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Tics relating to sexual attraction

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by KarenP, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. KarenP

    KarenP New Member

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    Hello, I am new to this forum, and hope that people may be able to assist me with some of my queries and concerns. I have an Aspie partner who I have been with for 9 years, and although he very clearly has Asperger’s, and previously said that he probably did, he now completely denies this and tells me that I am lying and that I make up terrible things about him.

    Over recent years I have researched Asperger’s considerably, and spoken to many counsellors, so I feel that I have a reasonably good understanding of AS. However, I have not found any information regarding my main issue of concern.

    My partner also has tics, which are triggered when he sees an attractive woman – usually lovely, nice looking women, such as news readers on television. He displays a range of tics, from clearing his throat, a verbal ‘yawn’ of desire, rubbing his chin and head, vigorously scratching his arms and chest, kicking his legs and heavy breathing – and often all of these actions combined, with the occasional entire body gyration and occasionally he touches himself. He will get ‘obsessed’ over certain women (they change from time to time), and just hearing their name may also trigger the tics.

    He displayed no tics for the first two years that I knew him, and was quite the opposite – not even showing a common male reaction (e.g. having a bit of a perve) at a gorgeous bikini girl at the beach. He is now the complete opposite and cannot stop staring at girls in bikinis, in an extremely obsessive manner.

    At one stage earlier in our relationship when I asked him about his actions, he replied that he had some tics and that if I ever needed to discuss it, that would be the end of our relationship. Since then if I ever try to discuss it, despite the fact that he displays the tics every single evening while we watch television, he tells me that I am lying and making up horrible things about him. As he now shows me no affection whatsoever, and I am left watching him react to every attractive woman that he sees, I find this incredibly difficult at times.

    If anyone could shed any light on this, I would be most appreciative.
     
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  2. sidd851

    sidd851 If I'm not late, I'm not needed. V.I.P Member

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    While the above quote may seem singular and straight forward, it actually carries with it the possibility of many disparate meanings.

    My suggestion is that you approach him directly, honestly, openly and kindly, about the evolution of your relationship, and leave the tics out. Also leave out analyses, and work from what he tells you.
    As with any relationship, open communication depends on trust and compassion. It may take several attempts for him to be comfortable with the discussion. Be warm and patient.
    If your intentions are kind and loving, begin with that. Always leave him "a way out".
    Nobody likes to be forced to take a stand, stance, or position, or make a proclamation, that may seem unchangeably committed, especially in the fluid dynamics of an intimate relationship, and/or in the absence of investigating or analyzing his/her own thoughts and feelings on the relationship.

    It seems apparent, the direction you wish the relationship to proceed.
    It is necessary, as a mature adult, in this situation, to allow for, and to be able to accept gracefully, the entire range of possible outcomes.
    All the way from:
    It was a simple misunderstanding, to,
    He is irretrievably uncomfortable in a relationship with you, and has been unable to express it.
    Be prepared, if necessary, to "let him go".

    Of course, those are the extremes, and it is likely that the true state of things lies somewhere between.

    Lastly, if he is truly on the spectrum, and you are not, and your relationship continues, it is very likely that you are far better able and suited to navigate change than he.
    This means that the lion's share of adapting to maintain the relationship may fall on you.
    Only you can weigh the costs and benefits of the relationship, and that analysis may have no effect on whether the relationship ends or not, as you must both make the conscious decision and effort to keep it.

    I apologize, if this has sounded cold or overly clinical, but, as I see it,
    this is the best path forward for you.
    I hope it helps.

    May you both be well.

    sidd
     
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  3. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    There’s only one question that really comes to mind reading all this: why are you with this guy?
     
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  4. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    He is aware that you are scrutinizing his tics.

    If your husband mentioned the name of a man you were infatuated with I'm sure you would generate a similar reaction. Caught off guard right? Understand that if your husband was so insecure where he judged your every uncontrollable action whenever a good looking man came on TV... Whenever a man passed you when out for a walk... whenever you stared at a man... after time that would cause you to get annoyed with him, no? see where am going with this? Even if you don't nag him every single time, you have your own unconscious processes that will signal it through body language and what not.
    How do you know objectively that it's sexual in nature you and him never talked about the tics?

    He looks at a girl that girl is hotter than me therefore he must want her sexually?

    Unless he is cheating on you physically with another woman, i don't see a problem with him here. Have you tried ease'ing up off him for a couple weeks and see what happens?

    Can you recall some things you did around the time of the change that may have caused him to withdraw from you. Betrayed trust perhaps?
     
