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Featured Not replying to texts/ emails - is this an aspie thing?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Ocarina, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    The aspie ex has been in touch wanting to meet up. I said an evening at the end of the week would work, he contacted me Thursday afternoon asking to meet that evening - I already had plans and replied that I could do Friday evening instead would that work for him?

    No reply - and this was quite a common thing in our relationship, simply zilch on the communication front (by text usually) when I ask a question. It makes it difficult to plan anything and I'm not willing to put my if on hold pending anothers' decision making.

    Has anyone any experience? I'm an aspie and I tend to be somewhat forgetful in replying if I'm overwhelmed with busyness, but if a question's been asked I nearly always will reply reasonably promptly - it seems polite to do so.

    Maybe this is some kind of commitment issues or something? Or a symptom of the communication challenges that come with AS - although to be honest it seemed pretty straightforward to me - I couldn't do last minute on Thursday, asked if we could do Friday instead and zilch.
     
  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not at all in my own case. If anything that's occasionally indicative of my NT brother and cousin. Who acknowledge emails sometimes late, and sometimes not at all.
     
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  3. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Judge.
    If anything I'm slightly obsessive over making sure I reply so this trait is baffling.
    I have now heard from him asking if we could still meet this evening - but it's now early pm in the uk already and I'm nestled into a big pile of books so too late for now - have rearranged for another day with time and place up to me.
    He has comorbid ADD - perhaps it's this, maybe he just couldn't care less so doesn't bother to reply.
    Maybe - and this is the wisest suggestion I've made - I should just ask him!;)
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's possible as well I suppose.
     
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  5. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There are any number of reasons a person regardless of condition may not reply to texts/emails:

    (1) They are busy and will do so eventually
    (2) They have a rigid time or pattern when to reply
    (3) They are not interested
    (4) They do not know what to say
    (5) They have a condition that would explain that failure to reply, or to reply timely
    (6) They are afraid to tell you the truth
    (7) They have computer technical/phone reception difficulties
    (8) They are hospitalized or had sudden illness
    (9) They think they are too important for you

    Regarding (5), my wife and I are opposites. My wife is a great person, but she has ADHD issues and often does not prioritize well and cannot process her thoughts fast, and do many things under pressure and that involve time demands or proper etiquette.. One minute she can say she will do something, but often never gets around to doing it or forgets to do it because of concentration difficulties or hyperfocus elsewhere. Because of her anxieties and stress, often she cannot do things timely, or in way that is expected or that others need.

    In my case, I am perfectionistic, and with empathy and desires to do things more properly and timely. I do not forget important details and things, and I thrive under stress, so that means I can reply to persons even if I am a little busy, or with any anxiety. So, whenever someone attempts contact with me, I do not believe in waiting to respond. As soon as I see the message I reply, as I figure, "Why wait?" There is no benefit in waiting, as that would only create more stress in not knowing, or in not learning, supporting or helping.

    If it is any consolation, many professionals and government personnel are horrible at replying to communications, as would many others who have one or more of the issues mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  6. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    Thank you that is really helpful.

    I think I can rule out many of these - this is an ongoing behaviour and given I was in a relationship with him for six years and he is wanting for whatever reason to reconnect I suppose I must be of some importance to him. He does hyperfocus - on work in particular and loses concentration on other things at the drop of a hat. He lacks the hyperactivity that it sounds as though your wife displays but instead drifts into a world of his own and forgets things easily. It's difficult not to take this personally - or at least it was when we were in a relationship since I felt as though, in his eyes, I'd just disappeared and he'd go on to the next thing. When we were together I underestimated quite how much of what I found difficult to tolerate was related to ADD rather than ASD.

    He used often to forget to say goodbye to me - and leave the house without me realising. It didn't help that for much of the time we were together he was drinking excessively so if he wasn't dreaming because of the ASD he was in an alcohol induced haze, to some extent at least.

    The failure to communicate plans, intention etc left me on tenterhooks for much of the time - in the end the only option aside from being miserable and giving up my own interests etc whilst I waited for him to get in touch, was getting on with my life without him in it. I still wish there had been a way forward.
     
