Do you know about the most common challenges faced by couples in an Asperger marriage? Follow this article to know how to survive an asperger marriage and what aspergers do to the brain of an individual.
Have you ever met a person with poor social skills and struggling to catch your cues? It is possible that the person has Asperger syndrome. This syndrome affects the personal and professional life of an individual and needs to be diagnosed at an early age so that one manages its effect on different spheres of life including marriage.
Marriage is a union of two people and tends to have a lot of complexities, but if one of them is struggling with a syndrome, then it becomes even more complex. However, these challenges and complexities need to be addressed so that more people can understand the consequences of Asperger syndrome.
In this article, we will discuss what Asperger syndrome is, the challenges faced by a person with Asperger syndrome, and how to survive an Asperger marriage.
Table of Contents
What is asperger syndrome?
AS is defined as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) where a person faces difficulty in social interaction, has a rigid pattern of interest, and is focused on the memorization of facts. In this syndrome, people are unable to relate to the behaviors and perceptions of others. They have a rigid pattern of interest because their mind revolves around one idea only, and their conversation is also restricted to it.
Asperger syndrome, along with other similar disorders, have been collectively brought under the definition of autism spectrum disorder as all these disorders share some common symptoms. However, they can be diagnosed and treated differently but are considered a type of autism.
Asperger syndrome is a mild syndrome compared to other types, but the number of people going through Aspergerasperger’s disorder has been increasing because there is a lack of awareness about it among people. In the early years of a patient’s life, it goes undiagnosed, so no preventive measures are taken to cure it.
These people can co-exist with other people in society and can perform well in all the spheres of life, but if it is an intense situation where the person becomes unable to meet the expectations of the people in everyday life, then it becomes difficult for him to socialize. These lead to further hardships in the life of a person going through Asperger syndrome as it not only affects his professional life but has significant effects on personal relationships.
Symptoms of asperger syndrome
Asperger syndrome is a mild disorder, and people having it can perform everyday activities, but some of the common indicators of Asperger syndrome are as follows:
Unable to interact in a social environment
The first and most obvious symptom of this disorder is awkwardness in social gatherings. They find difficulty in interacting with others as they do not know what to say or how to respond to the other person at that moment. They can hold a normal conversation but find it difficult to catch cues or body gestures. Additionally, it can also be difficult for them to understand your humor or sarcasm. For instance, if you compliment something sarcastically, they will not understand the sarcasm behind it and interpret the sentence in its literal meaning.
Unable to convey emotions or feelings
If you interact with a person going through Asperger syndrome, you will find him using fewer facial expressions. For instance, if they are happy, they will not be smiling or laughing a lot as they can not manage their emotions, so they find it difficult to channel them to the people around them. People around them can not identify their expressions because they do not usually synchronize with their feelings.
It is possible for him to use a high-patch or loud tone of voice in a normal conversation as they lose control over their emotion channelization. Moreover, it can affect their ability to understand the emotions of others and react to them.
The conversation revolves around a single topic
They get obsessed with a specific topic or subject and prefer to talk about it repeatedly. They do not bother a lot about the ongoing topic of conversation and will try to divert the conversation toward their subject of interest. They can talk about it for a more extended period and will be seen repeating the same idea or words.
As they memorize a fact or piece of information easily, you will see them using it in the conversation more than once.
Uncoordinated physical movements
People with this condition are more likely to be clumsy because they can not balance themselves properly. For example, they will be seen bumping into the other person while walking in a straight line or will be unable to stand on one leg with one eye closed. Their handwriting is poor and lacks consistency. This can affect their ability to cope with unusual situations where a quick response is required.
However, clumsiness does not always signal an Asperger syndrome as it occurs when the motor coordination of a person does not function properly, so it is associated with several other disorders too.
Why do people with asperger syndrome struggle with relationships?
Asperger’s syndrome affects all aspects of one’s personal and professional life, including his relations. The relationship dealing with most of the challenges includes marriage, as marriage is a partnership where two people have to live together and interact the most. If one of the partners has Asperger’s syndrome, then the complexity of this relationship increases.
