The Challenges of Having a Partner With Autism/Asperger’s

The Challenges of Having a Partner With Autism/Asperger’s

Do you suspect that your partner is on the autism spectrum?

Here are some signs that this may be true:

•    Do you feel lonely and isolated in your relationship?
•    Is there a lack of affection?
•    Do you often feel “crazy” in your family life?
•    Is your partner overly controlling, easily irritated and angry?
•    Are you frequently blamed for things that are out of your control?
•    Does your partner have a limited social life?
•    Is your significant other focused on a narrow range of interests?
•   Does your partner have difficulty with parenting, often over-reacting to normal child behavior, and/or not able to relate to your child?

Couple with autism sitting back-to-back with serious and somewhat angry expressions
Partner with Autism

If this sounds familiar, your partner may be on the autism spectrum. In fact, if you have a child with autism, their parent(s) are more likely to exhibit traits of autism themselves. [1]

Having a significant other on the autism spectrum can be quite stressful and overwhelming.

The truth is that these types of marriages can be successful and you can find happiness. The key is to identify that your partner is on the autism spectrum. Knowing that this is a neurological difference and that much of his/her behavior is not purposeful, can make it much easier to understand one another. You can change your expectations and learn tools and strategies to communicate more effectively.

The Challenges of Having a Partner With Autism/Asperger’s

Couple with autism sitting back-to-back with serious and somewhat angry expressions

Do you suspect that your partner is on the autism spectrum?

Here are some signs that this may be true:

•    Do you feel lonely and isolated in your relationship?
•    Is there a lack of affection?
•    Do you often feel “crazy” in your family life?
•    Is your partner overly controlling, easily irritated and angry?
•  Are you frequently blamed for things that are out of your control?
•    Does your partner have a limited social life?
•  Is your significant other focused on a narrow range of interests?
•    Does your partner have difficulty with parenting, often over-reacting to normal child behavior, and/or not able to relate to your child?

Husband and wife sitting on the sofa holding mugs and smiling at each other

If this sounds familiar, your partner may be on the autism spectrum. In fact, if you have a child with autism, their parent(s) are more likely to exhibit traits of autism themselves. [1]

Having a significant other on the autism spectrum can be quite stressful and overwhelming.

The truth is that these types of marriages can be successful and you can find happiness. The key is to identify that your partner is on the autism spectrum. Knowing that this is a neurological difference and that much of his/her behavior is not purposeful, can make it much easier to understand one another. You can change your expectations and learn tools and strategies to communicate more effectively.

Couple with autism sitting back-to-back with serious and somewhat angry expressions

Do you suspect that your partner is on the autism spectrum?

Here are some signs that this may be true:

•    Do you feel lonely and isolated in your relationship?
•    Is there a lack of affection?
•    Do you often feel “crazy” in your family life?
•    Is your partner overly controlling, easily irritated and angry?
•    Are you frequently blamed for things that are out of your control?
•    Does your partner have a limited social life?
•    Is your significant other focused on a narrow range of interests?
•    Does your partner have difficulty with parenting, often over-reacting to normal child behavior, and/or not able to relate to your child?

Husband and wife sitting on the sofa holding mugs and smiling at each other

If this sounds familiar, your partner may be on the autism spectrum. In fact, if you have a child with autism, their parent(s) are more likely to exhibit traits of autism themselves.[1]

Having a significant other on the autism spectrum can be quite stressful and overwhelming.

The truth is that these types of marriages can be successful and you can find happiness. The key is to identify that your partner is on the autism spectrum. Knowing that this is a neurological difference and that much of his/her behavior is not purposeful, can make it much easier to understand one another. You can change your expectations and learn tools and strategies to communicate more effectively.

You can have a relationship that feels more like a partnership.

Some ways to improve your relationship with
your spouse on the autism spectrum:

• Increase your knowledge – everydayhealth.com has a list of “17 autism and Asperger’s books that really get the condition”.
• Communicate directly – verbally and/or in writing. Don’t expect your partner to pick up on hints or read your body language.
• Have set rules regarding parenting. The person on the autism spectrum can agree to let their partner handle a situation, realizing that she/he may not be picking up on necessary social cues, or may have a tendency to overact.
• Develop specific strategies to respond to emotional conflicts.
• Use humor where you can.
• Seek support – it is often very hard to be objective enough to sort it all out yourselves.

Husband and wife lying on their stomachs on the beach, leaning against each other, happy and smiling

Successful couples have been those that have accepted and embraced the autism spectrum diagnosis. Each partner needs to take responsibility to learn ways to improve their relationship, and to understand how their partner processes information and copes when overwhelmed. It is extremely difficult to do this on your own. There are often a lot of strong emotions when things have been off track for a long time. Contact us for individual or couple coaching sessions. Also, let us know if your interested in a support group for individuals who have a partner on the autism spectrum.

[1] disabilityscoop.com/2014/06/27/many-parents-autistic-too/19483

You can have a relationship that feels more like a partnership.

Some ways to improve your relationship with your spouse on the autism spectrum:

•    Increase your knowledge – everydayhealth.com has a list of “17 autism and Asperger’s books that really get the condition”.
•    Communicate directly – verbally and/or in writing. Don’t expect your partner to pick up on hints or read your body language.
•    Have set rules regarding parenting. The person on the autism spectrum can agree to let their partner handle a situation, realizing that she/he may not be picking up on necessary social cues, or may have a tendency to overact.
•    Develop specific strategies to respond to emotional conflicts.
•    Use humor where you can.
•    Seek support – it is often very hard to be objective enough to sort it all out yourselves.

Husband and wife lying on their stomachs on the beach, leaning against each other, happy and smiling

Successful couples have been those that have accepted and embraced the autism spectrum diagnosis. Each partner needs to take responsibility to learn ways to improve their relationship, and to understand how their partner processes information and copes when overwhelmed. It is extremely difficult to do this on your own. There are often a lot of strong emotions when things have been off track for a long time. Contact us for individual or couple coaching sessions. Also, let us know if your interested in a support group for individuals who have a partner on the autism spectrum.

[1] disabilityscoop.com
/2014/06/27/many-parents-autistic-too/19483

You can have a relationship that feels more like a partnership.

Some ways to improve your relationship with your spouse who is on the Autism Spectrum:

Husband and wife lying on their stomachs on the beach, leaning against each other, happy and smiling
•    Increase your knowledge – everydayhealth.com has a list of “17 autism and Asperger’s books that really get the condition”.
•    Communicate directly – verbally and/or in writing. Don’t expect your partner to pick up on hints or read your body language.
•    Have set rules regarding parenting. The person on the Autism Spectrum can agree to let their partner handle a situation, realizing that she/he may not be picking up on necessary cues, or may have a tendency to overact.
•    Develop specific strategies to respond to emotional conflicts.
•    Use humor where you can.
•    Seek support – it is often too overwhelming to try to sort it all out yourselves.

Successful couples have been those that have accepted and embraced the autism spectrum diagnosis. Each partner needs to take responsibility to learn ways to improve their relationship, and to understand how their partner processes information and copes when overwhelmed. It is extremely difficult to do this on your own. There are often a lot of strong emotions when things have been off track for a long time. Contact us for individual or couple coaching sessions. Also, let us know if your interested in a support group for individuals who have a partner on the autism spectrum.

[1] disabilityscoop.com/2014/06/27/many-parents-autistic-too/19483