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Why Do Aspies Suddenly Back-Off in Relationships? (Part 1)

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is why an aspie (or suspected aspie) suddenly goes "cold" and backs off on an otherwise good relationship.

It's a difficult question and the answers would vary considerably from one person to another and would depend greatly on the circumstances. Nevertheless, I'll try to point out some possibilities.

Negative Reasons
I generally like to stay positive on this blog and assume that people are not necessarily "evil" but simply misguided. Unfortunately, I do have to acknowledge that there are some people out there who take advantage of others.

I read a book a few years ago on "sociopaths in the workplace" and I was stunned by the figures. They suggested that sociopaths were so common that most workplaces (small business) had at least one or two.

The fact is that there are lots of people out there who really feel very little for others and who are very manipulative. I'd like to say that aspies aren't like this but I'm sure there are a few.

One of the problems is that sociopaths and aspies can present similarly on the surface. There's not a huge amount of immediately visible difference between "lack of emotional connection" versus "inability to convey emotion". Similarly, manipulative behaviour can often come across as simply "needy".

Since the aspergers diagnosis is based on purely subjective criteria, it's not unlikely that in some cases, sociopaths may be misdiagnosed as aspies.

You have been warned.

Now let's move onto more genuine and solvable reasons.

Change Resistance
This is one of the biggest reasons. The aspie detects an approaching change in the relationship; perhaps you're talking about moving in, having children or maybe you're simply becoming assertive about routines; tea times, household chores or furniture placement.

Whatever the reason, the aspie change resistance kicks in. As we know, aspies are not the world's best communicators and half of the time they'll be completely unaware that the problem is change resistance. To them, they're just unable to cope with the TV being moved to the opposite side of the room. They don't know why they don't like it but they can think of lots of fancy excuses. The aspie may find it easier to go quiet and say nothing than to speak their mind.

The NT side of the relationship will often take this "quietness" to indicate grudging acceptance and may exacerbate the situation by repeating it (for instance, moving more furniture). By the time the "quietness" is really noticed as a problem, it's often too late and the aspie has gone "cold" on the relationship.

NTs can assist with change resistance problems by becoming aware of unusual "quietness" in their partner and encouraging discussion. Aspies can help by making more efforts to communicate, even if it means resorting to written forms.

Next Time
Next time I want to look at the role that Depression and Self Doubt plays in causing aspies to back off on relationships.


I've talked about this issue on my blog too. From my own experience, I always seemed to develop "issues" as any relationship changed and all relationships do this. The person I initially met and fell in love or strong like with would become a fixation in my mind and when that girl or lady began to change -- simply as the result of being in a relationship -- I didn't know how to handle it.
So, I would pressure the person to return to being the person I first met.

Of course, no one wants a person who supposedly loves them to try to put them in an emotional box! This is the point in which all of my relationships (except for the one with my wife of 24 years) broke down.

When people ask me why my wife & I were able to break this pattern, I'm completely honest. All the credit goes to her! It is solely because of her patience and compassion that we were able to wade through my "issue" period and come out the other side.
eaucoin said…
When it comes to relationships, NTs negotiate them. We Aspies often don't know what we want or how to ask for it, and it makes relationships hard work. We take longer to figure out when it won't work, and then we may stop trying. Since an NT doesn't understand what an effort we've been making, they're liable to think us cold when we stop trying so hard. It's not personal, just a reflection of how the concept of social reciprocity is a struggle for us. When I was young, I knew when my mother didn't like a child that I brought round home. By the time I was in junior high, it was easier to keep my distance from people than to explain why I couldn't have them over. I had NT siblings who could bring friends home, so I knew the problem was with my selection process, but I didn't have anyone to ask about such things. I'm sure a few of those potential friends wondered what happened when they didn't get asked back after I'd been to their homes, even though I clearly liked them. Many of us with Aspergers grew up with family members who we couldn't trust and when a parent is one of those, a lot of our issues go underground, in which case we won't be sharing with you the straw that broke the camel's back, and we will seem very mysterious (not in a good way).
Anonymous said…
Wow, maybe it's a gender issue, but I have never had a problem with being quiet about issues in a relationship. Oh my God. I'll discuss anything, and when I know change is coming, I'll get into gear for it. More often than not, it's my partner who resists the change.

My first NT husband had a very difficult time with making changes; my present NT husband is actually quite flexible, but he goes about making change in a very slow and determined way. It's his nature to want to weigh all the options before making a change, and this aspect of his personality balances my tendency to take quick, decisive action. When I'm right about a change that needs to be made, I'll lead us both in a very good direction, but when I'm wrong...Oy. It's good that he's there to slow me down!
Anonymous said…
I've been dating an undiagnosed AS for a couple of months. When I brought up how he doesn't express how he feels or take proactive steps he backed off a bit. Now looking back, he may not have gotten the gist of "proactive" an misinterpreted what I was requesting as a committed relationship.

I tried to explain things more black and white. He directly answered my questions and said he does enjoying spending time together and would like to continue but he didn't want to go beyond that. Presumably that meant not wanting to discuss feelings.

It's very frustrating as an NT knowing if he's interested at all. I suppose if he weren't he'd just make himself unavailable, hide or ignore my calls/emails instead of continuing to engage?
Anonymous said…
I've had this happen to me, and it's quite devastating. I'm an NT woman with Aspie traits, so I *get* why my Aspie guy felt he had to back off, but it doesn't help lessen the frustration of being helpless to change that he backed off. My question is: once an Aspie has backed off in a relationship, is it possible to restore the relationship in some fashion that approximates the original strong feelings, or is it just "over?" I'm willing to take baby steps to restore the relationship, but if he isn't going to budge or even talk about how he feels, then it seems pointless. Pointless, and a missed opportunity for a real connection (which makes me very sad).
Anonymous said…
I can't even get as far as to get into a relationship. I have issues with work place/school relationships not progressing to the next level. I notice that all my fellow students and co-workers have no issue in becoming buddies and laughing and joking and hanging out. They even take their friendship beyond the office and talk about the bike rides they went on or the other activities they did together. They seem to have endless things to say and talk about with each other.
Two years later I am still on a very superficial level with them. They have, by this time, noticed my difference from them and each deals with it according to their individuality. Some avoid me, others accept our superficial relationship for what it is, others just seem to wonder about me.
The part you wrote about the sociopaths in the work place relates to Aspies in that, Aspies can sometimes be the target of "Socios". A lesson that is often learned the hard way by some of us. Also, I see a big difference between Aspies and Sociopaths, Sociopaths seem to jump right in and try to charm everyone to get what they want in social settings.
Hello all, from what I read alot of people start out strong in relationships but then grow weaker and weaker as they expose more of there traits and stop reading the other person. What are your thoughts on this?

As for change resistance; yeah it's suddenly annoying to have something moved but I usually just shrug it off. My mom and my sister would often change the furniture layout just for the excitement of being in somewhat different setup which would drive me nuts as they often made the room worse then before. In retrospect I can understand this feeling of wanting some change but I keep myself too busy to worry about things like that.
Unknown said…
I have noticed a pattern of withdrawal in friendships. Being so introverted, I am often initially drawn to very emotional, social people. After a bit of time, they wear me out and I don't want to get sucked into the emotional maelstrom. I need to try to make friends with the other introverts.
*nods* Tamala when someone approaches you or takes the initiative to talk to you it has a powerful psychological effect (attraction); extroverted people are quite tiring if you don't know how to make conversation and establish relationships. I'm guessing they do most of the talking and initiative, such as inviting you to places, etc, you feel left out and not in control so your interest may simply die out. I'll post references on my own blog soon enough of where you can find out more.
Anonymous said…
I usually back off because I find that as people get to know me, they try to "fix" me. When that doesn't work, they criticize me. Past a certain point it just hurts too damn much.
JM said…
I am currently in a loving relationship with a NT, I'm AS, we recently moved in together, and this couldn't be more true of the first three months of living together.

