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Social cues and jealousy

hithere

Member
The place you have gotten to, with a lot of communication sounds a lot like where me and my wife ended up, also after difficult phases. For us it's genuine. Making changes for the benefit of the relationship is worthwhile and as long as both are willing to give as well as take in the process, there is nothing wrong with it. You guys sound like you are both trying. I hope it works out and wish you well.
Yes that is where I think we have failed in the past. He has always opinions on things that I may not have made an opinion of just yet and he has run things his way and as it could be about things that did not really matter to me we would not have much of a discussion of it. His other parent that I suspect is autistic is the same way; as if they have just decided on things but sometimes it is things that too concerns their partner but as if they still stick to what they think without even asking what we think. I have gotten a lot better with telling him that I have thought about something and this is what I think and what will make me feel good. In the past I think I took too much consideration of what he thought. He would also decide things that were up to me to decide, be real quick to share his opinion when I would have to tell him that that is not your decision to make. Then he can say no of course not. Lots of times when I have by now experience, too from his one parent when I say something or a child of ours that they will then think about it and then respect that the child or I have a different opinion. I think maybe I have taken too much consideration as a personality trait is because I am in myself in balance; could be situations at work or what ever and other people seem to get more agitated, stressed out than how I get, and so automatically when people would feel so strong about something- and my husband as well as his parent come off as if they feel very strong about something then I've been more soft. There are areas though where it is strictly forbidden where I have never been soft and he knows those, he will just say he has a different opinion but that I am the winner.

I'm sad to learn you two have had these troubles but really glad you found your way.

My husband has said that now he knows where he has gone wrong before and it was worse before because he felt he was loosing me more and more and he didn't know what to do about it.
 

hithere

Member
As others have written on your other thread, I think it is great that you are going on an autist forum to ask people on the spectrum their views on this to get a different perspective. I think doing so is much more likely to lead to success than some other approaches which aren't based on understanding your partner and how he thinks.

Now, here is my perspective as someone who has been in a relationship. People who are autistic tend to think in a very logical way. Their logic might not make sense externally, but internally it very much does. A lot of the issues I have encountered in connecting to others and communicating are due to me assuming that others want to be treated in the same way I want to be treated, even when that is very much not the same as I have a different neurotype than most of society (notwithstanding that everyone has a unique brain).

For instance, I don't get jealous. No seriously, I'm not trying to brag (there's plenty of other thoughts I am guilty of) but I really can't ever remember being so. I tend to be happy for others if they do well, and had zero worries romantically that someone would "take" my girlfriend "away from me". If things didn't work out, it was ultimately her choice. She acted in a play once where she was supposed to kiss another actor, and though she was very nervous about it and whether I would be against it, I genuinely didn't care or feel insecure. I am also very trusting and naive, which I suspect is in large part due to me being lucky and not having had some of the negative experiences most people went through.

Now, about your problem. Some of the most common traits of autism are a lack of communication instincts and social aloofness. We don't have the same "handbook" some other people carry within them, and so we approach social events in the same way we do most other facets of life; Logically, and using our experience. In your husbands case, you mention that his parents do not show much romanticism towards each other when with others, so it makes perfect sense to me why he would not show his feelings towards you when with others. It is not particularly "logical" to do so, and it is more of a cultural thing. Where I come from for instance, couples often don't stay together during parties and having friends of the opposite sex is common. Sentimentality is also seen as a bit weird (we have a joke here which goes: John loved his wive so much, he almost said I love you).

I actually had the opposite problem to your husband. I behaved pretty much exactly with my partner when visiting someone as I would when we were together which I think came across as weird and uncomfortable to others, just because I didn't know any better. I also said "I love you" and stuff like that constantly as I was worried about seeming cold or distant if I didn't. A lot of the stuff my ex talked with me about also aggravated me as I felt like she was asking me to behave in a different way to please society, even if it was stuff which really didn't matter (like how I hold my cutlery). I didn't see any reason to change my behaviour just because some strangers might think I'm weird, and stubbornly pushed back, which was a factor in why our relationship dissolved. It wasn't till right at the end when I discovered how big an effect my behaviour was having on her, and by then it was too late (that's when I started looking more into autism).

I suspect, that the reason your husband started behaving differently is simply because he didn't really understand how big an effect his behaviour had on you till recently. Yes, he knew you wanted him to act differently, but he didn't understand why. For someone on the spectrum, there is a big difference between changing your behaviour so as to follow societal standards (illogical - you'll never see those people again so their opinions shouldn't matter) or changing your behaviour to make your partner feel better, even if the feelings of jealousy are illogical in themselves (very logical - you care about your partner and don't want her/him to be sad. In addition, you interact every day). I think you might be right that your husband didn't mask when he changed his behaviour in gatherings, he just didn't have a good (read, logical) enough motivation until now.

