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Roseygem

New Relationship with someone who has Aspergers - How to deal with him?

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Roseygem   

Hi All,

As the title states I am in a new relationship (around the 6 months mark now) and think I am with someone who suffers from Asperger’s. He is 56 and runs his own business in the animal care industry.
I started working for him around 8 months ago and we got together 2 months after.

There is a strain causing us problems which I will get to…
 
I’m just wanting to know if a) he is an aspie and B) how do I deal with it to make the relationship work?!

He is not diagnosed but shows the following traits:

- When something bad happens he withdraws really bad. He blames himself for anything that goes wrong and goes on a sort of ‘guilt’ trip.
- If everything is going right or something good happens then he wont leave me alone, constant text messages, asking me to stay etc…However when he’s down or something bad happens he doesn’t want to know that I am there for him
- He gets obsessed by things. He’s obsessed with dogs n cats and so much so created a sanctuary for them (nothing wrong with that but he gets worried if one of the dogs or cats coughs once – I’m talking emergency vets the lot. We also had a rat problem and instead of getting rid of them he was feeding them fruit….yes feeding the rats). When he gets obsessed it becomes his life and all he can talk about.
- If I hurt myself he will hurt me even more sometimes. I donated blood and was showing him my arm where I gave blood, it started to swell a little and all I said was ‘feel the swelling!’. He responded by harshly pushing down on the swelling and when I yelped he just looked at me with a smerk. I was also bitten by a dog on my arm, although he was attentive in making sure I was ok the day after he grabbed my arm till I shouted at him to stop. No emotion on his face and no apology.
- Can’t get him to leave his home/workplace. He lives where he works and I have mentioned time and time again for us to get out and do something as a couple. The job is very demanding and tiring but he always makes an excuse to not leave. Now I’ve seen pictures of him doing something work related outside of his home/workplace but this was around 6 years ago so maybe he’s got worse in not wanting to break his routine as he’s got older?
- If his routine is broken or something alters it then he breaks down. For example someone he works for him wanted time off during Christmas, he responded by shouting, getting upset, throwing his phone across the building and slamming the door shut behind him. An hour after he composed himself he acted like nothing happened.
- Snaps in the most unusual situations. He was tired and attempting to put something in oven. He dropped a roll of tin foil and as a result he ripped the tin foil into a million one pieces and acted like he did nothing wrong.
- Can’t eat anything different – nor can I cook for him. I feel this goes in the OCD category but when I stay we eat the same thing, literally. If I buy us something different to try he moans and we have to go the same takeaway and order the same meal we always have from there. If the order is wrong then he gets very agitated. I’ve offered every week to cook us something but he won’t allow it.
- overheats during sex. He doesn’t just get a bit warm he sweats and feels as if he’s about boil alive!!! When I’ve googled I’ve heard It’s an aspie trait.

It may only be 6 months but I am absolutely in love with this guy, he’s great to be around and I love to listen to his obsessions and way of thinking.
However over the last month we’ve found out his parent is sadly on the decline and looking like his parent will pass away. I’ve never lost a parent so I can’t imagine the pain he’s going through.
I’ve noticed he’s started to withdraw from the relationship and when he’s really down I’ll find him asleep on the kitchen table, when I ask him to come to bed he calls me a nag and tells me to leave him alone. When he eventually goes to bed it’s as if I’m not there.
We still make love (although on the days something bad has happened I’m just another work colleague and I have to force a kiss out him) and talk but I feel he really couldn’t care less if I am there when work finishes or not as before he would love me to stay and made a point of coming to find me…even just for a kiss!

I want to be there for him but not come across as a nag which I am being to him. What is the best way to deal with someone who has Aspergers? I feel at times we are so close but yet far away and when I try and get us close it’s like I’m being too needy.

If anyone has a husband/partner like this then how do you deal with it? Any tips or guidance would be muchly appreciated.

So sorry for the long post, I don’t want to loose this relationship just because I don’t know how to handle someone with aspergers.
Also sorry for any spelling/grammer mistakes – I’m very word blind.

Thank you.

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katzmum   

Hello,

 

I am married to a 58 year old gentleman with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.  He obtained his diagnosis at the age of 50 from the Sheffield Asperger Centre , which I believe now runs under a different name.  He was referred there by our GP.

