invaluable to us autistic people.

    All my relationships with Neurotypical women failed in my lifetime because these were considerations neither myself or my girlfriends understood at the time. I didn't stumble onto the answers until I was in my mid-fifties, having sworn off relationships altogether in my early forties.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  3. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much. Your reply has really helped. I don't want to walk away, he's the sweetest man and he does so much for me. When he disappears it makes me anxious. I have many scenarios going through my mind. Is he with someone else? Has he gone off me? If he cared wouldn't he miss me? But then I'm looking at it through my eyes and not his. It's very hard to accept and understand that someone can just disappear without a word, yet are meant to care.

    Thank you :)
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Your posts really resonate with me. While I don't have all those traits and behaviors, your reaction to his reminds me much of my own difficulties with Neurotypical women.

    A key thing I have mentioned many times in this forum is how important it is to understand two things:

    1. That we need routine solitude like you need air to breathe.

    2. That in no way does this reflect on you in whole or in part.

    And sadly it's our own timing that can mess things up. That we may or may not have control over when we feel as we do, whether it involves wanting to be nearer or further away from much of anyone. And no, it doesn't make sense. Don't try to rationalize it, but rather to only accept that it happens with us.

    That it's who and what we are- for better and for worse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  5. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    He is 48 and I know his last partner left him because she said he didn't care about her or their daughter. I know he cares about his daughter very much.

    We have had a couple of fall outs where I have said that's it but each time he's tried hard to get me back. In the beginning he was quite full on and talked about marrying him and falling in love but I guess he's more settled now.

    I remember one day he'd been to see his daughter for the weekend and he messaged me to say I was beginning to be his cancer. I was getting into his bones, his blood, but quickly followed it with a message saying please don't reply just understand.

    He's not mentioned feelings since. It's very confusing.

    How do you show you love/care for someone?
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Another key point about us which is seldom or fully understood. It isn't that so many traits and behaviors are void. It's that we don't have the ability to project them in ways Neurotypicals are able to see and understand. Empathy always comes to mind. It isn't that in most cases we don't have it. It's that we don't know how or cannot neurologically project it.

    In essence, communication itself is not our strong point. But it doesn't necessarily mean we don't feel things in ways others do.
     
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  7. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Yes I've noticed if we are watching tv and there is someone on there crying, his response is 'get a grip' yet he's told me if he ever won the lottery he would help people.

    Most of the time I can tell he cares and he mostly goes to sleep wrapped around me.

    I'm sat here tonight, not knowing where he is or if he's even in the country. I have the key to his flat. His phone appears to be off and I have no idea what to do.
     
  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Patience isn't for everyone either. But it's another one of those core issues for anyone involved with someone on the spectrum.

    As an adult I was never prone to meltdowns. But in the event of a shutdown, no one can contact me- by design. Again, it's not something to take personally, as difficult as that may be. Selfish as it may sound, it's who and what we are.
     
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  9. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he has meltdowns either. He is very laid back, hates confrontation and just wants an easy life.

    I really appreciate your replies. They are helping me to look at what is happening from a different angle, as opposed to what usually implies someone does not care.

    When he left to catch his flight he had worked through the night to get his work finished. He came in at 3.35am had a shower, grabbed his things and kissed me on the cheek and left. I cried. I felt as though he didn't care he wouldn't see me for four days and why didn't he hug me and say I'll miss you etc?

    Has he even missed me, thought about me? I've missed him terribly.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    That's what you have to learn to deal with. Not to take it personally. It isn't about you in the most literal sense.

    It's just how we are or can be socially. Hot...cold or lukewarm- no matter what the circumstances may be from a Neurotypical perspective. But then there's a simple dynamic in play that isn't so simple to understand. That we are inherently NOT Neurotypical. Some things we might be able to adapt to or control to a degree, while others may be completely out of our grasp.
     
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  11. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Well i decided to message him again and ask if he's ok and that I was worried. He replied to say he was on his way and he was sorry for his absence and hoped I was well and it had been a stressful few days. Very businesslike but he called me another woman's name.

    I asked who she was. He said she's a friend I've just been speaking to her about my daughter. Don't let your mind go crazy the message was for you and only you. He then called in a panic which ended up me crying and him saying I don't need this etc. The phone cut out, he's tried to call several times and deny a message saying he's sorry he upset me he's under a lot of pressure but he doesn't want to put that on me.

