If the person with AS cannot comprehend the interior life of their Neuro-typical partner, then connection is very difficult. Especially since the interior life of an NT consists of how he or she views him or herself in relationship to another. An individual with Asperger Syndrome has a much more difficult time knowing him or herself in relationship to another. Thus the Aspie partner does not realize that a loving relationship requires more than just facts. It requires connecting to the interior life of their loved one and sharing their interior life too. This is what is meant by a reciprocal relationship. An Aspie/Neuro-typical (NT) couple are often described as like two insulated wires wrapped around each other, touching but not connecting.
Is that it then? Does the relationship have to end based on the fact that the connection will be extremely difficult? The answer is NO. I recently read a fantastic article entitled, Modern Love – Somewhere Inside – a Path to Empathy, that gives hope to anyone in an AS/NT relationship. The article is written by David Finch, a marketing engineer for a semiconductor manufacturer. David has Asperger Syndrome.
David went undiagnosed until his wife, Kristen, made the discovery. Kristen is a speech pathologist who works with autistic children. Through her work, she became more familiar with the milder forms of autism and began to recognize that David has the symptoms. She chose the right time and administered an online Asperger questionnaire to David and the answer was immediately clear to them both.
David writes about their struggles and learning to cope with their newfound discovery. In the midst of trials, they have found one another and have reached a gigantic milestone. Not to say that their relationship is perfect now, but it is a work in progress.
In my new book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?, I seek to help NT individuals learn how to arrive at a new understanding of themselves and their significant other. It is my hope that many more will reach out and educate themselves, like David and Kristen, and take the steps to repair a relationship hurt by Asperger Syndrome. It would be a joy to read more success stories like this one.