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Featured What Are Common Annoying Things NTs Do in Relationships?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by sisselcakes, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    After a million misunderstandings with my ASD (non-diagnosed) boyfriend over the last three years, I'm starting to perceive our relationship differently. People on this site have said over and over again- the ASD person isn't going to (can't) change. Everything I've read has stated the same. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it, I would think. But I didn't REALLY get it.

    In stepping back and depersonalizing things, I'm looking at us more as playing two roles within a dyad. We're going to start touching base on a weekly basis and I'm going to use this model to explain what I see as the dynamics that occur regularly. My goal is to broaden our understanding of each other and the relationship, rather than look for interventions, per se. We first have to arrive at an agreed-upon paradigm of how to view the relationship. That's how I see it, at least.

    I know the usual NT-style attempts to talk about our relationship makes things worse, with him getting defensive, annoyed, and shutting down; and me getting my feelings hurt or crying out of frustration for the lack of "connection".

    I hope that if I approach the relationship as a system, rather than about either of us, we will have a more constructive dialogue. So with that said, I was hoping people could help me with examples of things NT's regularly say in this context that are annoying. I think I've got down some, like talking in ambiguities, about feelings, about needs.

    I'm wondering about some common themes you've seen in your interactions with NT's (in romantic relationships) that are exasperating.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    To me what would be central to it all is an inability to comprehend our inherent, consistent need for occasional solitude.

    And not to take it personally.


    Because this is exclusively about us- and not you.

    However if you choose to resist this inherent need of ours, the relationship is bound to suffer.
     
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  3. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks, Judge. I'm guessing this is a common situation. I've heard that theme again and again on here.

    Sometimes I actually look forward for the times he goes away for a few days on a trip so I can chill out alone! I generally don't mind that he needs solitude, but his alone time does affect us sometimes if I'm feeling depressed because I will misconstrue his quietness as him ignoring me. It's good for me to remember that it's not about me. What IS about me is that I'm feeling depressed and my perceptions are skewed.

    Hope you are enjoying your day!
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I could be wrong, but I'm just thinking this might be the "number one" issue among so many of us on the spectrum.

    It certainly was for me, though at a time when my significant others nor myself knew I was on the spectrum.

    That's your "challenge". To learn to work on not taking such a dynamic personally. Easier said than done, no doubt. But you'll be in a better place if you can overcome your own perception.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  5. Mr Allen

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

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    My NT ex from school "proposed" to me on Valentine's Day 1991, even if I'd said yes it would've had to be a LONG engagement, in the UK you can't get Wed till 16, and at 14 going on 15 I doubt we'd have been allowed to get engaged even, plus we were both still at in the 4th year of high school.
     
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  6. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    Let’s say I’m having my alone time but i know my partner is unhappy about it then it doesnt count as true alone time.
    I’m calling alone time as any way i need to de-stress, like iPad time, a nap, meditation or a walk. BUT if I know someone is waiting for me to hurry up and de-stress, then it becomes just more stress.
    You said earlier that you have been together for 3 years yet you said that you feel ignored when he needs alone time. I dont know how many years it is going to take for you to understand this about him. He is not going to change and when you put your depression on his shoulders it isnt fair to him. When you feel depressed you need to handle it yourself, it isnt anyone else’s job to help you.
    To get back to the title of your thread though, I found your your whole post annoying, but that is just me.
     
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  7. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    When I feel agitated due to a conversation, I often want to be left alone for a bit to cool off and regroup.
    One of the things that's been most exasperating in my past and present relationships with NT's is
    1) them not being able to understand that "please just leave me alone for a bit" means just literally that and nothing more
    2) them not leaving me alone when I ask them to, because they want to get an explanation as to why I want or need to be alone and what they are doing wrong. When really all they are doing wrong is not leaving me alone.

    This persistent prodding when I'm already on edge leads to me having a fullblown meltdown which could have easily been avoided if my partners would be able to listen without adding their own insecurity to the mix.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  8. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    I'm not sure if you would consider further exploration of this as a derailment of your thread or not. It seems to me that this must be established before 'common annoying things' can be put in their rightful place within the context of the relationship. Such a paradigm would necessarily have to be viewed from outside the perspectives of either you or your boyfriend, as to be accurate and reliably useful it must be capable of including both.

    To avoid possible derailment I'll await your response in this thread or reply to another should you choose to start it.