    Understandably I'm hurt. Firstly he calls me someone elses name, then he says it's because he's been talking to her yet he hadnt thought to reply to my messages. He's waiting for me to call back but I'm too upset. i feel like I'm the last thing on his mind and he doesn't care. :(
     
  12. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi there, my husband who is an nt says pretty much what you say regarding your boyfriend''s hot and cold nature. My husband complains that one moment I am warm and loving and next, quite in different.

    As for him not contacting you, whilst with his daughter, I can reassure you, if it is at all, a reassurance that he is not seeing another woman. It seems to me that he is consumed with his child and cannot think of two people at the same time. I base this on how I would be. I even have to be reminded to pass on love, because my brain thinks: I don't know them, so why pass on love? I send an email or text and have to be reminded to say it is from both of us in hubby and me.
     
  13. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Just to say that I do that to. If I have been talking to someone and then someone else, I tend to say the other one's name. Often when chatting to my husband, I will say another guy's name, just because of the sound. You have to understand that his way is not your way; meaning that his brain is wired differently.

    My husband often gets upset too. I try so hard to explain, but half the time, not sure myself and yes, also I think: you are stressing me out and put my hands to my ears.
     
  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Add me to the list too.

    For many of us, when we're greatly stressed about something don't count on our socialization skills to be working poorly, let alone nominally. Making conversation under the best of circumstances can be difficult for us. And dealing with two people at the wrong moment over a potentially tense issue can be overwhelming for us.

    If you catch us under stress, it's likely to be a time when we really don't want to talk to or even be around much of anyone. If someone pushes such a situation with us....well- there's no telling what might come out of our mouths whether we mean it or not. Believe me, I've been there. I once destroyed a precious relationship that way. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  15. Cosmophylla

    Cosmophylla (coz-MOFF-illa) V.I.P Member

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    Lilybell, I agree with Suzanne when she suggests your a partner is consumed with his concern for his daughter. Over the phone he told you it has been a stressful time, and when autistics are under stress we tend to have a one track mind. That would also explain his talking to another person (who happens to be a woman) about his daughter: that is what he needs to talk about because he is stressed. He needs to work through it, even if he isn't conscious of that need.

    And the mixing up names... I do that, too. I mix up my two kids, I mix up the kids and the pets, I mix up my son and my brother, or my husband and my son, and so on. It depends who, or what, is on my mind... Whatever it is, that is the thing that will usually emerge from my mouth. It makes for very embarrassing situations!

    Some things fairly common among autistics are honesty, trustworthiness and faithfulness. I would be extremely surprised if your partner were cheating on you. It's understandable that you are anxious about that, but I don't think you need to worry. He went away to spend time with his ill daughter. When you became suspicious it sounds like he quickly became exasperated. He has spent days totally consumed by his stress about his daughter's illness and suddenly, completely out of the blue, there is an implication that he has been away doing something else far less honourable.

    Please, don't worry too much. I used to find it weird that my husband (not sure if NT or autistic) would go to bed without a word, and I'm the Aspie! But I realised it didn't mean he had stopped loving me or anything. It's just a comfort thing. He feels comfortable and safe enough with me to not feel the need to go through all the niceties. When viewed in a different light, it can be a good thing. :)

    If you and your partner have issues with communication, I recommend working on it together. Tell each other what you like and need and be prepared to be flexible, too. :herb:
     
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  16. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone for all your replies. It's helping lots.

    I totally understand about him being focused on his daughter while away, although when I finally spoke to him he's been back in the country a day and still not contacted me or replied to my worried messages. He eventually did after I sent a message about his key. This is when the name mix up happened. I was hurt that he was chatting to another woman and yet he still hasn't bothered with me. When I asked he said he'd flown in at 12.30am, his friend collected him and then he went back to his house and they stayed up chatting. He said his phone had died and he got up went to pick some things then to catch his train where he charged his phone. When I became upset on the phone he became very defensive which upset me more and in the end I said I wanted to get my things from his flat. His response I don't need this and neither do you. The phone cut out. He tried calling me back several times and texting. I didn't want to talk. An hour later I received a text asking if I felt better. I said I was hurt and didn't want to argue and couldn't deal with his coldness on the phone and I was beginning to realise he doesn't care. His response was he was sorry he'd upset me and he admits he can be cold, it's his way of protecting himself and he cares about me very very much. I did end up going and his face lit up when he saw me, but me being totally confused was still upset. He said he thought I was weird. I'm too sensitive and I'm moody. This obviously made me feel worse.