I agree with others though, that there isn't anything inherently more "wrong" in how he approaches things than how you do it, and I really think it might be helpful for you to work on your jealousy as well. Just looking at this from the outside, I really don't see any reason to be worried about this. Do you think he would cheat on you in the middle of a party? Exchange numbers? Divorce you? I know emotions are by themselves illogical, so I'm not criticizing you, just showing you how this might look from your husband's perspective. Speaking for myself, I have always been absolutely horrible at picking up social signs and prefer people being forthright with me. My ex often tried flirting with me in the evenings (sometimes a few times the same night) to get me to bed, but I could never pick up on it. It simply wasn't on my mind or in my vocabulary which got very frustrating for her, so I'm pretty sure your husband was telling the truth about not recognizing the flirting.
Thank you a bunch for explaining and using examples, made me smile about the John quote; God, I see that with my husband and his parent.

His other family members has acted on the behalf of him on a few occasions where they see an upcoming missed out social cue that would evoce humiliation and jealousy on my part, and sort of have tried to act as if they are him, to distract me or to save the situation or to save him so that tells me too that what I have witnessed, and what they have witnessed, is not just in my head; that I have a real cause when I see him act in a way where I should react, why he is not reacting or why he is allowing a woman act like that with him. I can see they do not think he means it the way it comes off, and when I have later confronted him about it he acts genuinely surprised and I had to tell him that this family member or that family member were not the ones who should have done that, or that I was not alone in seeing the situation like that, that they did too but they were trying to save the situation so it wouldn't be visible or get worse. He has then said stuff like that was so not what happened (even if we were all there looking at what was happening) and take defense at first to then be in despair as he then have understood that even if he has thought I have taken it the wrong way that I am still suspicious and hurt and not close to him. Because there was so much stability in our relationship beside from this I remember I would too think I got this, I'm not gonna let this destroy our marriage. I wanted to tell him be careful but as he did not think it was a big deal or saw it the way we saw it that too I thought would be told to deaf ears. And at the time I did not know he was autistic. He would always ask me for another time to prove himself to me, and that this time nothing like that would happen, I could rest assure. I think it bothered him but he did not know how to control the situations, where he went wrong until afterwards when he understood something had gone wrong. I appreciated his other family member's attempt to try to mask the situation and it felt like when they did that they did it for the both of us; I felt they were by my side on this one and felt sorry for me even if I never even talked to them about it afterwards.
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes that is where I think we have failed in the past. He has always opinions on things that I may not have made an opinion of just yet and he has run things his way and as it could be about things that did not really matter to me we would not have much of a discussion of it. His other parent that I suspect is autistic is the same way; as if they have just decided on things but sometimes it is things that too concerns their partner but as if they still stick to what they think without even asking what we think. I have gotten a lot better with telling him that I have thought about something and this is what I think and what will make me feel good. In the past I think I took too much consideration of what he thought. He would also decide things that were up to me to decide, be real quick to share his opinion when I would have to tell him that that is not your decision to make. Then he can say no of course not. Lots of times when I have by now experience, too from his one parent when I say something or a child of ours that they will then think about it and then respect that the child or I have a different opinion. I think maybe I have taken too much consideration as a personality trait is because I am in myself in balance; could be situations at work or what ever and other people seem to get more agitated, stressed out than how I get, and so automatically when people would feel so strong about something- and my husband as well as his parent come off as if they feel very strong about something then I've been more soft. There are areas though where it is strictly forbidden where I have never been soft and he knows those, he will just say he has a different opinion but that I am the winner.

I'm sad to learn you two have had these troubles but really glad you found your way.

My husband has said that now he knows where he has gone wrong before and it was worse before because he felt he was loosing me more and more and he didn't know what to do about it.

I think it would be a very rare marriage indeed, even NT - NT, that didn't experience problems. Often it takes coming to a crisis to get people's real attention and true intention to change.
 

hithere

Member
I think this is a simple case of (you)- this is part of your love language. When you are out with your guy, you want to feel that bond by him putting his arm around you, holding hands, deflecting flirting, giving you a compliment in front of a flirting woman.

In his case, he may feel very uncomfortable with public displays of affection or PDA as it is known.

My question is where do you go where woman are so forward to outwardly flirt with him and then act smug with you? Surely not formal events? Is he just starved to feel attractive? Is this his love language? Do you need spend some time giving him some great compliments? Why don't you try that?

