May 15, 2021

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Help! I Love An Aspie! (how to love someone with aspergers)

Relationships

– Something you have to understand about adults on the spectrum is that we’ve had a lifetime of people telling us you’re doing it wrong, your best isn’t good enough, I’m not happy with you. Don’t feed this pattern. Instead, you have the power to break this pattern. Hi everyone.

Welcome back to Aspergers From The Inside, and this month’s Patrons Choice video. This topic is probably the most frequent question that I get in my inbox every week, something along the lines of: Help, I love this guy. I’m pretty sure he’s on the spectrum. What do I do?

So fortunately, even the most complicated of situations usually boil down to one or two really common issues. They’re things like lack of affection, problems with sex and intimacy, being overly rational and understanding emotions very well. And perhaps the most frustrating thing I hear is around an unwillingness to change or even admit there is a problem. So today, I’ll be addressing those things in a few steps. So we’ll start with some tips on how to understand what’s happening for your partner.

Second will be on how to get your needs met. And third is my Magic Message that has the power to cut through even a lifetime of negative conditioning. So if we start with the first one, being a lack of affection, the thing to note here is that, if a person needs space, it’s not a reflection on you or your relationship.

It means that that person is overwhelmed or tired or something and needs to recharge, which is a perfectly normal part of self-care.https://mspoweruser.com/how-to-continue-using-facebook-on-windows-phone-8-1-in-2018/ So taking time to recharge is actually a really good thing because, if I don’t do that, and instead, I am constantly doing things because other people want me to, then eventually, I’m gonna run out of energy and reach my limit. And what that’s gonna look like for you is a massive, sudden withdrawal and you’re not gonna know where that’s come from or what’s going on for me at the time. So a much, much better way is to, instead of constantly pushing someone to talk to you, for example, if they need downtime, is accepting what they have to freely offer you.

And generally, what happens is, the more time I have to relax and recharge, the more energy I have to then go out into the world and connect with other people. So it’s not one or the other. It’s not I have to draw you out, otherwise, you’ll be in your cave. It’s make sure you get an adequate amount of rest and recharge and personal space so that we can connect later.

So if your person is going through one of these massive withdrawal phases at the moment, pushing is probably not gonna help. The best thing you can do is to give them the time and space that they need so that they can then come back to you when they’re ready. And yes, I know that’s very difficult, especially with someone you love. So let’s go back to lack of affection, right.

If someone is not particularly affectionate, how do you know if they like you, right? And to answer this question, you need to look at their behavior. What are they actually doing? And compare that behavior to their own individual personal standard.

– Something you have to understand about adults on the spectrum is that we’ve had a lifetime of people telling us you’re doing it wrong, your best isn’t good enough, I’m not happy with you. Don’t feed this pattern. Instead, you have the power to break this pattern. Hi everyone.

Welcome back to Aspergers From The Inside, and this month’s Patrons Choice video. This topic is probably the most frequent question that I get in my inbox every week, something along the lines of: Help, I love this guy. I’m pretty sure he’s on the spectrum. What do I do?

So fortunately, even the most complicated of situations usually boil down to one or two really common issues. They’re things like lack of affection, problems with sex and intimacy, being overly rational and understanding emotions very well. And perhaps the most frustrating thing I hear is around an unwillingness to change or even admit there is a problem. So today, I’ll be addressing those things in a few steps. So we’ll start with some tips on how to understand what’s happening for your partner.

Second will be on how to get your needs met. And third is my Magic Message that has the power to cut through even a lifetime of negative conditioning. So if we start with the first one, being a lack of affection, the thing to note here is that, if a person needs space, it’s not a reflection on you or your relationship.

It means that that person is overwhelmed or tired or something and needs to recharge, which is a perfectly normal part of self-care. So taking time to recharge is actually a really good thing because, if I don’t do that, and instead, I am constantly doing things because other people want me to, then eventually, I’m gonna run out of energy and reach my limit. And what that’s gonna look like for you is a massive, sudden withdrawal and you’re not gonna know where that’s come from or what’s going on for me at the time. So a much, much better way is to, instead of constantly pushing someone to talk to you, for example, if they need downtime, is accepting what they have to freely offer you.

And generally, what happens is, the more time I have to relax and recharge, the more energy I have to then go out into the world and connect with other people. So it’s not one or the other. It’s not I have to draw you out, otherwise, you’ll be in your cave. It’s make sure you get an adequate amount of rest and recharge and personal space so that we can connect later.

So if your person is going through one of these massive withdrawal phases at the moment, pushing is probably not gonna help. The best thing you can do is to give them the time and space that they need so that they can then come back to you when they’re ready. And yes, I know that’s very difficult, especially with someone you love. So let’s go back to lack of affection, right.

