Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Letter to Tony Attwood About Cassandra Syndrome

Here is a letter I just sent to Tony Attwood:

"I have read that on October 22-23, 2008, you will be speaking at a conference about marital relationships and Asperger Syndrome, including a discussion about 'Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder'. The inclusion of NT spouses of AS individuals, but no married AS individuals, on the panel is especially problematic.
I hope you will make it clear that marital problems are not solely the fault of one person simply because they have a neurodevelopmental disability, and that intolerance, failure to understand and failure to accomodate differences on the part of the neurotypical spouse is a big source of problems as well.
Except in cases of spousal abuse, marital problems are always the 'fault' of both partners. Asperger Syndrome causes social differences and other differences, but unless the AS partner has co-morbid abusive tendencies (which are probably equally common in AS and NT people), the AS diagnosis does not mean they are at fault for the marriage breakdown. There are many AS/AS marriages which do just as well as NT/NT marriages. The problems that AS/NT marriages can have (which are not universal or insurmountable) are that the two partners have a very different way of relating. This is no more the fault of one partner as opposed to the other than a communication breakdown between two monolingual people who speak different languages. They simply do not understand each other.
Due to negative experiences, AS partners may be more likely to be very sensitive to criticism and have low self-esteem, but NT partners are more likely to be prejudiced against their partner's cognitive style and be less able to compensate for neurological differences (AS individuals have a lifetime of practice).
For an NT/AS marriage to work, both partners must work to understand and accept each other, as well as ask assertively for what they need in the relationship. Blaming relationship problems solely on one partner, as the Cassandra Syndrome concept does, will not help that. Very often, the AS person is already exerting much more effort to accomodate their NT partner than vice versa."

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

A well-articulated letter. I hope Tony Atwood takes it on board.

Have you ever read any of the books by Deborah Tannen? I may be spelling her name wrong, but among other things she authored a book that I think was called "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus."

She writes a lot, including in this book, about gender-based differences in communication style. These differences can often create misunderstandings and frustration within many heterosexual couples, sometimes to the point where relationships can break down, or at least become significantly less rewarding. But these differences in communication style are not solely the fault of men, or solely the fault of women. When BOTH partners have a better understanding of these differences, and find creative ways to adapt to them, then relationships can improve.

I would suspect that a similar mutual understanding and give and take may be needed in AS/NT relationships.

Andrea S.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

The person who wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is John Gray. Tannen wrote You Just Don't Understand, and reviewed Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures. She also wrote a great deal about emotional intelligence in humans and animals.

Yes, mututal give and take is very important! Especially when one partner wants to communicate more than the other partner, or about things like emotions and feelings.

Vicky Biggs wrote about a book from Jessica Kingsley called ASPERGER MEETS GIRL which is written from the male Asperger perspective. She talks about the "Domineering Asperger Wife" which may very well be an inaccurate description of some of these women.

Here is her review: http://parnassus.co.uk/?p=90

And I hope you have a happy Autistic Pride Day.

11:51 PM  
Blogger stevethehydra said...

I find it interesting that her description of this "Cassandra Affective Deficit Disorder" is pretty much identical to the unmet need for friendship, partnership and affection that many autistic people have.

I think it's particularly hurtful that she accuses autistic people of causing that kind of suffering in their partners, when the majority of us are all too familiar with it ourselves, and thus usually very keen to not let it happen to others, especially when we love those others...

3:21 PM  
Blogger Ari Ne'eman said...

Did you ever get a response on this?

12:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

your correct in saying it takes two people to make a relationship work,and its not only the AS person at fault if the relationship breaks down.A lot of NT partners do in fact give great consideration,help,support,encouragement,tolerance,understanding and accomodating the differences between AS & NT, but as part of the aspergers syndrome,sometimes the AS partner doesn't recognise this.Nor do other people associated with the couple see the amount of bloody hard work it takes on both sides of the relationship to maintain a healthy & happy co-existance. This is where the depression & lack of emotional support occurs on the NT partners side,a failure of their efforts to be recognise by the AS person and others.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Ettina said...

fiona, as an autistic person, I can say that we're making a lot of effort too. I've never been in a romantic relationship, but in every relationship (other than family) I've been in, I have to put out a lot of effort to make it work. I can certainly relate to putting forth a lot of effort and other people not even realizing I'm trying - that's what I experience with *everyone*.
What is needed is not for one partner or the other to make more effort, or for them both to just give up and say it will never work, but instead for both to 'try differently'. Read almost any book about personality differences - ignore their typology, just read what they say about when different personality types conflict. That's what AS/NT relationships need - what the 'personality types' people all advise. Understanding of each other so you can accommodate each other.
ari, I got no response. I suspect he just tossed my letter out.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Attwood cancelled his engagement at this conference! The whole conference was cancelled as well.

Very well done indeed ...

8:14 PM  
Blogger Littlefaith said...

I believe that autism is not just a difference. As the partner of someone with Asperger's, I know that I would catch a lot of hate for speaking out, so I hide in forums for just spouses. I am afraid to take my fight for understanding to the public. But tonight I feel like leaving a comment that saying mind-blindness is simply a difference, is like saying that not having eyesight is simply a difference. I have always known how to satisfy my husband's very few needs from me, but he can not satisfy my needs from him. No amount of explaining or specific rules can help him overcome his inabilities, so the only thing left is for me to suffer silently and accept a life of constant neglect or leave. I have chosen to leave. The difference is I can, but he can't. It's not abnormalness, I have no trouble with quirkiness. It's something vital missing.

1:45 AM  
Blogger feyhera said...

I'm done with my AS husband as well. But instead of leaving, I'm sending him away. I shouldn't be made homeless by someone who insists that the love and endless emotional seeing-eye dog services I've provided weren't good enough for him. He's a bottomless pit of neediness and yet, when I need him... he's too wrapped up in him to notice or care. As I've come to understand it, autism = auto-ism = ME-ism and that's just how I'm going to send him away... alone with him. Now at least, when I'm lonely, I'll actually be the only person in the house.