Most of the men in my life are shy about PDA. But l will grab their hand in the car, because l love to hold hands and it's less intrusive then a hug especially if you like someone who doesn't handle full hugs so well. With someone l really liked, l have a window of time when l first meet them, like 5 mins, so l give a giant bear hug, after that l am down-graded to a feather touch or if lucky a hand grasp. But this person does have sensitivity to body space and that is understandable to me.
Yes true that is my love language but it was something I always took for granted, to me I think I am somewhere where I am not so much of it (physical) but more less than average around others; but even so it was too much for his taste, he had a firm idea that no touching.

I had one parent who did not show hardly any physical tenderness while another parent who was full of love that way and I could just feel so loved when this parent hug me. the other parent of mine use more language, or if I just breath of something I wanted to do or was interested in when growing up; would take me up on it. I think I learned that different family members in my own family had different ways of showing their love and that they were all of them right, and not wrong just because they were different. Which was why when my husband so clearly shut off all possibility of "display" of physical tenderness between us felt so wrong to me., it was as if he was cutting off half of me and saying that is something you should be ashamed off and you are only to do this right by being the way he was, while I had grown up thinking both my parents were right. I realized this was not how I wanted it to be in my own romantic relationship. That he had taken no consideration to how I wanted it to be, what my needs were. to just ask this is what I think - what do you think? does this work with you? But I understand that now is part of the autism. I have to tell him what I think. I can not wait for him to ask me. If I am too involved I will then have to tell him that this is my take on it, just as he is so good at expressing his opinions.

I too would not even acknowledge my own needs as I took too much consideration of his needs as I could tell he seemed to be so different at these events that it would put more pressure on him and he would come off as even more fake (fake to me as this was not who he was at home or with our closest friends) and I didn't want that as well. I wanted him to want to touch me the way I wanted to touch him but it was not important to him. When I did finally tell him this is important to me, something I want my husband to want to give to me, not because I tell him to, it was as if he woke up when I was at a stage where it felt too late anyhow for him to wake up; that something was so destroyed between us, so infected that how could he possible now make it al right again? I had been reminded every single time we would go to these things what was lacking. But he has.

I automatically have a way about me that I am soft and I feel people in, and I would not be someone who would take the first step so for me to go and grab him just wasn't me. I would instead adapt and when he would show physical tenderness towards me I would accept that and if lets say he took my hand I would at once hold his hand tight too to show him I wanted this. I had before shown him physical tenderness and he had rejected that and that just made me not wanting to do that again. He told me some time afterwards that he had been wrong, that he wanted me to too make the first move but I said I had heard all his opinions before and I did not want to anymore, it was fine like this.

yes I can not believe in all the places it has happened that women flirt with him. It has happened at larger family gatherings where friends too are invited and there is just so many people around that don't know us. It has happened at his work, it has happened at parties. he would deny it happening and said even if it would what would really happen as he would not do anything and not ever take the first move. I think one problem he had and maybe still has is that he is doing his own avoidant style where he is kind to everyone but do not want to get attention to himself and do not want to end up in an argument with anyone; that could be too why he has allowed what has happened taking place. When he has finally understood he is being hit on they say (people who has been there when I wasn't) he has tried to get away with grace, without insulting, but apparently I was to be told of one other incident when I had not been there where he did feel someone did cross the line (and that person really did) and then he put down the law but was afterwards afraid I would learn of it (and I did), but I did not bother to ask her what she had thought she was doing. He would say later that he thought of me and he swore he had not done anything and he would even take people there to tell me that too once I did find out.

I think it could be a combinations of things with him, the way he looks, behaves, him being kind, him not wanting to offend anyone, him not being able to read some signs until it is too late and by then I suppose he has been kind all the way which the woman then can read as a sign for her to continue. He has something about him that he keeps to himself and I think that is an attractive trait where you wish to come closer to him.

Honestly I have seen women look at him, I have even seen men look at him that way, but I've also seen others look at him as if he's just anybody; not someone they think is particularly good looking or fine.

If it was to happen again I could try giving him a compliment. I know from before when I do say something nice about him he will either not say anything or he will say he loves all of me as if he has won that competition; that I only said I love that about you, while he says he loves everything about me, so it sort of turns into a joke, but serious too in a way, but as if he bounces it back - big time.

If we happen to be at lets say a nightclub then I know how to act so other guys will not mix me up with those single out ones; I know how to not get myself in trouble, not saying everyone would be into me, it isn't that, but I think I know how to behave to give the message that I am taken for. One time I have contemplated on acting the way he has been acting just so he could feel what it felt like, but very early on I couldn't do it, my heart race like crazy, it felt wrong and stupid and then all that had happened was that I had for a second met eyes with a guy and he then quickly moved to sit beside me and ask me for a drink; that was it for me, I did not enjoy it one bit.