 

We do not live together, although we are married and see each other every day.  For us and the teenage son who still lives at home with me, this arrangement works better.  My husband is also hugely empathetic towards animals.  He feeds the feral cats at my mother's farm and my eldest son (who now lives away from home) has tamed the cats so my mother has 15 very friendly moggies to catch her mice.  My husband also fed a rat who came into our garden when a neighbourhood river flooded.  He called the rat 'Albert'  but Albert brought all his friends over and soon there was a rat run in our garden and in our neighbour's garden.

My greatest help was to realise that my husband had a disability and that it is the same disability that our son has.  However, the support that our son receives was not available when my husband was younger, so he has had to struggle through and develop strategies to cope.  My husband's strategies are to run away from relationships when they become too complicated (we have been married for 20 years, but this is his second marriage) and to respond to conflict with anger and rage.   I have learnt not to react and to ride the storm.  This strategy works for me, but you may find other strategies work better.

I have found a lot of advice and solace in the 'Different Together' forum, which is set up for individuals who are in relationships with people with AS.  

 

I am glad you are committed to your partner.  

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katzmum   

Really sorry for posting twice in succession.  However, my husband is extremely attached to his mother.  In fact, in my experience, many men with AS have a very close bond with their mothers and I certainly have an overwhelming protectiveness towards our sons due to their vulnerability.  Your partner may not know how to cope with these overwhelming emotions and the huge change that comes when a parent dies.  You are doing exactly what is right (in my opinion), you are standing by him.  However, he may not be able to put his feelings into words  and he may find his anxiety over what is happening to his parent is preventing him from expressing his love for you.  I know when my husband is anxious, it totally consumes him.

Helping him practically, by providing comfort, shelter and calm may be the best thing you can do at the moment.

 

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Roseygem   

Hi Katzmum,

Thank you for taking the time to reply, its much appreciated. By all means, post as many times as you like. 

Wow, you cope extremely well and it's good to read how you cope and deal with two people in your life with Asperger Syndrome. Thank you for sharing.

The parent is his Mother and yes, he's extremely close to her. He's absolutely distraught and the grief of knowing she will pass is consuming his own life. He throws himself into his work rather too much (6am start and 11pm finish) when his Mum has a bad day with her illness. He's lost nearly a stone in weight (he's around 5ft 8 and now weighs 9st) and is constantly tired and looking ill himself. 
I do wonder if I approach him wrong sometimes. I feel he'd rather be alone whilst this is happening and I should let him come to me when he feels he needs someone close to talk to. I instantly go into making sure he's ok, will ring him and text him to make sure he's know i'm there. 

Like my past relationships I feel I have treat and deal with my new relationship differently. Many people at his place of work call him 'odd' and 'childish' when he has a meltdown. I knew instantly he had a form of Autism with how he reacts to things.
He's obsessed with anything sound related too. Especially of late everything has to be loud, he has music playing throughout the night really loud, I find myself waiting till he's asleep and turning the music down! I have read people with AS have music loud to drowned everything out as a sort of coping mechanism. 

I will certainly look into the forum you have mentioned as I just want to know how to deal with him in the correct manner. I know that sounds rather too formal but being with someone who has AS is completely new to me. 

Thank you again for your posts :).

RoseyGem x

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Roseygem   
59 minutes ago, katzmum said:

We do not live together, although we are married and see each other every day.  For us and the teenage son who still lives at home with me, this arrangement works better.  My husband is also hugely empathetic towards animals.  He feeds the feral cats at my mother's farm and my eldest son (who now lives away from home) has tamed the cats so my mother has 15 very friendly moggies to catch her mice.  My husband also fed a rat who came into our garden when a neighbourhood river flooded.  He called the rat 'Albert'  but Albert brought all his friends over and soon there was a rat run in our garden and in our neighbour's garden.

 

My partner is exactly the same, he owns 15 cats and one of them kept bringing Mice in. He's now converted a caravan for the mice that he's saved. There is one rat he's kept too. He worries if he lets them go then they will die and it's his fault. He doesn't get upset he gets beyond upset. 
His house is for the animals lol.

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trekster   

Sounds like he has an extreme form of animal hoarding type OCD.  Ive just got on top of my hoarding and spending type OCD, now the clutter is in about 5 boxes which will take a while to get sorted through but at least im in a livable environment.

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