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Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Belton, SC USA
Posts: 1
csutton1959 HB User
Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

I am new to this site, but I need to talk to someone who understands. I believe that the man I love has aspergers, he exhibits all the behaviours. He was my first love and we lost touch until 4 years ago, when he called me out of the blue saying he loved me and wanted to be with me. He moved out to SC from CA to be with me, and the very first thing he said to me was how I had changed physically. I was thinking "well youve changed too, who hasnt after 35 years!" so, we jumped into things and he was very touch, didnt like to be touched and I felt pushed away, lonely. I thought maybe he needs time to adjust. Well we eventually found a closeness that I could live with. However, he would fall into this way of isolation, shutting me out, not speaking to me. I could never understand why. And if I dared say anything or raise my voice, he would lock himself in the car. He is very passive aggressive. To make a long story short, in the past 4 years, he has up and moved out on me 3 times, the last time Dec 12 2011. He never said a word, no letter, nothing. i came home to find him gone. It seems that everytime that I thought we were getting closer, he dissappears. When he lived here, he was very immature in his affection, play fighting with me, very aggravating, and he would get very angry if I was too loud in the morning while getting ready for work. He has broken my heart and I though i suspected Aspergers from the beginning and spoke to him about it, he didnt want to see a dr. he seems to enjoy being miserable and angry all the time. Occassionally, he would let his guard down, and you couldnt ask for a better man, loving, but it never lasted long. He will not communicate with me unless its when HE wants to and I feel that i meant nothing to him, even though he told me I was the love of his life. Its all very confusing and I dont know whether to be there for him and try to help him, be patient, or just give up and move on. I still love him and I'm very compassionate and caring, but is there hope? i would appreciate any advice, any words..anything.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4
dougswife HB User
Re: Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

sorry to read your message, sounds like my husband and i fully sympathise with the turmoil you may experience. i have had my faith to get me through this far but even so it has not been easy. funnily enough i doubt if many men are non aspergers, appears to me that this is a common problem.! god bless

Old 06-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL US
Posts: 1
summrlynn76 HB User
Re: Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

I do not know if you are still in the same situation or came to any decisions in your relationship, since this post was months ago, but I can completely relate to how you are feeling. Your undiagnosed AS boyfriend sounds quite a bit like mine! You have much more time and life invested than I do, so you probably are far more aware of how one-sided it can be to be in this type of relationship.

My son was diagnosed with AS several years ago, and I find him to be the most intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful, honest child I could ever hope for. That being said, he has explosive meltdowns and when he is in them, there is no reasoning, no lecturing, no loving, no demanding to get him out. Knowing this has allowed me to separate what I know about the person he is, with what I know are his inabilities to manage his emotions. What I've had to learn instead is that I must preempt the meltdowns by learning his triggers and reacting to him calmly before he becomes anxious. And sometimes, when I don't catch it in time, I just have to let him know that it is okay to be upset, that he may have his space to get calmed down, as long as he doesn't do anything destructive or hurtful).

I bring this up because, even though my boyfriend is undiagnosed, and I know that, like your guy, he would not receive it well if I suggested to him (at this point), I have employed some of the same methods and logic toward him that I use with my son. It's been incredibly helpful! It took times of me dismissing him (before considering it could be AS) as arrogant, inconsiderate, cold, etc. If I told him he hurt my feelings or expressed anything about how he made me feel, he'd turn it around on me, get mad at me, and I wouldn't see him for weeks. Then, when we spoke again, I'd say that I felt like he didn't care, to which he'd say, matter-of-factly, "Why? I told you what you mean to me. You just upset me."

I think in AS relationships, it seems that you have to learn to really not take certain things personally, and understand a need for space. I know with my guy, at least, I have to learn to accept that there will not be an apology more often than not if he has hurt my feelings, because he really does not understand how something spoken harshly is hurtful. I've tried and it just resulted in him becoming more upset, because he felt that he didn't do anything wrong and, therefore, became more anxious that if he doesn't know why something is wrong, than how can he do the right thing.

