"There's some food in the freezer - see if you can cook it yourself 'cos I'm gone gone gone..."
In other words, the letter is being used to terminate a relationship, rather than to save it.
Letter writing in relationships is a great thing which should not be saved as a last resort. In fact, writing letters while the going is good will actually strengthen your relationship.
Why is Letter Writing in Aspie Relationships Particularly Useful?
We've all heard of the legendary communication problems between couples due to gender differences. They're well documented in books like "men are from mars, women are from venus" by John Gray and on talk shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil.
The Aspie world takes all of this and puts a spin on it. Suddenly, not only is the gender difference a problem but all the aspie things are too.
Common Aspie problems which can impact on relationships include;
- Difficulty reading non-verbal expression
- Difficulty displaying appropriate expression
- Difficulty showing and feeling empathy
- Inappropriate stimming behaviour
- Impulsive behaviour
- Differences in perception of problems
- Difficulty concentrating on non-core subjects
- Overanalysis and reliance on logic
- Thinking about special interests - instead of your partner.
How a Letter can Compensate for lack of Expression
Its often said that Aspies can't read facial expressions and tones of voice. That's true - although we are certainly able to detect extremes.
A lot of shouting, throwing and smashing things will quickly let the aspie know that you are angry. Of course, if it reaches that stage before being detected, there's a big problem.
The main problems that aspies have in these areas are mainly around non-verbal expression - both reading expression (tone, body language, facial expressions etc) and expressing them ourselves.
Written letters are great levelers. Sure, you can try to read between the lines but essentially there's usually nothing in a letter that isn't obvious in print. This makes it much easier for the aspie to understand meanings and feelings and to make themselves understood in return.
In my next post, I'll try to get more into the mechanics of the letter itself.