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Autism or not, wherever family inter-personal relationships exist, a problem or two must co-exist as well. How often do you feel that you and your partner don’t get along?

According to a recent US census, this happens to at least one out of every two couples in a relationship. While the empathy quotient is quite high for homosexual couples, for heterosexual relationships, the chances are as high as 66%, i.e. 2 out of every 3 families will have relationship issues.

Autism Romance

The Impact, if either my partner or I have some form of Autism?

Well, in such cases, the chances of a relationship going sour is as high as 95%! In my personal and professional life, I have not come across an individual adult with Autism who has never had any relationship tipping point with their partner. The day I find one, I would be very curious to know what worked for them.

living with autism partner

In this post, I would rather talk about:

  • What to know before engaging in a relationship?
  • What relationship issues are almost certain to crop up?
  • What do you need to understand (either as an Autistic individual or his/her partner)?
  • How to protect your interests while not completely overlooking or sabotaging your partner’s?
  • When to know that enough is enough?

For each of these questions, I would try to respond both from the Autistic individual’s perspective and from their partner’s

It’s More a Question of WHEN rather than WOULD:

For Partners

As I said, relationship issues between an Autistic individual and his/her partner will happen. If you are newly into a relationship or about to enter a relationship with some having high functioning Autism, stop asking yourself, “Would my relationship hit a crisis point with this person?”.

Most certainly it would, the question is, WHEN? And when it does, do you love that individual enough to be able to deal with it and steer the relationship through the turbulent tides onto sunny shores? If, that kind of commitment and you do not go together, you would be causing yourself a lot of pain by investing in something which might eventually fail. My honest advice would be that if you are not a committed and passionate individual, and it’s still early days in the relationship, carefully re-evaluate your position.

No one knows your condition better than your good self. You would have most likely spent most of your life growing up in reclusion; keeping your emotions and desires very private.

I will give you one advice mate [my Aussie dialect 🙂 ], if there is one person in this entire planet that you want to be completely honest with, it may not be your parents (they might love you no matter what), your friends or colleagues – it is this person standing next to you. Tell her/him what’s going on, express your feelings, share your difficulties and inhibitions. Opening your circles to your partner is not a sign of weakness, rather, there is pride and respect in owning up to what you are. And your partner would appreciate it.

Remember, your partner is taking a big decision to stick around with you no matter what. You might well be worth the deal buddy! Check out the above video where an adult with Autism talks about his relationship issues:

When things go wrong, What goes wrong?

Regardless of whether you step into a relationship with an Autistic individual or not, it is important to understand what might go wrong. The experiences, that you as a partner are likely to face, may depend on what Autism support level your partner has and their gender.

In 90% of cases, the autistic individual in a relationship would be high functioning Autism/Asperger’s (Support level 2 and 3 individuals are rarely seen in relationships) and in 75% of the cases your spectrum partner is a male.

Male autism issues in relationship

So, let’s start with the Male autism issues in relationship:

  • Not enough or complete lack of understanding: Doesn’t understand your situation. Never manages to put himself in your shoes.
  • Zero Empathy, Complete disregard for your concerns: You may have your issues, concerns, dilemma, He doesn’t care. Even when you try to share, doesn’t show interest.
  • Attention span to 2 minutes: Sometimes you believe you 5 year old listens more intently than him
  • Stubborn to the level of being Obtuse: Has set his mind on something… Hell bent on doing it even if it breaks the world
  • Real life problems and situations ain’t matter: More interested in collecting the latest Jamaican coin than world hunger.
  • Can’t take criticism: You try to be nice to him, explain issues you have with him.. He considers it a personal attack on everything he stands for
  • Detach when in despair: His best reaction to anything problem situation would be to completely shut down all doors of communication.
  • Promises; not fake, but not sincere either: To get out of a situation, he will follow a typical path. First counterattack, use force or verbal insults to combat you. If that doesn’t work, he will mellow down and offer his apologies and make promises… Only they would be quickly forgotten when you have your next crisis.
  • Try to shift the blame: will blame you for ruining his entire life, through deep down he knows that he can’t function without you.
  • Other similar issues. Check out our Autism Symptoms checklist for more such indicative behavior.

Female Autism issues in relationships

Only one out of every 4-5 Autistic adults are females. Therefore, women Autism issues are often largely overlooked. We have two great posts on Autism in Girls and Women Autism.

Trust me when I say this…. women with Autism and Asperger’s are far better as partners than men with a similar degree of disorder. Often, some of the relationship issues that couples having an Autistic woman faces are quite opposite in nature than men’s. Here are some of the unique ones:

  • Too emotional or too passionate about this they care.
  • If you tell her that something is not working, she will get deeply concerned and go out of the way (often to an annoyingly exceeding level) to address the issue. The problem, however, would be that more often than not, she would not be focusing on the right solution.
  • Sexual drive would either be hyphenated or terribly subdued. Women with Autism are hardly ever comfortable with their bodies
  • May prefer to spend time just by herself, reading a book in a library, listening to music, or watching a nice movie. Men often characterize female partners with Autism to be “boring” as they usually don’t want to go out or party. Women with Autism are not boring at all, you just have to show a little bit of interest in things they care about, she, in turn, will open a whole new world for you.

Understanding Each Other in a Relationship

This is a critical piece. Either of you fails in this, the relationship is also likely to fail. Here are a few words of wisdom for:

Partners of Autistic Individuals:

  • Understand that your partner also has a perspective. It may defy logic and rationale, it may be the most bizarre thing you may have heard in a while, but hey – the same applied to Einstein’s relativity and Galileo’s “earth revolves around the stars”. Mistake me not, I am not implying that your partner has the next BIG thing planned out… All I am saying is everyone has a point of view, bizarre or not, try respecting it.
  • Show interest in what your partner is passionate about. If you partner is Autistic, there is a fair chance that he or she would have a hidden interest or passion. It may be anything… Observing patterns in numbers to push biking. Appreciate him/her in what they pursue, show interest in their activities.. and you would have won the key to their heart.
  • Don’t surprise them. If giving surprises is your favorite thing, you may want to hold for a while. I haven’t come across any Autistic individual who loves surprises. Some are okay with it, but a vast majority of them detest it. So be it a surprise B’day party or sex, tread with caution.
  • Don’t Push it. Ever so often, you would come across a situation where it feels as if you are like a broken record. Your partner seems like a wall.. nothing (no emotion or action) penetrates him/her. And then, out of frustration and despair, you start pushing the boundaries in the hope that something radical happens. I will give you a guarantee now, there is a 0% chance that it will work. So cut each other a little slack 🙂
  • Set Time Aside. This is my favorite tool. People with Autism love schedules, like patterns and prefers predictability. Use it to your advantage. Set aside 2 hours with him/her everyday. Get both of you to sign on a piece of paper that each of you will drop every other work and spend a specific period of time just (how about after dinner?) with each other. Take it a step beyond. Plan how exactly how you will spend the time each day, and plan at least a week ahead. Here are a few examples:
    • Monday: We will watch a movie
    • Tuesday: Read me your favorite book
    • Wednesday: We will look at your latest coin collection, pull out all the albums and get them organized
    • Thursday: You tell me what you want to do
    • Friday: We will spend the week mostly doing things you like. On Friday we will talk about us. Where the relationship is going and how we can improve.

Only one advise for individuals with Autism in a relationship: Just listen to your partner. I will be very direct here, you have autism and your partner does not. So listen to her/him, she has the best interests of the family in mind.

Understanding When to Pull the Plug

While supporting each other through thick and thin is critically important, it is also important that you realize (in time) when your relationship has dived beyond the tipping point and is facing a complete dead end. Maybe, after all, its time to move on… But the question is, how do you know when to pull the plug. Here are a few pointers for both individuals with Autism and their partners.