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  5. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I have a number of facial and bodily tics which I have had to learn to get under control because of the friction they have caused me in the past. They now only come out when I am stressed or self conscious. Tics are related to stimming, but whilst we may stim when excited as well as stressed, tics (or nervous tics to give them their full name) are more than likely to be a stress reaction rather than an expression of excitement.
    I used to have a partner who was irrationally jealous of other women (I'm not saying you are, you don't sound like you are in your post) and I was frequently accused of "fancying" other women due to her jealousy and insecurity. It led to me losing interest in intimacy with her and to me becoming stressed whenever an attractive woman or a woman showing any flesh was encountered in the street or on television. I ticed like I was having some kind of seizure during such agitation.
    The only way to get to the source of this is to talk about it in a sensitive and understanding fashion. I know you have tried already but it is the only way. Until you get to the bottom of why he tics at such times and solve the underlying problem, it won't change. Ask yourself if there is anything about yourself or the way you express yourself that he may be misunderstanding. Are you expecting him to understand communications that other people may get involving nonverbal signals or "unwritten rules" that he may not be receiving?
    If it is a misunderstanding, then it is something in your behaviour he has misunderstood. This doesn't mean you have to change yourself, it may just be a case of explaining clearly and verbally what you actually mean, but until you work out what that is, you're in the dark.
     
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  6. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

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    Hmm. Tricky one. I have Tourette's Syndrome myself so I know all about what it feels like to have uncontrollable movements and sounds. I've had it for the past 4 years now.

    What I'm concerned with is this attitude like he doesn't seem appreciate the relationship he's in. I'm worried that he might be trying to get a free pass to do what he likes. I'm not suggesting it's making it all up however.

    The only other thing I can think of is, giving him the benefit of the doubt, is that there's some Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours tied up in this. It could be possible that he's very insecure about this tics and behaviours hence why he's so dead set on not talking about it; it is very hard to come across someone with tics or OCD/OCB who isn't insecure about their behaviour. Do I think this is more likely the case, however? No.

    I think you are going to have to talk to him about it though because you need to understand this behaviour more. If he decides he can't "handle" that then he probably doesn't value the relationship enough and therefore be doing you a favour by going away. I don't see this as a problem with Asperger's, I see this more as either OCD behaviour or just being plain right inappropriate or rude. But it's difficult to call it with the information available.

    If I were you I would have a discussion with him and try to do it in a neutral manner but try to get to the bottom of what he's feeling.
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how involuntary his reactions are, but his handling of the whole situation with you is very disrespectful.
     
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  8. Onna

    Onna Well-Known Member

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    He’s definitely shutting down any possibility of discussion about something that clearly hurts your feelings, and that’s not fair on you.

    You sound like a kind, patient, respectful person, and for him to say that he’d leave if you brought it up, is an issue here.
    Can you let your hurt feelings carry on? it sounds like it chips away at you.

    I wonder how he’d feel if you were to tell him that not discussing it, could cause the end of the relationship?
    I’m not suggesting that you should do that, but if the problem persists without a resolution, then can you carry on with that?
    I’d recommend couples counselling.
    And I personally wouldn’t assume that he’s autistic either. Not without a professionals opinion.
     
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  9. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Okay, guys - this one is on ya'll. Are these actions really tics? I see them as rude gestures. Heavy breathing, gyrations, touching himself? Not someone I'd want to be seen with, sorry.
    My first husband was an alcoholic and a womanizer and I ended up hating him to the point I wished he would get in a car crash and die. He'd get drunk and was disgusting. He'd climb on top of my best friend and pretend to (for lack of a better word) hump her. She'd be upset, her husband would be upset and I'd be humiliated. Another friend went swimming with us and he thinks he's being funny by unsnapping her bikini top. Again - I'm horrified and humiliated. And, yes, he did cheat and it continued in all his marriages until he had a stroke and couldn't. This was the guy my parents tried to tell me I HAD to stay with. Couldn't do it.
    So my point is that I could be seeing it and attaching bad memories, so a bit bias.
     
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  10. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I have to admit the thought had crossed my mind. The "touching himself" seems very out of order, and I've no idea what a "yawn of desire" might be. If it is a series of conscious, or even unconscious NT behaviours associated with genuine arousal then it is without doubt quite disturbing. If, on the other hand, the OP's suspicions are correct about him being on the spectrum there is the possibility they are expressions of anxiety because of a miscommunication of emotion or intent between them.
    If autism really is in the mix (though I agree with @Onna that it's not safe to assume it is) then it may even explain the "touching himself" for two reasons. One is that many of us are guilty of socially inappropriate behaviours through either a lack of awareness that we are behaving antisocially, or because we think nobody has noticed what we are doing and have missed the signals we have upset someone. The other reason is sensitivity to touch and texture. I knew an AS woman about 15 years ago who was quite well blessed in the chest, who upset people because she was always touching her boobs. Even my ex at the time (not the same one mentioned above) got quite annoyed about it. There was nothing sexual about why she did it though. She did not like the hot, searingly uncomfortable feeling underneath her boobs where they touched her chest and the "touching" was her trying to let a little air get in there to alleviate the sensation. I have know a few guys who get a similar feeling in their nether regions who adjust for similar reasons. She only did it when she thought people weren't looking and didn't realise that they were noticing until one day I chatted to her about it.