And explain something to me... how is it that AS folks somehow count themselves as having the insight and mind-sightedness to come up with these ideas that they try as hard or harder than their NT partners? That just smacks of exactly the kind of lack of empathy and self-involvement that defines AS! It may "only" be different wiring, but so is sociopathy and I for one, in my experience, can't find a difference between the two.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi.I am glad I found this blog where I enjoyed reading other people's experiences.
Since I met my partner, 2 years ago, I found him unusually aloof, unreachable, unavailable, and introverted, affected by "cyber disease" , he claims, because being a computer programmer, he lost touch with humans and wanted in his life someone who, like me, is more grounded and loves nature and outdoor activities.
Communication about feelings, was always scarce and frustrating.He won't tell what's deep in his heart, nor showed much interest in understanding what's in mine or how my mind works.
He's clumsy, often appears to be a whimp, like a fish out of water, especially when out of his territory.
He has an unusual gait and tics. Moody, swinging from apathy to restlessness, never enthusiastic about anything.
He never looks me in the eyes, he's stiff and hardly ever shows affection,I thought it was due to shyness and upbringing and a cultural difference between us.
I have been busy creating alibis for him, or listening to his sophisticated explanations.
He's gloomy, has low self esteem, and has often been used and manipulated by wives ( already had 2 and divorced), exploited and cheated by business partners and clients.
He's gullible and used to be bullied as a child, and in adulthood, I witnessed him being derided by his hoax friends.In the field of relationships, he has no quality, nor quantity. He constantly failed to read their body language , whether they wanted to seduce him, use him or dupe him. He "half heartedly" agreed such folks' behaviours were unacceptable, but later, systematically took it back, and accused me of having been bad for criticizing his friends which , BTW, are all underachievers and destitute, drug users and dealers, one is bipolar and one schizofrenic or has MPD . He trusts them nonetheless because he sometimes gets a floor to sleep on in their sties.
He never managed to "put himself in other people's shoes", whether it was me or elderly parents . Egocentric, the world is supposed to revolve around him. He said it's because he's a "Leo".
Went through psychosomatic diseases all the time and diagnosed that most of the stress came from me.
He's having a major health problem because he was too lazy and depressed to cure himself, and hoped to "just heal", which he didn't, but blamed me for it.
He took constant care and support for granted and preaches that in any case one ( me) should give and not expect anything in return. I am the one who should feel honored to have the opportunity to give unconditional love, so that I can become a saint.
I wondered from the start, if he was a "user", selfish, an opportunist?? and I reminded myself that it takes 2 to tango, and with him a dialog or a dance cannot take place. No matter how hard we try.
The world revolves around "his majesty".
Even if I gently tried to make him understand how he hurt me in many ways, he would react badly and label me as judgmental and " constantly criticizing him". I endured his ogre-like rudeness and selfishness, thinking that one day the frog, having absorbed enough love , would become a prince. Now I know that the miracle will not happen. I found out he's an Aspie, I loved him because of that, and wilted because of that.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Second part ( had to break the post in 2!)
A psychologist, friend of both, after hearing about the latest developments, which included more frequent meltdowns from his part, with shouting and physical violence, suggested that he could be affected by AS.
To me , this was a revelation .
I started to read descriptions of symptoms and dynamics which seemed familiar, stories that validated mine.
All I can do is trying to heal myself,and stop wondering the why and what behind his odd and hurtful, sadistic behaviours,knowing that it was nothing personal, neither intentional.
I can forgive him for all the abuses, let go, start a new chapter where I stop playing the role of the "human right activist",and accept him as he is,an incurable, hopeless case.
There has been animosity between us , and our communication became more loving since I discovered the cause of his odd personality traits.
I am fond of him. Rarely, when his inner self shines, he 's a sweet, warm, wonderful person. It is not pity , what I feel, more like compassion ( empathy, ahahah!). I would like to understand and respect him more deeply, and shelter him, since his life is a mess 360deg.
Part of me says I should run, or at least protect myself and drastically decrease any emotional involvement. Part of me says " be patient, work on yourself and see what happens, in the meantime be there for him".
I don't know , really, where do we go from here.
It's a dilemma.
He's in denial about all of his problems, health drug abuse, and AS. Not easy, is it?

Cassandra Syndrome? Maybe. I felt drained and thought it was the typical effect of being with a drug abuser or an alcoholist, or a dejected person.
I am starting to find my spirit again, now that we are apart, and I acquired some precious information.
Regaining my cheerfulness,looking after myself, will benefit both of us.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

I am a recently aware AS spouse.

I would like to put it out there that my spouse is very highly functioning but he still has AS. I will probably meet the Cassandra syndrome very soon, if not already.

I totally agree with feyhera about the confused thinking.

I propose that suffering is the common thread of being married to and AS.
I also think that as we are more empathetic that is why the AS chose us and we wanted to awaken them from their aloofness and perhaps we had a low self esteem.

They will change some behaviours but some things will NEVER change like love and understanding.

Keep talking out Spouses. We have just as much right to voice. Don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong. I know we are right and I feel it with every bone and feeling in my lonely body.

Good luck and strength


6:44 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Damn straight, spouses. Mine, with AS, threw my kids under the bus. I found some disturbing things, and told him I couldn't believe the kids could have done such a thing. He agreed. I approached each child to vaguely discuss the finding. Each denied that it was him. I talked to my 8 year old about an issue that NO ONE should talk to an 8 year old about. Luckily it was over his head. Husband and dad knew I was investigating things with the kids, and when I said "one of them is lying." he agreed. Finally I found out the disturbing things, very easily found by the kids, were HIS. HIS.

The emotional immaturity is staggering. Now he says "it's just too bad you could not get past that," and "I am not like you. I am not that judgmental."

If this is Aspie behavior, he is giving people with AS a bad name!

Every single issue like that, when he's failed or done something harmful, boomerangs back to my fault.

I am lucky I have not driven off a bridge at this point. I have been the only parent to my kids, and have had to fend off damaging things from there dad in the process. He wants to be their friend most of the time. The problem is that once they pass his developmental level, they look at him like he's silly.