For Individuals with Autism

  • When your partner stops caring. A clear indication that she/he may have given up on you. Unless you want to shift your priorities to prove her wrong, there isn’t much point
  • When you believe the relationship is doing you more harm than good
  • When your condition is only worsening over time and the relationship is partly to blame

For Partners

  • When the relationship is beginning to take a serious negative toll on your mental health
  • If you are subject to domestic violence and assault
  • If you believe that your partner’s commitment to the relationship is highly unlikely to change for good.
  • When you believe that the difficulty in a relationship is setting up a bad environment for your children and negatively impacting their growth
  • When there is no hope and you believe your partner would actually be better off without you (trust me, some individuals with Autism are better off just with themselves)

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Join the discussion 86 Comments

  • William says:

    I have no idea how you can have such a dog-water take. Actually moved me to bother commenting.
    “Just listen to your partner. I will be very direct here, you have autism and your partner does not. So listen to her/him, she has the best interests of the family in mind.”

    Honestly man, how can you write this and not think this is not insanely toxic?

    Amend/ delete the article because this doesn’t help literally anyone. It’s just plain bad. It’s not even just that your opinion sucks (some information for example is objectively proven wrong) , it’s also the way you push it too.

  • Trish says:

    My boyfriend is autistic. You really tell it like it is. Thank you.

  • Alex says:

    I have autism, and in my opinion this article is not very good. It had misinformation and in some places is very unnecessarily hostile. One thing that particularly bothered me was in the “Understanding When to Pull the Plug” section. It notes that non-autistic partners should leave if a relationship turns abusive, but doesn’t say the same for autistic partners. A study found that as many as 9 pout of 10 autistic women have suffered sexual abuse. The fact that this article acknowledges violence from autistic partners, but not violence done onto autistic partners is quite ignorant. Lack of social understanding and insistence on repetition and routine can make it additionally harder for an autistic partner to leave an abusive relationship.

    Also, while I am an autistic woman and not a man, the section on struggles of autistic men annoyed me quite a lot. It stated autistic men often struggle with having “zero empathy”. This is simply false. Yes, some autistic people struggle with empathy, but that absolutely does not apply to all of us. And even when people have little empathy they can have great compassion. This idea is harmful and ill-informed.

    Also, the statement that an autistic male partner “ will blame you for ruining his entire life, through deep down he knows that he can’t function without you”. I don’t even think I should have to explain how awful this is. Firstly, no, autistic men will not do that. If someone does that, autism or not, they should not be in a relationship. Secondly, plenty of autistic partners are capable of functioning outside of a romantic relationship. This sentiment genuinely angered me.

    I have other issues with this, but honestly I have better things to do with my time than continue to write about a poorly written, poorly researched article on the internet.

    • Kate says:

      I had a hard time reading that. My husband is high functioning ASD and I found the descriptions of the potential issues with men in the spectrum to be offensive. ASD men are not the total shitheads you make them out to be, they lack abilities to recognize and understand things like that you need comfort or why something they’ve done might be hurtful, but the way this was written it makes it sound like you’re talking about willfully awful people. Not the case and I hope the people who read it know that…honestly, by the time I got to the end of that portion of the article I wasn’t interested in reading anymore…

  • Abbie says:

    There’s almost always an exception (except if the exception doesn’t exist yet or hasn’t happened yet, or perhaps the exception doesnt exist on earth but happens in a parallel universe or multiverse.) I have autism if you couldn’t tell by the writing inside the parentheses. Every individual with autism is different. I am a female with autism and have a very healthy boink (sex) drive for instance. Trying to learn more tips about a person based on generalized articles about a condition or a trait (such as tips on dating someone with autism, or tips on dating someone with ptsd, or tips on dating someone with kids, or tips on dating a teacher,) the more I read these articles, the more I find myself seeing false misconceptions or generalizations about people with a particular trait that doesn’t match what I know about someone who has that particular trait in my personal life. It might match to a degree but for instance, I might instead when asked if I like someone’s hair cut or outfit, say ” I like that you express yourself based on what you like or based on your personal taste rather than trying to express yourself by trying to be like everyone else or based on what you think others would like.” Honestly, I’m not a superficial person so I could care less about the way a person looks and care more if the person has a good heart. Maybe another example of me being blunt might be if someone expresses an interest in something that I don’t. I might tell them that I can appreciate the passion they have for something that interests them even if I am not interested in it or share the same interest. Or if it’s an interest with a component that I don’t necessarily like, such as an interest where people compete such as sports or some contest for best something, I am pretty unlactful and amblunt that I find it superficial to compete for a prize or that I value cooperation over competition or respond by blowing a duck call whistle to make quacking noises to show that I don’t really care to hear about sports.

    • Jon says:

      Tosh utter tosh, it’s a balanced fairly light article, autism is a strain at times for BOTH parties, autistic people do not simply warrant special treatment just because they are autistic, one saying here holds true, ‘simple is as simple does’. Change out the word simple and it’s applicable for most situations, just because you are autistic it doesn’t mean you are attractive enough, fun enough, or loving enough, those are earned by action, if you why should I ‘x,y or z’for you if you don’t do the same for me? It’s not autism that offends it’s behavior. And if that cannot be changed, then you may not be the right person for the job.

    • John says:

      This article is a general characteristics of autistic traits in male. It doesn’t mean that every autistic male should have all of those. So many people just take things personally and are unable to go higher than their own bubble. I would invite you to appreciate at least the effort someone has done to write all of these points instead of criticizing out of only a self experience of one person or few maybe. I have my own experience with autistic male and those traits do apply. Try to poke them enough and you will see the true face of some, a face that they never shows as they are acting most of the time.

  • makka says:

    Interesting. A lot of people still not understanding Autism; particularly partners. It doesn’t matter how many times they read what Autism is, they don’t take it in. My advice is either to understand it and do some research, or disappear, because being autistic, the last thing you want is someone repeating the same crap over and over again. Autism is a lifelong condition, it’s not going to get better. So the best thing to do, if you don’t love the person enough or can’t make allowances, is walk. I’m not condoning violence, that is absolutely not right and that’s likely to be a minority. Just don’t waste your time trying to change an autistic partner – it’s not going to happen! Know this. if you have done something to piss off an autistic person ie. cheat, steal or lie to them, they will never let it go and will never trust you again. Anything that happens after that will always be measured by what you did. So, if you walked away it’s unlikely they would even notice, or care. They will be unable to end it themselves in most cases, so what you have is a dreadful relationship that will kill one or both of you, mentally. Please don’t waste either of your lives; if you cannot understand and make allowances, end it.

    • Sadgfofaspie says:

      I have been in love with someone I think has autism for five years on and off. I am passionate and committed but it seems to make no difference. For some reason he never see a future. He is mostly in the past or present moment. Everything about the problems described is what we have. Our only arguments have been over the possibility of a life together. He always says he doesn’t know or maybe someday. He stubbornly refuses to move forward and is talented at bobbing and weaving. He will say we can’t have a future because of having gone through bad times when it is exactly the same over and over. He shuts down and then put all the blame on me for wanting some kind of future after 5 years. I feel like I am going crazy. I love this person but I don’t see any way he will ever feel what I do or reciprocate. He says he loves me and I’m the only he ever went out with. I have tried to create some agreement but I always end up being left. My kids like him and we have had so many wonderful times together but I do want some kind of future with someone because he has left me at most low points, ex. My school closed and my tenured job as a professor ended. He could not deal so he broke up with me. I have stayed by him through most of his issues but it does not matter to him. He is a wonderful person and I think proud that he is so stubborn. I have tried everything and deep down I think he will abandon me for good, even if he feels unhappy. It is very tragic but I am at the point where I can’t get through no matter what I say or do. He is a very smart guy but I don’t think he realizes how much he has hurt me over the years. If I had known early on I probably would have left after a few months because he was so focused on things that did not matter. Like playing music or talking about a band he was in. We are 58 years old and I feel like I should leave out town and start over. I cannot generalize this article and I can’t imagine that this person I haves had no empathy or does not care. But I have been thinking with my heart and not my head. I wish there was some hope anyone could offer because I feel heartsick over doing this again and again because I love him but the result is always this. Shutdown, won’t approach me again and will blame me for everything wrong.