I thought that I had lost the feeling of love for him, but he was so insistent about communicating with me for so long, that we eventually figured it out. But honestly, I didn't have much clue as to this being associated with my AS.

I had "gone cold" and thought it was all lost, as I do as usual when the relationship "moves to the next level". I had never been able to recover from this, but I have this time. And I think I may have found someone who can cope with me for a while. : )
KtL said…
I'm an NT currently in a relationship with an AS, and this topic is extremely helpful.

I'd be grateful to anyone who had any insights to share if you'd be willing to contact me (see email through profile).

:) Thanks!
Bruce said…
I;m 45yo and have AS, was diagnosed at age 39. I don't understand how marriages last a long time. Was married 10 years the first time, about 3 years too long, before I finally left and almost 11 this time and its complicated. If this one ends I can't see trying again.
Anonymous said…
Most people with Aspergers, like most people want social relationships. We tend to have a hard time understanding the way the majority of people interact. Sometimes when I find I click with someone and they want to become friends or more I get nervous. Its like this is what I hoped for but now what do you do? Also years of being an outcast picked on psychologically and physically abused means I tend to assume at a subconscious level people probably won't like me, when reality turns out not to match you deep seated insecurites it can be exciting but also frightening. As a matter of fact some people(not just Aspies its a general psychological problem that can happen to anyone) deal with that kind of abuse by actually trying to make sure no one likes them so they can stay in their comfort zone. Most people with Aspergers I think I'm just going off my own personal experience have to think long and hard about what they say and do in social situations. Its work, it doesn't come natural, so while its something we desire its work basically. Its not neccessarily relaxing like it may be for most people. And of course its less complex/awkward with friends than any kind of romantic relationship with the opposite sex(or same sex if you're gay I suppose).
Anonymous said…
I have a friend and over the corse of just a few months we became very close.
The first time I saw him I fell in love with him, a few weeks later I told him I liked him. To be totally honest I figured he would never see me again once I told him. To my surprise after he told me he wasn't really looking for a relationship, we continued to get closer and even faster than before.
My birthday marks the start of summer I spent the day with him and we both had a blast. About a week after my birthday he informed me that he thought it would be best if we did our own things over the summer. His birthday is the month after mine but he didn't want me to see him for that either.
I really want to talk to him but have been reluctant to even try to get in contact with him, because I don't want to make things worse. I feel like I did something but I have no idea what it was.
He confided a lot in me and told me a lot that he trusted me. I remember a post you did on stemming and stress relieving things that most aspies do. Everyday he would listen to his mp3 player before class started. But once he started hanging out with me, he stopped and just wanted to talk to me. We have been at each others houses and met each others families.
Neither of us have ever been in any type of relationship, and I never told him I wanted to be in one with him. I told I liked him once, but never mentioned it again. I just turned 19 and he just turned 20.
Truth be told, I would be ok being friends forever. I never mentioned it because my hope was that after being good friends for a while he might want to be more then that. Now, knowing that there is a chance I could loose him, I just want him back in my life.

Could you please help me know what to do.
Any advice you have would be wonderful.
Anonymous said…
He with Aspergers, was so affectionate and loving. He is very high functioning. Intelligent, witty, socializes really well with his group of friends. He is slightly awkward socially but I find that adorable. When we first dated, he was so sweet and responsive in person. When we were apart, he seldom shared his life and was distant. In the year that we were together, when we were in each others presence, he was very emotional and empathetic. That would quickly go away when we were not together in person. He went through a period when he did not know what to do with his life, I tried to help but became frustrated with both the lack of direction as well as the lack of communication.

So our relationship started to become stressful on him. One day he was telling me that I was his "dream girl" that the only thing he is sure of in his life was that he wants a future with me. Literally the next day, he was so cold and told me I am not what he wants. This was after I became upset that he was not responding to my messages for a period of time. I was so confused and distraught. He proceeded to ignore my emails, calls, messages for a month. When he finally spoke with me again, he was not the same person. He is easily agitated, unwilling to communicate and unwilling to compromise. It's like the person that loved me so deeply, so completely, more than anyone he has ever loved, was a totally different person. Now he tells me he doesn't have time to work on a relationship with me or anyone. I am emotional, because I am hurt and he doesn't seem to see why I should be and think I'm putting pressure on him by being emotional. I tried to get him to see it from my perspective so many different ways and I was met with only resistance. Right now, the emotional side of him that makes someone human is completely gone, and the only side remaining is the logical side. He said he doesn't know any other way to be but logical. He says he loves me but makes absolutely NO EFFORT to show it; he doesn't want me to see other people but tells me he WON'T be in a relationship that he has no time for. He thinks that there is something wrong with me and even called me emotionally unstable/hysterical when I cried. He has trouble communicating; he keeps flopping his points and was everywhere..He has trouble understanding his own emotions, I believe. But because he has trouble communicating, he says it's because I don't listen to him. I cannot for the life of me get him to see anything from my perspective despite however hard I try. His voice is monotone, cold and devoid of any sort of emotions. He says he has other priorities in his life, does not have time for a relationship with me. That really hurts. I told him it hurts, but he cannot handle my emotions and says I'm just "dramatizing." He no longer wants any communications with me. The worst part is the fact that he doesn't how the lack of empathy and lack of communication is attributed to his Aspergers at all. He was diagnosed in the 3rd grade.