My husband says he understand it that other guys would flirt with me but I always think I have made him feel safe; he says he knows me and that I would never do anything. Then when things got worse he would say he had always felt so safe with me and now he did not feel safe anymore and he did not know what to do; he didn't want me to go out without him. He had before acted as if he was interested in who I was going with (just some girlfriends) and would be the first to say he would drive us and pick us up, but the closer we got I could tell it really got to him, it wasn't that he was mad, it was that he was insecure, and I didn't recognize him. Perhaps it was that I was finally exposing him to something where he had before exposed me too but just because he had been on the safe side, he had been the one in control, not me, and I had never exposed him to it, he did not know what it felt like?
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Well l get where you are coming from BUT (tough love) you are an adult, you are not bound by your childhood memories. Step out of yourself, and simply hug the man in your place, don't wait for him to offer it up. Sometimes doing is way better then waiting for something that will never happen. Make it a point to be physical, kiss him, hug him, make him feel special, and give him compliments. It's okay. Better then living in your childhood memories. Live in the present, not in the past.
 

Stuttermabolur

A psychologist said so
V.I.P Member
I realized this was not how I wanted it to be in my own romantic relationship. That he had taken no consideration to how I wanted it to be, what my needs were. to just ask this is what I think - what do you think? does this work with you? But I understand that now is part of the autism. I have to tell him what I think. I can not wait for him to ask me. If I am too involved I will then have to tell him that this is my take on it, just as he is so good at expressing his opinions.
Some of the biggest strains in my relationship were due to me not realizing how my behaviour was affecting my partner. I really made a lot of mistakes and often made her feel sad, annoyed and depressed with my behaviour, but I either couldn't figure out why, or didn't even notice it. Of course some of her behaviour also affected me, but I also kept it inside as I didn't want to create conflict or make her feel bad. I genuinely had no idea what I was doing wrong, and that I needed to change my approach till she straight up told me, since I am absolutely terrible at reading situations. I really think communication is incredibly important in all relationships, but especially so if you have different neurotypes.​
I think one problem he had and maybe still has is that he is doing his own avoidant style where he is kind to everyone but do not want to get attention to himself and do not want to end up in an argument with anyone.
I think you are bang on here. This is exactly how things are with me. I am very conflict avoidant and always try my best to either keep out of the way or make others feel comfortable. Arguments are very stressful for me, and can often make me shiver or need to time out.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Some of the biggest strains in my relationship were due to me not realizing how my behaviour was affecting my partner. I really made a lot of mistakes and often made her feel sad, annoyed and depressed with my behaviour, but I either couldn't figure out why, or didn't even notice it. Of course some of her behaviour also affected me, but I also kept it inside as I didn't want to create conflict or make her feel bad. I genuinely had no idea what I was doing wrong, and that I needed to change my approach till she straight up told me, since I am absolutely terrible at reading situations. I really think communication is incredibly important in all relationships, but especially so if you have different neurotypes.​

I think you are bang on here. This is exactly how things are with me. I am very conflict avoidant and always try my best to either keep out of the way or make others feel comfortable. Arguments are very stressful for me, and can often make me shiver or need to time out.

I use to be this way. But l am not a people pleaser anymore. It's freedom not to please people.
 

Bolletje

Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
Being affectionate at home, but suddenly aloof at office parties or disappearing on numerous occasions is a red flag for me.
I’m not sure. I think many people have a different set of rules depending on where they are. For instance, when I’m at home with my partner I’m a lot more affectionate with than when we’re visiting his mom, or when we’re at a work function together.

I have seen more than a few male and female partners act quite differently when their spouse/partner attend and they are having an affair with a fellow company employee that is present.
I’m not so sure either. I use work functions for schmoozing, not smooching. I talk to a lot of people. When my partner joins me I behave differently because he doesn’t know these people well, so I spend more time with him instead of flitting about the room. That’s not because I have anything to hide, it’s just common courtesy.
 

hithere

Member
Thank you for sharing.
There has been incidents too at his work.

I had before taking him to a work function where I was working at the time and I thought I did a good job introducing him and not making him feel like an outcast, but still with me behaving that way, and him had to see in my opinion how his work colleagues behaved at his; he still did not copy their behavior but just followed his own rule book. He would tell me afterwards that HE did not feel like this or HE did not want that and HE...and i asked him but you invited me to come, did you not once thought about what it would be in my shoes? That you know all these people and I don't? He would then tell me that when he was stressed out he is sorry but he forgets about me (that sentence there is not the first time I have heard; that he forgets about me and to me that makes my heart race because it does mean exactly how I experience these things; that he forget I even exist and that I am there, and this in a situation where I am reliant on him) and he always think I am doing OK . He will always first protest that he has not done anything wrong. He would say things afterwards like no, you're right, I have to consider you too, I can't behave like this, I don't know why I do, I hate these things.