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for this, it sure sounds like my life. There is no discussion on anything, except who will take out the trash. Other than that, he will have a major meltdown over nothing at all. If I need a little clarification on a topic, I am called the worst names he can possibly think of. I’m also sometimes pushed or yelled at or even hit. When in actuality I’m a very patient, kind and thoughtful person who loves everyone. I don’t want any trouble, just a more loving and close relationship. I feel abused and hated by him. I’m not the horrible person he thinks I am. Obviously his thought process is faulty and it’s sometimes scary to be around him.

    • Sharie Amanda Valentine says:

      That is abuse. Period.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t know if you are still in this relationship, but your partner’s behaviour is not excusable or justifiable by autism. This is abuse. I have autism and I never have, and never would, treat a partner like this (or even a friend). It doesn’t matter if someone has autism or not, if they hit and berate you they are abusive. I really hope you have found a way out of this relationship and that you are doing ok now.

  • Rose says:

    Devin, I just saw this post more than a year later, and it hit home hard for me. I tried to explain my lonliness I feel to my boyfriend , as he is slowly leaving me with nothing. He dedicates more time to his job, gets tired, calls me to say good night every night, and feels that is a perfect relationship? years of him liking this so called relationship.

    • Prim says:

      This was honestly so validating to read. I am NT and in a relationship with someone on the spectrum and you have described so many of our issues perfectly. I can find tons of articles about how to cater to your autistic partner and I’ve learned a lot from them and try to apply what I learn to our relationship. However, I can’t find anything written for people on the spectrum about how they can work through some of their common issues and compromise and be a better partner. I don’t understand why the NT person has to make all the special accommodations for the person on the spectrum, with no thought given as to how the autistic partner themselves can compromise or modify their behavior to make things more functional in the relationship. This is the closest thing I’ve been able to find. The tone of this article is a little too harsh and full of blanketing generalizations to share with my partner b/c I don’t want to be hurtful but I will take some of the valid points you made and share them with them.

  • Angelica says:

    I have been in 4 relationships with autistic people. I do not have ASD, but I have Sensory Processing Disorder. All of my autistic partners have been unique, different, and singular. With that said, this article represented all of them in regards to the relationship aspects. In the regard of romantic partnership(s) and the relationship itself, they were completely similar (almost identical mirror images). One relationship was only about 6 months long because of other factors about differences of where we were both at in our lives at the time, but the other 3 were 10 years, 2 years, and now I have been in one for a year with my current partner whom I live with. Likewise, my stepdad of 32 years is autistic, as well. All this to say…

    What I believe about this article is that it is an OpEd and not a medical piece. This should be obvious to anyone who is reading it, so it should be read through that lens. I found this link to be right on target with that I have experienced in all of my relationships in relation to what problems, ultimately, arrived. I can understand the discomfort with the ableism that is displayed in this article, but opinion pieces are opinion pieces. The writer has a right to their opinion and everyone angered by it has a right to theirs. I recognize where both opinions are coming from. I can, both, relate to the writer’s thoughts and assessment in a quite validating manner (because it is like reading about all my partners being discussed), and I can also say that I would never want my partner to read this article, either. I would never want him to read about himself in a light that reflects so dismal and exhausting. I would never want him to think that he was such a nuisance, because that is the undercurrent of how this article reads, even if I relate to it from the shoes I am standing in.

    All of my partners came in with both romantic guns blazing. I was utterly and wholly love bombed! Then, they all abruptly took away that romance and physical/verbal affirmation at some point. Naturally, until I became more knowledgable and educated in ASD, I felt full rejection, neglect, and heartbreak. What I realized, with aforesaid education, is that all of my partners (and even my stepdad with my mom and me 32 years ago) were masking to fit societal norms, mimicking idyllic romantic relationships from books and films, and mirroring my expression of our budding romance. After the relationship became more committed and the love had been stated and secured, they felt safer to let down their mask and guard. What took me a long time to reach in my own cognizance was that this is actually a COMPLIMENT; this is the autistic partner feeling safe and secure with their NT partner as they feel more comfortable in the foundation of their love. Prior to realizing this, I thought that I was being disregarded, taken for granted, and put on a shelf. It is not hard to feel like you have been the guppy in a bait and switch – hook, line, and sinker.

    It is critical that we stop squawking at one another over these differences, and that we seek to understand the other person’s position. This is not a war between ND and NT people. It doesn’t mean that the relationships are going to work, but anyone making another someone feel badly about their interpretation of their PERSONAL LIFE experience is unfair. No one gets to tell someone else how they feel in the same situation together. My partner feels instantly attacked when I bring up my concerns in our relationship. I am strictly stating my feelings and looking for resolve. He tells me I am “so unhappy [with him]” and wants to throw his hands up and quit it all. I want to look for sensible solutions, agreed-upon compromises, and healthy efforts. We’re having the same conversation, but completely different ones at the same time, all because of interpretation. He doesn’t get to tell me that I can’t feel the way that I feel, and I don’t get to tell him that he can’t feel the way he does, just the same.

    Relationships between a person with ASD and a NT person (which I have SPD, so I am not NT myself) are tough. They present so many challenges. Yet, all relationships do. I have been in relationships with emotionally and verbally affectionate people who do not shut down when we try to have mature relationship conversations and put effort into resolving those issues, but I have also had those same partners be jealous, possessive, manipulative, psychologically abusive, unfaithful, full of double-standards, and far less committed. Every relationship is a gamble and one challenge does not negate the others that come with other partnerships. Though my ND partners were all different people with their own past childhoods, traumas and life circumstances, their lack of affection didn’t make our relationship issues any more or less than those in NT relationships.

    My current partner can sometimes say inappropriate things that are immature, and he can say things so bluntly that they initially pang my heart and hurt my feelings, but… He is also always where he says he’s going to be when he says he is going to be there; he hears the tiniest thing I say and it comes home with him the next day (even though I was just thinking out loud and not even asking for anything!); he will help anyone who asks without even contemplating the fact that he could say no; he’ll go out and change my windshield wipers or car battery in the complete dark of night after being at work all day; he’ll head out to get something mundane that we need and come home with a mug for my coffee or my favorite candy, and he never puts limits or restrictions on me. He is a gentle soul. He’s a wacky, silly, at times untamed and often totally confusing gentle soul, but just because he doesn’t hold my hand in the movie theater, snuggle on the couch, or tell me that I am beautiful, he shows his love. You have to look for the ways your ND partner is showing you they care.

    You also have to decide is this feels like too much of a sacrifice. You’re allowed to. Do not let *any* community of people tell you that you are insensitive or uncaring. We only get one shot at this one life and you have to know yourself better than anyone else. You have to know if there is not enough of a balance on that emotional pendulum.

    If you can’t find any of those ways your ND partner shows love when you look for them, and your relationship feels toxic and abusive, your ASD partner may also be narcissistic. That was my previous marriage. He was high-functioning on the spectrum, but he was also mean as sin behind closed doors. He was manipulative and cruel and self-interested. People with ASD know right from wrong. Not knowing what is appropriate in certain settings based on a societal standard is entirely different than being mean-spirited, vitriolic, and violent – this is abuse. In those cases, ASD or not, get out because that is not because they are ND. It is because they are abusers.

  • Kathy says:

    Once the domestic violence starts it’s time to leave. Doesn’t matter who why where or how. It never gets better and it’s time to pack up and get the hell out of Dodge forever.