A person having this syndrome constantly deals with emotional and social communication barriers, so it also reflects in his interaction with his partner. Both partners in a marriage are expected to contribute completely, but an Asperger’s patient is unable to meet the expectations of the people in his life. This can make it difficult for the other partner to accept such traits and make the marriage work so they can exist in society like a normal couple. Hence the marriage is filled with more stress, misunderstandings, and miscommunications.
The person going through Asperger syndrome lacks empathy and is unable to show his emotions and care toward his partner. This lack of emotional connection can hurt the other partner and cause discomfort in the relationship.
Consequences of an asperger marriage
The problems faced by a couples due to asperger syndrome are as follows:
- Creates a gap between partners
- Causes awkward situations
- The repetitive pattern of behavior
- Uneven sensory reactions
- Parenting issues
- Physical intimacy
Creates a gap between partners
Communication is the basic key to a relationship. One can not completely build any relationship without open and proper communication because one’s emotions and feelings can only be conveyed through open communication. Similarly, marriage also requires honest and secure communication where two people understand and rely on each other. It includes all sorts of conversations, be they complicated or casual.
An Asperger marriage lacks such conversations and which further dries up the essence of love and partnership. The person with Asperger syndrome finds it difficult to share his emotions and react to the feelings of his partner. For this reason, the other partner feels that his concerns are not being heard properly.
For instance, you will complain to your Asperger partner about something, and he will respond to you coldly due to his condition. Moreover, if you pass some cue to your partner, he might not perceive the underlying meaning. It can still hurt you even if you know that the other person is dealing with a syndrome.
Causes awkward situations
A person having Asperger syndrome has difficulty interacting with people in a social environment. It can bring embarrassing situations in the life of his partner. Socializing is an important aspect of the world that makes us build ties and exist in the world. You will see the person with Asperger syndrome not being interested in socialization or not making efforts to socialize even with the people important to his partner. This can cause agitation in the other partner who likes to socialize.
However, if he makes efforts to socialize, he will not be able to hold a conversation or respond to the people in the expected manner, which further makes the partner participate and save the person from embarrassment. The clumsiness of the Asperger person can also irritate the other person if he is an organized person and can not compromise on it. It can ignite disappointment because the partner can not be present in every conversation taking place at a social gathering.
The repetitive pattern of behavior
They have very rigid behavior and find it difficult to be flexible and adjust according to their environment. For instance, they will follow a specific routine for their whole life or will eat the same breakfast every day. If you try to bring change to it, they can get frustrated and will find it difficult to adapt to the change.
In a marriage, spouses make efforts and adjust their behaviors and schedules in accordance with their partner’s, so an Asperger marriage will lack it because if you ask your partner having Asperger syndrome to change their schedule, they will straight away refuse to do it. If they agree to make the change, it can still trigger their anxiety and disturb them mentally.
Uneven sensory reactions
Most people dealing with Asperger syndrome are hypersensitive and hyposensitive depending on different stimuli. As different patients have different sensitivities, it can be possible that your partner is sensitive to a specific aroma, bright light, or specific fabric. This can be a challenge for the other partner to accept.
For instance, if you make a certain dish that you like, but the aroma of it disturbs your partner so you can not make it anymore. Furtherly, if you ask your partner to join you for an event but he refuses to accompany you because he is sensitive to the bright lights there. You can feel that your approach has been rejected, but it is a reaction to their sensitivity. Partners like to experience adventures together, but this can make it difficult for them to bond.
The brought-up children involve both parents, and for that reason, it is important for both of them to be on the same page. The lack of communication can have two different decisions for the child. Moreover, the truthful tendency of an Asperger person can be a negative aspect of parenting. For instance, you are asked your opinion about certain things by your child, and you come up with an honest and blunt answer.
Parents can not be completely blunt and honest in front of their kids because children learn from their parents, and having a wrong conversation can instill negative thoughts into their minds. The Asperger person will love his child wholeheartedly but will find it difficult to empathize with him and convey his affection to him. This leaves the responsibility of most of the parenting duties to the other partner.
Every couple has their own way of being intimate and showing affection, but the Asperger person suffers from sensory issues, which can affect the physical intimacy between the couple. Imagine your partner being sensitive to getting touched on a specific part of their body. Unwanted affection can also make the Asperger partner angry or frustrated.
Furtherly, intimacy can also be challenging between such couples because the person dealing with Asperger syndrome is unable to get the hints, so it can irritate the other partner to continuously ask the partner for something during sex.