Early on in our dating history I took him with me to a party and he had a new cellphone with a new camera and he began taking photos. I did back then not know what a good photographer he was and that he liked to take photos when people were not posing, were aware he was. He began focusing on a woman seated right next to him, I sat next to him on the other side, and he did stop after maybe 2-3 times taking her photo, he did it like 10 times or so before she told him off that she did not want to be photographed. I understood back then that both he and I were crazy about one another but I did notice this incident but never brought it up with him. I think it is when he is himself fascinated about a subject, can too be that he will say nothing, just like our children, and then all of a sudden it is like you push a button and they are all in; they are talking, talking, and it is wonderful to see that, and listen to them; i know when they do they are comfortable with the other person, but I get to hear that afterwards that some grown ups are surprised that the children will talk so much when they the last time before saw them hardly said anything. One of our children is an expert on continuing to talk so even if someone tries to intervene this child will either raise it's voice and say "And...." and continue.

I think if someone is interested in him and he will start to focus on a subject he likes and he will start to talk the other person might very well read that as if he's interested in her when he is really just interested in the subject itself. There has been times when I have been seated next to him, I have read something off with the one he is talking to, to not go there, and so I have placed my hand on his legs and sort of tap, not so others will see, and if that do not help I have cut in and said something else, something completely different, and then it is as if he gets it; that I have seen something he hasn't, but that he trust me on this. I hope that is not me being too controlling or being the parent.

When we were dating he and I would talk and not notice they would close the place down and even if I think I have gotten out of that bubble and now notice my surrounding more maybe he doesn't but not because he is so enchanted with me these days, but because he is so focused on the subject. One of the children has this same sort of focus and some people would think this child was rude for not answering but I knew it was not that, the child simply did not hear as it was so focused; and my husband was/is the same way.

He has a new work function coming up soon and he did not ask me, he asked if someone from the family would be interesting in coming. I don't know if I should cut in and say I have changed my mind and I'm going to see if he will be different this time around or if he'll be the same.

I have noticed by now by all these accumulating events that whether I am with him or he goes alone - there are still stories, there are still things happening that should not be happening, and it makes my heart race and I try not to go there but I feel like crying. We have such a good life in our own bubble with so much stability and how he is with us, that how it comes across at these things is just this threat to our relationship, our very home, and I have felt he is the one letting that in. I have told him before that I refuse to be the only protector of this relationship and this family. The solution has not been then that I will not participate but at least then I did not have to be around it as I have felt I could not take it no more. He is changing and I know now he is doing the best he can with the new frame of his, and I too try to at first think of a situation and ask myself is this the autism, or is it something else?
 
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Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@hithere

It doesn't look like we'll be able to have a serious discussion, but I have some things for you to think about.

I said "you're walking along the edge of a cliff" earlier because, while everything may be ok right now, IMO one or both of you is one step from "falling off the edge" - i.e. there's a possibility for unexpected and serious disruption to your relationship.

Two essential points:
* It should be obvious to you that the whole time you've been together with your husband, you haven't understood him very well. This is NT-ND normal BTW - not a problem as such - but it's an important factor
* His being diagnosed ASD hasn't changed that.

So, back to the "edge of the cliff" warning ...

You should not be casually engaging in behavior modification right now just because you can. Knowing he's ASD is likely to make you worse at this, not better.

* Slow down.
* Think carefully about your wants and needs, and make very sure you can communicate them in an aspie-compatible way ... which does not include the "stream of consciousness" information-flood style you use here.
* It will take you a long time to learn to "read" your husband. A pre-req (but by no means the whole thing) is to learn NT-to-ND communication.
* When you can start figuring out his wants and needs accurately, a negotiation between equal partners will be possible. Not before.

An aspect of the "cliff" comment is because, while you can currently operate from a (transient) position of power, he will, at some point, look back and understand exactly what happened.
If you want a genuine, stable relationship between equals, you both need to be able to look back into the past, and like what you see.

Purely a personal perspective, but perhaps useful:
IRL, NT's cannot manipulate me these days (it took literally decades to get here BTW).
If anyone tries, I immediately "reclassify" them as strangers, regardless of our previous familial, social, or business relationship. That doesn't usually mean drama (it can be fun, but it's almost never productive :) - I don't inform them or even hint at the change.
But I never ever return to a friendly relationship from that.
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
A woman would have to pull her shirt up before I'd have any clue on what her intentions were. This is not my area of strength. I'd have to be drunk for me to engage in social conversation to begin with, let alone pick out if a woman that showed any interest. I had to ask wife what the social protocols were for when to give someone a hug or not.