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  7. xudo

    xudo something and nothing

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    I will always reply if someone asks a question, but I don't always reply if I don't see a need to. Weirdly, some people seem to feel that I should reply even if there is no real need to, like my Mum. She'll send me a text and we'll text back and forth and then she'll send me a text which I think "ok, I've read that and it doesn't need a reply"...and then she'll text me again asking if I've received it...even though it's Whatsapp and she can see I have :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It does sound like it is a combination of his ADD and ASD, for why he forgets things and does not prioritize well, and with sometimes less concern shown for things you see as important, and for those unexpected less than sensitive things. As much as I love my wife, she is often not paying attention, and her mind is often elsewhere. Sometimes I have to repeat things several times.

    If her mind is set on something of extreme interest to her, it sometimes seems as if others' feelings and needs exist less. She can either internalize what she is worrying about and then not want to communicate about things I want to communicate about, or she will want to talk a lot about that issue of hers, and not communicate about anything else until it is resolved. And then she can forget to do needed things.

    I try to not take things personally, as I know she loves me, too, but I admit, if I had any other personality type, things likely would have not worked out. It just happens that I can take on people's anxiety and stress, and still find some happiness. As well, I do not need much, and love helping. If I had the typical needs myself, and we were not compatible in so many ways, I would not have gotten married.

    So, yes, it sounds like to me it is probably number five for your situation from how you worded things. Some of the things you mentioned sound ADD, like you indicated he had, but the leaving and not saying goodbye, or waiting until he would contact you could be perhaps ASD related as several in relationships on this group had the partner do that. They could leave without warning and do unpredictable things.

    The alcohol situation would have been really bothersome to me. My father was an alcoholic and never talked to us, but obsessed about drinking all the time. That created so many problems growing up, and he was never there for me. I eventually learned to grow stronger on my own, from dealing with not only my social anxieties and related issues, but from taking on my parents' problems. That helped me later in life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  9. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    It sounds as though you are doing a great job - in your marriage and in your ability to thrive after a difficult upbringing. We hear alot about how less than ideal childhood brings all kinds of issues in later life, but I also believe that it can bring an inner strength and resilience which those who've not had to deal with their own issues, sometimes fail to cultivate. Thank you again for your posts. From the confines of my own head it's easy to make assumptions and become judgemental. Listening to the experience of others has many advantages.
     
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  10. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    Agreed - some people go on and on. This is not the case here - it's a bit of info that I need to know in order to plan my day/ week/ life which never comes until the last minute. I make sure that I word it as a question - but still no answer most of the time.
     
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  11. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you. Yes, we are managing well in our marriage, and it is because my wife has a great side as well. For instance, she has lots of energy, often can be outwardly happy when not hyperfocusing, has a great sense of humor, can plan for the future better than I as I am in the moment thinker, and she has creativity and sentimentality, to name a few, too.

    Lots often focus on a very bad upbringing and conditions as meaning many needs in life, or much dysfunction, but truly, I have a good attitude about that. If I survived my parents and severe conditions then, and while living on my own for twenty years, then things could only get better. And they have. I love our family, including our two Autistic sons.

    There are others in this world who though have even persevered more, and that is what I wish to become. I am my worst critic, and am driven to be my best whatever that is. But, at the same time, I want our Autistic children to be themselves, but to learn things in their best ways, and at their timing and order. We focus on their interests, too, and make sure that is always a part of their curriculums.

    I have learned so much from Aspies here, and that will help our children in the future. They start back their yearly homeschooling studies on Monday, as they took time off from May 15 to August 1, so that is why I have been able to spend time online here. So, if I am offline until the next May everyone, just know I look forward to coming back next year, to update you on our children, and to learn from, support and help others.
     
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  12. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Have you asked him why he does this?
     
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  13. Tyrantus1212

    Tyrantus1212 An odd dinosaur. Yet a dinosaur.