He is a very successful professional.

I have asked him for a divorce. So of course, after a decade of begging, NOW he is seeking therapy. But I am sure that is not out of desire for self-healing, it is b/c this is how he sees life; carrot/stick, get what I want, act and pretend to get in a role that benefits HIMSELF.

Some people with AS are very kind. Others, not so much. Be careful if you are in a relationship with someone who is very "laid back." It can mean they just don't care enough to engage. Test them with a good crisis or your needing something emotional. If they fail, bail.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm part of a group that helps the healing of AS spouses/partner Some have left their spouses - some continue to try to make it work.

I can tell you one thing for sure ... we all suffer from the Cassandra Syndrome. Many of the women who claim to suffer emotionally also have chronic illnesses that seem to correlate with their feelings of emotional neglect.

I myself suffer from a debilitating disease which started a year after I married my husband - whom I did not know had AS at the time of our marriage. He is fit as a fiddle, refuses counseling and says that our problems are all in my head.

If you block a flower from sun - it withers.

I am staying with my husband for now because I need to do my best to see if he can learn to acknowledge my need for an emotional connection. If I become too sick in the process, and he still won't seek counsel ... I'm leaving. And no comment from any aspie can tell me I didn't try my hardest to make it work.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Klute said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Klute said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Klute said...

I am a 45 year old woman who is just beginning to realise that my father may have undiagnosed aspergers.

The feeling of being blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong in our relationship is horribly familiar to me. The idea that he may be to blame for anything is one of the only things that actually seems to make him react emotionally.

His way of dealing with the problems his emotional distance causes are to continually blame me. When I recount instances of behaviour that has hurt me, he often flatly denies that it ever happened and tells me and others that I have invented it simply to make him look bad. He seems to have no comprehension that this would involve me having such a severe mental disorder that I would actually hallucinate entire episodes!

He has told my mother that I set emotional traps for people and that I need to be treated harshly and brought down to "rock bottom" in order to change. His constant “loving punishment” of me has left my self esteem in tatters. I currently have had minimal contact with him for years as I cannot cope with the way he treats me and, in particular, his screaming meltdowns which leave me in tatters for days.

When, as a severely depressed adult, I went for counselling, his primary concern was that he should be given the address of my counsellor before the sessions began, in order that he could write to this person (who he had never met and never would meet) to explain that I would probably be saying things about him but that the counsellor had to understand that I was a liar and made things up and I should not be believed!

Therefore I find the letter that begins this thread, and also the jeering over the conference being "shut down" quite familiar. The irony to me is that the explanation for my father's behaviour and for my own resulting deep unhappiness that Aspergers and Cassandra Syndrome provides actually enables me to STOP blaming him for the first time in 30 years!

I do not understand why people with Aspergers seem to react with such alarm to the idea of Cassandra Syndrome. To me, although I cannot bring myself to have any relationship with my father yet, it is actually an enormous relief to realise at last that the things he has done to me are, in fact, NOT his fault.

As his child, I love my father and, at LAST, I can actually begin to let go of the enormous weight of anger and confusion that his treatment of me has previously engendered. This is actually a relief beyond measure and might even eventually allow me to cope with renewed contact with him in a way that would probably be more comfortable to him also.

Aspergers people should not see this as an attack. See it as NT people learning, in part, how they need to be able to relate to you.

PS: I have deleted this comment and reposted three times. Apologies for this but, as I read it back, I saw things I could have expressed in a better way and so wished to correct them as it is obviously a very important subject to me.

3:21 AM  
Blogger D. Marini said...

I understand that the AS partner feels as though they are expending a lot of effort and doing a lot of work for the relationship. However, in my own experience (and I've seen this mirrored all over the web) the AS partner is trying to provide -what they think we should want/need-, not what we are actually expressing we want/need. Then the NT spouses are ingrates for not appreciating what we didn't want in the first place, and the AS spouse is suffering from being misunderstood and unappreciated by their irrational, unrealistic spouse. And this isn't just metaphorical, it can be very, very literal.