    One thing I find annoying is that it's difficult to get people to begin at the beginning with these things, to have them acknowledge that we must establish a common frame of reference instead of simply applying effort according to our own frames of reference when that repeatedly fails. I think you have a very lucky aspie BF.
     
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  9. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My son has not been officially diagnosed but he is so much like me and I'm 99% sure he's on the spectrum as well. My daughter in law talks to me a lot about her difficulties with him and it hasn't gotten better in the >25 years they've been married. I have told her that when she confronts him she needs to be very clear about what she's saying and make sure it doesn't sound at all threatening or he will retreat. She doesn't understand his quietness and need to be alone but that is a real need. It makes her feel lonely. He's not going to understand her needs. I also told her to be specific in those things and make agreements on things like this amount of time each day they will spend talking together instead of saying I need and can't go on like this (that's a threat to an ASD).
    As for me - trying to be married to anyone was hard. I never knew what to look for in a mate and ended up with 1st husband I was forced to marry at 16 because I was pregnant (didn't know how to stand up for myself) and he ran around from day 1. My parents would tell me he was my cross to bear but after 5 years I said no more. Few years later met #2 who I later found out was a con artist AND gay. I was his cover in both aspects. It took me about 5 years to finally get out of that one, too. I chose to raise my kids alone then after they were all grown I remarried a narcissist and everything he did annoyed me. I couldn't figure out why some of the things he did I should have been able to tolerate but wasn't. Like when he came home and turned the music I was listening to off and put on something he knew I didn't like. But he probably wasn't aware that it was actual torture to me. He may as well had put me in a room with a screaming baby. So if there's anything you know that makes him uncomfortable, avoid it.
    So, no, it doesn't get better. It might get harder. Know whether or not you are really willing to deal with these things for years to come. My sympathies and luck are sent your way.
     
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh - another thing I think is important to know is while love to you may mean a deeper connection, to him it means something else. I explained to my daughter in law that my son working long hours when work is heavy so he can support his family he does because he loves them. His yearly wanting to take them on a trip is because he loves them. He expresses his love in different ways than what she is looking for.
     
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  11. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    Pats, i was married to a narcissist too. They do those things on purpose! I know it’s hard to believe but sometimes its true.
     
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  12. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Makes total sense- the pressure to de-stress would increase anxiety. I have a similar analogy with frustration but won't bore you by detailing it here. LOL. I get what you mean, though!

    To clarify: he actually never asks for alone time and if he did, I'd gladly give it to him. This has never been an issue between us. I almost feel like I'm the one who needs more alone time, honestly. We spend the day working at home, crossing paths, and not saying too much.

    Here's where the issue arises: he is being his usual quite self and I'm feeling low. I will misperceive his "inwardness" as ignoring me or not caring. The point I was trying to make above is that, it's my perception that he is withdrawn that causes me distress, even though he isn't acting any different from usual.

    Yes, it's been three years, but I'm learning new tidbits every day. And I forget those and relearn them! I was reading through old posts and see that I'm getting similar feedback from the past. I think I may make some notes or print some of the good advice out.

    It's extremely difficult for me to incorporate this information permanently, when my brain doesn't work the same way his does.

    Peace.
     
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  13. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    Ok, I understand better where you are coming from.
    When my depression rears it ugly head, I feel more sensitive and it would be nice to have my partner be there for me in some kind of supportive role. Yep, i can see that.
    If he doesnt notice when you are feeling bad, is there a plan in place for him to know and respond? A word or request? Like, “ BF, will you give me a hug?”
    It depends upon what you want and what he can do. But asking something of him is not unreasonable! But, like any relationship, we have to have a plan B for when our partners are being oblivious. Like a girl friend to call or a family member.
     
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  14. techteach

    techteach Captain Oblivious

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    For me, don't use pronouns and expect me to know what the subject is from the conversation we are having. If I ask for clarification it doesn't mean I wasn't paying attention. It indicates my desire to understand your thoughts.
     
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  15. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    For me: I can't fill in, so please don't imply things and expect me to fill in the missing information. Say things directly, clearly and in full sentences. Also, when I ask a question, it's because I want specific information and my question is tailored to get that information. So please answer the question directly. Listen to the question, don't assume or preempt. I don't have hidden meaning or messages, so I mean exactly what I say, no more and no less. I don't say one thing, but mean another.
     