This relationship has left me a complete mess. The way things ended makes me feel totally manipulated and scarred. I am having trouble piecing things together and I am having trouble moving on. Why did he become stone cold and prioritized everything in his life before love? What happened to the sweet, sensitive, caring, smart, witty guy that I once knew and still love?
Anonymous said…
Dear Anonymous,
I'm the woman who calls herself July 21st. You can read my story in part 2 of "Why do aspies back-off in relationships" if you want. When I read your words "what happened to the sweet, sensitive, caring, smart, witty guy that I once knew?" I immediately recognized more or less what happened to me. I'm NT and my male friend has AS. We were not together, but only very close friends although this relationship has never had very clear boundaries. At the beginning of our friendship he was always with me, always very sensitive and very caring. When things began to grow a little bit deeper he had a verbal anger attack at me and didn't talk to me for one month. I wrote him saying that I cared and we went back to what we had before for two months but when he sensed again that our friendship was not really only a friendship, he had another verbal anger attack against me and decided that he never wanted to meet me alone anymore but only with other people, so limiting very much our relationship and humiliating me. I often tried to write him nice words saying that we could fix everything and become friends again but it all ended up with him going back in august for good to his own home country and saying goodbye to all other friends except me. I haven't heard of him since 4 months and I don't think I'll ever hear from him again. I'm answering to your post for different reasons: first, to tell you that I understand you, and unfortunately that you are not alone, because I'm also very sad and scarred by what happened in a similar situation; secondly that I found some confort in this blog, but also on FB in the pages "asperger syndrome awareness" and "the girl with the curly hair". I never wrote there but I found a lot of explanations for my friend's behaviour which helped me a bit to understand what happended. It didn't solve the situation, but it helps a bit. I think that when the relationship becomes too stressful for them or if their anxiety from the relationship becomes too big, the only solution they have is to drive you away, because they cannot stand all this stress and anxiety. My friend was in the end very scared of me and of being alone with me but this was irrational, as I assure you I couldn't scare an insect, let alone a human being!!! But still, even if he was sad about it, he couldn't help being scared and driving me away. Also, the anger attacks are probably what is called "meltdowns", which are typical of AS. I always tried to forgive them, even if he insulted me very much. But I have to tell you that, in spite of me forgiving everything, he always blamed everything on me. I made mistakes and hurt him, of course, but never intentionally. He, instead, hurt me intentionally a lot of times, especially when he felt refused by me. The only advice I can give you is to think that it's not your fault and to try not to stress him too much by writing him too much or calling him too much, maybe just one simple and calm email where you tell him that you care and you want to solve things. I hope it works for you, for me it didn't but things were a little bit more complicated in our relationship that I can write here. And finally, I really wish Gavin or some other AS could help us understand and give us some advice on how to try and get a friend/boyfriend back when he doesn't want to speak to us anymore. I just left my friend free and in peace and didn't write him anymore, even if I still care, because I thought it's a way to respect his choice. But I also know that AS do not usually make the first move, so probably even if he wanted to contact me again, he will never do that. So I dont' know what to do and in abscence of advice, I will probably do nothing...????
David said…
A fascinating topic as I'm an (undiagnosed) aspie male in my late 40s and recently had a very intense relationship, culminating with me 'going cold' and ruining everything in a single evening. I met a lovely lady 10 years my junior online. After a few false starts, we embarked on a passionate and loving relationship, the intensity of which I'd never known before. She was the first and only person to love me for me and being with her was the best few months of my life. I suggested us moving in together and that, in retrospect was my big mistake. Almost immediately we moved in, I began to become overwhelmed with the life changes required and within a week I wanted to run. Explaining this face to face traumatised her, particularly as I was so cold/logical about it all. She left the house and other than a little initial contact, during which we were both confused and upset, I have had no contact with her. She closed off all communication about six months ago, but I'm still in an absolute turmoil of guilt, regret, loss and self hatred. Although I've tried, I've been unable to rekindle those feelings of love with anyone else and I'm close to giving up on relationships altogether. At the time I had no idea of my limitations as I'd never been truly in love before, but communication rather than cold, unilateral action is the key. For anyone with AS needing to back off in a relationship -- talk it through, write it, email it, whatever, but don't make the mistake I did.
Anonymous said…
same thing happened to me.devastating.mostly that he felt so hurt by me when that is the last thing i wud ever have wanted.i just didnt understand what i was dealing. with. u want to stay away and respect them at the same time u want desperately to talk to them and reassure them.
Anonymous said…
I'm so glad I ran across this blog post. I've been dating a girl for about a year and during that period she came to the realization that she has Asperger's. She and her son moved in, and it's been a rollercoaster. I feel that the foundation of everything is super solid, but she's very overwhelmed by what to me seem sometimes like the simplest misunderstandings. It's challenging to be on the NT end to say the least sometimes, but the blog post and all the comments really helped shine a light on a lot of things for me.

Thank you.
sad tonight said…
Thanks for the posts - it REALLY helps to read other peoples' stories because now I don't feel alone. It's as if I wrote my story when I read theirs. Wonderful beautiful Aspie love suddenly disappeared. He won't answer texts or e-mails or phone calls. I'm NT and he is undiagnosed but has so many Aspie traits like stimming and odd fears and disappearing acts and obsessive working on computers and a brilliant mind that works in strange ways. He gets these ideas that aren't really founded in rational thought and then just runs with them to far away places and there is no convincing him that his initial premise is mis-guided. I love him anyway. I just wish we were still together. He is on to the next woman looking for the Holy Grail I guess...he can't seem to relate in a normal way so obviously to him, it's my fault that things didn't work out. Even though he says we are just different and that nobody is wrong, and that we get along great and have a strong connection, he refuses to talk or work things out. He's made his decision to leave because he can't express his needs and I don't read minds. He can't understand that people need to express their wants and needs so that the other person can try to meet them. That's relating - we don't all live in a bubble. I feel ripped off because I never got a chance to make things right with him. I guess I have been "on trial" all these months and didn't know it. Apparently I failed the tests. I feel helpless and hopeless and so frustrated wanting to give him respectful space and yet wanting so much to talk to him and try to convince him otherwise. It's so sad and hard to give up this wonderful person. We had so much in common too.
Anonymous said…
Today I have the first sign of coming back of my husband...after one year of back off my husband was like we have met!
I am very very happy because we had a normal ...very very normal conversation ....he was normal ...he was like me, like everyone....I want to dance of joy ...I want to share this with the infinite internet...there is hope!!!there is much hope!
bruce said…
I have a 33 years marriage to another Aspie (I realised). We are equally puzzled by the NT world. We admit we do not know what NT's mean by 'love', especially as NTs are so duplicit or at least fickle.

I could not 'date'. Too complicated. I need clear rules.

So I made a plan: we had an arranged marriage through a traditional religion, and started out with lots of lovely RULES. Now we are more relaxed and know our limits.

I 'backed off' from previous women when I could not guess why they had changed, or when they ate lots of meat and I was a strict vegetarian (at the time). They were attractive but the meat they ate was not! (Then they went into a sulk, but I had already told them about the meat - they just didn't listen). So I back away from people who may be friendly but don't listen or understand me, instead pigeon-holing me in some sort of fantasy. Obviously that will go nowhere. We back off because we are smart!
Anonymous said…
I am aspie also. How did the marriage get arranged? What religion? Details please.
Anonymous said…
I'm curious if Aspies can better control their behavior while under the threat of a gun?
Anonymous said…
Wow. Thank you for this blog and it's postings. I thought I was going crazy.

I'm 44 and started dating a nice guy last year - he was 49- I think he is an undiagnosed aspie. He was incredibly smart, could remember huge sequences of numbers, didn't like social situations, he was obsessive about fixing things that needed fixing, always helping people in need (it was hard for him to say no to anyone - who needed any kind of help) he spoke in a constant monologue and anyone whom I introduced him to - thought he was socially awkward (I just thought he was adorable).

Dating was really fun at first. He was sweet, kind, helpful and very very loving. But slowly as the relationship progressed, like every relationship does, he would start saying every time he would leave my house, that he knew at some point I was just going to kick him to the curb, because everybody always did. I always reassured him- that I would never do that.. and I was quite confused why he would ALWAYS say that at our partings. I was having a blast- I felt like he was too.

Well... at a certain point, as the relationship, got to the " next level ", he would say he wanted to go to the next step, move some things to my place, move forward with me, but he just "couldn't do it" --he couldn't make the change, he said he was "frightened" by me... He wanted to keep everything as it is- He said his heart had so much scar tissue on it from past relationships- he just knew I would leave him eventually, because everybody always did. No matter how much I tried to convince him- he was stuck on that idea. So things would get hot and heavy with us- then he would just make himself crazy busy with work and just go away...even though I don't feel I did anything wrong... he would go "underground"- I would leave him messages, texts and hear nothing back. This whole thing just made me so sad.... and very confused.....

