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Trying to Do Things Right for My Autistic Ex

Isabelle Smith

NT Looking to Understand
I'm here looking for advice from others on how to show my Ex-boyfriend (19) that we could be happy together.

He was my first boyfriend, we dated for 4 months (He was 18 at the time, I am 20) and grew apart beause I didnt understand how much his autism effected our relationship. We rushed into our relationship and a month in he told me he may be autistic. By that point I had already established unrealistic expectations of what our relationship would be like.

When he told me I didnt mind but I didnt know enough to know how much different a reltionship would be with an autistic partner. When things started to get rough, I started reading articles online about relationships between autistic and nerotypical partners and it helped me understand a little, but by that point I felt too insecure in the relationship to let those feelings go. And, I feel he had already became frustrated with me for not understanding without him communicating with me. In hindisght, I shouldve been researching autism in general to learn more about him and his unique traits in addition to what being in a relationship with an autistic partner is like.

Our breakup came about from a few weeks of me asking if he cared for me, and he would say he did but I felt his actions weren't showing that to be to true. I knew he couldnt tell when I would want to be hugged or kissed, but it made me sad that if i would try to hug him, or cuddle him he never seemed to reciprocate. A lot of his behaviour was self-centered (such as we could only do activities he wanted to do, listen to music he wanted to, etc,) and we only saw each other at night during those last few weeks, and going out would start an argument between us.

I suspect now he would feel overstimulated and take it out on me, but i didnt understand that at the time. I felt uneasy about my importance to him which led to an argument in which I asked again if he even cared about me and he asked why he kept having to tell me but he didn't understand my reasoning of him not doing anything to show he cared, so I decided to end things because I was very attatched to him and afraid he was just going to hurt me, but we agreed to remain friends.

We kept talking through it the next day and I told him I felt hurt that he seemed to not be affected by it at all, he replied that he would love for me to still be his girlfriend, he just didnt like the way things were going. I agreed to stop complaining about his actions, and we continued to talk, but a few days later he told me he needed a break.

He had decided to get back with his ex-girlfriend who I had known was trying to contact him while we were together, after her boyfriend (the boy she left my ex for) dumped her. I told him I loved him, and I wanted to stay together, but he told me she was the only girl he'd ever loved. I was very hurt and very angry with him, I was afraid the emotional distance was because he had been seeing her behind my back.

I was angry with him for a month or two. I said a lot of regrettable things, like that I had wished I'd never met him, that he was an a-hole, and a bad boyfriend, but i still missed him and would ask him to give me another chance. He would never reply but if I tried to talk to him as friends about music or things he was interested in, he would reply and sometimes send me memes or songs he liked, against the wishes of his new girlfriend, and he said we were on good terms.

When I started seeing my therapist, she gave me more insight on what its like being autistic. I began to read more on it again and realized that a lot of the things I was calling him a "bad boyfriend" for, werent signs of him mistreating me or being unfaithful, just the signs of his autism. I explained to him that I didnt understand that before, and apolgized to him, and told him that I am now working on trying to understand him better, and were now having more engaging conversations like the ones we had when we were together.

I still miss him a lot and want to be with him, but any time i try to bring up being together again, he just ignores me or changes the subject. I've told him its ok to say he doesnt want to be together anymore but he still will not give me an answer but I'm not sure if its because he doesnt want to be with me anymore, he just doesnt know, or if its because he doesnt want his girlfriend to be mad at him if he says he would like to be with me again someday.

I loved him very much, and I know that now that I have a better understanding of him, things could be different, I just dont know how to show him that. I want him to be happy, but I'm afraid his new girlfriend was just jealous and lonely, and thats why she began contacting him again when we were together. She doesnt like me, or that we're still in contact after 3 months, but he is still friendly towards me anyways which to me, means he still cares for me, but him being with someone else hurts me very much.

I would love for any advice on how to communicate my feelings to him better, how to help him communicate his feelings to me, and show him that things could be different if we tried again.
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Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process!
I think you’ve done everything that you can do, and more. He doesn’t want to be with you, otherwise he would not have gone back to his ex. And her actions opened that possibility for them to rekindle what they had before. The fact that he’ll talk to you about other things but not your relationship says to me that he’s closed you out. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, it isn’t meant to be. I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this but I have to ask, is it worth letting him go? Not for his sake, but for yours? Because it just sounds like you’re more into this than he is, and I’m not sure if that’s worthwhile for you. I’m not saying that you cannot be friends but you need to think what’s best for you. You e given a lot into your relationship with him, and he discards you for another at the first moment he decides...you’re at his whims and desires of what he wants to do, not you. He’s a little bit selfish and that doesn’t necessarily come down to him being autistic....

I wish you luck in whatever you decide. But you deserve better.
Oh I forgot:

I had a “relationship “ with a guy, Normal guy, so not on the spectrum like me. He was not very nice to me in his actions and manner and treatment. He jetted off to Brazil to meet another girl who was there on an exchange...I didn’t find out that he actually knew her. Anyway, I walked. Bit late but I still walked. He iced me out (not complaining anymore about that) and in the process of icing me, he enters a relationship with her. It was still very hurtful and hard and on my bad days I replay it all. But he was just as selfish. I was at his whims and choices. Nothing of mine. So, just bear in mind that it’s not you who has done anything wrong. It’s him.
Hi Isabelle and welcome.
As an Aspie man with an NT wife I can understand some of where you're coming from quite well. I can also tell you that I'm a very different man from when I was 18 or 19.
I did exactly what your boyfriend did to you to a girl once,
and the ex I Ieft her for cheated on me again. I learned a lesson and still feel like a Rotter for my behaviour to this day. I had to make many mistakes before I learned how to love a woman properly and attentively enough. I'm not alone in that.

30 years ago my wife and I were at the same secondary school, but we were unaware of each other. My wife has said before, that if only we had met back then we'd have had an extra 20 years of happiness. I disagree. I was a pompous, over confident and arrogant fool who needed the heartbreak, the mistakes and the sorrow of those years to become the man she loves today.
I hope you find peace with your situation, but your ex boyfriend may well need a "20 years" of his own to truly be the man you want.
The trying to get closer via a 'friend' cover is obviously you wanting to restart the relationship. It sounds like it is over relationship-wise from his point of view. Autistic or not, that is his choice. I would respect that and move on. Either that or maybe he's playing musical girlfriends.
He has moved on. He has a new girlfriend. If he is doing this behind her back, he WILL do it behind yours. You should move on. Aspies can be very, very loyal. You deserve a loyal and loving partner.
Seems like him and her deserve each other. She left him for another, and got dumped, and he left you for her. As 'cool' as he thinks the relationship with her is im pretty sure it's quite unhealthy.

Sad to say you have to suffer too, but try to forget him and if possible cut ties. You don't want to keep being swayed between partners like these two have the habit to. Hes undecided and unable to make a choice, given the fact that he does not respect his current gf wish either. Who does he think he is really?

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