    He seemed very concerned in his own way. He was worried I'd leave. He never wants to discuss things. He just tries to pretend everything's ok.

    I feel completely drained today and confused. I think I can tell he cares a lot but sometimes he acts like I'm a piece of furniture.
     
  17. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Something else which happened early on which has probably caused my anxiety.

    I hadn't seen him for a couple of nights. One I was poorly and the other he was out with work. The next day I went to the flat and I found a note saying 'I love you' I questioned him and he said that a friend had stayed with her daughter. She was bringing her daughter up to see her dad and he'd said she could stay as she has no money. Understandably I was upset. There were other notes she had planted in his drawers and cupboards. Asking him to marry her and one from the girl saying thank you for letting them stay. I was devastated and ended things. He fought to get me back and promised me nothing happened. She arrived quite late the first night and the second he was out and calling me. He asked if he could call me on his way home. I fell asleep but he woke me up and talked all the way home. The next morning she left and he called me for an hour and a half. I knew something was wrong o could sense it. He originally said she was a friend but then when I questioned the notes he said she was someone he was around and she wanted more but he didn't. I do believe nothing happened and he was being kind, however it still broke trust and I still can't understand why when she is in love with him he would let her stay. He hid my things from her as he said she would ask questions and his personal life is none of her business. I asked if he had feelings for her and he asked what I meant so I repeated it and he said 'I care about her she's a good woman, but I don't want to be with her'. I do believe him but when I suggested he was being cruel to her by letting her stay which is giving her hope he didn't seem together that.

    This has caused me a lot of anxiety, which he is unaware and when I'm trying to build trust again disappearing for days and calling me another name isn't helping
     
  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    We can project our feelings, but not in a way that you can easily understand. Yet for all your frustration what have you yourself concluded? That he is concerned and cares about you. You know more than you think. A lot of Neurotypicals might not even get that far in properly assessing his intentions. They'd just give up and likely be contemptuous of him on face value. That's life on a daily basis for many of us.

    You just have to adjust to the notion that you cannot read or judge an autistic person's behavior on surface value alone. Not an easy thing to do, but your instincts appear to prevail in being able to understand his most basic intentions. That he cares about you. In spite of those "sometimes" observations to the contrary.

    Perhaps the most critical thing you may ever understand is that when we want and need our own space and solitude, to simply give it to us unconditionally. Don't think about it. Just do it. It's an alien concept to you...but not to us. And once again, it's more than likely never about you personally.

    The ultimate question for you is whether you are up to this task. No harm or foul if you aren't. There's a real learning curve to it all...whether you're a Neurotypical trying to learn about autism or an autistic person trying to understand themselves. It's not easy...so don't beat yourself up each time you feel like things are falling apart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  19. Lilybell

    Lilybell Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. You're right, I think I know he cares very much, but sometimes this is contradicted in his behaviour. Behaviour that to me, means he doesn't care. The problem lies with knowing whose perspective to read things. For someone who is already feeling a little insecure to put all my faith in believing he's on the spectrum and this is the reason why he comes across like he does. It's a tough one. He's worth fighting myself for. I shall try
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Make no mistake about it. At times we CAN be walking, talking contradictions. It's part of who and what we are.

    I lost all my relationships over such dynamics. Would any of them have fought to save me? I'll never know. They didn't know I was on the spectrum any more than I did. Could I have overcome some of my traits and behaviors to sustain such a relationship? Maybe. I don't honestly know. But I think I would have tried had I understood my own issues at the time.

    But it's still a two-way street for you and him. That's it's important to help him identify his own autistic traits when and where possible, and if he's able to improve in any way or form. And to accept what he cannot change. Self-awareness is as important for him as it is for you.

    Your input of such issues continues to help people like myself in being able to see who and what I actually am...and perhaps improve on it if I can. Thank you.
     
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