The pattern kept repeating itself over and over and over. I would eventually go and find him or we would run into each other- and it would start all over again- like it had in the past- hot and heavy- like it was brand new again (Like GroundHogs Day) then it would get to a certain point- and he would freeze in fear- and be gone again.

I see why women and friends would leave him. I see why no one would tolerate more than 6 months of this behavior. It's hurtful and confusing.... I would believe all the lovely things he would say to me.... I think he truly meant them... but he could never act on them. He was afraid of gave him anxiety..... He was afraid of being hurt.

He told me once that he loved the "honeymoon" phase of a relationship- and I never really understood what he meant. Now honestly, I think I get it. When real life happens, pressures, plans, daily living, (he was working 2 two full time jobs), plus he never was able to say no to anyone "who needed something fixed" - when his voice mailbox was constantly full from 70 year old ladies needing something done or something fixed- his life would get so crazy out of control -that he ends up not calling anyone back- when all that pressure happens to him- he just goes radio silent...shuts down ... shuts down on the world...shuts down on all of us.....including walking away from me....

I still love him and I really tried to make it work... and I do believe he felt the same for me... but he will never be able to move forward with anybody...because every friendship and relationship progresses.... change always happens....
Unknown said…
I need some advice. My ex-boyfriend who I believe has Asperger's broke up with me 4 months ago. We were planning on getting married and he said he loved me but that since we had made an appointment to look at a wedding venue he started having panic attacks. He is 41 and I am 38. Not understanding what he was really feeling, I took it as a rejection. We were supposed to have dinner at his parent's the next day with my family as well and he still wanted to go through with that. I didn't think it was a good idea. I told him I needed time to think about things and he started to cry, asking if we could still talk and I said yes. Two days later he ended up in the hospital with a Crohn's disease flare up due to stress. His sister told me not him and then he ended up in the psychiatric ward. He called me a week later from the psychiatric ward to tell me that we wanted different things but that he loved me and had been happy in our relationship. He told me that he could not be in a romantic relationship and that the most he could offer me was friendship, but he needed time to take care of himself. I accepted that. I called his parents and his sister to tell them how much I loved him and that I respected his need for space and that my thoughts and prayers were with them all especially my boyfriend. A few days later when he got his phone back he texted me and said that he appreciated my thoughts but he needed to make a clean and full break. He said he would call me if and when he could be friends.
I never heard from him. I am pretty sure he was diagnosed with HFA in the hospital but can't be sure. He has several traits. He has difficulty with communication, he has a few friends but they are not close friends, he is resistant to change, can't handle conflict, is anxious is social situations, was not involved in things as a child and only had one friend, he also had a very awkward gait. He is very sweet and caring but assumes a lot of things and has difficulty with mind blindness and I was his first girlfriend at age 40. He did not start dating until 35.
Anyway, I recently emailed him and told him that I missed him and would he like to catch up over coffee or if he felt more comfortable we could talk over email. He replied and told me that he thought it was best if we both moved on and that he wished me well in the future and to take care of myself. He also asked me to not email him again.
I guess it is really over but I was thinking about sending him one last email because I feel I need to say some things for closure. I would like an aspie's advice on this. Should I send it? Will it only make him mad? How do you think he will react? I know all aspies's are different just like all NTs are different but I thought maybe someone could give me some insight. Thank you! Here is what I was going to send:
This will be my last email to you. I just have some things I need to say and I would appreciate it if you would read them. I think I understand what happened with us over the summer. I think that transitions and changes are very difficult for you. Our relationship and where it was going was overwhelming for you. I was asking you to give me something that was difficult for you to give (marriage) and for that I am sorry. I know how hard you tried. If I had understood then what I understand now, I would have reacted differently. My priorities have changed and I would have been happy keeping our relationship they way it had been, but I was never able to tell you that. This time I was looking to be friends with you. You once told me I was your best friend and I wanted to be that person again. I will always care about you. I wish you well.

Anonymous said…
Hi! I know this post is literally YEARS old haha, but I stumbled upon this blog and it has been helping me, because I had a very close Aspie friend (I am NT), and have recently gone through very similar stories to everyones here. When I read your post, I thought I had written it, because I went through the exact same thing. I am wondering if you ever spoke to your friend again or if the relationship just ended? I hope you dont blame yourself for anything that happened and have found it in you to move on. Thats what I am learning. Offer help and tell that person you are there for them, etc. But at a certain point you have to move on. Hopefully you are doing well now (and your friend too!) Any updates?
Anonymous said…
Hi Emily! Any update on what happened to you and your ex? I know that is an extremely emotional and difficult situation. I lost my very close friend who is AS and went through many of the same situations as you. He completely went cold and whenever I tried to reach out, email, text, etc..he'd act like I was bothering him and he was so busy (even though he had no other friends and was closest to me). Here is the clincher, if it will make you feel any better or to understand the mindset your AS person may be going through as well. Me and my bff worked together for over 2 years and in that time, he literally barely spoke a word to ANYONE at work. Everyone remarks how he never spoke to anyone but me, and nobody at work liked him at all (people thought he was weird, awkward, anti social, rude, cold, etc). He recently left this job for good, and not only ignored me for 9 whole months while we worked closely together day after day, but on his very last day, he wrote long cards to everyone at work saying bizarre things, like how much he'll miss them, he loves them, they were his friends, etc.....and he wrote me one sentence that said, "Good luck in the future"...something sterile and cold like that. I even gave him a very expensive gift and heartfelt card that told him i loved him, was there for him, etc...and no text or in person thank you or goodbye. Everyone thought he was crazy for how he treated me and the oddly sensitive letters they received from him when they hated him and never spoke to him for years. That was one of the most devastating experiences of my life I have ever had to go through, as I really love and care for and miss this person, but this really solidified for me that something is off emotionally in his brain. So, sometimes you do all you can do and say all you can say, but their reaction is completely bizarre. Know you are not alone and others have been through this horribly emotional roller coaster ride with you. Please keep me updated and all the best!!
Anonymous said…
Hallo! This is july 21st. You friend treated you differently from the others because you were much more important to him than all others. Same happened to me. As for not saying goodbye it was probably just too much and too hurtful for him. And as for the 9 months coldness, did you do anything that unintentionally hurt him? And finally, as for the devastating Experience i Know what you mean and i'm with you. Hope you'll feel better soon!
Anonymous said…
Hi July 21st and thanks for responding! Its a long story, but yes,I did hurt him unintentionally. When I recognized what I had done wrong and tried to reconcile, I was expecting us to talk it out like most friends do and move forward. I especially expected this since we were basically inseperable, he had no other friends and he told me everything and always said how grateful he was to me, etc. We were like glue...but, to my surprise when I asked him to meet he texted me and said no and that the friendship was over. Everyone was shocked. He then moped around work looking lost and depressed for a while, but never made an effort to talk to me even though we worked super close together, and hed even go out of his way to avoid me at any cost (in the hallway, elevator, etc.) Over the course of months and months, Id send emails and texts, and hed just reply with the same sterile text, "Sorry youre hurting" or something like that, leaving no room for conversation or reconciliation. I didnt realize he was AS at the time, I overlooked a lot of his behaviors and just thought he was different, but after seeing this drastic shift in personality, mixed with all the other quirks and traits, I knew 100% he had it. Even though knowing the facts and hearing stories of others that are ao similar to mine is a relief, it still doesnt change the fact I lost one of my best friends and I know he'll never reach out to me and Ive lost him forever. Did you ever connect with your AS friend again?
Anonymous said…
Unfortunately not. He has never contacted me again since when he left two and a half years ago. I wrote him once one year ago but he never answered so i just let him be better off without me. He was also very much hurt by me although not intentionally. At first when he was just a bit hurt he reacted by getting angry at me. Then when he was more hurt he started avoiding me and in the end when he was even more hurt he started hurting back on purpose e.g. By not saying goodbye and other not nice things. But he had his reasons, as i had mine. And often also NTs react like that. So i wish him all the best and since i've realised that our relationship was just impossible even though we both tried so hard to make it work, i feel much better now. You'll feel better too, it just takes some time. July 21st
Anonymous said…
'Sa tonight', the same thing happened to me with my AS friend. Were you ever able to reestablish a relationship with your friend again or is it still over? Hope you are well and have found the space to heal from this!
Anonymous said…
Wow. So much of the blog and comments resonate with what is happening in my own marriage. I think my husband is an un-diagnosed Aspy. I have been on this journey of trying to find understanding, since early 2015. I think this may be the key.
Anonymous said…
happened upon this site- and I have to say, I , a NT woman in her 50's who has seen, experienced almost all the ASP behavior from my 6 year relationship with my man-there isn't a week I don't think of ending the relationship, but I'm addicted to his charm,brilliance , drive, humor, and intent. Obviously this is not all the time because he is insensitive, nasty, and demeaning although he never means to be, and when I call him out on this behavior, he immediately apologizes if and only if, he senses I am beyond hurt with him.
What am I going to do, depends on the moment. For now, 6 years into this cyclone I'm still here, but.......
Anonymous said…
I married a man with aspberger I did not understand his lack of emotion until reading about his problem. We seem to be able to get along then he started saying I talk to much. I tried silence that did not work then one day he just said we are finished would not speak to me so I left and have filed for an annulment. I care deeply for him. Is there any hope he might decide we should be together again. We where only married six months we had no sex and he never cared for hugging kissing or any other romance any help would do older woman older man
Anonymous said…
Very confused... I do not have Asperger's but have been in a relationship with a man who says he has un-diagnosed Asperger's... After experiencing from the other side his first shutdown/meltdown I set out to find out as much as I possibly could so I could help myself to feel better and try to be there for him the best way I could. I found that simply leaving him alone helped him to sort things out so I would let him know I was going to go out and just go shopping, take a ride, whatever to keep myself busy and give him space. This would go on for days and he would come around to be his usual self.