    I don't think any one of us can comment on something like this and not allow our personal histories lend at least a little colour to our interpretation, myself included ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  11. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

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    They can definitely be tics though. I know people who have had similar tics. Even touching other people's privates. It does happen. Not saying it's not wrong but in terms of involuntary movements it can be very distressing to the ticcer.
     
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  12. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Absolutely true.
    As an indication of how autistic behaviours can sometimes reach social extremes, a Google search of "autistic masturbating in public" results in hundreds of hits from scholarly papers and articles on that subject alone.
    Having my own fair share of tics to overcome I agree 100% it can be very distressing to the person making the tics and very hard to learn to control.
     
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  13. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I'm not sure if I'm just being insensitive here, but I think an adult who is so insecure about something that it can't be discussed should be in therapy doing exactly that until it's not a source of apparently unbearable shame.
     
  14. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    See, I think of tic as being a repetitive muscle spasm which I feel would differ from an uncontrolled or involuntary action. If I think of it as an involuntary action, I might find it a bit easier to understand, but still difficult to handle.
     
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  15. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    It's both, but think of it like you would Tourettes. We commonly think of Tourettes as people swearing all the time (there's stereotypes for you) but it is actually a person with a range of almost impossible to control tics, both verbal and physical. I do not have Tourettes but I have a number of tics which can cause me embarrassment in public hence why I've worked hard to control them.
    One subtle one that slips through occasionally is a need to wrinkle my nose which I've caught myself doing on video. I've let a couple of those slip through onto YouTube because they're quite subtle, but if I caught myself "hulking out" (as I call one of them) I couldn't let that out ;)
     
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  16. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'll have to watch for those. :) Ok - you win. Just another of those things that I needed explained to me better.
     
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  17. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    There ain't no winners and losers here ;)
    I do agree with you that if the chap in question is not on the spectrum, does not have tics or other antisocial behaviours associated with autism, then his behaviour seems very strange. His apparent unwillingness to confront it and rash solution is not constructive and screams of the possibility of denial. If he is neurotypical then he comes across as an unpleasant man and the OP may want to consider if there is any future in the relationship should he remain unwilling to improve or seek help.
    If the OP's suspicions are correct and we see the behaviours through the lens of autism, there may be far more benign explanations, however it doesn't change the fact that the behaviours need to be addressed one way or another. It's making the OP unhappy and that has to be alleviated.
     
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  18. Moomin

    Moomin “My servants never die!”

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    This may sound insensitive but why are you with him when he behaves like this to you?

    I’ve met people who have a range of tics. Heck, I have them myself and do try to control them as best I can, but I’ve never come across someone behaving like this before, and I’ve been in various AS groups...

    I actually agree with @Pats, and as a young female I’d be freaked out myself if I had someone ogling me in a very obsessed manner(and it does freak me out anyway so not sure if I’m biased there) let alone touching himself....I defined wouldn’t be thinking “poor bloke has this...”


    It was a very difficult thing to read. And again, maybe I’m biased but I can not imagine how it must feel for you @KarenP, particularly in his refusal to talk about it.

    Spectrum or not, that’s not acceptable behavior. And it shouldn’t be excused as “it’s ok he doesn’t mean it” because how far can that excuse go when it also can have an equally distressing experience for the person subjected to it? I’m also confused as to why he has started to do this two years into his relationship. Because that says to me that he can control it or it’s a newly developed tic? It’s very strange. And his anger and unwillingness to talk to you about it, is also strange. To say that it would be the end of your relationship? Why?
     
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  19. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    He sounds like a douche. Tell him to stop or break up with him if it bothers you that much.
     
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  20. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Before we all go too far passing harsh judgement on someone we don't know, we have only heard one side of the story. If the chap in question had joined this forum, suspecting he was AS and told his side of the story, would we be telling him what a "douche" he is? His take on events may be very different and we might have a very different view trending in this thread.
    Perhaps we should wait for Karen to post again so we have more to go on before we start criticising her partner and suggesting she leave him?
    We don't like being judged ourselves based on limited information yet here some of us are doing the same about someone we don't know based on one post. Let's try to help her improve her relationship before we start suggesting drastic action shall we?
     
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