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  16. techteach

    techteach Captain Oblivious

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    Wow! Exactly!
    This, this drives me crazy. o_O
     
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  17. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The problem that occurs in any NT relationship, regardless if the other has ASD or not, is failures at having adequate communication prior. The assumption is that the other person can change or wants to change, or that they will compromise fairly, or at all.

    It would be ideal if both persons could find out, before a committed relationship is considered, what that other persons' views are about the current relationship, and any future one with that other, in terms of communication, acceptable behaviors, compatability, disagreements, unfulfilled desires, compromise, short and long term goals, needs, etc.

    Too often the focus is on the good things happening in the relationship, and masking other things, with indirect or direct pressures often by the NT to have that other do something more, in terms of commitment or change, then when that more occurs or cannot occur, respectively, then happiness is often replaced by frustration when that other cannot view the relationship and society the same as them, and act accordingly.

    I realize the frustration of NTers, as I and my wife may be viewed as such despite our conditions, and we have two ASD children who have many needs to do things their way, with us needing to change much for them, which can create extra of our needs unfilled and extra health issues for us. From the surface that looks unfair. But, is it really?

    When we decided to have children, we were basically agreeing to do our best for our them, and to make sacrifices, with the goal to make them the most functional as possible, and with regards to having their needs fulfilled, and to provide a safe, happy and comfortable environment for them, as I felt we had those abilities and strength to do so.

    Of course we never expected two ASD children, but once we learned that they had a condition(s), yes, we realized even more the daily focus mostly would need to be on them and their needs, and not on us, and that we would be doing many things for them, and in ways we never dreamed, but knowing that we would have at least some time to do things for us.

    For those entering or considering relationships with a person with a neurological or other condition that would make relationships hard, and in absense of lots of communication as mentioned that discusses all those things, it is reasonable to assume what you see or do not see early on will be forever, and things could even deteriorate if that other was not able to tolerate certain pressures, even if later that turns out not to be the case.

    Realize in such cases, fairness should not be seen as that other living up to societal norms or to your expectations, as that one with condition may have extra genetic or other issues daily to deal with than you, and which they cannot change, thus not able to do things your desired way, and not able to take on issues from those others, even if that other thought they were right, and things seem fair or not.

    So, if one is already in a longer term relationship, and your desires, goals or needs are not met as you envisioned to make you feel safe, happy, comfortable or healthy as can be, either try to get those needs elsewhere, if that other cannot fulfill them for whatever reason, or you can choose to end the relationship, just as that other can and often does the same. Nothing in life is guaranteed. We must learn everyday from our experiences, and as life changes and additional needs may occur.
     
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  18. LucyPurrs

    LucyPurrs NT, INFJ V.I.P Member

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    This is so true- once I stopped taking his silence at times personally, all changed for the better for me. I have no trouble at all giving alone time as I need it too. I just need to know that's what's it's about. So he will tell me "I'm not feeling talkative" and that's my cue to back off which I do until he reconnects. Works well for us.
     
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  19. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know all my gfs were NT. I never noticed any negative 'common' between them. In fact most were really nice people I had no bad feelings for when we broke up. A few had negative traits perhaps, that were revealed in time. I'll add the woman I married is NT. No regrets, 33 yrs almost.
     
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  20. Gr82bk8

    Gr82bk8 Active Member

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    Does he know you have this pattern? Maybe if he knew you experienced low times like that where you needed him to give you more time and attention than usual he would be glad to be aware of it, and even more glad there was something he could actually do to help you through it. That was the case with me and my aspie boyfriend (I'm NT).

    I struggled with the same thing you're describing until one day I finally just came out and said something like "sometimes when I'm personally having a hard time my emotional NT brain decides to irrationally interpret your normal actions as ignoring me or not caring. Obviously I know that's not true so I'm trying really hard to notice when that's happening and not incorrectly assign meaning to things, but my rational brain isn't always in control when I feel that way. Sometimes I just need a little extra time and attention from you to help me through the rough patch. If i were to just come out and say "I need some extra loves and attention today, I'm having a rough time," would you be ok with doing that?"

    His response? "Of course! I would always rather have you just directly tell me what's going on and exactly what I can do to help."

    So now that's what I do. It doesn't happen super often, but when it does I just tell him, and he makes a point of giving me some extra time and attention, and things are much better. Just an idea!
     
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