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    I always respond, as promptly as I possibly can, whether it's a question or a simple statement; the responsiveness issue is indicative of the NT's in my life as well, also either not responding or responding very slowly, like a day or more of delay. If I'm asked a question I believe it's significantly more crucial to respond to it, even if the response is brief. Not responding to questions is rude in my opinion, as well as non-questions that are important. But any question, important or not - it's gotta be answered.

    Some people in my life don't even respond to questions half the time. Some of them don't respond to periodic checkups on how they're doing, when I text them "Hey so and so, how you been?" For the record though, I tend to go extremely overboard with texting some people - the few friends I have, to be precise. I have an issue where I'm being very clingy to people because years of mostly loneliness will do that to a person. I used to prefer being a lone wolf in the beginning but once I grew out of my shy phase I didn't want that anymore; I wanted friends. Even if I don't "bulk text", I do text some silly random stuff and that's where I actually don't think it's impolite not to respond.

    I can tell, naturally, when someone read my text but didn't respond to it on Messenger because it shows their profile picture in a small circle next to my text. I do read too much into that and sometimes it makes me wonder if they're ignoring me on purpose, or if they just think it's something that doesn't warrant a response. Now if it's important, meaning that both parties deem it that way - so far I haven't seen any lack of responses. If a lack of responses to non-important stuff continues in a pattern though, I start wondering if they actually want to communicate with me...and the possibility of people ditching me again is pretty hurtful to take into account. In other cases, I wonder if they're simply mad at me because it's something that I did but wasn't aware of the fact that it was wrong, I've been struggling with that because of my Asperger's quite a lot. People should never be passive with me and I've explained it to them, so it's their turn to listen. I say and do things that are deemed "silly" by NT's all the time, and I don't ever mean to hurt anyone's feelings.

    I also notice on Messenger that some people don't read my messages for days or weeks, evidenced by the "delivered" symbol. That makes me feel even more uncomfortable, what if they see that the messages are coming from me and just choose to ignore them? I'd rather they read and not respond, because at least they made an effort (unless they're clever jackasses who want to make me believe that they read it by simply opening and closing the message, thus getting their profile pic symbol to show). I really don't know what to do about the unread message issue. My parents, friends and coworkers tell me that I'm always overthinking these Messenger symbols and that I make a mountain out of a molehill, but how can I be sure that's always the case? I'm often unaware that I've made someone mad, and I can be very annoying in general, even now (to say nothing of my college past). Please, do not play any passive games with me because otherwise how in the world will I know what it is that I did? And if I don't know what I did, how can I learn from my mistake?

    However, if I take people's words for it, so far the non-responsiveness has been happening because they either didn't check their messages all that much, or the text that I sent doesn't warrant a response. But again, if the text is a question - then it's more of an iffy kind of situation; it's rude to not respond to questions. Just by my rant here alone one can tell that I'm a bulk message sender. I should also add that with almost everyone I know, 95% of the time I'm the first one who texts or calls. Any thoughts on why NT's often don't respond to my texts even if they're questions or "how you been?", or why I'm the first one to initiate a conversation? Should I jump to the conclusion that these people don't want to communicate with me? Now these few friends I mentioned - they actually enjoy talking to me in person, and our conversations are never ending! Their tones are always happy when we talk, and not "tired" or "hurried" - yes, I've learned how to tell tones just a little bit after graduating from college - so perhaps they're simply "not texters"? That's what my doc believes anyway when I told him about that anonymously, if someone doesn't text someone a lot they might still like talking to that same person face to face. So, yes - any opinions on my particular dilemma? Thanks in advance.
     
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  14. JDartistic

    JDartistic Well-Known Member

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    I have ADD as well - it's not that we don't care. It's that we are so easily distracted! and when we get a moment to think about something, we expect everyone to drop what they are doing to do whatever it is we just thought about. Does that make sense?

    Here's my own example, which in fact happened just today! - I ignored several texts this morning b/c I don't like to be bothered while I'm playing my apps. An hour later, I read the texts and as I was responding to one, I got a phone call. I ignored that phone call so I could complete my response to the one text. I then went to my voicemail to see who called, and it was a restaurant calling to confirm my reservations asking me to call them back. I got miffed at this - I made reservations, so why should I call them to confirm that I made the reservations? I then went on a rant in my own head about how stupid people are. Then another alert went off to tell me that I got new coins for my game app! And I'm sure you can guess what I did - went back to gaming! At the end of the day, I never did respond to the other two texts I received, but I did call the restaurant to confirm my reservations, but only b/c I was on my way and running late, and I didn't want them to cancel it...

