NT is short for neurotypical and is often used to refer to people who are not on the autism spectrum. It is a combination of the words "neurological" and "typical".

No, no. I trust your judgement. Implicitly. You're just wrong. —  Hy Conrad, Mr. Monk Helps Himself

NTs are wired differently to those with AS and have usually developed the social skills that the AS person lacks.

Some common issues for partners of people with Asperger syndrome include:

  • Failure to have their own needs met by the relationship.
  • Lack of emotional support from family members and friends who don’t fully understand the additional strain placed on a relationship by Asperger syndrome.
  • Feeling isolated because the challenges of their relationship are unique and therefore not easily understood by others.
  • Frustration as the same problems arise again and again and never seem to be resolved or improve.
  • Feeling overly responsible for their partner.
  • Doubting the integrity of the relationship or wondering whether or not to end it.
  • Difficulty accepting that their partner will not ‘recover’ from Asperger’s syndrome.
  • After accepting that Asperger’s Syndrome can’t be ‘cured’, it is common for partners to feel guilt, despair and disappointment.

Learning about Asperger's Syndrome is the first step towards understanding why you feel the way you do. The next, really important, step is for you to get back in touch with you. Because you're worth it!

My story

I met my husband at work. He was a contrast of a strong, independent adult with an air of arrogance and yet at times, appeared vulnerable and almost child-like and I found the combination of the two very attractive.

During our courtship he was extremely attentive. It was only after two years of marriage that I realised that all the usual behaviours that contribute to the success of a marriage – the maintenance of a relationship – had come abruptly to a halt, almost literally, the day we married.

Any social aspect of our lives only happened if organised by me. Our time together at home would be spent in separate rooms with him needing more and more time alone, usually on his computer.

Trying to discuss certain issues would trigger inappropriate extremes of rage and torrents of abuse. These triggers would be any area of life in which he needed to retain complete control. I could not discuss finances – indeed, the complex system with which he controlled these made it impossible for me to know what our income or outgoings were.

To the outside world, to family and friends, it looked like I had the perfect life – and I couldn’t explain how that was not so. I felt lonely, isolated and depressed. I felt stupid - that somehow there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t make the marriage a happy one for us both. I spent a year on antidepressants.

One day I heard a lady talking on the radio about her relationship with her husband. It was the first time I heard the term Asperger’s Syndrome. It was a lightbulb moment. I recognised me in her and and my husband in hers. I now realise how lucky I am that my husband was open to having a diagnosis, that he wanted to save our marriage as much as I did.

Now we know what we’re dealing with life isn’t so frightening. Every day we’re learning more about each other’s needs and capabilities and to what extent we can accommodate each other to have a happier life together.

It took us five months to find a couples counsellor with experience and understanding of AS but it was absolutely worth finding the right person.

Anonymous 2014

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