  • L says:

    Blatant misinformation. I wonder who wrote this. They obviously have zero empathy themselves.
    Readers are better off on a reliable website like autism.org.uk

  • Tom says:

    I don’t think anyone who knows me would agree with your profiling, it’s pretty offensive. There’s truth in what you are saying but youve removed all nuiance. It reads like you have had a relationship with an autistic that you are blaming them solely for the collapse of.
    I had a successful relationship for years, that Said it my autism was a big part of what distanced us in the end, but not the only problem. Don’t forget 2x NT relationships fail all the time for the exact same reasons you list! I came here to try and better understand what I need to be aware of but it’s pretty unhelpful to just read your massive warning to NTs and that there is no real way that these bridges can be built.

    Surely there’s a universal way of looking at any relationship which could be something like, does it feel good to you? If there’s things that aren’t right for you talk about them. If they can’t be changed with time and trying different ways any they are deal breakers then you need to talk about that and how that’s why to need to part.

    Surely that’s it? And if you think that looks good, it was written by an autisic, if it looks no good then I guess I proved your point

    • Scott says:

      Does this author actually know anything about autism? Asking for a friend.. that friend is me.. with autism.. agreeing with other comments who have already better said all that I would.. this is literally offensive as fuck. Find another group to punch down on with minimal research of apparently 60 year old studies on the subject. Be embarrassed that you wrote this and actually posted it.

  • Lisa says:

    This describes my relationship with my partner completely, and from the comments, it does for others too, so it can’t be too far off the mark. Of course, not everyone is exactly the same and it’s important to remember that ASD is exactly that, a spectrum. The intentions of someone with ASD are often good, but that doesn’t mean the way they show up in relationships isn’t abusive or toxic. My partner is amazing and kind in many ways, but it took years of confusion and having my confidence annihilated to realise that he had ASD. I had started researching narcissistic personality disorder (it was that bad) to try to understand what I was dealing with before realising this. I am awaiting a diagnosis for ADHD myself, so I don’t believe I am NT, but I do believe in most cases that it would be healthier for both parties if those with autism we’re in a relationship with someone else who has autism. The rigidity and unwillingness to change/grow emotionally on any level, not even to save a relationship, has destroyed my relationship, and the defensive childish overreactions make me feel like I’m dating a teenager, when other times he’s wonderful. The emotional labour for the non-ASD person is huge. I’m exhausted. For me, whilst there have been great times and I see so much good in him, it’s such a toxic dynamic that I can no longer try to work with.

    • Joe says:

      If you have suffered this much then believe me, so has he. You just haven’t been able to see it or understand it.

    • Elizabeth says:

      This has been my experience in two different relationships. It’s extremely difficult and can get very bad. My partner of 15 years and I are working through it. He’s a wonderful man and worth fighting for. But there are no lies up there lol My first partner was more inattentive and my current is very different.

    • Phil says:

      Lisa – your comments completely sum up my experience with my partner – “The rigidity and unwillingness to change/grow emotionally on any level, not even to save a relationship, has destroyed my relationship, and the defensive childish overreactions make me feel like I’m dating a teenager, when other times he’s wonderful”.
      I’m at a loss of what to do – whether to throw the towel in (again) or keep trying. She doesn’t mean to be like this I’m sure but I also have found myself researching narcissistic personality disorder and I did for a while think she was a covert narcissist. I’m exhausted too but I can’t walk away and keep coming back for more. This may be the last time. I’m always wrong apparently, it’s affecting my mental health now.
      Anyway, I found your comments really helpful.

  • Keet says:

    PS Meltdown in public.

    • Jack Rainer says:

      Accept him for who he is, or if you can’t, leave.

      Honestly, he isn’t likely to change, and frankly the strain of trying would probably make him Ill. He is just what he is, and asking him to not be runs the risk of making you the selfish one.

      If you know he just can’t see it, then there is no blame to be attached. We don’t blame schizophrenics for hearing voices, so why blame autistics for being socially lacking?

      I mean, WTF do we want them to do?
      They are what they are. Like what’s good about them, and stop punishing them for the way they were born.

  • Isabel says:

    I have a male autistic friend for six years and I am a female, autistic too. We are both divorced, and in our fifties. We both had relatively disastrous marriages, lasting twenty something years … and in both cases with wonderful daughters and sons who made the whole marriage experience a blessing. We are proceeding very cautiously in our mutual post-divorce relationship. For us friendship is the best structure to thrive in, not to get hurt again … so we are developing friendship very slowly. I can see everyone commenting in this page has his / her / their point. Those who have got angry and despondent and acrid have their point. I can sympathise. I have days of elation and happiness in my friendship with my autistic male who is my beloved one. I have terribly dark days. But being free to process it all slowly at home, in my own house alone, with no interference or pressure from him, this vitally allows any darkness that I feel to ultimately evaporate. Six days after my retreat in silence, I have managed to process all my disquiet and fears and horrors and resentments and disgusts. I am back to greet him, happy to have him as a good loyal friend in my life. Then ensues a heaven of written communication, via messaging, with him for a day or two. Then we both get exhausted, overwhelmed, dark, unbalanced, at the act of having communicated, and we both retreat to our own home, to process it all in vital solitude. Six days later, we are both free of darkness and I contact him in pure joy to have him in my life. Then it’s a heaven of written communication, via messaging, with him for a day or two. Then we both need to pull out and be alone from each other for six days, as again mutual communication drains us, overpowers us, unbalances us, and we even get bouts of skin rash, both of us, if we get too near each other, physically, mentally or emotionally. So we don’t. We are mutually in love, he does all the maintenance in my home for free, when I ask him to. Works hard in silence to mend my roof, my broken window, my damp wall, my decaying fence. In return, I do all the maintenance of our friendship, as I am the one who always initiates our bouts of communication via messaging every six days. Like we each specialise in one aspect of our friendship. We both find our relationship wonderful, scary, exciting, unmanageable, life-saving, exhausting and always without fail when we are relating, that makes us anxious. But because we both know we certainly do not want to be alone in life, we are persevering. We are doing our best. Thank God we can rest in solitude during six days between each of our messaging interactions. If we couldn’t, we would by now have got into serious mutual strife and conflict, mutual aggression, mutual lashing out, as we are both dominant, volatile, susceptible, charismatic, irritable, bad tempered, sharp-minded, ambitious, easily-bored, hyperactive, focussed, capable and paranoid. When we actually see each other … four times or five a year… during half an hour each time … it is such a powerful overwhelming experience that we have often cancelled, or postponed, our meetings, both unable to face the excessive upheaval. We both experience strong physical attraction, really wonderful, however given the nature of our relationship, physical intimacy is a no-go area. We have to keep our sane and balancing distance. Friendship is the way between us two, and our friendship is deep, sweet, exciting, hot, weird and probably an act of deep romantic love and attachment that we both crave, even if we cannot materialise this craving. I trust he loves me, because we are both still together after many years. We have never made any of our relational pattern and style explicit between us, or very briefly. We just need to control the intensity of mutually relating very carefully, and we need to give ourselves plenty of time alone, to process the intensity of each interaction we have. Neither of us wants to repeat the experiences of our previous relational failures, separation & divorce. Apologies for length of this post but I needed to methodically show all the different aspects of our very autistic relationship and what it entails. Oh, and we share one special interest! Bravo!

    • Tired of It says:

      I love that your advice is to simply accept that the adult you are partnered with will have public meltdowns (which to the uninformed will appear to be a fully grown person literally acting like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, which may include screaming, damaging property and themselves).

      I suppose you aren’t completely wrong: one can either accept that these embarassing and possibly dangerous meltdowns (along with other “fun” perks like hypersensitivity to anything that even sounds like constructive criticism) are a package deal with the person and stay, or decide they want a relationship with another adult who is capable of handling discomfort and conflict like a healthy adult and leave for greener pastures.

  • Viviana says:

    I understand you a lot, for I have just meet an autistic man, and all his atención made me be very interested in him. But I realized all that was Masking because Now he is getting very selfish. I don’ t want to continúe meeting him

  • Joe says:

    If only there was a way to make an NT/ASD partnership work. We’ve been working at it for decades and nothing has ever worked for very long. You could spend thousands of dollars on therapy and strategies, but it only makes you more lonely and frustrated and with less money in your pocket. It’s nobody’s fault and neither the NT or ASD should be blamed.

