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Need NT-ASD relationship advice

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by rachel_ruien, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. rachel_ruien

    rachel_ruien New Member

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    Hi! I'm looking for advice from Aspies in relationships with NTs, or vice-versa. I'm an Aspie woman with an NT boyfriend whom I completely adore. He is so patient and sweet with me, even though I know that I test him sometimes. We're long-distance right now but we've been to visit each other twice and it's gone well. Eventually I would like to move closer to each other.

    I would love some words of wisdom from people who have made it work. I read copiously about NT-AS relationships so I try to troubleshoot (it's kinda become one of my interests), but I still end up saying or doing the wrong thing a lot. He's very understanding, but I don't want the burden of sustaining our relationship to be so heavy for him.

    I'd appreciate any guidance from those of you who have more experience. So much of what I read online is so negative and I know that can't be the whole picture.
     
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  2. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    I don't have any specific words of wisdom, but just to give you hope that NT/ND relationships can and do work - I'm autistic and my husband is NT. We've been together for nearly 33 years.

    Like all relationships, it's not plain sailing but nothing is in life is it?

    Oh - open and honest communication - vital component to a good relationship.
     
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  3. rachel_ruien

    rachel_ruien New Member

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    Thank you :)
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In what ways do you think you are testing him?
     
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  5. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Communication is key. And what works for me is to plan regular moments for a “state of the union” of our relationship. We cook a fancy meal, shut of our phones, have a glass of wine and discuss how our relationship is going.
     
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  6. rachel_ruien

    rachel_ruien New Member

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    @Tom I can read his emotions well and I can tell he sometimes gets exasperated because he has to explain or clarify things that most NT people would just intuit. Usually he doesn't mind, but I worry that it could put a strain on things later. Hopefully I'll get better at anticipating what he needs without being told.
     
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  7. rachel_ruien

    rachel_ruien New Member

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    This is a fantastic idea!
     
  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you put as much effort into understanding and making adjustments as he does, it will limit the 'strain'. Having to work on relationships is normal for NT, ASD or mixed. As long as you seem to be getting somewhere with it, the work part is worth it. As Bolletje already said, keeping the wheels of calm, thoughtful communication open is the key.

    P. S. I've been in an ASD/NT relationship about 35 years.
     
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  9. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I have been in an ASD/NT marriage for almost 28 years. We have had some trying times, with me being ASD and my wife NT. Recently we are getting along better since my diagnosis in January. The things that I do that cause issues, are (1) being too logical and solving her problems when she wants to vent, (2) not being aware of her feelings, and (3) being more focused on my interests than the needs of others.

    Communications and understanding one another are obviously important. I also think finding alone time when you need it is important. This is particularly true for me after attending large family functions.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  10. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi there @rachel_ruien

    I am an ND fella who has been married for over 20 years to an NT woman.
    It has been hard for us, for a variety of reasons, some related to my Aspieness and many related just to life.

    One book I have recently come across and got is the Asperger Couple's workbook by Maxine Aston.
    I have read it through once and am going to read it again. I think that then my wife will read it.

    Before I forget -welcome to the Forums. glad to have you among us. Please hang about a bit and try looking through some of the older posts. Lots of good stuff there.
     
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  11. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Lose the "burden" mentality and stop trying to anticipate or second guess what he may think or feel.

    You are worthy and wonderful in your own right.

    Ask. Observe. Accept. Learn.
    Talk to each other.
    More importantly, listen.

    After 30+ years there are still things about Mr Gracey that drive me nuts,
    still plenty of things I don't understand about him or don't make sense (to me)

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Perfect moments and equilibrium isn't a permanent state.
    Isn't linear.
    It happens often enough to be memorable but comes after understanding, accepting, learning.

    Expect, but don't invest too much worry in disagreements, different points of view, different perceptions.

    Laugh as much as you can. :)
     
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  12. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    That's an excellent point @Gracey

    I often remind Mr J that he's very lucky to have me in his life :D:D:D

    Joking aside, a burden you are not OP. ND/NT relationships can be challenging, but a relationship that doesn't require work is not a real relationship.
    Does he anticipate your needs?

    I would never set myself the task of anticipating anyone's needs. I don't have a crystal ball and I don't view myself as being there to tend to my husband's needs.

    A better way of looking at it would be to work together, communicate clearly, adopt an approach that works for you, perhaps along the lines of what works for @Bolletje 's relationship where the chat/discussion is during a relaxation period, but thinking you need to anticipate needs - that needs to be rephrased.

    Relationship counsellors for ND/NT couples always advise that it's the NT who's going to be required to make the most change, so perhaps it's time to do a bit of reading/research into that.

    There's already been suggestion of a book by Maxine Aston. I can recommend another book - Eva A Mendes. Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder): Successful Strategies for Couples or Counselors
     
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  13. Nynke

    Nynke New Member

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    Perhaps you have already found answers you're sufficiently content with, but still I wanted to join in the conversation.

    I'm in the same situation as you are, As someone with ASD I've been together with my NT boyfriend for the past 5 years, from which half have been long distance. Like any relationship, we have had our ups and downs (with right now getting again back out of a low). When everything goes well I can really be there with my boyfriend. We skype at least once a week, and via skype will watch series together, play games online (magic the arena or animal crossing in our case) or play chess or rummikub via our phones.

    However, it is already a lot harder to communicate via text messages, but that also means that I indeed find it super difficult to read when he is having a rough day and needs a listening ear. Right now for me I can interpret it when he is not using any smileys and using very short sentences with a lot of periods. (but still often I overlook it). Moreover, whereas when we're together I can just hug him and then listen to him with some 'mmhm', you can't really do that via text. That for me is the main thing I struggle with, how can I let him vent without letting him feel like he is talking against either a wall (cause not saying anything) or a mirror (cause copying exactly what he is saying), but rather making him feel like I am hearing him.

    I have been thinking about that last part for a bit recently (Cause this is usually what really hurts him), and I think what I am now going to try is instead of trying to understand what he is going through, just trying to let him be able to vent and let him do his story. We'll see how that goes :)
     
  14. Storm Hess

    Storm Hess Permanent Spaceman

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    You're human, so unfortunately prone to error...as we all are. I personally hate relationships because of how complicated they become and with so much drama involved. Though I hate relationships, I have a very understanding wife and lovely children as well. It plagues me...the need for human interaction and the desire to be left alone.

    I have come to the realisation that nothing is perfect and nothing in life will ever be no matter how much I wish it so. You are a bright-shining, brilliant ball of mess as we all are. We strive for understanding and belonging in a world we didn't create. As we spin upon this mudball, hurtling through time and space lost within this vast universe, we struggle for purpose and how to let our 'star stuff' shine. Far removed from our Earth-bound feet, a vision of our pale blue dot in a ceaseless ocean of black gives comfort in its revealing glance...there is more than this. We no longer see division, we no longer notice intolerance, we experience calm...a vision of wonderment and awe.

    Accept what you can control and accept what you cannot. The keys are in your hands.