Learning the person's stress triggers really helps and you may have to do this on your own based on experiences, especially with someone who does not have a diagnosis. Telling them at those moments how they are pushing you away, or asking what is wrong would potentially only add to their alienation of you. Giving the necessary space can help them get over it and come back to you in a way that you both can feel secure in the relationship.

On the other hand, and this is where I am at in the process...I think you have to decide whether you accept that you are probably going to have to take on a lot of the challenges, while not necessarily receiving the emotional support that you may need at times. Also, it seems like your AS boyfriend may be a lot like mine, in that he may have a hard time just meeting the expectations that a relationship entails. It can be very stressful, I think, going from a situation where you have learned to manage yourself in a way that is comfortable, but now having to figure out how to "take care" of someone else's emotional wellbeing and needs, as well. Or perhaps just the confusion of emotions at getting close and bonding with someone is difficult. I'm not sure, but my boyfriend does the same thing, where we have periods of extreme closeness, followed by an almost immediate distancing and totally pulling away. (Of course, I learned early on not to mention that I think he's being distant, because that pushed him further away!) Now I just let him go, knowing that chances are good that he'll come back. And if there is a point that he doesn't, I understand and believe that he spoke the truth about how he feels for me (people on the spectrum are generally very of the things I see as a huge perk!!), but just accept that maybe he can't give what is necessary to be in a relationship.

I hope this brings some comfort to you in some way. Everyone, AS and NT, are different in what they need and can handle in relationships. I think the perks of an AS boyfriend are great...but there are setbacks that may be hard to get over, too. Best wishes to you!

Old 06-29-2012, 12:45 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 5
Liddiebee HB User
Re: Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

My sympathy to you, my 23 yr old son behaves in the same way. He is very rude and abrupt, but also has a kind heart.He goes through various obsessions, on of which at the moment is fishing. Drives me insane, but I believe these obsessions last for up to 2 yrs at a time. He will have a conversation with anyone, as long as it has something to do with fishing. Lots of OCD behaviour. He has a girlfriend, she is a saint and has joined him on most of his fishing expeditions. When he was 3 yrs old, one of his obsessions were watches. He would approach people and attempt to rip off their watches. He can also be very funny and sometimes has us in stitches. We just go with the flow. Regards Liddiebee

Old 12-03-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Doncaster - England
Posts: 2
YatesC93 HB User
Re: Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

Hiya do are you still with this person? I'v been with my partner for nearly 3&half years, he's 23, he has aspergers and I have known from the beginning. Your partners actions sound very similar to mine. I struggle with him a lot I really do but he just doesn't get it. He's broke my heart so many times but never learns. He can be perfect sometimes, so loving & caring. But sometimes he gets into unfamiliar situations or has feelings he isn't sure how to deal with and cuts himself off, shuts down, stops contacting. He did a while ago and didn't talk to me for a week. We split up for a few months and got back together. He's very recently moved to go to uni, supposed to see each other every other weekend or so but he just is terrible with keeping in touch. I thought he was being ignorant at first but it's a big change, the move, new house, new people, new course with no structure as of yet and he find it hard so choses to only deal with one thing at a time, me not being priority lol.
We could have times when we get so close and then other times where he seems to be pushing me away. I mean i keep trying as i love him, & he loves me but i'm finding it hard to deal with now. I understand it all but i want to find a better way of dealing with it & being patient enough. I've hit breaking point too many times, this is how i found your post x

Old 12-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Doncaster - England
Posts: 2
YatesC93 HB User
Re: Problems with Boyfriend who has Aspergers

I know this message was for the lady who wrote the post but i read your comment and it really has helped me a lot. I've been with my boyfriend for 3&half years and I've known from day 1 that he has AS. He was diagnosed as a child. I understand a lot of it but reading this made me realise how much more i need to understand it if i want this to work. I don't help his 'melt downs' and he distances himself a lot, I assume he's being arrogant but can see now that i need to find out what his triggers are and learn how to react to them. I find it hard as I'm a very emotional person and mentally i struggle a lot, i feel the need to tell him my feelings but i don't think he cares/wants to know. He never understands what he does wrong, he isn't honest though, he lies a lot. For no reason - this needs to change because i don't like liars. AS or not, bla bla bla but thank you

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Liddiebee (12-05-2012)
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