And what's with shaking hands? My father forced that social interaction on me when I was very young. I hated it then...hate it now.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
So basically it seems you are describing social inappropriate non-awareness. Perhaps he really doesn't take it in that it is not socially appropriate to focus so fully on someone. However he is in the moment and can't seem to retract. How about a code word when you feel he has overstepped that boundary? It could be a nonsense word that makes him smile and changes his stream of thoughts. Because it sounds like this has changed course. Some of us on the spectrum can have challenges in this area.

But you are left with the very tough chore of explaining social boundaries which as being autistic, some of us don't have the capability to understand this. So it will take a lot of patience on your part to wade thru this in a very skillful verbal fashion leaving (please) guilt trips out which will only cloud this entire issue.

I would get upset if the one l liked hyperfocused on a random female. It feels hurtful. And l think l am just too sensitive and probably care to much for the person. So perhaps if he hyperfocused on males, you wouldn't be at this forum having this exact conversation. Is there something going on a little deeper here? Are you concerned about his connection to you and the seriousness of your relationship? Are you afraid you two are drifting apart? Can you work on bonding perhaps? I always do new things with a good friend of mine. Now he and l both say, remember when we went to the dude ranch in South Dakota? Do you remember the parasail we did off the coast of Maui? We have an itinerary of great memories to rehash. So l always establish doing something new to liven up our connection, and it really helps us stay connected. It can be a simple walk in a park you have never been to. A ride to a scenic lookout point, a lunch at a French bistro.
 
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hithere

Member
@hithere

It doesn't look like we'll be able to have a serious discussion, but I have some things for you to think about.

I said "you're walking along the edge of a cliff" earlier because, while everything may be ok right now, IMO one or both of you is one step from "falling off the edge" - i.e. there's a possibility for unexpected and serious disruption to your relationship.

Two essential points:
* It should be obvious to you that the whole time you've been together with your husband, you haven't understood him very well. This is NT-ND normal BTW - not a problem as such - but it's an important factor
* His being diagnosed ASD hasn't changed that.

So, back to the "edge of the cliff" warning ...

You should not be casually engaging in behavior modification right now just because you can. Knowing he's ASD is likely to make you worse at this, not better.

* Slow down.
* Think carefully about your wants and needs, and make very sure you can communicate them in an aspie-compatible way ... which does not include the "stream of consciousness" information-flood style you use here.
* It will take you a long time to learn to "read" your husband. A pre-req (but by no means the whole thing) is to learn NT-to-ND communication.
* When you can start figuring out his wants and needs accurately, a negotiation between equal partners will be possible. Not before.

An aspect of the "cliff" comment is because, while you can currently operate from a (transient) position of power, he will, at some point, look back and understand exactly what happened.
If you want a genuine, stable relationship between equals, you both need to be able to look back into the past, and like what you see.

Purely a personal perspective, but perhaps useful:
IRL, NT's cannot manipulate me these days (it took literally decades to get here BTW).
If anyone tries, I immediately "reclassify" them as strangers, regardless of our previous familial, social, or business relationship. That doesn't usually mean drama (it can be fun, but it's almost never productive :) - I don't inform them or even hint at the change.
But I never ever return to a friendly relationship from that.
Thank you still Hypnalis, I think you're right about everything you have written here, I am stuck in my own NT-head and have a long way to go before I start to reason the way I ought to and have worked up the skills. Yes what I want is an equal relationship and to understand and to communicate right. Thank you again for the great advice given. I'm sorry to learn you have been the target of manipulation, but great you see through it these days and won't stand for it any longer.
 

hithere

Member
A woman would have to pull her shirt up before I'd have any clue on what her intentions were. This is not my area of strength. I'd have to be drunk for me to engage in social conversation to begin with, let alone pick out if a woman that showed any interest. I had to ask wife what the social protocols were for when to give someone a hug or not.

And what's with shaking hands? My father forced that social interaction on me when I was very young. I hated it then...hate it now.
LOL. I have noticed he tries to stay away as much as he can from any hugs or shaking hands and before I thought it was him acting as if he was Mr cool but then I realized once we got the results that he was autistic that this was a social cue he did not know or cared for. There are other social cues he don't ever do either that are today somewhat old fashioned style, but I noticed once early on that he was very quick on wanting to help me out and making it his responsibility, carry things, holding up the elevator or door or what it now is, little things that means more to me, his own social cues, than some of the old and/or real ones. I can tell he wants to do these things.
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@hithere
Every human is a frequent subject for manipulation by others. But Aspies are, in general, easier targets.