If someone is not particularly affectionate, how do you know if they like you, right? And to answer this question, you need to look at their behavior. What are they actually doing? And compare that behavior to their own individual personal standard.

It doesn’t help to compare that person’s behavior with what I would do or what someone else would do because we’re all different in that way. So things you can look at is: Are they bringing you into their life? Do they spend more time with you than others? Are they talking to you and trusting you and asking you for things that they do not ask other people? If they’re not particularly physically affectionate, are they more physically affectionate with you than with others?

Some people just don’t like a lot of physical affection, but with someone they really love, it’s a little bit different and it’s a little bit easier. It might not be as much as you’d expect, but it’s gonna be more than your baseline. So the question to ask here is: Are they bringing you into their world?

Do they voluntarily spend their time and energy on you? Because if the answer is yes, that means they like you and they enjoy your relationship. Don’t forget that, if you’ve spent your whole life hearing that you are not as you should be, then letting someone see you at all is a really, really big thing, and so that might be a reason why some people on the spectrum are slow to open up with intimacy, but it doesn’t mean we don’t; it just means sometimes it takes a little bit longer to build that trust because so many people in the past have abused that trust, or we’ve let them in and they’ve judged what they’ve seen inside.

So if you can practice just listening without judgment and seeing and accepting whatever your person chooses to show you and saying, “That’s great. “I’m really glad you shared that with me “because you’re bringing me closer to you,” then that’s a really good start. Okay, so that was about understanding your partner, which is great ’cause you need to know where they’re coming from. But what about you? How do you get your needs met? If you’re the type of person that needs physical affection to feel loved, then simply knowing that the lack of affection is not personal doesn’t really help you.

So here’s where communication is really important. It’s a nice romantic idea that my partner’s gonna be somehow magically in tune with me and already know what I need and give it to me before I ask, but that’s unlikely to be the reality, is it? In fact, some of those unspoken and sometimes unconscious expectations are likely to be very triggering for your Aspie.

How many times in my life have I been told off and punished for not doing something that I didn’t know I had to do? That’s not a fun situation to be in. Instead, it helps to be very direct and very simple.

You can literally write them a list. I know you love me, but I’m not really feeling that at the moment. In order for me to feel loved, I need this and this and this and this and this, or some combination of those.

And you read it and say, “Hang on, you want me to make you a coffee in the morning? “But I leave the house before you “and I don’t know when you’ll get up. “It’ll probably be cold by the time you get it. “Plus, I don’t even drink coffee. “I’ll probably mess it up.” And you can say, “I know it doesn’t make sense. “You don’t need to know how it works. “All you need to know is, “if you do any of these really little things, “I will immensely appreciate it.” And the next morning, you’ll find on the counter a cold, burnt coffee with the wrong milk and you’ll be over the moon because you know he loves you. (ball thumps) So now we come to possibly the hardest part of what do you do if your partner does not respond positively to feedback? What if you know that honestly and vulnerably communicating your needs to your partner provokes a reaction something like, “I’m already doing my best, all right. “Will you just leave me alone?” followed by even further withdrawal. Something you have to understand about adults on the spectrum is that we’ve had a lifetime of people telling us you’re doing it wrong, your best isn’t good enough, I’m not happy with you. Don’t feed this pattern. Instead, you have the power to break this pattern with what I call the Magic Message.

It has two parts. The first part is an acknowledgment of the situation. I’m not happy. Things are not good right now.

And the second part. I love you right now exactly how you are right now. Things are not okay at the moment and I still love you right now even though things are not okay at the moment. It sounds really simple, but this message creates a crucial shift from people fighting against each other to each get their own needs met to all of sudden people on the same team both fighting in the same battle still trying to get both their needs met.

I love you no matter what, even if you can’t meet my needs right now. Or another one of my favorite phrases: Nothing you can do can make me love you less. So a really practical example of this is around issues in sex life.

So instead of saying, “This is what I need “and you’re not giving it to me,” the message becomes, “I know you care about me, “I know this is hard for you at the moment, “and I still love you even when “you can’t give me what I need, “so let’s find a way to improve this situation together. “It’s hard for me. “I know it’s hard for you. “Let’s find a way to work together “to get both our needs met.” Anyway, so I should probably leave it there for today. I know this is really big stuff and there’s lots we haven’t talked about. I didn’t even mention the use of safe words, which is one of my favorite strategies in terms of communication, but I hope you found it useful regardless. Big thanks to our Patreon family for voting for this topic. To support the ongoing creation of these videos and have your say in next month’s topic, you can join our Patreon family and become a cup of coffee supporter of this channel for less than a dollar a week.

So I hope this video has been helpful for you today and I’ll see you again next time. Bye.