    Does that make sense? :)

    PS Not to downplay your ex's drinking issues, but I have found that those of us with the combo-Aspie & ADD can struggle with drinking in excess... My own experience is that drinking actually turns off the constant "distraction" and in those moments, I am more focused, esp. socially. I'm not saying this is an excuse to drink - but I do think, at least speaking for myself, that the autistic & ADD side of things makes socializing really hard, and I've found that many with this challenge have found drinking helps with social interactions. Personally, I got mired it in for several years, but I eventually pulled myself out of it. That's another discussion, but when you described your ex's behavior, I kind of related to it... My ex-wife had the same reasons for leaving, the ADD-side being the hardest for her, although my autism complicated it in the end b/c of the stress and my Aspie-side went into meltdown, on top of everything else! I ended up drinking through the entire divorce as a coping mechanism, but I realize now how awful that must have been for her (and both of us, really, in the end). Ugh...crying now... :-(
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  15. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    Good luck and Good Work!
     
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  16. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.... taking things personally - that seem to be a feature of remote communication where there's no chance of reading how the recipient is reacting and therefore our minds take over a and build a story based probably largely on frame of mind at the time, past experiences, a fairytale.

    I've learnt to dial this issue out of my life almost completely by looking at it rationally. In an answer that arrives on a screen it's simply not possible to tell anothers state of mind and trying to do so is an unproductive waste of time.

    I also make a huge and sometimes fruitless effort not to take peoples reactions personally. I try to live and behave in the best way possible for me at the time and most often reactions are a reflection of the other person's reality ie that they are tired, stressed, just lost their job, worried about money etc etc. Most of it is not to do with you Tyrantus.
     
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  17. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    JDartistic - thank you so much for your thoughtful post - it makes crystal clear sense and I feel a real sense of sadness for your struggles - and can also see my ex's difficulties in yours.
    He is a good guy - and you're right the ADD is the most difficult part for me.
    I didn't feel loved in our relationship - spoken word of love didn't come naturally to him which I suspect is alexithymia related to the ASD. BUT on top of that, he often was so zoned out that it was as though I wasn't there - and for me, loving someone is reflected or expressed by the ability to be present for them. Fast forward to when I (usually fairly stable, calm and resilient) was having a minor crisis and he was unable to be present for me when I needed him. That was the final straw and I know now that it wasn't on purpose or his fault, but it was a relationship killer in many ways.

    You're right re the drinking I am sure - he used to smoke marijuana too but stopped when we got together.

    How do you cope with life now JD? The ex discovered meditation which he thinks has really helped - and does alot of exercise - and I use both of these to find pleasure in the sometimes sad world of ASD. Difficult to find strategies that are helpful but not harmful at the same time.
     
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  18. Ocarina

    Ocarina Well-Known Member

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    No - I've just asked again and again that he reply to my messages if they require an answer - and he still doesn't or not always.
    I need to ask though.
    I hope that at this stage we can be friends - without the expectations that relationships bring - then I'll feel free to ask all this stuff - before I felt like I was walking on eggshells.
     
  19. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I always respond to important emails and/or texts.
     
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  20. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    Never to take up for what seems to be him avoiding things...

    But I have to admit I have my days when people are texting and the phone is ringing, and I just literally only check what goes to voicemail. I just have my days (kind of often) that I just don't want to communicate with anyone, not even myself. Its hard to explain and I know its not really what people expect of us. However, its just too much. I wish we were back in the old days where all this stuff isn't going off all the time. Since setting here just for a minute, my phone has rang twice, and I now have 3 unanswered texts. I just don't like it... I basically hate it mostly.

    Its not the people, its the ease of just wasting my life on unless chatter with all this stuff around. I know someone may say get rid of it, but I cant because of my job... Or I truly would.
     
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