Nobody is perfect. I messed up and had words with one of his dear friends, who I had been feeling uncomfortable with because they seemed not to like me and I did not know why.. He immediately broke things off between us. When I got home today he took it another step and moved out. He will not talk to me.

I think this was a meltdown... We usually get along really really well and are supportive of each other. I am just lost right now. I can't reach him. I think he is hurt. He has always been extremely attentive towards me. More so than I would have expected.

It seems like he goes from wayyy up on cloud nine and is happy and talks fast and fun and then he just plummets.... He is talking with others right now I think, but he will not speak at all to me.
Anonymous said…
Hello. I have really enjoyed reading this blog.... I guess that is what this is???? Anyway, like many of you, I met and fell in love with a remarkable, kind, spectacular, ethical man who clearly has aspergers syndrome. Wow. I never thought that I would have an opportunity to think and reflect on what love really is. I find myself experiencing parallel play where being in the room together and not communicating is the norm. Sometimes I feel that he clearly loves me; sometimes it is a connection when we are just simply together. I decided that I was happy in the relationship but we had to break up because I asked him only twice in 6 months if he would ever consider marriage later or if he knows that he wants to be a bachelor forever. He simply shuts down and will not respond to the questions which I deserve to know. How am I supposed to give of myself and take huge risks if he cannot even state that he is moving forward with me. On the other hand, he wants me to be with him every weekend and all weekend long. I started feeling like a puzzle piece that anyone could fill if they were OK with parallel play and doing what he wants to do all weekend. How do I know if this guy loved me? He simply has not been able to verbalize that he has feelings for me. How can I sleep with someone and move forward with no feedback? I do not know where we are. I often am scared that I am moving forward and he is just standing still enjoying the company ut not really growing with me. I do not want to grow in this relationship if it is all in my head. Please give me some advise. I want to stay healthy this time around.
Anonymous said…
I am sending up a prayer to all of you on this blog. You seem like remarkable people who deserve love and attention and effort from anyone you chose to love. Take care. :)
KAW said…
I have been in a similar situation over the past three years with a guy I strongly suspect to be aspie with Co-morbidites ? Bipolar. He left a long term relationship to be with me, he has a child, also on the spectrum. He is living with he's parents currently. Friends of he's encouraged me to pursue him as he is shy, telling me that he wanted to be in a loving relationship with me, however once I made some caring moves toward him he pushed me away! The last 2 years have been push/pull. I drop off with contact and suddenly he turns up. Then it starts all over again. When he does see me he can't take he's eyes off me, smiling and blushing like a child and he's in he's 50's. he remembers minute details about me and finds ways to complement me. Says he will call me or see me again soon, then disappears again?
Southern Girl said…
@KAW, I don't know about the incidence of bipolar, only that depression and anxiety can plague Aspies. It truly seems unfair that people who are already working quite hard to navigate interactions should also have to deal with depression and/or anxiety, but I also can see how these things would go hand in hand with Aspbergers. There are probably posts on here about it; I'm not sure.

One thing I do know about, however, is bipolar disorder, as I was married for 12 years to someone with it. In case you haven't already researched all this, there is one type of bipolar II known as "mixed states," which is an awful combination of depression plus anxiety, sometimes depression plus panic attacks. I mention this because I do see a combination of depression and anxiety in my Aspie boyfriend, but it is not bipolar--it is just what happens to him when he gets overwhelmed by situations or experiences stress, which, unfortunately is common.