  • Kathryn says:

    I have autism and was diagnosed at 32 years old, do you even understand what it is like to be autistic and not have a clue? I understand everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you need to speak to people who are autistic and in a relationship/marriage.

    You state in your article you would like to speak to someone who “In my personal and professional life, I have not come across an individual adult with Autism who has never had any relationship tipping point with their partner. The day I find one, I would be very curious to know what worked for them.”–

    Here is my contact information below, I am that individual.

    I have been happily married for 4 years and I have never reached a relationship tipping point. It is crucial for a partner, either on the spectrum or not, to truly be open and honest with one another. Marriage and relationships are a pain in the butt, but hard work and dedication sees many through all the tough times. What works for us? Complete understanding of one another. This is a two way street, and I being the autistic wife, had to learn cues and I have learned not to be afraid to ask my partner to explain situations or emotions they are feeling.

    I am truly insulted that your article is biased towards those without autism. We are just the same as everyone else, we just see the world in kaleidoscope, while you all see it in black and white. I do hope you contact me, because your article is in need of a new perspective.

  • Liz says:

    I am amazed at all the unnecessary anger on this post. Everybody has an opinion and we all need to respect and honor others at all times. Its not ok to call other adults names or to hurt others because you feel attacked. Immature children resort to that kind of behavior, not grown competent adults. Its better to get off your computer and take a break and then try again to express yourself in a more rational ans well mannered way.

    • Tired of It says:

      “We are just the same as everyone else”

      But you’re not, though. That doesn’t mean that you have less value as a human being or that you are entitled to less respect. However, for one of the spectrum, your brain literally functions differently than a neurotypical brain.

      As a side note, I am so tired to Autism Rights advocates insisting that they are no different than a neurotypical while also demanding special accomodations or insisting that society needs to give them a blanket free pass to be rude or have public meltdowns because of their condition. Which one is it?

      Are you just like everyone else? Fine, then you get judged like everyone else, including people thinkng you’re a massive a-hole when you lose your minds in public. Oh, we should understand that your brain works differently therefore it’s not your fault you’re acting like a 40-year-old toddler? That’s fine, too, but you don’t get to make the tired “same as everyone else” complaint.

  • Cg says:

    This article is steeped in stereotypes! You a so patronising to autistic people we are not children! I have qualifications off my own back, I teach and care for children and empathise every day! My god! I’m trying to contain my anger here! Why on earth would you write this if you have zero sense of English grammar firstly (you need a job that would better suit your “needs”), and secondly if you know nothing of autistic adults?! Did you speak to even one autistic person before spewing your “hot takes”? PSA AUTISTIC PEOPLE CAN SUPPORT THEMSELVES THEY CAN HAVE SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH NTS OR OTHER AUTISTIC PEOPLE WE DON’T TALK ABOUT “HIGH/LOW SUPPORT NEEDS BECAUSE IT’S A LABEL FROM THE OUTSIDE FUCK YOU

  • WF says:

    “… you have autism and your partner does not. So listen to her/him, she has the best interests of the family in mind.”

    There is a lot wrong with this article (mainly that it applies one person’s experience to everyone else’s and paints autistic traits in a negative light), however this statement/advice is downright dangerous. This article tells autistic individuals that they should listen to neurotypical (NT) partners because of their ‘superior neurotype’. It incorrectly presupposes that a partner’s neurotypicality means they inherently know what’s best for the nuclear family. A NT person’s wants and beliefs do not have more value or worth because they are not autistic (neurodivergent/ND). Autists are equally capable of knowing and acting in ways that are beneficial to the nuclear family. Autism does not make a partner ‘less-than’ within a relationship. Your statement perpetuates the false belief that NT individuals know better than ND individuals. One person’s voice does not have more or less weight in a relationship because of their neurotype.

    Additionally, it is known that autists have a higher risk of being abused due to their autistic traits (inability to recognize when being manipulated, willingness to trust, etc.). Which means autists often end up in relationships with abusive partners. Telling autists to ‘listen’ to their neurotypical partner because they ‘know better’ then the autistic person wrongly influences/tells an already susceptible person to stay in a relationship and obey their partner because the NT partner is always right- regardless of the personal circumstances. Not all NT partners are healthy, loving, and supportive to autists.

    This article needs to be revised/updated or removed for its blatant misinformation.

    • Lisa says:

      No this article is on target. People with autism have a lot of problems with perception, social cues, communication, have zero empathy (which is needed in a healthy relationship), can become manipulative and self centered. They do not see your point of view on anything. The relationship is usually one sided. They also lash out regularly. There is peace for a couple of weeks or days and then they lash out and it is extremely hurtful. It becomes an emotionally abusive relationship. I ran for the hills. Now on the other hand they can be funny and interesting but unfortunately the problems they bring to the relationship are too hurtful to continue on. The relationship becomes toxic and unhealthy. Lots of women report feeling absolutely isolated in the relationship and in time very lonely. Their emotional needs are not being met and they are being vilified on a regular basis. Its not a normal relationship.

      • Mar says:

        Hi!
        Hi, what I see is that the article has some flaws; it’s not entirely accurate or inaccurate.

        As an autistic woman, I want to say that not all of us are exactly the same (even among similar functionality), we can learn through trial and error, we can live well with supports, and I personally can’t relate to most of what you wrote; ESPECIALLY the empathy part.

        I’ve been told things like “you’re /so nice/.. haha..” after verbalizing consideration of others’ perspectives, I immediately sense when my mom’s about to cry (we have a very close and good relationship too), and in therapy a lot of my concerns are interpersonal and deeply emotional. Being called “sensitive” is something I’ve reclaimed, and I value the connections I’ve had with people.

        Now, the experiences you’ve mentioned still exist and deserve to be discussed, but please don’t generalize all of us based on your trauma. The amount of relatability isn’t an excuse.

      • Stacey says:

        Yes thank you Lisa!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Lisa, I am responding to your comment about how everything is great for awhile and then they lash out towards you. Everything you said is so very true in my marriage. You absolutely couldn’t have said it better. I just need to learn coping strategies or I’m headed for a nervous breakdown.

        • Felicity says:

          Leave! If you can, leave. Lode is so much better on your own, meeting other mature, emotionally intelligent, kind men. Get out. There are support groups that can help you make the transition out. Life is so much better on the other side of this toxic relationship.

      • mike says:

        You talk about something someone else lacks, but seem to lack yourself. Are you a diagnosed narcissist? autists and narcissists are like water and fire, maybe that’s why you hate autists… because they see right through you and you can’t hide from them like you can with everyone else.

      • Devin says:

        Lisa,

        Could not agree more. I love my girlfriend with all my heart but I feel it gets stopped on 6-8 times a day. Try to talk to only get interrupted. If I am not part of her schedule or routine then I am ousted. I give and give and my needs are not being met. It is always on her schedule and I am left with leftovers. Usually at night but then she falls asleep. I have tried explaining my feelings in a direct way! But my feelings are my issue and not hers as she communicates. Another, person said, run for the hills. For my own sanity, I just might. It feels great when she asks a question only to be cutoff and ask if we can talk later because I am busy now. I always thought I needed to word things differently. I have tried that and still the same result. Self centered and only what she wants. I am the aka doormat. Not putting her down. There are definitely some cognitive issues. I watch and observe and this also happens with her family. She is probably best alone which hurts me to say because I love and care about her. Woukd love to go back to the way it was when we first met but I believe there was a lot of masking going on.

        Tired and alone.

      • Christopher Wireman says:

        In my experience, it was pretty much the opposite. Me (the autistic one) who worked on actually communicating and trying really hard to do right. Turned out I had found me a textbook narcissist who definitely took advantage of everything she could, tried to completely ruin my life. I had a really hard time seeing what was really going on, plus I wanted to believe what she would say. Even had a kid with her and was awarded custodial rights April of 2021. Her name was Lisa and she was a demonic being.