As far as my AS spouse is concerned, I am solely to blame for the problems in our marriage. Nothing I can say, in any way, will make him think differently or illuminate my perspective. There is nowhere to go from there.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Antiquer said...

I was married to an Aspie adept at masking his disorder. Years of therapy resulted in diagnoses of PTSD, ADDD, depression, bi-polar - boutique diagnosis of the day - and of course his problems were a result of his childhood - Frudeian stuff therapists rely on. As I see it, a great injustice is occurring in that the mental health community is not aware enough of this heinous disorder and as a result NT spouses suffer in silence - Cassanda Syndrome. The bottom line is that unless AS is diagnosed at a young age, and behaviour modification is conducted, there is no help for Aspie's. There is nothing that can help a person feel empathy. Aspie's are just not capable.
Since AS was only diagnosed in adults in 1994, it was a losing battle. Oh sure, there are the random acts of kindness that offer hope, but knowing that the marriage would never be emotionally reciprocal, coupled with exhausttion, verbal abuse and diminshing self worth, all led me to my departure. I am told he is on an online dating site - a great hiding spot for aspies - which I've learned from a therapist who specializes in AS. Given his high intellect, he can sure type a good email. I pray for his next victim. I was wife #6 (he had told me I was #3). Divorce rate among Aspie's hovers around 80-90%.
I will also pray for all NT wives as only we seem to know what it is truly like to live with an Aspie.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Sunflower said...

I have just read all these comments and feel - wow! What a relief. We are just exploring the possibility that my hubbie is an aspie and he agrees that it is highly likely. He is a man of integrity and good character and when we met I had already had two divorces so thought I was rubbish. So ... every time we had a row it had to be my fault especially as he is very intelligent. I thought the lack of emotional response from him was emotional maturity but I realise now that this might be the first thing that I have been completely wrong about.

When we first married (18 years ago) I would tell him something and he would ignore me. If I asked him if he heard me he'd say that he had but wasn't interested in what I was talking about. I have tried countless times to try to find an activity that we could share with no results at all. I have tried really hard to join him in birdwatching but its just another lonely time of being together.

Today I am sat on this beautiful sunny afternoon playing spider on my computer while he's in the garden with a book. Favourite activity.

One thing I could never understand was why did I always feel such a huge relief when I am in the house alone. It hit me today - when I'm lonely with him it feels bad but when I'm actually alone I expect to be - alone. And that feels ok. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Shirley said...

Oh yes. I remember that feeling. More lonely "with" the man you want to connect with, than without him.
I have left mine but now I am the special interest - revenge. Why should he buy something when I have it and he can take it. Kept him out of the house with upgraded security and now he takes my firewood. Dobbed him into friends and family and he does what he is best at - denial. Not a pretty picture here.
Life is better now with a NT. It is so peaceful and he wants to kiss and cuddle too!!! He doesn't believe in AS but is starting to. He can't believe the things my ex and my 21yo (computer mad) get up to. The lies and the defence, straight to my face.
Sorry for the ramble but it has to vent somewhere.
Best of luck to you and you are in my thoughts. I hope we can move forward to expose our dilemma and get understanding.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Rivka said...

Question for everyone here who said their husband had Aspergers...Was he officially diagnosed? Or do you just suspect that he had it?

7:44 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

My son is diagnosed. His father initally agreed that he was also asperger and then denied it. He sits in denial very comfortably whilst he alienated his children by his choices. What a success story! Another one to the pile!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, all of you were SO mistreated by your AS husbands, blissfully ignoring, as usual, the blatant fact that neurotypical husbands are far more likely to commit acts of violence and mistreat their wives than Aspergian individuals. I pity your ignorance, and I hope you can find some way to educate yourselves.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I am an NT married to an AS man we have three kids boys and a girl, I don't think this AfDD is blaming the AS spouse of causing this supposed disorder,be cause of course no one would want to hurt their partner like that, but from my perspective, it can be very hard, and lonely living with someone whom you love, who can't( through no fault of their own), see things from yr perspective. And before anyone jumps down my throat about me not being able to see things from his perspective, I have done a lot of reading, study,and listening to try an understand what makes my family tick. We have been married for 21 years.