I have also experienced the push/pull and the hot and heavy followed by weeks of disappearance. We have to hang in there and work with all our love and patience or decide we're not up to the task. I know it can be incredibly difficult.
Anonymous said…
My best friend who has aspergers and I got into a bit of a romantic relationship during the summer, and then a couple months later, once school started he totally backed off and we were barely even friends anymore. I was so confused, but after 3 painful months once he had time to think about it, and during a break so he had time to think (because he's normally quite stressed and busy) about it, he realized what he had done, and then he came back and tried to help me through all the pain that he had caused by all of a sudden just closing up to me. And then after another few months, now he's kinda done the same thing, hence why I'm trying to understand aspergers more now, so I know what to do, and if that has something to do with it. So I think the answer is yes, but it'll take time and patience on your part. Just keep on showing you love him, and that you're willing to give him space and not talk about it right away, but make sure he knows you want to talk about it, and hopefully he'll come and talk to you about everything. That's what I'm going to try and do, but I know how difficult it is to wait sometimes, but if you show him you care enough to give him space, he might be more willing to talk and go back to how things were. Good luck!!
Anonymous said…
Very interesting thread. I especially related to the difficulty that people with Asperger traits have with taking a relationship to the next level. I am only recently realizing I have had many Asperger traits since I was a small child. My husband also has many of these traits. We are both bright and have completed graduate degrees, but have had many struggles in our marriage as well as in maintaining friendships. He does better than me, but still we both are pretty awkward depending on the setting.
I want to recommend Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples who read this thread... as well as Internal Family Systems therapy for individuals who have a hard time understanding their own feelings of rejection, awkwardness, fear... I have found both of these therapies super helpful for myself and my marriage. About 10 years ago my husband and I had some EFT therapy and it has made the difference between ending a 21 year marriage and now going on 30 years truly in love and committed to each other .- while navigating the empty nest and relationships with our kids.
I have experienced almost all the emotions in this blog and I was curious to see if others did- so thank you for sharing. I'm currently working on friendships - and not letting those die just because I get distracted and/or don't know how to engage. Although it feels like work to engage, it is rewarding when someone says - "i'm your friend" and acts sad if you talk about moving. Most of my life I have dropped friendships when I moved, not realizing that that is not a normal behavior... Now I'm excited about trying to make some friends who may last for the rest of my life.
Final word: I don't believe that anyone is lacking in feelings... it is just a matter of accessing them. Don't give up - go to therapy. Find those feelings. My husband who seemed shut down for many years is so open and warm now - because he has found some healing in therapy. ALSO - he takes an SSRI ... which seems super helpful for certain kinds of depression. I now take an anxiety pill occasionally when I am facing a particularly stressful day. This has helped me to relax and reach out instead of withdrawing when I feel like someone is bullying me. And yes, I agree- the sociopaths go straight for those on the Autism spectrum because they know we have a hard time defending ourselves. But advocate for yourself and do it seriously but with kindness and they will be ashamed. I have seen them back off when I do this. And others, who have compassion, have then drawn near.
signing off - Stef M.
Lyon Milligan said…
wow, yup.
I did 13 years of this.
Space is your biggest tool.
Its a practice in living in the here and now.
Expectations lead to disappointment.
Acceptance is the answer.
Dont ever plan the future although dreams are fine.
We were both autistic.
Like a roller coaster ride.
Hes dead now and Im postmenopausal.
Wonder if Ill ever experience that bitter sweet love again.
Youre all beautiful x
Anonymous said…
I'm an Aspie who is dating someone at the moment. He's rude and inconsiderate, he eats food I'm highly allergic to when I visit, he looks over my shoulder when I text people, he speaks almost entirely in sarcasm even though I have a really hard to understanding it. He refuses to look for a job and plays video games all day, because he won't look I have to stay at my current job which I hate instead of going back to school like I want to. I don't expect him to provide for me or anything like that, I have always been good with money so I have a lot saved up for when I go back to school, but he spends every cent on video games and nonsense. He calls my family horrible things and he talks about me being an Aspie as if it were a terrible thing. I really want to just run away but he says he's suicidal and I'm so stressed out that I'm physically sick frequently. I need advice on how to deal with this because all the usual advice just isn't going to work, I can't explain myself well and I freeze up and break down when I try. Any advice would be appreciated.
Anonymous said…
My girlfriend says that she can tell when I'm going to go cold. She tries to remind me of any nice times that we have had recently but its as if I have deleted them. When I read what people have written about their needs I automatically glaze over and skip to the next bit of story. I'm sorry to say so, but its all such waffle to me.
Anonymous said…
I have found all your comments helpful to understand Aspie behavior I have never experienced. I too am dating an Aspie. He has very polished social skills. We met in college and were smitten. I broke up because he would just abruptly leave me and go out with friends so I got the hint I wasn't that important to him. We dated again because I contacted him. We had beautiful memories and dated for a year and he went cold and he broke up with me. 14 years later he contacted me that we had unfinished business. I was shocked. We dated again for over a year, made plans to build a future together and then he went cold with no explanation. He has a son with Aspergers. He does not want to be tested. What is hard to understand is we have good times. There is no disagreement he just quits contacting. I find it so surprising yet because he has done it before I know it may not be the end. It all leaves me in a fog because I do not understand enough about the subject and how healthy is it to hang in and try to build something with another person that has a habit of disappearing.Is there any hope for long term living together if they need to live unattached and unable to connect?
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry you had this experience with your boyfriend. It's been a long time since you posted so I hope you are no longer with him. If you are please check out the power and control wheel and see if there are any groups on healthy/unhealthy relationships in your area....his behaviour sounds emotionally abusive. Take care.
Anonymous said…
I don't know is the answer. I'm having a similar experience, very interested and then total withdrawal. Am trying to be as patient as I can but hard when it feels like it's only me he's withdrawing from. I get an apology yet days later it starts again. Am alarmed to think it could continue for years, admire you coping as long as you have.
Anonymous said…
My bf is an Aspie. And i have no idea to deal with him. We are in a long distance relationship for 1,5 years. The beginning was so beautiful and happy, like a dream actually. We planed so many things for our future. But since he got a new job and everything start messy up. We usually argue and after that he ignore me, then we get back and continue argue... but he dont tell me what happen to him or how he feel, when i asked he just said "i'm good". So i can not know what happened to him that i can deal with it. The last fight, he ignored me for 3 days and he went back, he said he wont do things like we did before anymore, then he start to "stay cold" to me, spend less time than before, not even a video call or share thing together,... i'm trying to get him back, gently with him, encourage him but i'm not sure if it work :(
Anonymous said…
Oh my God. I can't thank all of you enough that have posted here. I was in a relationship with an undiagnosed Aspie. I connected the dots a couple of years into our relationship. I did approach him with what I had researched but he was totally insulted. I never said anything negative about having Asperger's nor was I trying to label him. He was and still is in strong denial. We dated off and on for 5 years and yup he left me. When things started getting real or life too stressful..
I loved this man with every fiber that I had. I knew he was incapable of certain things but he could be so 'normal' at times because at 53, he had adapted and learned certain behaviors. I would forget. I had no intention of ever leaving him, I never cheated on him, never even looked at another man in that way in the 5 years we were together. He left me in January of this year (2018). He caught me smoking at my house. He is very against smoking for several reasons. I hid it from everyone, not just him. It was my way of coping with the stress. Of course I knew it was unhealthy, and I desperately wanted to quit. I wanted to ask HIM for help, my boyfriend, the man I loved. And he was the last person that I could. Please let me be clear, I do NOT believe hiding something from him was right not was it a healthy way to "cope". But there was zero tolerance on his part. He shut me out cold. I mean dead cold. I was devastated. Even though I knew how he could not empathize nor see things from my perspective. I kept asking myself "how can he say he loves me and then leaves"???? I am a very smart woman, I know intellectually that he just couldn't cope with me being "imperfect" . To him, I ruined his fairy tale. I was hopeful that he would over time (it's been 6 months) realize that ALL human beings are flawed, including himself. I have since that time quit smoking ( for me), been in therapy, immersed myself in personal training and work.
I still love M. I always will. But I know that there is little to no hope of reconciliation between us. I have some WONDERFUL memories. In the beginning it was just so awesome between us. Life happened, change happened. Our children graduated high school, his older son college. Every life event , I could see the retreat in him. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this man. I know he came into my life for a reason. It's been a long hard road to turn my life around and I'm still not there yet. I wish him nothing but the best. And I pray that whomever he is with now never has to hear those words that he said so often to me "I'm scared to try again, I'm scared I will never be happy" Be happy M, be happy...
Anonymous said…
My bf is an Aspie. And i have no idea to deal with him. We are in a long distance relationship for 1,5 years. The beginning was so beautiful and happy, like a dream actually. We planed so many things for our future. But since he got a new job and everything start messy up. We usually argue and after that he ignore me, then we get back and continue argue... but he dont tell me what happen to him or how he feel, when i asked he just said "i'm good". So i can not know what happened to him that i can deal with it. The last fight, he ignored me for 3 days and he went back, he said he wont do things like we did before anymore, then he start to "stay cold" to me, spend less time than before, not even a video call or share thing together,... i'm trying to get him back, gently with him, encourage him but i'm not sure if it work :(
Borboleta said…
Anonymous at July 2, 2018 at 1:48 AM
It's very difficult! I'm in some sort of relationship with someone undiagnosed and I just started making sense of his behavior when I considered the possibility of him being Asp.
The way it has been working for me is to leave him alone when he gets in his 'moods'... go do my things. Eventually he comes around and we can deal with each other again.
Unknown said…
It’s all so sad, All your stories. and so will mine. So is mine. I Dont want to lose my girldriend... This is the second time she has gone cold... And its all because I made some mistake. I dont underestand why I love her, But I do, And I dont want to lose her... I’m so tired. I just dont know what to do... I tell her that I love her and I’ll be there for her ... that I’ll wait and im not putting any pressure on her... But she just says she cant underestand any of these and that she cant promise anything to me... She is completely confused and does not feel anything at all.... Its so sad that she is going through all this and I can do nothing to help... I tell her to stop talking and seeing each other for a while till she gets better, but she doesnt want to do it. But then she doesnt really talks to me anyways. Its so so hard being at my place, What ever i do seems to make things worse. I know that she cares about me and she knows that she doesnt want to lose me , thats why she cant do anything , Thats why she cant just leave, but it still scares me, what if she never recovers from this? Its just really sad and scary and hard.
Anonymous said…
I am so happy I came across this thread. I too have been dating an undiagnosed aspie Male for the last 2 years. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. We too went through bouts of hyperfocus, honeymoon phases and then he would back off for a minute and then come around again. The first few months of this year he went out of his way to hang out with me. Was so attentive to me and my needs and every time we were together it was just, right. About 5 weeks ago he went radio silent. I tried calling a couple times and his phone would go straight to voicemail. I reached to a good friend of his and he too could not get a hold of him so I know it's not personal. He is very close with his family and I found out yesterday that he had spent the last 3 weeks across the country with his family. I feel this is his coping mechanism and his comfort zone. My gut and my heart tells me he'll come around again and that something just triggered his breakdown and I just need to give him space but man, this is killing me! I feel selfish saying that but I care about him so much and I will wait, however long I have to because I don't want to be like all the others in his life and walk away when things get tough. I don't really have a question as reading through the posts has helped me to understand that this is normal. I guess I just needed to vent to people who know what I'm going through. I actually feel better already :)
Anonymous said…
I'm so so glad to have found this blog. I met an undiagnosed Aspie on an online dating site, we hit it off quickly and he seemed he was so in to me! he told me he was ready for a serious relationship, I would spend the night over on his days off and he was very attentive to me and just a sweetheart, although he wasn't too affectionate I still liked him that way, I just thought that was the way he was.He did mention one of his brothers was autistic but i didn't mind that at all. well my happiness only lasted 2 months after we had a great night, dinner movie, wine... we even joked around. He would stay up late and I woke up to bring him to bed and as soon as I started cuddling with him he breaks it off to me " I don't thinks this is working any more" I thought he was joking! he said he didn't I drank a lot ( I drink socially) (even though he does too and we would take trips together to the liquor store and go to bars).