        • Viviana says:

          I understand you a los, for have just meet an autistic man, and all his atención made me be very interested in him. But I realized all that was Masking because Now he is getting very selfish. I don’ t want to continúe meeting him

      • Ingrid says:

        Lisa, have you ever heard over hyperempathy? The ‘autistics have zero empathy’ is highly outdated and wrong. Your whole comment is ableist as can be.

      • Lis says:

        Lisa,
        You are incorrect about the empathy aspect. Studies have emerged that show that some people with ASD experience empathy to a degree that they become overwhelmed by it. People with ASD experience empathy and emotions. The distinction is that people with ASD process and express these facets of their emotions quite differently than those classified as NT. Please do more research in terms of reading peer-reviewed and scholarly studies on the topic. Saying that all people with ASD have ZERO empathy is perpetuating a harmful – and grossly inaccurate stereotype.

      • Felicity says:

        Spot on, Lisa. My EX-boyfriend, who I dumped 2 months ago, is argumentative and rude aaalll the time. He doesn’t know how to have a disagreement in a calm, mature, emotionally-intelligent way. It was horrific. He still wants to be with me, but I feel like I dodged the bullet of a lifetime! This article was really spot on with the description of the autistic male in an intimate relationship. Even Mark Hutton (who tries to show understanding towards autistics) says much of the same thing in this article, only he softens it a little. All you need to do is go into Wives of Asbergers Facebook group, and you’ll see, what this article states is a common experience for emotionally intelligent NTs in relationships with Aspies. Honestly, if you’re early on in a relationship like this… GET OUT. You deserve better, you can do better, your emotional intelligence deserves to be reciprocated. I am FREE <3 and speaking to other, my more mature and romantic and wise, NT men. Good luck

      • Chrystal says:

        Thank you for verbalizing this! Your comment has been 100% accurate for me in my 20+ years of marriage to my autistic partner. I felt isolated and lonely, and was told I was needy simply for wanting to be able to talk to my autistic partner, especially while living abroad and not yet knowing the language. My emotional needs are rarely met. When I need support, he suddenly “empathizes” by saying everything I just said applies to him, too, and I need to take care of him in that moment. He doesn’t really see other people’s needs, but only his own. For example, I made baby food for my child, only to have him eat the entire batch, leaving my child with nothing to eat. I had gall bladder issues where I had to cut out oil completely (or wind up in the hospital) and he completely dismissed my request for no oil in my food and put it in, leaving me with nothing to eat when I was rushing to work (a pattern which he insists never happened…I learned to make my own food, even when he said he was cooking for both of us).

        My autistic partner has a completely different reality than me, and often doesn’t remember things that didn’t affect them directly, even if it was pivotal to our relationship. He doesn’t trust my memory of events because he can’t trust his own, even when I am stating facts that I remember vividly, so we often end arguing over basic facts and there is a lack of trust. I call all of this unintentional gaslighting, because I feel extremely gaslit, with the reality (simple facts) being questioned at every turn.

        We have two children. Parenting fell on my shoulders for the first 15 years. He “supports” my autistic PDA child by refusing to address their demand avoidance and undermining me when I do, which is detrimental to my child. He attacks my parenting and doesn’t believe in consequences or setting limits or boundaries. When I talk to him about this, he argues fiercely but he eventually agrees with me based on my logical arguments, only to turn around and repeat his behavior almost immediately. This makes it feel like he never intended to follow through on his agreements. He is completely unwilling to change his behavior, as witnessed by his actions. He believes that, since he has good intentions, which I question, I should never bring up issues with the negative effects on me or the children. He attacks me verbally over and over, saying I’m retaliating/being vengeful/etc for calmly and matter-of-factly giving consequences, and I have been vilified our entire relationship, so I have learned to just avoid his anger. My approach has been to try to have him do the parenting of the autistic child, so that at least the child doesn’t see the friction directly, but he still refuses to set or enforce clear limits/boundaries, so my child believes that boundaries are meant to be broken and this has led to very poor outcomes. I have told him that a consequence can look like revenge from a child’s perspective, but parents typically know better.

        I am trying to find solutions to these behaviors. I understand I cannot expect him to behave like a NT, but I believe I have a right to expect someone to try to keep their agreements, either parent or allow me to parent, trust my reality when they admittedly don’t remember, etc. These seem like basic needs in a relationship, and I keep trying to convince him of it, but I’m losing hope.

    • Marlynmorgan says:

      I love this. I am autistic female. Can I add something to the discussion. In my experience, it feels like Autism attracts ADHD partners. Have you any advice for this combination?

      • Monopoly says:

        I’m an NT and been with a highly functioning autistic male. Things were ok for a year, the politeness and mannerisms he’s learned… opening doors… buying flowers. But once he was busy at his families house there was barely any talk nor did he ask about how my day was. I was living day by day alone. No one to share excitement with and let me tell you if I needed help he would find all possible excuses for the east way out which included using my own money to hire someone else. When we were in a serious talk on the phone he would excuse himself to do anything else which made me feel unimportant like I was talking to a wall. Everything was about what he wanted. What he felt like eating, when he wanted to call me (which would be 29 seconds telling me me can’t talk at work) and then all kinds of excuses came up. That he got sick so he disappeared all night, that there was a power outage… and let me tell you something he cheated on me in the begining so it’s obvious with all these random excuses he’s cheating again. This man’s eyes would wander at other women right in front of me and in front of their men… when I called him out on it he said he never did any of that. I should of never gave over a year to this man because at the end I suffer the detachment while he’s happy in his whole world not even calling me to check on me or act like I exist a whole 2 weeks later. These people def need to be labeled and need to tell people they have autism. They should not be allowed to have relationships because they ruin the minds of healthy persons and their feelings on top of that they create more heartless creatures. Run the heck away they don’t care about you at all. Total waste of time.

        • Christopher Wireman says:

          Damn! Easy there! Could it be possible that you were dating a narcissist? Need to be labeled? Lovely! Another reason why I hate people in general. I was probably the last to know I was autistic.

      • Christopher Wireman says:

        Hell I have both, but I attract narcissistic demonic women.😁😁

      • DW says:

        I recently started dating a guy this year. Early on I suspected something was different.. however I assumed it was because he wasn’t my usual type. A few months in, I had to stay with him for 3 weeks while I was transitioning places and he started treating me REALLY weird. I finally called him out on it and he explained to me he had high functioning autism. I didn’t leave, I just accepted it and told him that was cool but I didn’t know much about it, I just always assumed he was smarter. Lol we had our ups and down as he was transitioning jobs , places and alot was going on that was causing him to just act really different.

        I would like to note that I didn’t like that he said I was the only person he shared that he had autism with outside of his mom dad and sisters knowing. I felt like that gave really sneaky that you’ve known since you were a younger but don’t share and mask it really well like that. But I just took it as he trust me and moved on.

        We took a 2 week break from each other after a huge argument and I started therapy. My therapist told me to Run and don’t entertain it but also have me more insight on everything.

        I decided to give it another shot because I didn’t think he was less deserving of me just because he thought differently. Only thing I asked him for was communication and transparency on when he needed moments alone or when something was happening. Other than that … I didn’t want to throw him so I said just continue life as normal, I’ll adjust. BOY was that the start of something crazy.

        I agree with the young lady who said they get so comfortable around you that they start treating you exactly how they think. He literally would say he understands what I’m saying.. then repeat the same behavior not even 24 hours later. It got to a point he was apologizing every single day and I was feeling bad because it was not fun.

        I love him but we decided to take a break and I don’t know if we will ever talk again because he just hasn’t said anything and it’s been a week.

        I never judged him for being autistic .. nor did I want him to change. The only thing I asked was for him to communicate when different things were happening to him.. and he wanted space, not to talk, didn’t want to hang etc. that’s all. Everything else I was working on through my therapist. Learning different communication styles and all.