I didn't include that text to "flex" though. It's past of the theme of that post: warning you about the possible consequences of irresponsible behavior towards your husband.

FYI: Unfounded jealousy is a "you" problem.
I 100% ghost anyone who projects that kind of thing onto me. I've seen several "I'm NT; I've 'lost' my aspie BF - what do I do?" posts here which suggest I'm not alone in this behavior.

BTW if you have immediate issues, and you can describe and contextualize them clearly and concisely, we can keep talking.

It's actually easy to talk to Aspies. As I said before, just tell the truth - but the simple truth is genuinely challenging for NeuroTypicals.
There may be issues where I can help you translate from (what we perceive as) emotion-blurred, self-deceiving, vague, irrational, self-serving, NT thoughts into effective ND-friendly language.
 
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hithere

Member
So basically it seems you are describing social inappropriate non-awareness. Perhaps he really doesn't take it in that it is not socially appropriate to focus so fully on someone. However he is in the moment and can't seem to retract. How about a code word when you feel he has overstepped that boundary? It could be a nonsense word that makes him smile and changes his stream of thoughts. Because it sounds like this has changed course. Some of us on the spectrum can have challenges in this area.

But you are left with the very tough chore of explaining social boundaries which as being autistic, some of us don't have the capability to understand this. So it will take a lot of patience on your part to wade thru this in a very skillful verbal fashion leaving (please) guilt trips out which will only cloud this entire issue.

I would get upset if the one l liked hyperfocused on a random female. It feels hurtful. And l think l am just too sensitive and probably care to much for the person. So perhaps if he hyperfocused on males, you wouldn't be at this forum having this exact conversation. Is there something going on a little deeper here? Are you concerned about his connection to you and the seriousness of your relationship? Are you afraid you two are drifting apart? Can you work on bonding perhaps? I always do new things with a good friend of mine. Now he and l both say, remember when we went to the dude ranch in South Dakota? Do you remember the parasail we did off the coast of Maui? We have an itinerary of great memories to rehash. So l always establish doing something new to liven up our connection, and it really helps us stay connected. It can be a simple walk in a park you have never been to. A ride to a scenic lookout point, a lunch at a French bistro.
Yes, that is what I think it is. As him flirting with others or cheating with others was before the last thing on my mind, I would never think that of him I have thought back to when it was exactly that I began to get insecure and worried and I know it was this one time when a woman was around us and I could tell she had the hots for him but that he did not reciprocate in the same manner, but that she was acting towards me (hugging me when we met as if we were the best of the best girlfriends) as if we were friends or sisters. I had this gut feeling that something was up. I knew they had had time before without me present and so I asked him did anything happen and did she had the hots for him. He denied it. I then noticed that both she and few other people were as if they had completely dissipated from his life and I asked him why that was and he gave me some evasive answer and I remember asking but you have not seem them for a while and this is not how it use to be and will you not set a date with them soon? and he would just mumble something, as if it was of no importance, so I let it go. Then with time I thought there is something here, there is something fishy so I asked him again; and this time he confessed; she had made a pass at him and had continued doing this even if he told her he wasn't interested, that he had me. He had been afraid I was to find out and so that had been why both she and those others were no longer people we socialized with. He wanted me to talk to the others so they could validate what he was saying, that he had not done anything.

He would before that always tell me that even if a woman would have the hots for him that it did not mean anything as long as he did not make the first move and he wouldn't as he had me and I was the only one he wanted and that he would never do anything, for me to not even go there, not even say it (he would get upset, angry, insulted, personal integrity).

I think what got to me is not what had happened, as he had not acted on it, but that he had kept it from me. He said flat out that he was afraid I would doubt him and leave him over this. I wished he had just told me. It was the not telling me that would make me think did nothing happen this time or is it going to be another surprise, do other people know something I don't know? Those kind of thoughts.

He has told me of other things but he would laugh it off, and when he would tell me he would tell it from his perspective, how crazy so and so was. Even how close it had been to get to be a jealous fist fight when he had not said or done anything, but again thinking this was the other person's fault.

What too I think made me insecure if I should be doing something or be something I am not was that few other people would tell me how hot he was and that I was asking for all this and could only blame myself for it when I chose someone like that; that increased my fear. Now I am much more calm about it.

He has said that he has never wanted to come more far away from me but has felt as if I am the one shutting him out.