It was very late at night when he blurted all this non sense out, so I was not going to argue or go on and on. I of course felt horrible, sad and confused. I was crying and turned myself around away from him in the bed, he then went to comfort me by petting my head. The next day I asked him again and he said he had made his decision. I know it wasn't long enough but I thought i had finally found a good guy. He's such a responsible and smart person. After I told one of my friends she told me that he might be AS! so i started doing some research online and everything made sense and much of these stories here are similar to mine. I have not reached out to him and i told him i respected his decision but i'm really hurt. I'm glad to have learned more about this as i was a complete ignorant on the whole AS. I really hope he finds his happiness and gets diagnosed.
Anonymous said…
I am in a similar situation and it sucks. I feel betrayed and hurt. He told me about his condition in our first meeting and said he is not looking for anything serious. After continuing as friends for a while when I told him we can work this out he immediately agreed for a relationship. We spent the night together and next morning he was different. After a few days he tells me he thought things would be different this time but he freaked out got depressed and wanted to be alone. He said he really cares about me but can’t be more than friends. When I asked him is it something I did he said it’s how he is. I don’t know what to do any more, it’s so confusing and I feel rejected. I would appreciate any advice to understand what happened with him, I am just a very emotional person and this has made me really depressed. I have decided to move on from this because I want a fulfilling relationship but it’s so hard. How can he just shut off after being so intimate. How can it be so easy for him ? Also I want to know is it something I did that made him act like this ?
Anonymous said…
It's not so easy for him. It's not easy being an aspie in an NT world. We are as confusing to them as they are to us. Imagine being an NT in an asperger world. Here we are complaining about the one asperger in our lives that drive us crazy. No wonder they need time alone. Like he said, this is how he is. It has nothing to do with you in particular. I have been with my asperger boyfriend for more than a year now. I am 35. He is 25. We are also from different cultures. I study to become a psychologist, so I even have a special interest in people's diversity. Still I have been hurt, confused and in doubt a lot of the time. Like you all say. He was wonderful in the beginning, weird and adoreable. We didn't think about asperger's in the beginning, I just noticed that he was different, and I liked that, because I often feel that I am different too. I have interests that I share with few people and like my time alone. We both have a high iq, me 130 and he 165. It feels very good to meet someone who can follow you in conversations that you can't have with most people. He was the one that mentioned asperger's first. He said he had a friend who just got his diagnosis and that he recognized the traits in himself. That made sense. I started to read a lot about it, especially when I was down and needed an explanation for how he treated me. It was good to understand it in an intellectual way, but still a year later my feelings don't follow reason. Especially when I am tired and can get very emotional. He was super patient with me. I must have broken up with him at least ten times and thought about it even more. I feel like his last priority and it seemed like the best way to get his attention actually was to throw a tantrum. I tried to make him interested in asperger's and understand the differences between us. Unlike me those things don't interest him. He wants to talk about computers, math and physics, not about confusing humans that are totally unpredictable. I finally managed to convince him that psychology is a science, though a very young one and with different methods. But what I have come to realise is that asperger's really is a developmental disorder. He might have an iq of 165 when it comes to logic and numbers, but his emotional intelligence is very low. It was very difficult to realize it, even if I learned about it, he seemed to understand when I tried to explain something emotional or social, but I have also learned that people with a mental retardation are generally very good at hiding it. A life of not udnerstanding teaches you strategies to appear to understand, simply to make life easier. I have compared it to when he starts to talk aboout one of his special interests that I am not interested in, I just let him talk because he enjoys it. I don't want to spend my energy understanding something I am not interested in. Fortunately he doesn't talk about it all the time, if that was the case I would probably have started to get tired and want time alone. %
Anonymous said…
But in the end emotions and relationship was all I ever talked about. I wanted us to work on the relationship. He just wanted everything to be fine. "As long as you are happy, everything is fine" he said. He started to spend less and less time with me. And there we had entered the evil circle. I got more and more emotional and he spent less and less time with me. In the end I realized this. He doesn't understand what I am talking about. It's tiering, confusing and uninteresting to him. Too bad that is what it takes to make a relationship work. If I had to learn computing or to do mental calculations to keep him happy and to make our relationship work, I think I would experience it the same way as he does. I would try hard because I love him, and I would keep trying, but seeing him going more and more unhappy with my efforts, would make me really think that I was doing it all wrong, that I would never be able to do it and after some months I too would be exhausted. My brain is simply not good at calculating and every time I need to use a calculator he says to me, oh come on, that is really easy, you just do it so and so. But I get a headache and tell him to stop. I asked him if it wasn't the case that he found emotions and relationships just as hard, and he said yes. So when I started again with my emotional talk, I stopped, looked at him and said: you don't understand what I am talking about, do you? I said that was true. We are still together, but I see him only once a month fr a couple of hours. They are nice, and I am am careful to make it nice for him. I hope he will be able to relax with me and want to spend more time with me if I just let him be. I have no idea how it will work out. Will it be like it was in the beginning? Probably not, and I don't want that either. There were a lot of misunderstandings and we didn't know what we know today. I just hope that we can enjoy each other again. And maybe even more with more knowledge. But I am sure there will be a lot of emotions in the future no matter what. My feelings can be overwhelming and in those moments I tend to forget everything I know. I am so happy that knowledge exist though, and the Internet. We are not alone, we know it is sometimes too difficult, and that we need not put all the blame on ourselves. Cassandra's syndrome is something that partners of aspies can get, they suffer and noone understands why they should be suffering. In the end you feel that there is something wrong with you. Thank you all for sharing. I am also interested in hearing more about the aspies' view on this. Help us NTs to understand how this all seems to you. You wonderful people, I like your mindset, there are many advantages to it, and I hate the fact that I react so emotionally out of lack of understanding. It took me about a year to trust that my boyfriend didn't want to hurt me and that he actually does love me. I thought for a long time that he was being abusive, selfish and uncaring. And then he was giving me more than he could handle. I wish I had known better.
Wow, just wow. I'm in a similar situation and am confused. A couple of months ago I met a wonderful woman at work. She would look intensely into my eyes, we would have hilarious conversations, and totally bonded. We went to lunch often alone, she would stop by my desk as much as 3 times a day. No topics were off limits in our conversations. I felt accepted. She was always smiling and had alot of positive energy. She also had a boyfriend. She then invited me to a party outside of work. I was so happy that a woman I liked invited me somewhere. I asked if her boyfriend was going to be there. She said no, and later that day asked me why I asked. I tried to change the subject, and in a very charming way, she stopped on the sidewalk,looked directly in my eyes, smiled, and asked "do you like me?" I confessed my feelings to her,even telling her how my heart felt. It did not go well. She explained that she did not have romantic feelings for me. I was surprised but at the same time was nervous that I could lose her as a friend by revealing my feelings. She kept coming by but I felt things had changed. The flirting and laughter was gone. Also, I started to become sensitive. One weekend she was going to visit old college friends and they like to party. I sent her this nice, funny, text on Saturday night telling her to have an amazing time. She never returned it and I felt foolish. When any of my friends are going away, I'll shoot them a text to tell them to have fun. Another time she had the nerve to tell me how some guy (not her boyfriend) messaged her on Snapchat and that she met him at a party. I was hurt that this woman I like is now talking about random guys with me. So later that week I asked her if we could talk. I said I'd like to check in and see how she is feeling and tell her how I feel. It did not go well at all. She was defensive. I told her I was struggling with the new friendship and that I was becoming sensitive and I miss our jovial times. She told me she was going to pull away. What I did not know is that she was going to completely cut me off. It took a week, but we finally ran into each other. I went to say hello, and she looked away and kept walking. This really hurts. By expressing my feelings to her, she completely backed away. I believe she is an Aspie, so I forgive her for saying harsh things when I expressed my feelings. I understand that Aspie's tell the truth and that she does not have romantic feelings for me. What I don't understand is why she has completely stopped communicating with me. It's been weeks. Being that we work together, I am extremely hesitant to reach out. I am also friendly with two women at work she is friends with. They clearly do not know what is going on. She's keeping this private. I'm giving her space but this hurts. Being that she is a coworker I can't reach out. I'm confused and frustrated. I care about her and want my friend back.
Unknown said…
I am a 25 year old NT girl in a relationship with a well known musician who told me he has Aspergers.
This is, if anything, a cry for help.
I have been at loss more times than I can count. I am inlove, it’s a painful love with him.
Everything goes as he requests.
I feel controlled. I feel manipulated.
I am extremely loving and understanding. Maybe that’s why he keeps me around.