4:34 PM  
Blogger In Lehman's Terms said...

Jeff didn't write the two previous posts I did. I am his wife. There seems to be so much anger out there, relationships are hard weather they be AS/NT or not,but there are dedicated difficulties in our relationships that wouldn't be there if AS was not present, but that is no one's fault.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Jeff didn't write the two previous posts I did. I am his wife. There seems to be so much anger out there, relationships are hard weather they be AS/NT or not,but there are dedicated difficulties in our relationships that wouldn't be there if AS was not present, but that is no one's fault.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have been reading the comments on this site. I am facing the demise of my relationship with essentially and outwardly the kindest of men. He has NOT been diagnosed. He refuses to be labelled. I can understand this totally. However because I am so lonely within this relationship I feel I have to speak out. This generous man will do an awful lot for me, non of which is emotion based I have to add, but all of it is way beyond what I would ever dare ask for!
However then comes the downside. Actually BECAUSE of all his superhuman efforts he gets positively nasty with me every few weeks. I am subjected to awful verbal abuse and accused of criticizing him "50 times a day". It seems the more he does the more he feels he can subject me to these rages. I have tortured myself for the past eight years over this and tried to reach him to explain myself to no avail. We have been to counsellors in the past too.
He is highly intelligent and to see him, for example having a full on tantrum over my cleaning a cupboard when, it turns out he didn't want me to do it (he never said at the time) is shocking. Now I am beginning to see that it is NOT me being unreasonable anymore. Why should I have to ask if I am allowed to do this in my own time and in my own house? (He lives with me by the way).
My confidence is alarmingly low though you would never guess to look at me.
I am lonely with him for sure and understand what others have said about this. It gives me huge relief to read about it.
What to do? Wish I knew for sure! I have all but closed down my ability to talk for fear of something being seen as a criticism. Heck he even said I was criticising him whilst I was carefully delivering a compliment yesterday!
I feel I am just being closed down and am under his control. I love him and all the efforts he makes but they are making me nervous these days. I forgive him time and time again despite no apology from him, yet somehow I feel I am reaching the end. My choice is an extremely sad one for both of us. I am not angry with him now I have read up on the subject - at the very least all the reading I have done has alleviated any resentment I once secretly had towards him. I hope I have helped enlighten someone out there over this. There are no "winners" after all.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Shirley said...

Hi Avril
Please put your health and wellbeing at the top of the list. I remember the feeling of losing power of choice and loneliness. I left after 20 years but the revenge continues 4years later with sand in the motor of my new campervan. He was never nasty to me before but when I upset his control of 'normal' he can not let the anger go. Finding someone who understands aspergers in adults is important but they are hard to find. I am in Adelaide if you are close or want to talk. If so get back on here to me. You are sane and very smart too that you worked out what is really happening. Best wishes to you Shirl

5:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Avril, I can relate immensely to your situation. I am / was engaged to an outwardly generous man, but emotionally abusive and never able to have a normal conversation without him feeling that he was being criticised. He won't seek a diagnosis, but he was the one who brought it to my attention when I fell pregnant over Christmas with his child (miscarriaged) and he couldn't express any love or happiness to the situation and left me for 3 days when I delivered the news. He also left me during the period I was miscarriaging. This was just one in a serious of daily events in a 3 year relationship. He is adamant that he wants children again and to try again. However do I trust him? From the experience of the women out there who have stayed in these relationships, do you trust your partners to comit to what they say? I'm 35 and fearful of never having children and meeting someone again who does want children. But, equally fearful of having a child with him who I'll never be able to truly emotionally connect with or trust that he will be there for me.
Once again, to those who have stayed in these relationships, if you had the benefit of knowing your partner had Aspergers, would you have stayed just to have had children?
Seeking help to make the biggest decision of my life...

12:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Aspergers is 90% genetic, do you really want a child with this man??


