It used to be that your word was your reputation. If you break your word you suffer the consequences. But for the words in the title above, the majority of us break our word. Oh, we have all the intentions of honoring them when we say them but then things change for whatever reason.
I think my Aspie characteristics play a part in my response to these words. Most of the time I take things literally. When I say I will be there at 1pm that doesn’t mean 1:05pm. When I said “till death do us part” I meant it literally and still do. With this prologue complete, I want to get to the topic at hand and that is marriage, particularly when it involves someone with Aspie characteristics.
I know it is a fact that 90% of those with moderate or severe Aspie traits never marry and those who do divorce more than the norm. I dreamed but never considered it a possible reality that I would get married. I just never did very well with interactions with the opposite sex. My mother, who abandoned me when I was ten years old, was like the current Oval Office occupant, an extreme narcissist. Everything was always about her, she had little room in her life for anyone or anything else. I never learned much of anything useful from her except that I didn’t want to be like her.
My dating history was plainly speaking a catastrophe. I seldom had more than three dates with anyone. When my future wife asked me out on a date I had pretty much given up on the thought of marriage. For some reason, she liked what she saw and as a result, we were married six months later.
I know being married to someone with Aspie traits is not easy. Here are some words about that from Psychology Today: (helpful hint AS=Aspie, NT=neurotypical)
- An individual with AS has challenges understanding or predicting the consequences of his/her behavior on others. Therefore, the Aspergers partner may see the NT partner as irrational or illogical.
- NT women especially tend to want their partners to understand them and their feelings. However, they need to realize that this is something they may not be able to get from their AS partner. Some change may be possible, but..
- The most basic elements of speaking and hearing are the most important issues that AS-NT couples may have. AS adults often may have a very difficult time hearing negative emotions expressed by their partner. They may refuse to communicate, but then end up lashing out in a very hurtful way later on.
To some degree, I can see myself in all three scenarios above. We have been married going on 32 years now so I guess we overcame these obstacles to one degree or another. Our marriage hasn’t always been “happily ever after” but that is as it is. When I discovered that many of my characteristics have a name it helped me to understand some previous stumbling blocks in my married life. It helps me to realize that my wife and I are likely to see the same thing very differently. It helps me to keep my vow of “till death do us part”. It helped me to realize what an amazing person I have been married to…