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Old 03-06-2011, 11:09 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
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recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

I just recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year. I was and still am terribly fond of him, but the difficulties in our relationship became too much to bear for us both. I’m almost certain he’s an undiagnosed Aspie, especially after reading all your posts. Let me describe the situation. I’d be interested in your reactions. First of all you should know this man has been separated, but not divorced, for 9 years. His wife left him after a 20-year marriage, and though they remain friends, I think the dissolution of the marriage devastated him. He sees it as a terrible failure. Since his separation he’s had a number of “relationships” that have all ended the same way. The women want more emotional connection, more time, more affection, and the relationship breaks off because he can’t give it. The same thing has just happened to us. Truly, part of me feels his inability to connect is a strange loyalty to his wife. The other part I suspect is Aspergers. In fact, I suspect the traits that come with Aspergers have a lot to do with why his wife left.

Here are some of the things that made life with him so hard – and I say this with tears in my eyes. ( I don’t know why I felt such a connection to him, and it’s very hard to get over.) I guess I want your reactions… do you think he’s an Aspie? I’m trying hard to find explanations for his behavior since I still battle with confusion and hurt.

He’s 55-years old and extremely intelligent, a veritable encyclopedia, and this made him a lot of fun to be around intellectually. But, he also had a very superior attitude about his intelligence that was obnoxious. I suspect he had a tough childhood being so smart, not physically adept at sports, and probably “odd”. So, I think to compensate for years of feeling like a brilliant misfit, he developed an arrogance, a pomposity that is off-putting to many people. He knows this, but he claims he doesn’t care. I believe he can’t imagine how to change. He also has a few typical Aspie traits: super sensitivity to loud sounds, some smells, etc.

He could be warm and nurturing at times. He was excellent if you asked him to do something concrete like help out with a favor. It could be picking me up at the airport, or using his truck to haul something for me. And according to him, doing these things proved he cared for me. But, he never once expressed anything in words. He even admitted he was never truly comfortable around people – including me. And he also admitted that he never had fun. “Fun is overrated”, he’d say. It was true. He was incapable of any spontaneous adventure. He was happiest staying at home spending hours on the Internet and reading or cooking. I’m very different. I kept an active social life with friends and family. Though I would invite him to join, he never did. Again, was it the Aspergers that kept him afraid of new social situations or was he just trying to stay distanced from me?

He would want to be close at times, but, then at other times, he’d brusquely push me away and want space. There was a constant push and pull, and it exhausted and hurt me. Sometimes, when he wanted to push me away he would do or say things that were so mean, I’d be dumbstruck with pain. I would get very angry and leave the relationship for a few weeks to recover. When we’d finally talk about what happened, I would be amazed at how differently we saw things. He would chastise me for having such a bad temper. And he would have NO idea that his words had been hurtful.

I would wonder “How could he not know that saying that would hurt?” I wonder if it’s the Aspergers that keeps him unaware of normal sensitivities and what might be a hurtful way to express something.

His need for space was serious. During the week he would maintain an extremely rigid schedule. He usually didn’t contact me before 4:00 PM. He would disappear almost every weekend and go to a cabin alone. He’d hunt or just take care of the place. I could tell he was truly at peace then. He made it clear I would never be invited to this cabin since it was a special place he still owned with his wife. In the beginning of our relationship we’d spend possibly 2-3 evenings together making dinner, watching a movie and enjoying an incredible physical intimacy. He almost never wanted to stay over through the night. I always felt it was so he could maintain emotional distance. Eventually, he did relax enough to spend whole nights together, and it was wonderful to curl up beside him.

Now, here’s where it really got tough. He’s the angriest person I’ve ever known. He usually didn’t direct it at me, but at the world, at the government, at people who weren’t as smart as he, at someone driving poorly, at the cashier in the checkout line. There was a constant terrible barrage of anger that was so draining and sad to be around.

He would say tragic things to me about why we couldn’t really have a relationship. He’d say he was broken. He had no more to give. He couldn’t try anymore. He just didn’t care about anything anymore. Everything felt like an obligation. Yet, he continued to spend time with me (maybe it was just for the sex), and there were often sweet times.

Finally, we’d had too many break-ups. He was too exhausted. And he convinced himself that we, as he put it, “mis-communicated in terrible and dangerous ways.” My take on it was that we never really communicated. We never talked about how to treat each other better. I would try and he would tell me I analyzed too much.

There is no going back. A month or two (I can’t be sure) after we broke up, he’s started seeing someone else. And I painfully remember how many times he told me that he just “had nothing left to give.” I suspect this “relationship” will take the same course as ours.

I did mention Aspergers to him twice during our time together, and I was quickly shut out.

I’m very sad and cry often. I know I was often not treated well; in fact at times I was emotionally abused. I know our separation is for the best, and now I’m free to find a happier healthier partner. But, I really did care for this man and it breaks my heart that we failed.

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Old 04-26-2011, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

Hi I would love to be able to speak to you more on this. I am going thru this very thing. I feel desparate.

Last edited by moderator2; 04-26-2011 at 06:42 AM.

Old 04-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #3
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Re: recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

Often when someone breaks up with you, they really do you a big favor, if you see what I mean,

It's natural for you to be sad, because it is all so recent, but there is no ground for you to feel guilty, as far as I can see. You did your best to make it work, apparently, but this man, whether he is an Aspie or not, is very unavailable. He didn't respect your feelings and emotions in the first place.

It is noble of you to try to understand what is behind his mask, if anything, but more often than not people are really hard to understand. Because he is so much into his mind, he is unbalanced - that could be an explanation good enough for you. Period.

Don't waste too much of your precious time. Now it is high time you started to move on...

Old 04-26-2011, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

I understand what you're going through. I went through something kind of similar as well. And all the "was it his illness, depression, or was it me? Could it have been fixed? Am I going to be end alone forever because I didn't make this one work?" questions are haunting you. In my case, I didn't leave, thought I should have. I was left, and then the guy married the next woman me met after me, pretty soon after.

I think it really doesn't matter whether he has aspberger's or not. It really doesn't matter what it was or why it didn't work. He wasn't the right one for you, and that's all you need to know, and that's all you need to focus on. You can't go back in time and fix it so it all ends differently. And you can't fix him. And you can't love him into loving you. As sad as it is, as hard as it is, as much as it hurts, your only option is to do whatever it takes to put it down, stop wishing it could have ended up differently, be ok with the fact that he just wasn't the right one for you, and move on. The thing you have to do now is figure out what it will take to get your head in that place.

Old 04-26-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Re: recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

I think he was a selfish man and you deserve much better anyway. Wether he had a problem or not he had no right to treat you like that. It seems like him and only him mattered. He may have been broken inside but then he should have stayed single till he felt unbroken and ready to date again. Instead he got with you , messed you around, hurt you and blamed you oh and slept with you. I think he needs to see someone like a counsellor but alot of people are in denial or too self proud. I doubt hes making the new woman happy either bet it wont work.

Old 04-27-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: recently broke up with a man I’d been seeing for over a year

It sounds like you've had a lucky escape. Whether or not he has Aspergers isn't really relevant, he could just be a nasty bad tempered person. People who go through break-ups rarely get the answers they want. Forget about him and move on to a better future without him bringing you down.

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