        My therapist says I was too understanding but truth be told.. I could only imagine how I would feel if I didn’t think the same as 90% of the world.. j wouldnt want people to count me out and think I was different , difficult and not give me a fair shot. I simply was treating him and showing him the Same love I would want to receive but I guess it was not enough.

    • TM says:

      Wow. The partner who does not have autism is not always the one to be listened to. Like any other relationship, you need to both listen and compromise where you can. I’m not sure if the author isn’t autistic or just sort of hates themselves.

  • Anon says:

    This was almost as if I had written it myself. As an autistic woman in her early 30s (only just diagnosed) I have been through all of the above. More so the pushing boundaries where partners have gone to extreme lengths to get a reaction and it ends terribly.

    I showed my partner this article and he too said “wow this is us”. We are working hard to understand each others needs and he understands that he has the majority of the responsibility (which I know is tough) because I lack the emotional and mental capacity to change anything on my own.

    Thank you for this.

    • Anon says:

      Sorry but this person is right, there are a lot of NT people who are malicious and downright manipulative people and feed off the generosity and the black and white understanding of the world. As a high functioning autist that has been through this myself and the fact there are many many articles where it has similarly happened. This article is extremely negative and fails to encapsulate a lot of other factors I.e. males not being empathetic to situations, this is NOT true, I for one have a lot of empathy, I just don’t know how to handle it and that is also the same for many others, in fact scientifically it has been studied and proven that people with high functioning autism experience empathy severely. This is one person’s relationship in a negative light, and sure some may apply to other people, its not impossible but there is a lot of dangerous information here that is blatantly personal and in no way absolutely true for everyone. I especially took offence to the whole “some autistic people are better off with themselves”, If someone has come looking for advice and they have other mental health conditions, essentially they’ve just been told to give up and they deserve to be alone.

  • Natalya says:

    In my personal experience, this article holds true 100%. It’s such an honest piece and only those with these types of spouses will truly understand.

  • Candice says:

    I was actually looking for some advice on how an autistic woman could get out of a psychologically abusive relationship.

    • Diane says:

      It took me 15 years to leave the emotionally abusive husband. Don’t make that mistake, get out now. Listen to “the voice” inside, it speaks the truth. Trust me, the leopard can’t change its spots……

    • Taras says:

      People on the spectrum do have empathy, they may not however be able to show it in ways neurotypicals recognize. However bring bullied, abused and treated as less than a person does corrode one’s empathy towards others. The moment s woman says autistic men have no empathy, I know it’s time to bounce.

  • jason says:

    In my personal expereinces all my partners have been on the spectrum or have had similar disabilities to that of autism,of anytime i tried dating a neurotypical female its only resulted in rejection and complete pushback/push come to shove situation,this is why i will only stick to dating someone whos autistic like myself or has a related or other condition that slightly resembles it.Hence unless the female is an aspie herself,or along the lines of it,the chance of the relationship escalating beyond friends to the next level and beyond,sadly based on my past experiences is as little as 2 to 5 percent.My advice for anyother males on the spectrum is to have realistic expectations,not to rush things along,preferably to date someone whos also on the spectrum whom can relate to your challenges etc,take it one day at a time,and to always listen to your partner,do the best u can to make it work.Lastly even if your female partner is not on the spectrum,it should be someone whom u know can completely relate to your predisposition,perhaps someone with a similar disability/disorder!

  • Robert says:

    It’s painfully obvious that this article was written by a woman… and and uniformed one at that.

    This twaddle was a waste of time.

  • Alec Heesacker says:

    I Am A Man! Not A Woman!
    So, Flip That Around!

  • A P says:

    I have a long term autistic male partner. none of this matched at all. this is a stereotype article. It was not useful.
    My partner is sweet, gentle, doesn’t understand communication tone and needs sometimes, and relies on “rules” for communicating. Never violent, or demeaning. I hate your “oh well it’s gunna fail eventually”. use citations and scientific articles, please. I have never before had a partner who was so patient and loving. I need to understand better how to communicate effectively with my partner, not to be told “just be prepared for it to fail”

  • Bella says:

    I was married to an undiagnosed, Autistic male for 6 and a half of the worst years of my life. Before we were married, we rarely argued as I had told him I hated that. On our wedding nite, he had a complete melt down–screaming at me, beating on the steering wheel of my car and things degraded from that point on. He was violent, a liar, irresponsible, changed jobs frequently, GREEDY (*I* paid ALLLL of the bills, even worked overtime the entire marriage to do so), was a drunkard and insulted me constantly. It was more of a mother/son relationship. I NEVER felt married, only as though I had adopted a 13yr old juvenile delinquent brat. What makes me MOST angry, is that I am certain his parents were aware of his behavioral problems and his mother had the audacity to blame ME, for the demise of the marriage. Yeah lady, *I* was the one paying for everything, doing all the laundry, housework and grocery shopping. He never lifted a finger and spent money on anything HE wanted, even had the nerve to accuse me of ripping him off, when I couldn’t get enough overtime to pay all the bills and he needed to chip in. Getting rid of him, was the best decision I ever made. I’ve read articles elsewhere, that have stated my experience was quite common and it can leave the wife with PTSD afterward.

    • VIVIAN says:

      I’m sure my ex had ASD. Before I really new what autism was I used it jokingly to describe him. He was so different, which drew me to him initially. The most pure hearted being I ever knew for the first few years.
      My error was that unaware greatly of what he experienced internally I started to judge his admirable quality for weakness, his weakness for inadequacy, etc. The lack of cooperation I took as passive aggressive opposition and no consideration. It was impossible so what else could it be to refuse addressing issues at the expense of our relationship? After time and my contempt it went from passive to straight aggressive and deliberate refusal to cooperate. I wore in his self esteem and unaware of his deficits went to aware and shamed and self preserverance.
      I wish I was super human to have the ability to tame him now how he has resorted to.
      I would have done things differently or known to have needed to and why he was irresponsive to my needs the way I brought them up ..I feel guilty that I was up against nature and hated him for it.
      He collects rocks now and refuses my help. We have three kids.

      • Double_empathy says:

        First of all, I’m sorry that your relationship went the route that it did.
        I am on the spectrum (a late revelation for me) and just from reading your words, it’s almost like reading a different language. You are running in a completely different operating system. Neither operating system is better, just equally different. Now i have spent my entire life trying to understand your ( and other NT’s ) “systems of communication”. I haven’t made much headway, but with my knowledge that i am an adult with ASD, I have some tools available so i can try to pretend understand it more and more every day.
        I know I’m not alone and i know that every other aspie or autie has had to do something similar to try to understand such a different way of thinking. I also know that you have not put all of your energy into “acting autistic” as we have to “mask” on a daily basis.
        My wish is that you would spend even the smallest fraction of time and effort attempting to understand the other way of thinking in the other “operating system”

    • Candice says:

      Autism isn’t a synonym of abuser though and as your comment states the person was undiagnosed. What you’ve described only fits the article because if your own confirmation bias. You’re trying to find a diagnosis for your ex husband and apparently have decided to blame autism because of superficial similarities. If what you said were true your ex could have had some personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder or something like that.

      The very fact that you claim your ex husband’s behaviour changed after you got married makes me question your assertion that he was autistic because typically autistic people’s behaviour doesn’t change like that since autistic people don’t typically put on a nice persona which they wear for long periods of time so that they can manipulate others into doing what they like only to then to suddenly switch back to their autistic symptoms. That requires an active and cognisant decision to use behaviour to achieve a goal. What you’ve described really sounds like a narcissist to me and whilst I’m sorry that you were shouted at and had to pay for everything, I do question how you thought you could be married without ever arguing. That’s unrealistic since everyone has differences of opinion.