I want to ask about the possibility of Aspergers being misdiagnosed for sociopathic or narcissistic behaviour and if anyone has had experience with this?

He is extremely high achieving. Very verbally abusing. Better than me in social situations, incredible social skills.
I am lost

Can someone help me.
Gavin Bollard said…
It's generally not common for someone to actually HAVE Asperger's and also be a narcissist because a person with Asperger's usually has very little clue on what people say and mean while a narcissist is by definition able to interpret and manipulate others.

It's more common however for someone with narcissistic tendencies to attempt to identify as Asperger's. This might be for personal gain or simply because their responses to questions which should be based on the premise of "I don't know" seem the same when the premise is "I don't care".

If you're in a situation with someone who mistreats you and shows no interest in learning to be better and no remorse after a hurt has been identified, then you're not in a healthy relationship.
MW said…
Having read the many tales of relationship trauma and despair related in this blog I decided after some consideration to put an experience I wish I'd never had out there. I have in other comments recently identified as having self-recognized (male) Aspie characteristics (and online tests I've seem to lean heavily in that direction).
I once found myself at an after party with some skydiving friends from the local club plus a few visitors for the weekend. Anyway, a visiting female unbelievably asked me whether she could spend the night at my (sole occupant) flat. We ended up in my bed with underwear on. Needless to say my hormones were going through the roof. The next thing that happened as I started to make a move was her telling me that it woud ne "nice to cuddle", the implication being to my mind that sex was off the table. I spent the entire night awake with hormones dripping through the mattress and was finally grateful when daylight gave me an excuse to get up and dressed (ready to go jumping for the day without a wink of sleep!).
I drove her out to dropzone and ejoyed the usual day's activities.
A fewdays prior to that Christmas I received a Christmas card from her. I did not reply - you can imagine why.
A couple of week's later I saw her again at the 84/85 champ meet. She said to me that she had sent a card to everyone she could think of in the skydiving community in my country (and get this!), she told me in a chastising tone that I was the only one who had not replied to her card. I just walked away not knowing what to say. Some months later I left the scene altogether, decision I've since regretted. Thinking back to that night in my flat I simply couldn't do anything. I thought it would be tantamount to rape (time has not changed my thinking). Maybe she expected me to join with her but after what she said I couldn't I leave it to others reading this to imagine how painful that was for me and why circumspection became "my best friend". Any NTs reading this?
Robert said…
Aspies can be taken advantage of by sociopaths. I have been.

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