I have been proud and sure on him how he has been about other rules he has that to him shows his devotion to me where I can for sure tell some of my girlfriends boyfriends, husbands has been douche bags, where he too has gotten mad with them for acting in such a disrespectful way.

I think that is great advice; to have a signal and for us to try out different things together, to bond more.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
A woman would have to pull her shirt up before I'd have any clue on what her intentions were. This is not my area of strength. I'd have to be drunk for me to engage in social conversation to begin with, let alone pick out if a woman that showed any interest. I had to ask wife what the social protocols were for when to give someone a hug or not.

And what's with shaking hands? My father forced that social interaction on me when I was very young. I hated it then...hate it now.
My wife of 36 years,...still has to be rather obvious with me. I am getting better at assessing her mood,...still not good at it,...but I think I am getting a better sense for when to initiate.

I grew up with never seeing my parents hug, kiss, hold hands,...and they never showed affection to us kids. I am not sure if this was more of a cultural thing,...I never witnessed it from either of my grandparents, either. However, my father may have been "on the spectrum",...my wife claims "the nut didn't fall from the tree" with regards to my father and I. Obviously, as a neurotypical, she picks up on things a lot better than I, and sees the similarities that I don't.

My father, too, emphasized the cultural and professional importance of the "firm handshake" while looking directly into another man's eyes. However, with women, it's always an awkward situation,..."Do I hug her now?", "Do I shake her hand?", "Do I not engage?",...I usually wait for some clues from women,...but I always feel a bit weird.
 

hithere

Member
@hithere
Every human is a frequent subject for manipulation by others. But Aspies are, in general, easier targets.

I didn't include that text to "flex" though. It's past of the theme of that post: warning you about the possible consequences of irresponsible behavior towards your husband.

FYI: Unfounded jealousy is a "you" problem.
I 100% ghost anyone who projects that kind of thing onto me. I've seen several "I'm NT; I've 'lost' my aspie BF - what do I do?" posts here which suggest I'm not alone in this behavior.

BTW if you have immediate issues, and you can describe and contextualize them clearly and concisely, we can keep talking.

It's actually easy to talk to Aspies. As I said before, just tell the truth - but the simple truth is genuinely challenging for NeuroTypicals.
There may be issues where I can help you translate from (what we perceive as) emotion-blurred, self-deceiving, vague, irrational, self-serving, NT thoughts into effective ND-friendly language.
Yes I agree that unfounded jealousy is my problem and my problem alone. and if I suffer from it make him suffer for it which is not fair which is why I have tried to withdraw to figure myself out when I get like that because I do not want to say something i will later regret, but that too has scared him .

I'm waiting for the book on autism and hoping I will get any wiser.

I will work on myself. I feel bad, I really do. Thank you for wanting to help!
 

hithere

Member
My wife of 36 years,...still has to be rather obvious with me. I am getting better at assessing her mood,...still not good at it,...but I think I am getting a better sense for when to initiate.

I grew up with never seeing my parents hug, kiss, hold hands,...and they never showed affection to us kids. I am not sure if this was more of a cultural thing,...I never witnessed it from either of my grandparents, either. However, my father may have been "on the spectrum",...my wife claims "the nut didn't fall from the tree" with regards to my father and I. Obviously, as a neurotypical, she picks up on things a lot better than I, and sees the similarities that I don't.

My father, too, emphasized the cultural and professional importance of the "firm handshake" while looking directly into another man's eyes. However, with women, it's always an awkward situation,..."Do I hug her now?", "Do I shake her hand?", "Do I not engage?",...I usually wait for some clues from women,...but I always feel a bit weird.
That is too how it is with my husband's parents!, They do not like expression of love in a physical sense or seem to need it the way I do, although I think the one who needs it less is the one parent I suspect is autistic. I think the other parent is right in it's opinion that my husband is like that parent. I also feel there is something missing emotionally at times, it is not what I am used to from my own upbringing but they have told me that is how it has been too (back in time). My husband does things his way; he decides without asking someone else. I have wondered if he has without the intention of it hurt his parents with his adult decision making, that they have felt left out. He goes his own way. There's love in the family but it is different than from where I came from. I think more in we-terms and he thinks in I-terms sometimes.

There was this one time I asked my husband but have you not missed the physical evidence of love and he said how could he have missed something he never had had (or had little off) and that he think its just fine and dandy what he has had and has regarding that.

I only know what it is like to be a woman. I am thinking top of my head that being NT or autistic it must still be more problematic to be a male to know how to approach a woman at different types of social settings.
 
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Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@hithere

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad we're finally talking!

The new information you've provided suggests it might be best to move this to a private "Conversation".
I'll do that now.

Of course we can come back here later if you like.
 

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