Mind Blindness and the Disconnect in Asperger Syndrome Relationships

If you have a loved one with Asperger Syndrome, it is vital that you learn about “mind blindness” or “lack of empathy.” This is a key feature of what makes your relationship with the Aspie unique. Mind blindness or lack of empathy is the disconnect between emotional and social cognition. A person with Asperger Syndrome has trouble reading nonverbal clues and therefore ignores the bulk of a conversation. The Aspie knows what they think and feel but are often unaware of what their loved ones think or feel. They become so focused on themselves that it may seem like they don’t care or love you, but that is not true. What happens is that they just don’t notice.

Mind blindness can have some especially serious side effects on the partner or spouse of someone with Asperger’s. Even though their behavior is not intended to hurt you, it still does. Then you may reach out to someone else like a friend, but if they do not understand Asperger’s they will most likely not understand what you are going through. Without the right care, low self-esteem, depression, and resentment may settle in deep.

If you find yourself in a relationship that has a lack of empathy, realize you are not alone! Many experience a similar situation. As a psychologist and marriage counselor I recognized that there’s a great need to give guidance to families of adults with Asperger Syndrome. Here are my suggestions for you:

1. Seek out therapy from a professional specializing in Asperger Syndrome. Click here to see my specific therapy recommendations.

2. Join a support group. Click here for tips on how to find one that suits your needs.

3. Educate yourself about Asperger Syndrome. My book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge? was written specifically for those in a relationship with someone with Asperger’s. My upcoming book is entitled, Parenting with a Spouse or Partner with Asperger Syndrome: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. A free sample chapter is available for download. I have also compiled a list of books that I have found especially helpful – Recommended Books Part 1 and Recommended Books Part 2.

These suggestions will help you to see more clearly your own situation and take the necessary steps to live a happier, more full-filled life.

4 Replies to “Mind Blindness and the Disconnect in Asperger Syndrome Relationships”

  1. I am a wife of an ex military with 40 yrs of service. We live in Brisbane Australia. Been young when we got married I was naive & did not know why he behaved child like & rigid in routine. We have 2 adult girls.ereWe were divorced for 22 yrs. & remarried 9yrs ago. & not long after I
    started asking myself why his behaviour was a prob. My husband was diagnosed with ptsd.
    Then a few years latter aspherges. I was a nurse for 27 yrs have not worked since we remarried. I have been close to moving out too many times. Which would create another stress which for me would kick start my seizures. I have had to start more medication anyway.However I have done much research. And came across your information thank you for helping me understand what I am dealing with.

    1. You are very welcome Christine. It is amazing that having information about these frustrating relationships helps to put your life into perspective. And I hope it gives you some peace of mind.

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