3:00 AM  
Blogger Lilacinbloom said...

This resonates for me ; thank you .

3:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wholeheartedly agree. I hope you have found a new, rewarding life for yourself x

5:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Note to my former self of 2 years ago - run as you did! Never look back, do the hard work to heal. To understand how your low self esteem and childhood led you into this relationship.
Acknowledge it, learn from it and run from it!
You will shine again after the rain and the abuse - look at your life now!

Claire xo

6:09 AM  
Blogger Shirley said...

Wow Claire,
I so agree with your note to self. Absolutely agree.....
I have a 26yo son who whilst for the first 18years was doing fine is now only interacting with his computer. The world spins for us but is too much for him. He can function okay as long as the internet works.
Good luck to you and everyone else....

6:44 PM  
Blogger Ettina said...

Do you hear yourself? You think AS people lack empathy? You can't be bothered to try to empathize with your partner after they spent *all day* trying to complete a task that their disability makes extremely difficult for them? If he was in a wheelchair, would you get mad that he can't clean the top shelf of the cupboard?

8:16 AM  
Blogger Ettina said...

How would you feel if the position were reversed? If someone was claiming that by virtue of you being NT, you were inherently harmful to your AS partner? It's not about learning to relate to us - you can do that without making up a fake syndrome for how we've supposedly wounded you by existing and trying to relate to you.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Ettina said...

Sounds like he'll be better off without you.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Ettina said...

Do you hear yourself? You think AS people lack empathy? You can't be bothered to try to empathize with your partner after they spent *all day* trying to complete a task that their disability makes extremely difficult for them? If he was in a wheelchair, would you get mad that he can't clean the top shelf of the cupboard?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

Why do 100% of the abusive Aspie husbands described in these comments sound suspiciously like neurotypicals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or one of the other pathologies that requires advanced emotion-reading? Not every social or emotional problem is related to Asperger's!

The most emotionally manipulative person I know--my own father--has claimed to have Asperger's, and at first I believed him because everyone thinks the same of me who inherited other traits from him. But the more failed relationships I saw him in, the more I realized there was something very, very different going on. Although he can be quiet and "creepy" like me, he doesn't appear to struggle with social situations at all, nor even suffer from anxiety about the pressure of socializing correctly. He has a lot more close friends at any given time than I have ever had, cumulatively, throughout my life. He's quite adept at the honeymoon phase of relationships, luring someone closer until they are committed, and then shaming them for expecting him to act like the same person for the rest of the relationship. He is a genius at weaponizing innocent statements out of context, sometimes years later--seriously, he just happens to remember details of years-old conversations, but with the entire context and meaning conveniently overhauled to make the other person look like a villain? He's not emotionally unavailable or unaware, or a poor communicator, he simply chooses to use emotions and communication as weapons on a regular basis. I've never heard anyone complain that he was distant or inadequately affectionate; if he was, that issue was completely drowned out by the active, relentless verbal and emotional abuse. He enjoys arguing so much that if he can't find someone to disagree with him, he'll simply ignore someone's agreement and attack their nonexistent position as if it were real. It has occurred to me that if my father had been a man with the same Aspie behaviors as me, my parents might never have divorced, because my neurotypical mother was willing to be straightforward instead of getting invested in mind-reading games, and I am almost always quite willing to accommodate needs that are spelled out for me (rather than stashing them away in a mental or physical file to use against the person several years later). Not only are all of these problem behaviors of my dad's completely unrelated to autistic symptoms, but they would be prohibitively difficult and painful for someone with genuine hard-wired social barriers to pull off! I cannot imagine acting like him even if, for some incomprehensible reason, I wanted to. It has taken me over thirty years to catch onto the fact that sometimes, neurotypical people's honest mistakes are not actually honest at all. I now believe this is one of those cases.
I don't mean to be insensitive, but if some poor Cassandra were to tell me that he was a mentally destructive partner due to Asperger's, I would have to disbelieve their Prophecy because, by now, I know my own dad's issues and I know autism spectrum difficulties too well to conflate them.

2:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home