      If one doesn’t want to argue then it means that one person has to be completely submissive to the other and conform to their will. I assume, from the way you’ve written about your ex, that you expected that you would have the final say in everything and when he didn’t go along with that you simply decided he was disabled and came to cuss out the man (and by that token all actual autistic men and get some sympathy for your supposed PTSD). Frankly I think you have a personality disorder too because you think that this sentence is appropriate and sympathetic “Getting rid of him, was the best decision I ever made.”
      Human get rid of rubbish, they divorce people. Your choice of language and the fact you’ve been researching his supposed issue after having “gotten rid” of your ex shows your obsession with finding validation for your victim mentality not PTSD.

      Sorry if my comment seemed harsh but it’s almost word for word the lies my abusive mother puts out to everyone she speaks to against me, my sister and formerly my late father to pretend that she is abused when in fact she is the abusive manipulator.

      • Stef says:

        That real change in persona—it’s called “masking”. ASD individuals are not immune from being a-holes. I have learned this from ASD individuals themselves….some ASD are mean and abusive to other ASD. Just because someone has a disability does not mean they are an angel. One of the hallmarks of ASD is extreme emotion and aggressive outbursts.

        Glorifying intellectual disabilities is dangerous.

        “Getting rid of him, was the best decision I ever made.” she is being honest. You get resentful and bitter when you are treated like garbage…what goes around comes around. It’s called getting taken advantage of. Don’t gaslight her. No wife wants to raise a husband man-child. He obviously benefitted from the relationship FAR more than she did….she just grew out of codependency and possible low self-esteem…and her ex-husband never grew up.

        • Sj says:

          First off, the testing for ASD is more than what a wife or partner or random person can be able to do by themselves. I know Dr. of Psychology that wouldn’t try to diagnose another person without putting them through comprehensive testing. The fact that you are commenting based on what an Aspie friend told you, also tells me that you are neurotypical, and from what she seemed to say, although didn’t come out and say is that she is also neurotypical. Being neurotypical isn’t a bad thing, but it means that your brains are wired differently than someone who is neurodivergent. What I am finding is that the brains of neurodivergent humans can generally recognize other who are also neurodivergent. That said, a neurotypical has no understanding without huge amounts of schooling to be able to recognize neurodivergence. As a neurodivergent I typically can recognize neurotypicals because they behave differently than me. They seem to think it is okay to get into my space. The insist on looking me directly in the eyes. They get frustrated with me for either not being interested in what they are talking about, and/or get bored with me talking incessantly about whatever cool thing I am into or interested in. Also, Neurotypicals are completely baffled by the fact that I hyperfocus on something to the point that I can’t hear them talking to me.

          Now, that we have the basis for the fact that neither she or you are trained to diagnose another human being with any type of neurodiversity. What she described is someone with narcissism. This person may or may not have asd, but the tantrums seemed more about getting what he wanted for selfish reasons. Yes, people with ASD do mask, but we mask to seem more neurotypical, but we are not going to mask constantly to hide a violent nature, that is something a narcissist would do. We do have meltdowns, although I have never aimed a meltdown at a person. I have thrown things away from everyone. I tend to punch walls and slam doors and cupboards. Generally, my meltdowns are not because of another person, unless they are not listening to me and talk over the top of me or someone else. I tend to pull my hair, then slam stuff and more likely to hurt myself than someone else. I am not saying that all people with ASD are that way at all. It just doesn’t fit right for someone unqualified to diagnose someone because they don’t understand them, so they label them as ASD and then make out all ASD’s as being this thing. Also, when I am dating someone… I don’t have enough energy to mask all the time it would take to get someone to marry me, so then I can just blow up on them the first night. Masking takes way too much energy to keep up. Trust me at 57 I know all about it. Besides people see through it anyways!

        • Nate says:

          This sounds a lot more like NPD to me.

    • Martha E Lewis says:

      He wasn’t an undiagnosed autistic…he is a narcosistic (sp) person. I learned those behaviors from experience.

  • Alec Heesacker says:

    I’m Having Troubles Finding A Lady Who Shares The Same Moral Standards And Love For The Bible. I Have Got A Mental Disability And I Do Believe That All Of The Online Dating Things Would Lead Me Into Danger, Since Karen Roses Advice From SDRI About “The Matching Game!” App Was Not Very Helpful. I Want A Human Lady, Not Some Animalistic Being Within Human Clothing Which Can Be Mislead!
    So, How Should I Approach A In-Person Relationship? I Have A Few Examples Of Attractive Asian Ladies With Personalities That I Am Absolutely Looking For.

  • Sam_L says:

    My ex had high functioning autism and was exactly as this article described. So I think it depends on the couple and how successful they are in addressing issues as they come up. Perhaps for some people, the solutions are obvious. For some of us, we do need a bit more explaining to. I has zero knowledge of autism until my ex, so these things were not obvious to me as these issues had never come up with previous partners.

    • Keet says:

      Hi folks, for Sj and others. I am constantly impressed by the way some ND adults describe themselves while telling us NTs that we do not have the skills to diagnose. Oh okay. Well actually I can. Many so called experts can not. I have seen this in my spouses family, the denial is huge and has not even started as they are oblivious to their condition. Lots of damage has been done though. Should I be politically correct for a few more decades? Now I can spot it in the way an adult male orders food among other easy methods. I know several people in the family who are clearly on the spectrum who are messing with their partners and children. How do I have this authority of knowledge? 15 years with a female ND. I earned my stripes. Many of us are in the know. While NDs out themselves while attempting to hide everything they just can not take responsibility for. We watch from the sidelines knowing if we say something that lets you know we know, you will be unable to handle it. Too bad. Some NDs get it and some NTs don’t. And vice versa. Now when I am exposed to people who can not manage their condition, I let them know I know. That way they have another reference their behaviour is rude and inappropriate, dangerous and intimidating. Especially to an older adult who to me it is blatantly obvious can not manage his condition as he ages. You are lying to yourself. Seasoned NTs see right through you. The real world is tired of you not taking responsibility for anything. If you were violently assaulted for a meltdown would you do it again? No. Take responsibility for your actions.

      • Nate says:

        Ableism at its finest. You and your judgemental, ableist attitude are the problem here. You’ll never take any responsibility for that, though.

  • Chess Taylor says:

    I have a long term partner who is an aspie. The ‘guidance’ given on this site is, frankly, poisonous. We have lived together for a number of years and I honestly believe any issues we encounter are not dissimilar to any couple. While some of the ‘guidance’ on this site apparently seems to ‘coach’ people in a relationship (and in life) much of it is patronising or simply common sense. Relationships are tough in general. Relationships with someone with autism are also tough. They also present wonderful, unexpected things. Embrace it. It all works with the right people around. There is appropriate guidance on this site around violence and a little around self care but by and large, the damning message of autism presented is just untrue. I talk from the point of a wife, a friend and an auntie. Live the best life you can. Everyone deserves that x

    • C says:

      Thank you for your comment Chess!
      This article is stereotypical and degrading. This person obviously does not have autism and has never been in a relationship with an autistic person. I am autistic and believe this generalized nonsensical article should be taken down for perpetuating stereotypes.

    • Gloria says:

      Actually I found it quite representative of my experience. My autistic partner was verbally abusive and utterly deaf to my complaints. I find it strange you honestly believe that your personal experience is firm evidence of everybody else’s. Perhaps you are a bit on the spectrum yourself? If you are already in that vein of thinking maybe you would have less difficulties having a relationship with another autistic person.

      • Rachael says:

        Believing your personal experiences are evidence of everyone else’s isn’t a trait found only in autistic people. Those not on the spectrum can see the world through their own filter as well. You had a bad experience with someone on the spectrum and that’s valid. But “diagnosing” someone with autism just because they didn’t share your experience and expressed their own is uncalled for. And just because someone is autistic doesn’t mean they get along better with other autistic people. Let’s end that myth here. They might better understand where another autistic person is coming from in some situations, but definitely not all because no two people think alike– whether they’re on the spectrum or not.

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