Can you have a normal life with asperger syndrome?
Despite all the challenges and complexities related to Asperger syndrome, it is still possible to have a successful marriage. Marriage requires mutual commitment and several coping strategies one can use to tackle the obstacles. Certainly, it is a constant effort, so we have listed below some of the strategies to make your marriage a healthy one:
It is important for both the people in the marriage to accept the existence of this disorder and acknowledge its consequences. It can be done by getting educated about this syndrome so that both people can tackle the challenges in a better way. For the person suffering from Asperger syndrome, it will help him realize the points on which he needs to work.
For the other partner, it will be helpful to understand the behavior of his partner so that they can realize that the behavior is not meant to hurt him but a reaction to their condition. The partner does not need to accept wrong behavior, but he should not simply take it personally and communicate to his partner about his feelings later when he is ready to listen. Both of them should accept differences and understand that everyone has a different way of showing affection.
You can only deal with an issue if you know its existence. Therefore, the primary step is to make sure the syndrome has been diagnosed so that the couple can work on the issues they might face. For the diagnosis, one should consult a physician so that he can inspect the person’s condition and then guide them about the consequences of the condition and its precautionary measures.
Couples can also be asked for counseling sessions so that they can tackle the challenges in a better way and reduce the chance of loneliness and depression in either of the partners. As the case of every couple differs from the others, it can only be possible through proper evaluation to come up with a framework that helps both the people in the marriage.
One of the challenges in a marriage is to understand each other, as only through mutual understanding can two people make the marriage work. As a person suffering from Asperger syndrome is unable to convey his emotions or perceive the emotions of the other person, it gets difficult for both people to communicate.
The most suitable way to deal with it is verbal communication, and do not expect your partner to understand hints or gestures. Talk about your feelings and expectations and listen to his feelings. Try to understand them and ask questions if you do not understand something but do not ask questions to ignite an argument as it can further create confusion.
Understand yourself and your partner
A person having Asperger syndrome needs to be understood and accepted, so it is important that the other partner is self-aware and mentally stable. He should be motivated enough to help and nurture his partner to make the relationship work. It will eliminate the risk of disappointment that arises from unrealistic expectations that an Asperger partner can neither interpret nor meet.
Your Asperger partner will have his own way of showing affection, so you have to learn their behaviors and make them understand your behaviors. A non-Asperger partner should recognize the triggers and meltdowns of an Asperger partner and make strategies to deal with them.
It is required by both partners not to be so firm in their ideologies that they turn a deaf ear to the other person’s suggestions. Every human being has some weaknesses, but they can only be overcome if a person acknowledges them and works for their improvement. This will also help both partners to explore themselves.
A non-Asperger partner does not need to dedicate all the attention to their spouse as it will eventually make the partner tired of all the responsibilities. One should never turn down his own needs and interests as marriage is not about controlling the other person but growing together.
Both partners in a marriage should understand each other’s love language and sexual needs. This understanding is only possible through verbal communication about the kind of intimacy they want from each other. A person going through Asperger syndrome is not very expressive and often behaves in a robotic way, so both partners should discuss how to incorporate each other’s interests in intimate times.
Moreover, the sensory integration issues in Asperger syndrome can disturb intimate times. For instance, if a person is hypersensitive to touch on a specific part of his body, it can turn off the other partner. For this reason, both partners should be aware of each other’s comfort and try to move their intimate time toward contentment.
The parenting problem arises when the partners do not agree on a decision for their child, so Asperger syndrome develops rigidity in a person. So for the betterment of the child, they should try to make choices that are in the best interest of their child. Additionally, a person having Asperger syndrome might not be able to meet the emotional needs of the child, so for that, he should get guidance from his spouse.
As the other non-Asperger parent will have a better understanding of the child’s emotional needs so they can work together to meet the needs of the child and raise him in a healthier way.
Asperger syndrome is one of the types of autistic disorder which disturbs a person’s ability to communicate, understand the cues in a conversation and attain flexibility with people. It affects all aspects of a person’s life, including marriage, so an Asperger marriage is dealt with a number of issues. However, like any other marriage, complexities of Asperger’s marriage can be resolved if a person infuses mutual cooperation, communicating strategies, and consistent effort.